‘Yoga helps achieve peace’

Amrita Prasad
Tuesday, 20 June 2017

 On International Yoga Day, we speak to Malaika Arora who is known for her great body and fitness

It is quite difficult to believe that she is 43 and a mother of a teenaged boy. One of the secrets to her petite frame and sexy physique is yoga. Actor-dancer Malaika Arora, who is known for her dedication towards fitness, her matchless style and sculpted body, has recently joined Reebok’s ‘Fashionably Fit’ family, to strengthen the brand’s commitment to encourage fitness, including yoga.

The Chhaiyya Chhaiyya girl feels that it is important for parents to teach their children the importance of yoga, and expose them to its benefits. She talks about how important this ancient form of fitness is for her mind, body and soul. Excerpts:

When did you realise the importance of yoga in your life?
Yoga is something that I have always been inclined towards and fascinated by. I had read up a lot on yoga to understand its benefits and its wide reach and now I have really incorporated it into my everyday fitness regime. I am really glad I embraced yoga because besides helping me stay in shape, it has worked as a therapy too. I got a few injuries during a shoot and yoga helped me recover and come out of the trauma. So, for the last couple of years, I have become far more involved in it and my frequency of doing yoga has also doubled up. I keep saying that in the coming years I want to be a full-fledged yoga instructor.
Do you also resort to yoga for meditation and mental peace, given that your profession is quite stressful?
Why just me or the people in our profession, I think everybody needs a little bit of shaanti (peace) in their life. Yoga is helpful for everyone in achieving peace. We all live in very stressful times — thanks to our work, career and surroundings. Stress is the number one reason for our problems. Yoga — be it the breathing technique, pranayam, or asanas, is an answer to all these. It helps destress and detox your body and mind. You just have to get your chakras right and have a good balance in life. My favourite asanas are: headstand (Shirshasana), warrior pose (Virbhadrasana), tree pose (Vrukshasana), boat pose (Naukasana), and chair pose (Utkatasana).
How should one start following yoga to make it a part of one’s life?
Yoga is a gradual process. You can’t suddenly start doing complex poses. You will not be able to conquer all the postures at once. Take it gradually and let your body get accustomed to it. The best thing about yoga is that it has been broken down very beautifully into 26 poses (approved by Ministry of AYUSH) which incorporate both asanas and pranayam.

Between work and family, how do you manage to find time for yoga?
I find time to do yoga and workout, no matter what! Even if I sleep at 2 am, I will be up in the morning to do my workout, whether it is yoga, exercises or going to the gym. These are the things I NEVER ever skip — fitness is a part and parcel of my life and I am very particular about it. I don’t find an excuse to skip any workout.
Do celebrities have a responsibility to take yoga/fitness to masses?
Of course! If my involvement with this Reebok initiative to spread awareness about yoga or me personally doing yoga inspires others, my job is done. If my life, my word or my status of being a celebrity helps me reach out to people and convince them to take yoga more seriously, I think I’ve truly achieved something because I am propagating something that is positive and beneficial.

Your message to people on International Yoga Day…
I genuinely urge people to take up yoga actively. If a yoga activity is happening in any part of the world on this day, go ahead, be a part of this initiative.

Malaika feels that being fashionably fit is quite in vogue today. She decodes the perfect yoga wear for the style-conscious fitness freaks. Her must-yoga and gym essentials are a yoga mat, a pair of comfortable shoes, sports bra and tights in a breathable material, water bottle and a gym bag. Here are her top picks for the International Yoga Day:

Befriend black: Black is classic and versatile and always in vogue. Black can never go wrong if you are striving to look stylish during your yoga sessions.

Bank on graphics and stripes: Go for tights that infuse comfort and style so that when you stretch, bend and flip while doing yoga, it still looks stylish.

Accessorise it well: Who doesn’t like posting their pre-and post-workout selfies? If you love doing that, then ensure that you wear a slim fit bomber jacket which complements your fitness gear.

Follow the writer on Twitter @amu_prasad

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