Posted tagged ‘India’

Ashtanga Yoga In India…Size 0

July 5, 2008


Delhi is on the fitness track with Kareena Kapoor’s favourite exercise regimen, ashtanga yoga, and it isn’t only about size zero

Kareena Kapoor swears by ashtanga yoga — and it shows. When the actor touched size zero, pretty, young things in the Capital who derive their fashion identity from Bollywood, decided to begin where Kapoor did — at ashtanga yoga.

Yoga instructors say they are inundated with calls from girls who want to be size zero. “Most of these girls are thin, but they want to be thinner. Some of them are models, others are socialites, college students and even housewives,” says Sanjay Kumar, 35, an ashtanga-yoga specialist from the National School of Yoga, who conducts private classes as well as corporate sessions.

Ashtanga yoga is arguably the most ancient and rigorous form of exercise regimen, comprising eight steps as opposed to the four steps of hatha yoga and the 12 poses of Shivananda yoga. “In our ashtanga yoga module, there are very few rests. A person is allowed a 10-second rest after completing seven postures, i.e., every seven-ten minutes. By the end of a 45-minute session, people are sweating but not tired,” says Rashmi Kumar, 29, who won the Indira Gandhi Priyadarshini Award last year for her contribution to yoga.

This form of yoga has found favour with expats. Among Kumar’s clientele are Ambassador of Venezuela Milena Santana-Ramirez, and Elena Granguillhome, the wife of the Mexican ambassador. While Santana-Ramirez laughs, “Hollywood and Kareena Kapoor followed us, not the other way round,” Granguillhome shows off her newly acquired waistline. “I lost 7 kg in two months, thanks to our thrice-a-week sessions,” she says.

Amatrra, Ozone and Aura at The Park have included ashtanga yoga as part of their fitness programmes, and even local clubs like the Jorbagh Association have taken it up. “Earlier, people thought yoga was good only for the mind, now they know they can even lose weight with it. I always make it a point to tell my students that yoga can only help them achieve their ideal weight, not size zero,” says Hanumant Bharadwaj, 22, an ashtanga yoga instructor at Amatrra. Weight loss is quick, he adds, but it is the mental calmness that gets students hooked on to ashtanga yoga.

At Creative Impex, an export house, the design team de-stresses with ashtanga yoga. Three times a week, the instructor Sanjay Kumar takes them through the eight steps — from cleansing exercises for the stomach, eyes and lungs through the asanas to finally pranayam. Roma Verma, who has been with the group since its start, says, “Ashtanga yoga quickly becomes a habit and now I have withdrawal symptoms if I miss a class.” Did she lose weight? “I am a size zero already,” she chuckles. But clearly, ashtanga yoga isn’t just a ticket to skinny alley