No diets and no strain. And yet Jaya Mahesh promises a fitness makeover in 15 days
Flying in the face of experts who have long held that spot reduction (or working specific muscles to lose weight strategically) is a myth, is a petite 45-year-old from Coimbatore. Jaya Mahesh is a self-taught body sculpting therapist who has been helping women keep off the weight, lose inches and even address issues like back pain and blood pressure. “She puts you through a series of stretches and muscle manipulation that gives you incredible results,” says Anur-adha Giri, a member of Sivaji Ganesan’s family who lost 20.5 inches after attending Mahesh’s first workshop in Chennai in January. The fitness guru explains further. “Twenty years of research, talking to experts, attending a variety of classes and making myself a guinea pig has helped me create a form of stretch therapy that gives you almost instant results. What worked on me is what I teach people,” says Mahesh, who has been conducting these classes for the last 18 years. Now with Giri’s help, she plans to hold workshops in the city once every three months.
Fat to fit
It didn’t take much to steer Mahesh on to her career path—just a really hard pregnancy at the age of 25. “A complicated nine months saw my weight balloon from 58 kgs to 118 kgs,” says the mother of one. “I was so obese that I couldn’t walk 10 steps without gasping.” And for the former Mrs Coimbatore, this was not acceptable. “I went to a fitness instructor who showed me stretches to get me moving,” she explains.
As her body started responding, Mahesh decided she wanted to learn more. So she began talking to doctors, researching muscle manipulation and creating routines. “Everywhere I travelled I did courses—like face sculpting in Toronto (helps tone facial muscles to get a younger look) and stretch exercises in Lakshwadeep,” she says. “One of the courses taught me that many of your fitness problems are due to your mental state. So, in my classes, I do counselling, too.”
Today, Mahesh talks with all her students about concern areas and customises her classes. “Did you know that feeling unloved can give you back problems? In my classes, I follow a three-pronged approach—counselling, a sensible diet (no crash diets, though) and muscle manipulation,” she says, adding that some of her students have lost a whopping 31 inches in 15 days. One of her students, Jaya Rajasekar, a housewife from Coimbatore, vouches for the results. “A fall in my 20s had damaged my knees. I couldn’t bend them or walk much. When treatments failed, I turned to Jaya. By the end of her class, I could sit on the ground,” she says.
Rs. 10,000 for the next 15-day workshop in July. Details: 9840083382
—Surya Praphulla Kumar