What made you take on a Pilates and Yoga program? I’ve been coming to Soulful Fitness for about a year now and can honestly say it has been the best decision ever. Before doing Pilates and Yoga, I was very on and off with the gym, and wasn't very dedicated to going. I used to have a lot of trouble with my shoulder, and at least once a week I'd wake up in the middle of the night in absolute agony. My shoulder triggers a lot of nerve pain which is caused mainly by stress, bad posture and shallow breathing. I really felt that yoga (especially the stretching and the breathing) could really teach me how to combat this. On first impressions, I was very impressed with how many classes were available to choose from - I felt like a kid in a candy shop! It is so easy to book into classes through the app, which makes it even easier for me to set a goal to do at least 4 classes a week.
What are your favourite classes? I quite enjoy going to Hatha, Vinyasa and Cardio Bounce Pilates. I enjoy working on my postures in Hatha and building my strength in Vinyasa. Cardio Bounce is great for toning and strengthening.
What benefits have you seen? Yoga has been a huge help for my deepening my breathing an improving my posture. It helps me relax and gets the oxygen circulating in my body. Poor breathing is one of the main triggers for my shoulder pain, and even more so when I've had a busy day, as I tend to find my breathing is more shallow. This also tightens the muscles and triggers nerve pain from my neck all the way down my arm to my fingers. The poses in Hatha have helped me maintain a better posture in my day to day life. I am no longer tightening as much in the shoulders through out the day. Since I've been doing Yoga, these occurrences have become less and less.
Challenge that you are working on? I am currently working on building strength in my wrists. It is quite a challenge for me to make it all the way through a Vinyasa class without taking a rest because of the strain. I am working on making them stronger, so I can maintain the flow. I am also focusing on my awareness of my neck. I have a very bad habit of sticking my head forward and am trying to keep my head better aligned with my spine.
Advice for people thinking of starting? Soulful Fitness has been the best decision I ever made for my health and well-being. I am now hooked. If you give it a go I’m sure you will be too!
What made you take on a Pilates and Yoga program?
Honestly at first it was just to support my wife! She had mentioned an interest, and I could tell that the unique kind of movements, stretching and strength-building in both yoga and Pilates would help her a lot with some niggling injuries she has been carrying for a while, and I just wanted to support that. But now I’m hooked! I have always had a passing interest in yoga in particular, but it wasn’t until we became members at Soulful Fitness that I really started to explore that deeper.
What are your favourite classes?
I enjoy Vinyasa, Hatha and (when I can get to it) Kundalini yoga the most. I’m still very much learning, however I really enjoy the challenge and pushing myself a bit further each time. It’s an ongoing journey and its great to see where I’ve come from, and what I can further develop into. There is such a wide range of classes on offer and each one compliments and extends the last. The Yin yoga works on deep stretching that helps build the flexibility. The Hatha builds strength and knowledge of the postures. The Pilates helps build knowledge of your body, as well as deep core stability. By taking advantage of the different teachers, teaching styles and classes on offer you can find yourself developing at a much quicker pace then you may have expected!
What benefits have you seen? I’ve seen my flexibility and balance increase dramatically. I have a lot more strength and control in my deeper muscles and a much better understanding of my body, what it can and cannot do. From there I then know how to proceed and progress further. It really is something that transcends just the physical movements however, helping you build a lot focus and mental strength as well. You learn about a lot more then just your body.
Challenges that you are working on? Next stop for me will be working on improving my balance especially when transitioning yoga postures and also increasing my range of flexibility (so more Yin yoga classes!). Pose-wise it’s the ‘Supported Head-stand’ that is now my main goal.
Advice for people thinking of starting? Bite the bullet and do it. The benefits far outweigh most reasons for not giving it a shot. It will help with injuries, prevention of injuries, strength, toning, a better state of mental wellbeing – the list is endless. Just give it a go!
What made you take on a Pilates and Yoga program? Chocolates & Bulging Disk Problems . My son started working at Lindt Café and was bringing home desserts which I couldn’t resist! I was getting fat and something had to change i.e more exercise! I also had recurrent pain, tingling and numbness in my left arm courtesy of a bulging disk in my neck. 4 years of endless rounds of physiotherapy, massage and acupuncture would only help for a while but the pain/tingles would come back. To strengthen my back , I started doing Pilates reformer at a Pilates studio but it was too expensive to continue at $40 a session. Then Soulful Fitness opened and I was initially attracted to the unlimited Pilates, yoga,spin, barre etc classes . It sounded perfect for me.
