Tuesday, May 28, 2024

Actress Pooja Bedi talks about importance of Yoga, meditation and holistic healing (Exclusive interview)

Interviewed, written and edited by – Robin Bhuyan (Editor-in-Chief)

Recently, Enigmatic Horizon had the pleasure of interviewing Pooja Bedi, a well-known figure in the Indian entertainment industry. Pooja Bedi is an accomplished actress, television presenter, columnist, and also a holistic health entrepreneur.  Her father is the veteran actor Kabir Bedi and her late mother is the renowned dancer Protima Bedi.  

Aside from acting in several notable movies such as ‘Jo Jeeta Wohi Sikandar,’ ‘Aatank Hi Aatank,’ and ‘Phir Teri Kahani Yaad Aayee’, Pooja Bedi also later entered into the world of television hosting and participated in popular reality shows like ‘Bigg Boss’ and ‘Nach Baliye.’

Apart from her on-screen presence, Pooja Bedi is known for her fearless and outspoken nature, unafraid to express her opinions on various societal issues and relationships. Her columns and media appearances have served as platforms for her to advocate for gender equality, freedom of expression, and individual rights. She has also been outspoken against the Covid restrictions, as she felt they were not just unnecessary, but they infringed on our basic human rights.

EH: Although our medical and healthcare system is supposedly advancing at a rapid rate, people are getting more and more sick physically as well as mentally. What do you think is the reason behind this, and what should we do to stop it? 

PB: I personally feel the Covid restrictions including the lockdowns, as well as the medications and injections that they gave us, have impacted multitudes in adverse ways. People lost lives, loved ones, jobs, marriages, security, money, personal freedom, motivation and even hope. Their reality and concerns need to be addressed holistically. India is so rich in a multitude of alternative and holistic sciences and each person has ease of access to various modalities and forms of deep healing and preventive healthcare. Whether it’s Yoga, ayurveda, meditation, regression therapy, energy sciences like reiki, magnified healing or pranic, people should reach out and explore these to understand their benefits.

EH: In your opinion, what are the biggest challenges that we are facing today when it comes to healthcare in India? What changes are needed in the healthcare system?

PB: The current healthcare system, as we know it, primarily focuses on caring for the sick rather than promoting overall health. This approach can be referred to as “sick care” instead of healthcare. True healthcare involves taking care of one’s health before falling sick, facilitating recovery from illnesses, and preventing their recurrence. While modern medicine has its merits, such as immediate intervention in cases like heart attacks, it often creates dependencies on pharmaceutical solutions.For instance, if someone is diagnosed with diabetes, they are frequently prescribed insulin, resulting in a lifelong dependence on it. On the other hand, traditional medicine and alternative sciences aim to work towards reducing or eliminating the need for such dependencies. The positive development is that the healthcare system is gradually acknowledging the power and potential of our traditional holistic scienes, often referring to it as “complementary medicine.” I think this is a great start!

EH: What are your thoughts regarding integrative medicine?  

PB: Integrative sciences are immensely powerful. Health and healing must be approached and worked on holistically. Our mental wellness, emotional wellness, physical wellness, social wellness, financial wellness, sexual wellness, and environmental wellness are all interconnected. Focusing solely on the body, and using harsh medicines, radiation, and chemicals that are not in sync with nature or our bodies, does more harm than good in the long term. I have personally witnessed numerous success stories that demonstrate the effectiveness of combining traditional medicines and alternative sciences, both for diagnosis and treatment.

EH: You are one of the few people who have been actively speaking against Covid restrictions, medications, injections, etc. Conspiracy or not, how do you think the entire Covid scenario has affected the future of humanity? How long do you think it will take for us to recover?

PB: The damage caused by the Covid scenario is undeniable. There is no concrete evidence that whatever restrictions and medications were imposed upon us, has saved lives. But there is enough evidence to suggest that these have harmed bodies and claimed lives. Aside from the lockdowns and the other mandates, individuals were denied employment, travel, and access to local transport if they chose not to obey. They faced bullying and censorship when voicing their concerns on social media. Feeling controlled, silenced, and manipulated within a democratic system is both tyrannical and detrimental. It is crucial for the system to support and promote alternative methods of healing, encompassing physical, emotional, spiritual, and mental aspects.

The recovery process will require time and effort. Restoring trust, healing the physical and emotional aftermath, and reclaiming personal freedoms will be essential. As a society, we must prioritize alternative healing practices, empower individuals with accurate information, and encourage open dialogue. Only then can we collectively work towards recovering from the implications of the Covid scenario and shaping a better future for humanity.

