06 August, 2021

Navel Razing

A new fitness fad, Pilates, beckons all forgotten muscles

Narendra Bisht
Navel Razing
Inside an exercise studio, Madhur Singh lies on a mat with her navel winking at the ceiling. She thinks she's on a beach. As her legs extend 45 degrees from the floor, her instructor, Vesna Jacob Pericevic, creates illusions. "Imagine you're on a tiny island surrounded by water. To stay afloat you must push the water. Push, push, push..." And Madhur uses her arms to powerfully pump away the 'water', while holding this difficult pose with such perfect control that only her belly button blinks open and close with each breath.

Over the next hour, Madhur, a 40-plus Delhi-based stockbroker, performs tortuous torso exercises. She squeezes a Magic Ring between her knees and does leg raises with an elastic band tied on her feet, before finally arching her back over a Swiss Ball, as the studio lights dance on her new lean and sinewy stomach. Straightening up to show off her wonderbody, Madhur says: "Years of gymming did nothing for my post-caesarean paunch. Now that's a thing of the past."

Dumping dumbbells, trashing treadmills and...

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