How I started my yoga journey?
My initial phase of the yogic journey was an academic inquiry in the UK whilst completing MA in Dance Cultures. The bodily evolution in all dimensions was my intention and I translated it later by teaching movement around the world.

How to stay active and consistent?
‘Active’ is a refreshing and motivating word for me at the minute. For instance an active mind could create narratives and an overly active body maybe injuries.

In my experience, every body needs a discipline. It could be a strong dynamic physical method or a relaxing mindfulness exercise. Whatever the body has resistance towards - that’s your go to discipline. The alchemy to change form or gain better performance in the body lies in the everyday movement awareness. I strongly believe in conditioning the body through improving proprioceptive and interoceptive skills. So yes consistency is key.

Personally my consistency lies through training my muscles in many disciplines like Classical Ballet, various contemporary dance techniques, Muay Thai, Capoeira and of course Yoga. However even with these tools sometimes consistency is hard because over the years I noticed the key for my body personally was to create stillness at intervals for recovery. I lacked rest and it caused many times for my body to collapse. So last couple of months I have been consistent with my meditation practice and yin - breaking a pattern of only training the muscle and not engaging enough in stillness breath work.

Consistency is working best when the improvement is seen in joint mobility, good alignment, your energy levels for day to day activities and intelligent involvement with sensory receptors.

Humans Of Quarantine 075
How are you?
Avantika said, ‘ I’ve been better ‘. Everyday I get better. This is something I keep reminding myself if someone asks me this question because usually I’m the one asking this to others. I’ve been in self solitude for the last 5 months. I’ve been on an academic lifestyle these past few months and I have been in isolation with solitude. This time became a self discovery.

What were your thoughts when you first heard about COVID-19?

Avantika said, ‘ there was a lot of fear and anxiety ‘. I was in Rishikesh at that time and I was cleansing. It’s been a mind changer more than a body changer.

Did the forced lockdown evoke any kind of emotion in you?
Avantika said, ‘ to be honest it’s been about living for me ‘. I have been living in different parts of the world. For me to find isolation in my birth country, to live with my family, to understand and to re-understand what is ? In solitude you can show feelings towards people who you really care about but not in isolation.

She added, ‘ in unbecoming from one to another language plays a very important role ‘. Language is both verbal and physical. It’s a state of mind. It’s an affair.

What changed after COVID-19 arrived?
Avantika said, ‘ it’s been a great time to self discover ‘. Professionally, I’m glad that I have this break because I was running a marathon. My body is grateful that I can just be.

I am trying to listen and reevaluate what kind of information do I want to indulge in. There has been a massive shift when we speak about the community/city.

One things that’s kept me optimistic is that, there is truthfulness. This is the real yoga and not be living in fear. We have a lot of hope for the future because we have the means to practice right now.

MESSAGE : What we look at and what we see are two different things.

A Colorful Ballet

By Tulika Banerji - Published in 2010

A Colorful Ballet

A vibrant palette, a salsa of hues, that’s what ‘Dance of Life’, is all about!
Tulika Banerji

Your very own art exhibition in school-sounds incredible? Well, Avantika Kochar, IBDP (International Baccalaureate Diploma Program) student of Amity Global School, Gurgaon made it possible through her art exhibition ‘Dance of Life’, as part of her final assessment. Brilliant reds, radiant fuchsias, lustrous greens, shimmering blues and even blacks and whites, find a happy co-existence in Avantika’s work.

For ‘Dance of Life’, she chose ballet as her focal theme, “Dancing is my passion and my theme focuses on different aspects of dance which are presented creatively such as emotion, drama, expression, movement, rhythm, choreography, struggle and glamour.” Avantika’s work is divided into three parts: Colour, which portrays emotions, glamour and the expressional quality of dance; Black that shows struggle and pain, and lastly, Design. Just as good choreography creates a magical effect in performing arts; in art, it is the design which appeals.

One can see subtle influences of French artist Henri Matisse and Spanish painter and sculptor Joan Miro’s style in Avantika’s work. For a novice, she’s painted exotic canvases using a variety of media: acrylics, pastels, inks, print media, tape sculpture, etc. Inspired by ‘La Bayadere’- the love story between dasi Nikiya and a soldier, Avantika has also designed and created two spectacular ballet costumes, “I’d love to play Nikiya some day!”

If you thought IBDP is for those who like it easy, think again. Informs Babita Singh, her mentor teacher, “With Avantika having to put up a minimum of 18 pieces of art in the exhibition and 30 research pages, it is quite a challenge.” Added to it are a wide variety of subjects she took up as Visual Arts HL (High Level), Hindi HL, Biology HL, Maths Studies SL, English SL and History HL. However, all the hard work has only helped mould Avantika’s personality, “I want to thank IB for introducing me to art. My goal is to let everyone know that whether it is art or dance, both involve creativity, passion and hard work!”

Amity Global School’s International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme (IBDP) is a two year educational programme for students aged 16–19 that aims to provide an internationally accepted qualification for entry into higher education and is recognized by many universities worldwide. In order to participate in the IBDP, students must attend an IB school and complete assessments in six subjects and satisfy three core requirements: Extended essay (EE), Theory of knowledge (TOK), and Creativity, action, service (CAS).

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