Dubai: Holistic coach on why you should redefine success for yourself
Television personality and beauty and skin coach Uma Ghosh talks to us about her journey to wellness and shares tips on how one can lead a wholesome life.
Did you know that Uma Ghosh, who has been a familiar face on television in the UAE with shows like High Life Dubai and Top Guns, went on a personal journey of self-discovery that saw her redefine her views of success and embrace a more holistic way of life?
The popular television personality and entrepreneur embarked on a health and wellness journey and eventually became a certified holistic health coach, imparting the knowledge she had gained to women all over the world through The Uma Show, which was initially broadcast on television and then went digital.
Uma who has spent over two decades in Dubai uses her digital platform to share health and wellness tips, gua sha therapy, face yoga, and more, emphasizing the need to strike a balance in one’s approach towards both physical and emotional health.
While she is happy to share her knowledge with the world she acknowledges that every human being is different and what is beneficial for you may not be helping someone else. The idea, she says, is to get to know your body and mind better and through a process of trials, find out what works for you. A positive mindset is a must, as self-awareness is the first step towards reaching one’s goals of physical and emotional wellbeing.
We caught up with Uma to speak about the importance of redefining yourself and your goals, focusing on health and how the Covid pandemic has put mental wellbeing back in the spotlight.
The Uma Show is a digital platform through which you share your views and knowledge on health and wellness subjects. How has the response been so far?
In 2012 I launched The Uma Show on television when I got into health and wellness, because I was going through my own journey with finding myself. I was also having skin and health issues so I wanted to learn more about health and wellness.
I went ahead and got certified as a holistic health coach, then got certified in different holistic beauty modalities. I became a skin coach then gua sha therapist, got a certification in facelift sculptural massage, also face yoga.
Around 2016 I thought I should take my show on to a digital platform (YouTube) from television simply because I wanted to reach out to a wider audience.
The digital channel was very different for me but I continued giving quality content and help people deal with their health, skin, hair, and beauty issues. I have women following me from all over the world. It’s just been a crazy ride and so far the response has been great.
Cosmetics and skincare is a huge industry all over the world but people are increasingly looking for earth friendly options. As someone who is a holistic beauty and skin coach how would you describe what you do?
Everything that we apply on our skin gets absorbed and on a daily basis we absorb almost 200 chemicals through skin care and cleaning products. And it does interfere with our health, including the endocrine system, hormones, and mental health.
When the pandemic hit more and more people have started becoming more conscious about what is going into their systems.
I am so conscious that whatever I share has proper research behind it and I would never go promoting a brand without using it. So as a holistic health and beauty coach I feel we need to be more conscious about what and how things are coming to us; get into the details of what is organic, what is sustainably sourced and what it is doing to us.
As an educator I feel very privileged that I am able to impart this information through my platform.
You have your own brand of ‘non invasive’ beauty tools including a gua sha and 3-D face massager. What can you tell us about these tools?
I got into face yoga almost ten years ago. I was looking for a sustainable and holistic way of looking youthful. Injectables are so easily available and I have absolutely nothing against them but we don’t have any case studies right? And I am very fearful about looking completely different! That was the core reason why I got into the holistic way of looking youthful, and that’s how face yoga started. I got into face massage which really transformed my face and then I started to really dig into ancient beauty secrets and I came across gua sha.
I started doing gua sha and went ahead and got certified, then launched my own shape of gua sha which is a magical tool. It can really transform your skin’s health and over time help you look youthful and feel youthful because it increases blood circulation, it helps in lymphatic drainage, it smoothens out lines and it can tone your face. The same goes for the 3D face massager, the facial cups and I’ve also recently launched the facial reflexology tool.
You also post healthy recipes. Do you believe lifestyle is an important part of one’s skincare and beauty routine?
When you say that you have an issue with your skin, it is a reflection of what is going on inside your body — gut health, your emotional health, as well as your relationships and your environment. So when I am coaching women there are four pillars that I look at. First and foremost is your emotional health. Everything that you are going through shows on your face and that’s why when you go through a very intense period in your life, you start to look tired, you age faster.
The second is the relationship that you have with yourself. What is it that you are telling yourself every single day? Is it that you’re beautiful, you’re good enough, or you’re not? Have you forgiven yourself for past mistakes? Have you forgiven others?
The third one is the food on your plate. What you eat, how you eat, how you balance your diet. Are you starving yourself or do you have a great relationship with food? It’s about having nourishing food. And what is nourishing for me may not be nourishing for someone else. Understanding that, understanding your body well, is a very important aspect.
