Continuing our series of self-care practices, tips and dialogues around it, Today we are exploring Yoga. We had the opportunity to speak with Divya, a certified Yoga practitioner and fitness coach who transformed her life with Yoga. In the following interview, we will talk about what Yoga means, how it helped Divya and how you can include it in your daily life.
So, without further ado, let us get into it!
Brief Introduction about yourself.
I am Divya Annamalai, a software engineer by profession. A few years ago, around 7-8 years back, I was approx 84 kgs after I delivered my son through C-section. I suffered chronic cervical spondylosis and was dependent on the neck collar. I had to wear it 24 hours. I was given oils for massage and was undergoing physiotherapy every single day. Also, I was advised by the doctors not to run, work out, drive a two-wheeler and not even lift my kid. I was devasted and wanted to lose weight to get rid of my foot pain which I could not tolerate. I understood that I must take care of my health because no one else will. So, I started to change my lifestyle. I concentrated on nutrition. I lost 12 kgs within 90 days but then did not realise the importance of working out. It was my second innings when I started to work out and sculpt myself. That is when I understood how nutrition and workouts worked for hand in hand.
As days passed on, one of my friends asked me about an expensive plan offered online and waited for my suggestion. I suddenly realised I could help women with what I have achieved in my life about my health. Then the rest happened. I started to coach. I wanted to expand my knowledge and enrolled myself in a Human nutrition course. It helped me to understand the medical conditions humans go through and to help others better.
A brief explanation of Yoga and its benefits
Yoga is defined in one word as "Union". It harmonises the body with mind, breath and asanas. You can call it relaxation, workout, warm up or anything you want to because that is what people refer to when asked or thought about Yoga. More than that, Yoga unites you with the real you. It is not just a strong body and flexibility. It gives you everything and is wholesome.
How did your yoga journey start?
My Yoga journey started two years ago when I started practising with discipline. Otherwise, I have been practising yoga now and then. I wanted to put myself into a practice that would keep me motivated and peaceful. During that time, I was already conducting my fitness classes and wanted to incorporate Yoga into them. Then I did an advanced Yoga certification followed by a Yoga Anatomy course to gain knowledge.
How can someone book a consultation with you?
I am available through my Instagram page https://www.instagram.com/nourishwithin_da/ and my email - firstname.lastname@example.org by sending direct messages/emails enquiring about the sessions.
What would be your advice to someone who wants to explore Yoga?
I would love for everyone to explore Yoga in their lifetime. Living life full of awareness.
Minimum how much time does someone need to spend while starting?
Anyone can start to practice by spending 30 minutes a day. It can be difficult for someone to get into practice if they are doing it for the first time or getting back to it after a long time or after a break. So always start little. Start with stretching every day. Then start doing the basic asanas. For someone to start with Yoga, Surya namaskar is the best practice. Start to practice Surya namaskara after doing the basic stretches. It gives you energy, a feeling of accomplishment and confidence.
What would be your advice in terms of Nutrition, food habits etc.?
I believe that Nutrition is the foremost important factor in maintaining optimal health. People think if they do not work out regularly, then they are not living a good life. However, it's always nutrition 80% and workouts 20% that make the perfect balance. Workouts play a role based on your goals. However, for maintaining a healthy life, the food you eat holds the most importance. In addition to weight management, food plays a huge role in other medical conditions such as PCOD/PCOS, hormonal imbalances, GERD issues, Gastric troubles, headaches, phycological conditions etc.
In short good food is a good mood.
Is there a myth around Yoga or fitness that you would like to bust?
The popular myth around Yoga is possessed flexibility. This is a false statement. You get flexible when you start practising yoga and not that you should be flexible to start practising. Another popular myth about fitness is weight training is not suitable for women. Maintaining adequate muscle mass is the best way to keep the body fat in a healthy range and to improve overall fitness especially as you age. It is good to incorporate cardiovascular exercises and strength training.
Is there something you would advise people to avoid when practising Yoga, like a safety warning?
I would advise you to always start from scratch. Start with stretches, and concentrate on joint health as well. Slowly progress to advanced asanas. We should not compare our signs of progress with others, especially influencers we see online every day. Their asanas were not achievable in a day. It took years of practice. Never hesitate if take support. For example, you can take support using a wall, Yoga belts, Yoga bricks, Yoga wheels etc. Use ankle support, elbow support, and grip bands if you think you have weak joints. Practice safe!
Divya`s story towards her fitness journey is indeed inspiring. If you wish to start your journey too, then please reach out to her:
Instagram Page - https://www.instagram.com/nourishwithin_da/
Email id - email@example.com