Achieve a namatse, mid-air at The Yoga Gallery
"I'm going to make you fly," smiles Sunaina Rekhi, her energy bouncing off the whitewashed walls of a sunny and spacious month-old The Yoga Gallery at Juhu. Inhibited, we hover around the instructor suspiciously, as she lies on her back and raises her legs from the hip bones, so that they are perpendicular to the ground. Stretching her hands towards us, she asks us to hold them and lean forward. As we try to balance on our toes, she anchors her feet to our lower belly, pulls our arms backwards and in two seconds, we're swept off the ground, literally. "Just breathe, trust me, I won't let you fall," she assures us and we slowly let go of our inhibitions. Straightening our legs, we realise that we're a foot above the floor and when we look down, we see Rekhi beaming, "It's called the Flying Pose; one of the best trust exercises to do with your partner."
Yoga instructor Sunaina Rekhi practises the Chair Pose with the reporter. Pics/Pradeep Dhivar
Trust, and let go
While we're trying to get over the surreal sensation, Rekhi is back on the mat. This time, she asks us to place our feet on her hands and look away. Raising her legs right above her head, she places her feet on our hip and says, "Don't worry about the weight, just sit." We do, and lo! We're lifted in the air and we achieve a namaste in the Chair Pose, mid-air! "Isn't it fun?
Yoga is about opening up and understanding your own body," elaborates the 34-year-old mother.
Practising Tandem Boat, a Hatha Yoga pose
A child development expert, counsellor and psychotherapist, Rekhi began practising yoga in 2005 and enrolled herself at yoga alliance classes in Rishikesh. At her gallery, she teaches a mix of Yin, Hatha Vinyasa and Ashtanga forms. "However, I don't structure my classes. Some days, we even practise yoga to music. The idea is to help you release stress," says Rekhi. And what about weight loss? "Of course, yoga helps with weight loss. I lost 20 kilos since I began, but you have to continue it even outside of my class," she asserts, as we try a few more partner yoga exercises including the Tandem Boat pose that helps with a lower body workout.
Rekhi strikes the Vrikshasana pose at her roomy gallery
Rekhi's yoga exercises also include those that working professionals can practise on-the-go. "At your desk, sit in a chair, gently squeeze your butt and release it. This helps you tone your butt muscles," informs Rekhi.
As our engaging hour-long session comes to an end, Rekhi doles out a final piece of advice, "Instead of having eight to 10 glasses of water a day, include more fruit in your diet. That's better."
At: The Yoga Gallery, 7/28-29 first floor, Janki Das House, Janki Kutir, next to Prithvi, Juhu.
Cost: Rs 4,000 (monthly membership, twice a week)