Parenting

Celebrity on Parentune—Payal Gidwani Tiwari

Ankita A Talwar
All age groups

Created by Ankita A Talwar
Updated on Jun 18, 2014

Celebrity on ParentunePayal Gidwani Tiwari

“Payal has helped challenge my genes and transform my body,” Kareena Kapoor.
“Payal’s form of yoga neither strains nor exhausts your body. I am so satisfied that I have even introduced my children to yoga,” Sridevi.
“Payal has brought about an intrinsic change in the way I feel and look,” Rani Mukherjee.
These are some grateful words from the students of Payal Gidwani Tiwari. From making Kareena Kapoor to a size zero to giving Rani Mukherjee a svelte figure, Payal has the credit of transforming people’s lives and bodies. A trained yoga professional, Payal with her husband Manish, runs her own Yoga Studio ‘Cosmic Fusion, the Yoga Wellness Studio’ at Santacruz (W) Linking Road, Mumbai. She has a client list that boasts of some of the biggest names from Bollywood and fashion industry, including the likes of Susanne Roshan, Malaika Arora Khan, Sonakshi Sinha, and industrialist Vijay Mallaya.
Parentune chats up with Payal and tries to find out the importance of yoga in children’s lives.
1) We would like to know something more about you, Payal. How did you start with yoga and what are your current ventures?
People keep asking me how I ended up taking yoga as a career and how did it kick-start. At school I wasn’t much into academics but physical education and sports played a major role for me. Even after I graduated, though I ended up studying interior design, deep down I was not totally happy. I felt like I was missing something, and that’s when I thought I should get back to doing what I enjoyed most and turn my passion into my profession. In 2003, I took yoga as a way to good health and was totally hooked on to it and decided to take it further. I went to New Zealand and taught yoga for 2 months and since then, there has been no looking back. I knew it was a start of a new beginning towards becoming a physical trainer and living my dream. I felt I was a child all over again, doing what I loved doing and helping others in a totally different way.

It has been over seven years now, and today, yoga has changed my attitude and physical dimensions. I feel I am born without an angle and a completely flexible body. Yoga not only works physically but also touches the soul spiritually. I feel a complete wellness within myself.

2) But does yoga help in weight loss?
Most people, who come to me seeking weight loss regimes, end up not only with the exercise bit but also the spiritual cleansing that is so intrinsic to yoga. People think yoga doesn’t help you lose weight but it is a wrong conception as many yoga postures have a greater degree of difficulty than most other forms of exercise. Yoga is a way of living healthy and you need to practice it for a few years before you can achieve any significant results. The best thing about yoga is that it helps tone your muscles and makes sure you don’t put on any excess flab even if you get irregular in your routine.

3) Should yoga be a part of children’s lifestyle today? At what age can we start them?
Children from the age group of 6-11 years can start doing yoga but only fun yoga. When I talk about fun yoga I mean a yoga class that is happy and musical, children are taught through little games and stories. Focus should be on postures where they can improve their flexibility, concentration power, reduce mental stress, and increase stamina.
Yoga poses that imitate or represent animals such as dogs, camels, lions, cats, etc or parts of the environment such as mountains and trees, help us in appreciating the grace of these natural wonders and teach your little ones love, compassion, and forgiveness for the environment. When children practice yoga, it helps them get in touch with nature and natural rhythms of life. In older children, yoga helps by keeping their muscles flexible aiding their physical performance in sports. The balancing poses can increase their mental focus, concentration and awake their creativity. Regular practice of yoga can also control and soothe their emotions, giving them good-quality sleep.

4) What yoga moves would you suggest for children?
Some yoga poses that can be of help to children are Happy Child Pose, Camel Pose, Frog Pose, Tree Pose, and Boat Pose. Each of these asanas has huge benefits for children—for eg: the Camels pose massages all the abdominal muscles and makes the back flexible while the tree pose improves concentration and focus.

5) Some quick dos and don’ts when it comes to yoga and children?
Learning yoga at a young age makes children’s bodies supple and keeps them mentally focussed. Simple poses, done daily can improve bodily functions such as breathing and boost blood circulation, keeping the mind alert and active. It also helps control moods. But do not allow children to stretch beyond their capacity as they can get carried away. And always be around to help and guide them. Young children have an enthusiasm and learn moves very fast and then want to change to a new pose. Always get them to move gently from one posture to another.
6) What would you recommend to urban parents—how can they leave a healthier lifestyle with yoga?
Yoga can help parents through various stages—women in pregnancy, and later building stamina, making a person peaceful and more patient—all things required to be a good parent. One should do yoga as a part of daily routine and not erratically. You can do it alone, together with your spouse or even children so that everyone can exercise and spend some time together too.

7) What is that one message you would give to urban parents?
Parents today are dealing with lots of issues—managing different roles, running around doing chores, bringing up children alone etc. In all this they ignore their own health. I will suggest that they look after themselves also because only if they are healthy and happy, can they take care of their children properly.

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| Dec 20, 2015

Hi ANKITA I am happy to here from you about yoga for kids and elders. I learnt yoga so I can understand much better about yoga. To boost energy in kids and elders can you please tell me some yoga asanas which I can teach my child to improve concentration in studies. Thankyou Gayathri

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