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05 Mar 2024, Edition - 3157, Tuesday

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Health Matters

Belly dance your way to good health



Touted as India’s First Bellyfit instructor, Chaitali Soparkar Kohli is the also the first Indian woman to do belly dance in pregnancy. We speak to her about belly dance as a holistic fitness format and why you should go for it.

When and how was it discovered as a fitness format? How did you get introduced to it? Which are the cities that have been introduced to it, and how has the response been like?

Bellyfit is a certified A mother to a 2-year-old, I am looking for freelance, work from home position. programme created by Alice Bracegirdle from Canada, it has been there since past 15 years. It has travelled across the globe and has around 1000 instructors in countries like UAE, Singapore, UK, USA and Canada. I’m India’s first and only instructor as of now. I have been taking regular classes since past 2 years and the response has been amazing.

I came across Bellyfit while looking up on the internet for a workout for myself post my first baby. I found it body friendly and connected instantly with it.

What are the dos and don’ts of this regime? Who can and can’t do it?

It’s only women workout because we don’t understand men’s body. This programme is made by a woman, and it is conducted for women, All women can do this. Right from teenagers, who can enjoy bellydance and afro influenced moves that can be done at a high intensity, to someone who is 60 plus whose steps are guided at a lower intensity keeping in mind her body limits. Apart from a cardio influenced high intensity class, I also do Bellyfit Sage which is perfectly crafted one hour workout class for 50 plus women. I am also training in Bellyfit Flow, which is a slow burn class, influenced by yoga. This class is yoga done on music, particularly for the ones looking for yoga classes with a bit of a twist.

It is a holistic workout How is it different from the other fitness formats ? Does this specifically concentrate on belly?

We call it holistic because it concentrates on to what is favourable for the body. There is a lot research in terms of moves, cultural dances, yoga, pilates and pelvic floor study that has gone into it while creating the programme. As an instructor I am trained in all these areas. The guided meditation at the end of the class or at the beginning, is where we set intention of having a great class. The dance moves are from dance formats that are feminine; bellydance, afro dances, Indian dances. The core part is influenced by yoga and pilates. This makes the class a complete package .

What is your personal regime like?

Being a mother and a wife, home is what I wake up to. So mornings are not compromised for anything. They are for my kids, their needs. I get on with my day as everyone leaves for their day.

I eat what is made at home. A regular breakfast but I am conscious of ghee and oil, I consume it in the right proportion so that I can have it throughout the day. There is never excessive binging on junk, butter, cheese, biscuits. I am a foodie so I do eat well, but I am well aware and conscious of what I eat. I practise Bellyfit routine for an hour at home and along side I also practise my bellydance. It’s sort of a riaz for me.

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