Industrialist Yashovardhan or Yash Birla, is just as dedicated to his health as he is to his companies. He recently published a book titled Building The Perfect Body. "It's more than a fitness book. It is a look back at my entire fitness journey. It focuses on one fundamental but critical concept: fitness isn't just a physical game; it's also a mental one," he says.
Fitness is everything
Through the book, the business magnate attempts to share his experiences with people who have life-affirming goals. It includes exercise instructions for each major muscle group, apart from other interesting insights.
“I love being photographed, I love getting into the creative aspects of that. I love telling the photographer how to click me, not just for the look, but so that the viewer gets inspired to be fit, because I really believe fitness can help everybody. It’s not just about your looks, but everything about you,” says Yash.
Rich spiritual heritage
The business tycoon credits his grandmother for his grounding in spiritual, philosophical, and mythological matters.
“I believe that religion and spiritualism includes fitness and mindfulness. My family is fairly religious and these concepts were instilled in me from my childhood by my grandmother who raised me. All of her teachings stuck with me while growing up and I continue to follow them till date. I would say that religion and spiritualism helped me become the person I am today. They have a great impact on the mental wellbeing of a person and create a sense of harmony and calmness besides empowering the internal and social persona of the individual. They help me become better, calmer, healthier, and wiser day by day,” says the philanthropist.
Yash, a scion of the well-known Birla family, tries to stay away from Tamasic food -- meat, fish, onions, garlic, mushrooms, overripe and underripe fruits and vegetables.
“I do indulge sometimes in Rajasic (fresh food but heavy) but mostly stick to a healthy vegetarian Sattvic (light and healthy) diet,” he says.
“My grandmother was particular about following a strictly vegetarian diet. At one point I started eating eggs and she was not happy about that. After a few years, I gave that up. I’m a strict vegetarian, and I don’t smoke or consume alcohol. I say prayers from our scriptures every night before going to bed, as she taught me Though she passed away almost 30 years ago, these habits are still stuck with me,” says Yash, who has practised various forms of meditation, like Transcendental and Kundalini meditation and Sahaja Samadhi.
“Holistic wellness is spirituality, from one perspective. I have said often that we come with certain personality traits. At the age of 12 or 13, I started picking up books on philosophy, spirituality, re-incarnation, and the Upanishads which gave me a lot of mental peace and answers to questions which rose in my mind,” says Yash, who believes fitness is 360 degrees — encompassing mind, body, and spirit.
“It is not only related to your body, it also has to do with self-confidence. A lot of pressure, stress and ailments arise because we lack confidence in certain areas of day-to-day life. But fitness helps you overcome those limitations, makes you realise what your limitations are and makes you accept and work on them. It also helps with focus – if get distracted while I’m at office, I know how to get myself back and be centred, because of my knowledge of pranayama, meditation and weights training ,” adds Yash.
Sharing knowledge & experience
Although an avid reader from a very young age, Yash didn't give much thought to becoming a writer. “My interest was triggered when my dear friend Shobhaa De approached me to write a book. I can talk for long hours and express my thoughts very clearly. So we had a ghost writer for my previous book, On A Prayer. This whole process of being able to share your experiences and knowledge with the people and leave a legacy for the next generation really piqued my interest in writing, and that’s how Building The Perfect Body came to be written,” says the chairman of the Yash Birla Group.
“This book was around eight years in the writing, and yet the process was very memorable,” he signs off....