Evolved conversations on the correlation between physical fitness and mental health have charted var-ied platforms. And while social media has impacted wellness ideologies in present times, it often lacks regulation in the authenticity of the information. To seek semblance and draw inspiration, we turn to one of the pioneers in the industry, Namrata Purohit. Loved by those who swear by a good workout, Purohit is synonymous with Pilates, and her celebrity client list includes the likes of Kareena Kapoor Khan, Janhvi Kapoor and Sara Ali Khan. From being a mindful movement practitioner and sports nutritionist to an author and founder of The Pilates Studio, Purohit clearly has a proclivity for living a healthy life and helping others in doing so.
A nasty fall from horseback in Purohit’s early years marked the beginning of comprehending a harmonious relationship between mind and body. “I injured my knee severely and had to undergo surgery at the age of 15. I was told that I wouldn’t be able to play squash or dance again—the two things I was deeply passionate about,” she recalls. “I tried pain rehabilitation and different exercises to get back on track.” Coincidentally, her father was to host a Pilates course in Mumbai, for which he had flown down an instructor from Canada. “I requested to be a part of it, and just four days into it, I felt pain-free for the first time in a year. That’s how I discovered the magic of Pilates.” Deeply humbled by the impact, she wanted to extend the reach of this form of movement.
Starting as a trainer came with its fair share of hiccups. “Firstly, there was a lack of awareness about Pilates and its transformative power. Purohit points out, “People used to limit its scope by thinking it to be only about stretching and considered it to be slow.” Add Purohit’s young age to the mix, and apprehensions abound. “Luckily for me, they were able to look past their doubts and gave me a chance to prove myself.”
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But What Is Pilates?
“It is a mind and body exercise that gives you the maximum benefit without any injuries and can also help prevent injuries,” Purohit shares. Its customised module has worked wonders for people who achieved their goals without feeling fatigued, injured or stressed. “I think this is the reason Bollywood celebrities love it too. They get the body they desire and work on all aspects of fitness while ensuring no downtime,” she explains.
Purohit is game to bust the common myths around it, and we throw a few her way. “People assume Pilates is only meant for women; it was invented by Joseph Pilates, a man himself! It was to help men at war and was later used in ballet and other contemporary dance forms. So, when you practice Pilates, you attain the strength of a warrior and the lean, flexible body of a dancer. Many men practice it globally, including some top male athletes.” Another myth she’s heard often is that it’s ‘easy’. “If you’ve tried it efficiently, it is far from easy,” she assures us. “Yes, easier on the joints, but a solid workout for the muscles and the mind. It can be made as challenging as required.”
Purohit believes educating people is a continuous process. “For beginners, it’s crucial to come with an open mind. Learn to connect with your body, start slow and don’t be in a rush to achieve goals. The focus should be on the form as its quality over quantity,” she signs off.
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