A step beyond fitness

Club culture

A step beyond fitness

Keeping the body, mind and soul healthy has become a priority for many in the City. Health, irrespective of the form, is something that people wish to keep in good condition. Which is why, yoga has become such a popular option for fitness enthusiasts and those looking for some peace of mind.

And age is no bar when it comes to this form. Even the limbs of the elderly can be exercised with yoga. Jayanthi, a retired banker, is 65 years old but she doesn’t complain of various aches and pains. Instead, she’s a sprightly woman who enjoys her daily exercise routine — an hour-and-a-half of yoga, five days a week.

A part of the ‘Jnaanayoga Mandira’ yoga classes in MC Layout, Vijayanagar, she is just one of the numerous members who share a bond that extends beyond this informal
club.

     When they meet, the members not only exercise but also share each others’ burdens and happy memories.

Started by Triveni and Shivakumar, the classes are held at their residence. And although they could be earning a handsome rent, they have no commercial interest in it whatsoever. The big, ventilated hall has been turned in to a space for community service where they host two yoga classes a day, throughout the year, for free.

Says Jayanthi, who has been attending the classes for three to four years now,  “I had been practicing yoga for many years but because of work and family commitments, I couldn’t pursue it on a regular basis. After my retirement, I found this class and decided to take it more seriously. The classes have rejuvenated my body and mind.”

     She isn’t the only one of this opinion. Although there are many other classes around the area, people flock to this one because of the teaching methodology and the informal bond it creates.

Jyothi, a retired lecturer, joined a little over two years ago. She mentions that she loves fitness and with these classes, she is not only able to stay physically fit, but mentally and spiritually as well.

      “It feels like I’m a complete person now,” she says. Divided into two batches — morning (from 6 am to 7 am) and evening (from 4.30 pm to 6 pm) — the classes are taught by two teachers — Kavya and Shambavi — who teach for free.

      Says Kavya, “Many years back, I fell from the stairs and had a slip disc. After six months rest, the doctor advised me to do yoga. After a while, I began doing it regularly and started teaching as well.”

     She adds that she doesn’t expect anything in return because the job gives her soul satisfaction.

For Vandana, the classes improved her psychological and physical flexibility. This is something that other members like Kusuma, Shashi, Chandrakla and Hema agree with. “I’m much more fit now,” says Vandana.

After the classes, about 20 members hang out — they chat and eat together. This is something Jyothi describes as the ‘katte balaga’. “There is a floating population but there is always at least 40 members. Of these, 20 (or so) of us hang out after class,” says Shiela.

Sunitha initially joined the class to lose weight but she realised that there is more to yoga than she thought. “If I had joined the gym, there would have been side effects. Once you stop going to the gym, you tend to put on weight quickly. But with yoga, even if you don’t lose weight, you are becoming healthier,” she says.

So, whether it’s to keep physically fit or be at peace, these classes are helping the members. They also share a bond that goes beyond daily exercises.

     “You could say that I was coerced into joining this class but I don’t regret it. I had many problems back then, but after doing yoga here, I got peace of mind and some friends to talk to,” explains Jyothi.

Ananya Revanna
(For details, mail to jyojyon@gmail.com)

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