Monday, 7 September 2015

Reality Volunteers - "I learn a lot from the kids – probably more than I teach them"

After studying at the Yoga Institute in Mumbai, Shraddha became a teacher and has been inspiring apprentice yogis for over 2 years now. She recently decided to share her wisdom with young beneficiaries from Dharavi through weekly yoga classes in one of our community centres. After one of those classes, we sat down to discuss her job, her new students and what yoga can bring to your life.

What do you like most about your job?

"I love that it helps people to improve their health, in some way or another. And I try to teach my students more than just exercises. Yoga is much more than that: it’s a way of living your life, by following principles of truth and non-violence, for example."

Shraddha putting her aspiring yogis through their paces

How did you discover yoga?

"I have a genetic health problem: my bones are very weak. And according to doctors, I cannot or at least should not do any exercise. So I decided to study the philosophy of yoga and I also learned how to teach it. It helped me a lot, so now I’m helping people."

Is that why you decided to come teach yoga as a volunteer in Dharavi?

"Yes! I really wanted to do something for people who don’t have any opportunity to do yoga, and who are not keen on doing it, at first. I’m sure the kids are bored to death when I tell them “Say the truth”. But they do come back! (laughs) I really want to influence people’s lives in terms of health. When I was young, I never went to something like this, where I could build my personality. In India, you are not taught model values. And as you grow older, no one teaches you how to behave. But yoga can help! And volunteering here is great: I learn a lot from the kids – probably more than I teach them."

Any future yogi in the class?

"Yeah, I think so, definitely! My goal for them is to see the students practicing yoga not only here in class, but in their everyday life. I want them to try and follow the principles of yoga, and to believe that it can really help them a lot."


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  2. They have volunteers come in to recruit kids off the streets each day, teach, cook meals, play games, do crafts, and anything else imaginable to help out. They really do a lot of work to help get kids into school who may not otherwise get to go.

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