My Rituals: Swetha Subbiah on Movement, Community, and Her Summer Rituals


For Swetha Subbiah, movement has been a crucial part of her daily life for as long as she can remember. As one of four Nike-certified instructors in the country and the co-founder of Sisters in Sweat, a community for women by women stitched together by sport and wellness. Swetha understands the different challenges involved in staying active every day—and is here to guide women to keep moving, irrespective of season, mood, and other variables.


During summer, when everyone’s priority is staying cool often at the cost of exercise, we chat with Swetha about how we can ensure movement remains a part of our self-care ritual even now.


Q: What does self-care mean to you?


SS: Self-care to me comprises all the little daily rituals that bring me happiness, like getting a good night’s rest, having a nutritious breakfast in the morning, getting in a workout at some point in my day, catching up with friends, and listening to music to match my mood.


Q: How did fitness become such an important part of your life and wellness philosophy?


SS: I had a very active childhood as I grew up in a family where sports played an important part in our daily lives. My mother played basketball professionally when she was younger and continued to engage in various other sports throughout our childhood. Both my parents encouraged us to play and enrolled us in various sports academies.


As an adult, I recognise and value the many benefits of being physically active. There are obvious physiological benefits including increased energy levels and fewer incidences of falling ill or injuring myself.


However, some of the mental benefits of being physically active that I've personally experienced include stress management by providing me with a healthy outlet for pent-up energy and stress, opportunities for social interaction and connection with others, and fostering a sense of belonging and comfort.


Q: What are some of your summer rituals?


SS: In the summer, I am very mindful of staying hydrated, consuming foods that feel lighter in my system and sometimes changing the time of my workouts if I am training outdoors.


Q: What is your advice to women who are trying to build a movement regime this summer?


SS: My advice to anyone trying to build a movement regime, regardless of the season is as follows: start by choosing an activity that doesn’t seem daunting and that you think you might enjoy. Next, choose a day(s) and a time of day that you believe that you can stick to and be most consistent, try and recruit a friend to do it with you (it helps with accountability and makes it more fun and enjoyable) and finally, start slow (2 times week to begin with) and build it up over time.


Q: Apart from movement, what are some of your wellness and lifestyle tips to stay cool this summer?


SS: Hydrate, wear light fabrics, cold showers!



Q: You call Sisters in Sweat “a community for women by women stitched together by sport and wellness.” What is the value of a community when it comes to self-care?


SS: Community plays a crucial role when it comes to self-care as it can provide support, encouragement and understanding. It also offers a sense of belonging, a chance to share experiences, and provides access to valuable resources like advice, empathy, and perspective. Engaging with a supportive community can help individuals feel less isolated, more motivated, and better equipped to prioritize their well-being

Swetha Subbiah’s Recommended Rituals

  • My favourite self-care ritual that’s free is 8 hours of sleep a day.
  • The self-care ritual that's a non-negotiable for me is daily movement/activity, unless I’m unwell.
  • My skincare ritual that feels like self-care is sunscreen before I step out for the day.
  • I feel most cared for by myself when I have a nutritious meal, get 8 hours of sleep, and have an active day.
  • A new self-care ritual I want to try is keeping my phone away during meals.

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