Written By: UMA Editorial Team |

Published on: November 23, 2023



1. In your opinion, what are the first 3-5 things an individual can do to get started on a Yogic way of life?


  • Daily Asana Practice: My Guru used to say “Practice at the same time and at the same place every single day”. Consistency is the key, even if you can only spare a few minutes each day. Don’t be too hard on yourself if you can’t practice for a complete hour or if you didn’t incorporate all the postures into your practice. Be kind to yourself and embrace the journey, even if you can’t dedicate a full hour to practice or if you haven’t included every posture. Remember, it’s not about perfection, but about showing up on the mat with love and intention.
  • Mindful Breathing: Cultivate a regular pranayama practice to increase the pranic energy (bio-energy) in their system. Practice deep breathing exercises focusing on slow, deep inhalations, retentions and exhalations. This helps calm the mind, reduce stress, and enhance overall well-being.
  • Meditation Practice: Set aside dedicated time each day for meditation. Start with short sessions and gradually increase the duration. Find a quiet space, sit comfortably, and focus on your breath, a mantra, or a point of concentration. This practice promotes inner peace, mental clarity, and self-awareness.
  • Self-Study and Self-Reflection: Engage in self-study (svadhyaya) and self-reflection. Set aside time to contemplate your thoughts, actions, and beliefs. Journaling, reading spiritual books and seeking knowledge from reputable sources can deepen your understanding of yourself and the yogic path.


2. Can you share a few examples of when you have seen Yoga at its most transformative, or essentially its best? 


I have seen major physical as well as mental transformation through the continued practice of yoga. I was born with extreme inflexibility as a child, I couldn’t even sit with my legs crossed, a basic aspect of Indian culture. However, I committed myself to regular and uninterrupted yoga practice, and over time, I witnessed a remarkable physical transformation. Not only did my flexibility improve and my posture become more aligned, but this journey also revealed the incredible potential within each of us. Yoga truly has the power to reshape our bodies and uplift our spirits, showing us that we are capable of incredible growth and transformation.

The experiences of my students continue to reinforce my faith in the transformative power of yoga. One remarkable instance involved a pregnant student who, upon her doctor’s recommendation, started practicing yoga during her final trimester. Initially facing the possibility of a non-natural delivery, she diligently continued her practice and witnessed incredible results. Her pelvic bone pain and lower back pain eased significantly, and to our amazement, she successfully gave birth naturally, surpassing the need for a C-section. 


3. Are there certain situations, persons, or diseases that you have found Yoga to be more valuable for? 


  • Chronic Pain Conditions: Individuals dealing with chronic pain conditions, such as fibromyalgia, arthritis, or back pain, often find relief through yoga. Gentle movements, stretching, and relaxation techniques in yoga go a long way to reduce pain and improve flexibility.
  • Mental Health Disorders: Yoga and pranayama positively impacts mental health by regulating the autonomic nervous system, reducing sympathetic activity and increasing parasympathetic activity which immensely help individuals with mental health disorders like depression, anxiety and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). 
  • Pregnancy: Yoga can support a healthy pregnancy by improving maternal fitness as it helps alleviate common discomforts such as back pain, swelling, and insomnia, promotes relaxation and stress reduction, improves strength and flexibility for labor and delivery.
  • Age-Related Concerns: As people age, they may face specific challenges like balance issues or age-related ailments like schizophrenia. Yoga can help address these concerns by improving strength, flexibility, and balance, enhancing mobility, and promoting healthy aging.
  • Respiratory Disorders: Breathing exercises (pranayama) in yoga can be valuable for individuals with respiratory conditions such as asthma or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). It is already proven to improve lung function during COVID by enhancing the breathing capacity of the patients.


4. Are there situations or conditions you believe Yoga may not work, or that other modalities may provide greater impact? 


Answer: I believe that there are no situations or conditions where yoga would not work. Yoga’s holistic nature allows it to be adaptable and beneficial for a wide range of situations and conditions. As a holistic science, ashtanga yoga is an 8-limbed path which offers a comprehensive approach to well-being that extends beyond just asana practice. While asana practice is a fundamental aspect, yoga encompasses ethical principles (yamas and niyamas), pranayama (breathwork), pratyahara (withdrawal of senses), meditation (dharana and dhyana) to reach the state of pure consciousness (samadhi).

