April 11, 2022
When Aditi Shah was growing up, she was always moving. There’s the story her mother tells of how she had left two-month-old Aditi on a table for one second, only to find that she had fallen off. As she grew older, she’d play soccer, run around, and climb trees. “I had a lot of energy,” she told me. “I was maybe a little bit of a wild child.” Which, she says, is funny, because she now teaches yoga and meditation — sharing how people can connect with their stillness, breath, and calm — on Peloton to millions of people.
“Do whatever feels right for you,” you’ll often hear Shah say as she guides you through yoga poses, whether it’s an Anywhere Yoga class (literally, yoga you can do anywhere without equipment) or sleep meditation. Her voice is direct, not soft but not loud, and urging but not pushy. You feel taken care of, but don’t know exactly why.
Shah has over 600 on-demand yoga classes on the Peloton app, from classes that celebrate Amy Winehouse to basics that focus on poses like downward dog or body parts like the wrists. Shah is known for changing up her outfits, makeup, and hair to match the vibe of each class, going for wine-colored tights and a black top for that Amy Winehouse session or bell bottom tights and loose waves for her 30-minute ABBA yoga flow.
But perhaps what’s most amazing about seeing Shah on our screens is that she is there at all. Yoga in the West has transformed from not just a practice but to a sport, not just about the union of mind and body, but to pushing your limits to see how much you can stretch and sweat in the hottest or coldest rooms. But with Aditi Shah, who is the only South Asian, and only Indian American Peloton instructor, yoga never feels made up or just a job. It feels like a way of life.