In 2012, after I gave birth to my son, we spent 4 months in Intensive Care of a Children's Hospital in Paris with my son battling for his life. Soon after we realized that my son might never speak or walk again and that he would spend most of his time in therapy.
After nine months of a beautiful dreamy pregnancy, to be given this news, was devastating. Away from home, (India) and my family with this tremendous challenge on my shoulders, this was the most isolating experience of my life. I was drowning in my grief and there was no help. I was screaming in pain and no one seemed to hear me or care.
Leaving the hospital one day in June to get some clean clothes, I was shocked to see how sunny and beautiful the day was with trees flowering and people sitting and laughing in cafes. My life had changed forever and my son would never lead a normal life. How could the world move on? Instead of going to parks and making play dates, my son had appointments with specialists neurologists and physical therapists.
Slowly I began sinking into a terrible depression. For a year I didnt see a single friend or a member of the family. I would stay in bed all day or take care of my son which was easy since he spent most of his time sleeping. The only time we went out was for his doctor or therapists appointments.
I, who was very proud of having travelled to 28 countries, interviewed by the BBC as a new generation Indian woman, running a successful fashion company in Paris was completely and utterly devastated.
Out of this darkness nearly 2 years later, I began taking tentative steps towards life again. Slowly I got back to yoga. Practising this traditional and pure Hatha Yoga saved my life. Hatha Yoga focusses on breath control, meditation and of course the dynamic postures. It taught me to be in the present and not to dwell in the past and future. It built up my shattered self confidence and helped me let go off my anger.
Today Ishan is a very happy child, a joy and a blessing for me. But the journey to arrive at this point where I see my child as my grace and blessing wasn't an easy one. It is Hatha Yoga that saved my life. And in 2015 I decided to get my Yoga teacher certification. Besides teaching yoga in Paris, I want to help heal other families with a special needs child. Just as Yoga and meditation helped me, it can also help another family. I have met so many beautiful and talented mothers who have stopped their careers or withdrawn into a small world because of the difficulties they have to face daily. I want to draw these women out, I want them to let go of that crippling sense of anger and pain by offering them Yoga lessons (free of cost) and providing a space for these parents to talk and express themselves. After a hatha yoga lesson, I want these parents to feel cleansed and empowered and strong to handle the challenge life has given them. I know how alienating this experience can be and I also know that Yoga and meditation can help.
Yoga, meditation and breath control are uniquely individual experiences which can help a person accept his needs, qualities and flaws. Only a person who is in peace with the self can be loving and productive to his/her family and society.
Helping another family heal, seeing my son happy , helps me makes sense of my experiences and my life.
I also committed to helping Shishu Sarothi an association in Assam, India which rehabilitates and trains special needs children. It was the first association of its kind in Assam when it started in 1987. It has won the President of India's "Best Institution" medal for its work. The Association works with children with autism and cerebral palsy in the rural areas of Assam. In India there is no sécurité sociale and they have very little financial help from the goverment. All the money earned from my yoga classes goes towards this association. Their website http://www.shishusarothi.org/
If you want to help in this project in anyway or have any ideas/advises please write to me.
In august 2016 our small family of three moved to Dubai, UAE from Paris France. It has been an incredible positive adventure for our family. My son Ishan goes to a wonderful school Rashid Therapy Centre, Dubai. Here he gets the great care and therapies that he needed from dedicated and sincere teachers and staff. Moved by the great care they give my son I offered to help. And the school accepted my help to teach yoga to 18-21 year old girls with Autism and Down Syndrome . So every wednsday you will find me in Rashid Centre teaching yoga to these students along with their school teachers. It is such an enriching experience, I feel blessed and I thank you all for your support and kind messages.