Jeweller Viola Wadia and consultant Hema Thakur were tired of spending big bucks on annual gym memberships and dance classes that they were either too busy or too bored to attend. Keen not to resign themselves to a lifetime spent in front of the TV, the two women, who are cousins, came up with a solution of their own: Temperance.
Dhara Vora (in grey vest) gets ready to test-drive the Zumba session at the Temperance studio
The word, which emphasises ‘moderation’ or ‘self-restraint’ takes the form of a four-storey bungalow in Bandra, where those strapped for time, or attention, can drop by to choose from a menu of fitness activities, including dance, yoga and Mixed Martial Arts (MMA). While Temperance offers group packages, the USP here is that you can show up on any day of the week and sign up for a single session of any one of their classes for Rs 500.
“At every place that I enquired, they offered three-month courses. I don’t know what my schedule will be tomorrow, so how could I make a three-month commitment?” says Thakur.
The other concern was erratic working hours. Keen to find a fitness schedule that allowed them to be flexible, they hit on the pay-per-session plan. “When you have a corporate job, you keep long hours and travel like crazy.
From personal experience, I felt that I preferred a schedule that was more flexible,” says Thakur. Adds Wadia, “Hema and I both have nine-to-five jobs. When we found time to meet friends, all we did was hang out at a coffee shop or watch a movie.”
On the menu
Inside a bungalow with a sloping roof, Temperance is split into four levels, each housing different classes.
The highest level is reserved for the MMA Gym, which is headed by MMA expert Akhil Kapoor. The MMA sessions include boxing, kickboxing, judo, jujutsu, grappling, women’s self defence and, soon, sessions in Tai Chi and Krav Maga.
The third floor is for dance classes, namely, Bolly Hop, Jazz Funk, Contemporary, Belly Dancing and Salsa. Those looking for a more vigorous workout, can sign up for Zumba. They also host sessions on Hatha Yoga.
Opening soon: Deli
The ground and first floors are reserved for their deli, which will open by the end of the month. Salads, sandwiches, thin-crust ‘healthy’ pizzas, as well as more indulgent dishes will be on the menu. The split-level café will also serve health shots, and ‘healthy’ brownies — made of flaxseed and oats — that Wadia promises will convert even the most die-hard brownie lover.
While one-off sessions are not a long-term solution to keeping fit, the idea is to find a way that one can enjoy working out. “You can pay for one session to give it a shot, rather than pay for several sessions. This way, you can learn the Zumba or a new dance form,” says Wadia.
Worried about keeping up with the rest of the class? Dance director Ameya Mehta says, “We plan on small batches, so each participant gets individual attention. So, if we’re teaching a particular step, we will make it tougher for those who already know it by making a few changes.” Those looking to form long-term ties with the studio, can sign up for their Strength and Conditioning classes.
My session on Zumba started with the dance director giving an introduction to Zumba, which was followed by stretching and warm-up exercises by our Zumba coach, Sucheta Pal.
With a change in the pace of music the adrenaline-packed session was in full swing. The instructor ensured that we got a full-body workout. I had to stop several times in between to catch my breath, during the 40-minute session.
As a testimony to how hard each one of us had worked, in spite of the three air-conditioners, we were all drenched in sweat. All for a good cause, I suppose, since we were informed that we had burned between 500 to 1000 calories in less than an hour. Good work? I thought so.