Health And Family

Pilates is abs-olutely easy and fun at Onelife Studio

CONSUMERLINE - Ching M. Alano - The Philippine Star

Those who are into Pilates (and there’s a growing legion of ’em) will surely welcome the news that Onelife Studio has brought into the country our first Pilates Allegro 2 Reformers from Balanced Body, the world’s largest manufacturer of Pilates equipment. Likewise, even those whose idea of exercise is stretching one’s imagination or lifting a finger will be happy to discover that Pilates is not that intimidating  physical fitness is made easy and abs-olutely fun with Allegro 2 that boasts ease of use, adjustability, and solid construction.  Allegro 2 may as well be the Rolls Royce of the reformer world.

The reformer has, indeed, come a long, long way from the time Joseph Pilates himself hooked straps and springs to a hospital bed to help rehabilitate patients suffering from injuries during World War I. Necessity, as they say, is the father of invention and so, Pilates — a body builder, wrestler, boxer, diver — created the mother of the resistance exercise equipment, which he fashioned out of bed springs and beer keg rings. From such humble beginnings came modern equipment like the reformer and Magic Circle.

Fitness for every body

As Pilates himself taught it, Pilates is a system of movement designed to develop the body’s core — the inner abdominal and mid-back muscles that serve as the powerhouse of the body. It’s helped dancers in New York get into fine (dancing) form. Baby boomers have turned to Pilates to get relief from aches and pains and injuries inflicted by years of exercising (or perhaps, not exercising) or simply from years of living on this planet. It’s helped people over 40 suffering from osteoarthritis and other degenerative musculoskeletal diseases, chronic pain, posture problems, low back pain, and everyone who wants to turn back the wicked effects of aging.

According to Balanced Body, Pilates allows your arms and legs to move fully on a stable spine. It works the whole body, not just specific muscle groups. It’s a low-impact, safer, and gentler way to condition the body. With time and practice, your strength increases as well as your control, concentration, flexibility, and grace. As your strength increases, your pain and stiffness decrease, and your muscles come alive. And you achieve a healthy sense of well-being, heightened body awareness, and improved self-image.

In 2010, Balanced Body, partnering with IDEO, a global design consultancy, found out that people who were new to Pilates found the existing reformers quite intimidating.  And so, IDEO designers and Balanced Body’s engineering team, bending over backwards, put their heads together to improve user experience by coming up with an equipment that maximized functionality while simplifying all the interaction points. Enter Allegro with a metal frame that makes it more flexible, intuitive, and compact. It uses an eight-wheel suspension system that makes for a smooth, quiet ride. It’s got an extra-wide padded footbar that adjusts to four vertical positions and four horizontal positions to accommodate various body sizes. Thus, there are more foot challenges for teachers while students get more options for their Pilates training. You can make it more creative and fun. Why, you can even dance on Allegro 2 as the vibrant Onelife staff cheerfully showed during a demo that thrilled guests to the bones (quite literally) and tempted them to get up on their toes and get on the machines, too, at the recent launch of Onelife Studio on Chino Roces Avenue, Kayamanan 9,  Makati City.

“We’re the first in the country to bring in Allegro 2 (all eight of such equipment) from Balanced Body,” says Ferdinand “Ferds” Aguila Jr., Onelife Studio founder, with a hint of pride.

The dynamic Ferds, who dared to dream big and believed that there could be no bigger investment than on oneself, was also happy to show everyone a bigger gym in Makati.  “This one is 224 sq.m., compared to the other studio in Greenhills, which is 191 sq.m.”

He adds with a wide smile, “All our machines are from Balanced Body, the biggest Pilates company in the world, with headquarters in the US. I went there myself last year and we visited the factory. The way they do it is fantastic! The workmanship on the machines is so far from everything else I’ve ever seen! They launched the Allegro 2 just last year. For me and my instructors, it’s the best thing we’ve ever seen so we’re quite proud to be the first to have this.”

“Compared to the very mechanical machines, Allegro 2 is very user-friendly,” says Tanya de la Cruz. “This machine integrates your core and everything; it allows you to isolate some muscles you want to isolate. For example, you just want to work on your thighs, you still have to use your core so it’s stable and then you work on your thigh muscles. So, it’s a lot of core strengthening, and at the same time, the machine is there to give you feedback if you have the right alignment.”

Tanya points out, “The misconception is that Pilates is for people who need rehab — most people start on Pilates because they have back injuries. But in reality, it’s for people who have no injuries. Even healthy people can experience the Reformer. If you ask our clients, the ones who do Pilates two or three times a week, they really slim down.  So, if there’s a low-impact exercise you can sustain, this is the one.”

She further shares, “And when you do Pilates as a complement to your yoga, you tap into your inner muscles. And when you tap into your inner muscles, they become stronger, more flexible.”

Home sweet gym

You’re never too far away from home when you’re in Onelife Studio, now in the heart of Makati to serve its growing clientele with the same warmth and personal touch it’s been known for.

 With Ferds and his mom Fem Aguila as the moving spirits, Onelife Studio has gathered some of the best Pilates and yoga instructors. For instance, one of the head instructors is famous ballerina Yanti Marduli, who’s a Ballet Manila soloist.

