Is Anushka Sharma’s viral yoga picture trending for the wrong reason?

A picture of a pregnant Anushka Sharma performing Shirshasana with Virat Kohli’s support draws flak
Is Anushka Sharma’s viral yoga picture trending for the wrong reason?

Celebrities have inspired many a trend, right from hairstyles to fashion to fitness goals. Actor and producer Anuskha Sharma, who is welcoming her child with cricketer Virat Kohli in January 2021, has been in the social media limelight for the past few months. Right from the announcement of her pregnancy to posting various photographs of herself and with Virat, she has been making top trends on social media. A recent post of hers had her trending again – a photograph of a pregnant Anushka doing a yoga asana with Virat’s assistance.

In the throwback photo on Instagram, Anushka, who is in her trimester, is seen doing a headstand with Virat holding her legs as support. “For the Shirshasana, which I have been doing for many years, I ensured that I used the wall for support and also my very able husband supporting me balance, to be extra safe. This was also done under the supervision of my yoga teacher @eefa-shrof, who was virtually with me through this session,” she wrote in her post.

And while the post drew thousands of hearts, it also drew public ire. While one follower posted, ‘No, this is wrong and not inspiring! Yoga for prenatal does not recommend Shirshasana’, another posted ‘And the need for this? U may do it, but posting this isn’t the logical things to do as many of your followers may not be having the same dedicated team as yours and follow you blindly and end up with some health ma’am! A doctor speaking here.’

A leading Malayalam daily drew flak when it carried Anushka’s post on its front page, with several doctors pointing out the ‘dangers’.

Consultant ENT surgeon and a central working committee member of Indian Medical Association Dr Sulphi Noohu on Twitter said, “Dear kohli, it will kill your wife and kid. What a stupid act!” as he went on to discuss it on his Facebook post.

Meanwhile, Dr Soumya S Sarin, a consultant pediatrician and neonatologist in Palakkad, on Facebook criticized the couple for posting the photograph on social media as she pointed out how fans may copy them.

Dr Vinod B Nair, a Kochi-based ENT surgeon, who voiced his protest over the photograph on social media, says that the newspaper should have known better than to post such a picture. “People tend to ape their favourite celebrities mindlessly at times. And when a media highlights a celebrity’s doings, their followers tend to believe the act is justified,” he says.

According to Vinod, a yoga practitioner, certain asanas should be avoided during pregnancy. “Light exercises are fine but not ones like Shirshasana. Just imagine what would have happened if Anushka’s legs had slipped from Virat’s hands. She could have ended up with a broken neck. Also, the fall would have injured the baby,” says Vinod.

But then Bollywood is famous for its women sharing images of themselves in various yoga poses. If Soha Ali Khan performed the warrior pose to perfection with her baby bump, Lara Dutta made a few videos on yoga’s benefits during her pregnancy.

“Celebrities are addicted to the limelight and need constant attention; a reason why they share such posts,” says Vinod.

Recently, actor Akshay Kumar had posted a video on Instagram stating that he drinks cow urine every day for “Ayurvedic reason”. Twitter had a field day as it posted several hilarious responses to Akshay’s statement.

The NationWide