Adopting Alternative Therapies for A Better Life — Shikha Mankotia, Yoga Profressional

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Shikha Mankotia, from Una District in Himachal Pradesh, started her journey in Yoga with a postgraduate diploma in Yoga Therapy, followed by a certificate course in the Bhagavad Gita and Elementary Sanskrit. She completed a 200-hour Registered Yoga Teacher Training with Yoga Alliance USA, as well as certifications in Prenatal and Postnatal Yoga and Kids Yoga Teacher Training. She also holds a master’s degree in Yoga and a postgraduate diploma in Garbh Sanskar; and now she is pursuing a PhD in Yoga. Mankotia has also worked as a Yoga teacher at Kendriya Vidyalaya Bangana, Una, and spent one year in Singapore as a Yoga/Ayurveda Therapist.

In conversation with Keekli Editor, Garima Sharma, Shikha Mankotia shared insights into her life and her journey as a Yoga professional! Mankotia practices as well as advocates adopting alternative therapies for a better life!   

Garima Sharma (GS): Why did you choose Yoga as a career?

Shikha Mankotia (SM): Actually, I didn’t choose Yoga as a career option. I started Yoga practice for mental peace, but when I went deep into it academically and then professionally, I felt inclined towards it. Maybe it was destined!

GS: How did you get the idea of getting into the field of Garbh Sanskar of Yoga?

SM: As I said, I started with postgraduate diploma in Yoga therapy, so I was working as a therapist. But after my pregnancy when I practiced Garbh Sanskar for my wellbeing and my baby, that is when I felt its need for the society, especially pregnant women. So, I did a registered prenatal and postnatal yoga teacher training programme after my delivery; and when I was in Singapore, I got to know about the postgraduate diploma in Garbh Sanskar. I immediately planned to pursue it further, as now I am majorly working on female health.

GS: Can you further explain what is Garbh Sanskar?

SM: It’s a good question. The word Garbh Sanskar is made up of two words – garbh, which means foetus (baby inside the womb) and sanskar, which means qualities or properties. So, basically Garbh Sanskar is a process of inculcating predefined qualities to an unborn baby inside the womb. As we put some curd into milk to make more curd, just like that we give Garbh Sanskar to an unborn baby to inculcate some qualities before his/her birth.

A few very famous examples of the stories we all have heard are those of Abhimanyu, Bhakt Prahlad, Ashtavakra; all these legends got those Sanskars from their mothers, inside their womb when they were not even born.

GS: How is Yoga related to it?

SM: Prenatal Yoga is part of Garbh Sanskar. As during pregnancy, a mother needs to be physically, mentally and spiritually strong so Yoga provides all these aspects of holistic health. At the physical level, asanas work, on a mental level pranayama and for spiritual wellbeing dhyan or meditation helps a lot.

GS: What is the importance of Yoga in today’s busy life?

SM: Of course it is very important. In today’s busy life we have started neglecting our health and wellness. Everyone is busy with their work with a busy schedule in the office or something or the other that take priority over their own wellbeing. Because of this, their physical and mental health is affected. Working couples are stressed most of the time, which also affects the quality of their fertile life with decreasing rates. Cases of PCOS, PCOD, irregular periods are increasing day by day. To get rid of all these problems, Yoga is the only solution with proper diet and guidance.

GS: As you are settled abroad, how do you plan to help the people back home with your knowledge of Yoga?

SM: While working abroad, it came to my mind so many times that if I can work for foreigners, then why not for my own people. This is the reason I came back and now I am trying to make people aware about the concept of Garbh Sanskar and prenatal Yoga.

GS: What are your future plans? 

SM: I am pursuing my PhD in Yoga. I want to sensitize people about the benefits of different forms of Yoga. I am even planning to open a holistic health centre in Himachal where under one roof, you could get the benefits of Yoga, Ayurveda, Acupressure, Prenatal Yoga, Garbh Sanskar, Kids Yoga, Counselling Sessions, etc. I want to work on every aspect of health and cure diseases from the root cause not just relief for the time being.

GS: Anything you would like to share with our readers?

SM: Yes, Garbh Sanskar and prenatal yoga is the most important thing to be followed by a would-be-mother. I am making efforts to make people aware about this. In India, c-section has become very common for females. Sometimes they themselves are opting to deliver a baby through c-section. They don’t know the adverse effects of it. If there are complications, then it’s a different thing, but by choice if you are opting then you are giving your body and yourself an unwanted surgery. My message to all females is to please consider your motherhood journey as an important phase of your own life as well as your baby’s life. Go with Garbh Sanskar and Prenatal Yoga, it would definitely help.

Abroad, people are aware of their health and they opt alternative therapies rather than allopathic, but in India therapies like Yoga, Ayurveda, Acupressure are not in trend as much. People are not ready to pay a Yoga therapist but for allopathic medicines they are ready to spend lakhs. So, I want people to be a little bit aware, and make a move towards alternative therapies.

 

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