What are your favourite classes? In my 1st 12 months at Soulful Fitness, the Pilates reformer class was my absolute favourite. As I’ve become stronger and more flexible, I started doing more Yoga classes as I needed more variety. Now I really enjoy Julio’s Hatha Yoga Class on Tuesdays. In fact, I really enjoy all the different yoga classes as the instructors are all very good and different.
What benefits have you seen? Better posture, stronger core, more flexible , firmer abs & biceps! Yay! More importantly, I don’t suffer from nagging back problems and arm numbness anymore.
Challenge that you are working on? Balance Poses in Yoga class.
Advice for people thinking of starting? Don’t hesitate ! Go for it and do something for yourself! … Now if only, I can stop eating chocolates else I would be far slimmer!!
What made you take on a Pilates and Yoga program? I first started Yoga about 5 years ago just to try something different and instantly fell in love with the classes. I joined Soulful Fitness because I loved the idea that I could do lots of Yoga classes whenever I wanted. I then decided to try Pilates as well and again from the first class loved the way it made me feel.
What are your favourite classes? I don’t think I have a favourite – I do the gentler Yoga classes for the stretch, the stronger Yoga for the strength and the Pilates for the overall core strength. I like the idea that I can mix and have a good balance of all classes. All the instructors are very different and all very good so it makes practicing a breeze.
What benefits have you seen? I find that Yoga gives me peace of mind and balance in my life and that, together with the Weight Watchers healthy eating program has aided me to lose a substantial amount of weight and improve my overall health, energy and well-being. Regular Pilates training has given me much improved core strength, and I find that my posture has also improved so much. As I have got older – practicing Pilates and Yoga has made me feel stronger and fitter than I have ever been.
Challenge that you are working on? I am constantly trying to improve my practice and to work on the disciplines that I learn in Yoga and Pilates to take into my everyday life. And of course – there are always the few extra elusive kilos to shed!
Advice for people thinking of starting? Just do it – practice at your own pace – don’t worry about those around you. The more you practice the more your body will respond to the moves and the better you will feel. We all start out not knowing what to do – take your time, listen to your body and just enjoy!
What made you take on a Pilates and Yoga program? By chance and curiosity I attended my first yoga class. That class shifted my paradigm about exercise. I felt physically challenged, yet blissful and mentally aligned with my body. A feeling my usual cardio work out never evoked. Soon after I moved to Lane Cove, found Soulful Fitness and cancelled my gym membership.
What are your favourite classes? If you had to ask my favourite classes, then I would have to say Reformer. I love the challenges and variety of each class. There are so many props to play with- long box, short box, magic circle, feet in straps ...an hour is just not enough time- so I go twice a day!
What benefits have you seen? The most noticeable benefit I've seen practising Pilates is the awareness of my body. Every motion is controlled and calculated. I'm more conscious on working my "small" muscles and breathing to focus. I now listen to my body and am working out for my mental and physical well-being.
Challenge that you are working on? I'm working on addressing my shoulder stability and gaining strength in the obliques for side planks.
Advice for people thinking of starting? The best advice I can give is to not think about starting. Just start! My personal guarantee that you won't regret your decision. Every class has its benefits but it's about finding something that fits you, so sign up to try every single class on offer.
What made you take on a Pilates and Yoga program? A chronic case of pubic synthesis after the birth of my second child meant that I went from being fit and active, to not being able to walk without pain. My physio recommended Pilates, and I’ve never looked back.
What are your favourite classes? I love Pilates - any class - the more challenging the better. I do try to make it to a spin class every now and then - but it’s a struggle. The reason I love soulful fitness, is the number and variety of classes on offer.
What benefits have you seen? Physically and mentally and at this time in my life, Pilates just works for me. I recommend it to anyone who’ll listen.
Challenge that you are working on? Any challenge that Imelda thinks is hard!
Advice for people thinking of starting? Keep with it - it’s very satisfying to be able to do a move you once thought impossible.
What made you take on a Pilates and Yoga program? I suffer from snapping hip syndrome, the pain caused by this condition was so bad it prevented me from sleeping. I also have problems with my knees which combined with the snapping hip affects my walking. I consulted my doctor who referred me to a physio. The physio gave me a Pilates regime of exercises to do regularly at home. I lack the discipline and the knowledge of how to execute the Pilates effectively. With staff guidance I committed to a membership, this has forced me to address my mobility issues. The soulful fitness app enables me to tailor my classes to fit my schedule. I have always wanted to explore yoga philosophy. I have reached a stage of life that requires re evaluation of ones life goals. Yoga will enable me to clear my mind and live in the present.
