Yognat is not a place, it’s a people. It is not the brick and mortar, and marble and tiles, it’s the cries of joy, show of affection, the outpouring of love and the sense of fulfillment. There is no specific day or time that I can pinpoint and say that “Ah, that changed my life.” Because we are not in a Rajnikanth movie where things change in the matter of a five-minute song. It takes a lifetime to become an individual with self-worth, self-respect, values, and ideals and Yognat gave me space and freedom to become that individual. The fifteen years I have spent dancing, fighting, crying, laughing at Yognat is what shaped my life.
To me, it has always been about dancing. I was obsessed with dancing, in the best way possible. And Yognat gave me a platform and a stage to explore my creativity along with learning life skills. For this, I am eternally thankful to Amma Ji and Dr. Sir, who never once put the brakes on any of my crazy ideas. They actually went a step ahead and acknowledged my ideas. For a teenager, the best feeling in the world is to be acknowledged by adults. My opinions were heard, my views were appreciated, my creativity applauded and I was accepted for who I was and that resulted in my becoming me, as I am today.
And it’s not just the teachers. It’s the students too. Never have I ever seen a bunch of young kids be so supportive and accepting of each other. I remember the champion meet where one finalist was cheering on the other to win, knowing that her chances of winning are going down, the more other people perform better. The people of Yognat together are the best parts of having a family. They are all unique in their own way, yet accepting others for who they are. And it has been an immense source of joy for me to not only grow up with these people but also watch them grow and prosper and become their own persons.
Yognat is a nurturing paradise where once you come in, you can only leave as a better person. There is no other way!