Make Today Your Different Day

The International Day of Yoga is a day, that is celebrated across the world annually on June 21 following its adoption by the United Nations in 2014.

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Make Today Your Different Day

Make Today Your Different Day by Catherine Hartley

The International Day of Yoga is a day, that is celebrated across the world annually on June 21 following its adoption by the United Nations in 2014.  Yogi Practices were shown to have such benefits for physical, mental, emotional, & spiritual wellbeing – so significant that the practice, with origins in ancient India, was considered important enough by the UN to globally promote this.

I’ve just been speaking to Dr.Priti Thakkar, Senior Clinician at Optimal Health following a 1-1 online Yoga session she has held with a client, Anna.  I’ve attended Yoga sessions myself many times in the past – pregnancy, post-partum, baby Yoga, and more recently to quiet the stressed body and tired mind – but never have I truly understood the depth that the science goes and the restorative potential of the practice.  It can help heal an overworked liver or relieve constipation for instance, digestive imbalances, restore the nervous system, assist in the repair and rejuvenation of the body’s healing mechanisms as much as it offers deep relaxation and meditation techniques. Priti’s face lights up as she tells me that her client, Anna, had just told her after her session was over “I’m already feeling something different”.  It is clear that this positive reaction is one that Priti lives for in her work.

Priti’s own journey with Yoga started in 1997 when she joined her temple in India.  Her calling was to heal people and so she, guided by her Spiritual Master, was encouraged to heal herself before healing others.  At that time Priti, and her fellow students, were taught to undertake 51 sun salutations a day – these are a combination of 12 different exercises involving movement and breathwork.  She tells me that this equates to a full-body workout. In her five-year degree training of Naturopathy and Yogic Sciences, each year was a deep dive, focused on philosophy and therapeutic Yogic practice one at a time. Priti said that she had a profound realisation that there was huge merit in living a Yogic lifestyle.  She had relocated to a different part of India for her study where the weather and environment, the people, and the food were alien to her.  She and her fellow students never once fell ill.  One day a week they went through regular Yogic Kriya practices (Yogic cleansing techniques) such as Jalaneti, Sutraneti, Vamana Dhouti, and Vastra Dhouti which she found transformational, understanding how powerful Yoga is – keeping the body in continuous harmony, keeping it balanced, keeping it healing itself!

Priti’s final year and her assessment required her to design therapeutic protocols for various diseases and disorders – a sequence bespoke to the client which is the prescriptive approach that she offers our clients today.  The scope of these prescriptions is so vast and involve a series of tailored techniques involving movement, breathwork, and awareness.  Priti tells me that conscious awareness of the breath while practicing Pranayama and other Yogic techniques is a powerful tool for the client to overcome any mental or emotional blockages, induce relaxation, reduce inflammation, and empower self-healing.

Dr.Priti Thakkar, Bachelor of Naturopathy and Yogic Sciences, Senior Clinician at Optimal Health

Priti says, “If you want to be proactive for the day, feel energized, fresh, focused, not tired, more active with boosted circulation and flexibility – starting your day with Yoga or some breathwork can prove magical. It supports your nervous system, and rebalances your vagus nerve which helps so much with anxiety and depression.”  Now I am thinking beyond writing the article and wanting to book an appointment with Priti pronto just to feel more energised than I already do.  I mean, who would turn down feeling as amazing as she does every day?

Priti doesn’t come down to our Winchester clinic every day so I was interested to know how she organised her clinic sessions with clients online.  It is very simple, she assures me.  Clients set up their sessions at home on their Yoga mats with Priti guiding them through a tailored session just for them.  She favours the Yoga Nidra approach for a session usually for one hour but can be up to an hour and a half.  This always starts with deep relaxation for around 45 minutes.  Getting into a deeper state of relaxation, the subconscious mind comes to the fore and this is when breaking the bond or the hold of the negative thoughts, feelings or pain is the most effective. Priti guides the client to tell the body that it is relaxed and nourished, which is where the real magic happens.  In fact, she tells me that in days gone by, Yogis and Rishis used to sit beside their pregnant wives who were in a relaxed state to read them the scriptures so that the child was born with the knowledge already. 

Depending on the bespoke program that Priti prescribes for a client, she may use a mix of Pranayama, Yogic Mudras (hand gestures), and Tai chi exercises as well to work on the meridian and organs, if appropriate, including using specific other movements and Yogic postures which helps the energy around the targeted area. “There are so many modalities that I use and this changes with every client,” She says.

“By the time some people find Yoga, their body has already let out a cry.  To see the real benefit, either physical or for stress management and emotional support, clients need to be committed to their sessions. If they do one every week, they, like my client Anna, will see a change.”

More about International Day of Yoga

The initiative for ‘Yoga Day’ was taken by India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi in his 2014 UN address, and the related resolution received broad global support, with 177 nations co-sponsoring it in the United Nations General Assembly, where it passed unanimously. Subsequently, the first International Yoga Day was celebrated successfully on June 21, 2015 across the world including New York, Paris, Beijing, Bangkok, Kuala Lumpur, Seoul and New Delhi. The International Day of Yoga promotes the physical, mental, and spiritual benefits of practicing Yoga. It encompasses a range of techniques designed to integrate the mind, body, and spirit. The United Nations officially recognized this day in 2014, aiming to globally promote the wellness practice of Yoga. Since then, it has been observed across the world, with events held in various cities around the world. Yoga’s universal appeal lies in its positive impact on physical and mental well-being. So, whether you’re a seasoned Yogi or a beginner, consider celebrating this day by practicing some asanas and connecting with your inner self! 

 “Your health is all in your hands and it can be as little as to change the way you breathe.  You hold the capacity, the power, the magical thing to make a difference to the way you feel, inside and out.  It starts with today, with a decision to do things differently to breathe differently to make that change happen.”

If you want to find out more about our tailored sessions with breathwork, Yoga, brain mapping, and how to improve your mobility, digestive health, hormonal health, lymphatic drainage, emotional health, mental health, cell voltage and vitality, stress management, and vagus nerve reset – the list is extensive – please do get in touch with us.  It is easy, to either fill out our enquiry form, email our Care Team at careteam@optimal-healthgroup.com or call 0330 223 6553.

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