World Mental health Day exclusive: Rajinikanth's daughter Aishwarya R Dhanush talks about her passion for yoga and overall well-being 

Director, author and entrepreneur Aishwarya R Dhanush has an endearing girl-next-door vibe and believes that the key to one’s well-being is to focus on your inner self
Aishwarya R Dhanush
Aishwarya R Dhanush

In 2012 when Aishwarya R Dhanush made her directorial debut with 3, she paved a different path for herself. Although she hails from a family of larger-than-life superstars — her father being global Superstar Rajinikanth and husband Dhanush, Aishwarya clearly chose to be on the other side of the lens. In fact, her cinematic work in Tamil and Telugu cinema has drawn much praise. Away from work, we catch this 39-year-old filmmaker on her social media platform which is flooded with her yoga posts where she is trying various asanas including aerial yoga. Ahead of World Mental Health Day (October 10), we got in touch with Aishwarya to talk about her newly found passion for wellness and how she keeps her mental health in check during these trying times. In our conversation with Aishwarya, she tells us that regular yoga, meditation and a balanced diet help her stay mentally and physically healthy.  Excerpts:

We observe that lately, you have been practicing yoga regularly. Has it become a part of your daily routine? 

I rarely miss a yoga session. That’s how important yoga is to me. I have tried to imbibe this in my children and the family members as well because a healthy mind lives in a healthy body.

Does yoga help you with your mental wellness?

Well, all of us have our own ways to cope, quite honestly. The best way to deal with stress I believe is to focus on the inside. Whether it’s your belief system or your breathing or what you give importance to in your self-worth. Yes, we live public lives but that’s what makes our inner self of prime importance. I meditate every day and I also journal my thoughts every day.

With the pandemic, stress and anxiety have become a big issue for many. How has it been for you?

Yes, definitely. We were in a very scary place, and by we, I mean the whole world, humanity at large. There were layers and layers of stress on every individual. Since we were all working from home and practicing social distancing, the feeling of loneliness was bound to get the better of us someday. I missed going to work; I missed meeting my friends, my family who I was away from. Most of all, I missed going to my yoga studio, my one space of solace. But, we were able to make the most of it because of technology.

What kind of impact has the pandemic had in your life?

I think I am more grateful for my life, my health and my family. And moreover, I am grateful for this amazing gift of technology, which made the lockdowns a tad bit easy.

You have also invested in some of the celebrity yoga studios. Do tell us about that.

I think it was a very easy decision to make. I’ve always been an advocate of yoga and fitness. I had been watching what Sarva and Diva Yoga (yoga studios) were doing for several months before I made the decision. The commitment to authentic yoga-based wellness has been phenomenal and hence I chose to associate with them.

Do you follow any specific diet in your pursuit of overall wellness?

Moderation is the golden word! I love eating everything. From traditional South Indian food to pizza, I enjoy eating everything and the only thing I practice is in moderation. On matters of the mind, I also practice moderation. Here as well, thinking too much or thinking too little can both be very detrimental to health. I have learned after a lot of hard work, how to control the mind and how to care for my body.

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