She is the woman behind the well-toned, sculpted bodies of a number of Indian actresses, including Katrina Kaif, Alia Bhatt and Deepika Padukone to name a few! Viki Shah chats with Yasmin at the launch of The Pad – her newly opened Pilates and dance studio in Dubai.
WHY WOULD SOMEONE GO TO THE PAD?
Because when you come to me I really want to understand you, your body, your mindset everything about you and then I want to design a workout which will help you with your goals and have a valuable journey. With us, Pilates is a very mindful process; we call it the mindful movement, it’s not about coming and jumping into a workout, it’s understanding why you’ve come in the first place. When you join a group class you do not have to worry about the vast age range of the participants, we will probably do a few one-on-one sessions with you and explain to you what modifications you can do for the exercises we are doing in a group class. We make you understand your body and empower you with the decision of how to work your body.
WHAT ABOUT NUTRITIONAL ADVICE?
We do give nutritional advice, it’s not part of the training, but we work with a nutritionist back in Mumbai who gives you a food plan and recipes for the food that she suggests making it very easy to follow.
USUALLY NUTRITION PLANS TELL YOU TO EAT FOOD THAT YOU ARE NOT USED TO. HOW DO YOU WORKOUT A PLAN THAT IS MADE AROUND YOUR REGULAR DIET?
That’s another thing about nutrition which is like exercise, it’s important that the nutritionist take time to understand your body and your likings and gives you a food plan accordingly. And that’s what our nutritionist does, she meets you once a month and schedules a phone call every week and is always available for any queries that you may have. There are new food plans weekly as people get bored of the same plan and each plan will have multiple options for breakfast, lunch, snacks and dinner. She also has an app that you download and that helps make things easier.
I never tell people don’t drink because you know the first thing a trainer or a nutritionist tells you is not to drink and that you can lose weight if you give up alcohol, but you need to enjoy your life; if you’re being good 6 days a week, I need you to have that 1 day. So, I teach them how to cheat; it doesn’t have to be a cheat day it can be a cheat meal. Make your choices, if you are drinking alcohol do not eat dessert on that same night because you know that’s like 2 Nos’. Always eat before going out for that dinner. At least eat a salad before you go out so at you’ll make a mindful choice.
HOW IS DANCE AND PILATES RELATED?
The reason we call it the PAD is because its Pilates and Dance and the motive behind this is that Pilates by itself doesn’t give you a complete workout; if you want to do some cardiovascular workout and burn some calories, you need to move, so we have the dance as a fun cardio exercise. We don’t have machines, so people can come and have fun dance sessions that burn calories too! There are going to be a lot of mother & child bonding movements and every day we teach different dances like contemporary, Bollywood and more.
During weekends we have a two- and half-hour workshop for professional dancers so if you really want to do a hardcore dance movement, that is the one for you!
WHAT ARE YOUR TOP TIPS FOR THE DUBAI RESIDENTS?
1. Move! With our lifestyle we have made everything
so easily available, we have forgotten the essence of movement. We have evolved from animals and are essentially meant to move. You really need to walk.
2. The second one is eat smart; we all proclaim that we are really smart, we are humans and we have a mind, and we think, so why don’t we think about our food choices? It’s very easy to know which food is not good for you; fried food, sugar, milk. Make the right choices, eat smart.
3. Strength training is very important; it does not mean you have to go lift heavy weights, Pilates is strength training, body weight exercises. As we age we lose bone density, leading to osteoporosis, arthritis etc. but when you build your muscle and strengthen it, it supports your bones.
4. Hydrate. People forget to drink water and a lot of them say they don’t like the taste of water, who said water has to have a taste? It serves a purpose it’s like saliva, saliva doesn’t have a taste. Put reminders in your watch and drink water.
5. Attitude. We need to work on having a positive attitude because everyone already thinks they can’t do things before they even try it and that’s what happens with exercise! I would say take time with your trainer so that he/she understands your body, mind and attitude before you go ahead.
Follow PAD at Instagram: @thepaddxb