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International Yoga Day: Shilpa, Bipasha, Kareena — Bollywood stars in the yoga vanguard

On International Yoga Day, June 21, here’s looking at Bollywood actors who have not only embraced yoga, but have also become unofficial brand ambassadors of this ancient Indian science of well-being.

bollywood Updated: Jun 21, 2017 14:34 IST
Monika Rawal Kukreja
Monika Rawal Kukreja
Hindustan Times
International Yoga Day,Shilpa Shetty,Bipasha Basu
Actor Bipasha Basu believes in staying fit and practices various forms of exercises including yoga that tops her list.(IANS)

Yoga, the ancient Indian science of acquiring a perfectly balanced body and mind, is part of the exercise regimen of many Bollywood celebrities. While Shilpa Shetty has been filmdom’s unofficial yoga brand ambassador for more than a decade now, it is actor Kareena Kapoor Khan, mother to six-month-old Taimur Ali Khan, who made waves recently for regaining her figure quickly by doing yoga.

Shilpa, whose son Viaan Raaj Kundra is now five, is a poster girl of sorts for yoga, with her svelte and finely muscled body. She also has a yoga DVD and a dedicated YouTube channel of her yoga clips, including those showing how to do the Suryanamaskar.

Actor Shilpa Shetty Kundra performing yoga. (Yogen Shah)

Shilpa has been quoted as saying, “Yoga didn’t just help me with my body; I also became fitter from within. It helped me to focus better. In the movies, we may look very glamorous and fit, but believe me, not many of us are actually fit from within. Yoga has helped me achieve that.”

Another superfit actor, 36-year-old Bipasha Basu, is a yoga freak. She has released a series of solo fitness DVDs and can often be spotted sweating it out with husband Karan Singh Grover. “The idea behind releasing my yoga DVD is to make more people aware of yoga, and achieve a synchronised growth of mind, body and soul,” Bipasha had told us earlier.

Kareena shed her pre- and post-pregnancy weight through a rigorous fitness routine, in which yoga had a big part. There’s a strong following for her workout videos on Instagram, posted by her fan clubs and best friend Amrita Arora. Going by reports, she has already lost 14kg. Long before becoming a mother, Kareena had created quite a buzz in 2008 when she had reportedly slimmed down to size zero, a figure reportedly achieved through a balanced diet combined with 50 Suryanamaskars and 45 minutes of different yoga asanas.

Husband-wife Saif Ali Khan and Kareena Kapoor Khan with yoga instructor Payal Gidwani Tiwari (centre).

Bebo also introduced Amrita’s sister Malaika Arora to yoga. And ever since, Malaika has been doing power yoga regularly.

Actor Lara Dutta, too, became a face of yoga when she promoted pre-natal yoga and released multiple DVDs and YouTube videos on this. Lara, mother to five-year-old Saira Bhupathi, has reportedly been practising yoga for over 12 years now. She has often said that doing yoga during pregnancy helped her recover faster than usual after her delivery. “Yoga is the best thing that happened to me. I firmly believe that yoga coupled with strength training creates a stronger, leaner and more flexible body. I have been a yoga practitioner for over 12 years and the benefits that I’ve reaped have been immense,” she was quoted as saying.

A still from actor Lara Dutta’s video on pre-natal yoga.

Among other stars, there are Deepika Padukone, Sonam Kapoor, Nargis Fakhri, Jacqueline Fernandes, Parineeti Chopra, Ileana D’Cruz and Alia Bhatt who are known to be yoga enthusiasts.

Surprisingly, while so many female stars are into yoga, we hardly see any men here. Though most male actors follow serious fitness regimes, none seems to be a fan of yoga. Actors such as Hrithik Roshan,Tiger Shroff, John Abraham, Varun Dhawan and Salman Khan sweat it out in the gym and flaunt their six-packs, but none has ever spoken about their keen interest in yoga.

#mylifemyrules #inspiring #evolutionofman

A post shared by Malaika Arora Khan (@malaikaarorakhanofficial) on

Delhi-based yoga instructor Suneel Singh says, “[Those] who’re working out in the gym are mostly looking for something outward — a muscular body and a big frame, and you’ll never find any yogis having a muscular body. I agree, not many male stars are putting up their pictures performing yoga, but I’m sure there are some who are into it, along with other forms of exercise.”

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First Published: Jun 20, 2017 19:17 IST