The Beat of Success
Her father’s sudden death from a massive coronary at age 47 devastated Sarina Jain ’98 (B.A. communications-advertising), but motivated her in a couple of important ways. First, she strove to maintain ties to her Indian ancestry in his honor. And second, she needed to motivate her sedentary older relatives to get off the couch.
“I wanted my Indian aunties and uncles to get up and start working out,” Jain recalled. “My dad was concerned that my sister and I retain our Indian culture. He wanted us never to forget our Indian roots.”
Jain responded to the challenge her father’s death presented. A certified fitness instructor, today she is known as “the Jane Fonda of India.” She is celebrating 10 years as the creator and founder of the Masala Bhangra workout, which incorporates Indian dance with Bollywood music.
Masala Bhangra is the subject of eight DVDs, and Jain trains instructors worldwide in the workout. In Hindi, masala means spicy, and bhangra is a folk dance from Punjab in northern India, Jain explained.
Masala Bhangra is a cardio workout combined with strength training using one’s own body, Jain said. “Arms are up in the air all the time, shoulders are shrugging,” she explained. “The main beat is the dhol, or drum, which is the essence of bhangra. Your feet are constantly moving. It is a dance of celebration.”
A favorite of Deepak Chopra and Dr. Oz who has been on the “Today” show three times, Jain hosts her own show on Discovery Channel’s FitTV. The Nestle Corporation recently put her face on 2.6 million cereal boxes in Latin America.
She regularly commutes from her home in New York to Masala Bhangra events around the globe. One of the biggest was Self Magazine’s “Workout in the Park,” which drew 5,000 aficionados to Central Park last spring. She recently traveled to Japan to train instructors there.
Her Cal State Fullerton education, as well as her work at a boutique public relations firm, prepared her to operate her own business. “I loved advertising and PR,” she said. “Both of those elements have helped me in what I do.”
Jain believes her father would be pleased at how well she has combined her love of fitness with her Indian heritage. “Not a day goes by that I don’t think of him.”