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Wellness matters

Tuesday, October 02, 2018

Health and wellness experts share their fitness mantras at an event showcasing nutritious foods and dietary supplements. Ronita Torcato listened in.

"Bad posture results in shallow breathing and poor circulation which results in poor digestion and ailments like spondylitis. Posture changes for the worse as we grow older. But good posture teaches us, like the cat knows instinctively, to land on its feet. Let gravity work for you, not against you.

 - Sensei Pervez Mistry

Posture. Diet. Breathing. Discipline. Fitness. These are the things that really matter in the Gospel of Health and Wellness, according to Sensei Pervez Mistry, Mickey Mehta, Shweta Shetty, G Ramachandran  and Gautam Kapur. The quintet was propounding on the essentials of good health and the trajectories that led them there, to a select group of fitness retailers, trainers, gym owners, nutritionists, health specialists, sports professionals and celebs who had braved thunder, lightning and the rains to assemble at the Todi Mill's Social for the launch of Kapur's Be Conscious Nutrition – a retail platform for quality nutritious foods and dietary supplements. 

"The most important aspect of health is good posture," says Sensei Mistry to this correspondent who is slouching, neck thrust forward all the better to hear him with, between the persuasive tones of the efferverscent emcee Imam Siddique and the steady downbeat of muzak wafting up to the mezzanine. 

"Bad posture results in shallow breathing and poor circulation which results in poor digestion and ailments like spondylitis. Posture changes for the worse as we grow older. But good posture teaches us, like the cat knows instinctively, to land on its feet. Let gravity work for you, not against you. The human body has evolved over two million years. Posture is not static. We are built for motion and mobility. Have you seen a toddler which can fall and yet be unhurt? So in any movement you make, the body movement must be proportional. Have you noticed people who work out in a gym? The front is usually more developed than the back because they are always watching themselves from the front in a mirror. So, the back is not given the attention it requires."

Mistry is India's first Black Belt Karate Instructor, qualified in Japan to teach and grade budding karatekas. An eighth degree black belt (Dan) in the karate style of Okinawan Go-Ju Ryu, he is also a Physical Therapist who is Certified in Post Rehabilitative Sports Injuries and specialises in Postural Rehabilitation and  conducts seminars and workshops geared specifically to all types of work as well as women's self defense programs all over the country. A Master Personal Trainer with more than 40 years’ experience, Sensei Mistry suggests suspension training as an all-round exercise. Simply put, it is strength training using a system of ropes and webbing called a "suspension trainer" that allows users to work against their own body weight.

"With suspension training, you can do four exercises in one go. Suspension training can work for anyone—from beginners to people who require rehabilitation from injuries to those who might have Olympic fitness levels. We must be aware of posture all the time and choose an activity which helps you most, whether it's yoga or anything else," says this amazing man who must surely be a prophet in an alternate universe!

"Ninety per cent of the  time, we breathe the wrong way and create problems for ourselves," observes Shweta Shetty, who swears by yoga and reveals she walked for 40 minutes to get to the Lower Parel venue. She and Kapur, who has organised the event to launch his new project, Be Conscious, go back 25 years. Who would have thought! She is as svelte and lovely as she probably was all those years, ditto Kapur who doesn't look a day over a lithe 25  at age...?

Better known as a pop singer, Ms Shetty sings snatches of Nessun Dorma in a beautiful soprano that vaults to the ceiling. Methinks she has missed her calling as an  opera singer, but she's in a happy domain now called yoga, inherited from her father and  uncle who are yoga practitioners. It wasn't always like that. She recalls the "bad accident" back in 1979 in Hamburg where she lived with her German husband Christian Brandt. She started yoga in 1997 and before long, "my back problems and depression disappeared. Actually, yogic asanas can heal all kinds of problems—from insomnia and joint pains, to asthma and depression," says the singer who wows the crowd with her energy, as does  Mickey Mehta, holistic wellness and fitness guru.

Mehta, who has over 25 years of experience in the wellness industry, also shared his journey and expertise on a healthier approach for a fitter life. "It goes without saying that fitness and health are very important and for me, it's all about being green," says Mehta, who has taught swimming in a day and counts various celebs and leading industrialists in his clientele.  Wellness for Mehta is "living life in a wholesome way with eating right combined with deep breathing, stretches and meditation”.

India is the cardio-vascular disease (CVD) and diabetes capital of the world, says Kapur, a certified nutraceutical expert and a health and fitness influencer.  "My dream is to go pan-India and we will be working towards creating a forum of experts who share a common passion of wellness to reach out to people, sharing their expertise about natural and holistic solutions to multiple health problems like stress and various issues like fatigue, osteoporosis, loss of hair, muscle, and  libido."

‘Discipline’ is the buzzword for Gold Gyms founder and Director G Ramachandran, an investment banker for 29 years, before he decided to take a break and enter the world of fitness. "Without discipline, we can't have success in anything we do. There must be consistency and  a dedication to eating right. I started understanding what workouts really are with Gautam  who had washboard abs. Today, I can do 25 push-ups at a time in three sets" says the man who introduced  mixed martial arts, Krav Maga, Kick Boxing and anti-gravity workouts in his gyms.

Kapur believes that people can only be healthy when they utilise the opulence of Mother Nature and consume naturally occurring foods, micronutrients, vitamins and supplements. The attendees at the launch were treated to Todi Mill Social's senior chef Glyston's special menu of a protein burst salad, grilled nutty mushroom and kafeer lime chicken tikka, among others.

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