Rediscovering Ayurveda x Divya Kumar

In this week’s article of our Rediscovering Ayurveda series, we interviewed Divya Kumar.

Meet Divya Kumar

Recipient of the “health and fitness blogger of the year 2021” award, Divya Kumar is a fervent yogi who perceives this spiritual discipline to be much more than a series of Asanas. To her, yoga is the expression of emotions through the body. It is a practice of being self-aware and appreciative of your body. Her charismatic personality, ability to connect deeply with self, and fondness for yoga have inspired thousands of students on their journey of self-healing.

Divya Kumar’s Story

Have you ever wondered about the magnificence and complexity of our existence? Isn’t it amazing how triggering one event leads to the other that eventually delivers us to a place where we belong? Divya was just 18 when her friend suggested she try yoga. This was all a part of the “let’s try something new” conversation.

“Just try it for 1 week. If you like it, then good! If not, try something else."

Divya's friend

And for Divya, this “something else” never happened! A week progressed into a year, then another, and 4 more years later she started her first yoga teacher training. But times had changed, and she was amidst a financial crisis during her training period.

“I came to Pune from Chandigarh and got a sales job at an IT firm. I thought I would never teach yoga again, but I think destiny had other plans. Soon, my colleagues turned into my yoga students! I was so happy to be sharing yoga with them. Over the 4 years at the IT firm, with late-night shifts and sometimes two shifts back-to-back, my health started giving up and even yoga was not doing much to help. I was never like that - sick and all worked up. In 2018, my father and my boyfriend both asked me “When are you going for your next yoga studies?” I realized it was high time to get back to being myself again. I quit my job and found another yoga teacher training.”

Divya Kumar

Since then, she hasn’t looked back! She has also learned valuable teaching along the way

"Santosha anuttamah sukha labhah"

from contentment incomparable happiness is obtained.

Divya Kumar And Mudras

Before diving into yoga, it’s necessary to understand the mudras and the emotions they portray. As simple as they might seem, Mudras hold the potential to influence the energy of our spiritual, emotional, and physical bodies. Various disciplines practice as many as 399 mudras. They link the conscious to the subconscious, symbolizing empyrean manifestation. So, let’s study the three most effective mudras for curing ailments!

Gyan Mudra: The gesture of consciousness

The best asanas that Gyan Mudra can be paired with are Dhyana or Sukhasana. It’s said to be connected directly to the Muladhara Chakra, the core governing stability and interconnectedness. For this, touch the tip of your index finger with the tip of your thumb and keep the rest of your three fingers free. Ayurveda recommends practicing this mudra early in the morning as it improves nervous function, and pituitary function enhances memory and boosts Vayu.

Shoonya Mudra: The gesture of emptiness

The best asanas Shoonya Mudra can be paired with are Vrksasana or Uttanasana. Shoonya Mudra is responsible for decreasing the excess space (Akash) element in our bodies. This mudra is known to induce a feeling of stability. The touching of the middle finger to the tip of the thumb symbolizes patience and discipline. Shoonya mudra is an eminent mudra for enhancing spiritual awareness and curing vivid physical problems pertaining to the space element of our bodies. Some of these are motion sickness, thyroid issues, ear-related diseases, and numbness.

Surya Ravi Mudra: The gesture of fire

The best asanas that Surya Ravi Mudra can be paired with are Yoga planks, or Parivrtta Utkatasana. To perform this mudra, sit in a comfortable position, place your hands on your thighs or knees, close your eyes, take deep breaths, and fold your ring finger and press it with your thumb. The ring finger is recognized as the sun finger. Performing this mudra augments the fire element of the body. It is therefore widely known as agni vardhaka mudra. Its benefits include regulation of body temperature, channelizing inner strength, deblocks the liver along with improving vision.

