We caught up with Sweta Bidwai, an ardent yoga practitioner and equally ardent Proyogi. Yoga is more than a workout for her, it is a philosophy she embraces that has taken her on a journey deep within, with loads of gratitude and love.
P: How did you first get into yoga?
S: I was born on the land where Gautam Buddha attained enlightenment, but I realized how beautiful the journey of life is only after I turned thirty.
As a child, I saw my mom competing with the early bird. I, on the other hand, had trouble getting out of bed, despite my mom pestering me. My parents encouraged me to participate in sports, music, dance etc. And I did all that, but for other reasons, of course - like skipping studies! :P
In 2009, I came to Bangalore for a job and I tried everything just to shed a just 12 kilos. I was dancing, going to the gym, going to aerobics and Yoga! Soon my corporate responsibilities took over my life. I got married, got promoted and got blessed with a lovely daughter. Life was great! However, even with all these accomplishments I never felt content. Also, my weight was a growing concern for me. My thyroid problem added to the misery. I was on meds to keep it in check.
During my maternity leave, I had some time, apart from caring for my baby. My husband did a fair share, so I am ever-grateful to god!! This is when I took up Yoga seriously. Not on-and-off classes, but a rather disciplined approach. And I fell in love with it. I had always had an inclination towards it, but this is when I found true joy. What gave me even more happiness was letting other people realise the bliss of Yoga. That's when I came across the Teacher's Training Program and signed up at Akshar Power Yoga Academy.
Sweta is so passionate by her yoga practice that she had the entire Proyog team inspired with her enthusiasm and bliss!
P: So yoga is not just a fitness routine for you?
S: I completed my Basic level RYT 200 and then Advanced level RYT 300 under the guidance of yoga gurus Surya and Namita. They guided me and fuelled my resilience to get to where I am today. They inspired me to take up Yoga as a lifestyle and not just a fitness regime. In fact, my guru Manish Pole made me realise that fitness is just a by-product of Yoga. And today, I don't rely on any kind of medication for the ailments I had in the past!
Currently, I am a Director at Saltside Technologies and practice Yoga regularly. I make time in my schedule to teach Yoga as well. :P
In fact, my two year old sometimes joins me in practice and I wonder how does her tiny mind come up with all those questions she asks me about yoga! And, all of this is impossible without the support of my husband who has been my support and motivation in this journey. I am ever-so-grateful for being blessed with such a lovely family.
I believe this knowledge should spread all over the world! Now no matter what happens in life, I am content. I have learnt to look for answers within and not outside.
"I believe this is such a beautiful journey that everyone should at least try and explore it once in life. Because I found joy and experienced the bliss called yoga."
P: So here's a quick rapid fire for our readers to get to know you better.
Favourite Proyog garments
Vira Dhoti and Katchni Crop.
About 2 years ago, on and off before that
FInding the silence in the midst of chatter is Yoga.
Fashion should be
Authentic and comfortable. Something which always reminds me of my roots. In my view, it is okay to be a yogi and look cute and pretty as well.
Climate change is
Awareness, Will and Action. Yoga is an invaluable gift of our ancient tradition, it emphasises on the harmony between humans and nature. By changing our lifestyle and creating consciousness, it can help us deal with climate change
Should feed the soul. There is this vegetable which my mom cooks. It has just potato and lots of tomato. She uses a special masala called panch phoran and it is cooked in a pressure cooker with slight tinge of turmeric, red chilli and handful of crushed garlic. The entire masala base is of yellow mustard. I just love the entire aroma of it …my mouth is watering now :)
My spirit animal
The Wolf. The power of the wolf brings forth instinct, intelligence, appetite for freedom, and awareness of the importance of social connections. It emphasises a deep connection with your intuition and instincts.
Therapy to me
Is a good peaceful place away from the city.
My pet peeves
Cribbing and clutter. I really get annoyed if I see people cribbing about things. I have a very different perspective here, either try to make the situation right, or adjust in the situation as there is no point of cribbing. It never helps and creates negativity. At the same time I get annoyed if I see my workplace/ house cluttered, I feel it has an effect on my mind and my thoughts.
Inner peace means
To accept and let go. There is only one truth and that is soul; and the soul is one.
My favourite smell
Is when the rain drops on mud, that 'sondhi' Khushboo is my favourite.
Currently I am reading
The Autobiography of a Yogi by Paramhansa Yogananda.
Follow Sweta Bidwai on Instagram @sbidwaiyogini.