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Fitness instructor Yasmin Karachiwala explains how to stay home and stay fit


From Akshay Kumar being the fittest in the industry to Deepika Padukone waking up at 5 a.m. to work out before an early scheduled shoot, fitness instructor Yasmin Karachiwala chats with The telegraph about fitness enthusiasts in Bollywood as well as his fitness journey and secret routine during the lockdown.

How to keep in shape during confinement?

We need to stay active during this time because exercise releases endorphins that make you feel good. It boosts your immunity and helps you stay healthy. There are many ways to stay active by doing housework, taking virtual classes, or going to YouTube and following one of my routines. After every hour you sit, get up and walk for five minutes. Eat healthy meals you’ll enjoy, and most importantly, stay hydrated!

Dietary advice for the confinement period?

It is important not to overeat during this time. It’s a great way to spend your time by eating healthy meals that you enjoy. And again, don’t forget to hydrate!

What are celebrities doing to stay in shape while in lockdown?

I think during this time everyone does home exercise and chores which keeps them fit and active.

What does your fitness program look like?

In this period of quarantine, I try to train very regularly. I do Pilates or functional training at least four times a week. I have a trampoline at home so I do it a few times a week as well which is great cardio. I also make sure I walk around the house a lot and meet my daily goal of 10,000 steps per day.

Have you always wanted to be a fitness instructor? Tell us about your journey …

I stumbled across being an instructor because a friend forced me to go to the gym. I was pretty average when I tried an aerobics class. So I kept going until I learned all the routines. One day the instructor asked me to replace her and I did. That’s when I realized how much I love to move around and tell people what to do. So I decided to continue my studies and eventually became a group class instructor. I then studied personal training and Pilates.

How important is diet when it comes to fitness?

That’s 70 percent diet and 30 percent workout! This is how important food is. We are what we eat.

You train a lot of celebrities. Can you share your experience …

I have had the opportunity to work with Bollywood celebrities and have treasured my time with each of them.

Katrina Kaif’s dedication to her profession is a great inspiration to me. Before I start training for any song from a movie, she asks me to increase her fitness routine so that she can do her best. We’ve released a lot of intense routines as part of some of these workouts to give her the exact shape she wants for the song. She is very determined and ready for anything when it comes to fitness.

Alia Bhatt is a very curious learner. She is 100% invested in any workout routine that I start with her and is also keen to know the details including the names of the exercises and the benefits. She is a reservoir of knowledge in this direction and has often joked me about becoming a Pilates instructor as an alternative career option.

Deepika Padukone is a follower of the routine and is a very meticulous worker, whether on sets or in my studio. In one case, she made me wake up at 5 a.m. when she was supposed to start filming at 7 a.m. and she really wanted to practice before that. I hate waking up early in the morning to exercise and I think Deepika is the only one who can make me do this because I am inspired by her dedication to work.

You mentioned the Pilates Festival India 2020 on your Instagram. Tell us about it …

Pilates Festival India 2020 was version 3.0 of Pilates Festival India. About four years ago I was traveling around the world doing different Pilates conferences and wanted to start something like this in India. There were yoga festivals all over India, so I thought Pilates should have one too. I wanted to set it up as a retreat, with three nights away from town, providing people with a wellness spa experience and something they would enjoy. To implement it, I started recruiting instructors from all over the world, with whom I had been trained and whom I admire. I started to get them to be part of the faculty for the Pilates Festival. This year we had an attendance of about 100 people with six to seven instructors from all over the world and we hosted it in Kerala in February. At the festival we had three classes a day – the morning class was held outside because the weather was nice. The second class was the mid-morning class, which took place right after breakfast, and the third class was scheduled for the evening. In the afternoon, we have planned activities like a treasure hunt, different types of workshops led by international coaches, spas and massages for relaxation. In the evening we tried to plan a different kind of entertainment, as we had an evening with a nutritionist who spoke about the importance of nutrition and how nutrition and exercise go together to enable us achieve a level of fitness, lose weight and maintain a healthy lifestyle. This was followed by live music. This time there was also an awards night for all participants.

Yesou wrote a book on fitness, Sculpt and Shape: The Pilates Way. Do you plan to write other books?

Sculpt and Shape: The Pilates Way is a book I wrote with a dear friend, Zeena Dhalla, who is also an instructor and movement specialist in California. The book took us about six months to put together with all the details. I wish I had more time to write another book, but writing a book takes a lot of time, which unfortunately I don’t have at the moment. I hope that in the future, when I have the time, I will definitely write another book and publish it.

Your favorite fitness book …

My favorite fitness book is my own book because in this book we have tried to give details about how to exercise properly and the different types of postures. It is very informative.

Who do you admire when it comes to fitness?

When it comes to fitness, I think first and foremost that I respect all of my instructors who have played an important role in my journey. The first being Karate Instructor Sensei Pervez Mistry. This is the person who taught me to never compromise and always make sure that whatever exercise you do, you are doing it in the right form. That was about 26 years ago when I started out as an aerobics instructor and started doing weight training and he taught me the right way to lift weights. I also admire Pilates instructor Rial Isovic from California. He was my first Pilates instructor who reinforced what Pervez Mistry told me. These two men have changed my perspective on fitness and the way I perform fitness.

Which fitness gadgets do you use?

I can’t live without my Apple Watch. It’s a gadget that I always carry with me, whether I’m exercising, relaxing, or on vacation.

Do you have any advice on what types of shoes to wear while training?

The type of shoes you should wear depends on the type of workout you are doing. If you run you must wear running shoes, if you hike you must wear hiking shoes, if you are at the gym there are special shoes for this or if you do activities like aerobics or Zumba, there are different shoes for that. . I think Reebok as a brand has it all covered. They have different types of shoes for each activity mentioned above and as a layman that’s what really helps.

Tell us about your collaboration with Reebok.

My collaboration with Reebok has been very interesting because they always offer different things to motivate people to train and be in good shape. Two years ago we hosted a fitness event at Palladium Mall in Mumbai. It was an outdoor fitness day where fitness instructors came and ran different classes for people who wanted to participate. Right now, with the current situation, Reebok is working really hard with all of their fitness ambassadors to create workout videos that people can follow and practice at home. They try to create different types of videos to help everyone achieve their fitness goals. Plus, I personally think their clothes are amazing and their shoes spectacular.


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