(Published in The Quint: http://www.thequint.com/blogs/2016/02/13/why-yoga-is-the-magic-elixir-)
I always imagined that the practice of yoga was well, rather overrated.
I thought it comprised of some amount of body stretching – and even more pop talk. As to all the brouhaha over how “life changing” it was and “how, once you start, you can never stop”? That, I figured, was just silly over-exuberance.
That is, until the day I got on the mat myself.
It has been over two years and I don’t think I will ever stop.
(In case anyone’s asking, I’m busy eating my words.)
The First Big Move
When I moved to Gurgaon from Chandigarh in 2010 – a married woman – the slow, sluggish pace of life that is synonymous with a small town suddenly kicked into high gear – quicker before I could wear my protective braces.
Before I knew it, I was a working woman and a homemaker, simultaneously – a feat I didn’t think possible.
I craved a fix.
I discovered yoga.
I’d heard of Bikram yoga classes not too far from my home and researched all about it. I realised – as perhaps many working women-cum-homemakers do, on an epiphany – that this was exactly what I needed.
However, there was no time – the timings of the classes clashing with that of my workplace.
Little did I know at the time that I’d find my yogic zen in a country far, far away!
Unearthing Yoga in Munich, Germany
India might be the country of Deepak Chopra and all things ‘stretchy’ and ‘bendy’ like the firangs like to imagine, but I actually unearthed my love for yoga far from India.
My husband and I moved to Munich in 2013 (he’d been offered a job there by his company) and my moorings were once again shaken and stirred. I needed an anchor.
I found it one afternoon, when a friend told me about a friendly German lady who held yoga classes at her house.
Before I knew it, I’d arrived at her home wearing my yoga gear and an enthusiastic smile.
How I Discovered my Elixir
To my very pleasant surprise, these yoga sessions very quickly became the highlight of my week and I looked forward to starting my Mondays and Fridays with the hour-and-a half sessions that consisted of combinations of Hatha, Ashtanga, Vipassana, Iyengar, Vinyasa and other styles with frequent meditative breathing intervals.
No sooner would the session end than I longed for more. I could sense a change within me since the time that I had begun yoga – and this wasn’t just in the physical sense. It was as if I’d stumbled on to some elusive elixir that young professional women are constantly seeking and never really finding.
Why Yoga was the Answer I Needed
As women we tend to limit ourselves to what we’ve been doing as part of a routine.
There’s the working mother, perpetually spreading herself too thin in a desperate attempt to check off both ‘great mommy’ and ‘corporate honcho’ on her list.
There’s the working woman, not the mother, who’s fighting daily battles at her workplace, forgetting the most important entity – herself.
For me, a working woman-cum-homemaker, yoga was the answer I needed. It was the release I owed to myself.
It made me do things I never would have thought possible. Like how one day, after a particularly riveting session of yoga, I decided to up and start a blog. Today I thrill at the prospect of the written word – my written word – appearing in several publications. My blog too is thriving.
It’s been over two years now since I discovered yoga.
My husband and I have just moved from Munich to Abu Dhabi.
My moorings have been shaken a third time.
I am already on the prowl for yoga classes.