My Yoga Journey
with Shilpa Pandey
Shilpa Pandey is a life and wellness coach in Mumbai, India. In this interview, she shares her faith in yoga and her inspiration and motivation for learning, practicing and teaching yoga.
Yoga has impacted my life beautifully. Beyond the physical benefits, yoga has helped me to become a calmer person, with more balance and focus. Yoga has helped to achieve the emotional balance to be aware of what to respond to, and what to ignore, for a healthier mind, body and soul!
Interview with Shilpa Pandey
Published 19 April 2020
Published 19 April 2020
What does yoga mean to you?
For me, yoga is the union of mind, body and soul. It has brought about this transformation in my life, which everyone seeks in their own time.
Yoga is discipline for me. It's an integral part of life. My mind, body and soul are always finding ways to impart the goodness of yoga to the world around!
Yoga is the “go to person" for me!
Yoga is, for me, to live in the present and be able to share this yogic experience with others, so that they can benefit from it.
When did you first start practicing yoga and why?
I personally started practicing yoga in 2007, when I went through a slip disc injury and I was recommended to practice yoga to improve my spinal health and flexibility and reduce stiff muscles.
In 2016, I learnt yoga professionally through a Teacher Training Course from The Yoga Institute. Since then, I have been conducting yoga practice for myself and others as part of my wellness coaching business.
Were you ever resistant to learn yoga?
Honestly, I was never hesitant to learn yoga. I have really reaped the benefits of yoga, time and again. It has helped me to strengthen my spine. Post natal yoga helped me to get back into shape, physically and emotionally.
I was never in doubt to learn it professionally also. Rather, I was keen to learn yoga, as I was sure it was the one thing that would transform me into a better version of myself and I would be able to help others around me too.
How has yoga impacted your life?
As mentioned earlier, yoga has impacted my life beautifully. It has helped me not only to become stronger physically, but also, it has helped me to become a more balanced person emotionally. I am less judgemental and more focused on living in the present.
Yoga came in handy in all the difficult phases of my life. Sitting in silence and focusing on my breath gave me solutions, confidence and the strength to transform into a beautiful person inside and out.
Why should someone practice yoga?
Each person has his or her own motivation for practicing yoga, but I would recommend someone to practice yoga for the reasons below:
- Greater flexibility
- More focus
- Improved balance
- Body alignment
- Body strength
- Body immunity
- Calms you down
- Emotional balance
- Weight management
You name it and yoga has the solution. It works on you, both inside and out. For instance, each asana you practice stretches and strengthens the outer body while working on some internal quality like confidence, focus, concentration, balance, faith, trust, etc.
It is also important to remember that yoga might not be beneficial to someone who is lazy, as the zeal and enthusiasm to practice yoga determines the progress that one makes.
What are your favourite asanas and why?
I have many favourite asanas: standing, sitting, lying down, inversions. It's difficult to mention just few, as during a yoga practice we tend to follow a series of postures for a complete body stretch, strengthening and flexibility.
My favourite standing asanas is Trikonasana or Triangle Pose. Its benefits include:
- strengthens the legs, feet and ankles
- stretches hips, groins, hamstrings, calves
- lengthens the spine
- opens chest and shoulders
- strengthens back, neck and abdominals
- stimulates abdominal organs
- aides digestion
Setubandhasana or Bridge Pose is my favourite lying down posture. Benefits include:
- strengthens legs, back neck and chest
- relaxes whole body
- reduces stress
- calms the brain and reduces anxiety
- good for pregnant women
- improves digestion
- cures back pain
- cures insomnia
Shilpa's yoga journey teaches us that yoga can be an effective and natural way to treat back pain, improve spinal health, manage weight and accelerate post natal recovery. Beyond the physical benefits, yoga leads to greater discipline, balance and focus. To practice yoga, one needs to be available, physically and mentally, to become a better version of yourself. Namaste!
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