Rupal’s Yogasthenics. The catchy phrase I saw in a media article regarding celebrity trainers caught my interest. I emailed Rupal, the owner of Rupal’s Yogasthenics in Mumbai and within an hour we had decided to do an interview together. I have not yet met her in person, but she is so easy to talk to, and we chat on Whatsapp like we know each other. She trains some of the biggest names in Bollywood: Anurag Kashyap, Kareena Kapoor Khan, Sharmila Tagore, Saif Ali Khan and many more. She has also trained Hollywood director of Shakespeare in Love, Penny Madden. So let’s see what this custom workout is and how Rupal her self looks like a million bucks!
- Tell us how you got into yoga and fitness and the transition into Bollywood ?
A: I was never too much into academics. When I was in school I saw my father doing yoga and how it helped him not only physically but mentally too. He introduced me to Yoga. And my mum pushed me to pursue it and said it’s the best way to channelize your energies and it was my ultimate, actually IT IS MY ULTIMATE AIM TO SEE EVERY PERSON PRACTICE YOGA AND UNDERSTAND ITS POWER. In the beginning I only practiced for myself. Later on I started training people to be teachers. Took up students. Went on a break for my wedding and again pursued yoga but this time with Functional Training. Yoga increased my performance and endurance so much. At the place where I worked out I met my first celebrity client and my all time favorite person, Anurag Kashyap. He asked me if I can train him and I readily agreed. On wards, I started training Zoya Akhtar and Harmeet Singh (Meet Bros fame) My best time was training Soha Ali Khan for Pre-Natal yoga and fitness. The results got me to Saif Ali Khan Pataudi and Kareena Kapoor Khan and then Riteish Deshmukh and Jackky Bhagnani.
And it just kept following…
2. How do you come up with “Rupal’s Yogasthenics” and what is the concept include?
A: After my wedding break, when I started training in Functional Training and yoga, the concept of calisthenics and yoga really caught my attention. It was the best thing that happened to me. The results for most cases became quicker and I started researching more on the subject and would prepare routines of Yoga With Calisthenics which was very effective. That got me the idea of RUPAL’S YOGASTHENICS. It bridges the gap between traditional and modern fitness training. This combination assured our bodies were supple and strong both at the same time.
I strongly believe:
You have to not consume limitations, you have to be obese in commitment, you have to be lean in self-doubt and you have to develop muscle in your soul. We are not a quick fix, it is a life long journey. Nothing will come easy.”
This went perfectly well with what and how I teach.
3. What type of yoga practice do you teach and what recommendations do you have (how many days per week, type of yoga etc) for weight loss?
A: I teach multiple styles of yoga. Hatha Yoga, Ashtanga Vinyasa Yoga, Yin Yoga, Classical modified Ashtanga yoga and last but not the least RUPALS YOGASTHENICS, my brand of workouts. I train in Kettle bell and Flexibar too. These add to the practice and are a good rehab tool for people with injuries or ones prone to injury. Yoga is a way of life. It’s done 24×7. But physically, I’d recommend yoga 5 days a week. With breaks in between for the body to recover and it also depends on the persons background in yoga and fitness.. Three things I believe in during all my practices: STRETCH, SORE, ENDURE.
4. Surya namaskars are considered to be a full body workout. I have done many sessions with instructors from the Bharat Thakur yoga practice where the warm up is 108 surya namaskars in about 18 minutes. What are your thoughts on this and should this be done daily?
A: 108 suryanamaskars can be daunting to a yoga novice. But to many celebs and fitness enthusiasts, it’s an elixir for the mind and body.
Whether it’s a novice or a seasoned yoga practitioner, what’s important is getting rest in between sets of Suryanamaskars. I do not recommend this on a daily basis. Moderation is the key. If you overdo it, your body will start acting up. I believe that Suryanamaskars are the traditional version of a Burpee in functional training. Every yoga practice should compose of all sides of stretching to benefit better. Suryanamaskars are just one part of the vast yoga practice.
