Tell us your name and a little about yourself?
Anja Armitage - I'm approaching 41 years old, have 2 girls at primary school, work part time and love living in Hampton! We're serial expats, having lived in a few countries now and were lucky enough to move to Australia almost 2 years ago. Sadly, our Aussie adventure is soon to end and we'll be returning to the UK to set down some roots. However, thanks to APM, I'm so pleased to be taking back a love for Pilates with me and have even started my search for a studio as similar to APM as possible!
When did you start your Pilates journey?
I started Pilates about a year ago. Initially, through my osteopath clinic doing clinical Pilates as pre-rehab prior to some hip surgery I had done (a hip arthroscopy to treat a tear on the labrum). Following the operation, I continued with the clinical Pilates but was soon ready for a little more and had heard great things about APM.
How did you find APM?
I walk past it almost everyday! Plus, I had heard good thing about it from a friend.
What is the reason you keep doing Pilates?
Each and every time I practice Pilates, I feel the difference the day after - in a good way! And most crucially, it has helped not just my hips, but my whole body no end.
What have you felt the biggest benefit has been?
Tuning into to how my body works. It sounds ridiculous to be saying this, especially at 40 and after a pretty active life from horse riding, to running, dance, everyday cycling, tough mudder runs and yoga! But to have a hip injury which they believe was down to general wear and tear (read previous activities and therein somewhere probably lies the root!!) woke me up a little to realise that my body was in need of the right kind of exercise and some fine tuning. Pilates is teaching me how to use the right muscles for each position or stretch or movement. I'm continually amazed at how easy my body has 'cheated' previously and how the minutest of adjustments Michaela makes can make all the difference!
Is there anything you find particularly challenging?
Some exercises are a little more tricky for me as I don't have full range of movement or flexibility due to my tight and sometimes painful hips. Having said this, there are always alternatives or adjustments to each movement we do.
Do you have goals to reach in your Pilates journey?
Not particularly - I just enjoy coming to classes and feeling stronger and more toned as the weeks go by. It would be great to achieve some of the more demanding positions with a little more ease but I'd never push myself until I feel I'm ready.
Do you have a favourite Pilates exercise or sequence?
Using the electric chair is great for me as recruiting my glutes has always been a problem and this is great for them! I also love all tower work especially roll downs, a bridge and a pull-up on the wunda chair. And the mermaid - the stretch is great for my hips and glutes. And wow, too many more favourites to mention actually!
How often do you attend classes at APM?
Currently once a week due to work commitments but I was at my best a few months back when I was able to do 2 or more classes a week.
What do you love most about coming to Authentic Pilates Melbourne?
The people, the relaxing atmosphere, the positive approach and vibe and the small class sizes.
Thanks Anja for sharing your Pilates journey, we hope this is just the beginning of it for you! It has been a pleasure teaching you and we wish you all the best for your move back to the UK.