With over 13 years of dedicated experience, Shashi Sarda is not only a Certified Yoga Instructor but also a revered therapist and counselor. Her remarkable journey has been a fusion of yoga and counseling, where she has left an indelible mark on numerous lives.
Yoga, a holistic practice encompassing mind, body, and spirit, transcends mere physical postures. Delving into the depths of this transformative journey, Icy Tales is privileged to engage with Shashi Sarda, the visionary founder of Yoga Central about Swadhyay & Integral Chakras.
Shashi Sarda’s expertise is multifaceted, extending to the specialized realm of Disease Care Yoga. For 12 years, she has been devoted to addressing and resolving orthopedic issues, fostering holistic well-being.
The yoga instructor’s<span style=”font-weight: 400;”> impactful work has brought healing to individuals navigating challenges such as back pain, cervical spondylitis, PCOS, PCOD, thyroid imbalances, and various other health concerns.
Beyond her profound individual contributions, Shashi Sarda has embarked on prestigious endeavors that amplify her influence.
Her involvement in events commemorating the International Day of Yoga at the Governor’s House stands as a testament to her global impact.
Through workshops, talks, and sessions, Shashi Sarda has disseminated her wisdom among diverse audiences, ranging from corporations and teenagers to NGOs and women’s organizations.
This philosophy drives her to share the profound benefits of yoga with an unyielding commitment and transformative impact.
Shashi Sarda’s journey is characterized by a fusion of dedication, expertise, and a deep-seated desire to bring well-being to all through the transformative power of yoga.
Q) Can you please tell us a bit about yourself and your yoga journey?
Shashi Sarda: I’ve been immersed in the world of yoga for the past 13 years. I started my yoga journey in 2010 and went on to establish Yoga Central, my brand, which has now been flourishing for 9 years.
My introduction to yoga was driven by my health struggles back in 2009-2010. I tried various approaches to address my health issues, but nothing provided lasting results.
This led me to embark on a yoga teacher training program. As I delved into the teachings, I was amazed by the holistic power of yoga.
It helps to heal not just the body, but also the mind and emotions. This realization marked the beginning of my transformative yoga journey.
Q) What’s the vision behind founding Yoga Central?
Shashi Sarda: The idea behind starting Yoga Central was to create a main place, like a central spot, for yoga. Similar to how cities have a main center for businesses, I wanted a place for yoga in people’s lives.
You see, yoga isn’t just about doing poses on a mat for an hour; it’s about how you live your whole life.
Even when you’re not doing poses, you can still practice yoga in your everyday activities. It’s like making yoga the main focus in the middle of everything else you do.
So, the name “Yoga Central” made sense to me. It’s like putting yoga at the center, just like a city center, so that no matter what you’re doing, you always remember to keep yoga as an important part of your life.
It’s not about going away to a far-off place; it’s about living your regular life but with yoga as the center point. That’s why I thought “Yoga Central” was a perfect way to describe this idea.
Q) Could you share a heartwarming or amusing story from your yoga journey?
Shashi Sarda: Of course, I’ve had my share of heartwarming and amusing experiences along this yoga journey. One story that truly touched my heart involved a young Muslim girl from a humble background.
She was facing severe leg issues and swelling, which made it difficult for her to sit down comfortably. She came to me with a heartfelt request – she wanted to be able to perform namaz, the Islamic prayer, in the traditional sitting posture.
Her focus was purely on being able to pray like the others, and she explained that older people were able to sit down for namaz, while she had to use a chair due to her leg condition. It was such a simple yet profound desire.
Over three months, we worked diligently on her leg strength and flexibility. I watched with joy as she progressed, and eventually, she was able to sit down comfortably and perform Namaz in the way she had hoped for.
This experience was deeply heartwarming because it highlighted the purity of her intention – she was driven by a sincere desire to connect with her faith, without any concern for personal appearance or physical benefits.
Now, on to an amusing story. I remember a film producer who joined my class seeking relief from stress caused by the demands of the film industry. He had heard that yoga could bring calmness and peace and was eager to experience it.
