Are you unsure about taking that first step towards a healthy lifestyle? Do you think that it won’t work out for you? You are not alone.
Before starting her fitness journey, Seema Jain, a Yoga and Pilates trainer, had thought the same. But once it started, she didn’t look back. There was no stopping her as she went from one breakthrough to the other. In a conversation with SocialBoat, she talks about the beginning of her journey and the need for a conversation about women’s issues in the fitness industry. Read her full story below.
How did the fitness journey begin?
Once when Seema had gone to the water park with her family, they were asked to wear costumes for water rides but even after a lot of struggle they wouldn’t fit. That’s when Seema realized that her body had changed since the college days when she used to be a size zero. She knew that she needed to start working on her physical and mental fitness. This was the first thought of beginning a fitness journey. However, the actual journey started sometime later.
Beginning with Yoga
About two years after her marriage, Seema was faced with issues of miscarriage which then resulted in depression. She had stopped paying attention to her body completely and failed to notice how it had changed over the years. She was faced with many internal issues in the body and felt no energy at all.
At that time, her husband, who used to go to early morning yoga classes, asked her to come along but Seema didn’t feel enthusiastic from within. After much convincing, she decided to join him, to at least watch.
The teacher at the Yog Sansthan classes was a 70-year-old whom everybody called Rawat Sir. Speaking briefly to Rawat Sir, Seema told him she couldn’t do it. He asked her to come every day to the class and watch. There was no compulsion of participating. This change of environment made Seema feel better.
“ I liked the change. It broke the cycle of depression that I felt throughout the day.”
When Seema started participating in the class, Rawat Sir made her schedule according to the problems that she was facing. It included pranayama, Surya namaskar, etc. He had been a major source of motivation for Seema.
“I would look at him and think that he is 70 and yet so fit and disciplined.”
He asked Seema to write notes about how she was feeling after beginning Yoga.
Through Yoga, Seema could feel the body and mind being cleansed.
“I went there to mentally prepare myself, not physical fitness,”
she says, and gradually she was moving towards both. This was just the beginning.
“The studio is my stage.” Dancing through the challenges.
Seema’s son used to attend DanceWorks’ classes where she dropped him off and picked him up. There she would talk to the other mothers who were dropping their kids. They shared their experiences and decided that instead of waiting for their children to finish class, they should also start learning. After discussing this with the trainers there, and telling them about the hesitancy, Seema joined their beginner’s batch.
At first, she was nervous and she would go to the class and watch everyone. One of the mentors there had told her,
“More than anything else, the first step is to learn to stand in the class.”
So after watching and learning, she started participating too.
Among all the youngsters, Seema was the only married woman in the beginner’s batch but she continued to participate to the best of her capabilities and became an inspiration for everyone at DanceWorks. Currently, she has a BI level certification from there and stopped only because of the pandemic.
The Effect of Healthy Living
“After spending this much time with yoga and dance, I started seeing that grace in my body. I don’t think I am so good at dancing, I just know how to use my body because of Yoga.”
All of Seema’s existing mental and physical issues got solved, and with the strength that she gained from Yoga, she was ready to face the problems that would face her in the future, like pharyngitis, issues related to periods, weakness of the lower back, knee-lock issue, and breast surgery. The doctors repeatedly told her that it was because of the healthy lifestyle that she could cope up with all the problems.
“Even during COVID, everyone was scared but I felt confident because I had fought so many times earlier.”
Recently, Seema opened my own studio- ‘Yogalates’ where most of her customers are women who are mothers. In addition, Seema also conducts sessions for an NGO and teaches yoga to children there.
Fitness Industry and Women’s Issues
Seema believes that the fitness industry doesn’t pay enough attention to the issues that women face, especially post-pregnancy. To accept that change in and revive the body after pregnancy is what some women not only struggle with but also aren’t aware of. These are issues that general fitness programs fail to recognize and cure.
Women face problems such as PCOD, PCOS, among others. Sweating in the gym with extreme workouts only furthers their problems.
“Working out and walking is good but we need to focus on specific body issues, internally, and then solve them.”
That is what Yoga and pilates do. As opposed to popular opinion, they are not slow. They locate the problem with the body and gradually solve it from the root.
“Weight loss is not fitness, according to me. Being healthy is more important. My motto is to target problems and solve them.”
Most of Seema’s programs are specially designed to cater to each client’s needs. She believes that there is no age restriction to learning anything at all and that she continues to learn from each new client that she has.
“A lot of my friends have solved their issues through this. Some of them face back issues in working on a laptop, but now they can comfortably do it, after training their bodies with Yoga.”
Seema insists that everyone must take out at least an hour from their daily schedules for their bodies, familiarise themselves with their problems, and work towards solving them.
For more such inspiring stories, visit SocailBoat.