Dance, lift weights, stretch or run — the coolest thing about staying fit is that there are no limits
Pilates for the soul
A brand new addition to the city’s fitness scene is Pilates for Wellbeing founded by 40-year-old Kavita Prakash. For over two decades, a lucrative corporate job had kept Prakash on her toes. But when she entered motherhood, she needed a regime that would help beat stress, rejuvenate her, and help her build on stamina and endurance. Pilates was her calling and she took to it like a religion five years ago in UAE where she lived with her family. She even studied classical Pilates in Colarado, USA and converted her home in Dubai to a studio. On returning to Bengaluru, she found great scope for a classical Pilates studio which was lacking in the city and today the 3200sqft studio in Indiranagar is the first classical Pilates studio in South India. “Pilates as a movement practice challenges the entire body and not just few muscle groups. It improves flexibility and is a great form of exercise for people undergoing rehabilitation, and are addressing mobility issues,” she explains. Two weeks into its launch, and the studio is rapidly gaining popularity among city’s elite fitness buffs. Here, they offer group classes, private lessons, duet lessons, which includes the trio Wunda chair classes that are ideal for beginners. “People between 12 to 85 years of age can do Pilates for overall fitness. I find it funny that many people here associate workouts with weight loss but I don’t believe in that. Pilates is certainly not for those who want to just lose fat, it’s an overall lifestyle change that needs to be maintained even outside the studio.
Rs 1,800 upwards. At Mannan Arcade, 100Ft Road. Details: 49571908
Bengaluru’s Shwetambari Shetty knows the zumba scene best. She is one of India’s only two Zumba education specialists. The other being Sucheta Pal from Mumbai. This means that she can conduct official Zumba training sessions and train instructors, and she tells us why Zumba is worth your time, energy and money. “The format is straightforward; it’s a one-hour class. We change our playlist and choreography only after three or weeks. This way, the group learns the choreography, spends less time following the instructor, and more time on burning calories. Later, we offer variety and intensify the sessions,” says Shetty, whose own fitness routine alternates between cardio and cross-fit.
It’s the combo of foot-tapping Latin songs and high-energy choreography that makes Zumba addictive, and result-oriented. “People have lost 12-14 kg in a year. Our success stories usually involve obese people and pregnant women,” says Shetty, adding that it’s a cardio routine, after all. It makes heart healthy and beats stress.
What makes Zumba easier to adapt is that it doesn’t involve machines and is done in groups. Shetty is a strong proponent of ‘work out with machines’. It’s also the philosophy of The Tribe Fitness club that she co-owns. She says, “Back in the days, tribesmen would jump trees, and scale mountains. They were strong because they used their body weights. You can use your body weight to gain the results that you get from machines. And, if you do that with a group of five other people, it’s motivating. You can talk to each other, and drive each other. It’s a community thing. But can you communicate with a machine?”
Rs 2600 upwards. At 100Ft Road, Indiranagar. Details: 9902003001
The Hood near Marathahalli founded by enterprising youngsters Abinav Shankar Narayan, who launched South India’s first Cross fit training centre called Namma CrossFit and entrepreneur Shruti Choudhari is a concept gym which boasts of a multi-discipline regime coupled with the intensity of mixed martial arts, boxing, combat, cycling, rowing, ropes and rings, yoga and CrossFit all under one roof. It was essentially conceptualised, “to ensure people are well-rounded in their physical abilities,” says Narayan, a former state cricketer. “Cross fit as a program is great for general fitness. But it needed some add-on specialisation like one of the martial arts or programs like cycling, rowing and yoga.” This 12,000 sqft facility was tailormade for the IT professionals in and around Marathahalli and Whitefield, but has attracted fitness buffs from far-off addresses as well, thanks to their innovative group classes sans heavy powerlifting machines. They have something called FightCraft which includes traditional fighting arts like Kyokushin, Taekwondo, Ninjutsu along with the more modern forms of fighting — boxing, MMA, muay thai where people can either pursue a belt program or train to participate in amateur and pro fights. Their workouts are created around the high intensity interval training (HIIT) method. They have also created something called ABSinthe, which is the bulk of cardiovascular conditioning such as yoga, rowing, ‘psycling’ (Hood’s version of spinning) and other programs derived from the fundamentals of sports strength and conditioning. What’s also quite interesting is that the workout floor is done with lasers and disco light, to make things fun for you.
Rs 6,000 upwards.
At Soul Space Paradigm, Marathahalli. Details: 25234343
— Nandini Kumar & Barkha Kumari