I would like to Introduce Narayan Shastri Yoga practitioner, from Bengaluru, Karnataka. I met him on instagram. He is the most curious person i have ever met.
Where are you from and/or where do you live?
I, Narayan, was born and brought up, and live in Bengaluru city, Karnataka state.
How did yoga come into your life?
I used to frequently get common cold and cough during my childhood and teen years. Working on a computer or laptop, I used to get chronic lower backache. I took to yoga upon the advice of my physician and orthopaedic surgeon, who asked me to lie down on his examination table and instructed me to do alternate nostrils breathing, crunches, hip and leg raises. Thus began my yoga journey.
How long have you been practicing yoga?
I have been practising yoga since 2000.
Who were you before you started practicing and how have you changed, evolved and transformed?
I was a not-really-focused person. with a mix of shyness and impetuousness. I do see some positive changes within me ever since I started doing yoga.
Why did you decide to start teaching yoga and what qualities do you feel are important to build and work on as a yoga teacher?
I am not a certified yoga practitioner.
What has been your biggest struggle and your biggest milestone in the practice, in teaching, and within the yoga community?
Perhaps my biggest struggle was the balancing poses called Shirshasana (headstand) and Bakasana (crane pose). In the first attempt at the headstand, I landed hard on my lower back, and hurt my nose while attempting the crane pose. Now, I am able to practice both poses confidently.
Having read about the abdominal churning somewhere, I tried it, probably the incorrect way. It led to inguinal hernia that required surgery in 2005. I now practice it carefully.
I have had been shy. On tours with family or friends, I would hesitate to take off my clothes and get into the lake, river or sea water. I felt that shyness could be a problem and had to find a solution to it. In the initial days of my yoga journey, I once tried a yoga pose shirtless and I felt great. So I started practicing shirtless yoga. It has been a rewarding experience. I find shirtless yoga therapeutic and it has immensely helped me gain confidence. Self-confidence is very important to do well in life. My Instagram account “shirtlessyogaguy” has encapsulated my yoga journey so far.
What has been the most inspirational moment you’ve experienced as a yoga student?
I go through the posts of yogis and yoginis I follow on Instagram. I would try the poses myself and credit them in the captions. Appreciation from these professionals have been the inspirational moments. Also, I receive their correction suggestions and try the poses in the proper manner.
I would like to specially mention you (Aadnyankita Mhatre-Ghorpade), Gunjan Sharma, Kavita Pant, and a group called Yoga With Motivation as great catalysts in my yoga journey.
Why do you practice?
I practice yoga for fitness, flexibility and to feel good overall.
Do you have any recommended yoga reading?
“Light on Yoga”- BKS Iyengar
“Yoga – Mind and Body”- Swami Sivananda Yoga Centre (the catalyst for me to take yoga seriously)
Through your own personal journey, what do you feel is your path and offering to the community- local and global?
I have no plans of becoming a professional teacher, but yes, i would love to get a certification in yoga. After this, I can think about guiding others in the community.
What advice would you give to someone who is just starting out on their yoga journey?
I can only advise them to practice with dedication and the results will follow. More importantly, yoga is always learnt through others. Interact with them if you follow them on social media. Seek tips and feedback from them. If they suggest some corrections, incorporate them and practice the right way.
Are there any current projects you’re working on that you can tell us about?
I am a part of a fitness program conducted by Kavita Pant (TheIndianYogaGirl) to gain some muscle and tenacity. These fun-filled workout classes have been helping me maintain constant weight and overall fitness. Kavita is a great motivator and trainer with an awesome sense of humour.
What’s your Favorite Book?
Valmiki Ramayan (Hindi)
What’s your favorite meal at a restaurant?
What’s your favorite meal to make at home?
Chapati, bittergourd curry
What do you like to do for fun that’s non-yoga related?
Travelling to places I have not yet visited
Sipping beer once a month
Who is your greatest inspiration?
Aadnyankita Mhatre Ghorpade
Above all, Lord Shiva.
Do you have a favourite podcast?
What’s your favorite quote/affirmation/mantra?
Live your life before you leave your life
Be REAL, not perfect
What is your life’s biggest question?
Is life fair enough?