Thank You!

As I finished the Yoga class this morning and thanked the participants; I  promptly asked them- “Well, what is the meaning of the phrase Thank you”?

For a Second, I met total silence followed by light responses – “thank you means thank you”, “I thank you” :) Ofcourse some responses came but my question was not fully answered.

First, for the record – thanks is derived from the word -THINK. Thank you simply means I will always remember what you did for me. Although our wisdom talk ended quickly I was intrigued to know more about this phrase and did a bit of my searching to find some interesting facts around using this phrase.

Listing the top 5 easy to recall facts below:

  • Scientists studying sychology found that only a one -time thoughtful act of gratitude can produce an immediate 10% increase in happiness and 35% decrease in depressive symptoms. Also, the effects of this act start fading away in a span of 3 months or more. The finding suggests to repeat the act as often as possible for self  motivation
  • A mere acknowledgement of how much you care for what your staff does at work or your partner does in your life can instill a strong sense of self worth and confidence. It ‘boosts’ relationships – personal as well as professional
  •  Introducing a culture of gratitude to children aged between 8 – 11 years can bring an increase in their positive thinking, appreciation and positive emotions
  • This phrase is packed with endurance abilities. Expressing gratitude for small and big events / things on daily basis continously prepares a person to embrace setbacks in life
  • A thankful attitude towards every blessing in life promotes better sleep and leaves a positive effect on the brain including neuro transmitters and hormones that are key to social bonding

Thank You – is a small phrase / gesture / expression but possesses immense power to turn around not only our moods or attitude..but our personalities too!

Did You Thank Someone / Yourself Today

Thank You!

Varuna Khullar

 

The Tiff Between the 5 faculties of our Body

This morning as I was concluding my yoga session, the popular ‘Prana Story’ struck my mind and I decided to share with my fellow Yogis and Yoginis. 

The Story Goes:

Once Upon a time, the 5 main parts of our body i.e. the Mind, Breath (Prana), Speech, Ear and Eye were arguing with each other as to which one of them was the best and most important for the human body. They decided to leave the body and see whose absence was missed the most.

Speech left first but the body continued through actions. Eye was the second to leave but the body continued through actions. Ear was the next to leave, still the body continued. Mind also left but the body still kept going. Finally, the breath (Prana) began to leave and the body began to die and all its parts started to lose their energy. All the parts of body rushed to the Prana and requested it to stay. Prana stayed in the body. It kept sending energy to the other parts of the body which helped them to continue to perform their functions.

What is most important for the Human Body?

The Prana!

 

The Glory of Our Goals…

“Today, I accomplished a goal”

What is it?

This morning I introduced an expecting mother to the laughter therapy in the yoga class post which she shared that the last time she laughed out loud (for no reason) was when she was in the 7th Grade and over the years, she had just lost the habit of laughing. A hearty Laughter was replaced by a suppressed smile for expressing all positive emotions. But now, not only will she laugh again but also not stop her son from laughing out loud, which off late, she has been curbing more frequently..

Wow! Such a feeling of achievement.. I made someone laugh this morning and even left her with an afterthought.

On the surface, this may not even look like the best of the reasons to feel a goal was accomplished. To the amusement of many, does that even categorize as a goal?

Goal – sometimes also called Milestone / Achievement / Life Graph (maybe has many more names) has now become such a high leveled aspiration that more often, we set such high standards of this goal achievement that the little and beautiful daily victories just go unnoticed. Rather, we don’t even consider them as good enough to even classify under the category -‘Goals’.

Isn’t our life a mix box of daily and long term goals and doesn’t both deserve to be equally celebrated?

Just the other day, a friend who works as a Skill Development Facilitator shared that 5 out of 100 of her trained staff called to inform that they were selected for an overseas construction site job opportunity. The ecstatic look of her face reminded me of the joy that we experience when we suddenly discover a chocolate box hidden by a loved one on our bed during  Bhaidooj or Diwali. Here, both may seem small but possess a great depth of emotional satisfaction.

Yes, we are progressing like never before, trying to grab opportunities galore knocking our door every day, promising us more success but in return also demanding larger goal settings and attainment, more achievements in less time, stopping to rest is not an option infact taking a pause pushes us many blocks behind  in this rat race. The higher the bar for ourselves and for our children, the more we sacrifice our moments of togetherness with the family; greater is the  sense of achievement.

