Fitness trainer Yasmin Karachiwala, on Certification and Fitness Education.
From a kid who did not like to work out to becoming a pioneer in the country’s fitness industry, Yasmin Karachiwala is the most sought-after celebrity fitness trainer in Bollywood. An economics graduate from St. Xavier’s College, the fitness trainer has a clientele comprising the likes of Katrina Kaif, Deepika Padukone, Kareena Kapoor, Alia Bhatt, Ileana D’Cruz, and many more. Excerpts from the interview.
Your first Gymming experience?
My best friend wanted to join a new gym and dragged me there. I found an aerobics class and it looked like participants were having a lot of fun. I thought ‘how difficult can this be?’ I was in for a rude shock because I had no co-ordination. I made a fool of myself. But I kept going back because I wanted to do everything to the best of my ability.
Did you love being a part of the class or teaching more?
At that time, I never thought about it, I just had fun and enjoyed teaching the class. I did my early childhood care and education from Sophia’s, taught for a year at the Sadhana School, then at Learner’s Academy and I taught at the French International School for seven years.
How did you become a certified trainer?
After I finished my graduation, when I was about 20, I was going to the USA for an exchange programme called Camp America. My instructor asked me to get certified since I was already going to America, and people in India then were not certified.
It was more difficult than all my years of studying. It wasn’t just learning — you have to know the anatomy of the body, the muscles, how they work, which muscle could be flexed, which muscle was stretching — it was mind boggling. But I persevered and I found somebody who helped me study through it.
What did your hours look like initially when you started training?
I would leave the house, go to school from 8.a.m to 2 p.m. From 2 p.m to 5 p.m., I would be in the gym, working out. From 5 p.m. to 7 p.m, I would teach class and return home by eight at night — a 12-hour day.
Fitness education in India:
It is catching up. I’m an educator now which I wasn’t two years ago. ACE AFA, The same course that I went to the USA to do 26 years ago is now available here. There are other certifications too — Reebok, K-11, AFA, ACE, and ACSM to name a few.
To get as many Pilates studios to do the right kind of Pilates. We expect every centre to have a holistic approach wherein, when people come, the centres are more interested in them than their money.
Tips for parents of teenagers:
Build a support system for your children. You cannot be your child’s only support system. You also have to be okay about not knowing everything about your kids.
How do you remain grounded despite being successful?
If I didn’t go abroad every six months and see other trainers and meet other trainers, I’d be done. I’m constantly looking up to my trainers. I have so much to learn that I feel I have just started my journey.
Mala Mary Martina CEO, I Love Mondays