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Before & After: Six Mumbai Peeps Reveal How Yoga Changed Their Bodies

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What Is It?

Losing weight isn’t  easy, and not doing anything about it doesn’t make things any easier. But if you’re looking for inspiration to work out, but have no inclination towards hitting the gym, then we have a solution: we spoke to Mumbai peeps who shed those kilos through yoga, and their amazing stories have inspired us to get started.

Navdha Dhingra

Weight Lost: Lost over 10 kilos in about two years.

The Process: Navdha trained in artistic yoga which works on flexibility, strength and cardio through vinyasa, hatha and power yoga. It’s a combination of pranayam and asanas. As a result, she says she became more flexible, shed weight slowly which resulted in shedding emotional weight and becoming more mindful.

Diet/ Work Out Plan: For Navdha, four-five nutritious meals a day worked.

Cheat Day Indulgences: She indulges whenever she feels like, whether it’s a few drinks or an ice cream. She says listening to your body is the key, not depriving it.

Poonam Nikam

Weight Lost: Lost close to 12kgs in six months

The Process: Poonam got a yoga instructor for herself soon after giving birth to her son. Poonam recommends Bharat Thakur Yoga Centre in Bandra in case you wish to enroll yourself in a class. She soon realised that suryanamaskars worked the best on her body. She began by doing five, and then reached 50 and currently can do close to a 100.

Diet/ Work Out Plan: She followed a complete no-carbs diet during the initial days.

Cheat Day Indulgences: Poonam continues to eat well, do a no-carb lunch, while dinner is usually at home, unless there’s a special occasion. However when she’s out, she recommends the khow suey at Busago.

Supreet Sapra

Weight Loss: Lost 14kgs in about five months of doing yoga.

The Process: Supreet quit her job and risked a good going career for her passion, yoga. She enrolled for a teachers training course in Rishikesh, and had month and a half in hand to prepare for that. She self-trained for the course watching YouTube videos, and personal exercises and lost around five kilos. She then went for her course which was for another 45 days and followed a strict routine at the ashram with calculated vegetarian diet, proper sleep, focussing on self and lots of reading. Upon coming back home, Supreet continued with her practise and instantly started teaching. She recommends the Yoga House Bandra to try out various yoga styles with different instructors, Yogi Maheshwar Desai based in Navi Mumbai {he’s an amazing ashtanga yoga instructor}. Supreet herself is a yoga instructor and you can connect directly with her on Facebook here or here.

Diet/ Work Out Plan: She excluded tea, bakery items, breads, pastas, Chinese food, sweets and refined sugar from her diet. Supreet also doesn’t eat after dinner, which is latest at 7:30pm.

Cheat Day Indulgences: For a bit of indulgence, though, Supreet eats a little when she’s would out with friends. However, she recommends the warrior salad and mix bean salad at The Salad Bar and Walnut Cafe, Vashi, the paneer and soya bhurji with brown toast at 70Beans Cafe, Sanpada and hygienic, south Indian food at Cafe Vihar, Vashi for healthy options outside home.


Vaishnavi Mehta

Weight Lost: At the start, Vaishnavi lost around 25 kilos in over a year. .

The Process: Vaishnavi says she wasn’t used to such intensive physical yoga even though she practiced it for so many years {now 13 years of her life}. Her first aim was to cut back on the lethargy in her muscles and body. She made sure she was active through the day and also practiced hatha yoga very intensively.

Diet/ Work Out Plan: For the first eight kilos, there was more cardio activity to get her body going, the next 12 involved a lot of stretching, strengthening, 12 rounds of suryanamaskaras twice a day. The last six-eight kilos went away with intensifying the yoga practice along with body cleansing. Vaishnavi says eating healthy was important and essential. She did not entirely stop eating junk, but she ate it more balanced with healthy food. Vaishnavi is a freelance yoga instructor herself and you can get in touch with her on

Cheat Day Indulgences: Vaishnavi says she cheats every day, simply because I does’t have a diet plan anymore. She’s more attentive and listens to her body.

RJ Alleyah

Weight Lost: Lost about four kilos in 45 days doing hot yoga.

The Process: The first class was very exhausting, says Alleyah, as you have to do 26 asanas in 40 degree heat. It drains you. Each session is 75 minutes long, which includes doing the asanas, stretching, sit ups, Kapaal Bharati, leg / body balance, etc. You tend to sweat a lot during hot yoga, and all your body pores open, which then leads to weight loss and toning of the body. Doing asanas properly is very important, and one may not be able to do them all from day one, as it takes time and you need a lot of strength, stamina and stretching ability that only develops over a period of time. Yoga helped her lose four kilos {in 45 days} at a time when she has hit a plateau, and also gave her peace of mind, along with making her skin glow.

Diet/ Work Out Plan: She has been following a low carb/high protein diet. Alleyah eats every two hours and has a black coffee before her workout.

Cheat Day Indulgences: Alleyah says Sundays are for pancakes with coffee. If the sudden craving does strike, she will have a little haleem or kebabs with chai at Good Luck Café, Bandra. However, for healthy eating she suggests Bombay Salad Company or Diet and Taste in Oshiwara.

Hinal Varma

Weight Lost: Lost 18 kilos in a year.

The Process: The type of yoga Hinal did was more focused on weight loss, which involved doing more cardio, stretches, power yoga, walking {an hour everyday} and breathing exercises as well, which helped her calm her mind and get more focus. She says yoga increased her concentration level as a whole. She hasn’t practiced yoga outside, however, recommends her trainer Neha Nachlani.

Diet/ Work Out Plan: Her yoga instructor told her to cut down on her sugar intake, fried food and finish dinner before 6pm every day.

Cheat Day Indulgences: Hinal says she never followed a particular diet, so she ate what she wanted  but within a limit. However, her suggestion for eating something healthy outside would be a Greek salad from Indigo Deli.