Of Manifestations and Fitness Resolutions

Happy with the tees we earned.

Many years ago, before I started running, I would dream about going on vacation and having fitness as an integral part of the plan.  I moved to a new house and dreamt that I would start a weekend running group that would meet to run around the lake.

I’m one of those who believes that if you really want something, it manifests.

Both these fitness desires have manifested for me right at the beginning of this year!  Last year around this time an old acquaintance of mine moved back to Bangalore and started coming to class.  Somehow the bond grew deep and when I tentatively suggested we go to Lovedale for a run, to my utter surprise I said yes.  We got two more friends together, another student offered us his cottage, I tanked up my car and off we drove into the hills.  We spent three days re-visiting the hills and exploring new joints.  We bought comfortable pajamas at the factory surplus shops.  I bought some Eucalyptus oil.  The night before what would become our first 10km, we affirmed to ourselves that we would complete the run successfully.  We would give it our 100%.  In the morning as soon as we woke up, I said, ‘We shall do it.’  And we did!

From the 4 of us who went to Ooty, to the 12 who went to Hampi last weekend, we have grown consistently.  Hampi was our fifth run together and we got special bibs and tees with our names on it.  It may seem like a small achievement, but to those of us who get together every weekend to pound the pavement, it was a moment to be proud of how far we’ve come.  To change old habits and adopt a new lifestyle is no mean feat.  And what they say is true – nothing tastes as good as fitness feels.

 

 

 

 

Advertisements

The Return of the Prodigal Yogi

I took a while to choose the title for this blog. I was chewing on AWOL, astray, MIA, AWOL (again) and finally settled on the first thing that came to mind when I had to write this – prodigal. Yes, well, technically, there wasn’t any extravagant wasting of money, but the allegory wasn’t lost on me. And while the narrative of the prodigal son’s return ends up stirring our moral and conscientious values around money, loyalty and parental indulgence despite the misplaced audacity and belligerence of their children, I couldn’t shake off the deeper feelings of welcome and acceptance after my brief hiatus from regular practice.

So, yes, the prodigal yogi has returned – and with that return, comes an insight, an understanding and endless opportunity to do what I absolutely love – introspect, dissect and make sense of the whole experience.

For, in the grand scheme of things, what else is yoga otherwise, if not to apply and make sense of life through it?

But, the making sense would have to graciously make way for a little synopsis of a 2017 that came and went with ravaging ferocity – physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually.

Yikes! That fracture

The fracture that gave me the BREAK I needed

Although the fracture took a toll on my physical availability, years of practice, allowed for more basic strengths to come forth and establish themselves. Creativity, detachment, acceptance and presence of mind – all these qualities, amongst others, presented themselves at times when they were needed the most, unbelievable to onlookers even. The year went on to heal the fracture, but it also deepened the wounds with emotional turmoil, mental unrest and a sense of disquiet that often saw me questioning my own spiritual allegiance. Thankfully, the year ended with hope and faith emerging strong and gracefully setting me back on the path that I had, through circumstances, strayed away from.

So…

This return to path, inevitably for me, also returns me to the 68″ x 24″ of space that is mine – the yoga mat.

yoga-mats

Cleared for practice, with some limitations, I spent the months since September 2017, courting doubt and befriending procrastination, succumbing to a truancy from yoga that reeked of fear and justified the absenteeism with much fervor to anyone who asked me about it – including myself.

I didn’t even include yoga, or any of its affiliated words in my 2018 goals.

I chose to just wait and see – or so I’d like to believe.

And yet, my faithful yoga mat, with humble grace and perseverance, stayed put right where I last left in – in a place that was visible to me every single day – undemanding yet urging it a way much like best friends who’ve lost touch, or perhaps even had a falling out, and have forgotten why.

Until a few days ago, I finally took that step to her, my yoga mat (yes, she’s a she) and made up.

The prodigal yogi had returned.

But in my story, I didn’t ask for a third of anything, I didn’t ask for results, I didn’t ask for a quick fix to lost time. I didn’t ask for anything, actually. So we just picked up where we left off.

And that was enough.

I went through the practices I had often taught my students – the centering, the intention, the breath, the asana… and slowly fear and doubt crept in.

Insidiously, those questions attempted to seduce me away.

“Can you do this? Should you be doing this?”