Who has the time to sit in the park and enjoy the breeze of fresh air? Isn’t it too easily available?.

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 We quantify every goal only in a big number.

How many millions raised as funding? A 100 Crore Plus Movie Club makes a movie – a legend.  How many co-curricular activities is our child pursuing? Are we ensuring air – conditioned classrooms for our kids? Do we have the latest I-phone to keep up with our peers or have we taken a trip down to Europe to even start a discussion with our bosses over drinks. These are just few of the many goals that we are busy getting to while we are missing out on those daily bouts of victories that happen in our own backyards.

Celebration month is round the corner. Clichéd!

Why can’t we light up our house with Diyas when we just finished reading our favourite book?  How about a celebration with friends to acknowledge the satisfaction of sowing a seed  months ago that has now bloomed into a small tree shade in the house garden? How will it feel to tweet about helping the maid in opening a bank account – which by the way could be as important goal of her life as our own goal to get from the Manager’s title to the Senior VP’s?

Are these all not goals – waiting in the wings to get acknowledged?

Thought Share by

Varuna Khullar

Are you ‘Festressed too?

“Oh, quickly get ready. We have to go to the Sharma’s, Mehta’s and Sodhi’s. Diwali ke gift batane hai, phir kal south delhi walon ko cover karenge”

Yes, the festival month is just round the corner with its mix of joyfulness and festress – Wait a minute – Did I just say FESTRESS!

Welcome to North India to take a glimpse of how stressed we get with the onset of the festival season. To the world (most of the times – we disguise ourselves too!) we are an epitome of rituals and culture and that we pass down the legacy of keeping up with the traditions from generation to generation with great ease but are we really at that ease?

So what is this festival stress? (Sounds more serious to be considered – doesn’t it?)

This particular kind of stress category is a limited but recurring edition in any Indian upper middle class family. It usually sets in the last quarter of every year (We never get to know when is it going to hit us the following year as the next dates are subject to change to our tricky vedic calculations) and lasts for about a month, while our moods and the bank accounts take about 2-3 months to recuperate. Also, it happens across age groups and there are no set conditions or hereditary diagnosis. To each – it gives a different state of a stressed mind!

Categories of the festival Stress (In ascending order of Highest Risk of Recurrence):

  • Gifts..gifts..everywhere – but which one to give this year? Should you happen to visit any Indian house hold in North India, you cannot miss a stack of big and small cartons / boxes wrapped in shiny (read LOUD!) gift papers – one on top of the other pushed next to the living room wall. In some houses, you may even see a temporary cleared off space in a room to park these boxes. Interestingly, most of these boxes (especially at the top) are the ones which were received as ‘Gifts’ in the previous years and are now on target to be ‘Gifted Out’ this year – (Does it remind you of a stock clearance sale? Indeed!) Also, these boxes are stacked according to the value of the item vs. the value of the gift received from a friend / relative. A 1,000 Rs. silver bowl set has to be exchanged against a 1,200 Rs. Bombay Dyeing Bedspread. A pack of nuts only deserve a Cadbury Celebration Box, in lieu. Ofcourse, as the status category goes up so does the line of the gifting range from exotic tea sets to antiques to silverware to an Audi (well, we never know – stress makes you do crazy things when it gets to you). There is an undeclared war of who gives a better gift and mind you – sometimes the stress levels are so high that you may just end up returning the same gift to someone who gifted it to you – the last year. Phew! 
  • My house is for me – Oh Really! It is not uncommon in north India to actually get the house labourers / domestic helps / painters out of stock due to a sudden high demand just a couple of months before the festival month. Even the tiniest of the leaking corner which kept crying  for the house owner’s attention throughout the year suddenly feels so – Specially Treated. The walls get that much deserved face lift while the leathery sofa is botoxed for a younger look! The photo frames are updated with latest family selfies while the showcase are loaded with the newest of showpieces (God Bless the Khan Market!). All this for self – Nah, we were too stressed to get all that done to enjoy them! obviously for others who come ‘to gift’ us to look at every hook and corner and get the stress to go back and touch up their own houses. haven’t you heard of – passing on the stress?

The walls get that much deserved face lift while the leathery sofa is botoxed for a younger look! The photo frames are updated with latest family selfies and the showcase are loaded with the newest of showpieces (God Bless the Khan Market!).

