Want to master yoga? Practice daily, say yoga gurus

Anshuka Parwani, celebrity yoga trainer and wellness expert and founder, Anshuka Yoga in Mumbai.
Anshuka Parwani, celebrity yoga trainer and wellness expert and founder, Anshuka Yoga in Mumbai.

Summary

Once a year for Yoga Day isn’t the only time to twist yourself into asanas. Lounge asked four yoga practitioners to share their daily yoga rituals, and a few they’d recommend to a yoga novice

Every June, International Yoga Day passes in a flurry of excitement, as it did on Friday, nudging everyone—from strict adherent to reluctant exerciser—to crunch and twist themselves into knots to reap it’s benefits... for just that one day. Instead of being a reluctant exerciser who leaves the yoga mat in a corner, waiting to be dusted until next year, we asked a few experts to suggest ways to incorporate yoga into a daily routine. While the idea of doing elaborate asanas may seem intimidating, there are simple practices you can follow, if you have the interest. Lounge asked four yoga practitioners and trainers to share their daily yoga rituals, and a few they’d recommend to a yoga novice.

Also read: The benefits of doing yoga everyday

‘Yoga gave me this magical second life’
Anshuka Parwani, certified yoga and wellness expert and founder, Anshuka Yoga, Mumbai

How my journey into yoga began: I used to be a pilot and a near-fatal accident had left me immobile with multiple fractures. I was bedridden for long and that’s when yoga came to me as therapy. It really transformed my life and gave me this magical second life. I love how beautiful this practice is and every philosophy of yoga resonates with me. It’s such a great pathway of life and I have, over the years, gotten hooked to exploring different yoga styles and philosophies. I also knew that I wanted to share this knowledge with as many people as I can.

Yoga practice(s) I follow everyday: I have a daily asana practice and I love doing inversions like the shirshasana and viparita karani. I do the surya namaskar and I never miss my pranayama. I also meditate daily. On the whole, I think yoga is about being kind, not only with the way you move, but also the way you think, how you act, what you eat, there has to be a balance in everything.

Daily yoga practice(s) I’d recommend to beginners: If you are just starting out in yoga, practice poses like the cat-cow pose, the child’s pose and the downward dog, and of course, the surya namaskar. Do the pranayama and include a conscious yoga nidra practice. These practices are accessible and can help you get stronger.

Saumya Mishra, yoga and wellness teacher based in Bengaluru
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Saumya Mishra, yoga and wellness teacher based in Bengaluru

‘Yoga brings consciousness to every moment of our lives’
- Saumya Mishra, Yoga and Wellness Teacher, Bengaluru

How my journey into yoga began: My journey into yoga felt more like a calling, a purpose. In 2019 after a decade of corporate life, I quit my job and started travelling across India, when I found the Sivananda Ashrams in Kerala. I went there for a few weeks but decided to stay for many months. I completely fell in love with my practice and the study of yoga. Studying to become a teacher was an easy decision. I love the time when I am on my mat, doing my practice and equally love teaching. I love how yoga brings consciousness to every moment of our lives.

Yoga practice(s) I follow everyday: Over the years, I have developed the habit of doing my yoga asanas and pranayama practice regularly. I consciously eat healthy and follow the circadian rhythm of my body with my sleep cycles. Yoga as a lifestyle helps me accept where I am in my life today and persevere towards growing into a better version.

Daily yoga practice(s) I’d recommend to beginners: I would advise someone who’s just starting Hatha Yoga to learn from an experienced yoga teacher. Be slow and steady. Practicing consistently is the key. 

Saurabh Bothra, yoga trainer and CEO of wellness platform, Habuild Wellness
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Saurabh Bothra, yoga trainer and CEO of wellness platform, Habuild Wellness

‘Yoga is a lifestyle that extends beyond the mat’
– Saurabh Bothra, yoga trainer and CEO of wellness platform, Habuild Wellness, Nagpur

How my journey into yoga began: My journey into yoga didn’t begin with a desire to get fit, it started with a lot of curiosity. From the age of 20, I remember practising surya namaskar or sun salutation regularly. I actively go in the direction my curiosity points me to and this is why I also started learning about yoga. From 2014 to 2020, I embarked on a journey across India teaching and volunteering in Mumbai, Kanpur, Banaras, Delhi and Pune. It started with that one yoga class when I was 19 years old, and since then, my love for yoga has only continued to grow.

Yoga practice(s) I follow everyday: Many people see yoga as just poses (asana) and breathing exercises (pranayama), but for me, it’s a lifestyle that extends beyond the mat. From getting enough rest at night to waking up on time each morning and being intentional, everything to me is yog. I organize my yoga practice to focus on different parts of my body throughout the week. This includes practices like power yoga for strength and restorative yoga for relaxation. I also practice the surya namaskar sequence on most days as it energizes my body and sets a positive tone for the day. Alongside physical poses, I incorporate pranayama techniques such as nadi shodhana, bhramari and kriyas like kapalabhati. They calm my mind and sharpen my focus.

Daily practice(s) I’d recommend to beginners: If you’re just starting yoga, dedicating 10-15 minutes each day to simple routines can make a significant difference. Start with basic stretches like the cat-cow stretch to gently wake up your body and improve flexibility. Coming to the mat everyday at the same time should be your focus rather than thinking about how to perfect your yoga practice. 

Kala Adarsh, freelance yoga trainer, Bengaluru
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Kala Adarsh, freelance yoga trainer, Bengaluru

‘Practicing yoga brings me immense joy’
– Kala Adarsh, freelance yoga trainer, Bengaluru

How my journey into yoga began: I was informally introduced to yoga as a child in my martial arts classes. I subsequently started a regular practice at the age of 25. After my second child was born, I took a planned step towards adopting a deeper sadhana by signing up for a formal teacher training course. In the last 18 years, yoga has evolved from being just a practice to an inseparable part of my life. Practicing and teaching yoga brings me immense joy and a better connection to all the things that make up my daily routine.

Yoga practice(s) I follow everyday: I have a warm glass of water while soaking in some sunlight prior to my practice. The routine also includes sukshma vyayama (simple movements that loosen the joints and boosts energy in the body), six sets of surya namaskar, a well- rounded pranayama practice and kaya sthairyam, which is sitting still in silence.

Daily practice(s) I’d recommend to beginners: The key is to be consistent. It helps to have a set sequence that allows you to commit to a daily yoga practice. Start with baby steps and slowly build up your strength and flexibility. Avoid over pushing the body and listen to all the signals it gives you. Stepping back when you need to is an important action that a beginner should be ready to take. It further helps to select a book on yoga philosophy that will guide you in understanding the science and thought behind what you are practicing.  I highly suggest joining an online or offline yoga class to keep yourself focused and motivated. A class provides structure, guidance, and a sense of community, making it easier to stay committed to your practice. 

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