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My Pilates Journey Day 18 – Pilates, All Around the World!

17th January 2018

Since last October, I’d been looking forward to the weekend just past. My best friend in university has been doing her year abroad in Strasbourg, and this weekend, I got to go over and spend four fantastic days with her! Since I started working at Balans, I’ve talked about the trip. I love travelling, and I hadn’t seen my friend in months, so I might have gushed a wee bit. It obviously got Joakim thinking, and a week before I left, he asked me whether I would like to do a Pilates session at a studio he’d found there. The instructor was an old Lolita’s legacy student, like himself, and she’d offered to give me and my friend a class.

We were greeted by Isabel in Studio Bis in Strasbourg on Saturday afternoon. The studio was a converted flat, with different rooms dedicated the apparatus, to Matwork, and to . The rooms were large and airy, and Isabel was fantastically friendly. We chatted for a bit about our experience level (Cat and I are both complete beginners) and what we’d like to work on, just like the sessions I’d had at Bälans.

The class was cheerful, casual and fun, while also being quite challenging for both of us! The three of us worked well as a team, while Cat translated Isabel’s French to English for me, I helped Cat out with some Pilates jargon and references that she didn’t get, and Isabel kept us both right by gently moving us into the right position, and keeping her instructions clear and easily understood, even in a different language!

The class really showed me how Pilates can connect people all around the world. The community is unbelievably strong and pops up in the most unexpected places. Joakim didn’t even know there was another Lolita’s Legacy graduate in Strasbourg until he looked it up! Being a Pilates instructor has allowed the people at Bälans to connect with individuals from all over the world, they’ve been able to learn from each other and share knowledge and experience from across the world. As someone who really appreciates the internationality of my friends at university, and the opportunities it has given me to learn more about other countries and cultures, I think this is probably one of the most rewarding aspects of working in Pilates.

Personally, my favourite thing about the class in Strasbourg was getting the chance to do something new with my best friend. We met in first year and there was an undeniable click. In the two years since then, we’ve taken the same classes, lived together, and gone on holiday together! This year, it’s been really hard not having her around in St Andrews, so seeing her again really lifted my spirits, and getting to both show her my new hobby and do it with her was a great addition to the holiday! She really enjoyed it too, in her words, ‘If I wasn’t such a broke student, I’d be back there next week!’

Overall, doing Pilates is France was just as fantastic as doing it in my native Scotland, and I was just as sore the next day walking around Strasbourg as I would have been walking around St Andrews! Thanks Studio Bis for a brilliant session!


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