Gidwani Payal – Celeb trainer Mumbai.

The erstwhile ‘rubber-band’, as she was dubbed in school thanks to her flexibility, Payal Gidwani-Tiwari feels elated for having been able to use her passion to help others attain physical and emotional fitness.

With her book F rom XL to XS, published by Random House India, being released recently, Payal talks about her tryst with yoga and fitness, how it has become a way of life and how it can change your life as well.

Her Story:

I started as an interior designer who started working at the age of 17. But, fitness was always my forte or rather a way of life. I used to practise aerobatics and teach along with my teacher.

Then, I went to New Zealand where I started practising yoga for two months and I can now safely say that that was the biggest turning point of my life! I’ve never looked back. Today, yoga is a holistic spiritual calling.

My studio Cosmic Fusion, which opened in January 2010, has been a major step towards reiterating my commitment towards this wonderful means to achieve physical and emotional well-being.

Your book From XL to XS is refreshingly conversational with nuggets about celebrity exercise plans, simple tips and handy hints about how to calculate BMI.

What made you write in such a novel format?

Many people think of yoga as boring or just useful for meditative purposes. But with my extensive experience and revolutionary outlook on the discipline, I have been able to make people lose weight and change the structure of their bodies, thus getting them hooked to this age-old science. At one point, I felt it important to create more awareness for yoga as a fitness regime on a macro scale.

So From XL to XS was written for the youth of today and to get them addicted to this holistic science, which has worked wonders for all my celebrity clients too.

There are quite a few types of yoga: Ashtanga, Hathyoga, Ayyangar Yoga. What kind of yoga do you practise and what are the benefits?

Manish (Tiwari), my husband) and I both practice the Kaivalyadham school of yoga but with a little modernisation to suit body types.

The asanas we follow range from basic to advanced; so one reaps benefits in all spheres: physical, emotional, social and spiritual.

Who can practise yoga and for what various reasons?

Yoga can and should be practised by all age groups for the myriad benefits it holds. It not only helps lose weight but also improves your circulatory, hormonal, digestive and nervous systems; in turn according an immense glow to your face, hair and skin and making you look much younger than your age.

Does yoga have any side-effect? Is there any reason why someone should not practise it?

Yoga has no real side effects per se; but people suffering from slipped disc, hernia, lower back ache, arthritis and knee-pains should inform the instructor before beginning yoga.

Pros and cons of yoga vis-à-vis other forms of fitness?

Without getting into comparison (each discipline has its individual merits and demerits) I can safely say that there are only pros to yoga; no cons. Yoga is the best form of fitness leading to good health and complete well being.

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