Namrata Purohit’s name is an instant recall if you follow the fitness routines of cekebrities such as Kareena Kapoor, Sara Ali Khan, Janhvi Kapoor and more! They are all regulars to her Pilates training, which has been changing many lives. The body strengthening exercise, is what in fact, changed Namrata Purohit’s own life as a teenager.
Now a mindful movement practitioner, sports nutritionist, author and and Founder of The Pilates Studio, Namrata enjoys changing others’ lives with the power of Pilates. In a Health Shots She Slays interview, Namrata talks about how it altered her life, unrealistic expectations from celebrity fitness experts and why people must tread with caution when it comes to taking fitness tips from social media.
Injury at 15
“I had a bad fall from a horse. I was 15 years old that time and I had injured my knee,” she recalls. Because of the injury, she was told that she won’t be able to dance again or play squash again — all the things that she was very passionate about.
“It was a scary situation to be in. I tried everything for the entire year. I tried various fitness forms, rehab and physiotherapy,” says Purohit.
When Pilates entered Namrata Purohit’s life
One day, her father took up the hosting duty of a Pilates course in Mumbai. “That time I requested to be on the course. It was very exciting. Four days into it and for the first time in the entire year, I was pain-free. That’s when I saw the magic of Pilates,” she shares. She thought that if it could help her so much, it can do the same for a lot more people out there. “Hence, Pilates for me was life-changing. I never thought that this would be my career or the path that I would take in my life, but just seeing how magical it was… getting back that hope that I can live a pain-free life…that’s what Pilates did for me,” says the trainer.
Sports as a teacher
She calls herself a sportsperson, who has had the exposure to sports at a young age. The biggest learning for her was that “you actually never fail. You only learn. That is what life has taught me and sports has taught me. Even if you fall or had a hard day or even if you lose a match, get up and do again. Try harder and do the best you can,” she says.
Sport and life both are journeys for her. “As long as I am enjoying the journey, the process, that’s what matters. I am sure we all have our own struggles or didn’t get the best outcome, but I think what sports has taught me is to always look at it from a positive way. I try to see what I learnt from it and try harder the next time or try not to make the same mistakes,” she says. She doesn’t see her life as a failure anymore thanks to her fall. It taught her at a young age that there is nothing like failure, and that you just learn from it and keep going.
Pressure of being a celebrity fitness trainer
One part of her wants to say that she doesn’t take any pressure or she doesn’t feel any pressure because she is enjoying the journey. That’s a nice thing, but she understands that we all have expectations. So, whether you are a celebrity or a fitness trainer, people expect them to look a certain way, that too 365 days a year. “It’s almost forgotten that we enjoy Christmas and New Year’s parties too. I think it’s important to humanise everybody. I understand that the celebrities are role models and you expect them to look a certain way, even fitness experts… I see nothing wrong in that to a certain extent.”
“But there has to be a little bit of leeway for every individual because everybody is going through a lot and everybody enjoys holidays and goes on a binge every now and then. That is healthy and absolutely fine. Because mental health is also important,” she adds.
She feels that the more pressure we try to put on ourselves, like “I can’t eat this even if it’s festive time because I have to look a certain way,” it will cause more harm to us than good. So, she feels that celebrity or not, it is important to realise that it’s okay to let go sometimes. In fact, she finds it really fun at parties when she eats a chip, and people say, “Oh, my God, she eats that.” And she says “yes, it’s normal.”
It’s all about maintaining a balance in life. “So, one or two months…not in one go, we can enjoy, binge and let go,” she says.
Watch the She Slays interview with Namrata Purohit right here!
Fitness experts on social media
There is a lot of information or misinformation out there when it comes to social media. Even myths about Pilates are popular. Namrata Purohit notes that there is no regulation and that anybody can go on social media and post whatever they feel like. She says it may be true for themselves and might have worked for them, but it isn’t necessary that one size is going to fit all. “Now, anybody and everybody can give tips or advice on what they should do on social media. That’s scary because where is this being verified.
“And how do we know it works for the person looking at the post?” she asks. That’s why when she posts something, she is very conscious about it. She tries her best not to post anything out there that can injure somebody or cause any harm. “If I feel that somebody with a back injury shouldn’t be doing this (a particular exercise), I always mention it,” says the fitness expert, who has 430,000 followers on Instagram.
As for top fitness tip, she says, “Just keep it safe, simple and smart”!
(Aanya Wig is nominated for the Health Shots She Slays Awards in the Wellness Coach (Fitness) category. To vote for her or to review our other nominees, please check out the She Slays Awards nominations.)