In the 1920s, physical trainer Joseph Pilates introduced Pilates into America as a way to help injured athletes and dancers safely return to exercise and maintain their fitness. Since then, Pilates has been adapted to suit people in the general community. And has become a hot trend of exercise in the fitness world.
Tori Clapham is 28, a Qualified Pilates Instructor, Writer, Doula and Owner of Peaches Pilates in Bondi Beach.
Vida Glow caught up with Tori to get the low down on all things Pilates.
What attracted you to Pilates and why did you want to become a Pilates instructor?
I have always been a massive believer in Pilates. It just works. I have practiced it in some form since around the age of 14, and I have really fond memories of doing Pilates every Saturday morning with my mother before a yummy breakfast.
As I got older, I began to feel envious of my instructors when I went to class - the lifestyle they lived, their freedom from an office space, and their health and fitness vitality. I was loosing job satisfaction and looking for a new path to take, so I kind of said to myself one day ‘Stop putting yourself in some career ladder box, if you want to become an instructor, why the hell not?!’ So I became qualified and teaching before, during and after work which slowly progressed to starting Peaches!
What is the philosophy behind Peaches Pilates?
Peaches is all about approachability and fun in fitness. There’s no dispute that exercise is paramount for not only your physical health, but mental health as well - so what we need to do as health and wellness providers is try and create a space that people gravitate towards. With obesity on the rise and mental illness rife in our communities, the aim is to try and counteract even the smallest part of these obstacles - by encouraging those who are willing to find a place they feel happy and comfortable in, within the fitness world.
I like to think of my space as ‘No Bullsh!t’ - we’re not there to pose in a headstand and gain a million Instagram followers, Peaches is a place for people of all backgrounds and all fitness levels. It’s also a refuge for mothers - who are welcome to bring their babies and kidlets along to private or mums’n’bubs classes.
What are main the concerns you see with your new clients? And what are their goals when beginning Pilates?
People almost always come to me simply because they want to feel better about themselves. They’ve generally lost their way on their path to physical wellness, and are lacking the motivation needed to kickstart the journey once again. I also see a lot of clients with existing injuries that they need to manage - usually their physio or health practitioner has referred them on to start Pilates. And of course, I have loads of wonderful pregnant clients who are looking to maintain their fitness and prevent the unwanted symptoms pregnancy can bring - such as pain and immobility. I also look after these women postnatally, when they are ready to return to exercise.
How does Pilates benefit your clients?
I am so proud to say that the list of benefits is gorgeously long! Clients experience everything from reducing or curing pain, increased confidence, weight loss, better posture, muscle gain, increased flexibility, mental clarity, strength, coordination, labour and birth preparation, injury rehabilitation and last but not least, a big fat smile on their face with that amazing post-pilates muscle buzz. I love nothing more than hearing from my clients when they’ve achieved their goals - it makes all the effort I put in to my business so very worth it.
What are the general health benefits of Pilates?
How much time have you got?! Aside from the immediately desirable and fun benefits that come in to play, such as a nicer butt and a flatter tummy, Pilates is advantageous in so many ways. Mental health especially should not be over looked when it comes to this matter - as the control and mind power Pilates requires has been proven to aid those suffering mental illness. Then of course there’s the major role Pilates plays in rehabilitation and sports - you’d be hard pressed to find many professional athletes who don’t incorporate Pilates in to their training and recovery.
How long does it typically take to see results from a Pilates based workout regime?
As with anything, consistency is KEY. I often take measurements of my clients and we check back after 6 weeks, and the results are always there. Committing to at least two or three sessions a week is ideal, and of course, the more you do, the better you will feel.
My favourite Joseph Pilates quote is:
‘In ten sessions you will feel the difference, in twenty you will see the difference, and in thirty, you will have a whole new body!’
How often should we be doing Pilates?
At least twice a week, but anything is always better than nothing! Keep in mind that so much of our time is spent sedentary, so prioritising physical activity is more important now than ever. Have a look at your fitness routine and see where you can slot some Pilates in, or perhaps look at swapping out a high-impact session for the functional muscle training Pilates offers - you’ll be surprised with the results you can gain!
Why is Pilates the ideal winter workout?
Summer bodies are built in the winter, I’m afraid, and Pilates is all about creating long, lean, tight bodies! Plus, you can do it anywhere! For those cold mornings when training outside is just not an option ;)
What are your top tips for staying fit during winter?
The winter months can be particularly hard when it comes to staying in shape. I try to instill the belief that looking after yourself should not only be motivated by what you look like - if you are dedicated to nurturing and nourishing yourself, then staying fit and well will become something you enjoy, rather than a shore. And, as always, there are a few obvious rules: BE CONSISTENT WITH EXERCISE. DON’T EAT PROCESSED CRAP. My motto is eat your greens, go to Peaches and never touch soft drink.
What are your winter must haves for glowing skin?
For me, it’s all about staying hydrated, limiting time in the sun and eating wholesome food. I am dedicated to my skincare routine - I take Vida Glow daily, I moisturise like it’s going out of fashion, I wear little to no makeup during the week and never, ever sleep in on the weekends. I also recently started using Osmosis skincare and having weekly sessions in an infrared sauna - I have found them both to be incredibly beneficial.
Visit Peaches Pilates here