  • The Clothing Controversy: Now this stress symptom is predominant in women. Lets take an oath today – Place Your Palm on your heart and say – If I buy that latest Ritu Kumar Angarakha this Diwali then I will wear it the next year too.What? Are you kidding me? What will Mrs. Dhillon and Mrs. Gulati think? Am I out of my mind or out of money? and then they willbroadcast’ it all over the whatsapp group. No no..I’d rather take the stress of buying a different stress every year!
  • The Traffic Tragedy:  if you plan to visit north India during the festivity and on top of it decide to go around the cities then please don’t – you are in for a traffic tragedy. Just about a fortnight before and after the festival month, the whole of north India subjects itself to the traffic tragedy. The GPS’ also ask for forgiveness for not leading you into the right direction   as it fails to see beyond the bumper to bumper touching cars, jammed roads and blocked sub-lanes all through the day (yes, our roads get into the seven-eleven mode during festivals) . We as a family stress out together over the dinner as to which area to cover the next day. Even the soldiers on the war front  struggle to match up to our caliber of chalking out a route map with the hiding shortcuts and by-lanes to get to the target houses in one go during this time. Whoever said – sometimes, Stress can bring your suppressed quality out was so right!

Besides the above, the festival stress also comes in small bouts of what type of cuisine to serve this year, how much bonus to be paid to the staff (What’s that?), how many parties to throw vs. how many to attend, how many wishes on whatspp vs. personal calls (does that still exists?) etc..etc..etc..

While the studies show no possible solution to this stress, every now and then some affected cases have gotten rid of this type with a bit of introspection and redirection to a simpler, happier and a lesser competitive life.

On hopes we all live and with that hope, I am hopeful of more cases of festival stress getting better soon!

Well, Yoga keeps me from becoming Festressed! 😛

Thought Share by

Varuna khullar

 

 

 

Have you tried Journaling for Releasing Emotional Stress?

More often than not, we have to deal with emotional stresses or negative moods due to work, family, kids, health, competition, society and sometimes, due to our friends too. Stress does not knock on our doors before coming however tackling it the right way lies only in our hands. It stays in our lives entirely at our discretion.

How do we release our stresses? That is no big guessing work

The easy way out is venting on our partner / spouse, kids, helpers (which most of us actually end up doing), irksome attitude at home, at workplace, losing focus of actions and sometimes completely withdrawing ourselves to our private shells…It is completely fine to rest under our shells before getting back on track but how about sharing these stresses with our inner self?  Making a physical or mental journal of these stresses.

Very recently, Researchers examined injured athletes–people who tend to experience high levels of anxiety and negative mood–and had them write about their experiences in a journal for 20 minutes per day, 3 days in a row. They wrote about their negative emotions surrounding their injuries and rehabilitation experiences. 4 weeks later, researchers measured their levels of psychological stress and mood disturbance, as well as measures of immune functioning, and found significantly improved outcomes in those who had participated in the journaling intervention. This research, in other words, shows that writing about your negative feelings can actually have an effect not only on your mood and your feelings of stress, but on your health as well!

As a candid confession; I also resort to my dairy during stress moments and it works wonders for me. I start by writing down what happened (like an unpleasant event in life, clash of opinion etc.) and while I am still penning down the gush of emotions on the paper, half way through, I start feeling light..the heaviness of the event seems to fade away the more I come towards the end of note and I feel much more in control of the situation.  Infact, mind becomes clearer and begins thinking of how to tackle the situation in the best possible way.

Journaling is a process of  uninterrupted self – listening lasting for 10-20 mins or more but surely leaves us as a calmer, composed and balanced individual. Have you tried Journaling  for coping up during emotionally demanding times? Has it benefited you too? Please feel free to share here your Journaling experiences for overcoming stress…

Not done yet —  think about journaling your stress!!

I am a Yoga Enthusiast :)

 

Tanserv & Yoga with V Synergize for holistic wellness of employees

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6th Jan 2016, Gurgaon: Thinking it to be yet another regular employee meet; Tanserv‘s 63 staff members reached the Pllazio Hotel Gurgaon from different parts of the country on 3rd Jan for its annual two – day (4th – 5th Jan 2016) town-hall event – ‘Synergize’. While they all were not too keen to begin the next day at 7.30 am sharp in the cold winter yet the curiosity led them to Yoga with V‘s corporate yoga session, well in time. It took just a few minutes for the ice to break between the Tanserv family and Yoga with V’s team and what followed was a beautiful synergy of health, joyfulness, team bonding, laughter hours and soulfulness time outs along with the company’s annual business charter of 2016 over the two days. 