However, it is important to note that yoga asanas are not meant to replace medical treatments or interventions in certain cases. There may be instances where other modalities can provide complementary impact in conjunction with yoga. It is always advisable to consult with healthcare professionals to determine the most suitable and effective course of action based on individual circumstances and needs.


5. What are some recommendations you have for someone to get the most out of their initial Yoga journey? 


  • Start with a Beginner’s Mindset: Approach yoga with an open and curious mindset, free from expectations or judgments. Embrace the learning process and be patient with yourself as you explore and experience new aspects of yoga.
  • Find a Qualified Instructor: Seek guidance from a qualified yoga instructor who can teach you proper alignment, techniques, and help you build a strong foundation. A skilled instructor will ensure your safety and provide personalized guidance based on your needs and abilities.
  • Practice Regularly: Consistency is key in yoga. Set aside dedicated time for practice, even if it’s just a few minutes each day. Regularity will help you build strength, flexibility, and deepen your understanding of the practice.
  • Listen to Your Body: Pay attention to your body’s signals and honor its limitations. Respect your boundaries and avoid pushing yourself beyond what feels comfortable or safe. Gradually challenge yourself, but always prioritize self-care and listen to your body’s needs.
  • Embrace Mindfulness and Breath Awareness: Yoga is not just about physical postures. Cultivate mindfulness by connecting with your breath and being fully present in each moment of your practice. Focus on the sensations, thoughts, and emotions that arise, and let go of distractions.
  • Stay Hydrated and Nourished: Maintain proper hydration before, during, and after your practice. Eat nourishing meals and fuel your body with balanced nutrition to support your energy levels and overall well-being.


6. When choosing a Yoga Instructor, what are some of the questions you recommend someone ask? Are there other things you recommend people research to ensure a good fit with their Yoga Instructor?


  • Qualifications and Experience:
  • What certifications or training does the instructor have?
  • How long have they been teaching yoga?
  • Do they have experience working with individuals of different levels or specific conditions as per your requirement?
  • Teaching Style and Approach:
    • What style(s) of yoga do they specialize in?
    • Do they emphasize alignment, spiritual aspects, or a specific focus in their teaching?
    • Are they adaptable to individual needs and modifications?
  • Class Structure and Environment:
    • What is the typical class duration and format?
    • Is the class suitable for beginners or mixed-level practitioners?
    • Is the class conducted in-person or online, and what is the studio or virtual environment like?
  • Safety and Support:
    • How do they prioritize student safety and injury prevention?
    • Are they knowledgeable about modifications for injuries or health conditions?
    • What measures do they have to voice any concerns or discomfort they may have for reporting incidents of sexual harassment?
  • Communication and Feedback:
    • How do they encourage student engagement and provide feedback?
    • Are they approachable and open to answering questions?


7. What are the top 3-5 Ayurvedic herbs you believe we all need in our lives? Do they have any caveats or contra-indications in some situations?


  • Triphala: Triphala is a digestive tonic and to support bowel regularity. It is generally safe for most individuals but may cause loose stools in some people if taken in high doses.
  • Turmeric: Turmeric contains a compound called curcumin, known for its anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. It is generally safe for most individuals, but high doses may have blood-thinning effects, so caution is advised for individuals on blood-thinning medications or undergoing surgery.
  • Tulsi: Tulsi is considered a sacred herb in Ayurveda and is known for its immune-supportive properties. It is generally safe for most individuals when used in culinary amounts or as tea, but caution is advised for individuals with bleeding disorders or those taking blood-thinning medications.
  • Ginger: Ginger helps improve digestion, reduces nausea and supports overall digestive health. It is also commonly used for its anti-inflammatory and immune-boosting properties. However, in some cases, it may cause mild gastrointestinal discomfort or interact with certain medications, such as blood thinners or antacids.
  • Ashwagandha: Ashwagandha helps the body cope with stress and promotes overall well-being. However, it may not be suitable for individuals with autoimmune conditions so it’s important to consult with a healthcare professional before use.


