Nischint Singh is a yoga exponent and holistic healer. She spoke to Guardian 20 about becoming a yoga teacher, her book and living a well-balanced life.
Q. You are one of the most sought after yoga counselors in Northern India, but this journey unfolded because of a personal tragedy. Tell us about how you became a yoga teacher.
A. At the age of three, I underwent a car accident which left me with a debilitating spinal injury that I am managing till date. 15 years on, at the age of 18, when one is to enjoy the wonderful teenage years, I was instead dealing with a huge crisis. Excruciating pains in my right leg and arm, paralytic spasm attacks, blackouts and not to mention the depression just looking at myself wore me out. Yoga happened, when medically I was considered unfit for a surgery as the main issue was too close to the brain. Hence, more risk of full paralysis, if something should go wrong. So medically there was no help and mentally I was deteriorating. The trigger was when I was told that I may have to resort to a wheelchair over time and just live with my issues. The rebel in my mind woke up and there started my journey to variousashrams in India to study the science of yoga and meditation and how it could get me perfect. My own health issues opened up my path and little did I know that I would be teaching this on such a large scale one day.
Q. Tell us about your book, I Met God on the Sofa.
A. Having risen out of my ailments mentally and physically, I felt the need to expose this wonderful power that lies dormant in us. It worked over the years with people with all sorts of physical and mental traumas and my medicine to each one was–the power is within you. This led to me writing the bookI Met God on the Sofa, which talks about this wonderful God which is your own mind. Make sure you meet that power each day wherever you are, on the sofa, in the office, on a bus etc. It’s with you always. My book is for all ages. A child to the oldest can relate to its simple language and cartoon caricatures talking about life and the simple self-help tools I’ve given after each chapter to overcome issues from physical to mental health. It’s simple, to the point and has transformed many lives.
Q. The message you have stressed upon in the book is “You are God, it’s all in your mind. Unleash that power.” Can you elaborate that?
A. I always like to believe that one should live life to its fullest, every microsecond of it. My negative state of mind and the depression I was slipping into were the key fundamental points for making me believe in myself. Being told I would never be normal or live a normal life triggered that rebel in me. I had to prove to myself that I could do this. The moment that thought was established in my mind, the universe opened paths to me. My mind was creating my life but the switch had to come from within me. That›s the power of our mind. It is this sleeping power that has to be kicked to roar, and it does.
Q. Illnesses like cancer and mental health issues are dominating the world. What advice would you give for tackling these?
A. Cancer today seems to have become like the viral flu. My take is that it’s the underlying stress that has increased in everyone so much, apart from the environment factors such as pollution and haphazard lifestyle. I work a lot with cancer patients and my work first starts with working on their mind. The mind controls the body functions and the mind can recreate the body as well. One needs to eat healthy and connect to the body—be it through yoga, pranayam, meditation, walking, dancing or the gym. Spend a little if not a lot of time focused on own self, affirming and visualising great health. Eat healthy as well.
Q. At 50 years of age, you are very fit and lead a healthy life. What advice do you have for young women?
A. I support the Fit and Fab India movement as it’s no more about just looking good, it’s about feeling good and remaining like that as long as we can. My advice to all women would be to love yourselves. Resolve to do everything that makes you feel good about yourself and avoid all the things that you feel you have to do. Be happy inside, feel good about yourself at all moments, enjoy what you do.