Life will test you , but remember your legs get strong when you walk up the mountain , Khuahhish

We often hear that motivation can lead you to do many things and this saying came into life when I met Khuahhish ….Lets meet this wonderful girl and hear her story …..

Brief introduction of Khuahhish

We are five siblings. I am the fourth in line followed by my brother. My father was in the army. Now my parents live in Chandigarh, Ambala. After retirement my father began to pursue his dream of writing. He has published Over 25 books in Urdu.  Some of his books have even made it to the educational section of the bookshelf, he is happy doing what he enjoys. My brother resides in the United States of America, one of my sisters is settled in Melbourne, another one of my sisters lives in Hyderabad and the other one in Chennai, I live along with my dog and my cat in Mumbai .

What inspired you to come into the Yoga or Fitness line?

I would say that I have always been inclined towards fitness- even in my childhood. Back then I didn’t know how to pursue it as a hobby since i resided in small areas where my father was posted. In hostel, I was focused on my academic endeavours. I was a good student. Fitness took a backseat in that phase of my life. Even in those days I remained health conscious, flipping through magazines related to fitness and the like. In these days I acquainted myself with the anatomy of the human body, the importance of exercise and the effect of food intake on the human body. Once I was done with my studies I moved to Delhi to be with my sister who resided there at that point of time. She introduced me to Sadhguru Jaggi Vasudev Isha Yoga. At that point of time somehow yoga did not attract my fancy. I would see overweight and middle aged women practicing yoga. As a kid I could not connect with the art of yoga. I viewed it as something only for  “Old people. I feel that the lack of intensity of yoga was unattractive to me back then. My younger self would have preferred aerobics or something along those lines. My sister – who is older to me by about 16 or 17 years and hence showers me with a maternal affection – told me to attend a three day yoga workshop under the auspices of Sadhguru Jaggi Vasudeva. He would help students practice the Shambhavi Mudra.  That was a crucial time for me as it was the time I had my first spinal surgery. I met Jaggi Vasudeva and attended the workshop which transformed my view of Yoga holistically.  I realised that Yoga was not just for people in their 60’s and 70’s but also for all age groups. After doing the Shambhavi Mudra I began to feel a change in my mannerisms . Soon after I had my second spinal surgery. This time it was really bad. None of the doctors wanted to touch me in Bombay. The best of the spinal physicians told me that I was destined to live out the rest of my years in a vegetative state because my body had been in a permanent spasm. Heavy doses of morphine were prescribed to me. For a month or two I was bedridden. The doctors didn’t know what to do. Even the most renowned specialist refused to treat me because if he tried and I didn’t get better, his reputation would be at stake in the medical community. I landed up in Nanavati Hospital, where the doctors refused to associate themselves with my case again. I was so frustrated by then, that at around four at night I somehow managed to call up the then, second in charge doctor on board for spine and orthopaedics. His name was Dr. Prakash Doshi. Over the telephone I told him that if he didn’t help me at that very moment of time, I would commit suicide. Dr Doshi was a patient man, he heard me out. He told me that he was unaware about my presence at the hospital and then he decided to treat me. He came to meet me in the middle of the night and that reassured me that there was hope. He told me earnestly that the only way was to take a chance and undergo another spinal surgery. The chances of recovery were 70-30 .He notified me that If it went bad, would be bedridden for the rest of my existence . Was I ready to go for it? Sure. I had nothing to lose as I was already bound to the bed. The very next day I underwent my second spinal surgery. After the surgery, half of my body was completely numb for twenty days. After about a month I was declared a semi paralytic.  Dr Doshi told me that it was upto me to get out of that semi paralytic state.. (He was a doctor with a good heart, and took up my case when no one else cared to do so. Not only that he also risked his reputation as a doctor by agreeing to treat me.) Hearing these words all the teachings of Sadhguru well into place. It took me about 8 to 9 months to start walking again. Even then there were patches of numbness in my body- one on my head, another on my stomach, a third one on my thigh.An year ago from now have the patches disappeared. This process took a long amount of time given the fact that the events I recall happened in the years between 2005 and 2006. After that I started doing yoga. I underwent formal yoga training at Mysore and Santa Cruz(Mumbai). I learnt Ashtanga Vinyasa from Mysore – one of the forms of yoga like hathayoga but much more intense, and hatha yoga from Santa Cruz ,Mumbai.


What is the difference between Hot yoga and normal yoga ?

Yoga is normally practiced in normal conditions and temperature. The basic difference is that in hot yoga you are doing yoga in heat. The room is warmed to a temperature of about 42 to 45 degrees. The commercial catch is that you lose weight faster, you perspire more, that’s the main difference.

Don’t you think doing yoga in a covered room is not that beneficial …..

