Priyanka – one of Wellintra’s most dynamic and bright Group and Personal Yoga Instructor has started group yoga sessions at the House of Wow which is billed as a creative space for artists and fitness enthusiasts to run workshops and classes. Situated in the beautiful suburb of Bandra, professionals from varied genres of fine arts, performing arts, mixed martial arts, fitness, yoga and culinary arts have found their space to run a part-time business here in space-starved Mumbai. Priyanka has developed a new form of yoga practice known as Blindfolded Yoga and is going to start her first group session at House of Wow from the 9th of September onwards. Before you get any kinky thoughts, we decided to interview Priyanka and unravel this slightly mysterious but nonetheless exciting practice of yoga!
Tell us about your background?
Well, I am very much a Mumbai girl. After my graduation from KC College, I joined an airline as a cabin crew for about 9 years during which time I succeeded in completely ruining my health and peace of mind! My health issues took a nightmarish turn when one day a food cart hit me on my back while flying, due to which I was debilitated and unable to work. After my wedding, I started practicing yoga about three years ago as a form of therapy to cure my health problems especially my ailing back. Within a few months, my back pain had miraculously disappeared! Daily practice also improved my flexibility and as my health improved, I aimed for higher accomplishments in the field of Yoga. I completed two courses – one from the Yoga Institute in Mumbai and the other at the Ashtanga Yoga Institute in Mysore. I have been teaching yoga for two years now and want to spread the positive benefits of yoga with the world at large.
How did the idea of doing yoga blindfolded come about?
Well, this idea had been in my mind for long. I have personally experienced the positive benefits of meditation, pranayama and performing yogasanas when performed with your eyes completely shut. The feeling of harmony, peace and oneness that one experiences doing yoga with eyes shut just cannot be replicated with open eyes. Even though students and practitioners of yoga are advised to shut their eyes when doing yoga, this does not happen in a real life situation in a studio because people are continuously distracted due to the presence of other people around. So I felt that an enforced blindfold session can help people ease into a more relaxed state of mind, avoid distractions and enter a serene trance-like state when doing yoga. Also remember that a lot of energy is lost through our eyes. When we close our eyes we conserve that energy and can redirect it towards a higher goal.
Did you practice this with someone else first?
Yes, I first practiced it with myself. Then I practiced it with my sister-in-law who reported a sense of bliss and enjoyment that she had never felt earlier in her own practise of yoga. I felt that the time was now right for me to introduce ‘Blindfold Yoga’ to a larger audience and hence I am beginning these group classes.
How do you blindfold your students?
I advise everyone to carry their own ‘sleeping eye masks’ which are very comfortable to wear as opposed to covering the eyes with towels or scarfs. I will also be carrying extra eye masks that people can buy at the beginning of every class if they aren’t carrying their own.
What is the structure of a typical ‘blindfold yoga session’?
Each session will last for 1 hour. For the first twenty minutes we will perform asanas without blindfolds. The same asanas will then be performed for the next 20 minutes with the blindfolds on. This will ensure that students remember the sequence of poses with the help of muscle memory. I will of course be directing and giving instructions all the time. No one needs to fear anything. It is just a regular yoga class but one that is a lot more inward-focused and relaxed. Participants are also free to stop if they are feeling uncomfortable and just lie down and relax for the rest of the class or until they feel they can resume. Nothing is forced.
Read more about Priyanka here and watch some pictures of her doing her blindfold yoga routine. We wish Priyanka all the best for her ‘Blindfold Yoga Sessions’ at House of Wow.
More Details below:
Starts from 9th Sep 2016.
Mon, Wed, Fri
Time: 8 – 9 am
Venue: House of Wow, Bandra, Mumbai
Fees: Rs. 400 for the trial class.
Rs. 3,000 for 8 sessions
Rs. 4,400 for 12 sessions
All payments valid for 30 days.
Call on 98206 07875 to enrol.
Note: Yoga Mats are provided at the venue but people can also get their own mats. Ideally you should carry your own eye masks for hygiene reasons. New eye masks will be provided at a price.