Indira’s earliest ‘fitness-related’ childhood memories are of her father – shaking her and her brothers’ awake everyday at the crack of dawn for a jog/swim/rowing/tennis. “Even the hapless family dog was not spared!” she says. As kids, she and her brothers despised their dad’s strict nature, but today she is deeply grateful to him for instilling a lifelong commitment to physical fitness. Her dad is her first guru – his photograph occupies a pride of place in her Yoga room. Her first encounter with Yoga was a complimentary class held in her college in Chennai. She enjoyed it thoroughly but did not pursue it – finding Jane Fonda and step aerobics so much more ‘glamorous’ and exciting. At that time, she says, ‘I had zero knowledge of just how incredible an art and science Yoga is.’ Following a Masters in Communication, Indira began a 25 year long career in Advertising. The stress – and eventually – the meaninglessness of her work led her to dive deeper into the practice of Yoga. Initially, it was about mastering the Asanas, but a couple of years later, her Ashtanga Yoga teacher introduced her to the philosophy behind the practice, and there was no looking back. With her guru’s blessings, the next several years were an ‘insane’ mix of Advertising, intense personal sadhana, and study of Yoga philosophy. Quitting advertising was, she says – inevitable.
She completed her RYT 200 and 500 and has, since then, been teaching full-time at a1000yoga. In the last three years she has been on the faculty of a1000yoga’s Teacher Training Certification Courses as well.
Irrespective of the ‘style’ of Yoga, her approach is to give her practitioners more than just a physical workout. “Yoga is so much more than asana – and I always attempt to include a hint of that in my classes. I think of it as scattering a handful of seeds into the earth. Who knows – one or two may sprout!”. She is one of a1000yoga’s most experienced teachers – but Indira believes her Yoga journey has only just begun. ‘My exploration of Yoga is now slowly making me a bit of a social misfit’, she says. ‘I am becoming more and more indifferent to everything the world values. I question everything – including my own reactions. I watch myself do/say/want things and think how pointless it is to do/say/want those things. It’s a crazy way to live. But I’m not turning back.’
RYT200, RYT500, RYT200 (Akshay Power Yoga Academy)