International Yoga Day: Be it Shilpa Shetty or Malaika Arora, these celebrities believe yoga does more than keep them in shape

On the occasion of International Yoga Day, we profile nine celebrities, including Shilpa Shetty, Malaika Arora, and Kareena Kapoor Khan, who have taken up yoga as a way of life and are inspiring others.

(From L to R) Top: Shilpa Shetty Kundra, Nargis Fakhri, Malaika Arora Khan, Lara Dutta, Sushmita Sen.

Bottom: Jacqueline Fernandez, Kareena Kapoor Khan, Bipasha Basu, Madhuri Dixit

Shilpa Shetty

"Svelte and sexy” best describes actor, entrepreneur and fitness enthusiast Shilpa Shetty. In her 40s, Shilpa is giving younger women a run for their money with her complete focus on health and fitness.

She practises yoga every day and wants you to do it too. She's mad it easy with the Shilpa Shetty app that was launched recently. Her YouTube channel, Shilpa’s Yoga, is a huge hit as well. She has also released a couple of DVDs and a book on fitness.  

True to her spirit ‘Swast raho, mast raho’, she believes herself to be a fitness enthusiast first and foremost.

“The main goal for me is health and if I am able to spread that in terms of awareness I feel like I have delivered the home run,” she told HerStory following the launch of her app.

The actor and fitness inspiration to millions has a new labour of love – the Shilpa Shetty app.

Sushmita Sen

Sushmita Sen has been making waves from the time she was crowned Miss Universe in 1994. She was the first Indian to win the title, went on to carve a successful career in Bollywood, and also became an entrepreneur with the launch of Sensazione in 2006. She adopted two girls at a very young age and now lives her life as a happy mother of two.

The star is also well known for being a fitness and yoga expert. Sushmita recalls that a slipped disc during one of her shoots in 2006 left her in the worst shape ever. She has said many times that practising aerial silk yoga helped her recover.

Bipasha Basu

Bipasha Basu is another Bollywood star who has been actively promoting yoga as a way of life. She also takes part in many events related to yoga. Speaking at one such event in Bengaluru on International Yoga Day in 2017, she stressed upon the need for youth to take up yoga, if they want to achieve more and do better especially. And why not, she asked, when the roots of yoga are deep in India.

She has been open about her personal experience and gains by practising yoga. In a media interaction, she once said,

“I feel that if you do apranayama like a kapalbhati every day, it will make you glow. I think yoga can reverse so many health disorders, So, it’s very important to meditate, and do yoga. These are things that I do and I am a happy person because of it.”

Malaika Arora Khan

One celebrity who has defied the many signs of ageing is Malaika Arora Khan, an out-and-out fitness enthusiast. Her fitness routine comprises cardio, weightlifting, and dance; aerial yoga is also an integral part of her life. For her, it’s all about mental health and healing.

Introduced to yoga by Kareena Kapoor Khan, Malaika launched a yoga studio called Diva Yoga. She said in a recent interview,

“All of us go through a lot of lows in our lives, and it gave me that focus and direction. When I was going through my separation, yoga calmed and healed me.”

Lara Dutta

Lara Dutta made global headlines when she was crowned Miss Universe in 2000. A firm believer of the mind and body practice, the actor has released a three-part DVD, H.E.A.L with Lara Dutta (Health, Exercise and Longetivity). She also launched a prenatal yoga DVD titled Prenatal Yoga with Lara Dutta, and said at the launch that she continued with post-natal yoga practices as well.

Kareena Kapoor Khan

Size Zero may have caused consternation, but Bebo has worked to be healthy and fit since then. The actor bounced back to her pre-pregnancy weight within a few months, giving us all fitness goals. A recent video on Instagram shows Kareena Kapoor completing 50 Surya Namaskars, and is inspirational to say the least! Also known as Sun Salutation, Surya Namaskar is known to be a great cardiovascular exercise and an opportunity to give thanks to the sun. The actor is also known to practise 45 minutes of other yoga asanas as well.

Nargis Fakhri

Yoga has been a part of this actor’s life for a long time.In February this year, Nargis led a yoga session on the opening day of the XYoga Dubai Festival at Kite Beach. She promoted different kinds of yoga, including Vinyasa Flow and Acro Yoga. The actor has said:

“Yoga is not just about flexibility and fitness, but also about will power, mental strength. and finding common ground with others.”

Jacqueline Fernandez

The Sri Lankan actress is easily one of the fittest in Bollywood. Her fitness regime is not just about working out at the gym; it also also includes yoga. A sneak peek into her Instagram account will tell you all about her yoga routine. One post of  hers on a pole in a yoga pose captioned ‘yogini’ went viral and led to a lot of memes.

Picture credit: Indian Women Blog

Madhuri Dixit

The reason the dhak-dhak actor remains as youthful as ever is because of the two important passions in her life: dance and yoga. Apart from practicing Kathak three times a week, Madhuri Dixit has also incorporated her passion for dance into yoga. This was also featured on her show Dance with Madhuri, a tutorial for people who love to dance.


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