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Passion For Pilates

Nov/19/2023 / by Rashmi Gopal Rao

Kavita Prakash is master of all her trades, from fitness to entrepreneurship

South Asian woman in sports clothes in front of a Pilates sign
Photo courtesy: Kavita Prakash

A competitive sportsperson, corporate professional, animal lover, dynamic entrepreneur and most importantly an ardent fitness freak, Kavita Prakash is a woman who has donned many hats.   An experienced Pilates practitioner and teacher, Prakash is a certified Pilates instructor from The Pilates Center, Boulder, Colorado, which is often referred to as the “Harvard” of Pilates Teacher Training Programs.  Additionally, 47-year-old Prakash is a third-generation teacher in the classical Pilates lineage and Asia’s only licensed teacher trainer for the Pilates Center. Prakash also works tirelessly for the cause of animal welfare.

Early Interest for Sports

A native of the Kodava community in Karnataka, Kavita was drawn to physical activities as a child.  Her childhood was spent participating in athletics, basketball, throwball, and volleyball.  “Representing my school team was both an honor and a testament to my innate athleticism. At the age of 12, the Sports Authority of India (SAI) offered me a scholarship as part of which I trained under the best coaches across the country,” says Prakash. She soon exceled as a sprinter and participated in state- and national-level competitions. 

However, Kavita’s life undertook an unexpected turn after a spate of injuries which forced her to re-evaluate her career path.  “I focused on my college education in Bangalore and pursued HR Management. This eventually led me to Dubai, where I had a successful corporate career,” says Prakash. 

Pilates Calling

In yet another curious turn of events which proved to be a turning point in her life, Kavita discovered the transformative power of Pilates as she battled complications in her third pregnancy.  “This low intensity fitness regime not only helped me navigate the challenges of pregnancy but also stirred a deep passion within me. The profound impact of Pilates prompted me to leave behind my corporate career.  I was ready to embark on a journey of learning and teaching,” says Prakash.

Prakash pursued the highest level of training in Pilates, undergoing a whopping 950 hours of training. “I am proud to mentor and certify trainees in this distinguished program”, says Prakash.  In 2014, she returned to India and established the country’s first state-of-the-art Classical Pilates Studio in Bangalore. In addition, she has completed the Heritage Training, a Post Graduate Program for Pilates professionals taught by Cara Reeser, a second-generation Pilates Educator.  Further, Kavita collaborates with the First-Generation Pilates Educators based in the U.S. at least once a year to hone her skills as a trainer.

Blend of Strength, Flexibility and Mindfulness

According to Prakash, Pilates is a wholesome, effective, and unique form of exercise as it emphasizes core engagement, alignment, and controlled movements.  It is versatile and provides holistic benefits.  She is a firm follower of the original teachings of Joseph Pilates and his methods. According to her, these exercises were conceptualized keeping in mind just not physical wellness but mental health too.

Given that Pilates is a full body workout, it is designed to strengthen, lengthen, and restore the body’s balance as it addresses the underlying structural imbalances in the body.  It can be performed on a mat or by using spring-assisted apparatus and not only helps one in getting fit but also improves posture and restores optimum physical function. “Pilates aims at uniform development of the body. The practice encourages mindful movements with coordinated breathing patterns which helps reduce stress and improves mental focus.  Regular practitioners of Pilates feel a heightened sense of awareness and ease in their bodies, and increased mobility. This freedom ultimately leads to an improved quality of life,” says Prakash.  It is this holistic approach that sets Pilates apart from many other forms of exercise. 

Making Pilates Accessible to All

Prakash is the founder of Level Up, an inclusive online Pilates learning platform designed to make classical Pilates accessible to everyone.  It prioritizes convenience and with a reasonable price, regardless of location.  In addition to online live classes, this platform has a repository of Pre-Pilates and Pilates lessons and tutorials that customers can subscribe to.  It also hosts expert resources on nutrition, mindfulness and overall wellness and helps foster a supportive community. “We are committed to inclusivity, catering to diverse needs and goals regardless of age, gender, or physical abilities,” explains Prakash.

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