What are your favourite classes? The classes that have helped me the most are the Pilates Mat, The Pilates Reformer, Fitbarre, Hatha Yoga, Yin Yoga, Restorative Reformer Pilates .
What benefits have you seen? The yoga has enabled me to focus on my intention and purpose of my exercise sessions. The yoga has explained importance of breathing and how to breathe when executing poses. This has prevented me from further aggravating my injuries. After sessions my back and hip joints feel more fluid. The Pilates explains the purpose of each movement and how to do each movement without causing further injuring or aggravating incorrect skeletal areas. I am working on listening to my friends and family more effectively. Pilates and yoga has enabled me to improve this. I have a very fit husband who loves to hike, beach walk and explore wilderness areas. My lack of mobility was affecting his quality of life. Since joining I have been able to join him and keep up with him much to his delight.
Challenge that you are working on? I am watching my friends go down the path of invasive surgical solutions to hip, knee and back problems. I am determined to maintain my level of commitment, my goal is to be able to sit cross legged on the floor with my future grandchildren. I want to be able to bushwalk and hike outback Australia. I am working on hip strengthening and stretching. Better alignment of my back so my knees are straight. I am determined to find those allusive core muscles or any muscles that are essential for stability and better coordination and balance.
Advice for people thinking of starting? My advice is to attend yoga and Pilates classes as young as possible. I have advised both my daughters and daughter in law to enrol in Pilates and yoga classes to enable them to maintain their mobility. This will enable them to avoid my injuries and make them respect their bodies. They will learn how to exercise effectively with minimum strain on joints and back.
1. What made you take on a Pilates and Yoga program? To improve overall wellbeing by strengthening our cores, gaining greater flexibility, strength and vitality.
2. What are your favourite classes? Barre for Tanya and Vinyasa yoga for Ross.
3. What benefits have you seen? More energy, greater flexibility and better posture, in both mind and body. Ross has suffered with chronic back and neck problems for 30 years and was going to the chiropractor weekly; now he only goes monthly and that is purely for some low level maintenance.
4. Challenge that you are working on? Losing some weight, greater hip flexibility and inner strength in balancing poses.
5. Advice for people thinking of starting? The best thing we have ever done; just wish we had started 30 years go. Be open to trying all of the styles/classes as they all complement each other and try different teachers; they are all amazing and beautiful souls but each brings their own unique flavour. There is no judgement and no competing in these classes, so you can feel safe and confident in doing the best you can on that day. We all started somewhere and there is no end to your practice, so take the first step.
I really wanted to get into Pilates and Yoga because I wanted a whole lifestyle change that suited me. I'm personally not a fan of Gym's or running in the outdoors because I have no self discipline, so I really wanted to be part of a fitness studio where I would enjoy going to, while having flexibility in classes and times. My first class of the week is Hatha Yoga with Julio, where I walk out all stretched and ready to take on the week. I also enjoy all of Elize's Pilates classes such as Cardio Bounce, where muscles I didn't know existed, get worked out. I have been coming to Soulful for a year now and have not only lost weight for the first time in over 10years but I have also become aware of what my body is capable of and how much I can do with it. I am hoping by the end of this year I will improve with my planks and ab work, which I was unable to do when I first started. Joining Soulful has been an amazing decision for me and my health and I would recommend it to anyone who likes a clean friendly environment to get to know their body and how to take care of it from the inside.
Thanks so much Team Soulful Lane Cove
1. What made you take on a Pilates and Yoga program?
I'm looking for low impact workout rather than a heavy gym based weight workout. Also some exercises which will motivate me to have a healthy lifestyle.
2. What are your favourite classes?
It's hard to say but I love Hatha Yoga and Pilates Reformer. Both classes keep my body strong, balanced as well a quiet, calm and peaceful mind.
3. What benefits have you seen?
It's helped me recover from torn ACL a year ago. It really helped gain my strength back. Also got me back to healthy life style routine.
4. Challenge that you are working on?
Remaining motivated over the festive season.😞
5. Advice for people thinking of starting?
Don't hesitate, "just do it"...Walk up to reception and everyone there will help you reach your goal no matter what it is.!
