21st June 2017 will be only the third time the world will be observing the International Yoga Day ever since it was declared unanimously by the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) on 11 December 2014. Prime Minister Modi had suggested to observe June 21st, to the UN on account of it being the longest day of the year in the northern hemisphere.
We look at some of the unique Yoga practitioners in Chennai who've been working in this field for several years.
Mithila Rohra and Abida Hameed are a part of the power packed trio that runs Indian School of Breathing in Chennai. They are yoga instructors and counselors, who swear by the ancient practice, with the motto of giving maximum normal child births to all the women who come to them, using Yoga. Abida mentions how she’d given up hope after no medicine could take care of her PCOD (polycystic ovarian disorder) and only stopped haunting her after she started yoga regularly. Mithila doesn’t have any such extraordinary event that pushed her to yoga, but she found that it stabilized and calmed her down, which was more than enough for her to continue practicing Yoga regularly. She mentions that the Nataraja pose is her favourite as it balances her body, providing equally to every organ. Abida, on the other hand, mentions that Pakshiasana is her favourite as it concentrates on the Gynaecological parts of a woman. To end, both of them agree on one note, "As an Indian, before even knowing Hindi, one must know Yoga, since it is in our roots!"
Shakti Shilpa is the star Yoga celeb that most hunt for, in Chennai social media pages. But in person, she's is oblivious to these talks of the town. Being one of the first people to initiate Acro Yoga workshops in Chennai city, she has started to redefine the limits of pushing one's body and its flexibility. "More and more people should come together and form a community of Yoga, where we jam different asanas and speak the language of what our body tells us," says Shilpa. She has almost done some of the most in unimaginable Yoga poses on top of a hill and this video will leave you in awe of that. Watch their video below:
Let's all not get shocked when you hear that Alexander Babu is not a stand up comedian first, but a Yoga guru. Practicing Yoga for almost 20 years straight, Alex, fondly known for his stomach-aching laughter filled jokes, will make your stomach ache with bends and twists of different asanas. "Shirsasana is my most favourite asana, as the immediate head rush one gets is like botox to face, and immediately refreshing," says Alex, as he provides as a step-by-step guide to executing this very asana.
Rohini Manoharan runs the ‘Chennai yoga studio’ which is a studio based in Anna nagar. Rohini started Yoga when she was working in Australia and she’s been practicing it for 9 years now. She got accredited to be an international yoga teacher when she completed her yoga training. When quizzed about the secret of her success, she says, “It’s the persistence that I’ve learned on the mat that I apply to my everyday life.”
Watch her teach Eka Pada Koundinyasana here:
Fharzana Siraj is a yoga therapist and the founder of ‘Orange Ray.’ She had a disk collapse on her back and that’s when she decided to pursue a career yoga therapy. She started seeing miraculous results
in people and gradually yoga therapy became her profession. "Yoga is a firm, essential and powerful tool of medicine which should not be ignored or taken for granted," she says.
Watch her explain the science behind Yoga therapy:
Rudra and Shanthi
The mother-son duo from Chennai has been practicing yoga for more than 15 years. Shanthi (42) is a yoga teacher by profession and Rudra (20), an engineering student who has thrice won medal in the national level yoga championship. Shanthi’s favorite asanas are Bhujangasana (Cobra Pose) and Dhanurasana (Bow Pose) which helps to treat wheezing, thyroid and also keep Diabetes under control. Rudra loves Sirasasana (Head stand pose) where the body parts work against the gravitational force and it increases concentration as blood flows towards head. Rudra is planning to attempt a Guinness record next year by performing yoga for four days without water and food.
Watch them walk you through these asanas: