Namrata Purohit works the Cadillac with ease — striking a pose like a gymnast. It is a little hard to imagine this 20-year-old as a Pilates instructor who has trained celebrities like Neha Dhupia, Hazel Keech, Shibani Dandekar, Bruna Abdullah, Hasleen Kaur, cricketers Abhishek Nayar and Dhawal Kulkarni, and football players Renedy Singh (Indian vice-captain) and Manandeep Singh.
But as she gets talking about her love for this fitness system you know she is serious about wanting “everyone to experience the magic that she did.”
While a 16-year-old, Namrata fell off a horse and had to undergo knee surgery, post which she was asked to ‘take it easy’. That would have been easy to follow if only her sporting career were not in jeopardy because of her physical condition. Namrata, a national-level squash player (was once ranked #4 in the national under-16 category), was hence very upset.
This coupled with the fact that physical rehabilitation at the gym was not getting her to where she was in terms of fitness before the fall, she decided to give Pilates a try at the suggestion of her dad — businessman and fitness expert Sameer Purohit.
“Not only did it make me stronger, it cured me too!” says Namrata. That is when she decided that she wanted others to enjoy the transformation, and set up The Pilates Studio in Mumbai. In preparation for that, she underwent all the Stott Pilates courses and is now the youngest Stott Pilates fully trained instructor in India.
“It works on the deep muscles of your body, helps in toning, promotes stability, flexibility, strength and makes you feel energised,” she lists the benefits of Pilates. And more importantly, she adds, it is all about training smart — not about doing a lot of workouts, but a few efficiently.
Namrata’s studio is the first in the world to have Pilates and a simulated altitude training room under one roof. It is a room where you exercise in reduced oxygen levels thereby enabling you to burn 200 per cent more calories than what you would under normal conditions.
The Economics student at Jai Hind College, Mumbai, has plans to open studios in Chennai, Delhi and Bangalore too. But why economics and not a physical education course? “I have always loved Maths and studying!” is her response. Though that might be an uncommon response for a 20-year-old, what is notable is what she’s picked up from running her own business — her studio. “I realised that in the business world everybody is out for themselves. I learnt this by trusting too many people and was let down. Now I have learnt to be cautious and yet to trust the right people,” says fitness aficionado.
“In school and college you wonder what on earth am I going to do with all that I am learning now, but only now do I realise the value of it all. For instance, things that I learnt in my course about bank loans, investments and partnership deeds have all helped me greatly through the process of setting up my studio.”
For now, it’s a balancing act between college and studio, but Namrata’s heart will always remain partial to pursuing Pilates.