Be Good To Yourself

Yoga as a way of life for Rohini

I think yoga choose me. I had extraordinarily boring yoga classes in school and never ever wanted to try it after. But, fate I think had other plans. Whilst studying in Melbourne, a South African friend of mine was raving about her yoga class and constantly egging me to come try it. I eluded until she bought me a pass and dragged me to her studio. 


It was a Bikram style class where the room was heated to 40degrees and the humidity at 40%. I was on my period and hadn’t had such that day. I still went to class because I figured - yoga was what old people did. I was beyond wrong. After an hour of class, I fainted. My body couldn't handle the energy surge and when I woke up - I really felt detoxed and relaxed. I started 9 years back and never every stopped. It was my constant, my salvation, my release and my world where everything made sense. I have cried laughed and felt the entire gamut of emotions on my mat - and yet after it all found absolute silence :) And that silence is what keeps me coming back. 


What is your daily source of inspiration? 


My students. I see how much yoga has changed them. The obese have lost weight, the skinny grown stronger, the restless have become quiet and the quiet intuitive. It feels like a privilege to be a bridge between them and their better selves. And it is why I will never give anything less than a 100% when I see them :) I have been teaching for 3 years and I still prepare like crazy before every class -because it my duty and my honour to be there for them.


What is one life lesson you've learnt in your pursuit of fitness? 


I wasn't born naturally skinny or flexible. I was a fat obese child and I have learned to never ever give up. In Sanskrit the word 'Tapas'' translates into self-discipline and I think yoga has first and foremost taught me this. My practice of tapas on the mat has slipped into every aspect of my life - from the way I place my shoes, to the way I teach, to how much I give myself in my teaching


Do you employ any unconventional or conventional ways to motivate yourself to stay fit and disciplined? What are they? 


I think watching videos online and following other yogi's on Instagram constantly acts as a source and inspiration for staying fit. 


But for me, I have seen illness way too close. My grandmother lost her leg to diabetes and my mom shoots herself with insulin everyday - these serve as daily reminders to truly keeping my body like a temple.


When did you first start consciously thinking about your nutrition and why? 


I think once my asana practice got consistent, I naturally wanted to discover the effect of food on the body. I delved into Ayurveda and now follow a diet best made for my dosha.


In 5 words, what piece of advice would you give your younger self? 


Don't doubt yourself! The universe has got your back! 


What is your biggest indulgence? What's your favourite way to unwind?


Too many : A good book, yummy chocolate, a swim in the ocean, a trip up to the Himalayas, great conversation with a lot of laughter, a funny movie and perhaps meeting old and new friends