In January 2017, our CEO and Co-Founder Jennifer Maanavi along with Master Trainers Holly Hendricks and Ashlea Potts traveled many hours and many miles to kick off the opening of our new studio in Mumbai, India. They’ve recapped their whirlwind visit in which they met new lifelong friends, auditioned talented teachers and of course, enjoyed the culinary delicacies of India.
By Ashlea Potts, Physique 57 Master Trainer
Had you asked me a year ago where my life would take me in the next 365 days, I would never have predicted, “I’ll be a Physique 57 instructor traveling to Mumbai to help audition new instructors and teach Master classes.” Well, flash forward to today, and I have done all of those things.
At the end of last year, I learned I had the amazing opportunity to journey to India. I’m studious so I immediately researched traveling to Mumbai and what the city had to offer. I was a little apprehensive about changing my routines for the 10 days I was traveling, but I was pleasantly surprised by all of my food options!
Mallika, the licensee for Physique57 Mumbai, introduced us to an India that caught me by surprise. After every morning class, we (and the clients too!) were greeted with a carrot and beetroot juice or green juice—complete with ginger, cucumbers, spinach, and pineapple. (It was so delicious; I think we all teared up after the first sip.) There was coconut water, served in actual coconuts; nothing but the fruit and a straw. Dinners consisted of kale, kale, and more kale! I know, right? I felt like I was tempting fate a bit by eating raw veggies, but it was all so delicious and cleansing that I couldn’t resist. (We all couldn’t resist.) One of the big highlights was lunch at a picture-perfect spot called Sequel, where we all shared an organic burrata salad and avocado toast. This was not the diet I had expected. I wanted to make my hipster foodie friends proud and Instagram my toast with some clever hashtag before devouring it, but my avocado was soon a distant memory. To top it off, we got smoothies to go, chockfull of chia seeds, almond milk, and Acai berries. It was the perfect way to energize us through the rest of the day!
Now, don’t think I didn’t experience the spicy food culture. After our long week teaching and auditioning instructors, we took a short beach holiday to Goa. There we relaxed with poolside drinks and seafood dinners. (The spiciness in most of the dishes was toned down for us, but it was still a bit too fiery for some palates. I’m looking at you, Jennifer and Holly!) We feasted on seafood platters, curry, palak paneer, and naan galore! The food was not only delicious, but it also physically and mentally fueled us to get through a busy week! Mumbai is not a place I will forget.
By Holly Hendricks, Physique 57 Master Trainer and Manager of Talent
Traveling halfway around the world to teach an exercise method in a totally new area felt like a feat in itself, but traveling to said far-off destination looking for the talent to ultimately teach this method was a whole other “barre-game.”
We started our week-long adventure in Mumbai visiting the space of our pop-up Physique 57 master classes, a studio within a residential building in a bustling part of town. Walking in that first day, we immediately felt it: the buzz of something exciting on the horizon. Mallika welcomed us with literal open arms and the excitement was palpable. The Mumbai studio staff displayed signage, building maintenance installed custom barres, a sound engineer set up our sound board, and balls were blown up and tested for the Physique perfect squeezability. We had our studio—now to just fill it!
The next day we got straight to the auditions, 4 rounds to be exact. We had close to 30 applicants, dancers from all over India who were eager, motivated, and inspired by the opportunity to partake in this great fitness movement—even if they knew very little about it. (Some flew in that very day!) Jennifer, Ashlea, and I walked into the room with guarded enthusiasm, not quite knowing what to expect. What transpired over the next day and a half was nothing short of thrilling! These amazing individuals were bringing Physique 57 Mumbai to life. We picked our top five. Now we had our team!
Next up were the Master classes for Physique 57 Mumbai family and friends. The women and men who walked into the studio came with a little trepidation, only trusting Mallika’s passion for this unfamiliar-to-them method. As Ashlea and I made our way around the room meeting and greeting, asking for injuries, offering up some tips on how to handle the burn, we were met with kind pleasantries and questions “What exactly is Physique 57?” “What is a barre class?” “I haven’t worked out in months, can I do this?” We told the clients they were going to shake and burn, in all the right places, but that we were there to keep them motivated and hopefully have some fun too.
And wow, did they shake…and burn…and laugh and yell and whoop! Any hesitations or communication barriers fell after that first set of thighs and for those 57 minutes it didn’t feel like we were halfway around the world. And it didn’t feel like we were teaching a barre class to a group of strangers, 10.5 hours in the future. It was the same incredible feeling we get when we see any of our clients stepping up to the plate, powering through the intensity and getting stronger because of it. It was that same feeling we’ve had from the very first pulse—the burn unifies us all!
By Jennifer Maanavi, Physique 57 CEO and Co-Founder
The adrenaline started pumping as soon as I landed at Mumbai airport at 3 a.m. I could feel the energy and mystery of the megapolis as I headed to my hotel in the wee hours of the morning. Throughout the drive, I was pinching myself—I can’t believe Physique 57 has made its way to Mumbai! What was in store for the Physique 57 team and the long list of men and women signed up for our Master Class?
I’ve traveled to many countries to introduce Physique 57 to new groups, and we’ve always fallen in love with our newest clients’ energy and warmth—and they fall in love with our method’s life-altering powers. I wondered if we could recreate that magic in this city, home to 12 million people (only a few of which who’d ever heard of a barre class). Our goal was to get the love-fest going!
At Physique 57, we talk often about being in love with clients instead of simply loving clients. The difference may seem subtle but the outcome of one feeling versus the other is considerable. Being “in love” keeps the relationship fresh and exciting and creates a long-term bond. What do I mean when I say falling “IN love” with your clients? Your happiness and fulfillment literally depend on their happiness and fulfillment; you want them to make you a big part of their lives and you want to see them walk through your doors all the time. You want to be with them as much as possible and get to know them better each day. You want to build a greater, more serious relationship, and of course, you miss each other when you’re not together. I’m happy to say, after a jam-packed, intense time abroad, the love has spread to Mumbai!
One class into the week’s schedule I was convinced of a new love match. A smiling and sweaty Master Class participant told me she’d never experienced a fitness class this exhilarating. She asked me if we could offer Physique 57 classes “every hour, everyday.” Our bond was instant. I knew were making lifelong connections.
We’ve been honored to experience requited love with thousands of clients, many of whom have walked through our doors for more than a decade. It’s been happening in the U.S. for over a decade and has already spread to Dubai and Bangkok. We’re so happy to welcome Mumbai to the Physique 57 community. We are in love with you and we cannot wait to help you unleash your personal potential.