IN THE SPORTLIGHT – Louisa Lau, Pilates Instructor

21 Aug

In today’s entry, we are featuring Louisa Lau, a Pilates instructor and she shares with us her love for Pilates and her journey towards pursuing her passion as a career.

Who?

Louisa is a 31-year-old Pilates enthusiast who decided to make Pilates her full commitment 2 years ago. She has been practicing Pilates for 7 years and is currently teaching at The American Club, Fitness First1-1 sessions at Elements Pilates as well as clients’ home.

What is Pilates?

Pilates is a body conditioning routine developed by Joseph Pilates that helps to not only build flexibility, but also strength, endurance, and coordination in the legs, abdominals, arms and back. – Wikipedia

Using the mind to control the muscles, Pilates encompasses the Breath, Mind, Body and Spirit.

How did you start?

Louisa chanced upon Pilates while doing ballet in her younger days. As she needed help for her vocational exam in ballet, she did some research and found out that Pilates could help. As her technique at ballet wasn’t good, Pilates formed part of her dance curriculum which was able to help improve her strength.

Her first lesson on Pilates started in University, during a trial session and as she remembered, it was on the articulation of her spine. She was intrigued by the sport and carried on ever since.

After graduating with a Business degree from SMU, she worked in the HR sector for more than 4 years and finance sector for over a year but always knew it wasn’t really what she wanted to do. While working, she obtained certification as a Pilates instructor and taught Mat classes in the evening.

However, she knew teaching part-time wasn’t enough and felt that there was more to give. She wanted a complete understanding of the Pilates work. So, she took the Ron Fletcher Program of Study – a program on how to teach the full spectrum of the Fletcher Pilates syllabus, including Pilates apparatus and Matwork. Her lessons were time-consuming and costly, and knew she could not achieve what she wanted on a part-time basis.

Louisa finally took the leap of faith last year, where she gave up her corporate job and decided to pursue Pilates full-time.

Since, being a teacher has given her a sense of satisfaction. It is not just about teaching but how it invigorates the mind and elevates the spirit. She is much happier now and glad she left her corporate job to pursue her passion.

Why Pilates?

Louisa:

It is not just a good workout but it increases your body awareness, thus correcting any body misalignment; recruiting those intrinsic muscles in support with the bigger muscles, as well as work the often ‘lazier’ muscles so as to relieve the ‘overworked’ muscles for a balanced aligned body.

Pilates is a mind-body coordination workout. It feels like you’re ‘doing’ alot of things at one time as the need to focus on your overall body alignment in the exercise is paramount.The principles of Pilates is very applicable in our daily lives, for example, when you’re on you’re way to work either in a car, bus or train, do you think of engaging your belly and lengthening your spine, and sit tall.

As a result of our emphasis on body alignment and mind alertness, posture and mental focus improves.
The rejuvenation of your mind and body uplifts us spiritually.
A good posture prevents slip-disc, neck problems, spinal and joint problems.

In our daily lives, when we walk, turn or reach out for something far away, our muscles are used through the day.

And that is Pilates.

How does Pilates make you fitter?

Louisa:

As a result of Pilates, when done correctly and regularly, you will eventually build lean muscles
Pilates works the muscles ecentrically and muscles increases your metabolic rate.
People don’t realise that Pilates is actually involved in most sports.
You would still need your regular cardio like swimming and running to lose weight and get fit, but by incorporating Pilates into your lifestyle, it enhances your fitness to a higher level.

What is the difference between Pilates and Yoga?

Yoga is more stretch and flexibility oriented,with the use yoga poses. Pilates works the whole body,with a focus on core stabilisation. It requires movements, which are not performed rapidly or repeated excessively, as the focus is on quality not quantity.

How do we start?

Louisa:

Pilates works on muscles supporting the joints for it’s the ligaments and muscles that hold the bones and joints together. Hence, the exercises when done in the right alignment helps prevents injuries and does not cause harm.
You could do brisk walking for 15-20 minutes and incorporate Pilates to your regime.
You will realise that walking becomes more effortless and there is increased awareness on your joints.
Pilates allows you to enjoy sports without having to pay for it later in life due to strained muscles or any misalignment.

Are Pilates for women only?

Louisa:

FALSE!
That is the most common misconception, or that Pilates is a feminine sport.
Pilates can be very challenging and it is up to the teacher to challenge the student.
Men, in general, prefer exercises that recruit the larger muscles and ‘sweat it out’, and perceive that they cannot find that in Pilates.
But in fact, men might need it more than women!
You see – Guys are concerned about the superficial muscles that they build up in the gym. The big bulky muscles on the outside are supported by the inner muscles which Pilates help to build inside out.
Muscles that are too tight, end up being strained, similar to an ‘over-strained’ rubberband, too tensed on either ends.
Pilates when done correctly and regularly will eventually build lean muscles.

It is mindful correct movements and committing to practice that we would be able to feel and see the change in our bodies.

TO SUM IT UP…….

Approach life holistically.

Enough sleep
Eat heathily and not overeat
Enough nutrition
Enough sunlight
Breathe

When i don’t feel like working out, i remind myself that –

Our body is like a car that needs to be serviced and maintained. The engine has to be started once a week, or better everyday, otherwise it’ll stall.

-Louisa Lau

xo Shinna

For contact info, you can visit Louisa’s blog here. 🙂

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s