“We have also adjusted the classes because we wanted to encourage more classes so we added two classes,” says Ferds. “One is the all-access classes, which give you access to all the classes so you can take anything you want — yoga, Pilates, dance.”

With the addition of classes, Onelife makes it much more accessible to do them all with its new passes. The All Access Mat Pass gives access to all non-equipment classes — yoga, mat Pilates, tai chi, zumba, and belly dancing. If you want to add the equipment classes, there’s the All Access+Pass, which gets you all the above non-equipment classes plus reformer Pilates and suspension training. Both passes are available in one year, six months, three months, one month unlimited packages or a 10-class pass package valid for three months. With all these access passes, enrollees can take multiple classes a day, making the most of their investment.

Certainly, it’s value for money. For instance, a one-month unlimited pass costs only P4,500 — cost per class if you come three times a week is P375.

Here are the classes offered by Onelife Studio:

Pilates Infused Flow Yoga. Because your core strength is so important on a physical, emotional, and mental level, this class integrates the Pilates principles of movement, breath, and core engagement to help you gain a new perspective on your yoga practice. This specially crafted class targets total body toning and core strengthening as it increases your strength, flexibility, and stamina.

• Gentle Flow Yoga. This gentle Vinyasa Flow class can best jump-start your practice, whether it’s your first time or you’ve been on hiatus. To achieve calm and clarity throughout the day, the class focuses on breathwork while performing parts of sequences at a smooth pace, leading to deeply relaxing restorative poses.

Flow Yoga. This Vinyasa Flow class is all about building on the basics towards a safe, strong, progressive practice. It carefully breaks down the precise efforts and the individual adjustments needed to get into safe and correct form as the class moves towards an exciting peak.

Restorative Yoga. Bring a calming end to your day through this deeply relaxing class. This class blends breathing, prop-supported passive stretching, and quiet meditation to soothe the mind, encourage an inward focus, and promote healing.

Yin Yoga. Yin, as referred to in Taoist philosophy, is always characterized as dark, calm, passive, and deep. It  taps into these qualities through passive postures held for longer periods of time. These long passive holds allow for a deep opening in the connective tissue of the hips, pelvis, and spine.

Zumba. Dance your worries — and calories — away! A fusion of Latin and other types of music and dance, zumba mixes dance with aerobic exercise and resistance training. Guaranteed to be fun and effective!

Belly Dancing. Belly dancing is great for belly busting! One of the oldest dance forms, belly dancing is also a great workout. It’s a fun way to sculpt and firm your body. And it’s open to all ages and body types.

Tai Chi.      Tracing its roots to ancient Chinese martial art, tai chi promotes balance and serenity through a series of gentle sequences. A lot of legwork, tai chi helps with balance and posture while instilling in you a sense of calm .

Mat Pilates. Whether you’re a beginner or a pro, this dynamic class guarantees to give you a good sweat. Classical Pilates exercises are performed on a mat, but progressively spiced up with the use of props such as a small ball, stretch band, Pilates ring, foam roller, and many more. There’s variety in every class as you experience a total body workout that strengthens the core, tones the hips and thighs, and flattens the abs.

Reformer Pilates. Don’t be intimidated by the equipment, the reformer actually assists you and at the same time challenges you as it tones and stretches you. Great for targeting specific areas that need attention, Pilates on the reformer makes for a great workout.

Suspension training. The ultimate in resistance and strength training, this exercise is as much fun as it is challenging. It’s a great full-body workout, especially for the abdominals. Perfect for strength training, conditioning, and toning.

POI. Flow isn’t limited to just yoga. Onelife’s newest class, POI, is more than just twirling beautiful fabric. Much like yoga, POI can also be very meditative and relaxing, while at the same time physically challenging. A great tool, too, for teaching hand-eye coordination!

Happy Heart Kids Yoga. Start ’em young with specially designed classes just for kids aged 3-12 years old. When children learn techniques for self-health, relaxation, and inner fulfillment, they can confidently navigate life’s challenges with a little more ease. Teachers leave kids with happy thoughts, happy words, and happy hearts.

Happy Heart Kids Yoga for Kids with Special Needs. A partner of the Down Syndrome Association of the Philippines (DSAPI), Happy Heart Kids considers children with special needs as truly special. Yoga is a perfect complement to their learning as it helps these special kids in a number of areas including focus, core strength, and, when done in groups, social skills as well.

So, don’t just sit there and waste your life away. Get up and get that toned, trim body you’ve always dreamed of.

* * *

Open from 6:30 a.m. to 9 p.m. every day, Onelife Studio is located at 2F Citiplace Building, 8001 Jose Abad Santos St. corner Calderon St., Little Baguio, San Juan City and 2F BCS Prime Building, 2297 Chino Roces Avenue, Kayamanan 9, Makati City. For inquiries and to make reservations, text/call 671-5433 or 09178951762 (for Greenhills studio); call/text 09178513297 (for Makati). For more information, visit www.theonelifestudio.com; like it on Facebook at theonelifestudio; Twitter @onelifestudioph; Instagram @onelifestudio.



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