On June 21, International Yoga Day , OoWomaniya is in Conversation with Yoga Trainer Bhakti Shah
Bhakti Shah runs a studio by the name of Bhakti’s Yoga in Ahmadabad since 2007 and she herself has been practicing yoga for the last 20 years. As she said it is something that she eats, breathes and can’t live without.
When she has been asked how her love for yoga has been developed, she gives credit to her school days as she was always appreciated for her flexible body, stamina and performance during sports sessions. The first training she took was from Rishi Samskruiti Vidya Kendra in 1993. Where she learned ancient art of yoga and pranayama.
Apart from attending various courses and seminars, she kept learning through various books and CDs related to yoga. In 2006 she started her yoga class with just 2-3 students and then within a year she become a certified yoga instructor and she started her own studio.
Benefits of Yoga
When Bhakti was asked about benefits of Yoga, she said,” yoga is about fitness, inner peace, living with greater awareness and also about more flexibility and increased energy”. With this, she also cautioned that it is not just a mechanical practice but it is more of an individual thing where body, mind and spirituality coincide together.
Further, she talked about main four types of yoga – Bhakti (Devotion), Gyan (Wisdom), Karma (Action) and Hatha (Self Realization). Here the Hatha yoga is a yoga where body relates with mind. There are 8 parts to Hatha yoga – also called Ashtang Yoga. The 8 parts are: Yama, Niyama, Asana, Pranayama, Pratyahar, Dharna, Dhyan and Samadhi.
Bhakti’s Take on difference between Power Yoga and Traditional Yoga
Traditional Yoga is where one single asana is performed for a long time without any immediate transitions, in it with stamina one is required to focus on position too. It can start with 30 seconds and gradually one can have stamina to be in same asana for 3 minutes. The Yogi always relaxes between each asanas.
Power Yoga is a kriya where transition occurs from one asana to other asana and so it requires lots of energy and it is helpful in burning calories. Surya Namaskara is a one kind of power yoga where we switch from one asana to other asana without a break. However, it is not that through only power yoga one can burn calorie. In traditional yoga also one burns calories.
Yoga and Women’s Health
Bhakti talked about how yoga helps in improving women’s health as there are certain phases where women’s body goes through routine changes like Menstruation and at times, body goes through changes for a long period of time – like in Pregnancy.
According to her, pregnant woman can opt for static yoga under instructor’s observation while following her doctor’s guidelines. It helps a pregnant woman to deal in a better way with all kind of emotional and physical transition her body is going through during pregnancy. Anulom-Vilom is the best Pranayama which should be practiced regularly during pregnancy. Also, one can remain calm and composed during this period by practicing meditation.
To get rid of menstrual cramps she suggests deep breathing exercise where one has to inhale through nose and exhale through mouth. As when one takes a deep breath in through nose, breath goes down to lower abdominal area and when one exhale through mouth, breath is released from lower abdomen. This helps in relieving cramps and providing enough oxygen to body which helps in dealing with uneasiness during periods.
Basic Yoga and Pranayama which can be practiced Daily
Bhakti suggested some basic forms of yoga and Pranayama which can be practiced daily and which cover all parts of body
Position: Standing on feet
Position: Sleeping on stomach
Position: Sleeping on back
1) Anulom vilom
4) Bhastrika Pranayam
According to Bhakti there is no comparison among various yoga forms, as it depends on personal liking as well as the health factors. Though, yoga is something for which one doesn’t require any equipment, just one mat is enough and it can be done any time. Early morning time is best when yoga and pranayama are concerned, as at that time external distractions are lesser.