There has been a substantial rise in demand for yoga experts post Covid-19, and for the better. Coping with stress and anxiety during the prolonged lockdown made people more conscious of their lifestyle choices. Many have resorted to yoga, making it an integral part of their routine to stay fit and healthy.
We got in touch with celebrity yoga expert Ira Trivedi who’s been practising and advocating yoga for two decades now. Ira is the founder of Yog Love, an online yoga studio offering live yoga classes for an immersive spiritual and fitness experience. Her expertise lies in classical yoga - pranayama (breathwork), asana (posture) and dhyana (meditation). She’s written several books on yoga, ‘The 10-minute Yoga Solution’, being one of the best-sellers. Her Instagram feed is the ultimate guide in toning and sculpting your face with yoga, reduce jawline fat, anti-aging yoga to reduce wrinkles, fine lines, depuff your under-eye bags and so much more. In a conversation with Zee Zest, Ira talks about the craziest places she’s exercised, her passion for yoga and favourite asanas.
1. What inspired you to become a yoga trainer?
My yoga teaching was inspired through my encounter with yoga at a very young age. I come from a family which has many, many generations of Vedic scholars and teachers and by seeing the lifestyle of my grandparents, great grandparents, I was always deeply inclined towards leading a yoga life. I went to the USA and did my MBA at Columbia Business School but the urge of coming back to India was always there. I began my spiritual search at the age of 20, where I visited lots and lots of places. And I finally found my home at the Sivananda Ashram, Mumbai where yoga was taught, not as just a physical practice, but as a way of life. That's what really led me to understand the deep transformational effects of yoga and I understood that this is something that I wanted to do and share with the world.
2. Do you have any formal training as a yoga instructor? Tell us more about your teacher training.
Yes, I have. I hold an RYT (Registered Yoga Teacher) certification, which is the highest form of certification by Yoga Alliance, the most recognized board of yoga across the world. In fact, at Yog Love, we do teacher training courses, which are accredited by yoga Alliance USA as well. I have done training over the past 17 years.
3. What are some of the craziest places where you've exercised?
I do yoga almost every single day of my life, whether it's high altitude in Ladakh or in a private jet. I've actually taught and done yoga in a private jet that was travelling from London to New York. I think that was pretty cool.
4. What styles of yoga do you have experience teaching?
I teach traditional hatha yoga. That's my forte, which is a very traditional form of yoga. I do balance it with some anger techniques, by using props, which makes hatha yoga feasible for everyone. I also teach restorative yoga, which is basically holding simple postures for a very long amount of time. So I truly believe in yoga as a technique for meditation and restoration more than anything else that helps to cure our nervous system and endocrine system. So almost everyone in my classes aims to teach yoga beyond just a physical practice.
5. What makes you passionate about teaching yoga? Do you view yoga as more physical or mental exercise?
I am passionate about teaching yoga because I've experienced personally the hugely transformative effects of yoga and what it has done to my life. And definitely yoga is a very holistic practice, mentally, physically, spiritually, and emotionally.
6. How has practising yoga benefited your life?
I am in the best shape of my life since I am doing yoga. For my mental body, my mind, I feel like yoga makes me a much more positive person. For my emotional body, I feel like I can really inculcate right and genuine relationships through yoga. And of course, on a soul level, I think yoga has really been the key to my spiritual journey.
7. What are some of your favourite asanas and their benefits?
My favourite asana is the Sirsasana - headstand. It wasn't easy for me. I tried this asana for many, many, many years, and finally I got it. For some people Sirsasana is really easy and now I can hold a Sirsasana for 20 minutes. It's the most beneficial asana of all of yoga. It has such deep effects on your nervous system, endocrine system, circulatory system, respiratory system as well. So Sirsasana is my go-to asana.
8. You are a celebrity yoga trainer, who are your celeb clients?
I've trained ministers and ambassadors worldwide. I led the first international yoga day, along with Dr Ishwar Basavaraddi, who is the director of Morarji Desai National Institute of Yoga, where we broke the Guinness World Records for having the largest class, the largest number of nationalities in that class. In that class our Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal and all the cabinet ministers and dignitaries were also present. So, that was one of the most beautiful experiences of my life.