Thursday, February 09, 2017

Stretching The Muscles.......

Anubha George propagates the little-known yin yoga 

Photos by K. Shijith

By Shevlin Sebastian

The hall, at 'Me Met Me', in Panampilly Nagar, Kochi, is in semi-darkness. At one corner, against the wall, there are a row of muted lights. There is a wooden table nearby. Just in front of it, on the mat-laden floor sits Meeta Kurian (name changed). Hovering next to her is yoga instructor Anubha George.

The posture which we will be doing is called the reclining butterfly,” says Anubha. “For this, we need a prop, like a bolster.” Anubha then places one behind Meeta. Thereafter, Meeta lies down, her back on the bolster. Then, she extend her legs in such a way that the soles of her feet are pressed together.

This posture is a hip-opener,” says Anubha. “It is great for your menstrual cycle, especially if it is irregular. This posture allows us to breathe more deeply, so we can inhale into the belly and then let out a long, and soft exhale.”

Anubha is a proponent of a lesser known yoga called yin. It has elements of Hatha yoga, Taoism, and western science. Asked the difference with other systems, Anubha says, “In most yoga practices, you move from one posture to another. This is a yang way to do things. That suits most of us fine. Because the mind likes to move from one thing to another. But yin is softer, deeper, and a slower way of doing yoga.”

You are in one posture, from two to five minutes, depending on which asana you are doing. The best aspect is that it helps your mobility. “Your connective tissues, joints and ligaments become stronger,” says Anubha. “And the reason is because you are holding a posture so much longer.”

Her students agree. Freelance IT consultant Pallavi Sharma says. “There are parts of the body that are very stiff. Thanks to yin yoga, all these are stretched out and the flexibility of the body is enhanced. You begin to feel a lot more relaxed as well as lithe. At night, you get a good sleep.”

Interestingly, many sportsmen use yin yoga. “In their profession, their muscles are used so much,” says Anubha. “So, this stretching helps in lengthening their careers.”

Anubha came across yin yoga in England more than ten years ago. She had gone there, following her marriage to Dr. Sanju George, a psychiatrist, whom she met and fell in love when both were in Bangalore. Interestingly, Anubha is from Rajasthan. 

In England, Anubha worked in BBC Radio 1. However, recently, the couple, with their children, five-year-old Rahul, and two-year-old Juhi, relocated to George's home town of Kochi. And the move has been good for Anubha. Simply put, she loves Kochi.

I don't want to live anywhere else in India now,” she says. “I love the people, the place, food and the weather. The people are shy, but welcoming, and they take you in. My parents also love Kochi. They come three to four times a year.”

Meanwhile, apart from her yin yoga classes, Anubha is also a guest lecturer, in journalism and communications, at the Sacred Heart College of Communication. She also teaches a radio module at a journalism school in Kottayam. Her husband, on the other hand, works as a consultant in Rajagiri Hospital at Aluva.

Life is good,” says Anubha. 

(The New Indian Express, Kochi and Thiruvananthapuram)

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