"When you grow up in an Army family, you're accustomed to moving around. I changed schools 8 times as a kid, and I was always looking for something consistent. I had a lot of opportunities to engage in outdoor activities, whether it was playing in the park, inventing games with my friends, or trying different sports, I was always an active kid. It would be a challenge to get accustomed to new teachers and classmates every few years but I found sports a good way to blend in." - Ashima Rangi.

Ashima always found sports and fitness as a good way to blend in, and now with her work with Pilates with Ashima she's helping others stand tall. Here's her story.

Overcoming obstacles

"In Std 11, I developed a lung condition which caused my right lung to collapse. After treatment, it relapsed within a week and then within a year, 4 times in total, and the treatment each time was more difficult. In 12th grade, while my classmates were going crazy filling out college admission forms, appearing for exams, deciding which courses they will sign up for, I was lying in the hospital bed with tubes in my chest."

"That was when I understood that nothing comes before health. I started treating exercise as medicine and that’s how I discovered Pilates. I would watch YouTube videos and follow along. I found it to be a great form of movement; it was challenging yet it didn't make me feel exhausted. It was very mindful yet very different from yoga, and the fact that it laid a lot of emphasis on the core muscles made it very interesting to me."

Ashima practicing Pilates at The Maidan, Kolkata

Pilates with Ashima

"Towards the end of my college days, I faced that age-old dilemma of what I wanted to do in life. Continuing to pursue psychology didn't appeal to me, nor did taking a corporate job. I had joined a fitness studio at that point and the instructor there was a very friendly upbeat man, in his mid 30's, and one day towards the end of an intense HIIT session, he said to me "You would make a good trainer", and that was my eureka moment! I made up my mind to become a trainer. "

"Kolkata is my mother's hometown and once I got back here, I dove straight into the fitness world. I got the opportunity to intern under some of the finest coaches in the country. I learned to look at the human body and exercise in a very holistic way. Later on, I became a certified personal trainer and worked with a variety of clients for over three years. Pilates still held a special place in my heart and that was when I decided that I would specialize in it."

"I completed a few courses and started taking group classes. That led me to see that there is room for quality Pilates studios in Kolkata, and now I'm doing what I love by running my own Pilates studio."

“Helping people become pain-free and the strongest versions of themselves through pilates and corrective exercise has been the best part of my fitness career.” - Ashima. You can connect with Ashima for Pilates classes in Kolkata here.

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