Learn yogic techniques from yoga practitioner Payal Gidwani Tiwari at a workshop that’s part of The Hindu Lit For Life

For many, a stressed-out heart or a stressed-out weighing scale is reason enough to take up yoga. For Payal Gidwani Tiwari, though, yoga was a spiritual calling.

Having practised yoga since childhood, the decision to give up a fledging career in interior design in favour of yoga was not planned. “I was always into physical education and such. Around nine years ago, I started teaching yoga; I believe it was my calling. Yoga, for me, is spiritual and soul-touching. When I do yoga, I feel complete wellness within myself. Right now that is much more important than my childhood dream (of becoming a ballet dancer),” says Payal.

Personal attention

She has gone on to become one of the leading yoga practitioners in Mumbai with a bevy of celebrity students, including Kareena Kapoor, Saif Ali Khan, Rani Mukherjee, Farah Khan, Jacqueline Fernandes and Suzanne Roshan. Payal also co-founded Cosmic Fusion: The Yoga Wellness Studio in Mumbai in 2010 along with her husband Manish Tiwari, a yoga guru himself, who has trained the likes of Sridevi and Katrina Kaif. Both Payal and her husband learnt yoga at the Kaivalyadhama Institute in Maharashtra, but introduce modifications to suit the needs of their clients.

Payal, though, confesses she was lucky to have been born with a naturally agile and flexible body, so much so that she was called a ‘rubber band’ in school. Doing yoga helps her keep it that way, she says. “Everyone asks me ‘what has yoga done to you that you need to share it with everyone?’ Yoga bought about a change in my attitude. People come to me seeking weight loss and end up with not only an exercise regime but also spiritual cleansing, which is so integral to yoga. There is so much to discover within ourselves, and yoga made me do that. Yoga helps you learn your body and your inner strength. It is the only form of exercise that works on an individual spiritually, physically and mentally.”

As the number of people turning to her for help started increasing, Payal realised she couldn’t cater to every individual’s needs and decided to write a book addressing various topics such as weight issues, unhealthy living and ailments. She turned author with the best-selling From XL To XS, in which she shares ‘simple and easy-to-follow principles and exercise routines, how to lose (or gain) weight, stay fit, and transform your body structure’.

“I wrote the book in such a way that the readers could relate to the problems of the people mentioned. I also wanted people to be aware of and receive the right knowledge of yoga and motivate them to follow the 5,000-year-old science,” she says. Payal, who was appointed Fitness Expert for Pond’s Femina Miss India 2013, vouches for not just one’s physical flexibility through yoga, but also for the flexibility it allows in practice. “The benefits are endless. Moreover, yoga can be practised by anyone anywhere — home, office, while driving, while doing chores, on a holiday… Eating healthy and doing yoga regularly are the keys to good health.”

As Kareena Kapoor writes in From XL To XS, Payal’s suggestions could, perhaps, help you ‘challenge your genes and transform your body’.

Mind, Body & Soul

She has trained the likes of Kareena Kapoor, Saif Ali Khan and Rani Mukherjee. And, now she’s ready to train Chennaiites! Fitness expert and yoga guru Payal Gidwani Tiwari’s workshop Mind, Body & Soul promises to teach participants yogic techniques that will help them counter the negative effects of stress. What’s more! The author of From XL To XS may just have the answers to all your fitness queries.

Date: January 13

Time: 7 a.m. to 8.30 a.m.

Venue: The Leela Palace, Chennai

Fee: Rs. 3,000 (with breakfast)

Registration: http://www.eventjini.com/yogawithpayal

Number of participants: 100

(Participants must be dressed in comfortable clothes and bring their own yoga mats and towels)

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Payal Gidwani TiwariDecember 2, 2013