8. What are the few Ayurvedic spices we must all have in our kitchens?


  • Turmeric: Known for its vibrant yellow color and powerful antioxidant properties, turmeric is commonly used in Indian cooking. It has anti-inflammatory effects and supports overall well-being. Turmeric can be added to curries, pulses, smoothies, and golden milk.
  • Cumin: Cumin seeds have a warm and earthy flavor. They aid digestion, help alleviate bloating, and enhance the absorption of nutrients. Cumin can be used in various dishes, including curries, lentils, roasted vegetables, and spice blends.
  • Coriander: Coriander seeds and powder have a mild and citrusy flavor. They support digestion, help balance blood sugar levels, and have cooling properties. Coriander is commonly used in curries, marinades, chutneys, and spice mixes.
  • Ginger: Ginger adds a warm and spicy flavor to dishes and is well-known for its digestive benefits. It aids digestion, reduces inflammation, and supports immune health. Fresh ginger can be grated or sliced and added to curries, stir-fries, teas, and smoothies.
  • Cinnamon: Cinnamon has a sweet and warming taste. It helps balance blood sugar levels, aids digestion, and has antioxidant properties. Cinnamon can be used in sweet and savory dishes, such as oatmeal, desserts, curries, and spiced beverages.
  • Cardamom: Cardamom has a unique and aromatic flavor. It aids digestion, freshens breath, and has a calming effect on the mind. Cardamom pods or powder can be added to desserts, teas, rice dishes, and spice blends.


9. Could you share a favorite Ayurvedic recipe? (could be anything – an Ayurvedic breakfast or tea, a cold remedy, something for indigestion, or detoxing)


Kadha is herbal tea which can be consumed during seasonal changes, when experiencing cold or flu symptoms, for digestive issues, during detoxification or cleansing, or as a general health tonic. Kadha is believed to help boost immunity, relieve cough and congestion and provide relief from cold and flu symptoms.


  • 2 cups of water
  • 1 inch fresh ginger, grated or thinly sliced
  • 4-5 tulsi (holy basil) leaves
  • 1 teaspoon whole black peppercorns
  • 1-2 whole cloves, crushed
  • 2 cardamom, crushed
  • 1/2 teaspoon jaggery (optional)


  1. In a saucepan, bring the water to a boil.

  2. Add the grated ginger, tulsi leaves, black peppercorns, cloves, and cardamom to the boiling water.

  3. Reduce the heat and let the mixture simmer for about 5-10 minutes, allowing the herbs and spices to infuse into the water.

  4. Remove the saucepan from heat and strain the kadha into a cup, discarding the solids.

  5. If desired, add jaggery to sweeten the kadha.

  6. Sip the warm kadha slowly while it is still hot.


10. {PLEASE PICK 1 or more as you see fit!}  Can you share a brief overview of the doshic or lifestyle or other imbalances that can lead to the following common ailments? What do you see as the path back to balance?



  • Imbalance: Aggravated Vata dosha, leading to poor digestion and gas formation.
  • Path to balance: Follow a Vata-pacifying diet and lifestyle. Include warm, cooked foods, avoid cold and raw foods, practice regular meal times, consume digestive spices like ginger and cumin, and engage in yoga postures such as balasana and pawanmuktasana to improve digestion.

Persistent Weight Loss:

  • Imbalance: Imbalances in all three doshas (Vata, Pitta, and Kapha) can contribute to weight issues.
  • Path to balance: Identify the dominant dosha contributing to weight imbalance. Follow a well-balanced diet specific to your dosha, engage in regular yoga asana and pranayama practice to manage stress levels.

Hair Fall:

  • Imbalance: Pitta dosha excess, leading to excessive heat, inflammation, and weakened hair follicles.
  • Path to balance: Balance Pitta dosha through a Pitta-pacifying diet and lifestyle. Include cooling foods like fresh fruits and vegetables, avoid excessive heat and exposure to the sun, practice scalp massages with oils like coconut or brahmi, and manage stress levels.

