New Delhi, Sep 12 : Yoga instructor and author Ira Trivedi, whose tryst with the practice began not in India but in the US, feels that yoga has had a powerful comeback in the past few years in India, and remaining fit is simpler than it seems.
Trivedi, 31, says that even though yoga has been in the Indian culture and it originated from the country, it had a dip in its popularity. It, however, bounced back just about 5-6 years ago -- owing to the governmental push and also as a greater public resistance against lifestyle problems.
"Problems like stress, anxiety, high or low blood pressure and diabetes come up because of the modern lifestyle, which is why yoga has become popular recently," she told IANSlife in an interview.
The instructor-writer claims that sitting is the new smoking, and it is simple to stay fit.
"Prolonged sitting can lead to spine and mental problems. People can stay fit in simple ways: Eating correctly, moving with their spine, doing gentle spinal movements and walking. It's very simple to stay fit, it just requires a habit and some amount of initial discipline." Trivedi's personal journey with yoga began almost 15 years ago when she was a student at Wellesley College in Massachusetts.
"I was exposed to yoga more there because I saw so many celebrities doing it. I remember I walked into a yoga studio, but it was so expensive that I could not afford it as a young student. Then when I came back to India, I became curious." In her quest to develop an authentic yoga practice, Trivedi landed up at the doors of the Sivananda Ashram in Thiruvananthapuram, and has since let the art of yoga give her life a 360-degree twist -- physically and emotionally.
"I feel like a better and more compassionate person, a more mindful person who cares about the world, people, environment a lot more," shares Trivedi, who has yoga programmes on Doordarshan to her credit.
Among her books, Trivedi has authored "India in Love: Marriage and Sexuality in the 21st Century" -- a 2014 book which explores the mating habits of young Indians, the changing face of Indian pornography and prostitution, India's gay revolution and understands how the nation that gave the world the Kama Sutra could have a high rate of rape and violence against women.
Having worked hard on her flair for writing, she now balances both careers.
For the Lucknow-born yoga acharya, it's all about the right techniques and interesting ways of teaching.
"I personally swear by the Shirshasana -- the head stand. It's one of the best and is achievable by most people. It looks difficult, but with the correct technique, becomes easy." Trivedi is the founder of Namami Yoga -- an organization that brings yoga to a wide swathe of people. She also has a mobile application called Ira Yoga, which has bite-sized yoga and meditation modules for learners, especially those from the busy corporate world.
However, Trivedi feels that the sooner one adopts yoga in their life the better.
"Kids' bodies are so flexible and capable of doing so much. But if you make them remain still in an 'aasana' for two minutes, an 8-year-old cannot do that. The West is actually innovating on yoga for children and making it exciting.
"If yoga was taught to children in the correct way, where it was looked upon at that age as more of a sport, it would be more exciting," she added.
(Siddhi Jain can be contacted at siddhi.j)