In this episode of Magical Mornings, we featured Ragini Chandran. She is a professional dancer turned entrepreneur at 21 with her own Dance and fitness studio Urhythmix. She has been successful in modelling industry for more than 8 years. She has worked for several TV commercials and today a social media influencer as well. She is a proud homemaker who has done her debut with law under Puneet Rajkumar Productions as main lead which was the first Kannada film on OTT. Welcome Ragini, we are so excited to have you here on the show.
Here’s the interview of Ragini with UnitePod.
Q. So how did you start off your journey as the fitness enthusiast?
Ragini: How did my fitness journey begin? Coming to think of it, I think now, it started at the age of 4 when i started learning Bhartanatyam. This journey of learning doesn’t have a separate tag called fitness. When you are a dancer and you want to learn deeply in this art form, fitness is something which is definitely included without having a separate tag. So when I started with Shamak Dawar Institute of performing arts, I was with them for 8 years, and that training had a lot with us being stronger and fitter. It doesn’t mean what our body shape is, but if we are stronger from within. And then I realized that a western form can also have this and I wanted to be more focus on Indian classical base. Which is why, I changed my form to kathak and I have been training in kathak for 15 years now. And that also requires you to be fit. Every form of training, every form of dance that you do has a different journey itself when it comes to fitness. So being my passion itself, dance and fitness came together. That’s when I also began taking up certification and learning more in fitness field. And I opened my own dance and fitness studio called Urhythmix Dance studio. Today I am just so happy that I can share my love for fitness with so many people who are inspired to do the same. Not just because they want to punish themselves or punish the judgement about how the look but to start a fitness journey which is so sustainable and which they can stick to forever.
Q. So Ragini it makes me wonder what inspired you to became a health and fitness influencer?
Ragini: Health and fitness was always a part of dance for me. But the way I look at it today is very different from what I use to look at it earlier. Being a dancer, fitness was always a part of the package. I used to work out these many hours, I take the classes. Dance also being the part of it, everything used to happen. But I began to realize that it is getting superficial and I realized that a lot of us do that with the same intention. Why do you workout and the answer would be to lose weight and to look a certain way. But I don’t think that’s the reason people should have. You should start working out because you love it and then you will realize that weight loss is a part of the process. That’s when my perception for fitness changed especially when I took up Gulati certification with Gulati’s Design School. I realized how fitness has a lot do with your mind and your body. When you realize that your mind is liking what you are doing, your body automatically reacts the same way and you will see the results as it is without setting a certain target. The reason when I take up personal training, when I take up clients, I don’t encourage those who comes up and say how much I have to lose in this much time. In fact I come and ask them why you are doing this and it changes their whole perception of it. That is what has inspired me. The life changing moment when you realize and say stop being superficial about how you look. Instead try and become stronger and fitter from within. When you change yourself from inside, you love the way you look but you still continue to do what you do. That’s how fitness and health became a major part of my life.
Q. Does being a fitness model affect your eating pattern?
Ragini: I wouldn’t say I have a figure what a fitness model has. But my perception for fitness has changed and that has changed my eating patterns. I used to be someone who used to think about diets but for me but for my family. I used to think that they should be doing because they are not working out so much. It’s a very typical mentality today that people first binge eat what they like and the first reaction next day will be that they are feeling guilty for eating and then punish there body for doing it. The minute you are telling your mind that what you have done is wrong you are not going to enjoy that process of workout because you are telling yourself that this is something I shouldn’t have done. Then why does it. Instead change the way you eat. When you are eating it even when you are going to have something which is unhealthy enjoy that at that time. But after that you should know how your relationship with that food has affected you and change that pattern of eating. When I see a change in the pattern of eating, I am personally someone who loves salads, but when I cut cucumber, tomatoes and onions every day, I tell my mind that you have to do it, you have to maintain it, I am not going to love it. But getting that same variety in the foods you are making but still try to keep it healthy in your own way. Healthy doesn’t mean you’re dieting only. So that health definitely changed for me. When i eat, in fact wherever I am going if I want to eat something and my mind says” okay, Ragini you feel like eating this now” I go ahead and do it. But that doesn’t mean that I follow that same pattern every time. I enjoy what I eat and I know I will get back to it without punishing myself. I think that is very important for people to realize.
