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Lavanya Bahuguna


JWB Runs Into Natasha Noel – The Yogini Who Poses On The Streets

  • JWB Post
  •  May 18, 2016


It’s funny how a random whim can turn out to be a fantastic connection!

It was just the other day when I was stalking the Instagram account of a stranger called Natasha Noel. The next day, I saw her getting published in effing ELLE magazine!

Humbled and honoured to be featured in the renowned fashion magazine Elle India May “The body issue” @elleindiaofficial alongside 6 badass women who are muscular and break the traditional notion that defines being female. Honestly, be whatever body type you fancy as long as your confident, comfortable and feel like a goddess or a warrior in your own skin. Fuck what society says because their opinions will constantly change according to their whims and fancies and they aren’t living your life. Seriously, otherwise you will live your whole life trying to please people and never LIVING for yourself. Start being healthy… for yourself. It’s never ever too late. Just start. I practice yoga and traditionally a “yogis body” is supped to be skinny, mine is far from that. And there are still moments in my life where I wish I was Skinner. I have been fighting a war with my body ever since I was little girl because that’s the only thing I had control over. Each and every day when i looked at my body in the mirror, the amount of hate that oozed out towards this body, is unbelievable. I remember I held my thighs and sliced pieces just so they would be smaller. I took the razor and tried to scrub the celluilte off my thighs because my legs weren’t how I saw in the media. I have not eaten for days so my stomach would be a little smaller I have done the opposite of being a glutton and only eating because that was the only way I could love myself. Because food loves me. But either end of the spectrum you are punishing yourself. Now when I see the muscles on my body I am proud of it. Because I built my body. It takes a lot of time a lot of courage to pull yourself out of the hole you created. And to realise loving yourself is actually EATING HEALTHY! And embodying a healthy lifestyle and becoming fit. I am wise enough to know I have come a long way and I can take a minute or two and just appricate each conscious moment and humble enough to know I indeed have a long way to go. And that is okay. I still have moments of self hate but they last for lesser periods. It makes me realse, I am human and I am flawed but guess what, that absolutely fine as well!

A photo posted by Natasha noel (@natashanoel001) on

Natasha Noel from Mumbai is a self-taught Yogini. She is that girl-next-door whom you find cute. But wait, her curved smile has more in store. She might be hiding a secret from you and the other aunties in the neighbourhood. 

The secret like how much she loves hanging around their windows….

“Consider becoming the type of energy that no matter where you go, or where you are, you always add value to the spaces and lives around you.”❤ Practise daily. Stay safe. Stay humble.?❤ Much love?? #ashtanga #Dancer #yogaeverywhere #yoga #yogaeverydamnday #yogalove #yogadaily #yogajunkie #igyogafamily #yogaanywhere #Squat #BubbleButt #squats #yogajourney #fit #fitness #FitWomen #om #fitfam #fitspo #fitnessaddict #fitnessfreak #HealthyLiving #HealthyLifestyle #passion #dreams #NeverGiveUp #determination #Strength

A photo posted by Natasha noel (@natashanoel001) on

Balancing a pose on a society’s hottie’s bike….

So this is what last evening was about. Well, I wish I could ride a bike, till I cant, I can practice some asanas on it. Finding balance on my one legged downward dog. My next goal – HandStand on the bike. One day, soon? Photo credits Kaarthic Senthil ?. Sanskrit Name: Eka Pada Adho Mukha Svanasana English translation: One-Legged Downward-Facing Dog Practise daily. Stay safe. Stay humble.?❤ Much love?? #ashtanga #Dancer #oneLeggedDownwardFacingDog #EkaPadaAdhoMukhaSvanasana #yogaeverywhere #yoga #yogaeverydamnday #yogalove #yogadaily #yogajunkie #igyogafamily #yogaanywhere #yogajourney #fit #fitness #FitWomen #om #fitfam #fitspo #fitnessaddict #fitnessfreak #HealthyLiving #HealthyLifestyle #passion #dreams #NeverGiveUp #determination #Strength

A photo posted by Natasha noel (@natashanoel001) on

And, standing on one leg on the roof edge.

