International Yoga Day: Five lesser-known facts about yoga
Yoga practitioner Jenil Dholakia busts myths about the practice
It’s the International Day of Yoga and celebrations have been in full swing all day. While many people are taking up yoga as a fitness practice, there are still many who have several questions and others who follow fads. However, many yogis have been talking more about the practice and are busting myths. One such yoga practitioner is Jenil Dholakia, a Mumbai-based yogi, who trains celebs such as actress Prachi Desai and filmmaker Aanand L Rai. Jenil also hosts several retreats in the hills for those who want to take a break from the routine and want to spend time with nature. Jenil’s journey as a yogi began a decade ago when her PCOD started getting worse and she tried yoga as a way to deal with it. “I was dealing with havoc - mentally, physically, and emotionally. I tried yoga by chance when someone suggested it, and at that time yoga was not a cool thing. But then I found a teacher and I wanted to learn more about yoga so I headed to Hrishikesh and that opened up the world of yoga to me,” she says. In a quick chat with Indulge she tells us about the common mistakes and misconceptions that revolve around yoga and its practice:
Which school of yoga - Ashtanga, Hatha, Vinyasa or Iyengar - is the best to choose for beginners?
Yoga has evolved over the years. Different gurus started their own lineages and named their own brands. But all of these yoga schools are still traditional. The core of yoga remains the same irrespective of the school of thought you choose. Yoga is a way of life.
Is face yoga another form of yoga?
There is nothing called face yoga. It’s just a modern term coined to sell something under the name of yoga. There are facial massages like the abhyanga in Ayurvedic practice, but there is nothing called face yoga. It’s not authentic. There are facial exercises but you can’t call it yoga.
How beneficial is power yoga?
Power yoga falls under the category of aerobics and exercise which has its own benefits like weight loss or increasing stamina. But you cannot call it yoga. Yoga means working mindfully with your body and with awareness. So power yoga is contradictory to what yoga is.
How different is Pilates versus yoga?
Yoga includes a gamut of things and asanas are just a part of it. Yoga includes asanas, pranayama, meditation, mindful living and philosophy - it’s a complete toolbox. The physical practice or asana is quite different from Pilates because you use your own body and breath vis a vis Pilates which uses machines. Pilates focuses on the core and tiny muscles and works on isolated muscles. This is a great rehab practice. Whereas yoga is of a holistic practice. You practice one surya namaskar and your full body gets a workout.
For anyone to see the benefits of yoga how often does one have to practise?
It takes at least three months to see the effects of yoga. The effects are permanent but you need to be consistent on the mat. Also, apart from the physical practice, how you are reacting to things, the way you are walking, standing, and sleeping - all these things get impacted, and only then you can see the difference in yourself.