After a session, he came up to me and asked, “So, how did I do in my class? When will I find peace?” His question amused me because he was treating yoga as if it were a product he could purchase, much like he would hire actors or editors for a film project. He was expecting a quick fix for his stress, like a sudden dose of tranquility.
However, he soon realized that peace doesn’t come in a package. Yoga is a journey, not a destination that can be reached in a few sessions.
He attended a couple more classes but eventually dropped out, perhaps thinking that peace should have arrived more swiftly.
This story reflects how some people seek instant solutions, even in the realm of yoga, without fully embracing the journey of self-discovery and well-being that it offers.
Q) Do you have any quick tips or guides in yoga for individuals who seek quick solutions?
Shashi Sarda: Absolutely, I understand that many of us are looking for quick solutions in today’s fast-paced world. While quick tips can provide immediate relief, it’s important to remember that they offer short-term results.
However, I can certainly share a couple of quick yoga techniques that can help you manage stress and enhance your well-being:
Netra Snan (Eye Cleansing) is for those who spend long hours in front of screens, a quick and refreshing tip is the “Netra Snan,” or eye cleansing technique.
Whenever you visit the washroom (which is usually a few times a day), take a moment to fill your mouth with water and then splash it onto your wide-open eyes. Repeat this process a couple of times.
This practice can provide instant freshness and relief to your tired eyes, helping you feel more alert and rejuvenated.
Intercostal Breathing is when stress or anxiety strikes, take a moment to practice intercostal breathing. This involves focusing on the sideward expansion of your chest as you inhale deeply.
As you exhale, allow your chest to relax. This simple yet effective technique can quickly reduce stress levels and help you regain a sense of calm and balance, especially in high-pressure situations like presentations or deadlines.
While these quick tips can offer immediate benefits, it’s essential to recognize that yoga’s true power lies in consistent, long-term practice. If you’re seeking lasting results, consider integrating a regular yoga routine into your daily life.
This approach will not only provide you with quick relief when needed but also contribute to your overall well-being over time.
Q) Is yoga all about asanas, or does it include more than that?
Shashi Sarda: Asana is just a very small part on the surface. Everybody feels yoga is only about asana, but yoga is so much more.
Yoga is much more deep-rooted. The process to reach that deep-rootedness is also through the asana.
But the thing is that most of them just remain at the Asana level. Even I feel overwhelmed sometimes because so many people do not know how to reach through their asana to their deeper level.
This was the main thing that I wanted to tell everybody. When whoever comes to my classes or my sessions or whatever, on the same mat, doing the same practice, you can go beyond your asanas.
You don’t have to do something out of the blue, you don’t have to do something different, you don’t have to go eclectic.
If you know exactly how to practice yoga on the mat correctly, you can go beyond the asanas. But the process is through the asanas. You have to do the asanas, that is your first gateway to the inner part. That’s what it is.
Q) Could you share insights on Swadhyaya’s significance in yoga practice and personal growth?
Shashi Sarda: Sure, the concept of Swadhyaya is often mistaken as self-study, but it’s the study of the self. Swadhyaya translates to studying yourself.
It’s about delving into your internal world and understanding your thoughts, emotions, behaviors, and patterns.
This practice goes beyond the surface-level self-study that we might be familiar with from our school days.
Swadhyaya involves a deep exploration of your personality, your reactions, your thought processes, and your emotional responses.
For example, why do you feel certain emotions in specific situations? Why do you react a certain way when faced with challenges?
Swadhyaya encourages you to become an observer of your thoughts and actions, without judgment.
The significance of Swadhyaya in yoga practice and personal growth is immense. By studying yourself, you become more self-aware and gain insights into your true nature.
You start recognizing your strengths and weaknesses, as well as areas where personal growth is needed. This self-awareness empowers you to make conscious choices and positive changes in your life.
Swadhyaya also helps you break free from habitual patterns and conditioned responses. You begin to question and understand why you act or think in a certain way.
This awareness creates space for transformation, allowing you to choose how you want to respond to situations, rather than reacting impulsively.
