With an aim to spread awareness about artistic yoga — one that focuses on achieving more than just flexibility — Bharat Thakur will travel through two countries, India and Nepal, on a bicycle for 90 days. The expedition will include riding through the states of Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, Kerala and Tamil Nadu.
Talking about what prompted him to undertake the cyclathon, the yoga guru says, “I am doing this along with two of my friends. It has been on my mind for a long time. People in urban areas know about yoga but people in rural areas are not acquainted with it. We are promoting yoga at the grassroot level. I am also doing this as International Yoga Day (June 21) is nearing and I want that the rural people also celebrate it.”
To achieve this dream of his, Thakur travels approximately 100-125 km a day. The journey is far from easy. “Travelling so much is tough, and soon it will also get hot. But that’s what makes it a real expedition. In cycling, one gets to live every kilometre.”
The entourage includes two security guards, two cars, cycle mechanics, two cooks, and a physiotherapist among others. To ensure smooth travelling, Thakur plans a day in advance every day. The checklist includes weather forecast checks for the next day and a calculation of the incline that has to be traversed. “Kathmandu was the toughest phase. It was a constant uphill and downhill ride. That helped me a lot later on. It improved my endurance,” says the yoga guru, who emphasises on fitness. It was keeping this in mind that he founded artistic yoga.
“Traditional yoga focuses only on flexibility. Fitness has other elements such as strength and endurance. People would do yoga and still have a pot belly. They would then go to the gym. In artistic yoga, the class changes every day. We use all asanas, pranayamas, kriyas, bandha and mudras. We also include meditation for 15-20 minutes,” he says.
Signing off, Thakur leaves a tip for the readers: “Please start doing something physical. Fitness should be a part of everyone’s life.”