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A twist in his tale

Remaining focussed Breathing is very crucial, says Prasad

Remaining focussed Breathing is very crucial, says Prasad  

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Practicing Ashtanga Yoga improves stamina and concentration, says teacher Prasad Bhatdundi

Watching Prasad Bhatdundi perform yoga is like, as the cliché goes, watching poetry in motion. His face is serene and his lithe body twists and turns effortlessly as he goes into one complex pose after the other with an almost deceptive ease — the only indication of the effort it entails, the beads of sweat that dot his face and body.

His tryst with yoga started almost 15 years ago in a little village in North Kanara, “I enrolled in a Vedanta and Chanting camp at the age of 12 in my hometown where along with learning the chants, we had to practice yoga. This is where my personal journey with yoga began.”

However, it was only after a chance encounter with Ashtanga practitioner Vijay Kumar Manjar in Mysore, where Prasad was pursuing a Masters in Sanskrit, that Prasad truly embraced the practice. “I got introduced to the Ashtanga form of yoga through my guru. Ashtanga is a traditional form of yoga that follows a standardised sequence of postures and has not been diluted in any way, over the years,” he says, adding that he relocated to Bangalore two years ago.

According to him, the practice improves flexibility, strength, stamina and concentration, training the mind to remaining focused and pushing the body’s strength to higher levels, “As you follow a standard sequence everyday, the practice is repetitive, leading to perfection. Breathing is very crucial as it leads you into your various asanas/postures, creating enough internal heat in the body to remove all toxins and open all the blocks in our nervous system,” he adds.

Ashtanga is not easy — the postures are complex and the sequence demands a lot out of you but it can be tweaked to address the needs of students across ages and fitness levels. “I encourage a lot of self-practice in my class, where each student practicing at their own pace and based on their individual ability, needs and strength I help them to perfect each posture and move to the next level,” says Prasad. “I believe anyone, anywhere, any age can practice yoga. Ashtanga is for all.”

Prasad walks the talk. And certainly breathes it. “I lead a disciplined life as that is required to sustain the practice. I am up at 4 a.m. every morning, beginning my day with a series of chants and hymns. I also undertake my own self-practice in Ashtanga every day, either early in the morning or late in the evening depending on my classes and schedule. I take classes across the day in four locations in the city,” he says. On future plans, “The West made Ashtanga popular and I want to take this practice to more people in Bangalore. Ashtanga creates a healthy and spiritual balance in your mind, body and soul. I would love for more people to try out my class and experience this,” he smiles.

Call Prasad on +919449208616

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Printable version | Jan 18, 2020 8:56:27 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/features/metroplus/a-twist-in-his-tale/article6228496.ece

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