More About Mehul
‘Yoga is just a gentle form of stretching’ – Myth Shattered!
I had already turned 40 by the time I attended my first yoga class!
That was nearly 20 years ago. Back then, I was working as an I.T. professional in large corporates, where there was the constant pressure to deliver more and more in shorter and shorter timescales. We were also busy bringing up our two young daughters, so you can imagine just how stressful our lives were.
Miti had already discovered how beneficial yoga was in helping her cope with the stress. She tried very hard to get me into yoga but I resisted, preferring instead to go to the gym. Even though I didn’t really enjoy working out there, I knew I needed to exercise, so I went. At that time, I thought that yoga was just a slow and gentle form of stretching, something I would find too slow and boring.
But Miti didn’t give up on me. Every now and then she would ask if I was ready to go to a yoga class with her. Eventually, I caved in and went. Ellen Lee, whose Classical Yoga classes Miti had been attending for a number of years, welcomed me and made me feel at home straight away.
That was a wake up call, as I realised that there was much more to yoga than just stretching. During that class I felt muscles I never even knew I had, found myself breaking into a bit of a sweat, and experienced a profound sense of relaxation and peace.
There was no turning back from that point onwards. My yoga mat quickly became my sanctuary, the place I would turn to after a hard day’s work at the office or whenever I needed to recharge. A session of yoga would always melt away all the tension, release bundles of energy and lift my spirits.
Benefits of Yoga
Like with all skilled activities, you begin to get better with practice and start to notice improvements. Here I am giving just 3 examples that compare the ‘before’ with the ‘after’ I started doing yoga:
- I wasn’t able to touch my toes in a forward bend -> I can now rest my head comfortably on my knees.
- I wasn’t able to hold the Plank Pose for 10 seconds -> I can now hold it for 3 minutes, nearly 20 times longer.
- The thought of doing a headstand was a distant dream, maybe in a future life -> I can now do a Headstand at will, literally with my eyes closed.
There are more important benefits that yoga has given me, including:
Health and Immunity
There was a time when I used to fall ill regularly, catching flu almost every winter and colds throughout the year. Today, my health and immunity levels are so high that I rarely fall ill and am not taking any medication. Yoga has even helped me to overcome a mild form of asthma that I suffered from about 10 years ago.
Younger Now Than At 40
Our bodies are biologically designed to peak when we are in our 20s, after which there is a gradual decline. So, one way we can say someone is ageing is by observing a reduction in their capabilities. In other words, we are able to do less as we get older. But what if we can do more now than we could before? Doesn’t that mean we are effectively getting younger? And that is exactly what my experience has been: I am stronger, fitter and more mobile now than I was at the age of 40. That means, yoga has not only slowed down my ageing process, it has actually reversed it!
Inner Transformation and Resilience
The ancient yogis were experts at understanding the spiritual laws that govern our universe. According to them, the Earth is a school and we are all here to learn. They were also masters at figuring out how our minds work and realised that we can take control over our lives by taking control over our minds.
I have applied this ancient wisdom to help overcome negative emotions, such as anger. For example, whenever something ‘bad’ happens, instead of thinking, “Why me? What have I done to deserve this? Life’s so unfair!”, I instead ask myself, “What can I learn from this experience?”.
There are underlying concepts at work here, such as the Law of Karma, which are very deep. I don’t wish to trivialise them, but just wanted to share with you that one of the most powerful benefits of yoga is its ability to change us from the inside.
Crippling back pain was like an unwelcome acquaintance that used to visit me every few months. Thankfully, that is just a distant memory now. Yoga has lots of postures that strengthen the back muscles and increase mobility in the spine. Like me, you too can look forward to waving goodbye to back pain!
Me as a Yoga Teacher
When you discover something wonderful, even something simple like a new dish, you want to share the joy and tell everyone about it, right? Well, that’s exactly how Miti and I felt about yoga. The more we benefitted from this amazingly broad and deep subject, the more we wanted to share its gifts.
Therefore we began training to become yoga teachers in 2007, and started teaching upon receiving our first qualification in 2009. Please see above for details.
Yoga has taught me that we are all far more capable than we realise. But we have to venture outside our comfort zone to discover just how great we can be. Someone once said, “A ship is safe in the harbour. But that’s not what ships are built for!”. That’s the attitude I encourage my students to take. I will work with you and together we will get you to achieve more than you ever dreamed possible.
I also strongly believe that direction is more important than speed. It is never too late to take a step in the right direction. As a wise Chinese philosopher said, “The journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.”
Take that step now onto the path of yoga with us and join the millions who have discovered this precious gift.
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