Over the last decade, Yoga has witnessed a hipster transformation in the way it has been taught, accepted and practised. With the West going gaga over the age old Indian routine with celebs like Gisele Bundchen, Jennifer Lopez, Michelle Obama, Miley Cyrus and others giving it a nod, yoga has only recently caught the fancy of millennials and celebrities in India.
So if you want to make yoga a part of your lifestyle, whether at home or with a trainer, here are some tips from Anshuka Parwani, a celebrity fitness trainer and Instagram influencer. Parwani has been a yoga expert for over a decade and has trained a host of celebrities such as Kareena Kapoor Khan, Malaika Arora Khan, Amrita Arora, Nimrat Kaur, Sonal Chauhan, Rakul Preet and Tushaar Kapoor. With her FlyFit program, a collective training that includes Aerial Yoga and Yoga Pilates, she is creating a holistic fitness regime that empowers the mind and body alike.
How is yoga different from other fitness and workout regimens?
Essentially, all workouts are excellent. Yoga tends to stand out and make an impact because of the internal makeover that it gives your body. It massages the organs, eases your breathing, works on the core, and thus is a 360 degree holistic practice. Some asanas even focus on reducing your stress levels and cure ailments. The radiant glow that you will see on someone who practices yoga regularly can rarely be achieved through any other kind of training.
Is the training routine any different for a celebrity?
Every student, celebrity or no celebrity, is treated the same way. However, celebrities tend to be more focused, more resilient and determined; it is very rigorous and needs work. Celebrities come with intense pressure and travelling schedules that can be super hectic and unpredictable. Yoga is something that creates a balance, keeps the individual calm and brings a sense of self.
Can you share what was special about her training, pre and post pregnancy?
Kareena was my first student and we started off with prenatal yoga, postures and practices that would evolve every month. With every changing trimester, we changed her routine and mixed it up by adding Pranayama, or other kinds of workouts. Pranayama is a great combination with yoga and it works fabulously on the body.
Kareena was back on the mat within three weeks after her delivery and this is exactly the kind of dedication you need when you wish to attain a healthy and balanced state of mind and a good physical form. Especially, since dealing with strengthening post pregnancy is a big deal. Kareena is someone who is extremely disciplined. She will never miss a class, her focus is phenomenal and her routine does not budge from day to day. She puts in a 100%, which shows in her posture and form.
How does yoga impact the mind and the body?
Yoga impacts the mind just as much as the body as there is a lot of mind control involved. You need to focus on breathing techniques, there is a lot that goes into sensitising your mind on how your body functions, the way it will react and what asanas will affect you in what way.
You also work with children who are just three-years-old! What are the challenges you face with such young yogis?
I personally believe that yoga should start young. I have kids coming in at the age of 2.5 who we teach yogasanas. The whole trick is to make yoga fun for them. Teaching them fun animal poses like the cobra pose or bhujangasana, gets them involved and keeps them engaged. Kids these days are very easily distracted and keeping their minds occupied is a big part of the deal. Teaching them to focus, getting them to understand breathing and essentially, keeping it playful and interactive, is the best way to do it.
Do you prescribe specific diets to supplement the training process?
Inherently someone who is a Yogi practices a Satvik diet but there has been a shift to pescetarian or veganism. It’s important to focus on what works for you; we never prescribe weight loss that is counted with a weighing scale. I advocate fat percentage loss as you could be thin, but your fat percentage could be a massive 50 percent. For our celebrity clientele, we focus on inch loss when a movie is scheduled. For foods, I suggest having celery juice if you are someone who loves greens. Haldi or turmeric and milk is very beneficial.
What are some of the dos and don’ts while practicing different styles of yoga?
I have always maintained that unless you have a contraindication, you should be able to do everything. Talking to a teacher will always help and doing yoga under someone’s guidance is essential to ensure a good form.
What are some of the new age yoga techniques that you incorporate while training?
As long as you are sticking to your roots and doing it with integrity, I think any kind of yoga should be appreciated. However, a technique that I don’t believe or endorse is beer yoga.
What are some of your go-to asanas to boost metabolism, cure headaches, and deal with stress?
Standing on the head or Shirasana is the king of all poses. . It immediately sends blood to the brain, stimulates the thyroid gland, and the core. The cat and cow pose (Marjaryasana/Bitilasana) is a wonderful way to massage the shoulder stand, Sarvangasana, Halasana or plough pose also work brilliantly for the mind and body.