Alaya F: Yoga gives me a chance to compete with older versions of myself

Updated on: 23 June 2022, 17:22 pm IST

Bollywood actress Alaya F, who loves a "killer workout", talks about what yoga brings to her life, why she likes inversions and more!

Alaya F on benefits of yoga
Alaya F says yoga has become an important part of her life. Image courtesy: Instagram | Alaya F

Yoga can be what you want it to be, says 24-year-old actress Alaya F, who jumped on the celebrity yoga bandwagon only when Covid-19 cooped everyone into their homes. The Jawaani Jaaneman diva is uber flexible and feels a sense of freedom and accomplishment by interpreting yoga in her own way and pushing the limits of her body.

As she says in her International Yoga Day 2022 special post on Instagram, Alaya f loves the “human to pretzel” transformation that this ancient science empowers her for. While most people have a standard approach to yoga, this young and raring-to-go actress sees it from a unique lens.

In this Health Shots exclusive interview on how yoga has changed her life, Alaya F, daughter of Pooja Bedi, talks about what she loves about it, how she loves experimenting with it, how it impacts her mental health, and her favourite moves!

 

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Excerpts from the interview:

Q. Considering you can do all these complex moves, when did you actually begin doing yoga?

I started very late… much later than people actually think I started yoga. In the first lockdown, I saw my Instagram feed full of people doing cool yoga things. I had never done yoga in my life, but I wanted to try it. In the second lockdown, I was stuck in Goa and I met a wonderful yoga teacher. That’s when I started doing yoga consistently. It has slowly become a bigger part of my life.

Q. As a young, energy-loving girl, did you have any preconceived notions about yoga?

Well, you have to decide what your goal is going into it. Yoga can be exactly what you need it to be! When I started yoga in the second lockdown, I remember it was after I had put on weight after the first lockdown. That time, I just wanted to get the weight off. I told my yoga teacher, ‘I don’t want to do it for any inner peace or meditation… I’ll figure out other ways for that’. I said ‘I want a very killer workout… So, give me a killer workout within yoga’. And that’s what I did. Now before every class, we discuss what I feel like doing – stretch, flow or burn!

Alaya F
Alaya F believes you can find a killer workout even in yoga. Image courtesy: Shutterstock

Also, I do my yoga without any fan or AC in this heat and humidity. So, I end up sweating buckets and feel very fresh after it. Yoga is an intense workout if you want it to be, it can be a very calming practice if you want it to be and it can be absolutely anything you want it to be. That’s the beauty of it. You won’t know unless you start it and get into it!

Q. Now what does yoga mean to you?

I like to start my day with yoga whenever I can. It gives me the energy for the day. But more than that, what I love about yoga is that I always discover new things I never knew my body could do. It gives me an opportunity to push and challenge myself. The little milestones is what I love about it. I love the fact that I can compete with older versions of myself where I could only do so much. And I also love the fact that it gives you a chance to constantly grow and learn. There’s always something new about it, and even so wholesome for the body.

Q. How does it contribute towards your mental health?

Any form or exercise or just keeping active is excellent for your mental health because it releases endorphins. It tricks your brain into feeling happier or give you a sense of relief. For me, yoga feels a lot like that.

Alaya loves to practice yoga
Alaya F strikes the perfect Chakrasana! Image courtesy: Shutterstock

Q. Any word of caution for your fans of your yoga content on social media?

Do it under the supervision of a trained professional! You have one body, and you have to take care of it nicely. Don’t be reckless, even though I am usually quite reckless. But now that I have wonderful people to guide me. I’ve realized the correct way to do things. Take it step by step. Don’t be impatient with yourself because it will be one random day when you surprise yourself by being able to do it.

Q. What are your favourite yoga poses?

I love inversion yoga, because no matter how many times you do it, there’s always a surprise factor to it. I like the unpredictability and also the possibilities with it. Anything upside down is amazing!

Q. So, how does the world look upside down!

The world looks great because the world is a little upside down ANYWAY! So, I feel maybe I am seeing it the right way!

Radhika Bhirani Radhika Bhirani

Content Head for Healthshots.