My Yoga Journey: Reflections by Miss Shabana Safdari
“When a crisis hits, you have to dig deep. Yoga helps people tap into the reserves of inner strength to find new hope, resilience, and happiness…”
Miss Shabana Safdari hails from Bangalore. She carries five years of experience and a postgraduate diploma in yoga therapy. Further, she is a therapist with knowledge of various ailments such as blood pressure, cancer, asthma, anxiety and depression. She also heads a Facebook group with over 200 members, with whom she shares tips and tricks. Thus, it is a privilege to connect with her here at Mekosha.
Yoga for beginners isn’t as easy as it looks, and Miss Safdari knows this. So, she speaks to us about her own yoga journey. For instance, how did she begin? What benefits did it bring to get life? In addition, she tells us the roots and sciences behind this, and why yoga is for everyone. Let’s listen to the story in her own words.
People expect me to know of yoga from an early age. By extension, they think that my aspiration to become a yoga teacher was a lifelong one. However, this was not the case. Becoming a yoga teacher was not part of the plan – but maybe this was always destiny. For a long time, I wanted to create a positive change in society – although I did not know how. My journey of yoga started after my mom was diagnosed with cancer. The fear of cancer had overtaken my positive outlook towards life. In other words, I was feeling quite depressed and it took a toll on my life and health.
My turning point was in January, 2015, when my friend and I signed up for a three-month long yoga class. Over time, my yoga practices lifted my body’s multiple constraints. Further, I became more dedicated as a student. Thus, this is one suggestion in my life that always brings me gratitude.
Yoga came about as a blessing in my life. Although I was never a ‘conventional’ athlete, I was drawn to the flexibility and balance of the art form. Over time, I started pushing my body to its limits. As a result, reaching the highest intensity of any yoga pose was a game for me.
Yoga Teacher Training
It all started when I joined SVYASA’s yoga classes in the summer of 2015. My teachers saw a potential in me, although which I could not point out. Thus, they motivated me to apply for the Yoga Instructor’s course (YIC) at SVYASA. This course was a life changer. Above all, it opened me up to my true self’ and find peace in the world. Above all, it has taught me to forge better relationships with my friends and family.
However, challenges come up. For instance, I had a vertigo attack during my course at my class while practicing. This made me feel I was feeling woozy and disoriented. Through therapy sessions at the institute I regained my lost balance and confidence. In this manner, yoga therapy helped me to improve my neuromuscular coordination.
Moving forward, I took up my next course of PGDYT from SVYASA in 2017 to be a Yoga therapist. Today, I study ancient mystical therapy. By breaking it down into its relevant bits, I want to get the message across and help others.
The Right Yoga Audience
Yoga is for anyone and everyone. Best of all, you don’t have to belong to a specific age group and fitness level. However, you do need just one thing – this is the desire to transform oneself. So go ahead and grab a mat. After this, the wonders of yoga will arrive automatically!
Yoga is the science of ‘living the right way’ which forms a part of dailylife. It heals your physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual self. In this manner, yogais a means to balance and harmonise the body, mind, and emotions. This is done through the practice of asanas (postures), pranayama, meditation, shatkriyas (cleansing practices for nasal and gastrointestinal tract – kapalabhati, trataka, neti, dhauti, nauli and basti), mudras. All of these techniques purify the body, mind, and energy systems.
Yoga and Wellbeing
Emotional disturbances occur at the manomaya kosha or mental sheath. For instance, this includes feelings of fear,panic, frustration, and stress. They trigger the Sympathetic Nervous System (SNS) and thus leads to changes in breathing patterns. Further, you will undergo faster/irregular breathing, an increase in blood pressure, tensed muscles, reduced metabolism, lack of focus/attention, sleeplessness, etc. Over time, these symptoms can cause physical or psycho-somatic illnesses.
The science of yoga begins to work on the physical body or the outermost layer. This is a practical and familiar starting point. First, you can begin with Shatkriyas (cleansing techniques). This eases the flow of prana/energy along the naadis by removing the blockages and toxins. Second, go for yoga postures to act on your bodily systems. This strengthens and elongates muscles, tones up glands, internal organs and spinal nerves. That’s not all – you will begin to see visible changes in your body too. For example, you will feel lighter and energetic, and your metabolism will increase.
Finally, Pranayama practice helps to improve lung health, the immune system, and sleep quality. Overall, it lowers physical and mental health and reduces stress levels. Don’t forget – your mind and breath are connected. As a result, you will notice that anger or irritation comes with an increase in breathing rate. So make sure to slow down and deep breathe. Each of these improvements lead to a positive outlook towards life, cheerfulness, and better self-worth.
In this fast-paced digital age, yoga can help people find their real selves. It establishes harmony and compassion with self, nature and the world. Best of all, you can take a yoga session today through either a physical or virtual platform. So investing some time per day for your wellbeing – it is absolutely worth it!