If you are one of those staunch believers in holistic wellness, transforming and perceiving the idea of healthy living in accordance with the guidelines laid down by the Mother Nature, meet Dr Mickey Mehta. At 55, this vagile and quick-witted internationally acclaimed holistic fitness guru shares his two cents on ‘wholesome living’ aligning both soul and body for a healthy and happy life.
1. You are one of the very first fitness gurus in modern India to introduce holistic wellness. Tell us about your journey into the world of fitness.
I believe I was destined to enter the fitness field. When Mother Nature chooses a path for you, go have to embark on it. I was born into a middle-class Parsi family in Mumbai and started my career as a masseur. I have a black belt in martial arts, got into bodybuilding, worked as a personal trainer, swimmer, a coach for Femina Miss India. I was also the first fitness guru to host programs on television and radio. During all this, yoga and spirituality happened, and the rest is history. I would say that initial years were like a rollercoaster ride but it has always been an exciting journey.
2. Can you share a few anecdotes from your childhood that inspired you into the world of fitness?
As a child, I used to quickly grasp lessons be it in the classroom or on the ground. I would also often emulate a cousin practising martial arts. My entry into martial arts was the first stepping stone into the world of fitness. Later, I understood the broader spectrum of fitness through different mediums such as yoga, swimming, breathing exercises, spirituality and so on. It helped me to go through a constant transformation, progression for a happy living.
3. You have trained thousands of fitness enthusiasts for all these years. How do you feel when you meet your old students?
It feels extremely satisfying to find my old students following a great disciplined schedule and devoting time for higher fitness levels. I started teaching swimming when I was around 33 years old. However, today when I come across few students, they look at least 20 years older to me! It means they left their practice midway, gave up on fitness goals.
4. What is the right age for a child to get introduced various holistic fitness methods?
From day one! Our ancient Ayurveda stresses on the benefits of massaging a baby’s arms. For example, oil massages given to babies will help the baby to effectively absorb great nutrition, grow faster, be active and learn things at a faster pace. There is a science behind it.
5. Any suggestions for the healthy, wholesome growth of a child?
First things first, there are no shortcuts in bringing up a child. Introduce them to wholesome food, fruits, and vegetables from a young age. Keep junk and processed foods at bay.
Enforce dining table and refrigerator discipline. Dine with your child at least once in a day, load your fridge with well-balanced food. Enjoy every bit of it.
6. Any tips to develop fitness levels in children?
Allowing children to play in playgrounds, parks is a great form of recreation and helps improve fitness. Running around, playing - all activate the brain cells, enhance lung power and lead to better levels of concentration along with health. I have designed a program called ‘Growing Tall with Mickey Mehta’ for schools under which we talk about responsible parenting. It aims at developing the various good sanskaras (behavioural aspects) of a child, attention levels, hormone developments, regularizing breathing pattern etc.
7. Tell us a little bit more about breathing exercises?
Breathing is vital for any living being and it defines our wellbeing. It is important to do breathing exercises on a regular basis. Do pranayama; count in inhalations and exhalations for a great cardiovascular health. My book ‘The Shunyam Quotient’ widely discusses various aspects of life from breathing to sleeping, deep philosophical aspects involved in it for keeping up energized and peaceful for a wholesome living. This book helps youngsters and seniors equally.
8. Who are your favourite spiritual teachers and books?
I deeply admire Deepak Chopra, his views and I love his book ‘The Seven spiritual laws of Success’. I equally get fascinated by Dr Osho, Baba Ramdev, Sri Sri Ravi Shankar for their contributions to yoga, meditation, spirituality for a healthy, happy living in these times.
I hope this interview too will get the readers optimized, maximized and mickeymized!
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