On world Yoga day Nikita Wadhawan catches up with actress Juhi Chawla as she talks about her passion for yoga
She has created a niche for herself by her unusual choice of roles and movies. Juhi Chawla managed to awe the critics and audiences with movies like Jhankar Beats and My brother Nikhil despite not being able to work full time due to her personal responsibilities. While Juhi is just few months shy of her golden jubilee, she still looks fit, radiant and beautiful like she did in Qayamat Se Qayamat Tak. According to her it is healthy mind that keeps healthy body. “There are people who start yoga to lose weight, so that is actually fine! I as well started with ‘I can’t go to the gym, so let me do yoga instead!’ Whatever you start out with, if you stay with yoga, it will take you inward a long way and it will align you with yourself. Mind, body, soul as well as align you with nature,” says Juhi.
How it started
The actress’ tryst with yoga started a decade ago, and now it has become an integral part of her life. “I have been practising yoga since 10 years now. It started off with once every fortnight, then once a week and slowly it became a very important part of my life. I now practise it at least 3-4 times a week and in case I miss out on someday, I make it a point to cover up with the earliest chance I get by doing some yoga myself, or asking my teacher to get done a quick session with me,” says the Gulab Gang actress.
Although Kareena Kapoor Khan has made the health benefits of yoga popular, Juhi advocates other benefits of yoga as experienced by her. “Yoga has got me focussed as well as calmed me down as a person. Overall, it helps me just feel better. After each session of yoga, I feel so refreshed, calm and rejuvenated. It has given me a certain kind of inner strength; a certain self-assurance from inside. It has also made me much more flexible and it has helped me to adaptto difficult situations more easily. Yoga has benefited me in a lot of positive ways,” she says.
“Physically, yoga has helped me a lot after my second pregnancy to stay healthy from within. Yoga cannot be compartmentalised no matter how and when you begin, it is like a journey within and every time it takes you one step closer to yourself. The closer you are to yourself, the more at peace you will be with yourself. Once that happens, you are automatically in peace with a lot of other things around you as well,” Juhi adds.
Juhi loves her Sarvangasan and Halasan after a heavy stretching session. “I get to do it at the end of a yoga session. So after a lot of dynamic and serious stretching, I eventually come to this which is a kind of upside down position, and this is where the blood rushes to your head, face and upper body which really relaxes and makes you feel just so nice,” she says.
After practising yoga for so many years, what tips does she want to the beginners? “For people who have started yoga or are about to start, I think they’ve hit the right note. They’ve made a beginning and that is what is important. Once you’ve made a start, yoga will pull you towards it. It may be a struggle in the beginning, but just with a little patience and perseverance you will be drawn into it, and you will see yourself lighting up,” says the actress.
A yoga centre
Actress like Shilpa Shetty and Lara Dutt have capitalised on the on the growing popularity of yoga and have come up with their own yoga DVDs, Juhi is ready to take this a set further and set up her own yoga training centres. “We have a 20 acre property just outside of Mumbai by the river, which has a mango orchard, and I have friends and colleagues Rachel and Yasmin who are very eager and keen to take this forward with me. The idea is to have people stay there, practise yoga, do pottery, learn organic farming and occupy themselves with therapeutic, healing and simple things which people love to do. I am really hoping the universe conspires and makes my dream come true of making a beautiful place, where people can come in for health, healing and yoga,” Juhi wishes.