Namrata Purohit
Photo Courtesy: Namrata Purohit/ Instagram
Arushi Sakhuja
Over the last few years, many new forms of exercise have emerged in India. Fitness extends beyond heading to the gym and lifting weights. Other forms of exercise including pilates, yoga (power yoga vinyasa flow to be specific) boxing, barre, cross-fit and group classes have gained prominence and support. 
 While traditional gyms will never cease to exist, a fair share of individuals are now opting for alternate forms of exercise. Many seek a form of movement that is low-intensity and more sustainable for the long haul without the risk of injury. Pilates is one of these. Known to be extremely beneficial for toning the body, this low-intensity workout can deliver unexpected results. “Pilates is a very effective form of exercise, which helps you learn how to engage your core. It is known to really strengthen and tone your body but beyond that, because it’s so specific and controlled that the smaller muscle groups are made to work with a lot of consciousness like your core and glute muscles,” said Sumaya Dalmia, Fitness Expert and Founder, Sumaya.  
Namrata Purohit
Photo Courtesy: Namrata Purohit/ Instagram
Although Pilates has gained immense popularity, it remains fairly new to the realm of exercise and is often confused as an exercise focused on core strength. However contrary to popular belief, celebrity Pilates instructor, Namrata Purohit, busts traditional myths around pilates.  “Pilates is an incredible form of exercise that works the entire body, inside out! It is a mind and body form of exercise that not only works the bigger muscles of the body but also the deeper, smaller muscles. The amazing thing about Pilates is that it makes you strong while also making you flexible, and works on all aspects of fitness including balance, endurance, coordination, concentration and more. Pilates is effective as it is extremely customised for every individual, body type, goals and special needs.” 
The fitness guru behind the enviable fitness levels of many leading actors in Bollywood including Esha Gupta, Janhvi and Khushi Kapoor, and more, she further points out some key benefits of the practice that include, strength, flexibility, endurance, improving lean body mass, concentration, better breath control, coordination, balance, and stability. 
Namrata Purohit
Photo Courtesy: Namrata Purohit/ Instagram
Traditional exercises at the gym focus on large muscles while the smaller muscle groups are often ignored. This tends to lead to injuries and weak joints;  it is the smaller muscle groups that hold the larger ones together. Unline the gym pilates works on all aspects of fitness. “Pilates covers and works on all aspects of fitness and every single muscle in the body. Ensuring the body is uniformly developed. Practising pilates is not only great for people who have injuries and need rehabilitation but is also great to prevent injuries.”  It is also a suitable form of activity for people with special needs such as pregnancy, osteoporosis, arthritis, Parkinson’s disease etc. The beauty of the exercise is the ease with which it can go from more complex movements to easier ones for beginners. 
But question is – how many times a week is pilates recommended and should it be practised along with strength training and cardio? Here’s what Namrata had to say, “Depending on the goal and need, it is recommended to practice Pilates three to four times a week. Again, depending on the goal it could be teamed with cardiovascular exercises or EMS. In most cases, strength training is not required as Pilates covers those aspects of fitness.” 
Namrata Purohit
Photo Courtesy: Namrata Purohit/ Instagram
Workout smart, not hard 
However, some individuals push their limits and leave their bodies feeling overworked. While your endurance and stamina depends on your fitness level, there is no evidence that says the higher the intensity, the workout the better. “Unfortunately, people believe more is better, sore is better, and working harder is better. Personally, I believe less is more, soreness does not define how good a workout is, and elevated levels of soreness are actually not good, and while working hard is important, working smart is even more important.” Purohit further adds, “We need to train smart. This is not only important for our body but the mind too. In fact, there is a lot of research backing the fact that less is more and training smarter is more important. Fortunately, world over, people are switching to mind and body forms of exercise that are extremely effective, don’t cause injury and have long term health benefits.” 
And if you’re looking to try your hand at a few pilates moves, here are some key pilate movements to tone your arms, legs and abs. 
Tone your inner thighs

 

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Get closer to your ab dreams 

 

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Full body work

 

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Upper back and shoulder movements 

 

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Pilates studio in Delhi
Yasmin Karachiwala’s Studio in GK-1
Red Mat Pilates
The Pilates Studio
Pilates studios in Mumbai

The Pilates Studio

Yasmin Karachiwala’s Studio

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