Namrata Purohit, in one of her Instagram posts, wrote, “Push your limits, let go of your inhibitions. Reach new heights, there are no limits. This singsong, rhythmic caption seems to be the mantra she lives her life with.
A serious accident brought him into the world of Pilates when Purohit was a teenager, and she hasn’t looked back since. In fact, she said Pilates was “the closest thing to magic that [she] experimented”.
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In a recent interaction with indianexpress.comthe 28-year-old – who has trained actors like Sara Ali Khan, Kangana Ranaut, Kareena Kapoor Khanand others, talked about the basic principles of Pilates and the myths associated with it, the obstacles she faced early in her career, how to maintain her overall fitness, and which celebrity she has the most fun doing Pilates with, among others.
You have been practicing Pilates for many years now, tell us about your background. How did you start and what interested you?
I started Pilates when I was 15. I had a bad fall from a horse and it destroyed my knee. I immediately had to undergo surgery. After the operation, I did a lot of things to get myself in shape and to feel pain free, but nothing seemed to make me feel 100%.
At that time, my father Samir Purohit was leading a Pilates classes in Mumbai and I begged to participate. Four days into the course, for the first time in a year, I had absolutely no pain! I even started playing squash again and played at the national championships that year. Pilates was the closest thing to magic I’ve experienced and I felt that if it could help me, it could help a lot of people.
What were the challenges and obstacles you faced in the early days?
The initial challenge as a studio was to educate people about the exercise form. There were many misconceptions associated with Pilates; people thought it was just for stretching or it was just for women, and things like that. We had to gradually break down these myths and convince people to give it a shot. The good thing is that once they tried it, there was no going back!
Besides Pilates, what other form of exercise do you enjoy and would recommend to others?
I love Electrical Muscle Stimulation (EMS) training. I think it’s an incredibly smart way to train and get the most out of your body in a limited amount of time, and without causing any impact on your joints. It works the whole body at once, and if done correctly can be extremely beneficial for people of all fitness levels, including those who may need rehabilitation, sports personalities and more. .
This is a 20-minute workout performed once or twice a week, depending on individual needs and requirements.
What are the basic principles of Pilates and what should a beginner know?
There are five basic principles we follow when performing the exercises, which include the principle of breathing and basic engagement, as well as full body control and alignment.
As a beginner or someone [who is] New to Pilates, I would recommend starting slow, understanding the movements and the machine, and being patient. Pilates, as a form of exercise, focuses a lot on posture, alignment, and form. It also works every part of the body and every muscle, some of which you may have never felt before. It takes a little time to understand the principles and start performing the exercises correctly. In fact, the more you understand, the better your own connection with the body and the more you feel each exercise.
Over the years, have you had to bust many myths about Pilates?
There are many myths that we had to bust along the way. A myth is that Pilates is reserved for women; in fact, it was started by a man for men at war. Another myth is that Pilates is only for flexibility or is slow. While, yes, Pilates forces you to focus on form, it works on all aspects of fitness: strength, endurance, balance, etc.
You’ve trained many celebrities – who’s the most driven and disciplined?
Honestly, I think all of the celebrities I’ve trained have been extremely disciplined and hardworking, which made my job much sooner! Each of them is super focused, knows they have a goal to achieve and gives their best.
Who loves doing Pilates the most and makes it interesting and fun?
That’s a really tough question, but I think Sara [Ali Khan]Janhvi [Kapoor]Kangana [Ranaut]Dhvani [Bhanushali]Aditi [Rao Hydari] and Ileana [D’Cruz] currently enjoy Pilates very much. They are the real ‘Pilates girls’!
Many people want to lose belly fat; what would you advise them to do?
I would tell them first not to stare at the scale too much or obsess over it. Look at overall fitness, include a mix of strength-based exercises like Pilates, cardio; eat well (not less) and sleep well.
Besides exercise, what are the other key health factors to consider?
The main health factors other than exercise are [having a] good nutritional plan, good quality sleep and rest. It is important to balance all these aspects to be healthy and achieve your goals.