Fitness is the new-age mantra and need of the hour. And what better way to motivate more people to get bitten by this bug than with a colourful spread on those who’ve made fitness and exercise a way of life. RITZ gets candid with a few well known faces from the South, all supremely fit personalities with rippling bodies and oodles of strength.
Gayatri Kawlra – Student of Global Studies, Columbia University – Chennai
She has always been fascinated by alternate lifestyles and spent time this year living in Auroville exploring eco-friendly cultures and minimalist living. Yoga has been a passion of Gayatri’s for over 5 years, as part of a quest for self-improvement whether in a class or not. Looking back now she says it is more of a lifestyle choice than just a way to keep fit. Eating healthy is a big part of this change, as well as meditation and self-awareness.
How fit are you?
I try to work out at least four times a week and maintain a nutrition rich diet throughout. I feel I am happiest when I am physically fit.
Your push up record?
I am not really into beating records, but I constantly try to push myself towards my own goals. Push ups have never really been my thing. But ask me how long I can hold a head stand for!
What is your favourite fitness mantra ?
My body is my temple. I have to look after it with utmost care. Working out for me is more about feeling positive and inspired rather than achieving a certain body type.
Fitness to you means …
Confidence. Being comfortable within myself allows me to tackle the various obstacles life throws at me. It gives me the inner strength to reach for my ambitions. Working out makes me feel more alive.
You practice yoga to…
Be connected with myself. Life is so hectic and crazy that it is very easy to lose sight of yourself. Yoga helps me stay balanced and realise my inner purpose.
The treadmill is…
Not an equipment I am a fan of! I have never really been a gym person, I do use it from time to time when I have no place to go for a run outside. But most often I find that the Surya namaskar offers me the same if not improved benefits.
Is food your friend or foe?
I have always loved food and the various ways in which it is enjoyed. In the last two years I have discovered the wonderful world of healthy eating. I even lived on a vegan diet in Auroville. I try to stay off processed foods and eat as organic and naturally as possible. My body agrees a lot more when I listen to it.
How do you exercise while on vacation?
A yoga mat is something I carry along with my travel essentials. Taking out half an hour each day to practice my meditation and do my Surya namaskar fits into any kind of holiday that I plan for myself.
What’s your ideal workout?
I love mixing up my workouts. Recently I have been going for an intense swim every evening followed by a relaxing yoga practice to wind down my day. Alternatively, a good one hour long power yoga session followed by a steam is equally enjoyable.
The secret to your fitness?
Understanding that being fit and eating healthy are a part of my lifestyle and not just an everyday routine. The less you focus on visible outcomes the more you start to enjoy your new and improved way of living. Spending time doing each individual yoga asana allows me the space to focus and devote my energies in the right way.