Celebrity trainer and Pilates expert Namrata Purohit tells us about her love for the exercise and all things fitness. By Parvati Mohanakrishnan
Tell us about your fitness journey.
My love for fitness started when I was very young. I have always been very active, and have played sports throughout my life. But my love for Pilates started when I was 15. I fell off a horse and injured my knee—don’t blame the horse, it was my fault! After a variety of therapies and exercises that didn’t work for me, I tried Pilates. It worked like a wonder drug—for the first time in the year since my injury, I was absolutely pain free. That’s how I became a believer of Pilates. Even my father (Samir Purohit), who had suffered from a chronic back injury for 30 years, was absolutely pain free after just four days of Pilates. This made us believers in the exercise form, and that’s when we decided to start the studio.
What are your views on the fitness industry in India?
I think it’s just growing. The reason for this is people are becoming more aware of the benefits of working out. They are becoming more aware about the different options available, and about the different things that they could do to get fit. They’ve started looking at fitness not only in terms of weight loss, but also holistically in terms of strength, mind and body, flexibility, endurance, and about getting the ‘real’ fit. Skinny people too have realised that fitness is a part of their lives as well.
What’s kept up your faith in pilates?
As I said earlier, what drew me to Pilates is the amount it helped me recover from my knee injury. Then I thought if it could help me so much, it could also help others. And just as we started the journey, and I started training people, I realised that it’s not only people who are injured but also those who are healthy that it helps. I saw them becoming stronger, their bodies looking leaner and more toned, them feeling more flexible, lighter, and happier, and an improvement in their concentration and coordination. So, just seeing the results in myself and those I train has been a major motivator in keeping the Pilates journey going.
What’s your fitness mantra?
KISS: Keep it Safe, Simple and Smart.
What are the basics one should keep in mind while starting a fitness routine?
I always say that it’s important to train with someone who is knowledgeable, certified, and knows what they are doing, because they can guide you best. The trainer needs to understand your body type and what you need, and set realistic goals, and guide you in a safe manner. If one has never worked out before, I would say try different things before you settle on a routine, because fitness should be fun. It shouldn’t be something you find monotonous, or stress you out. It’s supposed to be a de-stresser, and make you happy. Go out, try things. Try Pilates or weight training or Core Stix or flowing or EMS—there is something for everyone.
Which fitness trends are going to be popular this year?
I definitely think, without being biased, that Pilates is here to stay. It is an amazing form of exercise, and anybody who has experienced it, and has experienced the pure form of Pilates, will vouch for the fact that it’s fabulous. I have been training people for about 10 years now, and every day there is something new to learn. It never gets boring, doesn’t get monotonous, always poses a new challenge, and can be customised to your body type—so I think Pilates is definitely here to stay.
I think EMS (Electric Muscle Stimulation) will also grow. In EMS, electrons are transmitted into the body to make the whole body work out in one go. It’s just a 20-minute workout, done once a week, and operates in the same manner the brain does when it sends electrons to our muscles to work—the machine only amplifies it. So, your complete body is working in those 20 minutes. It is extremely safe. It’s great for injuries and to develop strength even in the deeper muscles, and you can get your fast twitch and slow twitch fibre at the same time.
Also interesting is Core Stix. It’s basically a board on which there are different Stix attached through which you can do different kinds of exercises. It is very challenging because it not only works the core but also every single muscle in the body. So, it has a lot to do with stability, flexibility, coordination, and just working all your muscles and gaining phenomenal levels of strength.