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Jenil Dholakia: Yoga instructor, flexible yet dynamic

Who is Jenil Dholakia?

Namaste! I am Jenil. Well, ‘Who am I’ doesn’t have a very definitive answer. I am yet on a journey of exploration. Taking each day as it comes. Experiencing emotions, people, places, things & more. I strongly believe in “Do not worry about the destination, but enjoy the journey!”


What are your interests, in order of priority?

Practicing & teaching yoga, writing my heart out, reading inspiring authors, travelling to newer places, healthy cooking & simply exploring!


What makes your day go ‘Boom Boom Boom’?

A day that begins with yoga, stretches into some simple joys, a moment of serendipity, a quaint corner, my super awesome boyfriend, enriching conversations, a great book, sunshine, fresh air & bohemian state of mind.


What makes it go ‘Kaboom’?

Days I don’t do yoga or days when I know I am not giving my best to anything that I do.


Is yoga your pick-me-up, your stimulant? What does it do for you?

Yoga is a way of living for me. It is not just what I do on the mat for an hour, but also what I do for the rest of the hours off the mat. It is a practice that has become inseparable & almost natural with me!


What is the Yoga Alliance?

Yoga Alliance is the largest nonprofit association representing the yoga community. Their mission is to promote and support the integrity and diversity of the teaching of yoga. It certifies a yoga teacher who has received a certain standard of yoga teacher training at a Registered Yoga School (RYS), which is recognized & honoured across the globe.


Why go all the way to Rishikesh to learn yoga? Why not somewhere nearby? 

What better place than Rishikesh, the birth place of yoga to do my teacher training from! Surrounded by the Himalayas on one side & Mother Ganga on other, the entire atmosphere buzzes with great energy. My entire stay there was very immersive with highly experienced teachers & inspiring fellow students.

A smiling Yoga instructor at Parmarth Niketan,...

A smiling Yoga instructor at Parmarth Niketan, Muni Ki Reti, Rishikesh (Photo credit: Wikipedia)


Why did you decide become a Yoga instructor? 


I discovered yoga by chance and began practicing as a way to deal with daily stress & remain fit. As I pursued it formally, I discovered how much more there was to yoga then just its physical aspect. It started to give me a larger understanding of self, life and environment and thus it has become an integral part of my life.  This journey with yoga has continued to enthrall, inspire and challenge me – to the point where I am highly inspired to teach and share this love of yoga with the world.


Now that yoga is listed as a sport by the government, what are your thoughts on it? 

I can see how yoga could be considered a sport and will be beneficial to promote it & build more awareness for it. But most sports are competitive and I would not like to see yoga as such. Where do you draw the line between sport and spiritual practice, and can the two ever be combined?

How is yoga beneficial to sports persons? Anything specific you’d like to tell runners?

Yes, it is very beneficial in many ways to sports persons. It is an appropriate practice providing physical exercise, breath control and flexibility, as well as mental focus. Yoga relieves muscle tension and loosens joints, hips, hamstrings and shoulders. Athletes who practice yoga gain greater ability to manage their breath — maximizing oxygen intake and lessening loss of energy during endurance training.

Practicing yoga is beneficial to runners because yoga helps maintain the balance between strengthening and stretching, absorbing the impact frequent running has on other areas of the body.


Anything you’d like to tell the readers about yourself, your business or any other message?

I would like to reach out to people who are afraid of yoga simply because they think they are not flexible enough or have any other misleading pre-notions about it. Yoga is very welcoming. It is for everybody. It is just a movement of breath & body.


Facebook Page:


Instagram: jenildholakia_yoga



Jenil is a Registered Yoga Teacher certified through the Yoga Alliance. She has completed her 200 hours yoga teacher training from Rishikul Yogshala, Rishikesh – the birth place of yoga.
Jenil believes in applying yoga as a path of personal harmony and transformation. A standard class will consist of dynamic and static practices of the traditional Hatha Yoga. Asanas, pranayama and meditation will lead in connecting the mind and the body. The teachings will be based on the scriptures of Sage Patanjali’s Sutras to retain the true essence of Yoga. It is her intention to have students leave her class feeling centered, grounded, and balanced & feel the innumerable benefits in their daily lives; not just on the mat. Her class will be the one that is filled with people of all ages, languages, and cultures – where all bodies are welcome and our common spirit is celebrated.

