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Keep calm and do Bhangra!

It is anything but sedate as Shalini Bhargava brings Masala Bhangra to town. Parshathy. J. Nath picks up some of the moves

“Oye hoi oye hoi oye hoi” … how I wish I had a dholak with me! A bunch of fitness enthusiasts and dance lovers, at EMSTEP Fitness and Dance Studio jive to hearty bhangra music as master trainer, Shalini Bhargava shows us the moves. “It is a 45 to 60 minutes cardio workout. You are not supposed to stop. In case, you feel tired you can relax by doing a step at a slow tempo,” explains Shalini.

“One two three four”...The first steps are simple, but the pace soon builds up. We raise our arms and do the bhangra shake. “Let’s do it the Bachchan way!” shouts Shalini. And yes, we all do the signature Amitabh Bachchan step as we move our heads and shoulders! The hips are next. We bend our legs, move our hips backwards, to the front and sideways. Our hands keep pace and we dance to “Ishqwala Punjabi”.

Punjabi dance party

The hall rings with a chorus of balle balles, as we jump up and twirl. A few of us, who are too tired, take a break while the others dance on. Shalini leaps and moves gracefully and urges us not to stop.

“Let’s do it from the top, guys! Let’s do it all at once!” she calls out. We do the steps taught to us in order. “The add-on method is the defining feature of masala bhangra. You keep on adding steps to a cycle and do it all at a stretch,” she explains.

In the last session, Shalini surprises us by playing some popular Bollywood numbers. We sing along and groove to “Kiss of Love” from Jhoom Barabar Jhoom and “Mauja Hi Mauja” from Jab We Met. The session ends with yoga and relaxation.

Masala bhangra, founded by Sarina Jain in 1999, is now catching up in India says Shalini, who also gives masala bhangra sessions at her fitness institute in Bombay. “I have been conducting these sessions in Europe, USA and Asia for the past 18 years. It is a huge craze, there!”

Balle balle bollywood!

The music composed for masala bhangra consists of traditional Punjabi folk music and a few Bollywood film songs, with racy rhythms. “It is even called Indian aerobics. We try to make it as authentic as possible. I am a huge fan of Madhuri Dixit. So, I try to incorporate her moves into the workout session. The festive mood of masala bhangra makes you enjoy the rigorous workout, and forget about exhaustion.”

Keywords: Shalini Bhargava, Masala Bhangra, Punjabi dance, bhangra music, Indian aerobics, modern fitness training methods

Ms. Madhuri Dixit Nene :

Shalini is truly an excellent trainer. She is the perfect combination of tough and soft, She is skilled, thoughtful, sensible, and a pleasure to work with and talk to. She knows just how and when to encourage and when to push, and when to take a step back. Owing to her combination of diverse training methods, individualized exercise programs challenging yet achievable goal setting, a simple to follow diet plan and personal efforts, I am stronger and more flexible, I have better balance and endurance and most importantly, working out has become fun.

Dr. Shri Ram Nene :

Knowledgeable, Competent, Professional and Dedicated are what I would say for Shalini. She is quick in understanding individual goals and hence forth providing advice and varied programs. She uses a holistic approach, incorporating flexibility, strength, posture, balance, endurance along with promoting a healthy eating regime. She is encouraging without being “soft” and a great motivator. Most importantly – she ensures that the moves are done correctly and reinforces how it will benefit . Her professionalism, extensive knowledge and enthusiastic commitment to her work and ultimately her clients, provides the perfect scenario for success and sets foundations for a new healthier lifestyle! Highly recommendable!!!

Dr Dimple Shah :

I joined JG`s gym for ante-natal exercise and probably this was one of the best decision during pregnancy. Anupa, my trainer, exactly knows the regime a pregnant woman needs to follow. Her exercises kept me fresh through the day and my fitness improved post joining the class. She is very attentive and motivated me on days I felt tardy. Her flexibility with timing allowed me to go to gym when I was in comfortable doing exercise - this is a serious plus during pregnancy. Thanks a lot Anupa!

Dr Gitanjali :

JGs is a fantastic gym and work out centre.It`s is not only clean and hygienic , it`s ambience is very inducive for a good workout. The trainers are friendly and very motivating. In addition , there are a variety of group workouts which make it all the more interesting and I`m never bored working out. It`s been 3 years and am still going strong. I have not only attained my desired weight but I have also become physically stronger , energetic and well toned. This has really boosted my self confidence especially when I have to dress up.

Dr. Sanjay Sharma :
Director Asian Cancer InstituteProf. Surgical Oncology Lilavati & Bombay Hospital, Mumbai

JGS is heaven on earth for all fitness lowers and motivates those who desire to do so. This Centre and its management provides such an unbelievable environment which gives so much positive energy & makes you addicted to stay there longer.

It has meaningful, wonderful, newer equipment and above all class very professional, helpful trainers who guide you to do targeted, correct energizing newer exercise regime which no gym that I have visited in India and abroad provides.

I have myself got absolutely fit increasing my lean weight, shedding my flab which I never achieved in previous stints at other places, this in spite of my spending limited time here due to my busy professional schedules, this improved fitness has allowed me to concentrate more on my longer surgeries without getting tired.

I would strongly recommend everyone to stay fit & happy, please join JGS.

Dr. Priti Modi :

10 years and still going strong! My journey has been of a person who prior to 2006 did anything besides exercise to lose weight, to a person who wants to exercise everyday to kickstart a healthier day, for a healthier life. My sister in law, Reshma pushed me to join (thanks to a free 1-month trial coupon) and the JGs team members ensured that it becomes a part of my life. All the trainers are superb at JGs but my major experience has been with Anupa, Shalini, Sangeeta and Vijendra. Shalini has ensured that her dedication to fitness has rubbed off on all her team members. Each one of them is as dedicated and as strict as her in ensuring that we are regular and give our best while exercising. I always share with my family and friends that I just need to reach the gym, after that the trainers ensure I give my best. JGs has also been hugely instrumental in transforming my son, Nihar, from a chubby kid to a 20 year old with 6 pack abs. Thanks Shalini and team JGs, super job, well done, keep it up.

Rohan N Gajjar, Tennis Player :

“Very Good facilities and equipment with expert trainers.Friendly and fun environment to work out in”

Sneha Jaisingh :

I have been regular at JG’S for the past 2 years. Whether it’s the Group X or the gym, they offer something to suit everyone. The energy of the trainers is absolutely infectious. You wouldn’t want to miss a day at the gym because Shalini and the team have a way of getting you addicted to workout and a healthy life.

Sandeep Soparrkar, Choreographer :

'JGS is a gym for complete health & fitness activity. Their friendly trainers guide you at every step and help you fix a healthy goal. I am really happy to be a part of JGS and recommend it to people who are looking for serious fitness'

Gopi Kukde, Advertising Guru :

"A gym is a gym. But JG's is different. It got something that makes people comfortable. More than ten years of my association with JG's says it all!"

Kishori Kukde, Advertising Guru :

" The systematic, rhythmic and thoughtfully designed workout; is what I love about JGs. The atmosphere there is kind of "feel at home". I have been a member of JGs for more than 10 years and even today I have same enthusiasm towards JGs. The credit goes entirely to JGs for it`s 360° wholesome Fitness programs.