Mon, 19 Aug, 2019

Offering a slice of Yoga to Goa

Creating a platform where one can taste both, the benefits of a yogic lifestyle and healthy food, practicing psychiatrist Dr Joe Pinto and his software consultant wife Christabel are launching a unique project ‘Yoga in Goa’ at their ancestral house and farm at Santacruz this September

20th July 2019, 02:44 Hrs

BHARATI PAWASKAR


The bold yellow exterior walls of the spacious house in Santa Cruz stand out amidst green garden, and the entire space speaks of Portuguese architectural influence on it. As one steps in, an old world charm immediately engulfs, making one fall in love with the tall doorways, teakwood almirahs and large mirrors. Surrounded by gardens in the front and rear, housing a shaded porch at the entrance and a full size pool in the backyard, the house largely represents the rich past that the dwellers lived in the bygone era. It depicts the charm of the old world and vibrates with the modern times. Living in the serene and picturesque Santa Cruz in his 400-year-old ancestral house, practicing psychiatrist Dr Joe Pinto is proud of his family legacy of entrepreneurship, philanthropy and spirituality.   

“My late father Alvaro Pinto - a businessman, philanthropist and spiritual seeker - donated land liberally for a cause, to the government for constructing Kala Academy, a swimming pool and a playground at Campal in Panaji,” claims Dr Pinto who hails from a noble family in Goa and whose ancestors, gifted with versatile talents, had distinguished themselves in most remarkable ways. Dr Pinto is walking the same path, following their footsteps religiously. He revived his ancestral farm into an urban farm five years ago which is now producing organic fruits and vegetables. He has also opened the doors of his ancestral home for yoga enthusiasts. Gradually he is involving himself with various community projects in the larger interest of the society.   

One of the recent initiatives was the celebration of the International Yoga Day at his house this June. He invited over a dozen participants in his short yoga programme that ended with a get-together, tea and snacks. “My wife Christabel, a trained Hatha Yoga teacher, has been conducting classes in Goa, albeit on a low scale. Currently working on artificial intelligence project at TCS Goa, Christabel will be assisting at the yoga centre. Together, we wish to take this mission to the next level with yoga, merchandise and a cafe offering satvik food,” he expresses.   

Walking the spiritual path for the past nine years, Dr Pinto is all set to do a soft launch of his upcoming project, ‘Yoga in Goa’ this September. With their soul soaked in the beauty of yogic practices and their bodies accustomed to a natural-organic-satvik diet, the Pintos are all set to introduce this healthy, energetic lifestyle to the ‘susegad’ Goenkars and induce them to embrace it for their own good.   

The Pintos are followers of Sadhguru Jaggi Vasudev, founder of Isha Foundation under the aegis of which runs Isha Yoga Centre at Coimbatore and Isha Institute of Inner Sciences in the US. Being inspired by their spiritual Guru for the past nine years, Dr Pinto’s entire family is leading a yogic life and having experienced the benefits of inner engineering, now wishes to offer a slice of yoga and the inner well-being that follows to the public. As creative partner of ‘The Local Beat’ Dr Pinto also offers the taste of Goa to those who do not know the soul of this state and her people. In a way, it’s an effort to introduce Goa that’s fast fading in oblivion. It was during one such trip that he came across Goa which was not his, and which had deteriorated badly.   

Having witnessed most of fellow Goenkars falling prey to ill-health and incurable diseases that may be the result of the lifestyle, Dr Pinto is determined to change the psyche of the people of Goa and offer them a place where they can experience good health – both mental and physical. “The actual process has already begun with small community initiatives here and there,” he shares   

“In one part of our heritage home, we shall be setting our yoga institute. We have a large place that can accommodate 30-40 candidates at a time. We also wish to start a counselling centre for the physical and mental wellbeing of our society. It will have sections for child counselling, HIV-AIDS affected persons etc,” shares Dr Pinto. At his farm he takes commercial crops of organic fruits and vegetables. His enthusiastic team helps out in other initiatives too. As part of his vision for cleaner and greener Goa, the team cleaned and beautified the long abused ‘Kharo Sanko’ (meaning salty bank), a salty rivulet that flows between Santa Cruz and Taleigao.   

Overflowing with the back waters of Mandovi it finally flows into the Arabian Sea. The river receives water through a tributary from ‘Bondval’ lake (an artificial lake that was created while building the retaining wall for a temple. The banks of this salty rivulet are a delight for the diversity of marine life while the waters are known to receive beautiful migratory birds from across the globe, especially Russia.   

Food is one of the eight limbs of yoga and hence Pintos are focusing on the production of organic food. “We need to preserve our ecology which is the basis of all life. And we need to motivate our society to indulge into a healthy way of life. 

Don’t we see around us that most youth in our state are easily falling prey to drugs, alcohol and gambling! Crime is on the rise, too. We must save our future generations from getting dependent on chemicals to secrete happy hormones. They must experience that the source of joy and bliss lies within them and not somewhere outside.”   

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