“Yoga gave me life again”: famous yoga coach Anshuka Parwani
Renowned yoga coach Anshuka Parwani is a name to be reckoned with. His yoga the celebrity-favorite training sessions have been making waves on social media. Opening up about her personal journey with yoga – which began after encountering a near-fatal accident that left her temporarily immobile – Parwani, who is also a national gold medal-winning swimmer, shares how it has helped to heal.
“The recovery took a huge mental and physical toll on me. Not even being able to stand on my own was the hardest thing to deal with. I am very lucky to have a mother who realized this quickly and pushed me to join a yoga school to help me with my rehabilitation in all its aspects. Fast forward to months later, I had recovered and was now a certified yoga teacher. I haven’t looked back since,” Parwani said, sharing that yoga has helped her “mentally, emotionally and physically.”
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This International Yoga Day (IDY) she talks about her date with yoga, why it’s for everyone, and lists some of the biggest myths that need to be busted.
Would you agree that the world woke up to yoga amid the pandemic?
Yoga is an age-old practice and a science that is truly here to stay. It’s clearly not a fad. Of course the pandemic has forced people to really pause and realize how important their health and wellbeing is. He emphasized understanding what our bodies need and that we need to take the time to make sure we are doing something, whatever it is, to help. holistic health and well-being. It made us realize the importance of our breath – this is where life begins. Yoga, as a discipline, focuses on your breathing. The pandemic has therefore definitely led to a shift towards yoga.
… And the contribution of yoga to mental health?
Yoga is extremely vital for Mental Health because the practice works to connect your mind, body and soul. Nowadays, where everything goes fast, and stress levels are through the roof, many of us are very disconnected from ourselves and forget to listen to what our minds and bodies are telling us. Yoga works to ground us with breathwork that stimulates our parasympathetic nervous system. It helps us rest, relax, connect and rejuvenate. Yoga also helps to release happy hormones, so that you feel good after training.
Yoga is more than just a workout for me. It healed me mentally, emotionally and physically. It’s safe to say – it brought me back to life.
Tips for beginners
Yoga is so accessible; you don’t need one Gym or any equipment. You can grab anything that’s a little soft – a towel, rug, duvet, or rug and practice. It doesn’t have to be complicated or stressful – sit on a mat or whatever you have, start practicing Pranayama and build from there.
Yoga props are widely available to help you out, so don’t hesitate to use them.
As long as you don’t have injuries or contraindications (please check with your doctor and yoga practitioner), you can do yoga asanas anytime and anywhere. Do it for yourself, because once you are in tune with yourself, you automatically connect to the world around you in the best possible way.
The theme for this year’s International Yoga Day is “Yoga for Wellbeing”. It therefore conveys the message of leading a balanced and healthy life. No matter who you are, where you come from or what you do, yoga can be included in your life as a discipline to ensure that you strive to lead a healthy life with your mind, body and soul balanced.
Along with yoga, it is also essential to eat healthy. What does your daily diet consist of?
I am a foodie and I love my food. I’m not on a special diet but I make the right choices. I’m 100% gluten and refined Sugar free and those two things are something I don’t eat at all. Other than that, I indulge in dishes and cuisines that I love as long as they are gluten and sugar free. There are so many options to choose from now, so it’s not that difficult. I like when my plate has different colors and flavors on my plate – I like to make sure it’s a balanced meal.
A few yoga poses that you would recommend to everyone.
My favorite pose is Yoga Nidra which is a guided form of meditation, relaxation and inner Shavasana. So when you practice this you are not sleeping but you are consciously relaxing and being aware of your breath.
The second is the pear tree. Being inverted makes me calmer, stronger and more centered. It also releases all my happiness hormones, so I feel great the rest of the day.
The third is the Surya Namaskar because it takes care of stretching my muscles, strengthening them, and it works on my flexibility. It really is a full body movement.
My breathing and my Pranayama are something I can’t live without!
The many myths associated with yoga that you would like to break.
*Yoga is for flexible people
Yoga is for the whole body. From children to pregnant women, men and the elderly, yoga adds value to everyone’s life. It’s much more than just physical practice, so the main thing is not to get started pear tree or being super flexible, it’s really about being in tune and aligned with your mental and physical self.
*Yoga is for women only
I miss why someone chose to tie sex to yoga! Yoga is a holistic lifestyle and wellness practice. It’s not gender specific.
*Pregnant women cannot do yoga
Yoga has so many benefits to offer pregnant women. Some of my students did yoga with me until their ninth month and their birthing process was much easier due to their dedication to the practice.
Deepika, Alia or Kareena. Favorites?
For a teacher of any discipline, whether in a school or college or someone like me, picking and choosing favorites is impossible. I am eternally grateful and blessed to be surrounded by these women and men who are such powers in their own regard. I learn so much from each of them and it is very rewarding for me.
Yoga clothes have become a rage. How does dress code help?
It’s like a second skin for you. Be a national level athlete, I understand how important it is. The material and fit allow you to really flow like water in your practice. That’s why Adidas’ Yoga Make Space campaign spoke to me. The fabrics are all made from recycled materials, which makes them so much better. The introduction of the different elements as inspiration for the pieces also adds a lot of value to the whole collection and also underlines the fundamentals of yoga.
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