International Yoga Day 2021: Two Amazing Instructors Mrunmayi Sapatnekar And Vishwa Puranik Discuss Various Benefits Of Yoga

Yoga instructors Mrunmayi and Vishwa talk about the benefits of Yoga during a pandemic, how it transformed their lives and more in this exclusive chat with ZEE5.

Shrudi Shyam

June 15, 2021


11 min


Yoga not only rejuvenates your mind and body but your soul as well. Many people including some of the biggest celebrities swear by the benefits of yoga. This International Yoga Day , which falls on June 21, we got in touch with two yoga instructors to learn about their thoughts on yoga and how it has helped them. On one side we have, Mrunmayi Sapatnekar who has her own yoga studio called, YIDAM. She is a yoga instructor born and brought up in Nashik who is now settled in the US. Mrunmayi is an Ayurveda and Restorative Yoga Specialist with her expertise in Vinyasa, Power Yoga, HIIT Yoga and Hatha. And next, we have Vishwa D. Puranik, who is a yoga teacher and psychologist from Nashik as well. She is a certified, QCI (Quality Council of India) LEVEL 2 trainer who conducts online yoga classes and counselling sessions.

Let’s delve into our conversation with them…


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A post shared by YIDAM (@yidamyoga)

How & when did you first come across Yoga?

Mrunmayi recalled the time she was diagnosed with hypothyroidism and said, “My mom took me to a yoga class although I wasn’t ready to. She asked me to attend one class and then come to a conclusion. Surprisingly, I loved my first session and then, there was no turning back from it. It cured my thyroid and I truly believe yoga is like a magic wand that does wonders to your mind and body.”

Vishwa, while talking about her first encounter with Yoga, said, “When I was doing my masters in psychology and conducting counselling sessions, it became really stressful. That’s why I joined a yoga class, to relieve some stress. I guess that was the best decision and now I’m practising yoga since 2017.”

Also Read: Esha Deol Inspires Fans To Take Up Yoga To Strengthen Mind and Body During This Tough Phase!

What was your initial idea about Yoga?

Thinking back to her initial thoughts of yoga, Mrunmayi said, “I thought yoga is just a boring activity where you simply sit, close your eyes, and try to concentrate on something that you have no idea about. But only once you grow up and indulge in the right number of sessions with proper guidance, do you realize the magic of Yoga.”

Meanwhile, Vishwa’s main focus was the physical aspect of it. She said, “I was aware of how yoga works on our body and mind. But initially, my only focus was on the physical aspect. For instance, reducing weight, flexibility and strength were my only focus points. But now it has transformed me as a person.”


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A post shared by Vishwa Puranik (@vishwapuranik_)

How has practising Yoga transformed your life?

Mrunmayi says yoga has turned her life upside-down. She adds, “After studying about yoga, I came to know about the various intricacies of every asana, every breath taken while doing the poses and how that affects your body and targets your mental, emotional, and physical strength. It has taught to me improve myself and take my practice to next level every day.”

While recalling how Yoga has helped her physically and emotionally, Vishwa said, “Yoga has been a tremendous help for me in many ways. Some of the physical benefits were maintained weight, regular menstrual cycle, improved flexibility and strength, better sleep, etc. Meanwhile, it also had emotional benefits such as becoming more emotionally stable, calmer and more focused mind, managing stress efficiently, being more relaxed and mindful as a person.”

What tip would you like to give people who want to try out Yoga but are sceptical?

Calling “the solution to every problem” if we “believe in it”, Mrunmayi said, “Never think of yoga as a workout routine. Think of it as a way of life and you will never face any issues to kickstart that journey. Many people who are suffering from high or low blood pressure are sceptical about it. But what they don’t know is that yoga can actually give you relief and it is not at all denied for any kind of comorbidity.”

Vishwa believes that yoga is for everyone. She says, “I think people should at least try yoga for a month, and then they will surely feel the difference. There is a myth about yoga that yoga is only for flexible people. Well, it’s NOT. Yoga can be done by everyone. For a more happy relaxed and balanced life one should definitely do yoga and see the difference for themselves!”

Any particular incident you’d like to share?

Recalling the time when Murnmayi was trying to get her inversions right, she said, “I practised twice a day with the help of various techniques and props. And yet I couldn’t do it for two months in spite of trying so much. Then one fine day as my practice progressed, my inversions started to happen with sudden ease. And that’s the moment I realized that if you work hard and are determined, sooner or later you will reach your goal.”

Vishwa didn’t think yoga could be done virtually but looks like the pandemic changed her mind. She said, “I used to think that yoga cannot be done virtually. But after lockdown, I was so surprised by the response I got. It was better for everyone as it was convenient for them to join the class from their houses. This is a great experience for me also as a yoga teacher.”

Also Read: Ahead Of International Yoga Day 2021: Ministry of Ayush, Ministry of Youth Affairs & Sports to Jointly Run Online Yoga Training Programme

What are the benefits of yoga during the pandemic?

Mrunmayi believes that the benefits of yoga during the pandemic are “humungous”. She adds, “There is nothing that yoga cannot heal. In times of pandemic, where the majority of people are suffering from anxiety and depression, meditation can help cure it. In fact, there are several yoga sessions that offer ‘Stress Releasing Sequences’. Here Uttanasana, Prasarita Padottanasana, Sasangasana, Vajrasana, Garudasana and many such poses are taught to students.” Talking about the types of yoga she said, “For people who do not know what are the various types of yoga, there is not just Fat-burn yoga, there is Restorative yoga, Vinyasa Flow, Power yoga, Ashtanga yoga, Hatha yoga, Iyengar yoga that are performed for various reasons and help in various situations.”


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Vishwa believes that with all the chaos around, it is important to give yourself a little break and take some time to move. She says, “There are a lot of benefits of yoga, especially during a pandemic. Since we are working from home for the last 1.5 years, keeping ourselves sane is a huge challenge. So we all need physical movement to feel refreshed. And breathing practice will help us to strengthen our lungs. Asanas will help us to strengthen our body and pranayama will be beneficial for our relaxation.”

Recalling how Yoga helped her patients with anger issues and stress-related problems, Vishawa added, “After my masters in psychology and my Level 2 certification from the Quality Council of India in yoga, I used my skills to conduct online training sessions and workshops for industry professionals. These included both personalized and group sessions.” “I conducted yoga sessions to help my patients facing anger issues and stress-related problems. This exercise was highly successful, as most of my patients reported feeling better both physically and mentally. They also found that they were subsequently able to manage stress, control their emotions and improve mindfulness much better and for more sustained period of time.”


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A post shared by Vishwa Puranik (@vishwapuranik_)

Any message for our readers on International Yoga Day?

Calling Yoga the “healer for your mind”, Mrunmayi said, “Do not think of yoga as just a form of exercise. Consider it as an ultimate healer for your mind, emotions, and body. Yoga comes from the Sanskrit word that means “union”, therefore, think of it as a system that has the purpose of uniting ourselves with our own highest nature.”

Stating that yoga is for “self-betterment”, Vishwa says, “I really want that every person should do practice yoga at least thrice a week. It is so important to take care of our mind and body in this situation. I just hope people will overcome their excuses and start utilizing our traditional yoga practice to enjoy life. There is no better way to thank your body than to allow it to move and breathe.”


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