Disha Singh found her calling in yoga eight years ago, after which she took it up professionally. A full-time mother, part-time businesswoman, and a yoga teacher, Disha talks to us about moving from the corporate world into yoga, her education initiatives and more.
How did you discover your passion for yoga?
A couple of years ago, I attended a yoga class because I was bored at home. I was applying for jobs and basically had no routine, so my mother dragged me along. I complained about being inflexible and weak, as I really didn’t want to go. But after four weeks of attending classes regularly, I couldn’t believe the difference it made to me – both physically and mentally. So I never looked back. I worked in a multinational for about a year, but simultaneously kept practicing yoga. Now it’s a necessity for me, just like eating and sleeping!
Tell us about your transition from the corporate world into teaching yoga.
I developed a lot of health issues while working in a corporate, despite being fit. I had a constant headache and back pain. I was practicing yoga simultaneously, and felt the need to dive deeper into this spiritual practice. It wasn’t easy, though. This was a couple of years ago when yoga wasn’t as trendy as it is today. At that point of time, I just knew I wanted to do it full-time, so I followed my heart and went for it. And I’m grateful that I did.
You’ve not only taught in Hyderabad but also in Australia and Malaysia. Have you noticed any differences?
When I started teaching in Hyderabad, I was mocked for being too young. Thankfully I didn’t give into it, and continued despite some tough days. I was eventually empowered by the love I got from my students. I have to say, though, that I’ve seen the immense amount of respect that yoga gets in Western countries. As strange as it may sound, there was a point where I felt that the practice was more appreciated there. Some people in Western countries live more isolated lives than here, so maybe yoga gives them a space to come together and be part of a community… I’m not sure what it is. That’s how it was in Australia, whereas Malaysia is a fantastic blend of Eastern and Western cultures. I had a group of Chinese girls who’d come regularly to learn from me, and I haven’t met any group more diligent than those. Wherever it’s been, it was amazing and I’ve learnt so much from all my students.
We hear you’ve recently ventured into the educational space with your husband. What’s that all about?
My husband, Prashant, is Malaysian, and his aim is to make Malaysia a world-class education hub. So we are now recruiting students from all backgrounds to study in Malaysia for a fraction of the cost compared to other countries. As we are from two different countries, we would like to build this bridge between these two countries through affordable and world-recognised education for everyone in India.
What is it like to work with your husband?
It isn’t easy (smiles). If I said we don’t carry work back home, it would be a lie. We tend to discuss work almost every day and, to be honest, as much as I hate to admit it, he usually is right about most things “work.” Right now, I have taken a step back after becoming a mother, and don’t go to office regularly. My role is to handle the creatives for social media and I work from home. We’ve split our responsibilities and try not to interfere in each other’s spaces. Eventually I’d like to go back to teaching yoga while just helping him out as and when required.
Congratulations on becoming a mother! What has it been like?
Motherhood tugs at heart strings that you never knew existed. It makes you smile in the roughest of times, and worry about things you’d never imagined could bother you. We have all sorts of days. Instagram mom influencers portray motherhood as very serene and empowering at all times. It’s really not like that! As joyous as being a mum is, it can also be very isolating at times. But I’m very fortunate to be surrounded by family and friends who are nothing less than amazing. Prashant is also completely invested in fatherhood, and is very hands-on and always wanting to do things. I consider myself very blessed.
Where do you see yourself in a few years from now?
I love writing and my hope is to write a book someday, and also to continue teaching yoga. But right now, being a new mom makes it hard to find the time to do that. I guess at this point I’m taking it a day at a time, as my priority is Riaan, our son.
What else do you like doing?
I love to travel, and I’d like to see as many places as I can.
I have to say, right now, motherhood is a full time job and
I have to put this interest on hold for a while. I also enjoy trying food from different cultures, reading nonfiction books and dancing. --- as told to Anahita