Endocrine Issues:

  • Imbalance: Imbalances in multiple doshas, particularly Vata and Pitta, can affect the endocrine system and hormone production.
  • Path to balance: Consult with an Ayurvedic practitioner for a personalized approach. Focus on balancing the specific doshas involved, follow a balanced diet, manage stress through meditation or relaxation techniques, and consider herbal remedies that support hormonal balance.


  • Imbalance: Imbalanced Vata dosha, leading to poor sleep, excessive stress, and low energy levels.
  • Path to balance: Establish a regular sleep routine, practice stress management techniques like yoga nidra, consume nourishing and easy-to-digest foods and incorporate kapalbhati and chakrasana to daily yoga practice.

Hormonal problems in women:

  • Imbalance: Imbalances in multiple doshas, particularly Vata and Pitta, can affect hormone regulation in women.
  • Path to balance: Focus on a diet and lifestyle that supports hormonal balance. Incorporate herbal herbs such as Ashwagandha and yoga practices such as Sarvangasana and Nadi Shodhanam designed to support women’s hormonal health.

Menstrual problems:

  • Imbalance: Imbalances in all three doshas can contribute to menstrual irregularities and discomfort.
  • Path to balance: Practice stress reduction techniques such as abdominal breathing, engage in regular yoga practice with postures such as Badhhakonasana and Upavishta konasana and ensure proper rest and self-care during menstruation.

Difficult menopause conditions:

  • Imbalance: Vata and Pitta imbalances can contribute to challenging menopause symptoms.
  • Path to balance: Follow a Pitta and Vata-pacifying diet and lifestyle. Incorporate cooling foods such as chia seeds, practice relaxation techniques like meditation or yoga nidra, stay physically active, and practice Iyengar yoga postures with props to hold the postures for long duration for building muscle strength.


  • Imbalance: Imbalances in multiple doshas, particularly Pitta and Vata, can trigger migraines.
  • Path to balance: Identify triggers and avoid them, maintain a regular sleep routine, manage stress levels, practice relaxation techniques, and engage in cleansing practices like Jal Neti for clearing nasal congestion and improving sinus function.


11. Please paint the picture of a Yoga journey under your care as an instructor. How do you recommend patients make the best of remote sessions and gain the maximum benefit before coming in for in-person sessions?


  • Personalized Assessment: I begin by conducting a thorough assessment of each student’s needs, goals, and any specific health concerns. This helps me tailor the Yoga practice to their individual requirements and limitations.
  • Customized Practice: Based on the assessment, I design personalized Yoga sequences with the use of yoga props that address the student’s specific needs. These sequences include asanas (postures), pranayama (breathing exercises), meditation with singing bowls, and relaxation techniques. Detailed instructions and modifications are provided to ensure safety and accessibility.
  • Focus on Alignment and Awareness: I emphasize the importance of proper alignment and body awareness during the remote sessions. Through verbal cues, visual demonstrations, and alignment cues, I guide students to develop a conscious practice and reduce the chances of injuries.
  • Clear Communication: During remote sessions, clear and effective communication is vital. I ensure that instructions and cues are conveyed in a precise and easily understandable manner. Students are encouraged to ask questions, seek clarifications and provide feedback.
  • Regular Progress Evaluation: I monitor students’ progress and encourage them to track their own growth and improvements. Regular check-ins and assessments allow me to adjust and modify their practice as needed ensuring continuous growth and development.


12. How has Yoga enhanced your life personally?


Yoga has personally enhanced my life in profound ways. As someone who has studied law and faced challenges during my childhood, I discovered the power of yoga and embarked on a transformative journey. It has provided me with a safe space to reconnect with myself, release emotional burdens and cultivate self-acceptance. Yoga came to my rescue for managing stress, anxiety and the demands of a busy life during my law school as well. 

Yoga has played a significant role in giving me clarity about my identity and how I want to be in the world. This journey of self-discovery has allowed me to embrace my authentic self without conforming to societal expectations. It has empowered me to let go of comparison and judgment, embracing my unique qualities and quirks.In this way, yoga has not only enhanced my personal growth but also granted me the freedom to be true to myself, unapologetically and authentically.

Now, armed with the wisdom and benefits of yoga, my heartfelt desire is to share this transformative practice with others, to help enhance and better their lives, just as it has done for me.