Hi All! My name is Sarina Jain, and I am a certified fitness instructor with over 21 years of experience. I was born and raised in the U.S. to two Indian parents who migrated to the United States in the 1970’s. Both of my parents wanted to make sure that my sister and I would grow up with the best of what the West has to offer without forgetting the East. My father made sure to send us to India every summer to spend time with our grandparents and other extended family members so that we could learn to appreciate what the Indian culture is all about. My father was my rock. He was this man that was my friend, yet also my protector. Dad would always tell me to be proud of who I am, respect my culture and stand on my own feet. One day, my Mom called to say, “He is not breathing anymore.”
My father passed away to a massive cardiac arrest at the age of 47. So, to honor him and his existence and everything he told me to be proud of, I created Masala Bhangra®. I wanted to tell him that not only am I proud to be an Indian woman living in the U.S., but now I teach aspects of our culture though fitness. I created the concept of Masala Bhangra® out of my garage over 14 years ago, and it has gained a name for itself. Today, I have trained over 500 Masala Bhangra Ambassadors representing “our Indian culture” with pride to their students. I have to say, I am still in awe of what came out of my garage years ago. I love every minute of it, and it is growing more and more.
BB: How would you describe the style of your fitness program?
Masala Bhangra is a cardiovascular and strength-training dance routine designed for people of all ages and fitness levels who love to stay physically active. Masala Bhangra proudly holds claim to be the first-ever introduction of Indian dance to the global fitness scene, and the first to be certified by American Fitness Boards. The exercise regimen is as much fun as it is rigorous (burning over 500 calories per workout). Specifically, it introduces high energy Bhangra and Bollywood dance movements in an easy-to-follow format, and is a mechanism by which thousands of people have been empowered to step out of their comfort zone, become physically active and energized! With the dance choreography directly influenced by the music, Masala Bhangra is a fresh and exciting addition to the world of yoga, fitness and dance.
BB: How many workout videos have you released? Are they all the same style and level?
I have released 12 DVDs. They are the same style but all different levels. Different choreography. You will not get bored!
BB: What is your favorite part of Masala Bhangra®?
I love thinking about how it is has grown from a workout to be the yang to yoga’s yin. I love how people have allowed themselves to channel their masculine side with Bhangra and their feminine grace with Bollywood. I love how it started off in my garage and now nearly 15 years later, it has become a mainstay in the world of yoga, fitness and dance.
BB: How does it feel to be the first to bring Indian dance to the U.S. fitness industry?
I created this workout to make a difference, and I feel good knowing that I took a chance and went for it. With all the good and bad that has come my way, it is empowering to know that I can create something and just go for it. It feels good to have created the blue print to the idea for a cross cultural Indian-American fitness routine. Today there are many copy cat routines popping up, so that just tells me it was a great idea!
BB: What foods do you use to boost your energy in order to work out?
Lately, I have been having ghee in my chai. I have seen energy levels go up and it’s been awesome! High fat, low carb.
BB: What does your meal plan look like for today?
I had a strawberry juice with vanilla protein powder for breakfast. For lunch I had poppy seed crackers with peanut butter and a banana. For snack I had a handful of blueberries. For dinner, I had a gluten free brown rice wrap with edamame hummus, lots of cayenne pepper, cheese, ghee, and spinach. (Yum!) I also like to drink water with a dash of saffron, which helps digestions and adds a nice taste.
BB: What are your top three tips to staying healthy? Do you detox?
Definitely do cardio! Have a positive attitude towards anything. And treat yourself to something special once a week. I do detox – I will do a few things. My detoxing is not the norm. I either go get a manicure/pedi to detox from it all. I will only eat fruits all day long. I will drink lemon/ginger/honey water to clean my system out. I do different things.
BB: All in all, what does your workout program mean to you?
I created this program with a mission to honor my father. It is a wonderful feeling to know that I have done exactly that. I have shared the fun cultural authentic Indian dance while encouraging people around the world to get off the couch and move. Be active! Be healthy!