Yogi with the dancing shoes..

FOOD – A PATHWAY TO TRANSFORMATION

Have you ever observed a caterpillar transform into a beautiful butterfly, and wondered how that magic happened? Science?? Yes.. that too. But the magic word here is ‘Food’. Even in the case of human beings ‘food’ act as a catalyst, the main ingredient, the magic potion, that open up consciousness at various levels and transform us physically, mentally and emotionally. Change the food you eat and you can change who you are! Food is sacred;so is your body. Be mindful of what enters your sacred temple and respect the food that nourishes it.
A long life doesn’t mean adding up the years, it is about filling up those years with abundance of life energy. It’s about keeping the mind aware and conscious, and the body light as a feather, filled with energy. 
To know the basics and understand our body we need to learn that our bodies work in sync with the universe. The simple fact that the human body is 70% water and, more than 70% of the earth is composed of water should give us the perspective that our bodies work in accordance with the nature around us. The various seasons affect us in terms of what we eat, that is produced by the earth locally. The seasons that occur in the universe also occur within our bodies. 
1. Vāta or wind: is related to the movement of energy within the body. The qualities of people with vāta as their main body characteristic are dry and cold. People with excess vāta are prone to gas and arthritic pains.
2. Pitta or heat: is the energy that controls digestion and metabolism. Too much pitta could lead to acidity.
3. Kapha or moisture: is characterised by moist, dull, sticky and static energy. People with excess kapha are prone to chest congestion, cough and cold.
So from the above information we understand that for our bodies to function in an healthy, optimal condition it is necessary to have a balance between vāta, pitta and kapha. And this balance is mainly brought about by the food we intake. To know your body type and choose the food that works for you is the first stage of transformation and good health. So the first rule of transformation is ‘know thyself’ 


WHAT’S ON YOUR PLATE TODAY??

If you thought you are putting on weight just because you are eating more than usual or are eating all the food you love…. think again!! Weight gain mainly happens because of lack of nutrition in the food we eat. If you pay attention to your body and listen to it closely, you will realise that your body is wiser than you thought. Once you learn to listen to your body you will learn how much to eat and when to stop, even when it’s your favourite food laid down in front of you. 
So it’s not about mindless downsizing of your food quantity or giving up on your favourite dish. It’s about making sure whatever you eat adds up to the nutrient value that your body requires and eating in moderation, according to your body’s need.
And the other most important thing is to work your body. A regular exercise routine not just keeps your physical body fit and in good shape, it also gives stability to your mental and emotional being. 
So make sure you eat nutritious food and work out well. Get in touch with the wisdom of food that’s been passed on from generations in your family; the wisdom of eating local, fresh, home-made food. Eating according to season, using up the species, not deleting certain food from your diet and adding some which do not agree with your body – just because it’s an in-thing. What you eat, is what you become.. literally!

A WALK THROUGH THE PATH OF MEDITATION


What comes to your mind when you hear the word ‘Meditation’? 
Before you even think of anything you may be yawning or making up excuses in your head to escape having a try to the challenging, boring and makes-no-sense ‘meditation’. Why does this happen? Probably because meditation has been portrayed as a high-profile, classy business which is achievable or applicable only to people who are either old, serious, boring or who don’t belong to the ‘regular people’ category. It’s been made into a ‘thing’ which is meant only for a ‘selective’ lot. 
To break the myth, to make it more accessible for everyone, irrespective of age, gender, faith or class, let’s consider meditation as an essential part of YOU( not even part of your life, make it a part of your own being), just like the breath.
Meditation is not about becoming a different person or changing yourself. It’s all about perspective and the way of thinking. It’s about giving the time, space, and chance to self to observe, think, analyse,and choose- to choose how you want to be, how you want to conduct yourself and your thoughts, how you would want to respond to your thoughts and feelings and the environment around you. It’s about how you contain yourself with understanding and acceptance without any judgement. 
To meditate is to be mindful – to be present in the here and now, no matter what you are doing at that particular moment. 
Meditation, like any other skill, needs to be practiced and honed. It’s like working a body which has never done any work before; it needs consistent and regular practice, dedication and determination. ‘Discipline’ being the key word.
With all these in mind it’s important to understand that each person’s journey into meditation is unique and different. So get into the journey of meditation without any judgement and know that there is nothing called ‘perfect meditation’. It’s working as long as you are aware and mindful with what’s happening within you; acknowledge and accept every feeling and emotion that flows through you – nothing right, nothing wrong. And finally, please remember, it takes time to get comfortable with the mind. 
#mindfulmeditation

and the DANCE began..

