Bollywood’s favourite yogini Deepika Mehta on how to tackle stress the traditional way
And why yoga is her cure-all remedy
Almost two decades ago, after a deathly fall from a 40-foot cliff-face while rock climbing, yoga expert Deepika Mehta’s (@deepikamehtayoga) doctors told her she might never walk again. It was then that she read the life-altering Autobiography Of A Yogi by Paramahansa Yogananda that spurred her to learn more about the mind-body connection of yoga, and helped her get back on her feet. In 2001, she discovered her passion for Ashtanga yoga—a style focused on breath work and progressive posture —and soon, went on to become a trainer herself. Since then, she has been working with people all over the world to achieve mind and body equilibrium with yoga, lifestyle and dietary changes. When you don’t find her doing backbends in Bali or splits outside the Colosseum in Rome, she’ll be helping the likes of Katrina Kaif and Bipasha Basu gain rubber-like flexibility.
View this post on Instagram
Here, she tells us why yoga is her cure-all remedy:
ELLE: Why do you think traditional yoga remains relevant in modern times?
Deepika Mehta: On a physical level, yoga is a complete form of exercise where you’re working your body as one unit. But it’s also the yoking of the body and the mind to create a state of oneness. This state is even more important today, as there are so many simulations and distractions we face. Yoga gives you perspective and helps you delve deeper to find yourself.
ELLE: How does one find the right style?
DM: Find an instructor that connects with you. I developed a passion for Ashtanga yoga from my teacher, late Shri K Pattabhi Jois, and today, I go to Mysore to practise with my current teacher, R Sharath Jois, to feel at peace with myself. Also remember to be focused, have discipline and stay strong mentally—this is one thing I observe and admire about all the celebrities I teach.
ELLE: What wellness practices do you indulge in beyond yoga?
AS: Wellness is all about feeling healthy inside out. I eat clean meals, do core strengthening exercises, read books on spirituality and try to be one with nature as often as I can—this is one of my most essential healing practices. I also love going on retreats to Bali and Goa, where I conduct holistic yoga programmes.
View this post on Instagram
DEEPIKA MEHTA’S TIPS TO TACKLE STRESS
1. Connect to disconnect
Meditate for five to 10 minutes with guided sessions on apps like Calm and Headspace. Available on iOS and Android.
2. Practise resonant breathing
Take time out at your desk to stretch, and breathe in and breathe out for five counts. Do this every hour to check in with yourself and relax.
3. Try the Reclined Goddess pose
Supta Baddha Konasana is an asana where you lie down and join the soles of your feet, creating a butterfly-like posture. Place your hands on your belly and lower your knees to the ground every time you exhale