While the original meaning of the word ‘Yoga’ in Vedic Sanskrit runs the gamut from “to add” to “to unite”, these days, especially among the South Bombay and Bandra crowd, it has come to refer to physical exercises only. Is that necessarily a bad thing? Not really. While the practice of Yoga is an ancient one, one of the reasons it has survived for so long is because it hasn’t become redundant or ‘uncool’. Instead, it has been re-invented and appropriated in multiple ways to still seem relevant. In honour of International Yoga Day, we celebrate a few cool ‘yogis’ and ‘yoginis’ who have taken this ancient art and given it their own distinct touch. And while we may mourn the fact that everybody practises Yoga but hardly anybody understands it, hey, at least its still alive and breathing and not a relic relegated to the history books and wall engravings.

Radhika Bose (@Yogasini)

“Some people do yoga on a flat ground, I do it mid-air, Some do it in active wear, I do it in a brocade lehenga, Some do yoga in a studio or at home, I do it in the middle of Chawri Bazar, With people staring at me, And surprisingly this is not my first time doing yoga in a lehenga, Yes I do weird things and call it art. Where do you do Yoga?”

 

 

 

 

Some people do yoga on a flat ground I do it mid air Some do it in active wear I do it in a brocade lehenga Some do yoga in a studio or at home I do it in the middle of Chawri Bazar With people staring at me And surprisingly this is not my first time doing yoga in a lehenga  Yes I do weird things and call it art. Where do you do Yoga ?  @yogasini PC – @brewing.latte @tellotales #interntionalyogaday . . . . . #indianwomen #indianwear #yogaeverydamnday #yogaposes #yogaseries #yoga #indianphotography #indianphotos #indiapictures #mypixeldairy #natgeoyourshot #natgeotravel #indiantraveller #mypixeldairy #whp #vscoindia #vsco #iger #_soi #_coi #blueinmyframe #delhidiaries #delhi #delhi_igers #travelrealindia #indianblogger #delhiblogger #photographer_of_india

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So goes the caption on one of Bose’s Instagram posts and perhaps, this sums up who she is and what she considers Yoga to be. For Bose, Yoga is an art form and she documents it almost daily on the social media app.

Deepika Mehta (@deepikamehtayoga)

If you’re ever having a bad day and feel like you’re not worth it, head over to Mehta’s account. Her captions are inspiring and bound to make you feel good about yourself. Mehta wasn’t into Yoga or any other form of discipline earlier but an accident changed all that. Today, she practises Yoga for many reasons, one of them being the fact that it helps her overcome her fears and channel all her feelings and energy into doing something so beautiful and productive.

 

 

No pretty perfect picture today people, just me with the stuff I struggle through. Yoga is such a perfect analogy and training for life, it’s not just blissed out smiles and ease and grace all the time, there is of course that stuff as well but there is also struggle, pain, getting over fears, doubts etc. Also taking all your ‘stuff’ and channelising that energy into your passion with mindfulness.(and in this way anything can become Yoga when done with complete absorption.)🔯 . Today I had a breakthrough, I have been struggling and in fact truly NEVER EVER thought I would be able to come back from a backbend, this particular move of tic-tocs which comes at the end of my Ashtanga practice always brought up all my fears of hurting my ankle and breaking it all over again if I could not catch my balance on the way back. But today inspired by and cheered on by all my fellow yogis and my amazing hubby I managed to breakthrough that fear, I FELT it intensely and went for it anyway. And this to me is the real Yoga.🙏🏻🕉🔯Going through all your fears, pain, self doubts rather than bypassing them.👊🏽💪🏽🔱 . P.s: What I’m doing here is still a modified version of the actual Tic-tocs but at least I know now that the potential to do it exists within me.🙏🏻🔱👊🏽🤙🏽 . Happy Yoga Day people, today and everyday.🕉 . Just know that every single one of us has fears, the warrior is the one who feels them intensely but chooses to confront them. Om Namah Shivaya.🔱🔱🔱

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Tim Senesi (@timsenesiyoga)

Everybody has different ways of approaching a thing but the one constant that we’ve found in all the accounts catalogued here is that they try to consciously practise gratitude. Maybe it comes from Yoga – the ability to connect with your limbs and mind so intimately is bound to make people happy. Senesi is ample proof of that. For him, Yoga is about awakening and on this International Yoga Day, it would be wise for us to try and do as he does.

 

 

Taking a moment to get centered between classes at the Two Bunch Palms Retreat. Getting an opportunity to connect with my students more intimately on retreats has been such an important part of my teaching. I love seeing the lights come on in people with poses or movements where they’ve been in the dark before. Awakening is such a beautiful thing to witness, and is what keeps me excited about teaching. Last night in the inversion workshop we had a bunch of those moments, and it was rad. I’m very excited for the next retreat in Hossegor, France in September. I hope I’ll get to meet some of you who live in Europe 🤞😉 If you would like more information on the next retreat, please email stacy@timsenesi.com Hope you can join. . . . . . #france #retreat #timsenesiyoga #timsenesi #europe #yogaretreat #twobunchpalms #palmsprings #travel #hossegor #yogateacher

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Sarvesh Shashi (@sarvesh_shashi)

Shashi is a Yogi turned entrepreneur who believes that “yoga is a lifestyle that positively impacts the physical, mental, philosophical and spiritual aspects of one’s life”. At the age of 17, Shashi met his Guruji who introduced him to the discipline of Yoga and inspired him to seek answers to the inexplicable questions that crowded his mind. Shashi decided to join hands with Talwalkars Better Value Fitness and has started on a path to create India’s Largest Chain of Yoga Studios. Today Zorba is spread across 70+ studios in 40+ cities in India.

 

Jacob Manning (@jacobmanningyoga)

It is a commonly believed idea in most religions and ancient ways of living that ‘thoughts become things’. The power of the mind and what we allow inside it is well documented. “Sometimes when I’m alone and in my head, I forget how blessed I am for what yoga has done for me on the inside,” Manning writes on one of his recent posts. “Being able to connect to all of my spirit even when in pain, hurt and sadness is what keeps me returning to my mat,” he adds.

 

 

This week has been a really big struggle for me and every part of my mind and body wants to shut down and isolate. My heartaches, my body feels tight and my minds been racing a thousand miles per hour. When I was practicing today I got to let myself reflect on my qualities that I do have as a person. My mantra for 3 hours was I am lovable, I am confident and I’m a good man. Sometimes when I’m alone and in my head I forget how blessed I am for what yoga has done for me on the inside. Being able to connect to all of my spirit even when in pain, hurt and sadness is what keeps me returning to my mat. It’s been a reliable source of positive energy and light when I feel stuck in the shadows of fear, insecurity and negative thoughts about myself. Being in Dubai I wasn’t able to talk to my family and friends. It was good to do that today as well. Amazing what benefits and perspectives can come from being honest and vulnerable to people you truly love. Wearing: @ohmmeapparel lens: @sallyrached

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Sam Gach (@samgachyoga)

Two things we are absolutely in love with today is Yoga and dogs. Loving dogs is an everyday thing, to be honest. If you admire these two things too, then treat yourself to Sam Gach’s Instagram page this International Yoga Day. It’s bound to make you happy and isn’t that the whole point of Yoga, really? 

 

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