I wasn’t sure. I was pretty much tempted to wait till September 2018 (doctor’s visit to schedule the next surgery for the implant removal) or a blurry intention to take a doctor’s opinion on indistinct asanas.

It didn’t take long for the realization to hit me – I was doing what I had trained myself to do over the many, many years of living in my cocoon of safety. I was allowing myself to be lured to a space of pseudo safety to avoid challenging the presumptions of harm, injury and hurt that could possibly cause me pain.

What’s the worst that could happen? I’d feel sore, have some pain, not be able to get into the asana as I’d left it months ago?

So???

So… I practiced what I preached.

I showed up.

I followed the moves and cues that came like second nature. I paid attention to alignments that were new to me. I discovered that I was working with an entirely new body! I tensed at attempting my Suryanamaskara. I marveled at coming down in Ashtanganamaskar, yet noticed my grief at being unable to take my leg back in Ashwasanchalana. I was kind to my right ankle that cried in Veerabhadrasana and grateful for its amazing strength in Vrikshasana. I paid attention to those little crunches in my ankle that reminded me of nuts and bolts instead of bone and sinew and asked them permission to explore this new territory. Natarajasana that was available on the left side but urged me to move to the wall into Saral Natarajasana for the right. Hamstrings were tight in Downward Facing Dog, but my spine that was supple in Sphinx and Bhujanga. The energy of Kaliasana strengthening my legs and conviction to face obstacles and the grounding into Ekapada Rajakapota that allowed me hope that all is not lost.

I’d be lying if I said it didn’t hurt. It did (a bit). It was scary. I often tell my students that we don’t have X-ray machines or vision to see what’s happening inside our bodies, but we do have sense and awareness. So I used that – and fell back on what I knew I had to do.

I listened to my body… and I stayed with it. It was a new body, a newer practice and I loved it enough to respect its limitations.

Without a grudge and devoid of judgment, the mat and the practice welcomed me back into my space – like a childhood bedroom that has been aired and kept ready for my return. No questions asked, just acceptance, compassion and space – to show up and move on.


Luvena Rangel, founder of The Curvy Yogi, is one of Bangalore’s leading Yoga Anatomy educators and active supporter of social cause. An avid reader, writer and motivational speaker, she is often on the panel of various educational establishments to speak on a variety of topics.

What’s your Blueprint for 2018?

Wish you all a very Happy New Year 2018! On this occasion, I desire, that you achieve all your goals this year. This is my first post of the year, and I wanted to start with a wish that has the potential to come true, when YOU put your thoughts into it and pursue it wholeheartedly, giving your 100%.

So, how did you celebrate the New Year? Was it by going to a party and dancing away to glory? Or you stayed back home, called a few friends, and rejoiced their company? Or you were out of town holidaying, and rang in the New Year in your favorite destination, in the presence of your friends and/or family? Or you feel, the hoopla around New Year’s celebration is too overrated, it just fizzes away too quickly? So you don’t see it as a special time and refrain from celebrating it.

Stock photos1

I believe the New Year is the pretext to start afresh. It is the reason to look at things from a different perspective, a time to reconcile with the past and look forward to the future. I spend the last day of the fading year and the first day of the new year in solitude. This is the time I invest in introspection. I look back at the year which went by, the decisions I had made, what went right and bask in the glory of my achievements. I also look at what went wrong, analyze those mistakes, learn from them, and work on what I can do better next time. It is the time I give to myself to chalk out how I want my coming year to be. Work out what I want to achieve in the new year and create my BLUEPRINT for the new year.

I also spend some time with my personal coaching clients around this time. I was having one such deep conversation with a client a couple of days before the New Year’s Eve. I asked him normally, So how was your 2017? To which he answered IT WAS TERRIBLE! Immediately, I saw trouble, so I probed further…

What followed was a 2 hour long mind-boggling conversation where we discussed in detail why he felt like this. I was intrigued by the fact that he summed up the entire year with just one sentence, the year was terrible! After our discussion, he came to a conclusion that the year was not completely terrible after all. It was more of a roller-coaster ride.

discussion-2884020_1920

On the positive side, he had traveled to places he thought he would never travel, started new investments, enhanced his bond with his family, learned new skills, accomplished so much in the professional font, got a promotion, completed his travel goals in 2017.

On the hindsight, he lost his father to heart attack, he lost some money in the new investments he had bet on, he didn’t take care of his health, he felt he didn’t spend enough time with his family and he could’ve done better as an individual in 2017.

