For this year’s International Women’s Day, the United Nations has declared I am Generation Equality: Realizing Women’s Rights as the theme, which is aligned with UN Women’s new multigenerational campaign – Generation Equality, which marks the 25th anniversary of the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action (1995) and is recognised as the most progressive roadmap for the empowerment of women and girls.
One such woman who has been a champion of gender equality and an inspiration for all women and girls is Natasha Noel, a yogini and wellness coach. A victim of child abuse, it took Noel years to get comfortable with her body. She lost her mother at a tender age of three and had cut herself to numb her inner pain. But she fought all odds and eventually found solace in yoga and dance.
Featured among BBC’s 100 Most Influential Women 2019, the body positivity influencer talks to EducationWorld about her idea of feminism and shares her message for women on this special occasion.
What inspired you to become a yoga instructor? What are the challenges you faced as you navigated this career?
I had a really bad knee injury and I had to stop my professional dance. Yoga came at a time when I needed it the most. Honestly, I never wanted to be a yoga teacher. I just wanted to learn because yoga is so vast you can’t do one Teacher’s Training Course and you’re done. You keep learning and you keep growing. But all my teachers persuaded me to start teaching and I did. I’m still learning and teaching now.
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As a woman, what are the challenges you faced while growing up/the liberties you enjoyed as a woman?
There were challenges but to be honest you just do what needs to be done. I’ve been called a breaker of stereotypes. It’s not like I’m going out of my way to do something, I’m just existing.
How do you balance between your personal and professional lives?
It’s a conscious effort especially since I’m so vocal on social media and that’s work too but I’m finding a balance.
What according to you is feminism? As a woman, where do you think we are lagging behind? And how can we address them?
Feminism to me is allowing every human to reach their fullest potential. Feminism is empowering every child and woman to own her mind, body, intellect without second-guessing. It’s allowing women to take control of their lives and be the woman they are supposed to be and be whatever definition of feminine is for them.
One has to understand patriarchy is not only in men but women also. It’s a condition we believe in or rather taught to believe in. Girl children are supposed to cook and clean the house while the boys can go out to play or not do anything. We must teach our children regardless of sex, to be independent and empowered individuals so they can grow to be secure human beings and not doubt their abilities. It starts at home.
How important is yoga for women and girl children? Any tips you would like to share (on yoga)?
It’s very important to manage your pain to express you pain, to be able to share your opinion.
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Your message for women on Women’s Day?
We all are capable and must believe in our light. Whether we are soft-spoken or loud, whether we abuse or not, what we wear or don’t wear – it’s all okay. There’s no right or wrong, there’s us and that’s absolutely fine. Your light is very much needed in this world.International, News