The Circle


Karuna Ezara Parikh

Talks to us about doing yoga in Mysore, and her favourite foods and hotels

Karuna Ezara Parikh writes poetry, stories and scripts. She recently wrote the film Kaash which premiered at the Toronto Film Festival with her best friend, photographer and director Ishaan Nair and is in the process of writing another script with him. Karuna also travels extensively and, going by how fit she is, exercises on the go. We love her style and her spirit, the way she throws things together and the way she wore her lehenga with sneakers at her own wedding, and are totally excited to have her on our blog as the first in our fitness series.

QTell us about your recent trip to Mysore for yoga?

A. It was wonderful! After falling terribly ill last year I decided to spend a month post-recovery doing a Teacher's Training Course at Samyak Yoga Ashram on the river Kaveri, just outside the city of Mysore. When I got there I was intimidated, and uncertain if I would be able to complete the course, but four weeks later I was doing headstands and scorpion pose and acro-yoga with enthusiasm and confidence, if not 100% ease.

Q You're exceptionally fit. Tell us how you do it. What do you do regularly for exercise?

A. Though I joined a gym once way back when I was 21, I haven't been able to go back to one since. I'm much more an exercise at home kind of girl, and with my often crazy travel schedule, I need to have an activity that I can do anywhere. I found yoga really fit that box. I've been practicing casually for years, but I decided to get serious this year and went to Mysore to study ashtanga.

Q Why yoga versus weight training?

A. I find yoga a holistic fitness choice. I think weight training gives you the same (and possibly even better!) results, but the mental peace, flexibility, organ exercise and anatomical alignment yoga provides is unparalleled. Plus, like I said, you can do it anywhere anytime.

Q Do you mix it up or do you like to stick to one routine?

A. Oh I definitely mix it up. It's healthier for your body and keeps you from getting bored. In between my yoga I use a few apps for concentrated ab workouts and sometimes do a Kayla Itsines routine.

Q What do you eat? Any particular foods that are a big part of your diet?

A. I was raised very healthy and after a few years of unhealthy adulthood where beer and burgers were my staple, I've gone back to a more balanced diet. Because of my health concerns I now stay away from gluten, dairy, processed sugar and most alcohol. It sounds horrible but it really isn't, and I've found it's actually made staying fit about fifty percent easier.

Q Any recipes you'd recommend?

A. My best friend, photographer Ishaan Nair created a beautiful dessert the other day. In a bowl of yoghurt he mixed some pomegranate, then added a dash of honey and some finely cut bits of seventy percent dark chocolate. Completely healthy and so delicious.

Q We know you travel a lot? Could you recommend a favourite place and hotel? One in India and one out of the country

A. In India I love Samode Palace. There are so many heritage hotels but Samode remains for me the crown jewel. If you are going to spend money, spend it here.

Abroad? The best hotel I've ever visited is The Namale Spa in Fiji. A 500 acre single island property, it has only 18 rooms, one of the world's best spas, hands down the best indoor basketball court I've ever seen (imagine wooden floors, all glass walls, on a cliff overlooking the ocean), and staff trained personally by the owner - motivational speaker Tony Robbins. His positive attitude infuses the entire space. All this aside, they'll take you whale-spotting too.