When I asked him, “tell me 10 awesome things and 10 really bad things that happened to you in 2017”, he took much longer to complete the list for 10 bad things against the list for good things! How fascinating is that?

This reinforced that as human beings we love to amplify our sufferings and underplay our achievements. We love to believe that we are struck by misfortune, and look for empathy from others to feel better. The problem is, most often we stay in the comfort of our uncomfortable pain, just because we get empathy from others. It’s like that drug which makes us feel great for a while, then throws us back to that zone again! We just refuse to come out of it and the worst part is that we deny the fact that we like to stay in that zone!

When I asked him, “have you created your Blueprint for 2018?” He asked “what is that? No, I have not. I have nothing specific to achieve this year!” Ta da da… there you go, if you have nothing awesome to look forward, how will you shrug off yourself from that sympathy zone to an action zone? Fortunately, he saw the problem and took step to fix it. By 5th Jan he shared his Blueprint with me. I must admit, he has worked on himself and come up with some brilliant things that he wants to do this year. Which will for sure transform him to be a much better version of him.

Blueprint

If you are curious, what is this Blueprint, and how does this work; then let me explain this to you. Human beings achieve better when they have their eyes set on clearly defined goals; and they chalk out action plan to achieve these goals systematically and repeatedly. That’s what is a blueprint. Your blueprint is like the direction you follow to achieve your goals. It’s like the Google maps for your destination. Like Google maps, your blueprint helps you choose the quickest, most effective and least traffic (read obstacles) prone path for you.

Have you created your Blueprint for 2018? If yes, sending you more power to achieve them! If not, I would love to help you create it. All you have to do is register for Connect To Success Preview on 21st Jan. Find below the registration details.

https://www.facebook.com/events/320460045114443/

Would you take your life to the next level this year?

____________________________________________________________________________________________

PS: This post was first published on https://srijatablog.wordpress.com/

We totally enjoyed speaking to this lady in leadership. Success in Inclusion especially at the top. With the MD, ANZ, Bangalore, Pankajam Sridevi.

#cheriankuruvila and I thought that this time of the year might be just the right time to venture towards Manyata tech park, considering most people are in shut down mode, with the holidays.

We were right.

We discovered Pankajam was there while many were already enjoying the holidays. Pankajam Sridevi, my first impressions being that she has this inner strength that comes with experience, many opportunities to reflect and high amount of self awareness.

She is vibrant and energetic, and has a genuine smile that reaches her eyes. Her stance and presence have a rock solid feel especially when she makes eye contact to take you in. We spent over an hour with this Woman in Leadership, and found the conversation to be practical, insightful and deeply reflective of the ups and downs, the humility and the great mindset this lady carries within her.

My take aways from today’s meeting with Pankajam Sridevi, the MD, ANZ Bangalore;
1. Her ability to identify herself as an equal, and push herself forward, amidst very difficult times along her career journey
2. She boldly voiced her opinion about respect for women, when a comment was passed during a conference, by the moderator commoditizing women. And aims to continue to create a culture that’s inclusive.
3. She shared her experiences on being vulnerable, and how as a Leader, that continues to be a strength. It draws people in and increases engagement.
4. She makes a conscious effort to identify the roles of drama ( how we as women sometimes play the victim role ) and how she calls it out, time & again.
5. She spoke of how Power and ego go hand in hand, and it’s tough, but necessary to play a role beyond the egos hold on self.
6. She has led teams, which have had peers as direct reports. And shared experiences on how she reached out to dissolve unspoken tension, to ensure mature and open conversations can lead to stronger collaboration.
7. She talked of the many times she pushed herself into newer territories, beyond her comfort zone. Her child, her family, the expressed & unexpressed expectations of her. And how support helps. And how taking tough decisions are tough but must be taken.
8. She spoke of how authenticity and genuineness are deal breakers where strengthening relationships are concerned at work and at home.
She pays attention.
She’s kind and strong.
She’s vulnerable. She leads and she follows.

 

The author is an Executive Coach, works with people who want to see Positive Lasting changes in their lives

#carolinefernandes

#iamvibha #vibhawomen #womeninleadership #womeninentrepreneurship #startups #womenincorporate

Strategy for Startups – An Upcoming and Insightful Mentoring Session

Is your product compelling enough to solve a real problem ?
Do you have enough users who care about what you have to offer ?
What problem are you solving for today’s users of your product
What in your product is truly differentiated in the market to solve this problem. Does it solve deep issues for your potential customers ?