The fourth is the skincare and beauty routine you have, the self-care routine you have. How do you take care of yourself?
These are what I focus on and what I truly believe in and live in my personal life.
You recently shared a long social media post about diets and how one’s environment is a huge part of them as well. Many people are often looking for a quick fix way to lose weight. What would you say to them?
For me, balance is so important. You can’t just focus on eating healthy and not focus on your mental health, the environment around you, your relationships or activities or movements. You have to strike a proper balance. You can’t keep blaming yourself if you have a piece of cake thinking that ‘oh my God it’s going to harm me’. It’s okay to go ahead and eat what your soul needs sometimes, what your taste buds are craving, but come back to your centre. Balance yourself. Have other things that really help you.
Do your daily rituals — is there any kind of ritual that you do, meditation or breathing exercises? Do you go for a walk or exercise? Your attitude towards these things is something that has to be worked on. And all of these together define self esteem.
It requires work and is not easy but the journey from sitting and blaming yourself to loving yourself is so doable. I really want every woman to know that.
It’s interesting to read your posts about self esteem as well especially in light of the pandemic when mental health issues are coming more into the spotlight. In a nutshell, how can we inspire ourselves on a daily basis?
Mental health has always been important and I am so glad that it is coming into the spotlight right now. There are so many things you can do on a daily basis. For me my rituals are very important. I wake up and start my day with breathing exercises, meditation and chanting. We don’t realise that most of the time we are not even breathing properly. Breathing is very important, it brings you back to the present moment.
Meditation — I know it can be very intimidating, but nobody is telling you to be sitting somewhere without thinking. However, what thoughts you engage with is important. The moment you engage with negative thoughts they just become bigger and bigger. But when you process the emotion that is associated with that thought and try to find answers rather than constantly going into that spiral it helps you to strengthen your emotional health.
I also work out every day. It doesn’t have to be for a long time, it can be 15-20 minutes of light stretching, walks or strength training, pilates, whatever you like. Make sure you move your body every day.
I journal a lot. We all go through phases in our lives and lots happens, you don’t know how to process your emotions. Journalling really helps me process my emotions. If I am not feeling too centered I will write down what I am feeling. Once you feel it you process it well and let go of it rather than that emotion being trapped inside you.
Eat right — it’s been proved now that your gut health is so associated with the happy hormones, serotonin, endorphins, all of it. Once you eat right you are feeling fresh, you are feeling lighter.
Have time for self care. It could be anything - dry brushing your body, taking care of your skin, or having a long bath. Anything that feeds your soul will feed your mental health.
Connecting with a friend! Pick up the phone and call someone who really makes you feel good!
Find out what really works for you and do it consistently. When you feel good about yourself you are in a better space to handle life; all you need to learn is how to respond to it and not react to it.
You have been in Dubai for over two decades and were a familiar face on television with shows like High Life Dubai. As viewership moves further into the digital space how have you grown as an influencer?
I have been in Dubai for the last 22 years and I absolutely love this city and country. Of course I have gone through my share of ups and downs but I am grateful for everything that I have gone through because I wouldn’t be the woman that I am today if I had not experienced all of it. Yes I was a very busy entrepreneur for almost 16-17 years, having a family, raising my son and working literally 24/7 to reach the level of success that I wanted to reach; I reached a burnout that took me on this health and wellness journey. I had to redefine success for myself. Yes it fed my ego, winning all those awards, being in front of the camera, walking the red carpet, meeting all the celebrities, interviewing all of them. I loved all of it at that time but I did hit a very low phase.
Then I couldn’t continue and that’s how I got into this holistic way of looking at life. Redefine success for yourself, what it is for someone else it may not be for you. We all look at success in a very similar way and a lot of it is ego-driven. Of course we all want to be financially stable and that is something that we need to work on but we don’t need to be in the rat-race to be on that path of being called successful. We all have the choice to redefine it for ourselves.
If you can find something that you truly love and can make a living out of it then do that because that’s what will keep you going for a long, long time.
Find what works for you, says Uma
“If there were three to five things one had to incorporate in their lifestyle, for your mental health I highly recommend meditation. It is life transforming.
“Drink more water. We’ve heard it a million times but most people are dehydrated. And when that happens you’re irritable, edgy, your gut health is not proper, your food is not digesting well.
“Even if you are not into understanding food and what is working for your body right now, start by focusing on your food when you are eating, rather than being on the phone, or thinking something else, connect with your food. Be mindful of what is going into your system.”