We all want that celebrity-worthy body, but let’s face it – sometimes going to the gym is just a drag. To mix it up and have fun while blasting those calories, we’ve found some great bollywood-inspired fitness classes and instructors that will motivate you to get in shape while you get your groove on. Here’s the scoop on three of these classes and their founders.
Masala Bhangra Workout®
Founded by fitness entrepreneur Sarina Jain, this workout consists of a rousing blend of bhangra dancing, Bollywood moves, and lively songs. In addition to establishing Masala Bhangra classes nationwide from California to NY, Jain has made eight bollywood-inspired workout videos over her 20-year career in fitness, and has a dedicated following due both to her personal charisma and the intensity and exuberance of her workout. Anu Athri, a current studentof Jain’s, had heard about bhangra and Bollywood workouts but was skeptical at first. Jain’s energy, she says, kept her coming back. “She’s taken those steps and made it a really good workout,” Athri says. But importantly, she makes sure to keep the class upbeat and fun: “She doesn’t just make you do steps,” says Athri. “She really brings out the celebrative spirit of the dance.” The workout itself consists of nonstop movement designed to raise the heart rate and keep it up for the duration of class. Jain breaks down a series of bhangra and Bollywood-style dance moves, and then sequences them into a routine which is slowly added onto throughout the class. In addition to burning a hefty amount of calories, you can also learn some moves to bust out at your next wedding!
“Get the South Asian people moving – that’s the key, because South Asians in general do not work out. It’s not in our culture at all,” says Jain, who cites the passing of her father as the driving force behind her decision to meld her fitness knowledge with South Asian culture and music. This year, her workout celebrates its 10th anniversary and its popularity has exploded, even among non- South Asians. In Latin America, as the face of Nestlé fitness, Jain has her workout DVDs in 2.6 million cereal boxes and is reaching thousands of households. She is expanding, teaching master classes and training instructors overseas. “Masala Bhangra is very popular is Japan right now,” Jain says. “I have so many instructors in Japan, and they love our culture!” Luckily for us, Sahelis, we don’t have to travel that far to get our bhangra fix! Jain herself teaches eighteen classes in London throughout the week, at various NYSC and Crunch gyms and the Alvin Ailey studios. C