Hello Goa! The view from my room. ? Sometimes you just need some alone time to recharge your batteries. Amazing conversations with friends, long bike rides, sand in between your toes, basking in the warmth of the sun, dancing in the water, being able to simply breathe and not feel suffocated is… freedom. It’s good to refuel your soul once in a while. Sanskrit name: Hanumanasana English translation: Split Photo credit @dancechoksidance Practise daily. Stay safe. Stay humble.?❤ Much love?? #ashtanga #Dancer #hanumanasana #splits #goa #yogaeverywhere #yoga #yogaeverydamnday #yogalove #yogadaily #yogajunkie #igyogafamily #yogaanywhere #yogajourney #fit #fitness #FitWomen #om #fitfam #fitspo #fitnessaddict #fitnessfreak #HealthyLiving #HealthyLifestyle #passion #dreams #NeverGiveUp #determination #Strength

A photo posted by Natasha noel (@natashanoel001) on

“What? But you are a girl, for God’s sake. Behave like one.”

“You don’t have to perform stunts. What if you scratch your elbows and knees. It takes years to get rid of the marks. Don’t you want to get married?”

Natasha’s response? *Rolls her eyes and keeps Yoga-posing on the streets*

By attempting a bit of magic (and, poking her on FB messenger), I was able to get this girl on board for our readers.

Answering a series of e-mail interview questions, here’s Natasha – the Yogini – for you:

What inspired you to practice Yoga in the era of high-tech Gyms?

”Instagram. No jokes. I was a professional dancer for five years, and I got a severe knee injury after which the doctor gave me two options to choose from – walk or dance. Obviously, I had to leave my first love with no questions asked. To find solace, I got into photography but in vain. At this time, I didn’t do any physical activity because it would strain my knee. Apart from this, I was going for physiotherapy to get rid of the pain. All in all, I was bored to death.

So, I downloaded Instagram, and there I saw these beautiful other Yoginis from all over the world who use their bodies to create magic. And THAT inspired me. I immediately bought yoga books, understood the philosophy of it, and I physically learnt the asanas through Instagram, YouTube, and various Iyengar books. Through practice, I eventually realized how my knee began to get better.”

How do you choose to define Yoga – “yoga as spiritual practice” OR “yoga as body shaper”?

“There are various definitions. According to Maharishi Patanjali, Yoga is Samadhi (a state of intense concentration achieved through meditation). In Yoga, Samadhi is regarded as the final stage, at which union with the divine is reached (before or after death).

Oh just the usual splitting on stones. Casual Monday stuff. People think I’m creepy, life is good!???? Photo credits @dancechoksidance ❤? Sanskrit name: Hanumanasana English translation :Monkey posture Practise daily. Stay safe. Stay humble.?❤ Much love?? #ashtanga #Dancer #MonkeyPosture #Splits #hanumanasana #yogaeverywhere #yoga #yogaeverydamnday #yogalove #yogadaily #yogajunkie #igyogafamily #yogaanywhere #yogajourney #fit #fitness #FitWomen #om #fitfam #fitspo #fitnessaddict #fitnessfreak #HealthyLiving #HealthyLifestyle #passion #dreams #NeverGiveUp #determination #Strength

A photo posted by Natasha noel (@natashanoel001) on

But, I chose to define Yoga as an inward journey that unites the body, soul and mind. Physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually you are working on yourself to understand and better yourself. To know your weaknesses, understand and accept them. It’s to love yourself, wholeheartedly with all the imperfections and flaws. To become friends with your inner monster and not hate yourself instead. To move the mind from negative to positive. Yoga encompasses everything. It helps your body, mind, emotions and soul become stronger. Yoga heals.”

How did you come up with the idea of posing at public places? It’s so cool!

“Thanks, I observed these Westerns Yoginis and Yogis do it. Inspired, I trained myself. Meanwhile, I realized why nobody from the East was encashing on such an excellent concept!”

How do you handle the stares while posing on the streets?

”I’ve been lucky. If ever I’m doing an outdoor shoot, the photographer would always help me. Otherwise, I am always aware and very conscious of my surroundings.”

