It was in the year 2001, when spiritual leader Baba Ramdev’s yoga programme took India by storm. Ever since, pranayama became the buzzword—from office goers to housewives and even students, everyone wanted to give yoga a go. What started out as a 22-minute yoga capsule culminated into Ramdev setting up his own media empire, Vedic Broadcasting, which now runs five TV channels, all of which are yoga and Ayurveda centric.
However, yoga got its much-needed push when Prime Minister Narendra Modi proposed the idea of dedicating a whole day to the practice, celebrating the role it plays in one’s physical, mental and spiritual growth. It was then on June 21, 2015 that yoga made its way on the global map and since then that day is celebrated as International Yoga Day every year. Soon after, other celebrities too joined the yoga bandwagon putting it once again under the spotlight.
Also read: Diary of a celebrity fitness trainer
If you are still averse to the benefits of yoga, here’s some inspiration your way.
Shilpa Shetty Kundra
To say that Shetty-Kundra is a huge yoga enthusiast is an understatement. The beauty credits yoga for helping her put her life back on track. In addition to helping her stay fit, she also practices yoga to keep her mind and soul in sync. Calling yoga a domino effect, she swears by yoga for overall wellness. Now an advanced yogi, she even has DVDs called ‘Shilpa’s Yoga’ to her name, in which she demonstrates various asanas which can help people achieve long term effects. Following in her footsteps, hubby Raj Kundra has also taken to yoga, which in turn has helped him undergo major weight loss.
Sen’s attractive body speaks for her fitness routine. From aerial silk, dance, ballet to karaipattu, there’s almost nothing her svelte body can’t handle. It was just recently that she, along with long-time beau Rohman Shawl, gave us serious couple goals by posting a picture of a very difficult yoga pose (check above). Well, that’s not all. Sen has spread her love for yoga even among her daughters Renee and Alisah, who practice dhyaan or meditation just like mommy, on a daily basis.
Dutta has been practising yoga for over a decade now. When she was pregnant with her first child, Saira, in 2011, the former Miss Universe was among the first celebrities to popularise prenatal yoga in the country. A prenatal yogi herself, she’s also helping spread the word that this form of yoga has benefits that include better sleep, improved circulation, reduce stress, and easier labour and delivery. In collaboration with yoga expert Tonia Clark, the actor launched her yoga DVD called HEAL—an acronym for health, exercise and longevity—specially crafted for pregnant mothers.
Whenit comes to showing off her insane strength and flexibility, Arora might just be the gold standard! The 45-year-old actor who is also a mommy to a teenage son, never hesitates to post images of her amazing yoga skills, whilst proving that age is simply a number. Of late, the celeb has upped her fitness game by launching her very own yoga studio, Diva Yoga. Besides, she’s also joined hands with pop icon Jennifer Lopez and her fiancé, American baseball legend Alex Rodriguez, for the launch of an Indian yoga and wellness start-up, SARVA. Apart from yoga, the Arora is also regular with her gym workout or Pilates session with Bollywood’s fave trainer, Namrata Purohit.
Late to the yoga party, America’s former first lady, Michelle Obama is said to have turned to yoga after hitting 50. Apart from her regular weight training and cardio, Obama sees yoga as the perfect way to maintain balance and flexibility. Besides, as a health and fitness advocate, she actively promotes healthy eating and physical activity by leading the Let’s Move campaign designed to reduce child obesity in the US.
Also read: What to eat before and after yoga
Kareena Kapoor Khan
Eversince her size-zero figure days, Kapoor Khan has been known for her love of fitness. While she may often be papped outside the gym and Pilates studio, the begum of Bollywood doesn’t shy away from spending time on the mat. Reportedly, she is known to practice surya namaskars every day along with 45 minutes of other yoga asanas. Now we know what’s this mommy’s health and beauty secret.
Don't let Malhotra’s boy-next-door persona fool you, he's glowing with inner peace and harmony, thanks to his intensive yoga practices. Yoga is great for boosting one’s energy, so it's no doubt that his energetic performances on the screen are fueled by the time spent on the mat. While he may be a newbie to the advantages of yoga, it didn’t take him long to find his calm, thanks to Akshay Kumar who is credited for introducing the star to yoga.
Whenshe was battling cancer, Koirala turned to yoga to seek solace. Post-treatment, she attended a six-day yoga retreat at Baba Ramdev’s Patanjali Ashram in Haridwar to recuperate from the after-effects of chemotherapy. Since then the actor has taken a full-time liking for yoga and meditation and doesn’t shy away from posting pictures talking about its healing powers.
You ask what is it about Khanna that makes him look younger (read hotter) with every passing day? It’s maintaining a work-life balance as well as yoga. Not only does meditation act like great stress-busters for the star, but also helps him “reflect and come back recharged with new ideas and perspectives”.
Ontop of her regular exercise regimen, Basu stays in shape with the help of yoga. It isn’t unusual of her to share sweaty pictures along with hubby, Karan Singh Grover, killing it at the gym. The 'monkey couple' also occasionally turn into 'yogi monkeys', sharing pictures of them acing different yogi poses whilst giving us some major couple workout goals.
Although she is more of a Pilates girl, it was back in the year 2008 that Padukone opened her world to the benefits of yoga. Since then she has made it an integral part of her fitness regime, and never misses her morning yoga class. In an interview with a daily broadsheet, her yoga trainer Abhishek Sharma revealed that Padukone’s yoga sessions mainly consist of breathing exercises, surya namaskars, cat stretches, shoulder stand and the warrior pose. Thanks to regular yoga practice, her slim and toned body is also strong to do headstands, an advanced yoga pose.
For Khanna, staying fit is a way of life. As someone who prefers following nature’s rhythm—waking up before sunrise and sleeping post-sunset—it is not unusual of her to find her inner peace in yoga. Be it in a bathroom robe or by the beach, the actor-turned-author and mother of two takes her yoga sessions very seriously and has even introduced hubby Akshay Kumar to its benefits.
Sonam Kapoor Ahuja
This fashionista likes mixing things up when it comes to her fitness regimen. From Pilates to dance and cardio, Kapoor Ahuja likes to challenge her body by trying varied forms of exercises. As someone who has battled obesity issues, Kapoor Ahuja had taken to yoga for her role in Saawariya, and since then been dedicated to the practice. However, when it comes to yoga, the actor prefers aerial yoga as it helps her achieve flexibility and also work up a sweat thereby helping her stay in shape.
Ahead of her Jayalalithaa biopic shoot, Ranaut took off for an intense yoga camp in Coimbatore by Sadhguru, which included eight days of silence and long hours of meditation. Time and again Ranaut has credited yoga for her flexibility, patience and strength. While she rarely lets us meet her inner yogi, this video is proof that Ranaut’s body is like a noodle. We get it, you are freakishly flexible!
Ifyou’re wondering what’s this evergreen celebrity’s health and beauty secret, it is obviously yoga. A firm believer in the healing power of yoga, Kapoor credits this form of physical activity for her post-pregnancy weight loss. The star has also revealed that she’s got her kids Samiera and Kiaan hooked to yoga. Well, a family that practices yoga together stays together!
Despite their crazy schedules, these celebrities squeeze in yoga practice to keep their mental and emotional health, and even sanity on check. So, what’s stopping you?
Lead Image: Vartika Pahuja
Other images and video: Celebrities' Instagram accounts
Lead Image: Vartika Pahuja
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