More than meets the eye

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.

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  • Shobhit Jain June 25, 2015 at 8:16 am

    She is a champ..

  • Gaganjeet June 25, 2015 at 8:22 am

    Shubhra you’re doing great work. It’s hard to find thought leaders like you who strive for a fit body and healthier mind. Your thoughts are revoking, honest and logical. Shout them out.

    All the best for your future endeavors.

  • arjun June 25, 2015 at 8:59 am

    Great story. Hope this attitude is infectious. And hope we can support it with respect.
    Good work Anupriya.

  • Hirday Punjani June 25, 2015 at 9:08 am

    Very well written by a runner for a doctor cum fitness freak yoga instructor. I completely agree with Dr Shubhra’s view point.

  • NS June 25, 2015 at 9:15 am

    Its a wrong notion we have grown up with, that in the west or other countries min clothing is a norm. On the contrary I have mostly come across very basic yoga pants and t-shirt / fitness camisoles as the norm….but having said that, if someone chooses to wear something of their choice, no one makes an issue, or even gives much importance to it- be it Zumba, Yoga, Kickboxing, Pilates, Body pump or anything. The maturity level is different and that’s something that needs to be changed – and again – all the changes in the Indian society have come way too quickly for people to adopt & adapt…. We have to give our people time… It’s easy to quickly pick up trends and lifestyles but it’s not easy to pick up mind sets.

  • Dalip Arora June 25, 2015 at 9:22 am


    All the best Shubhra!

    And a fabulous write up Anupriya, as usual.

  • ram June 25, 2015 at 9:59 am

    requires courage esp in a city beset with morons like those Delhi rape defence lawyers. Awesome Dr.

  • Aditya June 25, 2015 at 11:14 am

    So true “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.”

  • Kaustubh June 25, 2015 at 11:17 am

    Nice article, the real meaning of Gymnastic is “Art of exercising almost nude” and its very effective.

  • neelu June 25, 2015 at 12:49 pm

    We all know u r a positive bird just keep going and growing wish to see u live…we all love u , u r d best.

  • ARUN BHARDWAJ June 25, 2015 at 12:58 pm

    Very well written…..

    Loved the pics….both when I shot them for Shubhra and when I see them here .

  • Rajnish Talwar June 25, 2015 at 3:47 pm

    Shubhra, you are doing a great job and as long as you are satisfied nothing else is important.
    Great going dear!

  • N Khare June 26, 2015 at 4:39 am

    Great! If the intention is self happiness do not be bothered … world has problem with 2 year old girl in frock too

  • Vivek Sharma June 26, 2015 at 6:56 am

    Some people has to stand against the wind blows to make changes. You are doing a fantastic job Shubhra. You just do it without hesitation. God bless u 🙂

  • h l kapur June 26, 2015 at 3:51 pm

    Keep Writing

  • Mona Chawla June 27, 2015 at 8:11 am

    Kudos to you Shubhra very inspired……ye zindagi na milegi dobara do wat your heart says…..jst love the way you think….I fully support…..n wud love to meet you in person

  • Samar Shivdasani July 2, 2015 at 5:57 pm

    Great article Anupriya! One that really hits at one of the core issues faced by women in India. Role models are required to blaze new trails and I am fortunate enough to know that Shubhra is certainly charting a course in the right direction. Keep it going ladies…..!!

  • Anusha July 25, 2019 at 5:59 pm

    I had a wider smile while reading it….. !!!!

  • akshay bohra May 1, 2020 at 5:38 pm

    amazing one

  • Hyderabad Smiles June 12, 2020 at 12:11 am

    Wow.. I had an smile while reading this. Good share

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