1. What made you take on a Pilates and Yoga program? I had thought about it for years but it was on vacation when a women jumped into the hotel pool next to me, she was so fit and could get in and out of the pool with such ease. She told me she had been a yoga instructor for 50 years and I wanted to be like that. She said to find a good yoga school that suits you, and I have
2. What are your favourite classes? Hatha yoga because its a bit slower and I can follow it easier and deep stretching is great. I have also introduced 3 other people including my wife I'm enjoying it so much. Phillippa's guided meditation on Sunday is also becoming one of my favourites, I find it really helps.
3. What benefits have you seen? Definitely more flexible in the hamstrings and back pain is minimized.
4. Challenge that you are working on? More flexibility.
5. Advice for people thinking of starting? Start before you are 46 years old!
1. What made you decide to take on a Pilates or Yoga practise? New to Lane Cove and Sydney last November, I was exploring Lane Cove and saw Soulful Fitness. Looooved the name and thought that's my time of place and after signing up never looked back...I was a gym bunny back in the UK but started to feel differently after attending a yoga retreat and realised that the reason I enjoyed yoga so much was the connection of mind and body, which I didn't get from physical exercise alone. This isn't to say I don't love a hard spin session!😂 but I get such a sense of wellbeing from yoga.
2. What are your favourite classes and why? Yin and Hatha are my favourite classes. All the teachers bring something different to the classes which I love, a reflection of their passion.
3. What benefits have you seen mental / physical? Flexibility, stamina, wellbeing, learning to stop the mind chatter for a short time whilst on my mat...(thank you Hayley!)
4. Challenge that you are working on at the moment? Eg pose? Currently embracing living in this wonderful place and all it has to offer so decided to join local rowing club and commenced a learn to row course...I've been a rowing widow for approx 30 years in the UK! So why not....also building up to improving my strength in Hatha.
I would also like to say how blessed and grateful I am for choosing soulful fitness, I have met some amazing people who have made me feel so welcome and become friends which is just the icing on the cake!
1. What made you decide to take on a Pilates or Yoga practise? Before I started yoga I was doing a lot of running, gym exercises and spinning. My flexibility was terrible and my muscles were very tight from all of the cardio work. For years my friend had been telling me to try yoga so I thought I'd humour her and give it a go. Now I'm hooked and she gets great satisfaction from being able to say 'I told you so'.
2. What are your favourite classes and why?
I love Vinyasa because it's a strong practise and works up a sweat.
3. What benefits have you seen mental / physical?
I'm now a huge yoga convert and have noticed lots of mental and physical benefits. My flexibility is the best it's ever been, my muscles are toned and strong, and I'm much less stressed at work.
4. Challenge/ Goals that you are working on at the moment?
I'm determined to nail crow and side crow by the end of the year. I'd also love to be able to do a headstand.
5. A tip for a new member to get into it?
If you're doing yoga, treat yourself to a good, non-slip mat. It will make all the difference.
1. What made you decide to take on a Pilates or Yoga practise? To help alleviate my chronic back pain following a car accident four years ago and to increase my overall health and fitness.
2. What are your favourite classes and why? Vinyasa and Yin yoga, I love how my body feels afterwards.
3. What benefits have you seen mental / physical? My back pain has improved immensely and I no longer have to visit a chiropractor and osteopath regularly, I've also become a lot stronger and more flexible.
4. Challenge/ Goals that you are working on at the moment? Wheel pose and also trying to keep my mind focused during yoga classes as it tends to wander.
5. A tip for a new member to get into it? Try all of the classes to find the ones you really love and the instructors whose style suits you best.
What made you decide to take on a Pilates or Yoga practise?
I’ve been going to a gym regularly for a few years and while I was getting a lot stronger I noticed that I wasn’t at all flexible. I decided to give yoga a go to try and increase my flexibility
What are your favourite classes and why? I currently go to classes five days a week, attending Hatha, Vinyasa, Heated Flow and Ashtanga yoga. I enjoy them all as I feel I get different benefits from each and I love the different teaching styles of the various trainers.
What benefits have you seen mental / physical? My flexibility has definitely increased (although frustratingly I still can’t touch my toes) and I find my ability to focus fully on the classes and block out any distractions is getting better all the time. I find I’m more relaxed at work and seem better able to handle stressful situations. My metabolism has increased and I have dropped a couple of kilos since joining. Oh, and I’m drinking way more tea instead of coffee, which nearly broke the bank on my first trip to T2 to stock up!
Challenge that you are working on at the moment? The headstand! I’ve gotten much better at it, but would love to be able to do it without wobbling.
