Businessman Prashant Thakkar, 46, was eagerly looking forward to Sunday morning, and not because of the usual reasons.
He was part of a selected group of Hindustan Times readers who had won seats at a special fitness seminar organised by Rujuta Diwekar as part of HT’s ongoing Fitter Mumbai campaign.
At the four-hour seminar held at Matunga Gymkhana, the winners participated in a special yoga session conducted by yoga expert Zubin Zarthoshtimanesh, learned about nutrition from Diwekar, consultant to Bollywood stars such as Kareena Kapoor, and discussed with orthopedic surgeon Dr Dilip Nadkarni how to work out effectively and safely.
“Today’s session dispelled by belief that yoga is not for the obese. I was able to do most of the asanas and I am planning to pursue yoga more rigorously now,” said Thakkar, by the end of the first one-hour session.
Zarthoshtimanesh demonstrated various basic asanas, after which the audience performed yoga with him. “Going to the gym only has a superficial effect on our body, while yoga penetrates deep and has long-lasting effects,” said Zarthoshtimanesh. “It is sad that the West has started appreciating yoga while we Indians, who actually invented it, still ignore it.”
In the second session, Dr Nadkarni explained the significance of running, walking and performing regular exercise correctly. “Buying the right pair of running shoes is of utmost importance,” he said. “Only the correct shoes can ensure that your body weight is properly distributed.”
Nutrition expert and author Diwekar, who warned her audience that starving wouldn’t help anyone lose weight, addressed the concluding session. “No one food group needs to be eliminated completely in a healthy diet” she said. “Take the misconception that avoiding sugar is a good way to stay slim. This is not true. Sugar is an important part of our diet. It is excess — and artificial sugar replacements — that must be avoided.”