Q. If you could step into my shoes for a moment, what would you ask yourself that I haven’t yet?
Ragini: If I could step into your shoes, I think the first thing that I would ask is are you happy and the question ends there. If you think you are happy, it doesn’t mean that you are putting yourself professionally or trying to ask it based on your relationships. It is just about you and i have made sure that today even if there are hundred unhappy things around me but there are certain boundaries that you need to set for yourself to know what can make you upset and how people are allowed to make you unhappy. You set your boundaries right in life; you know happiness only lies with you. Your happiness is definitely not someone else’s responsibility. So your question to yourself is “Are you Happy”. And i think when you answer that for yourself you are responsible for making that happen and automatically things around you will fall in place.
Q. Ragini people like to follow your fitness tip. How is nutrition important according to you?
Ragini: Nutrition is definitely important. But how you look at is even more important. I know in today’s world of trainers and nutritionist, the first thing we says is count your micros, macros, count the calories you are having, what are you eating and why haven’t you burnt it today and so much of thinking when it comes to food that you forget to enjoy what you are eating. I don’t stress myself out that much because I want to look at something I can do for life and if I just keep counting all my life I am stressing myself out when I am eating and definitely not enjoying what I am eating. I am not allowing my mind to enjoy it because I am counting so much. I think nature has its own way of telling you things. Nature is telling you that if its summer I am giving you mangoes, eat it. Don’t think about the fat it’s giving you and why eat it so much. Nature is telling you that this is the produce I am giving you for certain reason during this certain season. So when having it, enjoy it. But know your portion. I just believe in portion control and i don’t eat till i am full. I eat till my mind tells me that I am not hungry anymore. You don’t have to always feel bloated and stuff yourself up. Personally I don’t eat every 2 hours and that whole typical concept of your mind telling you that you will get every two hour. I don’t think so. When we do water fast once a month, the entire day we only drink water. It’s all in the mind is all I can say. When you start loving your food, you will realize how your body reacts to every food and how your mind reacts to it. So your decisions are definitely in your hands. Guidance is always required but you don’t need someone who tells you to always count. Personally for me my health coach, Pavitra Rajkumar, helped me change the same. She told me why you need to keep counting when you think you are liking it, just has it. But think about nutritious food. I am coming up with a cloud kitchen very soon and that is going to remind people to tell them that you have to enjoy what you are eating but still have nutritious food. If listeners are here, then you will know about what a whole nutritious food is which you can still enjoy without feeling guilty.
Q. So finally Ragini, what message do you have for our listeners and where can they connect with you online?
Ragini: It was nice that I can share my view with such positive vibes. As I say that I only share my passion for food, health and dance, something that I am really passionate about. Today i realized that have made a social media influencer when people are inspired in the same way. So if you want to get in touch with me for any help with regards to staying motivated or sticking on to anything on life that you want to make a sustainable choice with then you can definitely DM me on iamraginiprajal. I will be more than happy to connect with you all. Thank you so much for having me.
Thank you so much Ragini once again for sharing all your advices and tips on health and nutrition. I am pretty sure it was very insightful for all our listeners. We really enjoyed it.
Ragini: All my listeners out there thank you so much. Thank you, UnitePod for having me on the show.
That’s a wrap of another episode of Magical Mornings featuring Ragini Chandran who is an actor, fitness enthusiast, dancer and a lifestyle influencer. She has her own dance and fitness studio Urhythmix whose motive is to make people healthy through dance and fuse up exercise with dance. Her motive is to be healthy without punishing yourself.
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