Exercise for Body, Mind, and Soul – Bhavya Mandanna


I have always been drawn to fitness and was very active in sports throughout school and college. I was a National Athlete and have represented the State at many National meets and have also been placed at the National level. In school, I was a part of the football, basketball, and hockey team. I went on to earn second place in the Reebok CrossFit Challenge in 2014. It is perhaps obvious to think that I must have pursued a career in sports or fitness.

“I can teach anybody how to get what they want out of life. The problem is that I can’t find anybody who can tell me what they want.”

– Mark Twain

I can say that I was not sure about what I really wanted. After completing my Bachelor’s in Media and Communication, I took up a fulltime job and was a part of the corporate world for a few years. I remember those days when I was stuck behind the desk and my heart literally begged me to ‘log-off and get outside!’ I finally paid heed and there was no turning back. 

Get Outdoors, Get Fitter, Get Happier

I became a full-time fitness trainer because I realized that I love inspiring and helping people get fit and I also believe that there is a deep link between fitness and happiness.  Being an athlete I’ve always loved motivating people and encourage them to lead a healthier and happier lifestyle. I am also a big fan of outdoor workouts and activities. It is certainly cheaper than working indoors in gyms and studios. It also helps stimulate your mind, makes you happier and less stressed! And who doesn’t love a little sunshine now and then? Exposure to the sun can help up Vitamin D! And one can really experiment when outdoors, whether it is bodyweight training, lunges and running or even partner yoga or deep relaxation or meditation under the shade of a tree!  The world is yours to explore!

When and How Yoga Became a Part of My Life

I started off as a general fitness trainer and then moved onto becoming a yoga instructor. I decided I wanted to pursue yoga after I went through a confusing phase in my life. I started with meditation for a few months and began to notice a positive change in my mental attitude. It made me calmer and more collected as a person. This motivated me to pursue asana practice and try various forms of Yoga. I absolutely love my everyday practice, it teaches me something new about myself every day. Regular practice encouraged me to enroll for a teacher training course in Mysuru at Yoga Darshanam. I wanted to share and spread the joy of Yoga with everyone.

It is the joy and satisfaction that comes from sharing the benefits of yoga that inspired me to become a yoga trainer. The training helped me build a strong foundation and get an in-depth understanding of yoga philosophy. Soon, yoga became a way of life for me.

“The body is your temple. Keep it pure and clean for the soul to reside in.”  BKS Iyengar

Apart from Hatha and Ashtanga yoga I also had the opportunity to learn Mudra yoga, which can be very effective if done the right way. We live in a fast-paced, busy world and we rush through life. Mudra yoga is a simple technique that can easily become a part of our daily routine and have a positive impact on our physical and mental well-being. I also decided to specialize in Yoga therapy because as a fitness trainer and former athlete I had observed that in our country there is still no proper guideline or method in place to introduce people to various fitness workouts. This leads to irreversible injuries. Exploring the therapeutic aspect of yoga has helped me plan sessions based on every individual’s capacity.

I have also learned prenatal yoga and acro/partner yoga. I found acro yoga to be a fun activity. It can also help those who are not very flexible. As a teacher, it helped me understand different body types and how to work around it. My objective is to maximize my full potential of being a committed holistic yoga and fitness teacher, where I can educate my clients to my fullest capability. I have been training and teaching for the past 4 years and I absolutely love what I do.

A Balanced Yoga Class

Yes, yoga is all about balance and holistic development. It helps improve mind-body balance, teaches you work-life balance, it integrates and helps you balance all layers of your life. But today we have myriad forms of yoga. And people have different fitness levels. I thus feel it is important to educate and guide those new to yoga and plan a balanced yoga class based on their individual needs and fitness level. I thus offer customized classes for those who have specific fitness goals. Apart from taking private yoga classes I also enjoy and take group classes.   

Yoga for Awareness

I have always been a person constantly striving to be a better version of myself every day, not just physically but mentally as well. Athletics made me see that, it helped build my character and the person I am today. It gave me immense satisfaction to quit my day job and become a fitness trainer; though it wasn’t an easy decision to make in a world where we need to follow certain social stigmas. But it was challenging and gave me the freedom to explore and become independent.
Nevertheless, slowly I realized that though physically I was becoming stronger, the lingering question about what I really want to be was still unanswered. I knew that something was missing. That’s when I embraced yoga. It helped me understand the soul-mind-body connection, made me more aware and accept all that I am and all that I am not. It brings with it a sense of calmness that no other work-out can help you achieve. I thus encourage everyone to try yoga at least once. You can rest assured that if not immediately, they will certainly return to it sooner or later. As someone who was a big fan of fitness and toned body, I am thankful to yoga for helping me see beyond what I thought was perfect and see things differently. I think the following quote by Yogi Eric Paskel pretty much sums up how I feel.

“Yoga is not about tightening your ass. It’s about getting your head out of it.”

Why I am an Environmentalist 

I discovered I love capturing vivid colours of nature in photographs. Photography has a healing effect on my soul. I also started making natural body butter and lip balms and sell them under my brand ‘MAHI’, which means Earth. All my products are handmade.  I noticed that if you educate people on sustainable living, they happily embrace it. ‘MAHI’ gives me a platform to practice what I preach. I try and reach out to as many people as I can and educate them on the importance of sustainable living and recycling.

The Earth Is Our Home

Human Beings are the major driving force for both positive and negative impacts on our planet. We alone have the power to change the way we live, so that our impact on the planet is as minimal as possible. Yoga has helped me achieve and appreciate a lot of things personally in life and this journey has been eventful and educational. It has given me a positive perspective on life.  I think Yoga is a wonderful tool to bridge the gap between nature and humans.

Bhavya Mandanna

follow me on Instagram @ bhavyamandannayoga

Also Read: https://www.juruyoga.com/here-is-what-to-do-for-a-healthy-mind-and-a-healthy-body/

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