An interview with the “Energy Coach”, the Founder of Kinetic Living, IFAA master trainer and Nike coach - Urmi Kothari.
PC: Anirudh Kothari
I am an athlete by spirit, a yogi by soul and a dancer by heart. Since the age of 13 I’ve been physically active. Fitness became a complete obsession. I played Basketball for 8 years straight. Even during my MBA days for my college.
After my MBA, I worked with a production house owned by a popular Bollywood director but I wasn’t happy at all.
I was a fitness maniac from 1998-2009.I was obsessed with sports - Basketball, Martial arts, weight training and dance.
I quit my job in 2009 and moved to Kerala for 3 years where I trained full-time and performed with an Indian Contemporary dance company called Daksha Sheth Dance Company, which is world famous for their dance-theater. There, I trained in Kalaripayattu, Yoga under actress Isha Sharvani, and basics of Kathak and Mallakhamb and body percussion.
It was a different life, living away from an urban setting in a small town, where I dedicated my life to dance and movement. I learnt a lot, I laughed, I cried and I travelled.
Whenever I felt like giving up, I went back to the reason why I was there - Because I loved what I did. I enjoyed the work, as hard as it was.
When I moved back to Mumbai in 2012, my friends were super curious about my training. I started teaching them and I realised that I LOVED teaching and seeing people grow. I started pursuing all my relevant certifications and within two years, I had certified myself in various workouts and was genuinely good at them.
The culmination of all my experiences and hard work was launching Kinetic Living. My mentor, Alvin Saldanha, from my advertising days, always described me as a very 'kinetic’ individual. That word stuck with me. The true embodiment of Kinetic Living is in its philosophy that aims to transform people's minds using their body as a tool. We offer physical and mental awareness, self awareness and overall happiness
Simple - Go for anything your heart wants. It’s not going to be easy. I recognize that while judging any situation and just put my head down and work hard.
Lead by example and show genuine care for your customers.
Honestly, when I made the change it didn’t even feel that drastic. Quitting my job and moving to Kerala was hard. But it led me to a physically, mentally and emotionally charged life. Before I made the switch I thought “I want to be known by ‘who I am’ and not ‘what I am’ ".
The benefits of health and wellness are facts of science. Our lifestyles have evolved and we don’t move as much as part of our lifestyle. Hence, we feel the need to dedicate time to training and moving our bodies. So I don’t think it’s a fad. It is necessary. But the approach that fuels this need for fitness, wellness and health is, in my opinion, sometimes a fad. Some people want to look as good as a celebrity or some want to post a fancy image on social media. However, if it is still benefiting them, then who am I to say anything? My question is, are these long term motivations or goals?
What we collectively need to be mindful about is what drives us personally. Are we constantly comparing ourselves with others or are we doing it because it dictates our happiness. I am talking about body shaming, a negative body image or low self confidence due to weight issues. The ultimate aim is to be happy. That’s why happiness features very distinctively in KINETIC LIVING components.
Oprah is someone who I admire for her wisdom and conviction. Meryl Streep, my mother. To be honest, I don’t try to be like anyone else. I draw inspiration from real people and how they overcome their struggles. It is the resilience that inspires me. It is their will power that drives me to push myself.
I am constantly pushing my own boundaries. I never intended to inspire the people around me. That came as a byproduct of doing what I love. What I am doing today with Kinetic Living didn’t come easily to me. I have, at times, juggled three different roles simultaneously. I have sacrificed countless social nights, dates and family events. But you know what? It was all worth it.