Sat, 16th Jan 2016 Gurgaon: While it saw cold winds and a thick smog to the day; 17th Jan 2016 also brought the warmth of giggles galore, group workout, creative hour and some mindfulness moments for #bestofu participants . To add to the delight, #ClubFlorence in Sector 56, Gurgaon perfected as the picturesque venue to hold the day long workshop.
After the formal registrations and setting our moods with some lukewarm honey lemon water, we started the first session i.e. the light yogic therapy or how i call it – Yoga for busy professionals. V’s ‘Corporate Yogic Therapy’ addresses the eleven most stressed body parts of an individual. #Stressed due to factors including modern lifestyle pressures, wrong posture, lack of mobility in the body, fatigue and common flu. Some warm up with the engine run i.e gentle hopping on the spot with mouth exhalation energized and geared up the participants for the follow up stretching, bending and flexing of the body. My simple therapy starts with cerebrum region and covers the head, forehead and ears moving down to the eyes. Quick techniques to recharge the cerebrum region which gets fatigued due to long hours spent on electronic gadgets, personal stresses and daily challenges can be reduced with some gentle tapping of these body parts. If practiced regularly, these simple techniques also aid during mild headaches, puffing of eyes and improving blood circulation. The next to follow were recharge tips for the neck, shoulders and arms which are slowly becoming most common pain areas due to lack of mobility. One thing to be mentioned here is the movement of fingers and wrists which are neglected otherwise but gets covered in V’s therapy. Side stretching, backward bending was followed by focused movements for the legs, knees and feet.
The next hour titled ‘Breath Programming’ covered the basic but key aspects of conscious breathing pattern. While the #bestofu first timers like any newcomer took a bit of time to adjust to the patterning, gradually they matched up to the rhythmic movement of the inhalation and exhalation through the abdomen of the others. The session covers one each category of the dynamic, cooling and balancing Pranayama to address different physical, mental and emotional ailments. The concept of Pranayama, its meaning and depth intrigued the participants a bit which actually stretched the hour by another fifteen minutes but no one complained :).
The healthy dip break saw exchange of pleasantries among participants, some experience sharing and chatting over the nutritious goodness of Indian Poha & Sanjeevani Drink. The participants returned for the ‘Laughter Yoga’ session with more enthusiasm. While I let people connect with each other at their own ease, the second edition participants were a step ahead and instantly cracked the laughter session with a sporty spirit for the group exercises and role playing to simulate and stimulate laughter. A brief address of twenty minutes introducing the unconditional laughter therapy, its benefits especially for the busy people and sharing case studies of inner evolvement for personal success, health and joyfulness set the participants moods on fire that lead to a frequent reverberation of group laughter, cheers and applause and a lot of group movement in childlike playfulness. Although, the participants reaped the effects of the lightness in the room, they were equally focused on getting to understand and rehearse the foundation steps of conducting a laughter session at their workplaces, homes and extended communities. Laughter songs sung to live Guitar and keyboard music enlivened our moods a note further up. In my observation; a few of the participants took time to condition themselves to this new form of stress management while the others hit it off instantly.
A lunch break to satiate the hunger pangs caused by the day’s activities and lot of belly laughter could not have been better with some scrumptious Indian sattvic food prepared by culinary expert moms at momffu. It also saw some more candid sharing, laughing and cheering among the participants.
We resumed the day with ‘Vowel Chanting’. I personally just love this form of loud, rhythmic chanting which is not only soulful to the ears but also has some deep healing effects in each vowel chanted. The chanting became more joyous with live music rendered by music expert, Piyush Sir. As I explained the pronunciation and the meaning of each vowel; the participants dived deeper into enjoying the chanting with closed eyes. The chant starts slowly and gradually builds up with the music and ultimately ends in fast movement of the body while standing,clapping and chanting. A forty five minute session seemed to just fleet away in no time however left the participants high on inner energy and deep muscle relaxation.
I utilized the next half hour in pairing up the participants as change buddies and sharing the unfolding of the day’s events, their experiences, exchange of knowledge notes and more with each other. This practise was impromptu but well appreciated by the participants who got to do a good re-run of the wellness lessons learnt so far.
‘Howzzhat’ activity brought out the hidden creative gems in the participants. Someone expressed change for humanity through laughter while the other wrote a spontaneous poem on #bestofu before and after effect. Someone walked on the clouds with her better half on the chart paper and someone brought her inner child and its playfulness on paper. A wonderful session that reminded and gently reinforced the individual power and uniqueness in each one of us.
As they say, all good things come to an end’ so did the day long workshop but not before group dancing, singing and laughing to a mix of songs, distribution of certificates and an interactive Q&A session on keeping the momentum and the vision of #bestofu alive in our own hearts and also to spread it unconditionally among those around us.
Yes, we are the Best…if we believe in ourselves and in our ability to make the best of everything for ourselves and for those around us. With that, I am all geared up to march forward in my mission to touch a few more lives in April 2016….