You can hear the meditative cool straight away in Anandana’s voice: her regular classes must surely be transformative! Indeed, the young yoga teacher is award-winning and focuses significantly on special needs while catering to a range of young people. “I tend to teach in small groups of three or four” she told us: “as I want to give each child the appropriate attention and care.” Anandana owns a small studio and is trained in traditional and Hatha yoga which is “an especially therapeutic type.” She has always been interested in health and well-being, having been a passionate swimmer, runner and even winner of a gold medal for kickboxing!
Today, Anandana gives students unique tools to help them rigorously emotionally regulate via the dedicated practice of simple physical stretching. Often an overwhelming experience for those who have limited ability, basic yoga can make accessible a real sense of harmony in an otherwise chaotic world. “Understanding the body parts is not as easy for them as it is for an able person. There is also the beneficiary cerebral component: sitting quietly, listening and learning to engage the senses can create lasting stillness. Another practice I introduce is the colouring of poses which are drawn around in class to visually represent the positions.” Through an elementary mastery of physicality, students can feel more mentally in control of themselves. In short, if one can be individually in touch with their body, they are at once connected to the personal agency within the soul: particularly through the sensory realm of the subconscious. Feeling connected and confident, this at once gives a person peace in life. “This also benefits the parents of students with special needs as the poses can be useful tools to reinforce routines at home. The techniques can be tapped so that there is deep change and elevation of mood over time.” Indeed, Anandana is known for her own investment of time in classes, making sure students enjoy and recognise self-care.
However, though especially advantageous for general distress, the self-exploratory exercise of yoga can advance everyone fundamentally. Not simply recreational, the hobby can be almost essential, remedially toning both the body and mind to organically build full confidence. The patience, self-love and gentle discipline involved also develops you personally. The consummate tranquillity to be found in yoga was definitely a phenomenon many people began to discover over lockdown when daily fulfilment became as important as passing the time. Anandana commented of the skill: “It is a holistic strength that is best learned young. This is why I enjoy teaching children, teens and cross-culturally too. Yoga encourages you to think structurally which can aid in productivity. It can be hard to re-align as an adult so better to make it habit earlier in life. However, if you do attend yoga committedly, you always receive the benefit long-term. Yoga is not a quick-fix: rather a natural, tangible way to start the healing process.”
One of Anandana’s favourite routines is: “to start the class with an ‘Om’, which they love: hands are placed on the knees up to 5 times. Then there is a small short prayer before going into the main stretches. Afterwards, there’s the breathing and teaching students to do this slowly. I often end with a prayer again, introducing essential oils along the way too.” This seems beautifully ambient. It seems the ultimate aim of yoga is to cultivate oneness with your surroundings by better appreciating the self. Finally, Anandana does not simply demonstrate the power of underrepresented soft skills but specifically that of assured calm as a valuable internal resource.