Insights into Health Myths of Yogis with Nishtha Bijlani

Chat on the mat Nishtha

“How is it possible for you to get sick? After all, you’re a yogi!” The most common opinion

trending for people who follow a yogic lifestyle! Those who abstain from yoga often judge yogis, placing unrealistic expectations on them to exemplify flawless posture, well-being, and health.  

Many people believe that yoga teachers are incredibly healthy and have excellent posture, as well as a well-balanced mind and body. They are often seen as immune to the effects of aging and are thought to avoid unhealthy habits such as staying up late, getting sick, experiencing muscle tension or stress, and being involved in unhealthy relationships.

But let’s be real for a moment. Yogis, just like any other human being, can have pacemakers and artificial hips. They too age, get sick, and eventually pass away. Today, in our invigorating Chat on the Mat with Nishtha Bijlani, we’re here to challenge and dispel the myths we hold about health as yogis.

Chat on mat with Nishtha Bijlani

hellomyyoga: “Real Yogis are not touched by diseases of any sort. If they are then they are not Yogis.” This is something we often come across as a judgment for yogis. How should one deal with this?

Nishtha: Let’s be real, that we too, just like anyone else, are exposed to the same things such as pollution, fast-paced city life, screen time, and a householder lifestyle. All of these come with their own consequences. Being a yoga practitioner/teacher does give us an upper hand and a set of tools to maneuver the hectic city life. 

But that being said, we are still touched by the same scenarios as any other non-practitioner. Today’s yogis live and function in the cities and not necessarily in the mountains or forests. We live amongst the people and for the people. 

Choosing a yogic life and a householder’s life can very much go hand in hand. And because we are exposed to the same scenarios, we too are bound to feel the same stressors and health threats. It is unrealistic to expect one to be immune to it, but yoga surely helps one to cope with it and overcome health conditions more smoothly.

hellomyyoga: With a yogic lifestyle how do you see falling sick and how do you then manage your lifestyle to heal yourself? Do you offer classes during that time? How do your students take it when you cancel classes because of your ill health?

Nishtha: Slowing it down and putting yourself and your practice first has been my biggest learning in this journey. In times when I have packed my schedule to the brim and not kept enough breathing space, I have experienced adverse effects of the same. 

That is when I realized that I cannot continue to do what I do if I do not learn to prioritize my well-being first. The most common mistake people make in the health industry is when they overlook their own health. It is very easy to fall into that trap. 

Do not shy away from taking the necessary break. Do not over-expend when you have not taken the time to refuel your own self. When I have been unwell, I have called off classes. My students have been very kind to send across best wishes. 

You can only give what you have. When I find myself overworked, stressed, and low on immunity – I know it is time to connect deeper with my practice, everything else can wait.

hellomyyoga: What is your antidote to beat family, work, or societal stresses that are inevitable and occur unusually in life?

Nishtha: The only way is to go through it with a positive and patient mindset. Take the learning from it and move forward. Applying the yogic teachings in life and personal situations is the only true way to practice yoga. There is no other quick fix.

hellomyyoga: Digital space has trending articles like “Practicing Yoga Help You Not Get Sick?”

Do you believe in this?

Nishtha: These titles are surely misleading. Yoga can improve your immunity, the overall functioning of your body, your mental health, and your emotional health. But it cannot stop you from contracting a disease. 

It is true when we say that Yoga can promise you great health and a better quality of life. But that does not mean you cannot fall sick. So they are two very different things. A healthy person can fall sick too, but his or her recovery would be faster because their body has the ability to fight back more easily. 

Whereas an unhealthy person, when falls sick, can take much longer to recover due to their poor life choices. It is important to have this clarity in understanding before such statements are made or believed.

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