– How is it different from what is already existing in the market ?

If one or more of these are part of what you are asking yourself OR you are looking for clarity, then join us
March 18th to triggert thought and have an insightful interactive discussion with one of our mentors Rakesh Mishra, Co- Founder and Director of Excubator

Rakesh MIshra.jpg

Rakesh Mishra, Co-FOunder, Excubator

 

 

Rakesh Mishra is Co-Founder & Director at Excubator.org, an organisation that assists entrepreneurs and enterprises to multiply their business value and build world-class businesses. His area of specialisation are incubating advance technology based businesses, innovation portfolio management, technology research and delivery scale-up. Rakesh is also the co-founder of the PAN IIT nation building program ‘IIT Mentors’. He has been engaging with various IIT institutions and IIT alumni community as part of this program to develop the mentoring hubs across the country.

Rakesh brings 20+ years of industry experience that cuts across wide spectrum of industry verticals, technology platforms and geographies.
Rakesh is heading the HackSpace (AI-ML-IoT incubator) program at Excubator. He works very closely with Technology focused MNCs to help them evaluate and engage with innovative startups. Rakesh is advisor to SIDBI for their startup ecosystem development program and also leads SIDBIStartupMitra.in platform initiative to collaborate with various central and state government bodies and industry bodies.

As a professional coach, Rakesh has touched lives many senior executives for assisting them with their personal development, job satisfaction challenges and corporate-to-startup transition readiness. Rakesh is recognized as one of the top Gamification experts in India. Rakesh is a graduate from Indian Institute of Technology, Kanpur.

We are very happy to have Rakesh lead this discussion on March 18th, and open it up to you all to engage.

See you

To know more about what we do check us out on facebook:

https://www.facebook.com/vibhawomen/

#iamvibha #vibhawomen #startegyforstartups

 

 

 

 

You know that feeling of uneasiness you get when you try something new, something different, something that you’ve never done before – that will lead you onward towards your goals ?

That fear ?
It’s OK to be scared and it’s OK to recognize that that feeling has been stopping you all this while.
This is our comfort zone.
It is the space we prefer taking because it reminds of of being safe and at ease.
Take time to understand that EVERYTIME you reach out to do something like this, you will feel this way. You will want to cower down and curl up and shy away from anything that causes disturbance to that comfort zone you live in.
But to really really get to that goal ?
That is, at some point, going to require YOUR conscious effort.
It is going to ask you to STEP UP.
To do things you have NEVER EVER done before.
To shed that shell and take that step to do what is burning deep inside of you.
It is scary. And those fear are honestly never going to go away.
Because once you have conquered it – you have the next level of fear and comfort- zone- breaking to breach.
So don’t you think it’s time to get comfortable with your fears ?
Even in the Gita, it is said to get LOST in the process. And that the effort is more important than the goal itself. leave it
This way, when we get lost it in it, we revel in the fact that we took that step.
This also helps bring down the stress we allow to build inside of us , that we use to beat ourselves down, when we haven’t yet reached our goal.
It’s OK.
It’s OK to not YET reach it.
And it’s OK to recognize that. Take all the time you need to do so
And then you keep going. And revel in the process, acknowledge the fears. And acknowledge your action DESPITE your fears.

Have an ambitious, fear- filling, process – pleasing 2017 people.
Loads of Love   

 

The author is an Executive Coach & Social Entrepreneur

Twitter: CarolineVibha

15380392_1309265739094136_2663911758919764082_n

I can’t tell you the number of times I’m rejected at work.

I meet so many different kinds if people whom I wish to explore to collaborate with, intend to offer our services to as well.
It’s ego breaking. When things don’t materialize.
I sit to reflect on why things happen the way they do.
I also question what was missing from my side and what more we could have done / do to learn and add value to our own processes.
I’m still learning.
And what’s always struck me as being helpful for our work is asking, listening, sometimes ( many times ) going back to the drawing board time and time again.
I used to feel terrible about it. Now I use that to keep me going.

#iamvibha #vibhawomen #stilllearning # womenentrepreneurs

For more information on Vibha Women

http://www.Facebook.com/ vibhawomen

The author is an Executive Coach and Social Entrepreneur

img_20161108_200131_200