Doing a backflip or front flip may be the ultimate way for many to show off their flexibility and agility. But these are advanced fitness goals, difficult to master unless one puts in many hours of practice. Now, imagine someone pulling off the same stunt(s) while draped in a sari.
The Internet has been abuzz recently with two videos of Parul Arora going viral on social media in which the 24-year-old gymnast from Ambala, Haryana, can be seen pulling off front and back flips in a sari, with an on-spot, perfect-ten landing. Parul, a national gold-medallist gymnast, posted the videos on Instagram, and the compliments and have not stopped.
Dressed in a black sleeveless blouse and a mauve sari, Parul runs up to the mat with a partner to execute a perfect front flip with effortless ease. Even as the micro-blogging site went crazy watching the video of the girl performing the stunts with such casual ease, the video found its way to actor Vidya Balan who went on to share it on her Instagram Stories.
Practice makes perfect
Speaking to us over the telephone on what inspired her to take up the challenge, the 24-year-old gymnast tells us that she’s always trying to do different things in different outfits. “One day, we thought, ‘why not try one of these stunts wearing a sari?’ Managing the flip while holding the sari in one hand was a bit of a challenge for me, but we still managed to do the video in a single take,” elaborates Parul exultantly.
Even as she basks in her fans and followers’ appreciative comments and applause over her efforts, she reminds us that these stunts need a lot of practice. “I do it for one hour each, every morning and evening,” adds Parul, who has participated in 35 national level tournaments for over 15 years.
However, personal commitments came in the way of her pursuing the sport in a bigger manner. Parul had to leave the professional circuit in 2018 when she had to take it upon herself to support her family. “Even though I played at the national level I didn’t get enough support to take it further. And I had to support my family too. So I joined social media and work my way through to be a fitness influencer and have been coaching aspiring gymnasts,” shares Parul, who has over one lakh followers on Instagram.
While Parul is making gymnastics look cool in sari, she’s clear she wants to pursue her career in coaching the sport. Who knows, she might even teach you how to hold your sari in one hand as you execute your flip to perfection!