July 2015 Compassion includes the word passion. When both get combined, you become a force for the good in the world. Mangala Sharda had been dedicatedly teaching yoga to blind children since 20 years at the Ambernath National institute, Mumbai. She hardly knew that this commitment to the welfare of her students would one day give birth to a much-needed concept. She became the first woman in India to publish a Braille book on yoga. Says the 64-year-old, “I would teach yoga postures to students and ask them to repeat it the next day. A particular child was mostly unsuccessful at it. When I asked him why, he said that he forgets. This got me thinking about compiling a Braille book on yoga. I went to the chairman with this proposal and he advised me to write it the same way I teach.” Mangala first made a CD of yoga, and sent it to the Braille Press in Mumbai. There directly a book was created from the CD. “Since I was doing it for a charitable purpose the press charged me very little,” she says. The book was first published in Marathi in 2007 and named Yoga Sparsha. “The children responded very favourably to the book. Enthused, I also published an English version called Feel Yoga, the next year,” says Mangala. Mangala was born in Mahabaleshwar, and got her yoga training from Nashik. She is the founder president of Yog Sadhana Kendra and has taught more than one lakh people which includes pregnant women and disabled people, the art of yoga. She has also authored 20 books on yoga in Marathi, Hindi and English put together. Contact: 02512603171
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