“I am an artist by soul,” declares Garima Bharucha in a talk with our team. She was lost in the daily struggles of life and somewhere in between lost her true identity. She found her calling as a dancer three years after giving birth to her daughter. She is a professionally trained dancer and movement therapist. Garima’s who is also a mental health and body positivity advocate has a very holistic approach towards fitness. Having found her true identity, she is helping out other lost souls and trying to make the world a better place to live in. Have a look at this inciteful interview to know more.
Questions and answers
After flowing through a sequence of jobs, including clinical research, you found your calling in dance. How did this shift affect you physically and economically?
I was into clinical research for a very long time but had to quit during my pregnancy because of some complications. It was when my daughter was three years old that I decided to pursue my passion for dancing. Since I was not earning at that time, the monetary aspect never came to my mind. I had to bring a lot of changes to my life to improve myself physically. From being a person who was very stiff and was never acquainted with fitness, I had to bring a one-eighty degree turn in my lifestyle.
You mentioned in an article that losing weight was just a tiny part of your journey, and in the process, you had to encounter body-shaming because of post-partum weight gain. What impact did it have on your mentality?
Raising a child is not easy, and after I gave birth, I wanted to be the ‘perfect mother’ to my daughter. Somewhere in this whole process, I lost touch with myself.
On top of that, people would comment on how much weight I had gained, not considering the physical toll my body had gone through. All this body-shaming did affect me and put me in a bad place where I could not recognize myself. I did get myself out of that space as I realized the importance of self-love and acceptance.
You were trained under both Terrance Lewis Dance Academy and Danceworx by Ashley Lobo. What are the most significant lessons that you took back from them that you kept applying throughout your life?
After joining a couple of local dance classes, I enrolled myself at Terrance Lewis Dance Academy. There I learned about different dance forms and was able to get acquainted with my body. After joining Danceworx, I realized that to dance beautifully, you don’t need to look beautiful. The way you express yourself while moving to the rhythm of the music is what matters. Both of them brought a tremendous change in me, and I will forever be grateful.
Working as a counselor, you have had the first-hand witness to the positive change therapy can bring into the constitution of a person's mindset. Yet even today, seeking therapy remains a hush-hush topic in our country. How do you think we can bring about a change in this outlook?
I learned Dance Movement Therapy from the Tata Institute of Social Sciences. I am thrilled to be a movement therapist from this institute because they made me realize the importance of acknowledging your internal struggles and getting to know your true self. Mental health remains a hushed topic in India, but it is just as important as your personal hygiene. We need to take care of mental health, and there is nothing wrong with seeking help, be it a therapist or opting for alternate therapies.
One of your advice to people trying to lose weight is not to skip meals but to spread them over the day. But that is your opinion regarding diets and what advice would you like to give to the people who follow them?
This is a very important issue. I have seen people who have given into the social media fad of fancy diets. You need to know that everybody is different and you need to be aware of its functionality before diving into a particular kind of diet. These diets are made for a particular body type and can be harmful to other people. So, you need to be very careful with them and also do proper workouts to get the desired result.
You once wrote, "Physical and emotional well-being go hand in hand," Could you please elaborate on that?
We cannot separate emotional and physical well-being. You need to own and respect your body and be okay with the way you are. It similar to body positivity but at the same time working towards a healthier version of yourself, if you are willing to. Even if I am physically fit, I need to be emotionally fit as well because only then will I be able to bring about a positive change and be a better version of myself.
You made a video where you danced to the verses of Gulzar Sahab. What led to the conception of such an idea?
I am a big fan of Gulzar Sahab. While training to become a Dance Movement Therapist, I was taught to dive into the depth of the movement and present it with my soul. Then I started to move in different ways whenever I got an opportunity. I used to dance at the beach to the sound of the ways. I realized that I don’t need a lot of instruments to dance. Dancing to Gulzar Sahab’s verses was therapeutic to me and helped me connect with myself.