In the context of yoga practice, Swadhyaya supports your journey towards self-realization. It guides you to explore the layers of your being beyond the physical body.
As you practice asanas, you become attuned to the sensations, thoughts, and emotions that arise. Swadhyaya encourages you to inquire into these experiences, fostering a deeper connection with yourself.
To get started with Swadhyaya, you can begin by setting aside a few moments each day for self-reflection. Find a quiet space, close your eyes, and observe your thoughts and sensations without attachment.
Simply watch what arises within you, just as you would watch a movie without getting entangled in the plot. Over time, this practice enhances your self-awareness and guides you toward a more authentic and fulfilling life.
Remember, Swadhyaya is a gradual process, and its rewards unfold over time. By engaging in this practice, you can embark on a transformative journey of self-discovery, self-improvement, and personal growth.
Q) What is integral chakra psychology and how does it contribute to the overall well-being of an individual practicing yoga?
Shashi Sarda: Integral chakra psychology involves a comprehensive exploration of our internal chakras, which are energy centers in the body.
While many associate chakras with meditation and balance, integral chakra psychology delve into the emotional and psychological aspects tied to these energy centers.
For instance, if you’re experiencing insecurity, a particular chakra might be impacted. By addressing the emotional root through chakra psychology, we can alleviate the feeling of insecurity and its effects on well-being. This approach extends to physical issues as well.
If conventional treatments fail to resolve unexplained discomfort, delving into the emotional and mental realm through chakra psychology may bring relief. Each chakra is associated with distinct emotions and behaviors.
By identifying the specific chakra linked to a particular challenge and understanding its psychological implications, we can work to restore balance.
Whether it’s opening the heart chakra to embrace acceptance or addressing controlling tendencies by focusing on the corresponding chakra, integral chakra psychology offers a profound way to enhance overall well-being.
In essence, integral chakra psychology offers a holistic pathway to understanding and addressing the interconnectedness of our emotions, behaviors, and energy centers.
By nurturing psychological harmony within, individuals practicing yoga can experience a deeper level of well-being and personal growth.
Q) Is it wrong to be angry or good to have control over our emotions?
Shashi Sarda: It’s important to understand that neither being angry nor having control over emotions is inherently wrong or right.
Yoga teaches us about balance, rather than a strict dichotomy of good or bad. Emotions, including anger, are natural human experiences.
Just as we have positive emotions like love and compassion, we also have emotions like anger, hate, and jealousy.
The key lies in maintaining a balanced approach. Being angry itself is not a problem; it’s how we express and manage it that matters.
Expressing anger in a healthy and composed manner is different from reacting impulsively.
Yoga encourages us to find constructive ways to communicate our emotions. Instead of suppressing them, we should strive to understand and process them.
Suppressing emotions can lead to physical and mental health issues, while uncontrolled outbursts can harm relationships and well-being.
The middle path involves acknowledging emotions, including anger, and responding to them mindfully.
Through self-awareness and yoga practices, we learn to channel emotions positively, finding strength and clarity to navigate challenging situations.
In summary, neither suppressing nor blindly reacting to anger is beneficial. Yoga guides us to recognize, understand, and transform our emotional responses, fostering a balanced and harmonious approach to life.
Q) What advice do you have for beginners starting their yoga journey?
Shashi Sarda: For newcomers embarking on their yoga journey, my advice would be twofold: consistency and patience.
While patience is a virtue that yoga helps cultivate, consistency can sometimes be challenging. It’s crucial to commit to regular practice and attend classes with discipline.
The transformative benefits of yoga unfold over time with consistent effort. Although immediate changes might not be noticeable, the cumulative effects become evident as you progress.
It’s not about expecting a transformation in a day or two, but rather allowing the practice to work its magic gradually.
Yoga asanas and pranayama (breathing exercises) will naturally address various aspects of your well-being, such as balance, patience, emotional stability, and physical health.
The teacher’s role is to guide you through these facets, nurturing a sense of calmness, humility, and overall improvement.
