For over 20 years, celebrity fitness trainer Vrinda Mehta has dominated the fitness industry. A vocal advocate of mental wellness, Mehta says that while people have started hopping on to the fitness bandwagon as a way of life, there is more to be done as people are continuing to “completely ignore the mind”.
“Our mind is our most powerful faculty, and we all need to know how to use it effectively and rest it at will. It is being predicted that the next pandemic is going to be connected with mental health. I have been saying this for the longest time. We cannot be physically fit unless we are mentally fit,” says Mehta.
What has been keeping you busy?
I have been busy conducting a lot of online sessions for mental well-being of people from all over the world. Due to the challenging times, a lot of people are experiencing excessive stress and anxiety, especially due to the uncertainty and the fear. We all need to know how to reduce our own stress levels and anxiety on a daily basis before it turns toxic. This is what I teach.
How has the concept of fitness changed over the years?
I have been in the fitness industry for more than 20 years. I have seen different diets and workout trends come and go. Yes, there is definitely more awareness today, but people are still not seeing the complete picture. We are still trying to achieve health only through diet, supplements and exercising the body, but we are completely ignoring the mind. Our mind and body are not separate, they are one. Whatever affects the mind, affects the body and whatever affects the body, impacts the mind. We will never be able to achieve optimum health unless we work towards the well-being of the entire human system — body and mind.
That brings us to your emphasis on holistic fitness — can you elaborate?
Holistic fitness is that which addresses the human being as a whole. Yes, there is a physical fitness routine that includes a healthy diet and regular physical exercise, but along with that there is also a mental fitness routine that includes a healthy mental diet of positive thoughts and emotions and regular breathing exercises for mental well-being. So, just like a diligently followed physical fitness routine helps us get physically fit, the mental fitness routine — when practiced regularly — helps us get mentally fit. Along with physical toxins, we need to get rid of mental toxins as well, viz. excessive stress of toxic thoughts and emotions.
Even now fitness is being pursued mainly for aesthetic or performance reasons. The primary purpose of any fitness reason must be good health, and this cannot be achieved unless the human system is addressed as a whole. Mind must be taken care of just like the body. Only then can we truly be fit. What is the point of having a six-pack or running a marathon if you cannot even sleep peacefully at night and are constantly mentally stressed?
Which celebrity do you think is the fittest?
I think it’s Akshay Kumar. I feel he focuses on both mental and physical well-being.
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As much as everyone would like to see the back of 2020, I wish this moment, this year, this chance to spend so much time with my kids would last forever, these opportunities are my Silver Lining to 2020. Happy 8th Birthday to my Princess, my Happiness, my Reason to still be a Big Kid 🥳 I love my baby girl more than I knew was possible ❤️
Can you share some easy tips for beginners?
Just start and start outright. From the beginning, give equal importance to the well-being of both the body and the mind. Take baby steps, put in the effort, and be patient. Everything of significance takes time to get established.
Amid the pandemic, what’s your mantra to relieve stress and anxiety?
*First and foremost, start with understanding why it is important to be in a pleasant mental space. This is vital for our well-being as our every thought and emotion is affecting the biochemistry of every cell of our body. When we know the importance, we will make the required effort, effortlessly.
*We must start a basic mental fitness routine with simple pranayamas or breathing exercises and positive affirmations.
*Surround yourself with positive people and talk about positive things.
*Connect with nature, get some sun, walk barefoot on the grass or sand.
*Listen to pleasant uplifting music. Music/sound is a powerful electromagnetic energy that affect us.
*Meditate for some time every single day.
*Develop a habit of being grateful in any given scenario.
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