Famous Mumbaikars share their mantras to keep stress at bay

Jun 28, 2017, 12:48 IST | Shraddha Uchil

'Music helps me focus'
Ronak Pandit, shooter
It's important to calm your mind before a game, but not so much that you end up relaxed. Think of it as being in a frame of mind akin to a tiger stalking its prey — it looks calm, but there's plenty of aggression underneath. I listen to Bollywood tracks to get in the mood, while my wife Heena [Sidhu] prefers Mozart. She also sketches to get the pressure off herself.

'I scream loudly'
Sahil Shah, stand-up comedian
Believe it or not, I still get nervous before a show, whether I'm performing for five people or 500. My way of dealing with the jitters is to just scream my lungs out and run around a bit, till I get all that nervous energy out of my system. In fact, if you come backstage before any East India Comedy show, you'll find all of us screaming. But once we get on stage, the anxiety dies down.

'I take deep breaths'
Manik Paul, aerial artist
Earlier, I would say a small prayer before going on stage, but while working with Terence Lewis, I learned that certain breathing exercises help relieve anxiety. Now, I sit for a few minutes with my eyes closed and take deep breaths. When you exhale, it helps rid you of some of the nervous energy that has built up.

'Yoga helps me calm down'
Ira Dubey, actress
Some people laugh when I say I get nervous every time I have to go on stage, but I do. I've learned to channel that energy through a combination of yoga and vocal warm-ups. I've been practising yoga for eight years, and it helps me calm down and focus, and energises me. It's also important to be in the right frame of mind — you're going to be interacting with people, and you can't be angry or annoyed while doing that.

'I do vocal warm-ups'
Akriti kakar, singer
My pre-gig regime is to switch on the tanpura on my iTablaPro app and listen to it for at least an hour, while doing my hair and make-up. While I'm at it, I also do my vocal warm-ups. This helps me reach a balanced state of mind, where I'm calm while still being enthused to perform. I also cannot handle last-minute backstage panic, so I ensure I'm ready well in time before going on stage.

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