H E A LT H & W E L L N E S S ! a r g n a h ith w y a althy W e H e h t raah Bur B t Fi Learning bhangra while burning calories and staying fit is something you have always wanted, you just did not realize it until now. Fit Bhangra is a fitness club in the UAE whose motto is “Burn Calories the Bhangra Way!”. Helmed by the brother-sister ‘jodi’ of Jassi and Preeti Rehnsi, Fit Bhangra brings a bold new approach to the goal of becoming healthy while dancing to the vibrant Punjabi beats we all love to move to at the weddings, or in the privacy of the room for the shy ones! Gloss had a chance to have a chat with the two about their interesting new club and where it’s going to go. Text By Sadaf Hassan Turning a traditional Punjabi wedding dance into a workout is a novel idea, to say the least. How did this idea occur to you and how did you translate the dance into a workout? Bhangra has become best known for shoulder shrugging, toe- tapping, and head shaking to the contagious beat of a dhol, symbolised as a way of celebration at an Indian wedding. Since your body involved from head to toe, bhangra turns out to be a good cardio workout thanks to its dance style. What is a typical session at Fit Bhangra like? We start our class with a warm-up, followed by a HIIT (high- intensity interval training) bhangra cardio workout. This is done with Punjabi music that generally has slow and fast rhythmic beats. We then focus on one song every day and choreograph basic and easy steps for beginners. Our sessions end with bhangra freestyling and cooling down of the body by stretching and relaxing muscles. The two of us decided to take time out of our schedules to post bhangra videos to our social media together, and we got quite a positive response. We have been practising and performing bhangra from a very young age. We were asked by loads of people to start bhangra classes and training, but we never took the idea very seriously. At every wedding, function or party we attended, we were asked to perform and to lead others. Do you think Bhangra will be the next Zumba? Do you see Bhangra classes becoming a staple of fitness clubs in a similar way? Bhangra is a dance of strength, power, energy and grace. Bhangra dance classes are no doubt the latest trend in fitness. Yes, we see bhangra classes becoming a fundamental in the fitness industry. Bhangra music has progressively made its way into mainstream music and is gaining popularity globally. And not just on the We noticed that others were lacking stamina and fitness, which radio, but also in cardio classes in gyms and studios across the was why they couldn’t jam along with us for long and would globe. soon back out. People around us would get exhausted even before a song would finish. Jassi, who is our talented trainer, Bhangra classes do share similarities with Zumba in their ability has been athletic since childhood and she is a bit of a fitness to break down dance steps in pieces to easy-to-replicate routines freak now, and she had a thought: why not combine the element but unlike Zumba, bhangra steps are wider open going from a of fitness in teaching bhangra as it involves a lot of jumping slow pace to fast with a lot of hand and legs movements. One around and extending, impacting hip flexors and quads, calves can burn around 600 calories in just 45-60 minutes in a bhangra and hamstrings and helps in burning a lot of calories. We then session. Besides getting your heart pumping, Bhangra finds a started working on the concept of Fit Bhangra to start bhangra way to target parts of your body that you might not even realize classes that would include steps and techniques to improve it would. The upper body movement during a Bhangra dance fitness so our members can learn bhangra and get in shape. workout mimics the effects of a light lateral workout by working "Bhangra is a dance of strength, power, energy and grace. Bhangra dance classes are no doubt the latest trend in fitness."