5. How do you combine weight training,cardio and yoga for your clients to see Results?
A: It’s when I practiced and analyzed for a year and a half I realized it’s the deadliest combination of workouts. That’s how I came up with my brand of workouts, Rupal’s Yogasthenics. Yoga is a form of cardio, as well as weights. I modified the strength postures of yoga to weight training like how you do a weighted squat or a lunge with weights. It gives you strength, flexibility, focus, it’s a form or rehab too. Yoga and weights can be done together to call it Rupal’s Yogasthenics and sometimes separately done to maintain the purity and essence of its individuality. I do a lot of Yogasthenics exercises with both Anurag Kashyap and Saif Ali Khan. They also do both separately. To know how, you’ll have to come and workout with me 😉
6. Let’s talk Bollywood! My absolute favorite who motivates me for years now to go workout is Kareena Kapoor Khan. Tell us how she got fit with you post pregnancy ? (Specifics or a weekly training split would be great info)
A: Kareena Kapoor Khan is the most gracefully stylish and highly ambitious a woman. I’ve never known someone so down to earth in the industry. She is highly motivated. I started her training after I’m trained Soha Ali Khan for her pregnancy. And she’s truly a star in my class too. Never says never. I combined light weight training and Yoga with lots and lots of cardio/ running. I make her do yoga postures and cardio alternatively. Weights and cardio alternatively.
She does a class with me every single day and all the sessions are highly intense. But again, she never says never. She will give me a look but eventually she will do it all with equal interest and passion. An example of one of my classes with Kareena:
Start with 5 reps of Suryanamaskar A & B
I start with 3 Variations of Squats 25x4sets
Ardhachandrasana 30secs hold -1min each side x 2sets
Quick step -30 sec x 2 sets
Utkatasana (all 3 variations) 30sec hold x 1set each
Kettlebell swings single hand 30-30 each side.
Garudasana – 30 sec hold each side x 2 sets
Samasthiti – 30 sec hold once
Ekpadpashchimmottanasana- 30sec-1min hold x1 set
Quick step – 30 secs x 2 sets
Natrajasana -30sec x 1 set
Yogasthenics Variation plank setsx 10 sets
Back stretches (good spine health)
Relaxation in diaphragmatic Breathing.
7. The ever graceful Sharmila Tagore is a client of yours. Given her age, what type of routine do you do for her and what benefits does that give her ?
A: Sharmila Aunty has only been as graceful by the age. I do a lot of stretching keeping in mind limitations and a tad bit of strength training that’s required to maintain the required amount of muscles in the body. I do sukshma vyayam with her. The idea is maintaining functional independence. A regular workout that includes strength and balance and flexibility definitely helps achieving that. To work out every day for 30-45 mins is what I aim for her when she’s in town and when we workout together.
8. Saif Ali Khan gained weight for the Netflix drama Sacred Games. Now he has an upcoming film Kaptaan which he has to lose weight for. As a male in his 40s how did he achieve that with you? How did you manage his outdoor schedules ?
A: Yes, he totally did! You will see that in his upcoming movie. We started training when he was halfway through the movie Kaptaan. As a male in his 40s his dedication, discipline and patience was very much required. He was very enthusiastic the first time we met to train. He trained every single day with me. We did tons of yoga postures and stretches. He made sure to do cardio every day and strength training every alternate day in the beginning.
I was traveling with him for his outdoor schedules and we would train twice a day and go for runs on his free days in between. I would go on sets too. He has outdone himself with his dedication and time management and motivates me to do more.
9. Every workout plan comes with diet as the main ingredient. What kind of diet do your recommend your clients and does it align with the principles of yoga and Ayurveda?
A: I follow the traditional diet and suggest everyone the same. The most nutritious yet cheap and the most simple yet tasty food comes from Indian kitchen. There are certain food habits I follow, two of my mains are:
- A tsp if ghee and oil is a must every day.
