Delhi’s dapper yoga guru
Zubin Atré is a dapper yoga teacher who has invented his style of yoga. His modern interpretation of ancient yoga has benefited many
Zubin Atré is a new age yoga teacher who has already made a mark for himself in the capital. A stickler for good things he uses technology to deal with the details of life so that he can concentrate on thinking–he likes to explore new frontiers in life. And defies convention in the true sense of the word. A dapper yoga teacher, he wears suits, loves single malt–Japanese whiskeys are his current favorite–has travelled the world. And married an Italian professional, Sarah, and is a proud father of two boys. He describes himself as “cloud and not a dot on the paper, for clouds evolve and a dot is static. I’m evolving all the time,” he says.
“I’m in the profession of application,” he says without blinking an eyelid, “I help people apply yoga in their lives.” He believes that wellness is not about being in denial, his brand of yoga–AtréYoga–is based on a sound scientific approach involving biomechanics and meditation suited to the specific goals and needs of an individual student.
His style of yoga is inspired by geometry. “My students have different bodies, state of health, medical history, water content, attitude to life,…. That makes each one unique. The only common thing is the rectangular yoga mat. My instructions are in the metaphor of geometry–fairly unique,” he says. And it works magic for he has clocked 16,000 hours of teaching experience in various parts of the world–Venice and Tokyo–he spent most of his time apart from Delhi.
Zubin likes to be with his students and specialises in sports yoga, and has taught the likes of Abhinav Bindra, European athletes, scuba divers, aspiring astronauts to deal with microgravity–the condition in which people or objects appear to be weightless. In Delhi, his students include MNC executives, expats and affluent Indians.
Zubin lives in a spacious apartment in Vasant Vihar, and there are two separate floors for his residence and studio, respectively. “I have clarity and I’m ambitious,” he says without the slightest hesitation. He’s created a clutter free house, where his staff, with the help of various gadgets, go about doing their work smoothly, as the soft instrumental music plays in the backdrop.
“The atmosphere in my house is conducive to thinking,” he says and he mostly thinks things through. So what are you thinking now? “Apart from what to tell my CA who’s dealing with tax issues,” he says with a smile and then adds, “How to make complex issues no brainer for my students and clients.” As they say: think and grow rich. Despite being so active, multitasking, he’s always at repose, never seen in a hurry or anxious. “I sleep peacefully,” he adds.
Dressed in black t-shirt and blue trousers that fit well on his slim toned body, his eyes focused and expressive, he talks without filters. He showed me his house before we went downstairs to his studio. There seems to be space for everything, and things were happening rather effortlessly with clockwork precision.
A socially driven man, Zubin has a handful of friends and he’s willing to go out of the way to help them in need. He has reposed full support and trust to his staff. His aide-de-camp is one of his prodigious students, Rajat, who is the only other person who can teach his style of yoga. He has his full trust, even in financial matters. An ability to trust others is a reflection of one’s trust in his or her own capabilities.
He has been a collector of good things. Has an enviable collection of art, old cameras, many twin-lens reflex cameras displayed in the drawing room, some have their original box and cleaning equipment, also sound systems. In the past he collected jeans, dozens of suits are neatly lined in his walk-in closet. Not to mention, choicest single malts, has been a big fan of beer–his favourite is from the microbreweries of Belgium and Germany. He has a material persona and he takes pride in it.
His studio is an inspiring space, with an orange mat, light filtering through big glass windows, there’s artwork, and comfortable sofas, relaxing ambiance. The staff is an extension of his family, they have a ready supply of coffee, and don’t have to comply with fixed hours as long as work is done. During busy days, staff members can stay back, and they have a place to take a siesta as well.
Zubin grew up in Punjab, and his father, an artist of repute, instilled in him the power to believe in himself and that he’s the best. He came to Delhi and set up a studio, and opportunities came his way. And he travelled extensively across the globe and met his wife on one such journey, and then they travelled together. Though he’s done well in life, there’s a lot to be done. As he puts himself, “I’m constantly evolving.”
(Cover: Zubin defies conventions and lead life on his terms)