Shameem Akhtar is almost synonymous with yoga today. A recognised journalist who has worked with leading publications like The Times of India and Outlook newsmagazine, Shameem made a conscious decision to shift into the practice and propagation of yoga following her own life-changing experience with it. Herself a sadhak, Shameem has crafted an enviable integration between her livelihood and her life, and is a regular contributor to Life Positive.
A certified yoga shiromani with the internationally-acclaimed Sivananda Yoga Centre, Kerala (headquartered in Canada), she is also a certified yoga acharya (advanced level in teacher's training in hatha yoga) with them. (Both courses are set in ashram atmosphere with yoga training and practice extending from pre-dawn till night-fall). She has done the Sadhana Intensive course (also with the Sivananda Institute, at its Uttarkashi branch) which includes nine hours of yoga daily (with the majority of this focused on pranayama or breathing practices).
She is also a certified yoga teacher with the Chennai-based Asana Andiappan Institute for yoga and naturopathy, and a certified yoga shiromani and yoga acharya with the Chennai-based Shiva Yoga Institute.
She is also certified practitioner, trainer and master trainer in Neurolinguistic Programming (the latest buzzword internationally in mindpower training) with the US based American Federation of NLP, and was trained by the founder himself, Dr William Horton.
She conducts regular yoga workshops at HELP library (run by India's foremost fertility expert, Dr Anirudha Malpani) in Mumbai.
Her private students included former Miss World Yukta Mookey, and she currently teaches the family members of Spectra Motors (the largest Maruti Suzuki dealers in India). Apart from this, she also holds private classes at her residence.
She shall answer all your questions on yoga.
Ask Shameem Akthar
Question 6. Can diabetics be cured with yoga? - Anil Kayal
Please refer to Question 1.
Question 7. I have learnt yoga from various institutions (basic level) leading to a haphazard practice as of now. What do you suggest I do? - Dhruv Parekh
Practise the asanas systematically.
Question 8. What pranayamas should be done in winter season and how many rounds of each and in what sequence? - Ankur Bhatia
In winter, you may continue with your normal schedule of pranayamas. Best for generating heat in the body are Kapalabhati (or Bhastrika) -- both are stimulating. Ujjayi is also a heating pranayama as is Brahmari, though both are calming. About the rounds, that may not and should not be generalised. It is a matter of growth, that may be decided only by a teacher and the regularity of your practice. The order would be Kapalabhati (or Bhastrika), ujjayi and then brahmari.
Question 9. What is the best asanam for neuro deafness? - Sachin Agarwal
According to the Bihar School of Yoga's book Asana Pranayama Mudra Bandha, the practices for deafness (I would not know if that would be different from neuro deafness) are as follows: Simhasana, inverted poses, bharamari pranayama, and neti for kriya. However if there is discharge or inflammation, you may not practice any of this.
Question 10. Are there specific asanas, mudras that improve rhumetoid arthritis /bone loss? - Geetika Baruah
The first set to get yourself in order would be the set of pawan muktasana series. These are gentle. They may also be learned in a phased manner. For the complete set, look to the Bihar School of Yoga's Asana Pranayama Mudra Bandha. (all the three sets of pawan muktasana), all pranayamas, and relaxation like yoga nidra are best.