Yoga with V’s corporate yoga session on both the days primarily focused  on the eleven most stressed body parts including head, eyes, ears, neck, shoulders, arms, waist, back, knees, legs, feet of a corporate executive due to erratic lifestyle. Special attention was given to get the participants indulge in some specific back-bending exercises due to their long hours spent on commuting on the road traversing long distances. A brief tete-e-tete on how to adapt Yoga as a way of life witnessed some healthy exchange of notes between the participants and V to close the session. 

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The participants were pleasantly surprised when the first tea break did not follow the regular presentation hour instead Yoga with V along with her team took  the stage for a 45 minute session of unconditional laughter therapy. With a little hesitation in the beginning; the Tanserv family dived into the session in full gusto and followed after was a joyful site of business suits clad executives laughing their heads off at absolutely nothing. Team laughs, laughter songs, collective chanting and childlike playfulness lit up not only the participants’ moods but the entire conference hall. An exchange of dialogue between V and the participants to highlight the paramount benefits of the unconditional laughter therapy for corporates and teams made the follow up laughter sessions even more enjoyable and memorable.

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While, they were still under the hangover of the laughter session; the Tanserv members were yet again challenged to take the ‘Walk of Faith’. The entire Tanserv group was divided into smaller families with an objective of bringing together and greater bonding of the employees. The activity was not just a game but also an exercise of faith, simplified communication and improved team strength to achieve targets in togetherness.

Some finest and rarest models of creativity, self expression, teamwork and brainstorming came out during the Create. Laugh. Play & Channelizing energies for converting negative to positive sessions from the participants. These two sessions bolt over the company’s senior management and left cues for identifying and honing the next line of leadership among its vibrant and energetic workforce. 

More Soulfulness time out for the Tanserv family came during the early morning ‘Vowel Chanting’ which became even more mesmerizing with the music wander, ‘Pintu Mallick‘s’ LIVE Guitar music. A joyful collaboration of Yoga with V and Pintu Mallick left a unique soul touching experience for the participants. 

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The event culminated with a close to drum circle effect created once again by Pintu Mallick by using very handy instruments including used water bottles, dandiya sticks and the Guitar. The audiences were left enthralled with a unique combination of live singing, dancing, laughing, music making and once again coming together for improved binding and bonding.  

Yoga with V thanks the Tanserv Family & The Cranberry Brand Holdings Pvt. Ltd. (Event Managers) for giving such a unique opportunity to synergize some life skill knowledge with professional learning of the Tanserv family. 

More event pictures can be found here

 

 

 

 

 

 

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#bestofu: Reminiscences from the first edition

Has it ever happened to you that you so want to do something different but couldn’t or still in a state of state about how and when to start or initiate a change. It happened to me a lot of times and one fine day, I just got up and started working towards a change – and I looked at fine tuning or changing ordinary things in life for extraordinary experiences!

#bestofu is one such change that literally #incubated in a living room among three friends – who are way different in what they individually pursue yet so alike for doing something that serves a common purpose – Be and Bring Joy!

#Punam Kashyap, #Mohit Sinha & #yogawithv came up with the idea of #bestofu in a rather nonchalant way. But as they say good ideas make you start working on them – #bestofu exactly did that to us. While the name christening had its share of light arguments, the program roadmap was more or less decided in peace :)

We knew what we enjoy doing, we just had to spread that!

And we started putting together the mandatory stuff – Website, flyers, blogs, social media, logistics etc etc but a spark of doing something out of the kitty, something that we enjoy, made all the mandatory stuff look so interesting and so not tiring.:)

Once upon a time someone said , “where there is a will, there is always a way” :)

And, so came the D-day. Armed with 15 participants, the pioneer #bestofu workshop saw its moments of blossoming friendships, love, lots and lots of #laughter, experiencing #yoga in a joyful way and just being oneself – no strings attached. While, the participants couldn’t resist shaking a leg to the #happy dance; they  did not hesitate to take the #celebrity walk in their own unique styles during the certificate distribution. We left the venue with a hope, with a joy to simply rejoice the simpler things in life.