In my experience teaching students over many years, I’ve observed that those who remain consistent witness positive changes both in their bodies and minds.
Over time, you’ll notice shifts in different aspects of your being, confirming the power of dedication to your practice.
Remember, the journey is about progress, not perfection. By staying committed and patient, you will gradually experience the multifaceted benefits of yoga, leading you toward a more balanced, peaceful, and healthier life.
Q) What’s the most amusing misconception about yoga you’ve encountered?
Shashi Sarda: One of the most common and amusing misconceptions I’ve come across is the belief that yoga is only for people who are already flexible.
It’s rather funny because yoga is precisely what helps individuals become more flexible.
I often hear from men, in particular, who assume that their lack of flexibility disqualifies them from practicing yoga. In reality, those who are less flexible are the ones who stand to benefit the most from yoga.
This misconception is gradually changing as more people, including men and youngsters, recognize the broader benefits of yoga.
The truth is, you don’t need to be flexible to start practicing yoga; in fact, yoga will help you improve your flexibility over time.
So, the notion that you have to be flexible to engage in yoga is indeed a misconception worth dispelling.
Q) What advice would you like to share with aspiring yoga instructors?
Shashi Sarda: To all the aspiring yoga instructors out there, especially the younger generation. I want to emphasize a crucial distinction.
While the current yoga landscape highlights impressive physical postures like headstands and handstands, it’s important to recognize the difference between being an exceptional asana teacher and an exceptional yoga teacher.
Becoming proficient in guiding asanas is undoubtedly valuable, but don’t overlook the essence of yoga’s philosophy.
Aspiring yoga instructors should strive to deepen their understanding of yoga’s broader principles, beyond the physical postures.
Being an excellent yoga teacher involves delving into the philosophical aspects and the deeper meaning of yoga.
Dedicating time to learning and internalizing yoga’s teachings will not only enhance your practice but also enable you to guide your students more profoundly.
Remember, a yoga teacher is not just someone who demonstrates postures but someone who imparts wisdom, inspires personal growth and nurtures a holistic yogic experience.
So, my advice is to strike a balance between mastering asanas and immersing yourself in the profound philosophy that yoga offers.
Q) Is there any other key message you would like to share with our readers?
Shashi Sarda: In conclusion, I would like to emphasize the profound therapeutic potential of yoga, particularly in addressing various physical, mental, and emotional challenges.
From personal experience, I have witnessed how yoga can truly transform lives, offering solutions to a multitude of problems that individuals might be facing.
My heartfelt advice to all is to consider incorporating yoga into your daily routine, seeking guidance from knowledgeable instructors and dedicated centers.
Whether it’s orthopedic issues, PCOS, PCOD, thyroid concerns, diabetes, or respiratory ailments like asthma, yoga has the potential to offer relief and healing.
Let’s not remain in the clutches of illness when the path to ease and well-being is right at our fingertips.
Remember, there’s a solution just around the corner – a solution that embodies the holistic wisdom and power of yoga.
Shashi Sarda, the visionary behind Yoga Central, has unveiled the remarkable potential of yoga for holistic transformation.
Shashi’s 13-year journey as a Certified Yoga Instructor, therapist, and counselor reflects her unwavering dedication to the practice’s profound impact.
As we absorb Shashi’s wisdom, we’re prompted to embrace Swadhyay, delve into Integral Chakra Psychology, and harness mindful breathing.
These principles, integral to yoga, offer transformative paths to self-discovery and resilience. Whether novices or aspiring instructors, Shashi’s insights serve as a guiding light, illuminating yoga’s profound potential.
In a world often disconnected from our well-being, Shashi Sarda’s teachings remind us that yoga transcends physical postures, fostering harmony of mind, body, and spirit.
With her guidance, we’re inspired to embark on a journey of self-discovery, growth, and healing, embracing yoga as a catalyst for profound well-being.
At the core of Shashi Sarda’s mission lies an unwavering passion for her subject. Her resounding belief that “yoga is a work in and not a workout” resonates throughout her teachings and interactions.