First and Last name: Indu Arora
Location (city and state): Minneapolis, MN
What gets you excited about Midwest Yoga + Life Magazine?
With every single release of Midwest Yoga + Life Magazine, I see the MN community coming together and moving forward as a mindful, responsible, and aware sangha for the betterment of many. This to me is heartwarming and reassuring that we must be doing something right here in our own land of 10,000 lakes.
What is your vision as a cover model for Midwest Yoga + life?
To convey how real progress (in life and in yoga) takes time, effort, and patience. No matter what, keep learning and unlearning, for it requires both emptying and filling in tandem. To stay steady on the Yogic path, it is important to pay attention to everyday health (physical, pranic, mental) and not just health as some future goal. Through my work, I like to emphasize adopting self-care practices (as laid out in Ayurvedic texts as morning, evening, and seasonal care and yamas and niyama of Yoga Sutras) as essential, non-negotiable, and swadharma.
How do you integrate yoga into your life/work balance?
Yoga to me is 24 x 7 x 365 days of awareness, discernment, and balance, not a one-hour practice or few hours of study or a few days of teaching. Yoga, truly speaking, is not even work for me, but my dharma, my karma, and my life. I share so I can repay the debt of wisdom to my teachers who shared the timeless practices, philosophy, and rituals effortlessly and unconditionally. Personally, as a practice on the mat, it changes based on the time of the day, season of the year, and my physical, mental, emotional, and pranic state.
What does “evolve” (theme of the issue) mean to you?
To be able to contract, stretch, or invert our mental landscape as needed; evolve to me means “to stay flexible”. If we stay stuck with “this is who I am”, “this is what I know”, and “this is what I do” narratives, we cannot evolve. We must stay open, humble, and ready to be stirred or stilled as needed. May we learn from the five elements and keep transforming as needed: be steady like a rock to fight the good fight, flow with ease when life becomes unpredictable, radiate enthusiasm to meet new challenges, diffuse the stress by easing the breath, and learn to simply be without chasing constant accomplishments, accolades, and approvals.
What is your favorite color?
The colors of dawn and dusk.
Coffee or tea?
Anything else you want to share?
Say NO to Yoga of Extremes! So many times, I observe practitioners dabbling between what I understand as the Yoga of Extremes. Yoga inherently is a state of balance, moderation, and equanimity. Any kind of extremes, be it movement or stillness, exertion or inertia, hot or cold, comfort or discomfort, and so on over a period of time will lead to imbalance. Likewise, it is not Yoga for a specific dosha like Vata, Pitta, or Kapha. It is always Yoga of Vikruti (imbalance) towards Yoga of Prakruti (balance). No matter the state of imbalance, the effort should not be to move to the other end, but to the center/equanimity. This is called “upeksha” in Yoga Sutras of Patanjali, Yoga of “samatvam” (balance) as stated in Bhagwad Gita, or the state of “madhyasta” (center) as mentioned in Vijnana Bhairava Tantra. None of vedic or tantrika literature points towards extremes. Be mindful of the Yoga you practice; it will only be you who will taste the fruit of your yoga. Irrespective of the Yoga you practice, may it always be the “Yoga of Common Sense”.
Indu Arora, an Ayurveda and Yoga Teacher, mentor, and author considers herself a student for lifetime. Sharing about Yoga philosophy, Yoga Therapy, Ayurveda, and Tantra since 1999, Indu taught under Kriya Yoga, Himalayan Yoga, Tantra (SriVidya and Kashmir Shivaism) lineages in a traditional Guru Shishya Paramapara setting, all of which inspire her.
Her teaching style is rooted in empowering and inspiring students through self-inquiry. Her core philosophy is, ‘Yoga is work-in not work-out!” She is the author of three books, Mudra: The Sacred Secret, Yoga – Ancient Heritage, Tomorrow’s Vision, and SOMA – 100 Heritage Recipes for Self-Care.
Social media: @Induaroraofficial (Instagram)
Photography by: Milan Toth