Aswathy Chembolly can pull off a Parivrtta Utkatasana in shirt and trousers as effortlessly as she can slip into an ek pada malasana in dress and heels.
The tax-consultant, who hails from Kerala and recently moved to Kuwait, is showing the world that you do not necessarily need special clothes to practice yoga, one Instagram post a time.
“Yoga is how you want it to be. It need not be boring,” Aswathy, also a certified yoga trainer, says.
Aswathy started the aroghya yogini Instagram page around three months ago where she posts photographs of herself doing yoga in everything from her work formals to casual wear and even jeans.
“People at times say that they don’t have yoga clothes and so can’t do yoga. But you can do yoga in whatever you wear. I am mostly in work clothes. I love my jeans, I love my work clothes and I love yoga. So it is a culmination of all three,” she says.
Aswathy is not a fan of yoga apparel herself. “I don’t like yoga clothes. I also did not want to make it boring for people who saw the pictures,” she states.
Ek pada malasana
The motivation to embrace yoga as a part of her daily life came to Aswathy from a difficult phase she went through a few years ago.
In her early 30s, Aswathy underwent a massive neck-related surgery. The doctors had then advised her to adopt a fitness regime.
“I was told that if my medical results did not come out well, I’d have to be on medications for the rest of my life,” she says.
And in 2013, she seriously started practicing yoga following which her results came clear. While there have been noticeable physical changes, Aswathy says she has also changed mentally. “I am a lot calmer now. I know it sounds clichéd but that’s how it is.”
She had been working as a consultant for a decade until last year when she decided to take a break and underwent courses to become a certified yoga trainer.
“People have certain hobbies and interests they’d like to pursue during weekends. For me it is yoga,” she says.
Aswathy hopes that her initiative will inspire more people to take up yoga. “I want to tell people that yoga is not yawn-inducing and that it is doable.”
Ask her who takes her photographs and she says, breaking into a laughter, “I take my own pictures. I am a one-man show as of now. I set the timer and take the pictures.”