A sports injury led Mumbai-based fitness coach Namrata Purohit to believe in the healing power of Pilates

She may be only 20, but Mumbai-based fitness coach Namrata Purohit has already spent four years training some of the best known faces of the fashion, film and sports industry including Hasleen Kaur, Neha Dhupia, Bruna Abdullah, Hazel Keech, Manasi Scott, Aftab Shivdasani, Dhawal Kulkarni, and Farhan Akhtar. Namrata, who also happens to be the youngest trained Stott Pilates Instructor in the world, is also the official fitness expert for the Femina Miss India International pageant and owns the first studio in the world to offer Pilates and Simulated Altitude Training room under one roof.

Over an e-mail interaction, Namrata talks about her foray into fitness and how it defines her.

How did Pilates happen?

I was 16 when I had a bad fall from a horse. I injured my right knee and had to undergo immediate surgery. Post this, I was unable to play squash at the National Level the way I did earlier. I tried a lot of exercises but didn’t recover. My dad then had a Pilates course in Mumbai which I decided to do. Just four days after starting the course I had already begun feeling better. My squash coach too was surprised by my sudden improvement. I then became a believer in the magic of Pilates and decided that more people need to know and experience this wonderful form of exercise.

What makes it so different from other forms of physical activity?

Pilates follows very important principles, which includes breathing, spinal position etc. It emphasizes on having the correct form. It is also very customised to each person’s needs, and one can never get bored doing Pilates as almost every routine has something new to offer, with more than 1000 exercises to do. Pilates is excellent for not just your body but your mind too. It helps you recover in case of injuries like slip disks, tennis elbow, hip injuries etc and it is also very good for the elderly, pregnant women, sports personalities etc.

How do you balance work and your studies?

Luckily for me my college is in the morning and is very supportive. Also, I would like to think I have been doing a decent job at managing my time. Besides, I think if we decide to do something and really want to do it, we will find the time.

What are the challenges you face?

Unfortunately Pilates is still not very well known in our country. My biggest challenge is spreading awareness about it.

What next?

I still want to study further. There’s still a lot to learn. I also hope to have our Pilates and altitude training studio all over the country so that each person can benefit from it.

Do you do any other forms of exercise in addition to Pilates?

Yes, I do Altitude Training. This is a room in which the oxygen level has been reduced. The advantage of this is that you burn 200 percent more calories than when you are at sea level, increases stamina, is great for asthma, increases the elasticity of the skin etc.