My journey at Soulful Fitness has been a joyous one. In the past it would not be uncommon for me to join a gym and visit once every 3 to 6 months as I did not feel comfortable. For the first time in my life I feel as though I have found exercise that I look forward to attending in the form of Pilates, despite how busy life gets with family and work. On holidays recently I found myself continuing to complete Pilates exercises despite being away from my usual routine and the day of my return I could not wait to come back to class. Many of the goals I set myself back when I first joined have been achieved including to toning up, improve my flexibility, increase my back and core strength and dropping a dress size but I believe the benefits have been beyond the physical. It is refreshing to find exercise that you can see yourself doing long term and look forward to. My newest favourite class has become Ruth's Power Reformer class on a Monday evening which definitely a fun challenge. I also really enjoy Faye's Mat Pilates class on Sundays mornings as a nice relaxing end to the week. Into the future with Soulful Fitness I look forward to trying new things, setting new goals and achieving them!
Congratulations to our Soulful Fitness tribe member David Ballance for completing the 6 foot track Blue Mountains Trail Marathon in March from Katoomba to Jenolan Caves. 45kms trail running in 5 hours and 10 mins was better than his time last year thanks to his yoga practise. Even though it was nearly 10 degrees hotter than last year his hamstrings did not cramp this year when last year they did and Dave says its because of yoga. Rest up David we'll see you for class in a few days, well done on an amazing run we are so proud.
Meet Sharon Higgins-Bush. She was one of the very first members at the studio, being a member of Soulful Fitness pretty much from the day it opened. The things she likes about the studio are that it’s close to home, it offers a great variety of classes, the staff are all very friendly, the teaching is professional and It has a lovely ambience. She runs her own business and as a working mum with two children it’s often difficult to make time for herself. Going to classes just two days a week really makes a difference to her well-being. Sharon's nine year old daughter said “Mum, it’s good when you go to Pilates – I can see it makes you happy”. She is right – it really does and Sharon is thrilled.
She wants to thank Amanda, Hayley, Natalia and the team. We are super proud of her ability to keep regular visits up despite heavy work loads and family commitments.
Teck Tau (you may know him as Tim) was one of Soulful Fitness's very first members joining before the opening of the studio. Teck was first introduced to Pilates few years ago as he often had a sore lower back. After moving to Lane Cove, he was very excited when noticing Soulful Fitness’s brochures and signboard as it was exactly what he had been looking for… a studio in the neighbourhood with various forms of yoga and Pilates under one roof. Now, he is trying to get back to his exercise routine and feels like he is on the right track to a healthy lifestyle. In addition to Teck's favourite Pilates classes, he also truly enjoys the different forms of yoga such as Astanga and Yin and is hoping by mixing these classes, it will help to achieve a balance in overall fitness. Teck is thankful to all the instructors and crew at Soulful Fitness for being so friendly, patient and warm.
Tanya Bessell has smashed her weight loss goal of losing 10 kilos by Xmas to have lost it by mid November. She has done this by attending barre, spin, Pilates mat and Pilates reformer classes. She sleeps better, works better, looks better, feels better, has more energy and does not have as many feet issues as she used to. She drinks over 2 ltrs of water a day when she hardly drunk any, and misses working out when she doesn't attend. Friends are commenting that her skin looks great and then saying that they can see that she has lost weight. Tanya says that everyone is so encouraging and she has really enjoyed meeting new people on the same journey and sharing the experience together. She is so motivated to keep going as she wants to lose another 10 kilos and we cant wait to help.
Margaret Glesson has been attending the studio for around 4 months and feels so much better physically and mentally. She originally joined because she has MS and needs to strengthen her hips on both sides equally as she has issues with the muscles and tendons in these areas. Since doing the Pilates, Pilates Reformer, Barre and Hatha Yoga classes, she feels stronger and even her Chiro has noticed the difference in her strength and range of movement. She is going to be working on her back strength in the future and even getting into the virtual spinning room to lose a few kilos. Not only does Margaret have MS but as a result of the disease, has under 10% eye site. She is a true inspiration and doesn't let excuses stop her from living life as healthy as she can (also with a sense of humour.. we love her jokes!)
Amanda Benny has been attending Soulful Fitness since the very first day the studio opened. Amanda is a busy customer service manager in charge of a huge team meeting stressful daily productivity for a large national retail company. She initially joined for the spin classes but Amanda quickly found herself also enjoying the strength, stretch and healing aspect of the dynamic Vinyasa classes (as you can see we took a sneaky pic of her doing a restorative back bend). Amanda has gained all over body strength, can now do the poses much easier, is fitter, handles challenges at work easier, has lost a couple of kilos and feels younger than she did 10 years ago.