“Balance is life, yoga is balance” says yoga guru Darshana Pandya, who is teaching yoga since 2002. For her it is not just an exercise to lose weight but a way of living a stress free life. A yoga guru, a reiki master and a soul healer, Darshana Pandya is more popular for her weight loss yoga classes in Delhi and Ahmedabad. With a passion of healing people she not only educate her students on the benefits of yoga, but also helps them in gaining confidence. In conversation with BananiVista she talks about why yoga is necessary for a stress free life and don’t miss to read till the end as she gives some useful tips to shed excess weight.
BV: You started teaching yoga 15 years back, it was not that popular in India during that time, then how yoga came into your life?
DP: At that time people had started to know about the benefits of yoga, thanks to Ramdev Baba. Yoga is in our Sanskriti and as a naturopath doctor, I was always attracted to healing people. Yoga gave me this opportunity to be healthy and stress free in natural ways.
BV: At what point did you decide that you wanted to be a teacher?
DP: I did my Yoga teachers training from Shivanand Aashram in 2009. But as my daughter was small I never thought to pursue it as a profession. Initially, my neighbours used to ask some yoga asanas hence in 2002 I started my own yoga class with just 2 ladies. One of them lost 3-4 inches in just one month, after that people started coming to me with their weight related problems. Now I take 4-5 batches daily and have 70-80 students.
BV: How helpful is yoga asnas for weight loss?
DP: When we do yoga asnas it not only tone our whole body but also helps in controlling our mind. Yoga reduces our stress level and helps to balance our hormones. If someone practices yoga regularly, one can have a stress free mind which in turn will help them to reduce weight. A lady who now lives in Chennai has lost 25 kg in 8 months by doing yoga and following a healthy diet.
BV: Mention some of the asnas which one can easily do at home.
DP: Bhujang Asan or cobra pose, Dhanur Asan or Bow pose, Naukasan or boat pose and Surya Namaskar or Sun salutation are some of the asanas which one can easily perform at home.
BV: Is it true that in comparison of gym exercises, weight loss process is much slower if we are following yoga?
DP: Yoga affects the whole body, mind and soul of a person where as gym is for the body. Even the asanas like Surya Namaskar is for every part of the body and if you are doing it regularly one can see the change in their shape in just 2-3 months.
BV: What eating habits do you suggest your students, who come to you to lose weight?
DP: My mantra is “power is in your mind, not in your body”. Yoga is chakra balancing, for which one have to take a balanced diet. It is then one can get the benefits of yoga. Generally I talk to them and suggest them the appropriate diet according to their eating habits. Many times we are not hungry but we keep on eating just like that. So, No Eating after 7 pm is my first key for losing weight. Other than that I suggest them to avoid rice, sugar and salt in the evening.
BV: You have been teaching yoga since many years; share some of the memorable moments with us.
DP: I have been teaching yoga for quite sometime now (more than 15 years) and have taught at least 400-500 students in Delhi and Ahmedabad. There are many memorable moments but some are close to my heart. Once a lady came to me to lose weight as her husband challenged her that she cannot lose and if she does he will give her a blank cheque. She lost 14 kg in 5 months and her husband had to bend down. There are many others who come to me with problems like infertility or asthma, once their problems are solved it makes me very happy.
BV: How important is mediation in today’s fast moving life?
DP: Meditation is like a life supporting system as “Stress” is one of the major challenges one face these days. The charm of meditation is you can do it anywhere, anytime. Meditation is to go within yourself; you will get peace inside you. So just relax and close your eyes and try to meet yourself.
BV: New Year is round the corner, would you please suggest some useful tips for our readers who are going to make a resolution to shed some weight?
DP: Start doing regular exercise, you can even jog or walk for 45 minutes, do Suryanamaskar. If you want to shed weight say “No” to rice, wheat and sugar and start eating green vegetables, oats with curd or milk, roti made with jowar and don’t eat salt in the evening. Detox with lots of warm water and you will definitely see the effect within a month depending on your metabolism.
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