Stretch everywhere! No excuses! How I stretch in an aeroplane. Getting on with my urdhva muka paschimottanasana. ? Yes, my friends find me insane but hey, they love me for who I am. ❤? Photo credit @tejamaihoon ? Practise daily. Stay safe. Stay humble.?❤ Much love?? #ashtanga #Dancer #yogaeverywhere #yoga #yogaeverydamnday #yogalove #yogadaily #yogajunkie #igyogafamily #yogaanywhere #yogajourney #fit #fitness #FitWomen #om #fitfam #fitspo #fitnessaddict #fitnessfreak #HealthyLiving #HealthyLifestyle #passion #dreams #NeverGiveUp #determination #Strength

A photo posted by Natasha noel (@natashanoel001) on

Day 26 of #hipsummerhip is #Bakasana in #EkaPadaSirsasana . but I just tucked my under. I can know the leg will stay behind my head soon. I can feel it. Host @cyogalab Sponsor @lululemon So yesterday someone asked me whats the deal about yoga? Why are people so into it? I smiled and I could have gotten my philosophy on and said well the goal of yoga according to Patanjali is Samadhi. Samadhi loosely translating to self consciousness. Where the yogi merges with his or her point of focus and transcends the Self altogether. The yogi comes to realise a profound connection to the Divine, an interconnectedness with all living things.  Samadhi is the final limb of the eight fold path also known as ASTHANGA (The eight limbs of yoga.) But Instead I said well there are many reasons why people do yoga. It could be to lose weight. It could be to be able to be flexible. It could be to find themselves. The reason I do yoga is 1. To find strength and 2. you know as human beings we carry a lot of junk with us. We can be compared to onions which have layers and layers over itself go protect the core similarly we create these walls we build so that we TRY not to get hurt from people or in many ways from ourselves. So we just repress everything down there and never really face what’s working us or anything negative. And we live in pretence. I wanted to go deeper to understand myself better. Be be okay with myself. To be happy with myself. The asanas discipline me to connect to physical to the mental to the emotional to the soul. And when all are in harmony one can go deeper within oneself understand all the repressed emotions and clean it not from an attitude of judgement but from a place of understanding and love. And loving yourself is a process. He, I think was just shocked.? Loving #Dubai . ?Photography? credits @annikapanikker Practise daily. Stay safe. Stay humble.?❤ Much love? #yogaeverywhere #yoga #yogaeverydamnday #yogalove #yogadaily #yogajunkie #igyogafamily #yogaanywhere #yogajourney #fit #fitness #FitWomen #om #fitfam #fitspo #fitnessaddict #fitnessfreak #HealthyLiving #HealthyLifestyle #passion #dreams #NeverGiveUp #determination #Strength #flexible

A photo posted by Natasha noel (@natashanoel001) on

When you post pictures online, do you face online hatred from trolls?

“Yes, sometimes. One such comment was “lick my armpits” (yes, I’ve gotten that recently itself). Often, I would immediately hit “block” and delete that user from my account. Generally, I reply. Don’t ask what I write, please! *laughs*

At times it gets vulgar. Like the other day, this guy wrote in the comments section – “This is such a good position to fuck” – describing how he would like to slide his tongue on my inner thighs. My reply? “Sure, maybe we could. But before that, maybe I can rip your heart out, skin you alive and then lick your blood from my hands, how does that work?””

Did you ever face body-shaming?

“Initially from myself. I am my worst critic. But, I do get occasional “You’re fat”, “You have huge thighs”, “You’re too muscular”, “You look like a man” one-liners.

Day 3 of #yoga4everybody is #Splits or #hanumanasana Hosts @laurasykora @dashamalove Today’s question is: “Today I am grateful for…” Today I am grateful for having Annika as a friend. She’s just giving me hope. She is an absolute best friend that one could have. She loves and loves and only loves no matter what. I learn so many things from her each day(not just cooking). Thank you love, just for everything! I love you. Doing spilts in between runs. It’s very important to stretch before and after a run! Taking Splits to another level Photo credits @annikapanikker My blog. “Accepting pain and loving YOURSELF”. If you have the time do go and read and I would appreciate any kind of feedback. The link is in the description/ Bio. #Dubai loving. Practise daily. Stat safe. Stay humble. Much love❤? #yogaeverywhere #yoga #yogaeverydamnday #yogalove #yogadaily #yogajunkie #igyogafamily #yogaanywhere #yogajourney #fit #fitness #Namaste #FitWomen #om #fitfam #fitspo #fitnessaddict #fitnessfreak #HealthyLiving #HealthyLifestyle #passion #dreams #NeverGiveUp #determination #Strength #flexible

