Prescription: Yoga

(First published in the July 26, 2018 issue of City Pages)

Rishi Yoga features a yogi who was trained in India and is also a medical doctor


Shailly Rishi teaches the yoga style she learned near the Himalayan foothills in India.

Dr. Shailly Rishi has been practicing yoga since she was a young girl growing up in Patiala, a city nestled in the foothills of the Himalayan mountains in northern India. As a doctor of internal medicine and then obstetrics and gynecology in India, “I was teaching yoga to my patients in the medical clinic to provide a comprehensive treatment plan,” she says.

Rishi now uses that medical background in her yoga practice in Wausau. Both Rishi and her husband, Daljeet, are doctors. He has been a hospitalist at Aspirus for 15 years. Shailly did her observership in internal medicine at Aspirus Hospital, but is currently not practicing.

She believes her years as a physician adds to her ability to teach yoga. “I understand symmetry of the body at anatomical and physiological levels and teach the same to my students.”

Shailly Rishi had taught yoga at Wausau Health and Fitness since 2015, and after seeing a lot of interest in her classes there, decided to branch out. She recently opened Rishi Yoga and Meditation on Merrill Avenue in Wausau, and also offers special poolside classes at their home in Rib Mountain.

“Poolside yoga at my home was started with the idea of bringing my members closer to nature by coming in contact with the earth and bringing the sun’s energy and fresh air into the body systems,” she says. “There are so many natural forces helping us all the time to keep us happy and healthy, but because of our compulsive mind and unnecessary thoughts and emotions we ignore this.”

“Yoga is not merely a physical exercise for an hour or more. It is a lifestyle and science that teaches us the way to sit, stand, sleep, talk, eat and drink,” she says.

Rishi teaches Hatha style yoga and during some classes, her husband, Daljeet, incorporates Tibetan Singing Bowls that “sing” when a mallet is circled over the edge. “They have been used for centuries for healing and meditation purposes,” she says. Singing bowls create a pulsating tone that helps you relax and experience pleasant and productive mental states, she says. “The upper end of theta brain waves range is of great importance to healing the body, mind and spirit.”

Rishi’s classes include sessions for seniors, kids, plus chair yoga, and for stress, sleep and memory, to name a few.

“Yoga and meditation are beneficial to people of all ages and abilities,” says Rishi. “Less flexibility is not a limitation. Different [poses] can be adapted.”

Rishi also offers Ayurveda workshops, an ancient science of naturopathic medicine where prevention and treatment of a disease is based a person’s unique constitution.

Yoga is preventive and therapeutic for many physical and psychological problems, she says. “Every individual should do regular yoga to lead a healthy life,” she says. “You stop worrying about small day to day disturbances and issues and instead, start looking at the bigger picture and lead a happy and healthy life.”

Rishi enjoys the sense of social bonding yoga brings and teaching others to find peace and wellness. “From my childhood, I observed my parents helping the community with great zeal and bringing the community together,” she says. “I strive to follow the same path as that of my parents… to make this community healthy and strong.”

For more information, visit Rishi Yoga and Meditation’s Facebook page or website at Located at 1500 Merrill Ave., 715-212-4202.