Meet the human pretzel from Gurgaon!
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Meet the human pretzel from Gurgaon!

Runvijay, a resident of Sushant Lok, teaches you how to use yoga to harness the energy within.

Meet the human pretzel from Gurgaon!

Sushant Lok’s Runvijay is called the human pretzel!

Don’t believe me? You should come see him twist, turn, bend and contort into the most advanced yoga poses with such ease that it will blow your mind. With wife and yoga partner Bablu, Runvijay has turned his passion into profession.



Scorpion pose, Eight Angle or Crooked Limbs pose, Crane pose, King Pigeon pose or the popular Headstand, Runvijay does them all like a pro. A regular day for him includes zipping around Gurgaon from DLF Golf Club to Leisure Valley to World Spa, connecting with yoga students, who include everyone from 90-year-olds to tweens, and encouraging them to make healthy lifestyle changes and think positive.

“Yoga is one of the best ways to bust stress. Lots of people find it difficult to accept change, especially the senior lot, and this leads to a generation gap,” Runvijay says. “It’s here that I step in. I don’t go to yoga classes straightaway. I first listen to their thoughts and innermost feelings. I’ve seen this little thing makes them feel happier. They start relaxing.”

“Take, for example, someone who has served as a high-ranking government official all his life,” he adds. “He is the boss. Everyone listens to him. So much so that having his way becomes a habit. Then he retires and life does a 180° turn. That’s when the frustration sets in. Or, in some other cases, kids fly the nest, often leading to loneliness. At this stage, having someone to talk to and share their feelings with can be a great relief.”

Today when depression is considered the world’s most dangerous silent killer, Runvijay’s idea strikes a chord. After all, he firmly believes that “just as a psychologist does, I teach my students the science of life through yoga and spiritual motivation”.



Runvijay’s love for yoga started way back in his first year of graduation, in 1998. By the time he was in second year, he was part of the college yoga team and went on to win second place in an inter-college competition. “My fee for the year was waived. I was thrilled!” he says. “By third year I was motivated enough to earn a spot in the Kurukshetra University yoga team for an all-India competition. We won gold twice. When I passed out in 2002, I was captain of my university team.”

Til then, yoga was “just a hobby” for Runvijay. “My achievements encouraged me to take up physical education at a post-graduation level. I also completed a three-year diploma in naturopathy and yogic science,” he says.

Today, Runvijay is a certified yoga instructor at the DLF Golf Club, who has worked with corporates such as Tetra Pak and Du Pont. He has also organised several group-yoga sessions at Delhi Public School, Sushant Lok, and conducted workshops at premier residential societies in Gurgaon. On Independence Day last year, Runvijay conducted a yoga and dance fusion project with underprivileged children at Epicentre in Sector 44.

His favourite asana? “Vrischakra, of course. It is one of the most difficult asanas but looks the most graceful,” he says. “And then there are the health benefits, such as strengthening the arm muscles, improving concentration and making the spine more flexible.”



For Runvijay, yoga, however, goes beyond perfecting poses. “It is a means to self-realisation. Asanas, pranayama, mudras, meditation and self-discipline are just ways to get there,” he says.

His regular students include expats from Italy, the UK, Mexico, Japan and South Korea, along with professionals from Medicity, Snapdeal and MakeMyTrip. “In Gurgaon especially, with its high pollution levels and easy availability of junk food, cases of sinus, asthma, bronchitis are on an alarming rise. To add to this, there are lifestyle issues such as stress, heart disease, neurosis and insomnia,” he points out. “And that’s why yoga is so important. It harnesses the energy within to fight these ills.”

Though he is all praise for Sushant Lok, where he stays, he feels the need for better awareness of health and fitness in Gurgaon. “Gurgaon is such a beautiful place, but lacks in a few things. For one, there needs to be better education in the city and complete participation in the Swachh Bharat initiative. But most importantly, people need to be aware of the lifestyle risks they take every day,” says this Sports Authority of India awardee.

“I remember my guru, Dr Narayan Dutt, used to say that anyone can practise yoga at any age. Today those words make perfect sense. There are just a few things to keep in mind,” he says, which are:

- Practise yoga on an empty stomach (a four-hour fast works best)

- Wear comfortable clothes

- Have patience

- Practise with a trained yoga guru

- Don’t rush. Remember that flexibility is a slow process and requires regular practice.