Shubhra is a dentist and a very popular yoga instructor at Raahgiri. I have given words to her views and feelings.
It all started when I attended Fit and Fab a couple of years back in Mumbai, a contest for which all of us had to work out wearing sports bra and shorts. I realised how comfortable it is to be in just that and I didn’t need an extra layer on top. In fact, I also understood why the gyms are full of mirrors, one gets so motivated looking at their own body while working out. Those beautiful muscles flexing and to see those cuts forming. It’s easier for men to just take of their tees but how many women get to do that? I decided to shed my inhibitions, be myself and do what feels right. But being yourself isn’t easy. Not when everyone is trying to pull you down.
I’m a dentist by profession but I’m equally passionate about yoga and fitness. So much so that apart from practising yoga, I like to teach it too. I got this opportunity to conduct Yoga sessions every Sunday at Raahgiri. I was beyond excited and I decided to do it my way, without bothering about what the world has to say. As long as I feel comfortable and safe, my husband has no issues, why should I care? My sessions at Raahgiri are a big hit. I have faced severe criticism for not covering myself enough, from every corner – friends, immediate family, extended family, strangers and even from the people I do the free session for.
People might have started attending my sessions because they liked what they saw. A person obviously has more confidence in a trainer who has a fit body and flat abs. However, they come back because of the aura and energy that they feel. It’s just a body, physical appearance loses its charm after a while, it’s the connection that you make with people and nature at the end of the day which matters the most. It took me a lot of time to get my parents used to the idea that their daughter doesn’t have any lesser values because of her choice of clothing. I wish our society was less hypocritical. And the brands need to be a little more mature too. While no one will question a man’s upbringing, values and ethics if he chose to cycle/run topless, a woman’s is.
It makes me sad that in a culture where showing off midriff while wearing a saree is not only considered acceptable but celebrated, my intentions for showing my midriff that too while exercising and promoting fitness, are questioned.