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Urban Ashtangi : Rupanjit Dullat

Ham and Rupan

Somewhere, somewhat and somehow, we were influenced by someone who led us into a yoga class. In Rupanjit’s (Rupan) case, it was her husband, Hamandra (Ham) who helped kickstart her journey. 

With the intention wanting a sustainable workout they went down the road of some very intense HIIT training, lifting weights and doing cardio, which lasted a few months and then followed by taking a break. 

In July 2020, with the intention to stop the cycle of “starting and stopping” with multiple activities, Rupan and Ham finally plunged themselves into learning the Ashtanga Mysore practice.

1. How did your first yoga class happen?

We had been to a few yoga studios where they hold mass classes. We’d come back feeling good but the level of most participants in the class was way more advanced than us which would just leave us feeling like we’re not fit for this class. Plus if we wanted to do the practice at home, we could never remember what the teacher taught in class! Frustrating! 

It was all Ham though, pushing himself and me (unwillingly) to explore what more can we do?! As we read more and more about yoga, different forms of yoga, he figured we should try Ashtanga. 

So then we started looking for the right place where we would not be made to feel inadequate by not knowing what we don’t know about the practice and feel good.  

2. Why did you build your practice with the Ashtanga Mysore method? 

Ham scoured the internet and spoke with so many people until we found someone (very expensive) who would come home and teach us. Sort of like saving ourselves the uncomfortable feeling of practicing with people who are way more advanced than us! Then the pandemic hit! 

We had done a few sessions only so we were still unsure but felt we should give this a go. We found Pattabhi Jois’ YouTube video and tried following him. We weren’t so disciplined (rolls eyes) but had intent!! 

Then it was during the Circuit-Breaker period and trying to figure out Work From Home and all the mental and well being challenges that all of us have experienced since the beginning of 2020. In July 2020 Ham engaged with you guys and we went for that very first session at the Rowell Shala! 

3. What are some common thoughts that go through your mind regularly while in the practice? 

We do the very first session in the morning as both of our office start time is at 9am. So this means I must start waking up at 5 am to be able to be in some shape to leave home by 6ish. This is my biggest challenge – waking up in the morning!! 

I effectively woke up from my 5th round of Surya Namaskar!! After that the next challenge is to remember to keep breathing!! 

Monkey brain goes to all places: “Who said what in what meeting, did I remember to do the laundry, did I switch-off the aircon before leaving the house, did I switch-on the water heater?! “

Then I become aware of the monkey, and I tell myself, don’t think, just do! 

By this time, I’m now doing the seated asanas, and then it’s all about why do I have so much fat on my tummy, it comes in the way. 

This lifting from the core for Vinyasa – OMG!! Breathe don’t think just do!! Phew, made it!!

4. What is your magical moment in this practice?

Each time I become aware of the monkey mind, I try to center myself back to being in the moment and breathing! 

My magical moment comes after the practice – on the way back home we talk about how each of our practice was that morning – some days it’s bad, some days it feels good, some days especially Monday, all the sins of the weekend show up in the practice! 

Each body part is too tight, the mind hasn’t woken up, telling myself next Sunday we will be good and sleep early! Ha!  

The magical moment is when I feel good (and not blame Ham for waking me up so early) that I showed up and did my best for that session! 

5. How have you benefited by investing your time and effort into yoga so far? 

I have become a lot calmer than I was 18 months ago. I’ve realized it’s all about the mind. The more I breathe and stay focused in my practice, the less stressed I feel. Which in turn makes me happy.  

I love home organization – I am a homebody. Lately I’ve been channeling my stress (work related) by painting. Been upcycling most of my horrible brown coloured home furniture – painting in vibrant colors red, blue, yellow, green, gold. Love them all. 

6. Moving forward, what are the areas in life you wish knowledge from this practice can help you as a person? 

I wish to live a more meaningful and less noisy life. I don’t want to have the unnecessary noise that society creates for us. I want to be able to deal with what comes my way, and I strongly feel this practice will help me. 

Everyone should give this a go. Ham and I shared our experiences and learnings with our friends and one of our friends had started her practice with The Mysore Haus too!

7. Having to practice together with your husband, Ham, how has this routine benefited both of you as a couple? 

I am so tired after practice that I have less time and even less patience to get mad at him and blame him for everything!! 😊 But seriously, it has made us happy and content to hang out in each other’s presence but in silence. I love that. 

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