1) When and how did you begin practicing yoga?
I was born in India and was instructed by my dad to do a headstand every day to help keep my eyes strong at a very young age. I dutifully did stretching every day and didn't know that all these were yoga exercises. I came to US at the age of 12.
Many years later when I started to take yoga classes in the US did I realize what yoga was and that I had done parts of it my entire life.
2) How has yoga benefitted you?
I find that the stretching built into yoga postures keeps my spine, neck and shoulders aligned. When I stop practicing yoga postures, my body gets tense and stiff very easily.
3) Tell us about yourself, i.e., your interests, inspirations, passions, etc.--anything.
Along with yoga, I practice tai chi, hiking, mindfulness and healthy eating. At the core of these activities is the fundamental basis of living a clean and healthy lifestyle. When I'm cooking, I am mindful of how this is going to taste and who my audience is and how I want to excite their taste buds and make them happy eating this. With that motivation I am excited to cook or create a new item with the end in sight. With yoga, my goal at the end of the session is to fully nourish my body and strengthen it.
4) How do you practice yoga beyond asana (or postures) and into daily life?
Every morning as soon as I get out of bed, the first thing I do is sun salutation, side bends and back bends to wake up my body. I practicing mindful breathing as I am standing at the train station, sometimes doing leg extensions and twists. As I run up and down the stairs getting to the next train, I am practicing mindful breathing so I am able to recover quickly. I practice half downward dog as a mid-day stretch or sometimes before I go to bed.
5) In what ways are you involved with Root 2 Rise Yoga community?
I have participated in activities organized by Michelle, one of them was the Costa Rica trip in 2014 which I highly recommend!! I also participated in musical events, potlucks, hiking, lunch and dinner outings. I enjoy meeting like-minded people and our R2R community is a wonderful group of people.
6) Anything else you would like to share with our community, such as insights from your practice, words of inspiration, etc.
I am very fortunate to have found Michelle. Over the years, I have taken numerous yoga classes and once I attended Michelle's class, I was hooked. Michelle has mastered the art of teaching and incorporating the principles of yoga. I have occasionally subbed for Michelle and taught impromptu yoga in Fiji and I ended up copying her teaching style. People would come up to me and say, "Are you a yoga instructor?" and I would say, "No, but I have a really wonderful yoga instructor whose style I copy naturally!!"
Practicing yoga and stretching is a way of life. Once it becomes a natural part of yourself, you don’t think about it as a class-only activity.
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