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The Yoga Mat & The Glimpses of Freedom - Part 2

The doctor told me ‘’ It might grow into cancer . You being a female plus in late thirties , should immediately go for the surgery of the thyroid gland”. I had issues with small lumps appearing around my thyroid gland every few years from 2003 till 2015. I was a workaholic and never bothered about my lifestyle which is primarily my food and sleep hours and of course never thought about my emotional wellness. The doctor would always suggest aspirating the fluid from the lump and send that for a test to check if it a growing tumour or cancer. It would always go away after the aspiration .So far , I had experienced this thrice in 12 years and I never thought of the disease  beyond the symptoms because I was ok living with it till one fine day ... I left my corporate life in the end of 2015 and started practicing yoga , primarily -asanas to stay fit . I was primarily focussing on getting my asanas right and nothing else . In mid of 2016 , my back broke and I took shelter in yoga and healed my back ( not myself, as I was still unaware of the power of Yoga  ) but when in the same year in December , I saw this big lump appearing in my neck, i got scared and went to get a FNAC ( aspiration of the fluid ) , this time the lump did not go away and I had to do several tests and scans to figure the ‘WHY’ ? Tumour , cancer and me ? I do yoga everyday ( read asanas ) how can this happen to me ? I kept asking the Doctors what was wrong , why did it happen ? and what is the solution. The only answer I got from reputed hospitals was that i should get surgery done and remove the left lobe of my thyroid gland to which I asked what is the guarantee that the other lobe would not swell up ? and they said no guarantee , if both are impacted , we will remove the thyroid gland and keep you on medicines for life ! 

From one hospital to another , crying for help and going through mental agony of not knowing what is happening to me I finally succumbed to the doctors suggestion of getting the surgery done. BUT ...As always , I thought of checking with Arun once and finally shared my story with him. He asked me to visit him and what I had was a thought provoking and life transforming conversation. The first question asked to me was when did i try to find the root cause and not the symptom of the disease. I don’t remember any doctor sharing that to me , all that they explained was the symptom and how that may or may not grow into cancer and how surgery was the only option left for me to fix it !!!!! I got my thyroid (t3,t4,tsh) tested and my results were fine, which meant my thyroid gland was functioning well.

I was suggested by Arun to delay the medical procedures and give mindful yoga and food therapy a chance  to treat the root cause. I changed my daily routines to attend yoga classes twice a day for 3 months and I could not BELIEVE what that did to my lump , it started shrinking in size and by end of the second month it disappeared . I continued healing it by practicing yoga ( Asanas , Breathing , Meditation ) twice a day and became more aware of the WATER i drink and the food i eat . I started feeling better , my postures became better and I became more aware of how my body can heal itself if i support it with a holistic approach. Today , I can say that these 90 days (Feb - April 2017 ) have not just treated me without  surgery or any other medical expense but gave me freedom from old habits which did not serve any purpose to me. Yoga is healing ME everyday not just my body but my mind and my soul too and I want to tell everybody I meet that complete wellness is beyond this physical body but it starts here and Yoga does show the way ! Start your practice if you have not and continue with it if you are already in the journey and find your glimpses of freedom every time you hit your yoga mat!


Nutan Panda Age 40, Gurgaon

The Yoga Mat & The Glimpses of Freedom - Part 1

How I healed my back pain …..

Life was all good and smooth till one day  (May 2016 ) when I realised the sprain kind of pain in my left leg is not getting any better and now it is accompanied with some sort of back pain. My lower back froze in June 2015 and I immediately asked my sister to take me to a doctor. Hell broke upon me when the doctor said I have a slipped disc and need multiple scans and tests. I did, and was clinically diagnosed with herniated discs and required strong pain killers and bed rest for a month or two. The medicines kept me sedated most part of the day and I could barely wake up for my meals or anything . Lying on the bed the whole day and thinking about what caused it made me sad and disappointed . After a month of resting I was advised to go for physiotherapy . They advised me to go slow with exercises and take the rest of the year easy with minimal physical activities. I was extremely upset that I would not be able to have a normal life for a year !!!!forget about the other travel adventures I am into ! Wearing a huge belt on my waist , having strong medicines and resting all day with minimal movements is not what I had signed up for !!This is when Arun connected with me and on knowing about my health educated me about my spine and how I could heal myself through yoga  rather than waiting on the bed for miracles to happen !

Practicing basic asanas everyday followed by breathing exercises like Kapalabhatti and Pranayamas (alternate nostril breathing etc. )gave me the confidence to be off  sedatives and cure my back . Understanding my spine and being mindful about my postures inside the classroom and outside , made a huge difference to my back and my life in general. Not only was I back on my feet in a month but also  could go back to my daily routine feeling much stronger than before. The relaxation and breathing process helped me connect my mind and my muscle and I observed that these simple techniques can cure anybody with back pain or any other pain. I started coming to the yoga centre daily and practicing with the group. I did not have to go for any physiotherapy anymore or visit any doctor for more tests. I am glad I made the right choice and I allowed my body to heal with the help of yoga in a very simple and non complicated manner .

