“I workout because I love it! It makes me feel good… working out is so much more than the way one looks, it’s about the way one feels, the increase in energy, the good vibes and just being ‘fit’ physically and mentally!” Namrata Purohit captioned one of her recent posts on Instagram in which she is seen working out on the reformer. Scroll further down, and you will see images and videos of her training celebs like Kareena Kapoor Khan, Malaika Arora, Sonakshi Sinha to Janhvi Kapoor and Sara Ali Khan, and help them achieve their fitness goals.
In an email interaction with indianexpress.com, the Pilates trainer and author of The Lazy Girl’s Guide to Being Fit, talks about celeb clients, busts myths, decodes Pilates, and reveals her fitness mantra.
You train a lot of Bollywood celebrities, who often have to gain/lose weight depending on their roles. What is the most challenging thing about being a celebrity fitness trainer?
Honestly, I do not consider it challenging. They are extremely motivated, and hardworking. The fact that they are constantly working on their body for different roles keeps things very interesting.
In the last few years, Pilates and yoga have become most of Bollywood’s go-to workouts. What do you think is the reason behind the same?
I think in this fast-paced world, both these forms of exercise give one the chance to slow down, focus on their breath while getting in shape. They are both mind and body forms of workouts and can help prevent injuries and health issues in the long run.
Could you share a few benefits of Pilates and what sets it apart?
Pilates focuses on breathing and connecting the entire body. It is a full-body workout that works on all aspects of fitness, increasing strength, flexibility, stability, balance, endurance, coordination, concentration, lean body mass, etc. It can be customised for any body type, any goal, and a person of any age. It can help with rehab if one has an injury and also help prevent injuries in the long run. It works the entire body, inside out, not only training superficial muscles but also deeper and smaller muscles in the body.
Home workouts became a big thing during the pandemic. Could you share a few Pilates exercises that one can easily do at home without equipment?
There are lots of exercises that one can do at home, the list is almost endless. But some basic exercises that can be done are the Hip Rolls, Breast Stroke, Swan Dive, AB Prep, Obliques, Hundreds, Half Roll Back, Teaser, Saw, Side Leg Raises, etc.
What should one keep in mind before taking up Pilates?
Pilates is a full-body workout and extremely customised; it is advisable to go to qualified instructors to get the maximum benefit from the routine. Another thing I often tell people who train with me is to not hurry into anything, take the time to build the foundation, focus on the principles and the form and grow from there, ensuring you get the maximum benefit and train smart and right.
What are the most common myths associated with Pilates? Could you help us debunk them?
Myth: Pilates is all about the stretches.
Fact: While Pilates does ensure to lengthen your muscles and improve flexibility, it is an all-round full-body workout that also works tremendously on strength as well.
Myth: Pilates is not for men.
Fact: Pilates was started by a man, for men at war. Even today, well-known football players, teams, cricketers, athletes, and male celebrities practice Pilates as it works on every aspect of fitness.
You recently re-opened your Pilates studio. What safety measures have been put in place?
There are a lot of precautions and safety measures in place at the studio. As always, classes are by appointment only, and there is no sharing of equipment. You have the same reformer/chair/cadillac, etc, from the start to finish, making it much easier to maintain hygiene levels, and sanitise the equipment. There is a 10-15 minutes gap between each class to ensure less interaction between people and enough time to air out and sanitise the entire place. We are only running private or duet classes and there is a minimum eight feet distance between clients. All our trainers are wearing safety equipment. We have sanitisers placed throughout the studio; temperature checks and oxygen level checks are being done too.
What does your personal diet and fitness chart look like?
I eat three main meals–breakfast lunch, and dinner–and two small meals between the three. Depending on the day, for breakfast, I have things like moong dal chilla with vegetables, methi paratha, oats, fruits, and vegetable juice. Lunch is usually a lot of dal, vegetables and jowar/bajra/ragi roti or sometimes rice. Dinner is usually soup and a healthy vegetable cutlet, or sweet potato. In between, I have a dry fruit ladoo, sometimes hummus or avocado, channa chaat, etc.
I work out five to six days a week. I do Pilates four days a week at least and Electric Muscle Stimulation once a week. I also dance, horse ride or play squash three to four times a week.