Secret to a goddess like body revealed


By Papri Das

The last weekend saw millions across the globe taking collective rhythmic deep breaths. Not to gasp over something but to celebrate International Yoga Day by practicing various asanas. The impact was such that 192 countries participated in it. Not to forget the awe inspiring act through which Prime Minister Narendra Modi led around 37,000 people to do yoga, setting a Guinness Book Record.

While the world and most of India reconnected with this ancient art of living afresh, there is someone who has been doing yoga right from childhood, and has received many accolades, penned many books and even trained several bollywood actors on how to attain a fit and healthy living through yoga. Fitness trainer, yoga instructor and author Payal Gidwani Tiwari calls her tryst with yoga as a spiritual calling.

We caught up with her on the launch of her latest book on World Yoga Day, Body Goddess, to find out how yoga has benefited her, and the many bollywood stars who train under her.

From interior designing to fitness trainer; how did this transition happen?

When I was in school I was not much into academics but physical education and sports played a major role for me. After I graduated it was time for me to choose a career path and back then physical education was not yet a sought after career choice. So I ended up studying interior designing. I did quite a few projects, but deep down I was not totally happy. Then in 2003, I decided to take up yoga as a way to good health keeping. At that time I had decided to try it out for 6 months as a trial and error method. To my surprise I was totally hooked on to it and decided on taking it further, and later I taught yoga in New Zealand for two months before coming back and starting my career as a fitness trainer. It has been over seven years and today yoga for me has brought about a change in my attitude and in physical dimensions.

What are the frequently asked questions or requests you get from your trainees?

Most people come to me seeking weight loss regimes and end up not only with the exercise bit but also the spiritual cleansing that is so integral to yoga. Many people think yoga doesn’t help you lose weight but it does. Several yoga postures have a greater degree of difficulty than most other forms of exercise.

I would like to mention that yoga not only helps u externally but internally too. All my students who have taken my class have found some form of self realization. Yoga is a way of living healthy. You need to practice it for a few years before you can achieve significant results. The best thing about yoga is that it helps you tone your muscles and also makes sure you don’t gain excess weight even if you get irregular in your regular routine.

What new to expect from your latest book, Body Goddess?

When I started writing my first book ‘From XL to XS’, I took my clients as the baseline, taking into consideration their problems and situations. I realised people needed help and I couldn’t cater to every person around the globe individually. Therefore, I wrote the book in such a way that they could read it from their own perspective keeping their own situation in mind and relate to their problems better.

My second book that released on 21 June, World Yoga Day, called 'Body Goddess' is a complete guide on yoga for women. It’s focused on the beauty, health and well being of women, right from the ripe age of 15 years to 65+. This book addresses every issue pertaining to the age group of 15- 25, 25-35, 35-45 and so on because every decade a woman's body, mind and soul goes through a transformation. For example from 15-25 a woman goes through puberty, she changes physically, gets her periods and there is a certain level of emotional change as well. This book also deals with how yoga helps in those times.

Tell us about the celebrities you have trained so far. How serious do they take their yoga sessions?

All my celebrity clients are very disciplined and hard working. They are extremely committed to their workouts and it’s reflected in how it has enriched their lives and made them youthful and energetic. You can have a look at Sridevi who has been working with my husband Manish Tiwari for the past 10 years.

What is the best way to implement yoga for staying fit?

My method consists of eating healthy and exercising regularly which is the key to good health. What I do is help my trainees achieve their goals by guiding and setting workout sessions for them in the most healthy and beneficial way possible. Initially I focus on flexibility and stamina building which is often marked by some amount of weight loss. Special care must be given to each person separately as each one has a different metabolic rate, which makes some lose faster.

Healthy dieting tips that should go with yoga

There isn't any rigorous diet planning involved with yoga. However, if one follows these simple tips, the result is optimum.


1. Drink at least 4-5 litres of water daily along with a teaspoon of flax seeds every morning.

2. Maintain a balanced diet with right amounts of nutrients when it comes to your meals.

3. Don’t skip on exercise.  Exercise is a must six days a week (walking/ yoga/ cardio, or any form of exercise, etc)

4. Avoid coffee, tea and cigarettes and alcohol.

5. Start the day with fruit, nuts and milk.

6. Finish dinner at least two hours before going to sleep.

7. Eat what your body craves for, but eat in moderation

8. Substitute whole fruit for fruit juices.

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