Thank You.

Nutan Panda, age 40, Gurgaon 

मन में कोई लगन लगा लो, तो सब कुछ ठीक हो जाता है |

This time I decided to take up my weight management programme in a serious manner once again with special excitement! I tried various things like diet programmes, nature therapy and so on, but the weight went and kept coming back to me.

This time, in the month of Aug-Sept, 2016 my husband showed me a flier of Sivananda Yoga Centre and asked me to go and try that place, my son gave me a yoga mat and I went and tried one class and immediately subscribed for 3 months’ membership. My birthday came in November and to my family’s surprise, I asked for a subscription for one year with the Yoga Centre as my gift! Then the yoga trail started for me.

I started in winter mornings leaving the house in dark at 6:15 AM for a 6:30 AM class at South City 1 yoga centre and so on.

Last year, when I went to my family doctor, he asked me to go for mammography and a list of tests as I had some health problems like BP on the border line, cholesterol and sugar on the border line. I was scared and feared my obesity for knees and thyroid which my siblings had. That’s why I wanted to take up obesity as my serious hurdle of life.

I joined the weight loss programme on the 5th of April in 2017 under Arun Sir’s guidance; he is undoubtedly a perfect guide and a leader. The weight loss programme was for 5 weeks and I lost 4 kgs in that period and ever since I have made it a part of my life. I have been following the regime with 100% dedication and till date (15th July, 2017), I have lost about 10-11 kg.

There has been a lot of encouragement from my family, but considering my age (55+), my sons, daughters in law, daughter and sons in law consider me an inspiration. They say – “You look fit and great mom!”  And so are the neighbours and yoga friends envious and asking me – how to lose weight. My answer to them is always the same – Come to Sivananda Yoga Centre and take guidance from our guru “Mr. Arun”.

Now, after reaching this stage, my husband is happy but thinks I should d yoga and not follow the weight loss programme, as the benefits of yoga clearly show! But what about the medical benefits which I am looking at? I have aimed at 12th Aug, 2017 as my target date to be somewhere good with my weight loss programme and then go for all the tests which I got done last about a year and a half ago.

I’m feeling light and nice and energetic. My mom and dad met me last week and felt extremely happy seeing me in shape. My mom said to me, “You’re looking 15-20 years younger and all the right cuts on your face and figure are now visible”. Please continue and persevere in what you’re doing. They took a photograph with me and felt proud and nice and so is my guru Arun sir. I felt extremely, extremely happy to hear such words of appreciation from my parents.

I want to continue doing yoga for as long as possible, god willing and remain fit. It has been an amazing journey so far!

Always remember – everything is easy, when you’re crazy about it and nothing is easy when you are lazy about it. “Wake up!” Try in a determined fashion, mine has been an amazing and a successful journey so far.

Renu Gulati, Age 55


Thursday, 18th July, 2017

A Transformational Journey 

Sometimes some of the biggest events that change the course of your life can happen in the most innocuous of ways. My moment of truth happened to be a casual conversation in my presence, between some members of my family and some visiting friends. I couldn't have predicted that this was an inflection point for this 21 year old who had been in Delhi for less than six months.

The next evening found me drawn to a meeting at the Sivananda Yoga centre and a casual meeting with Arun sir. Next thing, I was well on my way on a journey that has now lasted approximately 4 months. 

One thing led to the other, and within a week I started sensing a general state of well being which drove me to persist with the classes. It took me no effort to plan the rest of my day around this yoga session. 

Next thing, I enrolled in to the centre's weight loss program, with that very intention - to lose weight. Over the course of the program, What I lost in terms of weight, I gained in terms of self belief and good health and a simple but efficient way of life. In those 4 weeks I went through a process of physical, emotional and spiritual cleansing which is why I refer to it as a transformational experience. 

Before the end of the program, my asthma had disappeared (despite the NCR winter and pollution) and my skin allergy (as a result of my asthma) had also disappeared. 

I have intentionally left the weight loss part of it to the end, lest one believes that losing weight will be one's biggest gain at the Sivananda Yoga Centre. But yet it has to be said - in the 4 weeks of the weight loss program I lost a total of 13 kilos and in the following 2 months I shed another 12 kilos. So in these 3-4 months I'm 25 kgs lighter, high on energy, high on self belief and living a lifestyle that I know I can sustain forever. I'm grateful to Arun Sir, the other trainers, the other participants, all of who have been most encouraging and helpful through the journey. 


Suraj Nedungadi (age 21)

22 February 2018, Gurgaon

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