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A woman, endowed with the ability to see through human needs, is known to be sensitive and caring. She nurtures the world, facilitates growth and wellbeing, multitasks and is generally a rockstar. But sometimes, obligations make her neglect her own self, because there is always a possibility that she may be putting others before herself in priority. But how long can one go without recharging one’s own battery, without catering to one’s own source of fuel…not far, certainly. That’s where yoga comes in. It is a woman’s best friend in times when she needs to attend to herself.

So, when this assignment came, to conduct a few yoga classes for an NGO – Rangoonwala Foundation (India) Trust – I knew it would be special for two reasons – (1) It was an all women show and (2) The women belonged to the not so privileged strata of the city of Mumbai.

About Rangoonwala Foundation:  Rangoonwala Foundation (India) Trust [RF(I)T ] ; is a Mumbai based, non-political, not-for-profit development organization committed to sustainable people-centered inclusive development. Rangoonwala Foundation (India) Trust was registered as a Public Charitable Trust in Mumbai in February 2003. RF(I)T has been inspired by the late Mr. M.A. Rangoonwala – Philanthropist, Educationist, Believer in Equal Opportunities for All. He founded the Rangoonwala Foundation, headquartered in the United Kingdom. The Rangoonwala family continues his legacy through development programmes in different countries, under the Chairmanship of Mr. Asif Rangoonwala.

When I went there to conduct the sessions (2 hours on each of the five days allotted to me), I was ready for some learning experiences. So here’s recounting them:

1. It works, for everyone, indeed

It is easy to classify yoga as something only a few people can appreciate or practice. But it is utterly incorrect a statement. No matter who it is, yoga works for everyone. It has something to offer to each aspect of our existence – the physiological, the emotional and the spiritual. And one doesn’t have to be a weirdo or a renunciate to feel the serenity and peace that yogic techniques bring.

2. Weight loss is on the universal bucket list

Obesity is a big worry all across. It affects the quality of life, because one is not able to do things they were earlier able to do with ease – like climbing stars, running or simply talking brisk walks. It increases medical expenses, because one is more prone to chronic health issues because of obesity. The greatest expectation from yoga for everyone in the group was “weight loss”. So I focused on the importance of holistic yoga practice, not just a few hours on the mat.

3. English wins over Hindi for specific instructions!

I went all prepared, saying “dayan-bayan” instead of right-left, and the women were all confused! For the first hour or so, they bore with my flawless Hindi vocabulary, and then very bluntly asked me, “Dayan matlab”? I laughed at my silliness! In my mind, I had suddenly switched on a translator when I entered, but the audience definitely was more at ease with what came naturally – simple English words for day to day use.

4. Shavasana is the best time off ever

Tired of whole day’s affairs, handling temperamental neighbours, rising living costs and fighting a hundred sensory attractions from clothes to food to serials, the women may have ‘wanted’ to lose weight, but what they really ‘longed for’ was some time off. The moment we drifted into Shavasana, they would go into a world of carefree sleep, some often snoring comfortably, knowing well that no doorbell or child’s call will disturb their relaxation session here.

That’s all from us for now, but in passing, here are some pictures 🙂 :

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