TheGlitz ‘Super Woman’ Pragya Bhatt, yoga teacher, practitioner & author

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TheGlitz ‘Super Woman’ Pragya Bhatt has been teaching yoga for over a decade. Having built a strong and sustainable yoga practice, Pragya’s work in the field of yoga is insightful and impactful. Pragya Bhatt is the author of ‘Beyond Asanas’, a book based on her extensive research on the philosophy of yoga beyond the asana practice. In 2020, she was handpicked by Vedanta guru Smt Subhadra Devi, to receive teachings in the traditional guru-shishya methodology. In 2021, she has been conferred the Gargi Yogini Award for her role and contribution to research in the field of yoga in. Pragya’s second book, a collection of poetry called ‘In the Womb of the Goddess’ was published in 2022. Pragya continues to deepen her studies with some of the most notable teachers in the world. Kudos to TheGlitz ‘Super Woman’ Pragya Bhatt.

Pragya Bhatt

Your journey has had many momentous milestones. Could you tell us about your life-changing journey that has moulded you to be what you are today?

I was born in Delhi and grew up around the world because my dad was in the foreign service. I came to India for engineering college which was a huge challenge as I didn’t even speak Hindi properly back then. But that experience gave me a strong taste of what I didn’t want. I even worked for 8.5 years, but try as I might, my heart wasn’t in my work and my resolve to follow my passion became stronger year after year. That’s when I discovered yoga and I was hooked from day one. Being unhappy and also my sedentary life took a toll – I had gained lots of weight. Yoga helped me lose weight, it gave me a renewed sense of confidence and it gave me something I cared about. So one day, I took a long leave and did my yoga teachers’ training course. This wasn’t too difficult for me because by this time I had already had years and years of practice. After that, it was just a matter of getting that first student, and soon classes started filling up. It was uncanny because during this time I also got back to my first love – writing and before long my first book was published by any author’s dream publisher – Penguin. I owe all this to my yoga practice – I feel it unleashed my creativity.

The wind behind my wings: Pragya’s family

Could you list 3 of your major achievements?

1. I would say publishing my books is one of the biggest achievements because that is my childhood dream.
2. Building a sustainable online yoga school, as that required lots of know-how, business sense and my willingness to scale up and rise to the challenge.
3. Conferred with the Gargi Yogini Award in 2021 for my work in research in the field of yoga.

What are the setbacks you have faced? How did you tackle these setbacks or challenges? And what lesson have you learned from it?

There are always many setbacks as a woman entrepreneur.
1. I had a stable job so when I wanted to jump on the entrepreneurial bandwagon people discouraged me saying that I wouldn’t make any money. This experience showed me that we have to be careful who we listen to – most people will try and discourage you, but you should listen only to your cheerleaders.
2. I had to learn how to budget and be careful with finances because new freelance yoga teachers have an unsteady source of income. This financial awareness helped me become smart about my money and as a result of this experience, I feel very empowered.
3. Rejection. When you’re initially trying to establish yourself there are only rejections, and you need to still keep going. This experience taught me perseverance and helped me develop a thick skin. These qualities are important in life.

When you look back, what are the three qualities in you that have helped you become what you are today?

  1. I believed in myself.
  2. I always took the naysayers with a pinch of salt.
  3. For my business, I had an all-or-nothing approach. Either I was going to give it my all (whether to establish myself as a yoga teacher or to finish my first manuscript) or I would stop thinking about it.

Who are the people who have been the wind behind your wings?

My husband and family have been a huge support. In fact, my second book came out only because my mother-in-law was enamored by my poems. Besides this, for a yoga student, the teacher is the main inspiration and support.

Lastly, if there was a quote to define you, what would it be?

Motivation gets you started but discipline keeps you going.

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