Yoga’s origin goes way back to 5000 BCE, its first traces in timeline comes from Indus Sarasvati civilization. Yoga has come a long way hailing from Vedic Yoga to Pre-Classical to Classical to Post Classical to Hatha Yoga and now to Modern Yoga.
Yoga has seen various dimensions in its demonstrations and reasons for being practiced. Today, many people are switching to Yoga or the modern yoga owing to the environmental and lifestyle pressures.
The latest on the fitness radar is Yoga inspired hard-core fitness workouts like connecting plyometric, strength training, aerobics and Zumba into creative combinations to offer a Kick-Ass Yoga Experience.
It’s no more about the body being fit, it’s more about a peaceful mind, fit body and a relaxed soul. Yoga offers various workout forms for strengthening mind, body and soul in totality. Many fitness gurus and trainers are now looking at workout programmes that are inspired by Yoga.
On the eve of the International Yoga Day, we spoke one to one with practitioners of both worlds’ and here’s their take on why Yoga-inspired Workouts are catching up fast.
Our first guest on the block is Mrs. Chetna Gandecha, aged 45 years, practising Yoga since she was 16 years old. A passionate and an ardent fan of Traditional Yoga, she started initially to benefit her friends and family but her dedication broke the barriers and word of mouth publicity got her so much response that it led to the formal establishment of her academy called “Synergy Yoga”.
Today, after almost 5-6 years of rigorous training and benefiting various clients, she has extended her fitness programmes with many other variants like aerobics, Zumba and Yoga. Synergy Yoga today has a new name & identity as “Yoga with Chetna”.
Mind & Body talk with Chetna Gandecha of “Yoga with Chetna” Mumbai, Maharashtra, India.
1. When did you start performing Yoga? What inspired you and how is it a part of your lifestyle today?
CG. I started practicing Yoga when I was 16 years old, youngest in my class, it was incidental but I enjoyed my sessions thoroughly way back then. Few years down the line, I found myself was struggling with few health issues.
That was when I turned to Yoga with utmost seriousness and it was indeed a turning point in my life. My improved self-being brought me so much peace that I thought of giving it back to the society and started practicing Yoga professionally. Today it’s part of my life, my academy keeps me on my toes and motivates me to understand different requirements and explore newer dimensions to help my clients achieve their fitness goals. It’s gratifying feeling to have happy & healthy clients.
2. What is your take on Yoga vs. Gym for fitness?
CG. Both platforms are meant for fitness programmes, Gym offers various formats where workouts are mechanised to deliver results on the overall body, however, one basic difference that Yoga scores over all fitness formats is that it awakens your senses and overhauls your mind and soul. I am a trained Zumba & Pilate instructor but personally I am an ardent fan of Yoga.
3. How can one decide if Yoga or Pilates is right for you?
CG. Yoga is a complete body, mind and spirit workout. It has evolved over centuries, more than 5000 years ago into different forms like Ashtanga, Kripalu, Bikram & Vineyasa. Yoga is a flexible form and each session offers various variations, postures and sequences.
Pilates is much younger, about mid-20th century, conceptualized by an athlete called Joseph Pilates. It was started for rehabilitation and strengthening. Pilate focusses on mind and body with the sessions being more structured.
4. What role does Diet play while practicing yoga?
CG. There is no special diet rules for yoga practitioners though Yoga advises a vegetarian and natural diet. It’s important to eat in moderation. Vegetarianism helps to promote inner peace and harmony of all five senses.
A yogic diet ideally follows a sattvic or pure food. A combination of fresh fruits, vegetables, cooked whole grains, milk, legumes, nuts and seeds.
5. How early and how late can one make Yoga a part of their lifestyle?
CG.: This is one question I am asked most often and I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again and again that anyone and everyone can practice yoga. It doesn’t matter who you are, how fat or how skinny, how strong or how weak, how young or how old.
Looking at today’s stressful lives, I think Yoga should be practiced by each one of us, age is no bar for practicing a healthy life. Yoga brings in incredible quality to our lives and its international recognition by the west goes to prove that Yoga is a blessing to people of its native origin.
I feel it should be made part of school syllabus and we should encourage our growing generation to instil a healthy lifestyle from beginning.
nitiniti MaldInternational Yoga Day at Infiniti Mall in Malad (w), Mumbai
6. What top qualities should someone look for in a yoga instructor and studio?
CG: I believe there are 5 essential traits a good yoga instructor should possess other than certification.
- Ability to connect with each member of the class.
- Presence during class- each member should be involved in forms demonstrated by the instructor.
- Energy & Personality: Instructors’ personality makes a lot of difference as it motivates its members.
- Flexibility to offer variation to its members.
- Love of yoga- your body language should display your love for yoga and not reflect it as a structured monotonous routine.
- What’s important while choosing a good Yoga studio is the ambiance and environment internally of the studio should be calm and serene.
- The batch sizes should be comfortable to be managed by instructors and class should not be cluttered.
- Most importantly, the Studio should have certified and trained teachers.
7. What do you find rewarding about being a yoga instructor?
CG. Yoga has changed my life and I have acknowledged it many times. The first & most rewarding experience in my life was getting hale and hearty myself. That was my first union with Yoga.
Teaching Yoga too has definitely been rewarding as your students/clients that come with pre-existing ailments and pain. Yoga cannot promise a cure for any ailment but Yoga offers less pain and pain management and in some cases pain does go away altogether. Any such benefit is the biggest reward any Yoga instructor can get. Yoga offers me instant gratification of helping others on a daily basis and I think this service is far above than commercial gains.
To connect with Chetna Gandecha of “Yoga with Chetna”
Subscribe to her Facebook page: www.facebook.com/Yoga-With-Chetna
The second guest on the block is a Young and Active 32 year old Yogesh Sawant certified level 1, 2 and 3 Fitness trainer and certified Yoga Teacher from Premanand Yoga Centre.
We spoke to Yogesh who has been in training since 10 years. And this is what he has to say about Comparing Exercise practice Vs. Yoga training.
I am certified to offer both formats of Fitness training, however I am not biased towards any one; rather as a Fitness instructor, I feel it’s best to use the best of both worlds and tailor-make workouts for your clients.
Personally speaking I, understand my client’s areas of concerns and then offer workouts that are a combination of Functional training, Cross Fit, Pilate & Yoga. My clientele consists of few celebrities from Indian Television & Fashion Industry. All these years I have trained over 300 clients who prefer personal training other than my clients in the Gym’s that I have worked with.
I believe there is a fundamental distinction between weight training, functional training & Yoga. Weight training, one focuses on specific areas of the body and strengthens the muscles, as it develops muscle mass away from bones.
In yoga, the muscles are drawn onto bones evenly all around in order to support bone frame of body. Many clients of mine come with problems like Thyroid, Muscle pains and slow metabolism. One thing I have observed while training them is that most clients have bad eating habits, hypertension and erratic work schedules. My training thus offers a complete tailor made workout with dietary recommendations and discipline on work-sleep schedule while Yoga helps me offer them relaxation of mind body and spirit.
Yogesh Sawant is a trained certified fitness trainer from Talwalkars Fitness Solutions P.Ltd. Mumbai. Currently working with Arena Fitness Mumbai.