My motivation for the second edition of #bestofu is just not the encouragement from the workshop day but the after effects of it slowing showing in oneself, family, corporate family and more. I confess – that keeps me super charged to continue to believe in the best that we wish to offer through #bestofu.

#bestofu second edition is due on Saturday, 16th January 2016 at Club Florence, Sec 56, Gurgaon. For more details, visit www.bestofu.org. See You!

Come. Experience. Learn. Spread

Stay Joyful!

Varuna Khullar
#yogawithv

what is Empowerment to you?

 

Since childhood, we as individuals are conditioned to some basic rules of life; of course In India, one is not academically empowered unless a Masters / Post Grad is secured.  Look for a job immediately after finishing the studies. You are not financially empowered unless you have a job or until you join your family business. As soon as your phone starts getting regular credit alerts, it is time for another empowerment.  We all know the societal empowerment drill – marriage, kids, work and save for kids’ future and just work more. This time, we not only work for self-empowerment but also empowerment of our kids. After all, all the properties and bank balances that give us a feeling of being empowered are for our kids. Why should we let them figure out their own ways for self – empowerment? No, we will pamper them; we will give them the best of comforts, won’t we? And, the biggest learning for empowerment that we will pass over to our kids – Empower yourself exactly the same way we did to ourselves – don’t break the rules, follow the routine.  Publishing a mythological script on the typical Empowered Life – The Indian Style does not feel like a weird idea at all J

Is empowerment only confined to financial, societal, academic and family achievements? We have a set pattern of life – 5 day work, 2 day party (movies, shopping, eating out etc. etc.), annual holidays, more than occasional festivals. So what’s wrong? We are empowered by the usual yardsticks.

Wait a minute, think again – Are we really fully empowered?

When was the last time we did something beyond the usual empowering ways? How about skipping that weekend movie and going to the nearby old age home and sharing a laugh with senior citizens? How about giving a day off to the maid out of turn? How about cooking two extra chappati and giving away to that little girl who eats dust day in day out while her mother works at building a palatial house for us? Obviously, let’s get the Tuesdays and Thursdays and all those days out when giving food (yes, I am not talking about the 5 bucks. Parle G biscuit pack) is customary – only because it is a ritual and we have have to follow it. How about not wasting 5,000 bucks on putting your child into that digital games zone instead taking him out hiking for some real action experience? Why not clicking less of selfies and savouring the real moments more? Why not not think that I don’t have the time or my life is too busy and run a weekly children’s fun club. Why not make no –purpose friends for a change and why not not buy clothes this Diwali for ourselves but for the less privileged rather than donating old, worn out, thrown pieces and yeah

Why not gang up with friends and do a potluck for a children’s home and also eat & play with them rather than spending thousands on eating at a fashionable Italian eatery and then cribbing about the calories intake and then shelling another thousand into the profit banks of the Silver’s Gyms, Freak Firsts and the Palwarkar’s.

Emotional, mental, spiritual and life empowerment – May not be high in the order for many of us but indeed can be at par with the regular ways of an empowered life. Lets do something for someone selflessly – Share a smile, give a hug, spend personal time than a wass’up msg, walk together or simply do nothing, just stare at the open sky and count our blessings. Why not revamp the cliched rules of an empowered life? Bring a change and empower ourselves within, become a change for our kids and for all those who just keep thinking – yes, I will do it, someday…

 

 

 

 

I love me…

When was the last time you said that to yourself? 

Just the other day, I connected with a friend after a long time – A successful interior designer, good clientele, two kids, good physical health, yearly vacations, latest gadget in hand, active social life.

Doesn’t it all sound perfect?

It did to me until she opened up and shared, “Oh, I am so depressed and I don’t know why.” We disconnected the call but it took me a while to disconnect with the thought of her being depressed even though her life seemed to be settled in the cliched terms!

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Postpartum Depression – time to let go off it..

Motherhood is one of the most beautiful gifts of the nature to a woman. It is not uncommon to hear every now and then that being a mother brings the greatest joy of all times but at the same time, Indian women are not new to postpartum depression (PPD). Infact, almost 20% to 30% women suffer from PPD or post delivery blues in India. 

Symptoms of PPD include lack of interest in celebrations by the family, listlessness, fatigue, exceptional quietness, disinterest in breastfeeding, crying outbursts and unexplained depressive moods. In serious cases, PPD envelops a new mother through anxiety, suicidal thoughts, aggression and insomnia. 

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