On the 19th July, IYA team including Prof Kambhampati Subrahmanyam, Sri DR Kaarthikeyan and Ravi Tumuluri visited Rajarajeshwari Temple and paid their respects to Sri Sri Sri Jayendra Puri Mahaswamiji, the present pontiff of Sri Kailash Ashrama Mahasamshtana. Sri Sri Sri Tiruchi Swamigal was the…
— By Nitin Tawde, Sub-editor Yogavani
In the journey of life, you get to meet and know many people. There are some chance meetings which are pleasantly surprising. Recently we had such pleasant surprise meeting with Dr Agrima Nair from Kerala. She is on her mission of spreading Yoga across the Nation riding on her bicycle. Minister of State for ‘Road Transport and Highways’-Govt. Of India –Gen. V.K. Singh (Retd.) handed her the ‘International Yoga Day Flag’ and she was ‘flagged off’ from Kochi, by Sri Rajgopal Krishnan Sir, State Secretary, Kerala Chapter, IYA and Ms Pradeepa V.- Principal of Chinmaya Vidyapeeth, Ernakulam Kerala by on 21st June and since then she has been on her solo bicycle mission. She has named har bicycle as ‘Chakrika’ – inspired from concept of Chakras. Dr Agrima has identified her mission with a slogan ‘Spinning my wheels for unveiling Yoga’
We welcomed her at Yoga Bhavan, Vashi, Navi Mumbai on 29th July where she was welcomed and we offered her to stay at our residence which she pleasantly accepted. During the informal chat with her we came to know many interesting things and I wish to share some of it with you all.
The idea of our Prime Minister shri Narendra Modi of declaring 21st June as ‘International Day of Yoga’ has inspired many people, not only from India but across the entire world. It was necessary to let the world know about our great ancient heritage of Yoga for its spiritual as well as associated health benefits. Yoga is not bound with any religion but is existing since time immortal even before the religions appeared on this planet. Religions are created by man but Yoga is eternal, said to have been gifted to the man by the ‘Supreme Reality’.
Dr Agrima Nair is the only child and her parents are in Indian Military Serving the Nation. She has completed her graduation in ‘Bio-Technology- Genetics and Bio-Chemistry, post-graduation in ‘Medical Bio-Technology’ and her PhD in ‘Molecular Neuro Science’. She turned to Yoga when she was suffering from back-ache. After two years when she got complete relief from her ailments, she wanted to know more in detail about Yogic Therapy. Thus, she did her M.Sc. in Yoga Therapy from Manipal University. Truly a mind-boggling career and is now dedicated to spread Yoga across the Nation. Her dedication in every field of life is the gift of her father’s teachings who himself is a spiritual person. Now little about her journey.
‘Indian Yoga Association’ came to know about her mission through one of her contacts. Sri Ravi Sir, of IYA, Bengaluru readily spread the word across all the associated Yoga Institutions, Nationwide about her mission. This is how she landed at Yoga Bhavan and we had a chance to meet her. She gratefully tells how everywhere Yoga lovers contacted her and offered all sorts of help. As an example, I would like to mention how social media and press can be of immense help, if channelized in a positive manner. A small-time local newspaper from Sangameshwar, Konkan, published about her mission. Clipping of that was circulated in WhatsApp by somebody and the members of Patanjali Yoga Group from Chiplun came across the same.
They contacted her, welcomed her in Chiplun and offered all kind of support. This shows that the same social media that otherwise spreads negativity, can also use their channel for good purpose. She rides every day for about 80 kilometers on an average. Most interesting thing to notice is that she is not a cyclist and before this bicycle mission she had never rode cycle for such a long stint. She begins wheeling at about 8 -9 am in the morning and rides till 4 -5 pm with a lunch break in between at any suitable place, sitting under a tree in an open atmosphere in most natural way. She has very thoughtfully planned her diet. She is strictly a vegetarian and starts her day with fruit breakfast. She consumes lots of green vegetables and salads. Carries dry fruits and nuts for energy. After 4 pm she doesn’t eat anything. She says that that way she feels very energetic. She has roughly planned her route but decides the course according to the situation taking a liberty of switching the plan as desired. She feels planning beforehand sets a fix target and random planning gives her a complete freedom and liberty. She says she has very pleasant experience wherever she has visited so far. The people she has met so far all across the route are very kind and courteous. Everyone was eager to help her knowing about a solo mission for the Noble Cause of spreading Yoga. Wherever she spoke in schools and colleges youths were impressed and inspired by her mission. We people sit at home, watch negativity from TV and social media and imagine that the world outside is unsafe but what Agrima says is absolutely contradictory. She says once you step out and mingle with people you find they are pure and genuine even for a lonely girl like her, it was absolutely safe. People took care of her safety. Once when she was having food in a hotel, she found that a stranger had already paid her food bill without her knowledge and preferred to be anonymous. Truly, the world is not bad yet as we imagine, only that we should step out, away from mobile and TV and communicate with the masses with open mind. Families have offered her food, dry-fruits as pack lunch before bidding a good-bye from their place. She doesn’t accept any donations of any sort as a principle. She feels accepting donations adds to Karma, her spiritual upbringing prevents doing her so. In this context it will be interesting to know that her father never eats or drinks even water other than his own house as a principle. Regarding the spiritual reference, she mentioned that she had Buddhist Monk friends from Mundgod, near Hubli, Karnataka whom she taught Yoga and by interacting with them she was impressed by their spirituality and expressed to know more about their lifestyle. They invited her to visit Ladakh and this is how she decided to wheel down up to Ladakh while spreading Yoga on her way. She will visit monasteries in Ladakh at distant places to know more about spirituality.
We had a very nice time with her for two days and it was amazing to know what different kinds of people do exist amongst us. She says, just past one month of her journey itself was so full of enriching experience. She had the chance to interact with people ranging from school children to Padmashree awardee-2022, former India captain and goalkeeper Shri Brahmanand Shankhwalkar – a famous sports personality of yesteryears. She has realized that great personalities are very humble. She was awed by the simplicity of Shri Brahmanand. She herself has been inspiration to so many young students. She has received “Harvard World Record of Youngest Solo Female to travel on cycle for the promoting Yoga”.
She will be distributing flags under the programme Azadi ka Amrit Mahotsav (75th Independence Day & Har Ghar Tiranga Programme) across Gujarat from 1st of August till 15th August. We therefore, earnestly request all our friends all across the country to find out if you are on her journey route and help her in whatever possible way you can. This way we all can extend our small contribution in the Noble Cause of spreading Yoga to Every Home.