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My Pilates Journey Week 1 – Balancing the Boss’ Baby

1st June 2018

If I told you I had made friends with a dog, a baby, a toddler, appeared on national TV* and completed six hours of Pilates and fitness classes you probably wouldn’t assume that I had just completed week one of my summer internship. But there you would be wrong…

I’m Carys, a third year student originally from Dundee, studying Geography at St Andrews University, and I’ll be at Bälans Pilates until August on a Santander Internship. Some of you have seen me around reception or in a class already. If not, I look forward to meeting you when you’re next in.

I arrived at Bälans on Monday morning and was warmly greeted by owner Joakim, Robbie from reception, the dog Pippy and baby Albie. Before arriving, I knew very little about Bälans, other than that it is Scotland’s largest Pilates studio.

Quickly, Joakim made it clear that he places real importance on staff fitness, and wants us to take part in classes, as well as clients. This makes a lot of sense. Not only is it important for staff to have an in depth knowledge of what is going on at Bälans, it is – as Joakim pointed out – in everybody’s interest that you are fit and healthy – for you, your employer, and for clients.

Therefore, Joakim announced that my first task would be to take part in the morning’s Fitdankbaby class. Fitdankbaby is a new fitness concept originally developed in the south of Germany in 2007 for parents and their babies, where fitness, strength and posture are worked on with (and often using) the baby! Soon enough, a lovely group of mums arrived at the Bälans with babies in tow and we headed for the studio. As I am not a mum myself, I had expected to be working sans baby, or with a doll, but Joakim (bravely) handed me his precious Albie, and I got to do the class with him.

The class was great fun, and I can see why it is so good for parents, and mums especially. The babies are entertained (during the exercises and with songs, toys, colourful scarves and, of course, the other babies), so parents are actually able to get a really good workout. Most of the exercises actually use the baby, using the Fitdankbaby belt, to add weight and make the workout more intense. And of course, as the baby’s weight increases, the workouts get incrementally harder week by week, which really helps with building up the mother’s fitness after giving birth. The main thing for me was that I was so focussed on Albie’s smiley face (and the fact that I was now in charge of Joakim’s child), I barely realised I was exercising. There’s nothing quite like your new boss’ baby balancing on your shins on your first day of work to make you engage your core and focus!

While I was correct to anticipate that I would be given a variety of interesting and challenging projects to work on this summer (so I won’t just be hanging out with the kids all day), my internship was off to an unexpectedly fun start. And the remainder of the week has continued in a similar vein. The team at Bälans is highly qualified, and includes 2nd and 3rd Generation Pilates instructors, so the the quality of teaching is first class and the studio is held in extremely high regard. Yet, they have managed to balance (or Bälans, I should say…) this with maintaining a really warm, friendly and supportive atmosphere for both clients and staff.

After such a great introduction, I’m really looking forward to the coming weeks, in terms getting to know clients, tackling the projects I have been tasked with and for progressing with and learning more about the world of Pilates. Stay tuned!

*check Facebook to find out why...might come in handy for this week's quiz.

For my next instalment to the blog, click here.


  1. Joyce S Smith says:

    Too old to take part in Fitdankbaby or be trusted with a baby ,but enjoyed reading about classes

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