Attended the Akshar Power Yoga Academy’s Self Defence workshop for women… missed out on seeing Geetha Phogat, the Dangal girl who came early morning for Akshar’s yoga workshop yesterday. Self Defence is your respect … to show others and yourself that you can tackle troubled situations yourself, others have to respect you as a person, they cannot touch you or do something to your body without your permission, simple. Self Defence is self respect, and learning self defence or even making yourself stronger to face difficult situations is the least you can do to earn self respect from society that still considers women a gender who should be protected, secured and restrained from many things to keep them safe.
Modern women is empowered with education and economic power, but she needs other things to empower her as well(: , one of them being self defence.
On the workshop we were told to be focused and serious and it’s not a session to have fun but to equip you to face troubled times tomorrow but inspite these instructions ended up having lots of fun(sorry grand master Akshar yoga).
First thing in self defence to do is shouting loud and threateningly from your lungs – shout “hey or aye or oye” and point out to your opponent. Next is your stance to portray to opponent that you have no fear that should be enough to scare away the opponent as most of them target women thinking they would get scared and surrender. Truth is those men who do these things are cowards so just show them you are not useless enough for their ulterior purposes, you are tough and they would leave you off.
Please note, women do not shout like women did in old hindi movies –“bachao and help” they are outdated, shout like an aggressor, not like a helpless victim, got it?? … “oye. Aye… hey… no help”
After this if you still are in trouble, lets fight, good punches, kicks, blocking, we are free to bite, use nails, we know the weak points of man’s body – go bang there(eyes, face, groin, abdomin and things like that), hit them were it hurts and escape(: …please note, you want to be capable to do this so you need to build your body to be strong, flexible and your mind to be brave so you don’t get nervous. You need to be fast, you should be able to fall down and rise up and never give up, you still can hurt the opponent and have a great chance to escape, infact 100 percent chance to escape.
First attitude to adopt – You are to be respected, you don’t respect men who do these things(insult to the name of other good men who treat women well and are safe to be around with and are nice people)
Second, you are peace loving person, if you have to fight it’s because it’s necessary – you would first shout like an alarming aggressor this informs people that you are in trouble, plus would scare your opponents off.
Third, think you are strong!! … and show your power. As urban women in Bangalore, the City is generally safe, this is a City which rose up and got the politicians agree that women are free to go out anytime and wear anything and be safe . There are a lot of good people here mostly, so you do something like this it would definitely create an impact, you will get lot of support and appreciation, most of us want women to be strong and free unlike women in many parts of India who are a oppressed lot.
Fourth, be an agent telling men to respect women, treat them well, so keep working to change the mind set of men(those who need that mindset change). Tell them to think of girls, women as a person and respect them, as a human being. You can start initiatives or support initiatives like Ride for Gender Freedom. Concept is very simple society should think women as a person and be nice to her – not discriminate her, restrict her and worst not harm her. We need to do this(: … we don’t want a patriarchal society we want a society where all genders live peacefully, happily, freely, without fear.
After establishing these things lets venture into self defence training .
Start exercising women – you need to build your upper arm strength, the lower body core strength so do exercises start with warm ups it takes just 25 minutes of your day. Do jumps, warm ups for your arms and legs and shoulders then do squats, crunches and push ups(practice it dialy), squat walks, jumps etc.
Eat good food – fruits, veggies and whatever is required, eat right, drink water and establish a balance in your body system. You need to maintain perfect weight, not be fat or thin. Exercise makes you powerful, your body stance becomes smart and alert, you get happy because happiness harmone is activated, you get body strength too, endurance. You can cool off with 3 to 5 minutes meditation or more.
At the first day workshop we did jumps, did the super cool power stance(like fight stance), punch tecniques, back movement, squats and jump turns, things like that. Were encouraged to go fall down and rise up and get into that super cool power stance.
Second day practiced fight techniques which looked really like Dangal movie wrestling.
Both days Grandmaster, thin, agile, prompted us to build our bodies and get more powerful.
So now, we know some exercises to build our bodies – after which practice punches, kicks, blocks dialy. He told us to practice 3 defence techniques with someone stronger than us to develop our strength. It basically wrist twisting, catching opponents arm and locking it and lifting opponent using the lower body and upper body from back and throwing them off on ground.
Basically, women you can do some things without fighting to ensure your safety –
1) First keep helpline numbers – of police and other agencies etc who will help you when you require help.
2) Keep apps developed for women’s safety that send sos to people who can help you (contacts, friends)
3) Start knowing the police station near you – ensure that it’s a place you can report any difficult instances you face, if not lobby to make it so, it’s important!!
4) Please use your spirit and assertiveness with your vocal cord power – shout, make noise and such things.
Well, about women, they are very powerful their own way, let’s face it!! … think how much strength women has to give birth and so many other things, they are sensitive genders but does not mean they are delicate. Men and women should get rid of this inferior and superiority complex based on physical strength and stuff, else it’s not going to be a healthy relationship. They have to think of each other as equals and appreciate each other’s abilities and accept each other’s limitation and be happy.
You don’t need to be a body builder to be strong, you don’t need extra biceps, triceps, or big body, even if you are small, you have enough power, just build on your strength, use your strength to the maximum, it is common sense.
As for me being a former yoga liker, I had familiarity with many exercises, however for past 1 and half years my health has been unstable due to vitamin D and B12 deficiency. I am prone to get tired easily with dehydration many a times has proved uncomfortable. I have improved my health but never dared doing any exercise other than walking and checking out trees past 4 months. Was not able to tryout the outdoor gym which had all sorts of women and men of all ages trying out and enjoying their time, so I accepted the fact happily that I am not physically fit.
However, for this workshop I tried arm exercises, leg, thigh and shoulder stretches as a result I had arm and thigh pain even before this workshop which felt good, it meant my body muscles are used, its stretched(:
In the first day of workshop felt really good to do exercises… I was surprised I was not dehydrated which is common for a person suffering D and B12 deficiency especially me. That is why even though I was to be serious in the self defence workshop, I had so much fun and happiness, felt like my weak health days are over finally.
Today was the second day and I got dehydrated as usual which meant my vitamin battery needed to be recharged needed a dose of B-12 injection … yet did the exercises, surrendered to things I cannot do such as upper arm push ups, squat walks. Still, I know my body will get strong, the muscles would, it’s a matter of time, I will keep doing exercises and improving my fitness.
As for self defence, I already know and been sensitised to not be afraid whatever happens and surrender(even before the workshop), good to know that I should make shameless noise when necessary and not care. Will try my best to help myself or others when in distress. I support women empowerment and support agencies like police, looking forward to know about them and make it good women friendly place and very happy to propagate yoga and self defence anything which betters individuals as human beings and society(:
On women’s day Ashkar Yoga’s grandmaster would have self defence exercises at Cubbon Park (8th March) at 7 am, women and men are invited… self defence is not for fun, it’s for really training yourself to face tough situation tomorrow but still it’s a session where you can have a good time, feel good, then practice with focus and spread awareness.
Have to thank Askhar Yoga, because this workshop was completely free. If you have to be trained for such things say from a Organisation such as I Fit, you should shell out about 3000 bucks per month but here it’s free. 3 years ago, watched a free Askshar yoga performance, they were awesome, they were doing power yoga. The institution trains people to become yoga teachers(: … they provided us tasty satvik food too, enjoyed my while seeing the their yoga show.
Grand Master Akshar was serious, committed in training us women and men to become powerful. He really did make our time spend there worth it. Many thanks to cool grandmaster and Askshar yoga… (: