11 women on how they keep themselves (and their wardrobes) in shape

by Neharika Manjani and Drishti Mistry

Which diet deserves a try? Where can you find fitspiration? Which routine should you add to your weekly workout? Armed with these questions and more, Nykaa Fashion made its way into sun-strewn yoga studios, adrenaline-packed gyms and clinics of famed family physicians. Here’s what we found.

Lamya Arsiwala, lifestyle coach and yoga instructor

“I was a runner and I lived in Melbourne, where it was too cold to run. So, I found myself at a yoga studio, a warm one. It was there that I relaxed for the first time in my life in Savasana. It calmed my busy mind,” says Lamya Arsiwala who alongside being a yoga teacher is a life coach – this involves tackling psychosomatic illnesses on the daily – and handles human resources at her family-run business. Her style too has come to cater to her growing resume. “Lately I tend to veer towards pieces that are easy to wear and made out of cotton, because I stay in them for so many hours. I think it’s important, especially for women, to find the right fit and fabric,” adds Arsiwala – NM

Jasmine Shah, family physician

When she isn’t shuttling between house calls and her clinic, family physician Jasmine Shah can be spotted, clad in Nike or Under Armour, training for a marathon on Mumbai’s Marine Drive. Her love affair with running started – quite literally – with a single step in the right direction. “When I was younger, I was obese and one of the biggest kids in my class. I always wanted to shed that weight. It was only after I had my daughter that I started walking and with a little help from my coach, that turned into a walk jog. Today, I run marathons. It really is just about starting somewhere. Anyone can do anything,” says Shah who is up and running at 5.45 am every morning. What’s kept her motivated and moving for nine years now? “After a run, I feel a great sense of achievement. Nothing can replace that feeling,” she adds. – NM

Maulika Sharma, trainer and nutritionist

For Maulika Sharma, it doesn’t stop at the body, you have to train your brain as well. “Exercise can get monotonous. You need to work on your mindset constantly to be able to sustain what you’re doing. I’ve started listening to motivational podcasts like The Joe Rogan Experience and I share them with my clients, so that they can push their brain to think a certain way too,” says the 21-year-old who has garnered over 60k followers for her feed replete with workout videos and attention-grabbing activewear, which she seamlessly incorporates into her everyday wardrobe. “I wear tights all the time. I’ve worn them with a crop top for a night out. I’ve even gone as far as pairing them with a kurta,” she says, laughing. – NM

Mallika Tarkas Parekh, India founder of New York’s Physique 57

A little over a year ago, Mallika Tarkas Parekh made being at the barre cooler than being at a bar by bringing New York’s Physique 57 to Mumbai. “I came to realise that women in India wanted to get in shape but didn’t have too many options that didn’t injure them. Barre is great for anyone who is injury-prone. In each class, which lasts for 57 minutes, you do everything from cardio to strength training to stretching,” says the mother of twin girls who cites J.Lo and Beyoncé as her source of fitness inspiration. “It’s not for the obvious reasons.  Like me, they are twin moms and what I’ve learnt from their journey is that strong is sexier than skinny, ” she adds. Her closet too, made of bright colours and playful prints, is in sync with her icons. “I love adding a pop-hued sneaker to my look. Alo Yoga, Koral and Niyama Sol are some of my go-to labels. I like that my role allows me to wear workout clothes outside of when I’m working out.” – NM

Vishakha Shivdasani, medical doctor specialising in lifestyle and weight management

“I started out purely as a general physician but when I realised how chronic diseases can be reversed through lifestyle changes alone, I took a sabbatical and pursued a fellowship in nutrition,” says Dr Vishakha Shivdasani whose tailored weight management programs come tried, tested and recommended by Bollywood’s leading ladies. Fats, she tells us, should find favour in our diets. “Eat your fats. If you do, you’ll be so satiated that your body won’t crave carbs. But the trick is to introduce good fats slowly and not completely cut carbs out. Also, it’s important to combine your food correctly,” she says. This love for balance spills into Shivdasani’s sartorial sensibilities. Currently, her closet sees a healthy mix of workwear from Zara and active wear from Nike, Puma, Reebok and Adidas. – NM

Sonali Sharma, yoga instructor, empowerment coach and nutritionist

One piece of advice that Sonali Sharma gives all her students is that mental and physical health go hand in hand and sometimes all you need to make your mood is a cute pair of tights. “Finding the right workout gear is so important. You may not feel like exercising but putting on a great outfit can change that – it has the power to get you in the zone and lift your spirits,” says Sharma whose wardrobe is awash with happy hues and activewear labels both International and homegrown. “I love Gap Sports but on a recent trip to Rishikesh I discovered Satva. Their separates are stylish yet breathable,” she adds. – NM

Suman and Juhi Agarwal, nutritionists, Self-care by Suman

In the business for seventeen years now, Suman Agarwal’s client roster features celebrity names both yesteryear and millennial, the most recent one being Ananya Pandey, “Self-care was incepted in 2001 and since then the staff has grown from one to forty. What has really worked for us is that we devise healthy lifestyle plans for anyone and everyone – from a 5 to an 85-year old,” says the mother to three. When she’s not consulting, you’ll often find her playing board games with her children (Settlers Of Catan at the moment) or trying out new ways to workout with her second-born who shares her obsession with the active wear label Lululemon and her fervour for fitness, “ Just last week, mom and I tried the Tabata workout together and it was too energizing, it was a blast! ,” says Juhi who has garnered a doctorate degree in nutrition assists her mother at the clinic. An advice that finds itself in each of her prescriptions is “NEPA or Non-Exercise Physical Activity which entails staying active through the day – take small walks during the day, make your own tea or coffee, stroll while waiting for the elevator and so on,” she says adding, “Also, don’t workout if you’ve not completed at least six-hours of sleep the night before.” The duo is known for formulating nutritious eating out menus, but how did they master this mean feat? “The trick is to fill yourselves up with protein and fibre and save the carbs for the last. For instance, if it’s a Lebanese restaurant, reach out for the hummus and tabbouleh before the pita,” they say. – DM

Nonie Tuxen, senior coach, Sohfit

When it comes to fitness, Tuxen draws the best from both her worlds – while her Australian upbringing compels her to stay active, gave her forever fitness icon Shona Vertue and a go-to active wear label Nimble, her marriage to an Indian introduced her to vegetarianism and made clean eating accessible, “I’m a vegetarian because my husband is Jain. Sometimes people make clean eating way more complicated than it needs to be. In India it’s so simple with vegetables and whole grains readily available at the nearest local markets. I truly believe that good quality food doesn’t come from packets, it comes from our sabziwalas,” says Tuxen who trains religiously six out of seven days a week, personally and professionally (she instructs at the wellness company SOHFIT), “A large part of what I do entails helping people become the best versions of themselves. I spend a lot of time looking at people’s form, honing their physical skills and educating them about how and why they need to eat and move a certain way,” she says. A workout routine Tuxen swears by? “Run a good 400 meters, do a bunch of squats, kettlebell swings and sit ups. Repeat this set four-five times and it will get you good,” she says. – DM

Dr. Aalika Banerjee Shah, medical nutritionist, HealthEsthetics and Lifestandards

Formerly a physician, Banerjee Shah made the switch to medical nutrition when she successfully cured a severely diabetic patient within a span of two months solely with the help of diet change and exercise, “Once I realized that I had the power to help people go off medication, it fortified my foray into fitness and nutrition,” she says adding, “My prescriptions are extremely intuitive when it comes to diets, it’s something I follow too – eat only how much, what and when your body demands. Avoid abiding by stringent diets because the more you restrict yourself, the more likely you are to binge.” Is she intuitive about her sartorial choices too? “Yes! Very much. I’m not boxed into any particular style. I love experimenting with fashion and wear whatever I feel like on that day,” says the fitness expert who is more watchful of her workout wardrobe than her every day one, “I need to have a versatile jacket and a pair of trendy tracks in my gym bag at all times! I also can’t do without my Louis Vuitton AirPods and my Apple watch when I step out for a walk or a Pilates class,” says Banerjee Shah. – DM

Camelia Oberoi, oga and pilates Instructor, biodynamic craniosacral therapist

“As a biodynamic craniosacral therapist, I tend to look at fitness in a holistic manner – restoring the balance between mind, body and spirit is at the core of my method, ” says the former graphic designer and now full-time fitness coach whose agility extends far beyond her time spent tutoring at the studio, “I move in any way I can, I dance, play a sport and stretch at any opportunity I get -while watching a movie at home or even while cooking,” she says. It doesn’t come as a surprise then that her approach towards fashion is just as free-spirited as her approach towards fitness, “I’m a hippy at heart. If I’m not in my comfy Alo Yoga separates on the daily, you’ll find me in my old torn jeans, shorts, T-shirt’s and Kohlapuris,” says the mother to two. A form she has been taking to lately? “Iyengar yoga where one practices various yoga asanas with the help of ropes, it’s absolutely refreshing,” says Oberoi whose yoga and Pilates sessions typically culminate in “Savasana or guided meditation to allow the body to come back to a state of equilibrium.” – DM

Follow @NykaaFashion on Instagram for more!

Shop Now

ZIVAME

Zelocity Color…

₹1,197

FITKIN

Sport Self…

₹2,396

ZIVAME

Zelocity Easy…

₹1,295

SATVA

Organic Cotton

₹1,650

FITKIN

Sport Mesh…

₹1,440

ZIVAME

Zelocity Flat…

₹998

SATVA

Organic Cotton…

₹1,725

SATVA

Organic Cotton…

₹1,875

AND

Aqua Sports…

₹1,200

AND

Aqua Legging…

₹1,520

SILVERTRAQ

Women’s Pop…

₹2,129

SWEE

Athletica Activewear…

₹1,700

Leave a Comment