It has been a 13-year long journey from being a professional dancer to a yoga, movement and bodywork therapist. A wonderful journey of discovery in healing and wellness. Progressively refining techniques and learning new ones, my most recent addition is the singing bowls which I studied in Nepal in 2017.

I also practise other healing modalities such as yoga, neuro-linguistic programming, creative movement or dance therapy among others. Interestingly, this is also the way I unplug and recharge. I disconnect from giving treatments and learn something new myself. It’s very important to leave your everyday working environment and go learn a new skill.

The first thing I do after getting out of bed is go through my set of affirmations, I have a vision board on my wall staring at me and setting my frame of mind for the day. Mental and emotional wellness is very important and it’s not just about food and exercise. So having a set of measurable positive and specific goals is a great way to affirm your day.

Since my day tends to be quite full, I try and restrict my phone usage, e-mails and communication to afternoons and possibly an hour in the evening. Earlier, I had a team managing social media but it only creates a lot of comparisons, competition and this constant quest to be validated by the number of likes one gets. So I now manage my accounts myself.

My ideal day consists of all the things I love to do. Practise yoga, meet family and friends, go for a dance class, snooze in the afternoon which works amazingly for me, read something of value, watch a documentary on Netflix, go for a long walk into the sunset, meditate and sleep early.

The point is to find a balance between one’s social life, work life, personal development, health and spirituality, managing finances and anything else on your list. A couple of years ago, I burned out when I didn’t balance my life. I had three back to back retreats to teach, and my body just collapsed on the last retreat. My immunity was so low that I had a terrible viral infection and lost my voice.

Luckily, I had a friend who took some classes for me when I couldn’t move out of bed. I was forced to listen to my body, our bodies talk to us all the time but we have forgotten how to listen to them.

My constant effort is to take the practice off my mat and integrate into my daily life. Eating at the right time, sleeping on time, controlling my phone usage, finding “me” time during the day, taking out at least 30 to 40 minutes for exercise and spending time with loved ones. These habits make my day better, give a sense of achievement and motivation to aim higher, teach more, focus more and live better!

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  • Samanta Duggal

    Yoga, movement and bodywork therapist

    Samanta is a well-respected teacher who has been dedicated to mind-body health for over 20 years. With a lifetime spent practising Yoga, Jazz Technique and Bharatnatyam, she is able to combine unique perspectives about well-being, healing and physiology. Samanta’s work centres on Hatha Yoga, Vinyasa Yoga, Ayurvedic and Thai Yoga therapies, diet, nutrition and Vedic chanting. In July 2008, she partnered with Shaleen Parekh to open India’s first boutique yoga studio, Yoga Sutra. ( Samanta’s personal journey began when as a teenager, she became a performer with noted choreographer Shiamak Davar. After 15 years as a lead performer, she transitioned into practising and teaching yoga in 2000. Over the last 10 years she has explored and mastered several healing therapies for the mind and body. Samanta blends a wealth of knowledge and experience to create a unique approach that unites awareness with movement, breath, heart, and humour. She teaches workshops and retreats around the world.