Priya Pandya

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Qualifications: 200 Hour Yoga Certification with Yogaworks in an Ashtanga and Iyengar-blend method.

Personal History: Growing up in New Jersey to Indian immigrant parents, I was fortunate to be immersed in a fit and healthy lifestyle since an early age. I was drawn to the flexibility required in gymnastics and the speed and agility of lacrosse. I was most passionate about dance and how it combined creativity, grace and athleticism. I spent summers in India with Bharatanatyam, an ancient form of Indian classical dance, masters and yogis which served as a fun way to understand my Indian roots and at the same time taught me the importance of discipline and hard work in mastering new art forms.

As I transitioned from a being a student to a working professional I noticed there were few dance-fitness outlets and none combined it with the vibrant culture of India and Bollywood. Doonya became the intersection of all these various creative, artistic and cultural skills I spent my early life building. I started off teaching and educating everyone and anyone who was interested in learning about Indian dance. Students started noticing changes in their bodies and losing weight and asked Kajal and I to give them a workout program. Kajal and I spent 5 years carefully researching and developing our current signature Doonya workout program that melds how-to-Bollywood dance with intense fitness in a way that's never been done before. We say it's 'connecting muscles to every Bollywood movement.' During this time we continued to share our passion and our story and it resonated with many individuals including Oprah Winfrey and Dr. Oz who invited us onto their respective shows to perform and share what we love!

While my motivation to spread the joy that makes me come alive comes from within---it is the life-changing stories of the Doonya community that inspire me to make a positive impact in the world and continue to dance and teach every day.

Workout Philosophy: Without good health we can't do the things in life we want to do and without happiness it's not worth doing them. Our workouts are both of these things-health AND happiness-- about smiling through the sweat and enjoying your workout because life is short and time is precious. Enjoyable doesn't mean easy, its still challenging and helps you develop the discipline required to maintain a healthy and balanced body and mind. When you're exercising and feeling good you have more energy and confidence for the things you care about most!

Success Story: Magdalena Slawecka has been my students for over two years now. She is Doonya program regular in New York City. She was the winner of the Doonya Fitness Challenge in Spring of 2012. She calls Doonya her 'prozac' and says Doonya has helped her not only get into the best shape of here life but develop an appreciation of world cultures. She also attributes her most successful quarters at work to the influence of Doonya.

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