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June 23, 2024

Westin Goa is hosting the 4th Pilates festival with Yasmin Karachiwala

Arushi Sakhuja
The gorgeous locale of the Westin Goa is now blending with four days for relaxation and rejuvenation with The Pilates Festival India. Being held by Yasmin Karachiwala from 2 February – 5, February it is the 4th edition of the festival and is open to everyone. Attendees will train with International Pilates master instructors, and in the process also enjoy a rejuvenating retreat at the forest-clad luxury hotel, to embody their best selves.
The celebrity instructor, in coordination with The Westin, has specially curated the food menu as well as exceptional evening entertainment for the upcoming festival. The first night includes an event centred on Sufi whirling, the second night will see a musical concert take place and the retreat will conclude with an awards ceremony.

“Pilates Festival India has been my dream for many years, and it finally became a reality 5 years ago. Each year, we try and get better, try and add more value, and outdo ourselves from the previous year.” Says Yasmin Karachiwala, curator of the festival. “I want PFI to deepen your knowledge of what Pilates is, to push you to your fitness limits and to expand the possibilities of your physical horizons & have fun.” Ahead, Luxebook spoke to Karachiwala to know more.
When did you discover your love for fitness and especially Pilates?
I discovered my love for fitness by chance. I didn’t actually love fitness initially. In fact, I was a really lazy teenager who was forced to join the gym by a friend of mine who wanted to lose some weight to impress her boyfriend. I just happened to stumble into an aerobics class where I made a complete fool of myself and got so annoyed with myself that I kept going back till I became good at the workouts. Somewhere along the line, I learned the routine and the instructor asked me to take a class for her and teach it. When I went abroad right after college, she encouraged me to undertake fitness training because she believed I had a flair for it. I didn’t know better at the time, so I did the fitness training and came back to India. I started teaching classes and as I started teaching, and saw people’s reactions, I started falling in love with working out. About 15 years ago, I felt like I want to do something different. I’d just had both of my babies and had a little bit of that belly fat that I couldn’t get rid of. After trying everything, somebody mentioned Pilates and I looked it up. Working the core at that time for me, meant my belly. So, I went abroad, got trained in Pilates and have never looked back since.
How has Pilates as a form of exercise seen a change in India?
15 years ago, when I actually started Pilates, people didn’t know what it was, or what it meant. A lot of people didn’t even know to pronounce it correctly and all I would tell them is that it’s a form of exercise that you need to feel in the deepest parts of your body, and I still maintain that today. I can explain it to you, but nothing does justice to Pilates unless you have tried it and felt the change in your body. Of course, in the last 15 years, the change has been tremendous. Nobody was aware of Pilates back then, but now everyone knows about it and talks about it. Still, a lot of people have not experienced it, which is why I started the Pilates Festival India in the first place. We have so many Pilates instructors who come to teach. I am a master teacher myself who trains instructors in Pilates. Over the last decade, I have trained thousands of instructors and I like to believe that we have a lot of awareness about Pilates in the country now.
Pilates festival The Westin
Photo Courtesy: The Westin Goa
The success of the Pilates festival at Westin Goa has led you to have a 4th edition, what urged you to start this concept?
The success of Pilates Festival India 3.0 which was at The Leela, Kovalam, has led to Pilates Festival 4.0 which will be at The Westin in Goa. I started this concept because I wanted to build a Pilates community in the country. Of course, our country is known for yoga, and we do have a yoga community. But since I am so passionate about Pilates, I wanted to create a community of Pilates lovers and introduce others who are not yet familiar with it.
What can we expect during the 4-day festival?
This 4-day Pilates festival is a wellness retreat where you can expect a lot of different Pilates workouts in different forms which will work on your mind, body, and soul. It will rejuvenate you and help you mentally destress. It will make you feel completely relaxed and when you walk out of here after 4 days, I promise you would’ve taken home so much value, and peace of mind and will feel like a different person. That is what I want to share with people; how great you can feel after a wellness retreat which is not solely focused on Pilates exercises. We also have fun activities in the afternoon, massages, and a little entertainment planned for every night.
Yasmin Karachiwalw
Photo Courtesy: The Westin Goa
Your favourite Pilates move and why?
My favourite Pilates move is The Teaser which is in all my logos whether it’s the Pilates festival or my YKBI logo. It is my favourite because it was the most difficult exercise for me to do. Since I have long legs and a shorter torso, my centre of gravity does not support this movement. When I started Pilates, I was really terrible at The Teaser, and I made it a point to work really hard. It gives me great joy and satisfaction to know that I have nailed it.
Lesser-known facts about Pilates?
Pilates is a mind, body, and soul form of movement. It really relaxes you, energizes you, balances you, helps with your coordination, and concentration, and most definitely your core, and helps with muscular strength, and flexibility. Every movement in Pilates has a rhythm and flow. So, when you’re learning to move in rhythm, you work your body from the inside out. Even if you’re working your upper body, you’re working it from your centre, which is your core. The greatest thing about Pilates is, it makes you better in other aspects of life as well. If you’re a swimmer, a tennis player, a footballer, a corporate professional, or even a homemaker, Pilates helps you function better.
How often should one practice Pilates and what should be the weekly break-down? 
Pilates is a full-body movement, and that is what we pride ourselves in. The Pilates one-hour workout that we do, has a warm-up and a cool-down component with each exercise. It has a stretch component with every strength exercise. You can practice Pilates as much as 6-7 days a week, which is almost every day, or even as little as twice a week. It solely depends on how much time you have, to devote to this amazing practice.
What exercise would you recommend to people who work long hours and do not find the time to go to the gym?
I think everyone can make a little time to work out. You don’t necessarily need to go to the gym, you can very well be at home and have a wonderful workout session. I have written a book that’s called “The Perfect 10,” being launched in February, it is a guide to how you can do easy 10-minute workouts that can be done anywhere – your house, office, hotel, etc. Even if you don’t have time, you can squeeze out at least 10 minutes which is enough to kick-start your fitness journey.
What is the best way to start and end your day?
The best way to start your day is with a smile on your face and a bounce in your step. The best way to end your day is to feel completely relaxed, knowing that you’ll have a very peaceful deep night’s sleep.
Where: The Westin, Goa
When: 2nd – 5th of February, 2023
To register: Please visit www.bodyimage.in
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Arushi Sakhuja

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