She is a reservoir of energy, a passionate yogini, a runner and a loving human. Tanya Agarwal’s infectious energy crackles over the telephone and her passion for life shines through when she speaks about her journey. We have discovered yet another gem in the woman behind the brilliantly curated blog: wellthyfit.com, which is a basic extension of her belief that health is the only everlasting wealth.
When we asked Tanya to describe herself in a word, she promptly gave us three, Perpetually Hopelessly Optimistic and as we spoke on, we realized that these words are the essence of her personality.
"I worked in the mainstream corporate world for about 5 years simultaneously following my passion of teaching."
Tanya is a Punjabi, born in Chandigarh and raised in Chandigarh, Amritsar and Delhi. In a span of 18 years, she had moved multiple cities and changed as many as 8 schools including a boarding school as her father’s line of work with the Revenue Services for the Indian Government demanded it. Though Tanya is a Post Graduate in marketing, her first love is teaching; she taught simultaneously along with her corporate job and coached students for GMAT and SAT for 12 straight years.
"My parents. They are very active and that’s the only way of life they know."
Tanya’s biggest influence came right from home. Her parents. Their passion for outdoors and nature passed onto her. While her dad coached her in skating, reading and cycling, her mother being extremely active herself brought the discipline. Tanya hardly remembers sleeping beyond 5 AM. The years Tanya spent studying at a boarding school tucked in the hills, not only shaped her independence but also made her a dreamer. She loves the energy that only a mountain can radiate, she fell in love quickly with its solemnity and vastness.
Music - another major influence in Tanya’s life. As a stammering child, suffering defective speech, learning Indian classical music for a decade gave her confidence and flawless speech, confidence to participate in debates and win them too.
Adventure came calling when Tanya spent three years in Peru with her husband who then worked for the Indian Foreign Services. Spending time in a foreign land, with a foreign tongue of Spanish expanded Tanya’s horizons to the far limit; she was soon rappelling, bungee-jumping, surfing and traveling across the South American continent. The experiences Tanya believes make her fearless, strong and wild.
"Am a dreamer. All my decisions come from the heart."
Talking to Tanya, you know you are handling a high-energy fast paced human; along with the energy comes the person. Most decisions come straight from the heart; living and life choices are impromptu, making the most of the moment. Surrounding herself with like minded people, enables her to stay motivated and positive.
Tanya wakes at 4 AM five times a week. It’s normal she says. It’s the mornings that are most productive for her and she likes the stillness of the pre-dawn time during which she writes her blogs and connects to friends across the globe. Everything before her two children wake up. Yoga practice, running five times a week all roll into that morning. Tanya might appear bohemian from heart, but the commitment to an active style, the discipline to keep rolling and juggling several roles comes from someone with a huge appetite to excel and the commitment shows, especially on the blog. The blog is a labor of love and making it a successful platform is her dream.
Impact of an active lifestyle
"As I grow and hang around in the company of women much elder to me – I see a lot of women suffer from thyroid, PCOD and other lifestyle diseases and I do know that only an active lifestyle can keep them away"
With a lifestyle that has been anchored on active since an early age, the focus has sharpened in the past 5-6 years. The reasons to remains active have been more conscious and different. As she grows and is surrounded by women who are elder to her, and seeing them suffer through lifestyle diseases which could’ve have been kept at bay by adopting some activity, she realizes the importance of what she has been doing. An active lifestyle for Tanya today is to be able to be strong to carry her groceries, to be able to squat down multiple times for her younger one. To be able to run in the morning. To be able to play ball with her children without huffing and puffing. It’s all of that and to carry on with life without any physical dependency.
For Tanya, the impact of her lifestyle is far-reaching and has almost touched every aspect of her life. Her six and half year-old daughter in imitation of her mother now practices yoga and does it well. Mother and daughter go out hiking, on short runs and both of them are learning to do cartwheels together. Tanya feels this is the right path and is glad to be doing the right things. Practicing Yoga has given Tanya determination and focus which helps her multitask and to do things efficiently. Breathing consciously during this time helps her connect with her thoughts and with her inner-self. A yoga session leaves her feeling strong both mentally and physically.
Fitness Journey - The trigger
"I feel strong in the body and the head, more and more engaged, happy as a mother and stimulated!"
