Yama, Niyama, Asana, Pranayama, Pratyahara, Dharana, Dhyana and Samadhi are considered to be the eight limbs of Yoga, and it is safe to say that Nivedita Joshi has mastered them all in her journey through Yoga. As we look forward to celebrate the International Day of Yoga on June 21, 2022, Nivedita takes us through this year’s theme — Yoga for Humanity: Cure Through Iyengar Yoga.
Speaking about the event, Nivedita says, “Every year, at Yogakshema, we do a prelude to the International Yoga Day. [Previously] I have presented on topics such as Art of Yoga, Science of Yoga and an Amalgamation of Art, Science and Philosophy. As this year the theme is Yoga for Humanity, I am showcasing four different cases where doctors or modern science said, ‘thank you very much, we can’t help you more’. And through their research they came to me, and I used Yoga as a tool to help them. The results were phenomenal.”
Nivedita, who has been a student or a disciple of Yoga Guru BKS Iyengar for more than 22 years, shared insights on her journey in Yoga, and how she fought through “an early slipped disc” in her adolescence. “I was 15 years old when I was sitting on the floor for a puja. Everyone could get up after three hours of Puja, and I couldn’t. Basically, my spine collapsed, and there were no MRIs those days. The then doctor said that it was a muscle weakness, but actually it was a very early young age slipped disc. And since there was no proper diagnosis, by the 12th year I was completely bedridden and needed wheelchair support, too,” she shares.
Nivedita is a qualified microbiologist and was a gold medalist in her Master’s Degree. “By the time I finished my masters, I was a Gold medalist, etc. But I was very unhappy, and science was my passion. That is when I realized if you don’t have good health, there is nothing. That is when my father [Senior BJP Leader Murli Manohar Joshi] and I started searching and Nanaji Deshmukh suggested about Mr Iyengar. It was the turning point in my life, I have never looked back after that,” she elucidates.
She highlights that her training under Yoga Guru BKS Iyengar was nothing less than that of Mary Kom. “It was a very strong training. He used to start my practice at 8am and it would end at 8pm. It was a very ecstatic feeling for me because I had lost my grip, my mother used to feed me, I was unable to tie my hair, I was unable to walk more than 5 minutes and I would land on my wheelchair again and again. My spine was like a vegetable. What was interesting was that my non-functional body was becoming lively. And as a scientist, I could see what he was doing was extremely scientific,” Nivedita reminisces.
Nivedita believes that “other form of discipline is yoga” and firmly follows this in her life as well. Ask her about the modern day lifestyle and how youngsters could lead a healthy life through yoga, she says, “Two things, and I know they will hate me for saying this — to sleep in the night and to get up in the morning. Because of our work culture, we have stopped sleeping [properly] in the night, and we get up late in the morning. With this, the entire hormonal system goes for a toss. It is proven by science that if you kill the biological clock because of any reason, you kill your entire system. Once the youngsters will understand the value of the biological clock, then the practice of any kinds of sport, to begin with, would be a very good idea. However, to get a mind and body sync, you need Yoga.”
Nivedita Joshi will be hosting Yogakshema’s Yoga for Humanity: Cure through Iyengar Yoga session today, June 17, 2022. The Chief Guest for the event is Hon’ble Minister of Civil Aviation Shri Jyotiraditya M Scindia, and Dr KK Talwar, former Chairman, Medical Council of India will be the Guest of Honour.
The event will be held at Yogakshema, 65-67 Deendayal Upadhayaya Marg, Rouse Avenue, near Sarvodaya School, New Delhi, from 6.30pm.