Pre-natal yoga trainer to Alia Bhatt, Sonam K Ahuja on how the actors stay fit during their pregnancies
Soon-to-be moms Alia Bhatt; Sonam K Ahuja are among those currently training with Anshuka Parwani; Parwani with Pernia Qureshi. Pics/Instagram
Yoga appears to be the go-to exercise regimen that Bollywood’s to-be moms are turning to. Celebrity yoga trainer Anshuka Parwani, who has been training Alia Bhatt and Sonam K Ahuja during their pregnancies, reveals that actresses today are less apprehensive about their physical appearance, and have been approaching pregnancies “as the natural next step” in their life.
“[Both Alia and Sonam] were curious about how their practices would differ during their pregnancies, and wanted to understand why we were doing what we did. Conversations would change over the different trimesters, because each trimester brings about different changes in the body.”
Yoga, she reveals, can address all the different fitness components that can benefit pregnant women. “Each time you arrive for a session, you are shocking your own body. Your body is heavier than the last time, and performing the same movements becomes tougher. You don’t need to supplement [it with another exercise form], but walking is beneficial. I also encourage them to practise breath-work, because that keeps stress in check.”
Staying active, says Parwani, is equally important, both during pregnancy, and after delivery. Highlighting that she would encourage both Bhatt and Ahuja to resume training within six weeks of delivery, Pawani says both the actors have continued to stay active during their ongoing pregnancies. “Sonam may not be out of a shooting schedule, but during her time in London, she would walk about Hyde Park frequently. Staying active also enables women to progress through their pregnancies [with ease].”
Parwani highlights that exercise patterns for both the actors were altered based on their daily requirements. “Swelling of arms and feet are common, so we do asanas that enable them to reduce bloating. We avoid postures that involve hyper-extension, because that exerts pressure on the muscles of the core. If one of them did not feel centred enough, we’d focus on balancing asanas. If they felt stiff, we’d focus on flexibility.”
Parwani, who also trained fashion entrepreneur Pernia Qureshi during her pregnancy, reveals that training thrice a week is usually recommended. “I often encourage women to also do activities like sweeping the floor, because that posture is beneficial for them. But, it’s essential to pay attention to one’s safety. Avoid things like hot yoga, or classes [along those lines], and don’t start something new. Unless it has been specified by a medical professional, I encourage women to do their own work during this time. Concepts like eating for two during pregnancy are old-school.”
Other actresses who practised yoga
Sharing a string of images of her practising yoga, both before and during her pregnancy, Anushka Sharma advocated its benefits.
Having spoken about her love for yoga on multiple occasions, Kareena Kapoor Khan also practised the form during her pregnancy.
Practising yoga during pregnancy, Soha Ali Khan had previously said in an interview, enabled her to develop a close bond with her child. She had spoken about adjusting her routine, and avoiding prone positions during a period of her pregnancy.