Dance is a stylized sequence of movement inspired by everyday life. Whether the movement is done in just a pure functional sense or as a performance depends on the manner of repetition, observation and learning. The distinction reveals the constraints on human cognition, values of specific cultures and technologies of instruction. For some, Dance is a form of exercise, entertainment, it’s all about aesthetics, cultural motif and a chance to study an anatomical model. For many, the discipline of dance is the quintessential example of social learning in human society. To learn dance is to get enculturated into the World of meanings, gestures and movement. 

It is said that the impulse to dance may have existed in the early primates before they evolved into humans. Dance has been an important part of the ceremonies, entertainment, culture and rituals since before the birth of the earliest human civilizations. Many contemporary dance forms can be traced back to historical, traditional, ceremonial and ethnic dances of the ancient period. Dance could be a means of social communication and bonding. It may have been a tool of social interaction that promoted cooperation essential for the survival of early humans. Studies found that today’s best dancers share two specific genes associated with the predisposition for being good social communicators.

Apart from all these dance is also a power healing ritual; it is a method of expression – one of the earliest structured uses of dance may have been in the performances and in the telling of the myth. It was also sometimes used to show feelings for the opposite gender. Before the invention of written languages, dance was one of the  methods of passing stories from one generation to the other.

“Yoga as we know it”

The term ‘Yoga’ is a Sanskrit word meaning ‘to bind’. It is the yoking of all the powers of the body, mind & soul to unite with self and the higher energy. Yoga is the disciplining of the physical body, intellect, mind, emotions and the will to enable one to look at life in all it’s aspects evenly; it is the discipline of finding balance within self and the outside world. Patanjali, the Father of Yoga, described Yoga as ‘Chitta Vrtti nirodah ’ which translates into ‘stilling the fluctuations of the mind’ to move towards self-realization. Yoga is not just about doing the challenging asanas/poses, it’s a way of life. 

The six branches of yoga are:

1. Raja yoga: focuses on meditation & contemplation, leading to self-realization. Raja yoga is more spiritually inclined.

2. Bhakti yoga: is the path of devotion. It’s about seeing the divine in self & everything around; cultivating acceptance, tolerance & love for all beings. Bhakti yoga also involves chanting. 

3. Jnana yoga: often called the ‘yoga of the mind’, Jnana yoga is the path of wisdom & knowledge, involving constant study & inquiry into the nature of the self. 

4. Karma yoga: is the yoga of selfless action, being detached from the outcome of the action & working towards the betterment of all beings with no intention of physical gain. 

5. Mantra yoga: is the ‘yoga of sound’. Considered as sacred utterances, ‘mantras’ are syllables, words or phrases representing a particular attribute of the higher energy. Mantra yoga is the practice of becoming centred through the repetition of chanting.

6. Hatha yoga: is the yoga of postures/ asana , using the body as a vehicle for self- transformation.

‘It all began thus…’

‘Inspiration’ has been a constant and inseparable part of my life. It all began with a dance performance as a 3 year old girl, wearing a beautiful red dress and being  centre stage. The wish had taken birth; the dream had begun! Ever since that moment all I have wanted to do is ‘Dance’! The divinity that the stage holds, the high of the audience’s claps and appreciation is unparalleled even to this date.

As life went on, more experiences and opportunities came my way; soon I found myself totally engrossed in the magical world of dance and yoga. Having been a sick child growing up, yoga came as a blessing. The first hand experience and realization of how my life transformed from being a sick child to a healthy fit woman has only filled me with ever-lasting gratitude. The experiences I had relished gave me the purpose and courage to share my knowledge with my fellow people, this need and desire gave birth to ‘Kalatattva’. 

The intention behind ‘Kalatattva’ is to reintroduce people to arts and culture – bring in awareness and educate people about its importance in our day-to-day life. As an artist I feel this need and responsibility to show people that arts and culture have the power to bring us all together; to hold us strong as a community. It has the ability to help us find our voice and expression to bring out the best of our essence as individuals and as a society.