Pilates instruction was always meant to be a part-time job for Lauren Sebastiani. But what started as a way to pay the bills while she studied soon turned into a calling and now she’s the owner and head instructor at the Magill Road business, Studio Spring.
With a bachelors degree in Human Movement and a masters in Physiotherapy, Lauren knows just how important regular (and targeted) exercise can be, but it was her background as a dancer that first brought her to the full body fitness system.
“Once I stopped dancing,” she recalls, “I stopped exercising in general.” Regular gym classes and other forms of exercise left her feeling depleted and unmotivated, but Pilates was the one thing she kept coming back to. Soon she began to see the benefits for everyone else as well.
With much of the work done on a machine called a reformer, “Pilates is low impact so you’re not putting any unnecessary stress on the joints which means it’s great for all ages,” she explains. And because it’s a highly adaptable practice, instructors can target specific parts of the body in a highly focussed session.
Pilates places an emphasis on breathing, alignment and core work, and while most studios offer 45 minute full body classes, Studio Spring adds vinyasa yoga to break up the resistance work as well as condensed, highly targeted classes: Peaches & Cream for the glutes, Heart Breaker cardio classes and half hour Hardcore abs sessions.
But the biggest drawcard for Lauren is the social aspect. “In circuit classes at a gym everyone’s moving around the whole time but Pilates lets you interact with each other and your trainer... it doesn’t ever feel like we’re instructor and clients, it just feels like you’re hanging out with your mates and there are a lot of people in my life that I owe to Pilates.”
That attitude informs the approach at Studio Spring, where “we don’t really push that we’re an exercise studio; it’s a fun space and a no judgement space and it should just feel good to be here.” The studio space itself is hidden from Magill Road by a four arches of rippled glass that create a sense of privacy and the natural light is enhanced by an eye-catching halo light hanging from the high ceilings that help ensure good ventilation (that’s especially important given the intensity of the sessions).
The stylish but understated fit out is the result of months of hard work – “the hardest thing I’ve ever done,” says Lauren – and she’s only got busier since throwing the doors open. Lauren’s already had to cap contracted memberships to ensure there’s room for new clients in the classes because she’s determined to give people the same chance to fall in love with Pilates that she had. “We still want to have people who’ve never tried it being able to get through the door, that’s really important to me.”