A photo posted by Natasha noel (@natashanoel001) on

People talk and criticize you because that’s what they do the best to shove their opinions down people’s throat. To be honest, I have stopped reacting to them. For me, they are nothing but useless noises.”

What inspires you every day?

“A lot of people inspire me. But two women make me believe in myself more than ever. (Even though I have never physically met them) The first female is Kino Macgregor, who forced me fall in love with the Ashtanga vinyasa yoga. The second woman is Tamara Levinson-Campos, better known as Cuchira on Instagram, inspires me to Yogance (she created it, a mixture of yoga and dance!) She is that crazy BeYOUtiful woman who goes around and tells women that they are pretty badass with all their quirks.”

You are not a size-zero, instead, a beautiful woman who loves her curves. How proud are you of yourself?  

“Haha! Thankfully, I am no more that girl who wants to be a size-zero. I certainly got over the phase where I thought ribs showing body is sexy, and stick-like legs and thigh-gap legs are ultra-sexy. I remember starving myself to look “pretty”. Phew!

Day 5 of #omopener Challenge is ?? #CamelPose or #Ustrasana? The picture is a #throwback to a shoot I did with the amazing @meghnabhalla .Wanted to post a current picture but I’m currently travelling to a different city to do a photoshoot (which I’m super excited about!??????), and will here the whole day so won’t have time to take one. And I didn’t want to miss out or be late on the challenge???? Practise daily. Stay safe. Stay humble!❤?? Hosts are: @yoga_warrior_goddess @rima_danielle @namastewithjenamae @melisfit_ @bodysamantix Sponsors are: @omshanticlothing @omsoulshop ❤?? #yogalife #yogapower #yogabeyond #yogajunkie #yogadaily #Strength #yogaeverywhere #yogaaddict #yoga #yogaeverydamnday #healthyliving #healthylifestyle #healthy #fitwomen #fitgirl #fitspo #fitnessfreak #fitness #fit #fitnessjunkie #fitagram #Om #femalemotivation #practicedaily #Namaste #NeverGiveUp ?❤

A photo posted by Natasha noel (@natashanoel001) on

Today, however, I want to be just healthy no matter what my size is. I look at it this way; I’m blessed with the body I have, and all I can do now is take care of it. To love and nurture it and make it as healthy as I can.”

You look great. Do you follow any particular diet? If not, how big a Foodie you are?

*laughs* “I wish I followed a special diet but no, I don’t. I am a vegetarian. Also, because I’m a strong believer in ahimsa. I take quality carbs, protein, and fruits.

Otherwise, I am a complete foodie. If given a choice, I would live on pizza and chocolate the whole day. Just the other day, I had two large pizzas on two consecutive days.”

They say Yoga shows a slow but positive result when it comes to losing weight. How true is that?

“I don’t know much about losing weight, but it most definitely makes you stronger. Also, it ultimately depends on what form of yoga you are doing.”

As an Instructor, how do you see your students transforming?

“I see transformations happening around me all the time. One of my students told me about her goal – to do an upward bow posture (Urdhva Dhanaurasana). Starting next day, we worked for three months at a stretch to strengthen her arms, legs along with body flexibility. The victory day finally came when she lifted herself off the floor! While she jumped back with excitement, I teared up in her happiness.”

What is that one fear/limitation Yoga has helped you overcome?