EH: You have also been quite outspoken against biased gender laws as well as men’s rights. Do you think that young people today are unwilling to get married because of these kinds of laws? Do you feel that there is a bigger conspiracy to destroy the family unit?

PB: There are two aspects to this question. Firstly, it is absolutely shocking and unacceptable that laws intended to protect women in our country are being misused by some women to target, extort, manipulate, and punish men for personal vendettas and financial gain. This issue requires immediate attention, and strong punishments should be enforced against women who engage in such misuse. It is crucial to set a strong example of what our society will not tolerate. Both genders coexist in this world, and it is important to value and respect the rights of both.

The notion that “men have been ruthless with women over centuries, and it’s payback” is a vulgar mindset and an unfair generalization that disregards the millions of innocent men from today’s generation who are unfairly traumatized and stigmatized as a result. Seeking revenge for past wrongs does not justify perpetuating injustice. It is essential to recognize that two wrongs do not make a right.

The second aspect is the mindset of the new generation. They don’t want to be bogged down. This is true to the homes or cities they stay in, the jobs they have, the products they use, or relationships that have outlived their relevance and they are open to sexual experimentation and orientation. They are open to change and while it is not wrong or illegal, it is perceived as wrong by a generation that is not open to change. The institution of marriage is becoming increasingly redundant and irrelevant as with it comes legal handcuffs, societal pressure to stay in it even if it’s utter misery, and divorce laws and court proceedings are ardous, painful and sapping. What’s happening in the west, however, is by no means normal. They are arresting parents if they disagree with their minor child’s decision to opt for a sex change. Talking about sex and sexuality is healthy, but to indulge impressionable minds when they don’t understand it, and allow peer pressure and rebellion to shape such aspects of life is almost sinister.

EH: What do you think should be done to revive traditional forms of holistic medicine such as Ayurveda, Siddha, Unani, etc. What should we do in order to make people more aware and more willing to try out traditional holistic systems rather than always turning to western medicine?

PB: To reach the masses, you need govt initiative, as pharma is certainly not going to promote it as it’s detrimental to their financial interests. Through my brand Happy Soul and my company Magicians of Wellness India LLP (now PVt ltd) I intend to create a portal to wellness both online and offline in order to educate, empower, share knowledge on holistic wellness as well as create access and awareness of therapies and therapists. Through our wellness cafes and wellness supermarkets, wellness programming, our wellness festivals and wellness platforms we intend to bring health and wellness to every individual that crosses our online and offline pathways and network. Post covid there is a growing awareness that wellness isn’t just physical, and people are definitely much more curious and open to all forms of alternative healing.

EH: Do you think Yoga and meditation should be made mandatory in educational institutions? If so, what steps do we need to take to achieve this?

PB: I am not in favor of the word “enforced,” but I believe that a tailored course in life skill sciences should be integrated into the curriculum. This course should address the fact that our lives are now heavily influenced by technology and social media. It should provide students with the necessary skill sets and tools to navigate these aspects without falling victim to their negative impacts. The curriculum should focus on enhancing interpersonal skills, in-person communication, concentration, creativity, and intuition. It should impart skill sets that enable students to effectively manage pressure, stress, mental health issues, and physical depletion. This can be achieved through the inclusion of practices such as yoga, meditation, aromatherapy, visualization and manifestation techniques, nutrition, and naturopathy.

EH: As an actress, can we expect to see you on the big screen again in the near future?

PB: It seems that OTT platforms currently dominate the entertainment landscape. I have thoroughly enjoyed my roles in projects like “Masaba Masaba” and “Comedy Couple.” These roles were brief and fun, allowing me to be relevant and in the news, and also bring attention to my wellness venture. I can’t accept long term commitments or long schedules as Happy Soul and it’s growth is of greatest importance to me at this point.

EH: What are you doing currently?

PB: I would say I am a student of life and I update my knowledge and skill sets for the same. I’m currently enrolled in the Goldman Sachs 10k course for women Entrepreneurs at IIM Bangalore. It’s a fabulous course that imparts strategy, go to market, leadership, macroeconomics, managerial accounting, pitch decks and more to enable my health and wellness venture Happy Soul to rise to the next level and position it for VC funding and investment so as to grow and scale it. Health and wellness is one of the fastest growing industries and the potential for how much good it can do for society and humanity is immeasurable.

EH: Thank you very much for your time. We are sure that our readers will gain invaluable knowledge from this conversation.

PB: Thank you!

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