Meet Usha K. Poojari, a fitness guru based in Bangalore who’s created a niche for herself amidst the bustling fitness and gyming industry with her Uni Fitness Zone. When I say ‘industry’, Usha frowns with disagreement citing that staying fit can never be an industry! “The body is where you live. So it’s important to stay fit and healthy,” she stresses. A few years back, Usha found herself feeling lethargic and lifeless. At that moment, she was also depressed and was facing anxiety issues, but she didn’t know it. She says it’s all because she wasn’t fit. With the push from her friends, she slowly began to shape her daily life around fitness.
“To do anything in life, you need to feel energized from within,” she says. “That’s why dedication is synonymous with fitness.” After personally witnessing the journey of her close friend transform physically and mentally, she decided it’s time to wake up. Usha also drew her inspiration from Natasha Noel, another fitness and yoga expert. And slowly, she could see her life transform.
Earlier, rising up with the sun seemed impossible, today she wakes up at 5, plans her day ahead and then steps out of bed. She eats healthy, dedicates time for herself, enjoys the small things in life and is always thankful for everything she has/is today. I’m lucky to be one of her pupils at Uni Fitness Zone where working out is a fun-filled activity and sweat is gratifying!
“Fitness has taught me dedication and to be strong. Not just with my body, but with everything in life,” she says. Usha’s transformative journey is inspiring. I had the privilege to interview her and here are the excerpts:
Tell us more about Uni Fitness Zone.
It’s been a year since I started Uni Fitness Zone and I didn’t want it to be mechanical. Here, my clients are given proper guidance that relates to their body. Some want to reduce weight, some wish to get stronger and some just want to relax. So, I cover all of these in my classes. Fitness isn’t just about Zumba dances or reducing weight. It’s also about growing mentally stronger.
What are the challenges you’ve faced with UFZ?
Without struggle you can’t do anything. One of the hardships I’ve faced was with my energy. To run a fitness centre, you need energy to motivate your clients. I would get tired after the first class in the initial days. But after a year now, I’m super-charged! For instance, I had dengue recently and I recovered in just 10 days. Even with dengue, I ensured I was active and did my exercises regularly.
Apart from this, I had to convince my clients initially that I could deliver what they needed. I didn’t have any previous work experience in fitness. But a year on, all my clients know what UFZ is all about and they’re happy.
I’ve personally seen you attend clients one-to-one. How do you do that?
I think it’s my passion. Over the course of time, I’ve understood mistakes and how to correct them. Similarly, I’ve come to understand my clients better by giving them personal attention. It’s made them comfortable and in turn, even I’m learning. Unfortunately, many are behind money and don’t guide their clients well.
How’s your relationship with your trainer?
Meghana is a trainer here at UFZ. More than a trainer, she’s my close friend. She’s left her high-paying job as an engineer to channel her life towards fitness.
Over the past few decades, modern lifestyle has led to many health problems. What advice would you give to help people improve their health?
I think today, we all try to follow others. With so many social media platforms, we’re trying to live our lives like others. Stop that! Do what you feel like. Just because your peers are partying, doesn’t mean you should too. Stop trying to be someone else. Develop the willpower to pave your own path. Believe me, even I’m working on this. I see you put up pictures of delicious food, I go and indulge in a cheat meal that day! Go ahead and try out everything, but just embrace your limits also.