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Interview with Doonya co-Founder Kajal Desai

Interview with Doonya co-Founder Kajal Desai

Friday, April 4, 2014 - 7:27am

Photo provided by Doonya.

About Doonya, from the website: "Doonya is your happy workout inspired by our Bollywood-dance roots. Our signature class, DVD series and online media content features easy-to-follow cardio, strength-building fitness routines perfectly choreographed to the latest high energy, Bollywood-inspired music. We envision a world where working out isn’t work–it’s a blast. Much like Bollywood itself, Doonya offers students an opportunity to leave their troubles behind as they dance their worries away. While following a Doonya routine, you are a Bollywood star at the same time that you’re working out your entire body. You’ll be sweaty, but you’ll be smiling."
Doonya co-founder, Kajal Desai, was kind enough to answer a few questions for us (via email) about Doonya and the workout it provides.
Tell us some basic information about what Doonya is and the workout it provides.
Doonya, which means world, celebrates the body, mind, and one of the most globally festive cultures. It consists of cardio and conditioning intervals of varying intensity, each activating major muscle groups of the abs, arms and legs that leads to a burn of up to 800 calories.
What is one thing that Doonya does really well that other fitness programs have difficulty matching?
The Doonya workout routines are choreographed to increase muscle strength, flexibility and overall body control. While the energy and expressions of Bollywood-inspired dance and music bring about mental release and increase endorphins, the movements themselves are connected to muscles to bring about physical change over time. Consistent Doonya participation leads to a stronger core, lengthened limbs and increased stamina as well as an overall rejuvenation and increase in energy.
Who is Doonya appropriate for? Does someone need a certain basic fitness level to attend a class? How about a background in dance?
I'm sure you hear this often...but it really IS appropriate for anyone as long as they do not have any severe injury or physical/health restrictions. The Doonya community includes mostly women (though we do have some men that swear by it!) from age 25-50 with a range of fitness prowess from complete beginners to seasoned athletes. Given that the program uses the spirit of dance as a methodology but keeps the goal fitness oriented, dance background isn't required. We're all dancers from the time we're born -- this workout only requires that you love the feeling of movement!
What types of benefits can one one expect with a sustained commitment to Doonya classes? 
The benefit I personally love to hear about from the students is the general increase in energy and resilience to stress. Our students from across the nation, from LA to DC to NYC and Houston, consistently say that they feel happier, healthier and more open to what each day brings. Physically, we've had students lose weight (25-40 lbs in 5 months!), undergo change in body-fat composition, see their body become tighter and leaner with a stronger core and legs.
Check out this short video demonstrating Doonya dance moves with Kajal and co-founder Priya Pandya.

Do you suggest a minimum commitment when it comes to number of classes per week?
We suggest 3-4 times a week to achieve results and to gain a full understanding of what Doonya has to offer and how it works best.
Where in the DC area can one practice Doonya? What is the pricing structure like, for example pay per month, pay per class, etc …?
Doonya is available all over the DMV. The schedule of classes can be found on our website at Since they are taught out of a number of gyms and studios, pricing varies from place to place but most offer both single drop-in as well as package based pricing. 

Interested in trying Doonya?

There is a FREE class this Sunday at the Reebok FitHub in Georgetown. Details.