The main reason for me to teach hot yoga is that at least people who don’t want to do yoga at all get hooked on to it, it’s like a bait for them. The benefits are mainly weight loss. I am a hot yoga teacher but I am not a huge supporter of it but I know that out of the 40 people that attend classes about 20 will actually understand the benefit of doing yoga minus the heat, and that pushes me to teach hot yoga. I actually support the practice of yoga in the open air or in a well ventilated room without a fan or an air conditioner.

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Tell us something about your projects on TV….

Tata Sky’s head person Adarsh Gupta’s friend Utpal Vaishnav ,is my yoga student who attends my classes quite regularly. One day he got Adarsh along with him, he attended a few classes. After the 3rd class he told me that he wanted me to do a series for Tata Sky Active Fitness.


How did Sony Live happen?

Sony Live did a tie up with Tata Sky Active Fitness.  It is a mobile app, so they got in touch with the core team of fitness trainers at Tata SkySony Live took over all the programmes of Tata Sky  because they wanted it readily available for people all over India not just the users of Tata Sky Fitness . They broadened the base by making it available on the app to everyone.


What are your plans for the future?

I plan to start my own Studio soon. I Currently take up group classes at the Sykes Gym in Lokhandwala– open air classes on the terrace. I have started training teachers for that as well for my form of Yoga – SSoul Yoga- a melange of hathayoga and astanga vinyasa. I do a lot of therapeutic training as well, I specialise in spinal injury. Any person with spinal injury or knee or shoulder injury can approach me. I am training these teachers keeping that aspect in mind because most of the teachers are great at taking a normal class but when it come to people who are medically unwell along with the normal people , in a group it makes things a little tough. Keeping that in mind I try to make the teachers more sensitive to the students with spinal, knee or shoulder problems. I have the support of Dr Doshi, every time a patient comes to me they are examined by Dr Doshi first. Then we discuss the yoga regime to follow for that particular person so it is customised according to their medical condition.
 I must add that the awareness levels of yoga have begun to skyrocket thanks to the endeavours of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Baba Ramdev. Though A certain league of people are still unaware, men don’t usually take up yoga. planning to start classes in the late evenings because that is when people return from work, early morning classes are unsuitable for working class in Mumbai Although yoga should be done in the morning but according to the circumstances I decided to take classes in the evenings. In any case planting the seed of love for yoga in somebody is a good deed. Once a lady confidently made an assertion that “Yoga is not for men”, I responded by saying “Yoga is unisex !” Baba Ramdev is a prime example of a male yoga practitioner, but a majority of people are unaware or misinformed about the art of yoga.
Yoga not only induces relaxation but also benefits the health of a person. This girl came to me from Jabalpur, she used to wear clothes labelled “large size”, she practiced yoga with me for 20 days and she was down to “medium “.
You have practice yoga the right way, the way you breathe is of primary importance, your level of dedication surely plays a secondary role, the third essential aspect that affects the outcome is what you eat. When all three are in coherence, a positive outcome is achieved, for instance I would like to allude to a friend of mine affected by many medical conditions, after seeking results in all allopathy and not finding success, he called me up, his opening statement was, “Khuahhish  I don’t believe in yoga”, He went on to elaborate that perhaps if it would help him get better, he would give Yoga a try, I asked him to give me one month to work on him, but my offer had a condition- that he would have to leave all judgement and bias against yoga for that month. His second query was regarding perspiration, he had his concerns bout not perspiring at all,I assured him that he was bound to “sweat like a pig” now he has been training with me for four months, his medical condition has improved by leaps and bounds in fact his medication has been halved, and most importantly he is now interested in yoga, I think my journey is to make people aware to how important yoga is.


How do you feel when someone who is is a non believer in yoga comes to you and becomes gradually inclined towards it?

I feel good, I believe that God has planted a seed in me and I must disseminate it as much as I can. The seed symbolises my love for Yoga, seeing the journey of my students I feel like the seed has evolved into a sapling and the sapling in turn sprouts a plant which is gradually going to take the shape of a huge tree.

Have you ever trained any celebrity?

Yes, my students include Ria Sen, Rakhi Savant, Suchitra Krishnamurthy, Sona Kaushal, Ashwin Kaushal, Rahil Azam and many others.


Please share some fitness tips with the VamaIndia readers…..

There are 24 hours in a day, you spend about 3 hours eating, another 8 to 9 hours sleeping and about 8 to 9 hours working,   even if you take about half an hour to 45 minutes every day doing whatever you like to do, it would benefit you in a huge way, it could be taking a brisk walk, joining a yoga class or going to the gym. If you live on the 10th floor of an apartment complex and can’t hit the gym, I advise giving the escalator a miss and to “take the stairs instead”, even if you walk at least six flights of steps out of the ten, you are good to go. Parking your car a few blocks away from the office will also benefit you as you will have to walk to your office. You can also walk to the nearby market instead of taking the car- if time permits, of course, you can buy a bicycle and use it for your errands. Its these small lifestyle changes that can make a long term impact as opposed to bouts of dieting, seasons of gymming or occasional training, small changes will take you a long way.

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