An insight of Mayni’s Pilates Journey:
My Pilates journey started in two phases. First was when I was in my early-20s during which my main concern was to be physically toned enough to wear a bikini for a beach trip. It was a time when Pilates as an exercise just started becoming more mainstream in Asia. Classes were not yet widely available then so I picked up a Pilates DVD and started practicing it at home. The instructor in my video claimed that with Pilates, you will “…FEEL a difference in 10 sessions, SEE a difference in 20 sessions, and have a completely DIFFERENT body in 30 sessions!” and with regular practice, I really became convinced on the effects of Pilates. I experienced how effective Pilates was in toning and lengthening muscles and making my tummy a little bit flatter. Flat enough to wear my swimsuit comfortably at the beach!
Ten years after, I get re-acquainted with Pilates, but this time with a different body and a different set of goals. I was four months post-natal with my first child and my body was weak, tired, hunched over from taking care of a baby, and I had completely lost in touch with my core muscles. I knew Pilates was the best solution to help me regain control over my body. So I went back to joining regular Pilates classes and was able to slowly recover my strength and the connection with my core. This personal experience with the effectiveness of Pilates is what drove me to be a Pilates instructor and share the wonders of Pilates with other people.
Do you think Pilates is a good workout?
Most people fall into unhealthy movement patterns and postural preferences that eventually causes them pain. This could happen even to Pilates instructors! Pilates helps identify these incorrect movement patterns, makes us aware of it, and helps teach us to correct the faulty movement patterns so we move better, more efficiently and hopefully have less pain!
It is a whole body movement, and by practicing it with control and concentration, will eventually include the mind.
What’s your favourite move on the mat / reformer
A lot of the moves are my favourite because they’re so essential, but if I have to choose one, it will be the Prone Extension on the Reformer using the long box. It helps strengthen the extensors in the entire spine with a bit of help from the springs and the foot bar and everyone could always use a bit of help at the beginning 🙂
The stronger back extensors translates to having a more open posture and less tight on the hips – very important with modern posture where we sit down a lot of hours during the day and more so like to hunch over our handphones.
I combine two quotes that serve as my inspiration when teaching Pilates day-to-day. First is the vision of Polestar Pilates to “Impact the world through intelligent movement” and second is the motto of the Society of Jesus, an order of the Catholic Church “…For the greater glory of God”.
This motto makes me go beyond just instructing an exercise and to go further and try to make a positive impact in my clients’ day by helping them move better and hopefully make them feel better… and to do this all for a greater good.
What to expect in your classes?
I always cater the class to the type of class (whether it’s Fundamental, Beginner, Multi-level etc) and also to the clients’ fitness level. For every class though, I like to make sure there is enough extension work both in the upper back as well as the hips. The conveniences of our modern lifestyle unfortunately take a toll on our posture – when I take the MRT its always very sad seeing everyone hunched over their hand phones. So I take the time out in class to just counter this hunched posture and help clients be a bit more open with this posture by including movements that open up the chest as well as the hips.
Favourite post-workout meal in Raffles Place
Definitely Acai Bowl from Haakon in One Raffles Place! Full of nutritious superfoods and fruits, refreshing, just the right amount of sweetness. Just let it sit 5-10 minutes before eating so it’s less frozen and not too cold.
Any other hobby or secret talent?
Oh, I loooove to sing Karaoke 🙂
Mayni Leong, Instructor
Wish to give her group classes a try? Sign up now via your Focus app or you can also book in for a 1on1 session with her!