The #ALOBOUTEMOTIONS challenge

Yoga is truly the expression of emotions through the body. While growing up, we become conscious of our actions and of the way we feel. Soon, as adolescents, we start repressing these emotions and begin to neglect our connection with our bodies. This habit is carried into adulthood where scarcity of time makes it even harder to restore this bond with self. These emotions and traumas then start residing in parts of our bodies until they can be released.* This is called the ‘storage of trauma in somatic memory.’

*Here storing refers to physical manifestations of traumatic stress within the body tissues

Perform this small activity to find out where in your body have the traumas resided:

  • Lie down straight on a flat surface in a quiet room,
  • Make sure that your body feels relaxed and comfortable,
  • When ready, close your eyes and start scanning your body beginning from your head,
  • Look out for any sensation you feel, it could be tingling, a feeling of heaviness, or may feel like a block. Take some time to completely feel these emotions and understand them.
  • If there’s any negativity residing within, your senses will flash the related memories before you. These memories are often buried deep in our subconscious minds.

Yoga is the Vedic way to release this stress, and Divya’s style of yoga does exactly this. This is one of the reasons we admire her work! Divya’s #ALOBOUTEMOTIONS challenge is a must-try. For this, we must perform one asana from the EMOTION series each day for the next 8 days. Yes, it's as simple as that! If you’re a beginner who is curious to try yoga or someone who wishes to restore the self-body connection, then this exercise is for you :D

The challenge

Day 1- Heart opener - Open up, that’s the first step to help embrace the emotions.
Asana performed: Urdhvamukhasvanasana

Day 2- Arm balance - Everything needs balance, and so do our emotions.
Asana performed: Pincha Mayurasana

Day 3- A twist - How do you help yourself navigate unexpected emotional changes in your life?
Asana performed: Adhomukhsvanasana variation (spinal twist)

Day 4- Supine pose - How do you help yourself take a break when you feel emotional?
Asana performed: Suptapadangusthasana-2 variation

Day 5- Inversion - Let go, and find ways to release the emotions. Seek help, and find those you can share with.
Asana performed: Dwipadaviparitadandasana

Day 6- Standing pose - Remember a time you hid your emotions when you shouldn’t have.
Asana performed: Vrikshasana

Day 7- Seated Pose - Remember a time when you could’ve benefited from having a better handle on your emotional side.
Asana performed: Sukhasana

Day 8- Yogi's Choice- What’s your take on your emotional calibration? Do you feel you’re too emotional, too cold, just right?
Asana performed: Eka Pada Ustrasana, Naginyasana

Some of these asanas may be of an advanced level. Hence you must swap them with their alternatives. Divya has posted a how-to guide for all these asanas on her IG page, feel free to check them out, and Happy learning!

Divya Kumar’s Message

She has a little something to share with all of you Ayurveda, Spiritual, Yoga, and Healthy living enthusiasts! Here’s her message :D

Modern life patterns affect our health in different ways, viz. physically, psychologically, and socially. There is a need for increasing people's awareness about the effects of modern life to control the effects of its patterns of life. Promoting a healthy lifestyle includes proper eating, physical activity, and a better way of communicating and socializing in the community. All of these have positive impacts, which we can easily get by practicing yoga. All I can think of is this quote: “Yoga happens beyond the mat. Anything you do with attention to how you feel is doing yoga.”

Divya

To Divya, Ayurveda and Yoga are sister sciences. Both Ayurveda and Yoga help people heal, cleanse, and rejuvenate the body, mind, and spirit. Bringing Ayurveda into Yoga provides a Yogic and Vedic system of medicine to go through a full healing process of all aspects of yoga. The most important aspect of Vedic medicine is balancing the tridoshas. Hence, Divya is enthusiastic about trying Amrutam Tablets! This Ayurvedic formulation contains Triphala, which balances the Tridosha, or three doshas – Vata, Pitta, and Kapha. As a result of its unique ability to balance tridosha, triphala improves digestion, colon cleansing, and detoxifies the body. By virtue of its unique ability to balance tridoshas,

We are so thankful to Divya Kumar for the wonderful work she has been doing and are beyond grateful to have her as part of our #AmrutamFamily!

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