Fitness feature: Q&A with Anji Devi, Mind and Body Fitness Coach & Founder of Devi Workout

The topic of health and wellbeing has never been more popular. The booming health industry continues to flourish, as health-conscious consumers seek out sustainable and practical methods of keeping toned and feeling fit. I caught up with mind and body fitness coach Anji to chat about health, diet and her inspirational story. To find out more about the dynamic lady, hop on over to her website here.

Hi Anji! Please can you tell us a little about yourself?

Hi Ria, I’m a mind and body fitness coach, personal trainer, Zumba instructor, yoga teacher and meditation guide. Recently I started writing a motivational blog too, hop on over to http://www.deviworkout.com/ and have a read. I’m busy preparing for an upcoming show at the NEC, so I’ll definitely write more posts there soon!

You’ll be exhibiting at the Birmingham Wellness Festival from 4-6 November 2016. Are you looking forward to it?

It’s the first time exhibiting at an event of this scale, naturally it’s a little overwhelming but of course I can’t wait. The energy will be phenomenal and it’ll be great to engage with a whole new crowd for sure!

Describe a typical day in the life of Anji Devi, Mind and Body Fitness Coach.

I start with a short morning workout and drink herbal tea. Then comes the meditation and journaling. I drink superpower green juice before I head to work (I still have a day job). In the evening, if I’m not teaching a class, I will catch up with a client or go through my weekly training plans. My meals are simple to prepare and consist of vegetables, grain (not wheat), beans or pulses with a light dressing.

What was the trigger that led you to embark on your fitness journey?

That’s a REALLY good question. Unlike most personal trainer stories I had no particular desire to increase my fitness levels. I used to be a salsa enthusiast and became a Zumba instructor honestly for the pure fun of it! However, I needed the professional fitness credentials to teach at gyms and one thing led to another. As my responsibility to my class grew, so did my qualifications!

What are the top tips you can give to someone wanting to get fit and tone up?

A little every day is far more beneficial than a once-a-month burnout.

The best way to get motivated is to MAKE A START even if you have to curse the whole way through it! Cut the sugar and bread which will rob you of your natural energy, making everything ten times harder. Mix it up during the week for overall body toning: yoga, Pilates, weights and cardio. Meditate; the more focused your mind, the less likely you’ll stray from your goal.

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How much time do you spend in the gym / training / meditating?

If I’m not teaching, I only workout at home, which is no more than 15 minutes during the week, plus at least 5 minutes meditating. I make sure I get in a longer workout at the weekends.

Do you ever feel de-motivated enough not to work out? Is there a time when you don’t work out (say for example if you’re on holiday, or you’re ill)?

Oh yeah! ALL the time! However, experience has taught me that once I’m there, the lethargy is soon forgotten. I’m much better for it at the end.

Tell us more about Devi Workout, it sounds amazing and really inspirational.

Thank you! Actually, most people expect it to be a yoga class because of the name but that just happens to be my name! I use simple yoga poses in my programme but also extend my training to interval workouts, guided meditation and plant-based nutritional guidance. But most unusual of all, I champion guided visualisation for a complete wellbeing programme that not only releases trapped emotions but builds your fitness discipline at the same time.

What do you think is the best part of being a fitness coach?

It has to be when you see the fruits of your labour and the soaring confidence in your clients – now that is truly wonderful. I will never tire of that feeling, nor the stories of how I’ve helped people in their personal lives too.

And the worst part?

The pressure to ‘eat perfectly’ ALL the time, which is of course not realistic for everyone. When you see the ripple effect of your influence – it’s a little scary! But hey, it’s a good problem to have.

Do you have strict meal plans and scheduled gym days? Do you pre-cook any dishes, or meal-plan for the week?

My training days are consistent. I do the same type of training on the same day each week! Nutrition wise, as long as I hit my daily plant quotient and eat clean for most of it, I’m good.

What’s the last thing you ate / drank?

A handful of pumpkin seeds.

With the astonishing popularity of The BodyCoach Joe Wicks et al, do you have any plans for a healthy cookbook?

I have written my own nutritional guide which I use for my clients but have no plans to publish a cookbook yet. They do say “never say never”…

What do you think of diets that promise you record weight loss in a week (Atkins, Dukan and Cambridge spring to mind)?

It CAN be done, I understand how, but in my humble opinion I would not condone it. In fact, I don’t agree with the word diet. I would much rather you make simple lifestyle changes that you’re likely to keep forever. Consistency and progression are key.

What are your favourite top three restaurants for a healthy bite to eat?

I recently discovered Las Iguanas in Birmingham have a whole vegan menu. Nourish is a fairly new chain which I sampled in Sheffield. Greens in Didsbury is fantastic too.

You have worked hard at finding your true vocation in life. Did you ever think that you’d be a beacon of hope and that you’d be this heavily involved in the fitness industry?

Not at all! It still blows my mind when I see I have a class scheduled in the evening – then realise I’M teaching it!

Do you get many friends / family asking you for health tips and workout recommendations? Don’t you ever get tired of it?

I get people asking me all the time for health tips and advice. They trust me because I encourage them to try different workouts for themselves; I want  to expand their range outside what they do with me. I hate talking shop on a night out but if anyone needs help and a push in the right direction I would never turn them away. I want to reach out to as many people as I can.

There is a fire (touchwood) and you have to leave the house in 15 seconds. What would you leave the house with?

It would be sentimental of course, a heartfelt letter from an old friend.

Thank you Anji for your time, it was lovely chatting with you, and see you at the NEC!

RAxx

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