Though Tanya was always active through her growing years, her desire to be more focused on an active life took a sharp leap on discovering her first pregnancy. She says “I wanted to defy every myth on pregnant women being lazy, eating for two, leading an unexciting 9 months. So I decided to stay fit through those 9 months.” She brisk-walked, practiced pre-natal yoga under a teacher’s watchful eyes and continued her daily routine without any drastic changes. Shortly after her daughter’s birth, Tanya found herself in Rishikesh practicing Iyengar yoga under Usha Devi. The practice session extended to three hours a day for a fifteen days at Rishikesh and spilt over into her everyday routine post that. The intensity only increased with the birth of her son, she started running to up the ante and within a year of her son’s birth, Tanya ran her first half marathon along with trekking up the Annapurna base camp for two weeks. It was physically taxing and life changing and came within eight months of the birth of her second child.
"I feel hugely responsible for the content I create and every response is a validation to me for the effort I put in."
The largest impact of becoming one with an active lifestyle has been the birth of her fitness and motivational blog – WellThyFit.
Tanya’s baby and a product of immense love and hard work is WellthyFit that started in April 2016. It’s Tanya’s accomplishment to reach out and raise her voice in a crowded space and be heard loud and clear. Tanya doesn’t see blogging as a personal rant, she sees WellthyFit as a platform for experienced athletes and experts to share their knowledge. Along with her own blogs, WellthyFit hosts guest bloggers, interviews with experts and opinions from the experienced. Wellthyfit now has a wide range of content due this collaboration. Tanya finds the challenge huge. Not being a nutritionist or a dietician, without a tangible product to sell and still being able to sell the concept of fitness, yoga, weight-loss via blogging is purely because of the passion and energy she puts into it.
For Tanya every person she has interacted with via her blog is a success. It’s a proud moment for her on each connection and her readers come from various backgrounds and age-groups and connect with her across different platforms such as WhatsApp, Facebook and in person. To connect with her readers on a personal level and share a moment, gives Tanya tremendous validation on her work and being on the right track of creating genuine content responsibly. The blog is the ultimate synergy of her passion to stay fit and her love for writing.
Dealing with Life
"My mantra is – breathe in. breathe out and reach out to the ones who can uplift your spirits. Reach out, somehow."
One of Tanya’s toughest moments in life was after the birth of her 2nd child. Born with a heart complication meant both mother and child being quarantined for a period of three months. She found her active lifestyle come to a grinding halt. Movement was limited to between rooms and all she did in those three months was breastfeed and read. She saw the world pass by through a single window and found the experience excruciating. Books came to the rescue again and it was then that Tanya contemplated writing. Tanya’s fair share of bumps, tough and lonely moments along the way as a mother, struggling blogger hasn’t given way to negativity. She believes that happiness is a state of mind and that one has to pull themselves out of negative thoughts. Tanya doesn’t shy away from reaching out to her friends when in need and buries her head in a lot of reading to tide over a tough time. Between a hot cup with a friend, a few pages of an interesting book, some time on the mat, a good movie, baking cakes with her daughter, some humor thrown at the husband she finds herself springing back into action. Her mantra is – breathe in, breathe out and to reach out to the ones who can uplift your spirits. Reach out.
Extending her mantra and reaching out to help others, Tanya has recently started teaching Breathing Yoga to physically abused women. She volunteers for one hour per week at a NGO and tries to heal these women by connecting them with their breathing. This journey is on the road to a yoga healer and Tanya sees herself in that role, a role as someone who can heal with yoga, to help women connect and heal with their minds.
Message for Women
"Transformation is about having a dream, an impossible one and the fantastic and frustrating journey that comes with it."
We ask Tanya for a message to women and she says “My first advise to women who want to start a transformative journey is to stop being realistic about what you can achieve and throw regret away. Transformation is about having a dream, an impossible one and the fantastic and frustrating journey that comes with it. You only live once. If you want transformation – you must have a dream, have a purpose and get desperate about it. If you want to lose weight – create your ecosystem around it, get obsessed about your success till you have the finish line in sight.
Ten years later – you don’t want to look back and regret for not doing things you always wanted to! As for me – I am a better teacher than a blogger – but my heart desires me to do things that I’ve never imagined I would. I can always fall back on teaching. But I don’t want to look back and regret. So make no space for regret. Failing is better” True words and it’s best to read them in first person.
"I want to stay true to my blogging journey, and make wellthyfit a great success."
Tanya’s immediate plans is to take her yoga practice to the next level. She hopes to propagate the word of yoga and get the world to practice yoga with her via her YouTube channel. She wants to run some picturesque trails through Cambodian temples, along the Great Wall of China, quaint trails through east European villages, desert trails in Mongolia and ocean hugging trails in California. And of course she wants to stay true to her blogging journey and make WellThyFit a great success.
Tanya’s passing message to women on pursuing their passions.