Priyanka Gupta is a personal yoga trainer based in Delhi having vast experience in teaching yoga. She is practicing Sivanandas’ Hatha Yoga since she was 17 years old. In this interview she has shared lot of useful information about yoga and her journey as a full time yoga trainer. Checkout her profile on Weebly : Priyanka Devi Gupta
Lets start interview with inspirations words by Priyanka:
My journey through yoga is ongoing and I leave my life in the hands of the universe. I truly believe that by being in a positive state of mind, we can change our lives and the things that we attract into our existence.
Jignesh: Can you tell our readers about how you started your journey in Yoga?
Priyanka: I went through a rough patch in high school, and my parents enrolled me in yoga. It wasn’t a quick fix but helped immensely. Years later, after I quit my corporate job, I did the 10 day vipassana course and between yoga and vipassana, there was a gradual change in my life. My father encouraged me to study more about yoga to gain a better understanding, so I signed up for a teachers training course with Sivananda in Madurai, opting to live in the ashram and embracing the full yogic way of life. My intention was never to teach. I strongly believe the path came to me.
Jignesh: What is your source of motivation for doing this extremely good work in Yoga industry?
Priyanka: I find teaching yoga to be very calming and meditative. Since its the traditional one on one teaching, I constantly learn and evolve, on both a professional and personal front.
Jignesh: What do you love the most about teaching Yoga?
Priyanka: I interact with wonderful women from all over the world and enjoy observing the positive effect yoga has on them.
Jignesh: Generally we found that, most of the Yogis stick to one discipline of Yoga, why you are practicing all different disciplines of yoga like Ashtanga, Jivamukti, Anusara, Partner, Acroyoga and Yin yoga? Any particular benefits?
Priyanka: Since I teach the traditional form of one on one yoga, its important for me to explore and be aware of teaching styles and the other forms of yoga that exist. Many of my clients are either complete beginners or advanced having practiced Jivamukti or Ashtanga yoga. It’s essential for me to be versed in other forms. As long as yoga is practiced mindfully, there will always be benefits.
Jignesh: Which is your favourite yoga practice amongst all and how does it benefit your life?
Priyanka: I personally practice and teach the original form of Sivananda Hatha yoga ensuring each aspect of the body is taken care of, I.e, Pranayama, inversions, forward bends, backbends and twists, ending with balancing poses and yoga nidra. Knowledge of other asanas is important both for me and my clients, since its important to explore our body and breath in different poses. For example, I cannot only practice/teach Vrksasan, but need to branch out and practice Natarajasan and Garudasana. This helps me understand the pose better and of course be able to teach it.
Jignesh: What is AcroYoga? How it is different from other discipline of yoga?
Priyanka: Acroyoga is a form of acrobatic yoga done with a partner. There is a base, person who lies down with their legs in the air. The second person is known as a flier, who balances on the feet of the base (near them hip bones). For beginners, we also need a spotter or two to help support the flier or catch them should the flier slip or start to fall. At the start as a beginner. Poses are held for a few minutes, and as a person advances, move into a flow of transitioning from one pose to another whilst balancing on the base.
It requires a phenomenal amount of trust, strength, endurance, concentration and flexibility. I have attached a picture for visualization which will explain much of what I have explained here.
Jignesh: Can you explain Vipassana Meditation in simple words to our readers?
Priyanka: Goenka’s Vipassana is a form of meditation, where the primary focus is on the breath, post which the focus shifts to observing the sensations on each part of the body. The aim is being to avoid reacting to them.
Jignesh: What advice would you give yoga beginners to motivate them?
Priyanka: I would encourage them to enjoy the practice, focus on the breath and connect with their bodies. There should be no competition with others or oneself. It’s also important to respect the body and limitations as I have been injured because a teacher pushed me into a pose that my body wasn’t ready for. Don’t be afraid to stop someone from adjusting you. Yoga is not about one size fits all.
Jignesh: Important Yoga Props (accessories) you recommend for Yoga practitioner.
Priyanka: I believe that yoga should be kept simple, a yoga mat and comfortable clothes. If while trying to do a pose like Ardha Chandrasan where its a challenge to get the arm on the ground without compromising on the pose and alignment, I usually stack books rather than tell them to buy a yoga block.
Jignesh: According to you what is the contribution of Yoga in the medical world?
Priyanka: Yoga has contributed phenomenally to the medical world, helping with issues such as relieving back pain, osteoporosis, and I would add that the alternate nostril breathing has contributed in alleviating depression.
Jignesh: Please share some information about your brand, books or about your website.
Priyanka: My website is a labour of love. Showcasing testimonials from clients to my journey through yoga. Many clients go through it before they schedule a session with me.
My visibility has expanded more so mainly because of word of mouth.
Jignesh: Say few words for our readers.
Priyanka: Yoga is a beautiful way to journey through life, teaching self awareness, self acceptance and tolerance. It’s important to practice mindfully.