Extending the lifetime of my Philippine Daily Inquirer Article, I’m expounding further on my Pilates experience thus far. It’s not often I get features on fitness and exercise, although this space is something I am increasingly drawn to. There is so much gratitude in me towards the warm individuals at Vivian Zapanta Pilates Studio, for welcoming me into their supportive and cheerful family. We just celebrated my ‘1 Year Addiction’ last month and I plan to continue with them for as long as I can. There’s an 80 year old who I’ve trained next to – multiple times! Being equally enthusiastic about health and wellness as I am the other sections of this blog (food/ travel/fashion and beauty), it’s time that I work out a way to post more under this category. While I give that a think, read below for bonus material that wasn’t published…

IMG_0799-EditIMG_0970-EditIMG_0916-EditIMG_0667-EditIMG_0811-EditIMG_0848-EditHow I found Vivian Zapanta Pilates Studio (VZPS)

At the time, I was jumping around experimenting with different workouts – boot camp, circuit training, plyometrics. I didn’t last long with any of them, I would try something new once my trial periods/packages ran out. I obviously wanted to stay fit and active but I never really found my groove, until…

My husband had a *non-Pilates related* meeting with someone (hi @kenncolubio!) who told him about VZPS in Salcedo. I thought I would give it a shot and months later, I am one of those girls addicted to Pilates – it’s a thing and I’m proud of it.

About my trainer

I’ve been training with Thens (hi @thensunite!) since I started and the one-on-one aspect is really valuable to me. She knows how to scan my body and can tell which areas need strengthening, alignment, stability etc. I initially told her that I want to be toned and strong but keep a feminine-looking figure. Of course she targets the areas that I want to concentrate on, mostly abs and arms, but she also focuses on what I need to work on – at least it also happens to be arms and upper body strength! Elongation and smallness is tapped by doing Pilates and Thens knows how to zone in on that for me. The first 10 sessions I felt the difference, and the next 10 I could see it already. This is something I definitely can see myself doing long term.

How many times a week I go to Pilates

I dedicate 3 sessions per week to Pilates. If I can allot 3 workouts at VZPS from Monday to Saturday, that’s ideal. I find that the more consistent I am with my scheduling; the better I sustain my momentum and attendance. It’s easier to stay on track once you have a steady routine going.

My favorite Pilates move(s)

The most enjoyable for me is all the lower body stretching on the reformer. I want to be able to do right and left leg splits with ease and grace. The test is if you can hold it and take a nice picture with a pleasant face. Right now, I am loving the work Thens is training me for on the cadillac. I do this one move where I’m basically hanging by my two feet and doing sit-ups vertically. Another pose is where I am supporting myself with one arm and the opposite leg. It’s wild, it looks easy but it’s not.

Daily life… after Pilates

It’s almost like you are being strengthened from the inside out. Once your core is strong, everything else starts to lift up from there. I walk straighter, my posture is better, I stand taller and overall have more poise.

I can certainly say, too, that my fitness attitude is now completely positive. I have a whole new outlook on my health and wellbeing. You get addicted to the feeling of doing something good for yourself. I don’t dread or put off my workouts. Instead, I look forward to seeing Thens and continuing the tailored exercise program she has for me.

Changes I’ve noticed… after Pilates

I am now so much more aware of my body than ever before. For example, I grew up doing gymnastics and dance so arching my back is what I was used to. Now I know to tuck in my pelvis. Pilates teaches you to pull your shoulders back, the correct placement of your head and neck, and how to breathe properly – I am now more conscious of all this outside VZPS and in everyday life.

When I’m in the studio, I’ve learned to relax my mind. I leave everything at the door and fully focus on my breathing and all the other instructions Thens has for me. “Slide your rib down, open your hip…” She can definitely tell when my head is somewhere else and I’m not paying attention – everything goes out of alignment! We do have a good laugh when that happens, though.

Last words

Of course there are the inevitable #bodygoals and #fitspo images that people aspire for and work towards but having a healthy mindset is just as important. First and foremost, learn to love yourself and the relationship you have with your body. Don’t beat yourself up or feel guilty if you skip workouts or indulge in a little too much dessert. It happens. When you get your physical and mental state in harmony, you’ll remain empowered and confident in your journey to health and happiness.

PHOTOS :: Maika Anthoni MAKEUP :: Angel Reyes-Manhilot HAIR :: Sydney Helmsley ACTIVEWEAR :: LCP Fit                                 LOCATION :: Vivian Zapanta Pilates Studio