Lara, to start with, do you feel that Bollywood heroines have come of age? In the sense, they have shown the world that they have business acumen than just mere beauty. Examples stand in the form of Shilpa Shetty, Preity, and now you!
I don't think its Bollywood heroines only, but women in general, are being taken more seriously as entrepreneurs and I think it's about time! As for actresses, I feel that our profession has given us such a wonderful platform as well as an effective channel for communication, so why not make the most of it. Today, our roles are not restricted to looking pretty on-screen, but diversifying into roles off screen as well. So today, we have the advantage of using that platform not only to entertain but undertake ventures and use our work as means to garner interest and help people in the best way possible.
What made you come up with the unique concept of health DVD? And what went behind the name 'H.E.A.L'?
I have always been very fitness conscious. I have been practicing Yoga for the past 10 years now. I am the only Indian to have won in the Best Body competition at the Miss Universe competition. So, you see, fitness has become a way of life for me and over the years, I have seen my body transform. This truly encouraged me to help other women and inspire them to concentrate and make a commitment to their bodies and focus on overall fitness. The series of my fitness DVDs is called 'H.E.A.L with Lara' which stands for 'Health, Exercise And Longevity'. I have always believed that, more than a 2 month deadline or a set number of kilos that you want to drop, its essential to undertake a fitness plan that you can sustain. Such a plan that not only concentrates on toning or weight loss, but the one that focuses on all that, as well as nurturing your body, focusing on a healthy diet and various other elements with respect to 'your' body type.
What are the contents of the DVD? Tell us something about the DVD and what can the viewer expect from it?
The DVD contains 'Yoga-Recovery and Rejuvenation' which includes specific 'asanas' that are created and demonstrated to restore the central nervous system and also to create a sense of well-being in the body. The DVD also includes 'pranayam' that can be done anytime of the day to combat daily stress. It focuses on every muscle and aims at instilling a sense of calm and rejuvenation. I spent a lot of time researching, using my experience as a yoga practitioner as well as getting my trainers on board. So, the viewers should expect access to the newest innovations and exercises in the fitness arena.
Lara, we also hear that you have roped in 2 fitness gurus for the DVD. Tell us something about them and what made you rope them?
I have collaborated with fitness experts Tonia Clark and Zareen Watson for 'Power Play' and 'Posture Play' as they have worked with me on my body and I have seen the results! So, I had to get them on board as a lot of research and expert knowledge was required and they are the best in their field! Tonia Clark is a certified 'Yoga Alliance' instructor and has worked with me for the last 2 years. The best thing I have learnt from Tonia is that it is essential to find a workout regime that best suits your body!
Whom have you targeted the DVDs at?
Well, it's targeted at my Yoga instructor Tonia Clark (who I have collaborated with), her 4 month old baby who practices yoga and a 98 year old man, who does the best headstands I know! So, as you can see, there are no boundaries! The entire series is for anyone who wants to look at a versatile routine that focuses on the overall well being of an individual. I honestly believe that yoga transcends all age and gender barriers. So, this DVD is not restricted to anyone. I have tried to adapt universal routines as well as simple breathing exercises that you can do in between chores or in the office!
News has that the fitness DVD also includes workout for pregnant women and exercises for those who are suffering from back and knee problems. Does that mean that the exercises shown are so easy to perform, even at the convenience of one's home?
Not this DVD. But I do plan to expand and cover asanas for expecting moms as well. However, this DVD has basic breathing techniques that one can try at the convenience of your home or even in between work.
How different is your DVD 'H.E.A.L.' from the ones that have been earlier launched by Shilpa Shetty and Bipasha Basu?
The entire series of my fitness videos consists of 3 DVDs. The first one focuses on Yoga, the second one is called 'Power Play' that focuses on strength and cardio elements and the third, 'Posture Perfect' is for anyone who wants to lose weight and strengthen the core body. It focuses more on personalizing your workout based on your body-type and requirements. All of us have our own ways to approach the topics.
When are you planning to release your subsequent DVDs: 'Power Play' and 'Posture Perfect'?
In the next four months. While 'Power Play' will focus on strength training and cardio element, 'Posture Perfect' will focus on strengthening the core and weight loss. Once all three DVDs are out, people will have the opportunity to choose according to the desired results and preferences.
Lara, you are someone who has always been synonymous with fitness and perfection. Our readers are dying to know about what all goes behind in maintaining a dream body like yours?
I have always been dedicated to fitness. I work out 5 times a day combining cardio, strength training and yoga. Being a vegetarian, I eat a lot of vegetables, drink lots of water and meditate frequently. I find a combination of healthy eating and regular and sensible exercise that keeps me looking fit and feeling great!
Kareena Kapoor made national headlines with her 'Size Zero' do. Do you endorse the same?
I have always felt that your workout should focus on being healthy, and not on trying to pertain oneself to a particular size or body-type! I hope that answers your question!
On the professional front, what are your forthcoming films?
Presently, I am shooting for my first home production called Chalo Dilli with Vinay Pathak and me. I am also in between schedules for Don 2 which will release in December 2011.
What about Banda Yeh Bindaas Hai? When will it see the light of the day?
It's currently on hold on account of Ravi Chopra's health.
Lastly, what prompted to name your production house as funky as 'Bheegi Basanti'?
I have always been a huge Sholay fan. For me, 'Basanti' has been a favourite name associated with Hindi films and I felt 'Bheegi Basanti' had a kitsch and a cliched reference to the Hindi film heroine. I liked the way it sounded! That's why the name 'Bheegi Basanti'!