Disclosure: The interviewer is neither a practitioner nor student of yoga. The interview was emailed.


Yoga is now a national priority sport. Can it go international?

Call it ‘yogic karma’ or ‘just desserts’ but yoga is now a sports discipline in the ‘priority’ category.

The sports ministry is to make yoga a ‘sports event’.

Yoga postures Bhagaritasana.intro.

Yoga postures Bhagaritasana.intro. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The Yoga Federation of India, recognised by the Indian Olympic Association , is the main beneficiary of this extraordinary decision by the Narendra Modi sarkar.

Aims and objectives of the Yoga Federation:

  • To promote, encourage, popularize, standardize and supervise Yoga in the Country.
  • To encourage the formation of State Yoga Associations in the country.
  • To arrange and supervise the Yoga Championships, Camps, Seminars and other Contests.
  • To arrange, regulate and if necessary finance visits of the National Yoga Team in Asian Yoga Championship and World Yoga Championship. .
  • To arrange, regulate and if necessary finance visits of the National Yoga team.
  • To perform all such others acts as may seem to the Federation to be relevant and conducive to the attainment of the aims/objectives of the Federation.

Interestingly, yoga does not meet any of the criteria of being a priority. A discipline has to be a part of the Olympics, Asian or Commonwealth games to fall under this listing.

Yoga postures Catushpadapitham

Yoga postures Catushpadapitham (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Yoga may now be included in the National Games.

Onkar Kedia, Joint Secretary in Sports Ministry, denied that the move was on communal lines.

He said:

“It’s a tradition. People across the religion have been practising Yoga. It’s high time that Yoga is seen as sport.”

Yoga Federation of India (YFI) secretary general, Ashok Kumar Aggarwal, was jubilant.

He said:

“Winners in national and zonal championships will get grace marks. With the ministry including it as a sport, yoga practitioners will benefit as they will become eligible for jobs under sports quota. We are eying an Olympic entry in the near future. We have asked the national federations to liaise with their respective Olympic associations to push for the inclusion of yoga in the Olympics.”

Yoga postures Bhujangasana

Yoga postures Bhujangasana (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The YFI conducts National Yoga Championships in the following four events every year:

  1. National Yogasana Competition
  2. National Artistic Yoga Competition
  3. National Artistic Pair Yoga Competition
  4. National Rhythmic Yoga Competition.

As per the YFI website, the following is the description of the above events:

Artistic Yoga consists of presentation of various asanas by male/female including forward and backward bending, balancing, supine and prone lying, sitting postures etc. performed in all four directions with music. It is synchronization of body movement with music (without break).

Artistic Yoga Pair consists of presentation of various asanas including forward and backward bending, balancing, supine and prone lying, sitting postures etc. of competitors choice including pyramid making, performed in all four directions with music.

The pair will consist of either both the girls or both the boys or a boy and a girl.

Both the participants will perform, two different postures at a time. Performing same postures will be a disqualification.

The number of postures performed shall be 8-10 of competitors choice.

Body touch is allowed in the competition.

Making of pyramid will be given preference.

Synchronization of body movements with music will be given preference.

Time duration for the presentation will be 120 – 150 seconds.

Rhythmic Yoga is known as pair yoga. The pair may consists of either both the boys or both the girls.

Rhythmic Yoga is the presentation of various asanas to be performed in all four directions.

The pair should perform the same postures together.

Body touch between two participants is not allowed.

There should be perfect synchronization of body movements with the music.

With yoga a sport and no longer merely a form of exercise, can we expect a Yoga Team League soon for television audiences?

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