shilpa-b-picI can still recall attending my first yoga classes at a local gym in New Jersey after coming back from medical school in India. I remember looking around the room and seeing how everyone was ‘doing better than me’. I wanted to give up after my first couple classes,”  Shilpa confesses.  Shilpa Babbar is the type of person who is ‘good’ at everything.  Yoga, however, just wasn’t one of those things.  At first.  However, the more she practiced, the more she felt comfortable with yoga, and the more she liked it.

When Shilpa started her residency program as on OB-GYN doctor, a friend suggested that she look into completing a research project about prenatal yoga.  That one idea, “led to a cascade of events that brought me to where (and who) I am today.  It inspired me to complete a 200-hour yoga teacher training during residency in hopes of bridging the gap between western medicine and the eastern philosophies of yoga.”

As a part of this teacher training program, Shilpa had to take part and observe several different types of yoga classes.  “One evening I unwittingly attending an Ashtanga yoga class and…hated it! Everyone knew what to do, how to do it and did it way better than me! I never took another Ashtanga class again. Until I moved to Kansas City, that is!”

People often have a love/hate relationship with Ashtanga Vinyasa when they first meet it.  That’s what happened with Shilpa.  After moving to Kansas City, she unwittingly bought a Groupon to Maya Yoga. And then realized it was an Ashtanga Studio!  “To my surprise, I became addicted after a few classes at Maya! There was a point where I was coming twice a day because I loved it so much! I remember telling Kathleen ‘This has never happened to me! I’m addicted to this!” she explains.

Now, Shilpa teaches yoga, practices medicine, and has a life long love affair with Ashtanga.  She’s let go of the need to compete with her yoga, which allows her to let go of negativity, and her expectations.

“It taught me to turn inwards and let go.  Just live. Be present. And that is what I learned to do, on and off the mat. It has made a huge difference in my physical yoga practice and in my mental well-being.”

30-day-challenge-shilpa-300x225Shilpa’s love affair deepened and until she was practicing every morning, bright and early.  She was one of a small group of students who completed a full 30-day challenge in 2014. “While my schedule made it tough to make it to the studio every day, the rewards of being one of five to complete the challenge and adapting a regular morning practice made it worthwhile!”

“Thank you, Maya Yoga, for all the lessons you have taught me, allowing me to be a part of your community and to deepen my yoga practice on and off the mat. For you I am truly grateful. Namaste.”