International Yoga Day – 2019

Yoga , which is regarded as the easiest form of exercise, is known to enhance one’s personal well-being : physically, mentally as well as spiritually. An International day for Yoga was declared unanimously by the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA). The Prime Minister, Narendra Modi in his UN address in 2014, suggested the date of 21 June, as it is the longest day of the day in the Northern Hemisphere and shares a special significance in many parts of the world.


To mark the importance of such a day, The MIT Quill decided to interview  Nisha, who is a part of The MIT Yoga Club, to become aware of the club, it’s activities and motives and have a discussion on Yoga.



What’s the History of The MIT Yoga Club?


MIT has a vast array of technical as well as non-technical clubs. But we didn’t have one for yoga yet. The idea was juggled around initially and once we got a nod from The Dean , we formed the club , about 3 weeks prior to Sivaranjani ’18. Our college M.E. seniors help us with leading the club.


Great! So the debut of the club came about with Sivaranjani ’18?


Yes. It did. We gave our first performance as a club in Sivaranjani. It went on pretty well , indeed. We were a crew of 7. We practiced from 5 to 7 in the evening after college. One of the M.E. seniors , who just passed out this year actually , taught us the asanas. We used to practice at the old veg mess hall in the first floor. Apart from getting to do yoga, we also had a lot of fun amongst ourselves. So it was a win-win situation.


How did the classes go about?


In the very first class, we learned a few basics like what to do before and after yoga, when to do it – like the general prerequisites. Then, we had a warm-up session. Then we performed asanas and kiriyas. We wound it up with meditation. Every class ends with a few minutes of meditation.


That’s great ! What do you think are some of the significant postures in Yoga?


Chakrasana , Badmasana , Karbapindasana, Mayurasana.



Are these postures easy , for someone who doesn’t practice Yoga regularly?


Every posture becomes easy with regular practice. Practice is everything ! Initially, we may find it difficult as we would be skeptical about our body – like if it is flexible enough to perform the asanas. But with regular practice, our body easily adapts to the postures and we can go about Yoga without any worry.


So Yoga does need regular practice?


Yes ! Initially , you get to do the asanas which are suitable for your body type. For instance, boys find hand-balancing easier than girls. So, Once you get used to it, your body attains a certain amount of flexibility. This helps you to move forward with the other asanas.


Any specific tips for beginners?


I would say that beginners have to be a little bit careful when they start taking the course. After all these years, when you just start doing Yoga, your body undergoes a lot of changes. For instance, it might expand a little bit, while you are bending , causing pain. So we need to go about it slowly and regularly as failing to do so might lead to side effects like weight gain/loss too. In addition to that , we should follow a proper diet and schedule.


How do you think Yoga is different from any other form of exercise?


Exercises, in general, are mostly concerned with the physical aspects of the body, as far as I’m aware. They are about the physical well-being that involves maintaining a healthy body. But Yoga , helps us heal physically as well as mentally. We get to stay fit, at the same time, a sense of refreshment washes over us, without our realisation.


What do you think are the personal benefits you attained since you started practicing Yoga?


MIT taught me a lot, Yoga being a significant part of it. As a girl, I feel like I’ve learnt a lot about our strength and capabilities. It helps me to stay calm in stressful situations which in turn, I believe, helps me make the right decisions. The Club gave me a lot of memories to cherish too. Something I’d be really fond of. The Club gave us a platform to explore our interest as well as depict it to others too.



What does The MIT Yoga Club have in store for the future?


Once the college re-opens, we have decided to stay as active as possible by trying to get the grey tags involved  as they weren’t allowed initially. The Club is sure to grow and yes,  I’m pretty sure that we have a lot of shows to put up and a lot more of competitions to look forward to !


India is known for being a fast developing country and we have managed to turn heads in a lot of fields. Yoga has again managed to draw attention to us, internationally. Considering Yoga has originated from our country , it is our responsibility as it’s citizens to not let it fade away into oblivion, like most of our traditions have already.


As Indians, let us all try and ‘hang out’ with our souls at least today, with a promise of avoiding Pizzas later on because it’s time for us to realize that Yoga is not about being good at something, It’s about being good to yourself as well as the Nation on the whole.


Interviewed by : R.Sailaja, Second year, RPT.

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