I was exposed to yoga as a child when I accompanied my parents at the break of dawn for yoga camps. While in college, I regularly started practising asanas and pranayama to relieve my chronic back pain. Over time with demands of marriage, parenting and a corporate career taking over, yoga took a back-seat – I still practiced but not very regularly. I started looking for other ways to deal with my frustration and stress and was introduced to Pranic Healing and Arhatic Yoga in 2004. Over the next four years, I meditated almost daily and practised self-awareness and developing my character seriously in line with the teachings of the system.
By early 2009, I began to feel like I had hit a plateau as I was unable to heal my low self-esteem and relationship issues with what I had learnt so far. I started searching for other alternative methods and was trained in Non-Violent Communication (NVC), Theta Healing, Spiritual Response Therapy, Bach Flower Therapy, Access Consciousness among others.
In 2012, during a time when I had separated from my first husband and was thoroughly disillusioned with my corporate career, I met Sri M. He guided me to become a yoga teacher and counsellor and initiated me into Kriya Yoga. This was the turning point in my life. I took up the study and practice of Ashtanga Yoga as a way of living and not just as a physical practice. I also trained as a counsellor for over a year.
With the support of Sri M and my yoga practice, my life completely changed over the next few years. I was divorced amicably, lived independently for a while and later married Aadi. I moved out of my corporate job to start Dhyana Yoga & Wellness in 2014.
As a child who was often beaten I grew up with a lot of fear of the world. Before I was exposed to Yoga my fascination of alternate healing methods lead me to believe that I could find greater happiness by practicing these techniques. I was trained in the practice of Reiki around the year 1998, then went on to training in Theta healing and Angel card Therapy around 2009. My parents were members of the Yogoda Satsand Society by Parmhansa Yogananda and so I would also try to meditate all the time trying to unravel why I would always be so fearful and unhappy.
My introduction to Yoga happened around the same time I met my Guru and mentor Sri M in 2011. This was the most challenging period of my life – I had been jobless for over 6 months, had a huge debt to pay, had just been divorced from my first wife after a year-old troubled marriage and was carrying on me a huge load of emotional baggage.
At this time I also met Tara now my wife and Anika, our daughter.
Having never been able to express my feelings as a child due to fear of getting beaten I was oblivious to the impact my pent up frustration, anger and emotions were having on my relationships and way of life – I had by now become prone to drinking, using alcohol to numb my highly emotional internal state.
After close correspondence with Sri M I was formally initiated by him in the ancient practice of Kriya Yoga in 2012 and I also undertook formal training in the practice of yoga a few months later in Delhi.
The tide finally began to turn. At first I only focused on the physical aspects of the practice as a way of helping my body let go of all the stress it had been through. It was after a few months that I was finally able to look within for the first time in life.
The first things to drop off were my habits of drinking and smoking, next came the ability to see clearly what I was feeling along with the ability to express myself in a non-violent manner. I was able to understand how to deal with my anger and unstable emotions.
The years from 2012 to 2016 can be best described as years of immense change – after a considerable amount of struggle in our relationship – owing to my un-resolved emotions and having to learn the ropes of step parenting – and lot of self work we finally got our Guru’s blessings to get married.
While Tara went on to establish Dhyana Yoga & Wellness in 2014 I continued in my corporate career till 2016.
In 2015 – 16 our Guru Sri M, undertook a padyatra for Peace and Harmony called the ‘Walk of Hope’, walking 7500kms on foot from Kanyakumari to Kashmir. He was in Gurgaon early 2016 when he pleasantly surprised us – by having a cup of tea with us. It was during this discussion that he blessed me and in a few months I left my corporate career to join hands with Tara to pursue our passion.