- Reduce the five whites in your diet; Sugar, Salt, Maida (White flour), White rice (Use brown rice instead), Milk.
- Have a minimum 8 glasses of water each day
- Consume 6-8 small meals instead of 4 large meals every day
Yoga and Ayurveda go hand in hand. We do follow that in the yogic Sattvic diet.
Some commoners like eat only seasonal fruits and vegetables, consume your last meal three hours before you go to bed etc.
10.What is your personal workout and diet plan that makes you so fit and balanced?
A: This is the nth time I’m asked this question.
My workouts are a variety of forms. I do my Rupal’s Yogasthenics Workouts and combine it every day with a 5km run in the nights... I’m also a flexi-bar and Kettlebell trainer. I have trained in Crossfit. I enjoy the best of both or you can say all worlds 😉
I never ever skip my yoga practice each time I do any form of workout. I suffer from sciatica so I do a lot of strengthening and stretching. When it comes to diet….
I eat everything from my kitchen and outside I indulge once a while in my favorite roadside Paani Puris and Pav Bhaji, you can call that my cheat meal.
I definitely watch my food when I’m at home.
I start my morning with a glass of water(sometimes warm) and a fruit or a soup and fennel tea.
Mid morning I have a nice Gujarati breakfast with Green tea or dry fruit tea or lemon tea. Late morning a juice or Coconut water. I carry lunch that consists of A portion of vegetable curry and rice and a portion of salad. Evening snacks consist of sandwiches, sometimes seasonal fruits. Dinner is salad or soup, and if I’m too hungry lentil curry Khichdi.
Well folks, how empowering was that? Yoga and Weight training combined is a way of life and Rupal definitely can get you to a whole new world!
To learn more about Rupal’s Yogasthenics Workouts visit:
I have thought a lot in the last few weeks, and I feel like I have hit some sort of mental stagnation with my food. So, I messaged my ever so favorite dietician who I have been faithful to for years now, Rashi, and we came up with a mutual agreement of letting me handle my own diet charts (after all, I am an expert now!) for a certain time period. I also need to create a long term goal (i.e. want to get down to say 19% fat) and get as far as I can, then have her help me get to that extra last bit.
So, the first step to that is starting on a proper self created diet plan. Now, this is more fun than I thought. But, I am a person of structure, and I need a plan, so I have to create one on paper and stick to it. What is motivating me is that I now also have my own clients who I am helping through THEIR journey of eating well, getting more energy through a proper diet, and losing inches and weight. Now, if I am doing that for others, then why not myself!?
I thought about my schedule for the next one week, and realized being at home had its advantages..and so does being on the road. I always go back to Rujuta’s philosophy “Think global, eat local”. So I thought of the summer season, where I would be and what my surroundings will be. For example, at home, I should eat the fruits of the season, the veggies cooked Indian style that I had growing up, the breakfasts I was used to growing up, etc.
While I am in NYC, I can skip the traditional NY style pizzas and go with the fresh summer soups, summer salads, plain cold yoghurt, fresh peanuts on the street, and all kinds of organic foods without missing out on the NY experience.
When I am in Illinois, then I do the basics which the Midwest provides for vegetarians : Cheese sandwiches, bean and guacamole bowls, tofu stir fry,sushi etc.
So, I will be posting my own plans (these are specifically catered towards MY body type, my metabolism and my schedule and goals) that I have created on a weekly basis.
My plan this week will be:
(within 10 mins of rising)9:00 am Handful peanuts and B complex and B6
Baked beans and slice of bread
Hummus + veggies or daal and veggies Flaxseed
2:30pm Bowl of fruit mixed with yogurt
430pm Slice of cheese
630pm 1 banana and soy milk (post workout)
Evening primrose oil
830 pm Grilled paneer and daal
Paneer chaat salad
I can basically make this plan work wherever I am. and I know I can stick to it. I don’t plan to go nuts working out this week much because I have a very hectic week coming up. The workouts will be sporadic (not non existent) and will start consistently next Monday (Aug 12).