The country's first Studio Pilates studio opened in Takapuna in mid-October. As the builder made final checks and new instructors worked through a rigorous training programme ahead of the opening, owner Claire Mitchell took time out to talk to Channel Magazine
Claire began attending Studio Pilates when she lived in Brisbane, was hooked, and eventually became an instructor. When she and her partner decided to move back to New Zealand, she approached the Australian Studio Pilates founders and was rewarded with the company’s first international franchise.
When Claire found the Takapuna site, she knew it was perfect. She and her partner bought a house in Devonport and she’s a real convert to the North Shore lifestyle: “I wouldn’t live anywhere else now,” she says.
While the Studio Pilates reformer workouts are designed by physiotherapists, the experience is like no other, with the high intensity workouts set to upbeat music, using a combination of instructors together with a digital delivery system. This innovative technology allows participants to follow the moves shown on screen, “leaving the instructor free to give individual instruction,” says Claire.
While everyone follows the same programme, the instructor adapts the exercises for each class member, based on information provided prior to the class: health and fitness goals, and any medical conditions or injuries. . That way, she says, “we keep everyone safe. The instructor can work around any injury or other issue so people can continue to come.”
Everyone needs to attend an orientation class before progressing to general classes. Claire suggests you attend three or four classes a week for maximum benefit.
There’s no age limit, she says. “We have some incredible 80 year-olds who’ve been in classes for as long as 14 years in Australia.”
“Pilates will keep you going much longer. It’s good for your joints, bones and muscles. It’s also great for rehabilitation and posture; it will help keep your body in peak fitness, fix muscle imbalances, and make your general day-to-day life better.”
You can book classes online, singly or in “packs”: for example, the “6 for $60” offer for new clients. You need that many, Claire says, to get the feel of it, and to see the benefits.
Early in the new year, if you’re game, you’ll be able to join the instructors in a 30-day challenge: five classes a week, plus complementary fitness classes, a daily inspirational message and nutrition advice.
Here at Channel we’re tired just thinking about it, but suspect we’d feel much better if we actually did it.
Studio Pilates, 33 Hurstmere Road, Takapuna (behind Jam, opposite the library)
021 237 6307 http://new.studiopilates.com/studios/takapuna/