Driving Force behind such a Distinctive Career:
I have always followed my gut even if at times it meant changing direction and re-calibrating everything. It’s a lot easier nowadays to swap industries, retrain and have multiple careers if you wish. I’m not against staying on if the passion remains but often people get stuck in one job and lose sight of their potential to grow outside of their comfort zone. I could have stayed dancing for the Royal Ballet for years but then again I would have missed all the other amazing opportunities that life threw at me. I left home when I was 11 years old to study ballet at the Paris Opera Ballet School. Being at boarding school gave me the autonomy very early on in life that other children don’t get until they reach their teens and I’m sure that my ability to take on most things nowadays comes from there. My dad was in the military police and very protective of me, yet again he supported everything I ever chose to do. I would say that my diverse achievements post ballet career, are linked to being accomplished as a dancer. I put in the hours! Nearly 20 whole years! The Royal Opera House in London was the home to so many talents and we all learned from each other. When I was debating in my head how to move on from such a big influence in my life, I realized that the skills I had developed dancing all these years were all transferable in the real world and that it would only be the fear of the unknown that would hinder my ability to transition smoothly. The driving force behind the multiple projects I took on after dance was my gut!
Game Changing Moments in Life:
After leaving the Royal Ballet, I got busy right away, I got offered the main role in a feature film, some theatre work at the National Theatre, a pop concert with Take That and more...All this was extremely exciting and overwhelming at the same time, because you’re never really truly ready for change and because let’s face it the freelance world also comes with its own challenges! I knew I had the courage and the potential to drive my life in a different direction but it took me a while to really adapt. Soon I realized that there was a missing element to my ongoing journey. You can’t go from 6 hours of dancing a day every day to doing nothing with your body anymore. That’s when fitness became the game changer. I retrained as a personal trainer and looked at different avenues down this new career path. I travelled to Thailand on and off for 2 years to learn Muy Thai, BJJ and started training with seasonal cross fitters. That was the beginning of my awakening away from the stage and performances. I enjoyed the adrenaline rush from the hardcore training I put myself through again and it became clear that I couldn’t live without some kind of physical practice on a regular basis. I came across a lot of celebrities throughout my career, dancers, actors, musicians, singers and sports personalities and my network in London was pretty big. One day I got a call from my osteopath Nish Joshi who mentioned he was looking after Katrina Kaif during her film shoot for Bang Bang in London. He is the one who connected us. Katrina was looking for a trainer and asked me after a few sessions together, to come to Mumbai for a few weeks. Few weeks turned into months, then eventually years. I worked with Katrina and a lot of other female Bollywood stars.
Covid Challenges on the Fitness Industry:
The pandemic has caused some irreparable damages across the board. All industries have been affected not just the fitness industry and that’s what we need to focus on in my opinion. Rebuilding as one team, one planet, working towards the same goal instead of allowing different autocratic leaderships to impose their regime upon the world. We need to create a safe global regulatory environment and that’s where I see the health and fitness industry being able to shine in the rebuilding period. Yes it is tough and most fitness brands, gym owners and coaches have got to embrace the digital age and the online coaching conundrum but this is a great way to also learn new things and do the groundwork required to tackle this new era. We have to get better with age, not the other way around, we know it’s the decline in fitness that causes aging and health issues for most....that’s why the pandemic may have done at least one good thing for us all and that’s to highlight the importance in looking after ourselves in the most holistic way as possible.
Wellness Tips for a Healthier Lifestyle:
If I had to choose one pillar over every other pillar which contributes to optimum health I would choose the nutrition. We cannot control everything in life but what we put in our mouths to fuel ourselves and protect us from diseases is something that we can have more control over. Malnutrition which affects so many poor demographics isn’t a choice, it’s a reality for millions of people in India but indulging in food and overeating is. Just like eating refined and processed food often loaded with alcohol and desserts is our choice. Relying on allopathic medicine all the time instead of holistic alternative approaches is our choice and not educating ourselves on what’s good for us and what’s not good for us is our choice. People are in a rush, they’ve stopped being curious and they’ve stopped learning. Some simple concepts like slowing down and educating ourselves are directly linked with better health-making decisions. Our gut has a brain, that brain also needs all of the above.
Fitness Regime in the New Normal:
Now that we have an exponential amount of time on our hands we should put all of our excuses behind and redesign a health model that works for us. The idea is to identify which aspect of our health routine is usually hindered by work and stress and put a plan in action. If you’re always in a rush to eat, eat mindfully and enjoy the food on your plate. If you find it tough to rest, take the time to read or educate yourself on what the causes might be and how to create a little sanctuary for yourself to promote a better night's sleep. If you’re fed up and depressed look at finding the right support network for yourself and do not hesitate to ask for help and guidance. If you’re lethargic getup and move. Move instinctively. Ask your body to tell you what it needs and listen closely. These are small examples to help you look at your own issues, inspire you to trust yourself, and encourage you to apply a creative problem-solving mindset.