Actor Alaya F is a fitness junkie and swears by the benefits of yoga. On International Yoga Day, she revealed her struggle with polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) and how yoga has helped her to stay fit. During a conversation with Hindustan Times, she shared her thoughts about fitness, diet, upcoming projects and moving into a new house in Mumbai. Also read: Inside Alaya F’s birthday party with mom Pooja Bedi, rumoured boyfriend Aaishvary Thackeray: See pics and videos
How do you make yoga look so easy?
I do these things through videos and photos that I see on Instagram. At times I fail very badly but I am yet to share those on social media. I’m lucky that I have good back flexibility, this really helps with yoga. I used to do gymnastics when young and since then I am an active person. I have a wonderful yoga teacher.
Is it only yoga that keeps you fit?
I do a lot of other things to stay fit. I have very bad polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS). I have to stay fit to keep my skin good and hormones in check. Staying fit actually is much harder than what people imagine. People look at me and say ‘It must be easy for you’. But, it isn’t! I work out at the gym, play tennis, dance, and do yoga. I used to do MMA, gymnastics and even Pilates. I have tried everything. What I love about yoga is that it is quite a mindful, peaceful thing. It’s such a wonderful workout. I like to do it without a fan or AC. At the end of my yoga, I am just a pile of sweat. It is such a good feeling in the morning when you wake up and get into this wholesome form of exercise. It energises you so much, I love that about it. That’s why I love it.
Did you get acne due to PCOS?
I got PCOS later in my life. There was a point in my life when I suddenly started putting up a lot of weight. My skin got bad, it happened around the time when I was in New York. That is when it hit me.
Of course, while growing up everyone gets acne during puberty. But, PCOS happened when I thought I was done with puberty. Throughout my life, I never had to lose weight. I was someone who could do whatever, eat whatever and stay fit. I barely exercised. But suddenly I had a weight that I had no idea how to lose. I had to learn about things such as how to balance your diet, and how to exercise according to the body. Because of PCOS, I had to learn these things to live a healthy life which I don’t think I would have done otherwise. It’s unfortunate and upsetting that I have it, but I found the silver lining.
Any specific experience with PCOS you would like to share?
Generally, when you start looking different than what you are used to looking like, there’s an irritation that builds on you. When someone takes a photo, you realise you don’t look the way you probably looked. Almost like something is off. Before becoming an actor, I was still on Instagram. So when you take a picture of yourself and realise it doesn’t look like you anymore, those moments are scary. It gets so easy to hate yourself, your body, and call yourself fat or ugly. This was a great journey for me to deal with it in a very positive way rather than feeling insecure about it.
How do you manage your schedule between so many fitness classes?
I just listen to my body. There will be months when I am running from here to there and there will be a time when I will be just where I am. I allow myself. Now I want to run around and do everything, but a few months ago I just wanted to live in the moment. Of course, I do my work commitments, but these things apply to my personal space, such as staying fit.
Is it the same for your projects? Are you impatiently waiting for your work to come out or do you want to take your time?
All of my films have been shot and completed. I would love them to come out but I guess everything comes out when the time is better. There are so many releases and everything has to find its correct time slot to be out. The people I am working with are wonderful, they know what they are doing. It is something I am not stressed about. I am excited for people to see me onscreen after such a long time.
You have also moved to your own house…
I thought it would be overwhelming but touchwood, it was a very smooth and wonderful journey. I have slipped into the role of running a home with a lot of ease. I thought I would be a lot more displaced but it worked out naturally. It’s one of the best things I have done for myself. This is just another stamp of me being independent.
Does it get overwhelming to always take care of yourself because you are an actor?
No, it’s wonderful that I have to keep myself fit. I don’t know if I would have taken such good care of myself if I wasn’t an actor. For me, it’s a blessing that I am accountable for how I look.
Your mother Pooja Bedi has confirmed that the biopic of your grandmother Protima Bedi is in works. Can we see you in it?
No, I think that would be very gimmicky. A story must be told with authenticity.