This is what I do in a grocery store! A Headstand, apparently. Not buy stuff but get inverted! ? I love that my friends accept my weirdness and never say no to click a random picture anywhere I feel like. ??? Thank you @kathylaws I cannot belive we are living together again.? Our journey will never end. We will travel the world together. Next stop Dharmshala or Mexico? Sanskrit name: Sirasana English translation: Headstand. Practise daily. Stay safe. Stay humble.?❤ Much love?? #ashtanga #Dancer #Headstand #sirsasana #yogaeverywhere #yoga #yogaeverydamnday #yogalove #yogadaily #yogajunkie #igyogafamily #yogaanywhere #yogajourney #fit #fitness #FitWomen #om #fitfam #fitspo #fitnessaddict #fitnessfreak #HealthyLiving #HealthyLifestyle #passion #dreams #NeverGiveUp #determination #Strength

A photo posted by Natasha noel (@natashanoel001) on

“Oh, there are so many of them! I think the biggest of them all has always been my insecurity that I am not good enough. Earlier, I was full of self-doubt; I was so shy and scared to talk to people around me. Yoga changed everything. I have come a long way.”

How is the modelling world treating you?

“I love posing; you know it already!” *giggles*

Dear human, Can I tell you something? You’re beautiful in your own effing magnificent way. Don’t let anyone tell you otherwise. (Especially) NOT even yourself. I know it’s been hard. I know you want to give up. I know nothing makes sense. I know there is part of you which hates yourself. I know you feel pain and you want to do things to yourslef which doesn’t make sense. I know it’s been hard, maybe it’s always been hard. Maybe you see happiness but it constantly slips away from you like how you try and hold stand in a fist. Relationships aren’t working out. Your body looks like shit. You haven’t reached where you want in life. You don’t see progress in anything you do. Maybe work isn’t going the way you like. You’re just perpetually tired. And each day, maybe you hate yourself a little bit more. I understand. I just want to tell you to fuck everything. You need to be comfortable in your own skin. Every colour is beautiful, every accent accept that’s your heritage, own it. Be proud of where you’ve come from, be proud of who you are. I know it’s difficult. Especially with all the voices in your head/society telling you how you need to be/dress/behave or even love. Screw everything. Screw everyone. Accept yourself. With all your beautiful flaws. So what if you’re loud girl or a quiet boy? So what if a man is romantic and a woman doesn’t belive in love. So what if the man wants to be a homemaker and the woman wants to work? You have one goddamn life, man. Do what makes you happy. I’m not saying, you should run away from your responsibilities ” screaming fuck society! I’m going to be free” no but try and find freedom in your chaos. Try and see beauty around you. Try and be comfortable in your own skin. Your skin is the best and most natural cloth that there is out there no one can wear it better than you. In all your cracks of hurt pour endless self love. Find love within yourself. From a human who chooses not to give up and always tries to find inspiration in life. ❤ ???????? Wearing my first look of #SaltByMandira by the magic maker @mandirabedi and it’s available on and @MTheStore. Official design handle @mandiradesigns

A photo posted by Natasha noel (@natashanoel001) on

How fashionable Yoga styling can be?

“I guess it is. Well, I live in my yoga pants, and if given the option I would roam around in my sports bras! Wearing what you’re comfortable with and whatever makes you feel like a goddess, is what you should wear. My yoga clothes do!”

If you were to live in one Yoga pose, what would it be?

“Hunumanasna – the Monkey Pose! It’s my zodiac animal, as well.”

In the age of Yoga (male) gurus, how are you planning to make yourself stand apart as a Yogini?

“I will keep doing it my way! Breaking all the stereotypes, one posture at a time.”

Sometimes you need a good stretch to sort out your life. ☺ Changes in my Yoga-Dance workshop: SUNDAY(3rd April) Time: 430 to 6 PM Venue: Tangerine studio, Pali hill Fees: 750/- For further details do contact +91 98673 69960 Wearing leotard from @pdadancewear ? Photo credits @meghnabhalla ? Practise daily. Stay safe. Stay humble.?❤ Much love?? #ashtanga #Dancer #splits #straddlesplits #yogaeverywhere #yoga #yogaeverydamnday #yogalove #yogadaily #yogajunkie #igyogafamily #yogaanywhere #yogajourney #fit #fitness #FitWomen #om #fitfam #fitspo #fitnessaddict #fitnessfreak #HealthyLiving #HealthyLifestyle #passion #dreams #NeverGiveUp #determination #Strength

A photo posted by Natasha noel (@natashanoel001) on

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