“Yoga means addition – addition of energy, strength and beauty to body, mind and soul.”
These lines evoke the true spirit of practicing yoga and served as an inspiration for Mrs Manju Jha who is trail blazing a health revolution in Raipur.
Mrs. Manju Jha had a meteoric rise in her career as a yoga instructor, who gained knowledge by rigorous practice and imparting the same learnings to many of her students. Let’s take a look at her roles where she successfully managed to raise awareness and incorporated a healthier lifestyle into the lives of her students.
“Yoga connects soul to the spirit.” stated Manju Jha who was born in Bacheli, Bastar, Chhattisgarh. Daughter of honorable Dhruv Kumar Jha, an army officer and Satyarupa Jha, Manju completed her schooling from one of the Kendriya Vidyalayas.
From her school days she had been a sports enthusiast. She got selected two times for Nationals in Kho in high school.
She got married at a mere age of 20. Marriage and responsibility go hand in hand. She was only dedicated to her family till her early 30’s when she decided to go a long way from being a regular homemaker.
Against all odds.
We are all surrounded by obstacles but only those who choose passion over hurdles manage to fly without wings. Advised by her cousin brother, Manju decided to pursue her Bachelor of Arts at her early 30’s, her greatest inspiration being her mother-in-law. Her mother-in-law was going through a lot of health issues like arthritis etc. Manju then realised the importance of physical fitness and took this realisation as a seed of change.
So, she started practicing Yoga by herself as she had the knowledge about Yoga being a Kendriya Vidyalaya pass out.
Later, at the age of 35, she aimed for her post graduation and chose History as her major.
Training the mind to overcome a tragedy.
“A healthy body resides in a healthy mind.”
Sometimes you know your body can take something, but the mind rejects it out of fear. So, training the mind is as important as training your body. After completion of her MA in History, she had an accident which resulted in a Spinal cord injury. Surgery was the only cure as claimed by the Doctors.
It takes a lot of willing and strength to witness a miracle. Manju started to think about practicing Yoga while she was on bed rest.
She took little baby steps at the beginning and as time passed, there was an enormous improvement in her health condition. Yoga helped her recover from that imbroglio without any kind of surgery. Doctors called it a miracle.
She was really motivated by this and had the intent to bring about positive changes for people’s benefit. So, she started to work towards achieving it by taking free Yoga classes in her locality which is known by Mrityunjay yoga.
With that, her life began to turn around for the better and God rewarded her for all the hard work and she became the pillar this society needs.
Adds eldest son Abhimanyu, “My mother is a living example of positive attitude, patience and perseverance. She has helped many as a mother. She has always given a shoulder to anyone who goes to her.”
Going for that extra mile.
With her skills and productivity as a reward function, Manju got to know about a study programme in Yoga and Philosophy.
She completed her Diploma in Yoga and Philosophy and due to her dedication and passion, she got selected for MA in Yoga and Philosophy where she got a gold medal in her MA from Pt. Ravishankar Shukla University, Raipur. She also did her M.Phil soon after her MA.
She prioritized education because she always craved knowledge and wanted people to see her as a professional.
Few of her other notable achievements include:
She gets offers from several associations to host workshops in major cities across the country and also internationally.
She is also associated with SPIC-MACAY, which is a nationwide voluntary organisation. She also hosted the famous “HITAVADA campaign” on the occasion of International Yoga Day for 7 days.
She became a part of All India Yoga sports association and she trained the players of Table tennis and Cricket.
She also started her own YouTube channel called Mrityunjay yoga a few months back which is a step further to reach as many people through social media. She will continue to record more video lessons and provide health tips for her viewers.
Manju takes private classes and has been a guest faculty in the Yoga and Philosophy department of Pandit Ravishankar Shukla University for the last three years.
Three of her students got selected for International yoga competitions which was one of her biggest achievements.
Presently, she is a teacher @National Institute of Technology, Raipur.
“Moun se yog aur yog se moksha ki prapti hoti hai.”quotes Manju, meaning “You can achieve yoga against all odds, fighting the society not physically but silently and moksha can be achieved by doing yoga.”
Article by: Sampada Pimpalgaonkar
(The writer is an engineering student from Raipur, who also runs a personal blog on poetry and short verses.)