If you have found yourself not liking traditional workouts with machines and circuits, you may enjoy switching it up with one hour of high-intensity Zumba session. What’s more? Dancing to upbeat tunes that lift your heart and invigorates your soul can be effective in breaking the hold stress has on your life. And then there are a few enterprising youths who have more often than not taken the unconventional route with it. Bengaluru-based Zumba instructor Isheeta Ray exudes almost an infectious energy about her and vivid evidence of enthusiasm with which she has steered her career towards her passion, staying fit through dance.
“Dance is the only art form that is close to my heart. When dance and fitness came together in the form of Zumba, I just could not keep my hands off it. It has been a life-changing experience since then. Everything about it — the music, experience, bonding with my clients bring me back to the class and push me to do better,” says Isheeta.
Trapped in the 9-to-5 rat race till 2016, Zumba was far from the mind of this internationally certified fitness instructor. Yet, there was always something to look forward to, as she discovered that Zumba was not a mere hobby or a weight-losing activity, but a new lease of life. Today, she is one of the fittest women you shall come across and an inspiration for thousands to get off their backsides and pursue a more active lifestyle.
On being asked about the health benefits that Zumba has to offer, she explains: “The reason I’m so loyal to this form of physical activity is that I have had my own share of experiences when it comes to its health benefits. Zumba has never let me down. Coming to the physical aspect, I have lost a lot of weight with better stamina, immunity, and reflexes. Mentally, I am a much more positive person right now. Zumba has taught me to be open to all kinds of possibilities that life throws at me.”
Having quit her full-time job to pursue her passion, she has been an active participant for several events, including Adidas Uprising and Max Bupa Walk for Health. And just like in a high-powered Zumba session, she manages to stay in sync with negative outcomes of life, without missing a beat.
“I think the biggest highlight of my Zumba journey has been my discovery. By discovery, I mean ‘what I am passionate about’ or ‘what is it that I want from life’. I previously worked at MNC and belonged to a middle-class family. Leaving my job in order to pursue my passion was not easy at all. It wasn’t accepted in my family, but then hardwork pays off. When people see you putting all your perseverance into something, I think everybody falls in line,” Isheeta adds.
However, one of the most amazing benefits of Zumba is that every woman becomes the torchbearer for their families for a life of good health and fitness. “Women should remember that healthy marriage calls for a healthy mind and body at first. You can take out one hour of your busy day and engage yourself in any kind of fitness format, be it yoga, Zumba, or any kind of functional training. Make sure that you give yourself that time,” suggest Isheeta.
When asked if her decision to take up Zumba full time was met with a tinge of skepticism despite having job security, she remarks: “Like any other thing in the world, Zumba too comes with pros and cons. There is no fixed salary at the end or beginning of the month. There is no job security.
Business is very dynamic, it could be flourishing for one month and it could be down in the next month. If you are flourished as an instructor, you definitely make good money out of it. Looking at the positive side, I don’t have to deal with Monday blues. I get paid to stay fit, what can be better than this?”
Well, ‘to be fabulous, one has to love what they do and be passionate about it.’ Right?