Taking My Practice from the Mat to the Reformer at Pilates Lab

I’m ecstatic to have access to Reformer Pilates at Pilates Lab

Does stumbling upon tall empty claims like “Transform your body” or “Sculpt yourself to lean mean” all over the social media get to you too as much as it gets to me, especially when not much really happened through those sessions or later other than sharp injuries? Urrgh. Transformation is a mighty process and the term should thus not just be thrown anywhere & everywhere to grab attention.

And with that disclaimer may I dare reveal that transformation in the true essence of the word is remarkably and ever-so-gracefully experienced & lived in the world of Pilates that to my dismay, is still a mysterious ground for many of us in Pakistan who are yet to embark onto this remarkable practice. We only get one body in a lifetime; Pilates lets us get the most out of it.

Enjoying some sunlight at The Yoga Well

I’m in a serious relationship with Pilates since 2005 when I was just out of teens and for the first time noticed my waist not being the usual 23-incher anymore and the gym class culture was yet to hit Karachi back then. So when the active school life was over and I was immersed in my university mayhem, not finding enough time to dance daily like I’ve done since age 2 (yes you read that right), I grabbed onto some workout DVDs put together by internationally acclaimed functional fitness queens of those times like Denise Austin, Kathy Smith and Tamilee Webb.

That’d be me at BodySkulpt

Among ‘em all, I held the series of Winsor’s Pilates workouts dearest to my heart! I was amazed to discover how her low- impact, quick routine brought about such visible changes in my musculature in as little as three 20-minute sessions, the very first week! By the next month I got on to Winsor’s 50-minutes advanced Pilates workouts and fell a little more in love with the kind of poise, grace, upright posture coupled with the cuts on the sides of thighs, calves & midriff it got me, not to forget the curves on my obliques and hips. I also noticed how it helped me move more fluidly & gracefully when I danced or merely sat around. No wonder why the method is vigorously embraced by Ballerinas across the world as an integral part of their ballet training!

Cut to 2017 – — still no one I knew has even remotely heard of this incredible core-conditioning technique in Pakistan, invented by a notable German physical trainer in 1920s.  So the news of a dedicated Pilates studio emerging in my own city finally brought to me an unexplainable rush of joy! Today, one has got to be living under a rock if they’re still yet to hear about Pilates Lab, founded by Saniya M Shaikh – trained & certified by the famous fitness expert of Bollywood – Yasmin Karachiwala, who keeps many glitzy celebrities extra fit across the border including Alia Bhatt, Deepika Padukone and Katrina Kaif. The magnificent aura and the aesthetics of this luxuriously gorgeous studio is sure a topic for another day! Can’t thank Saniya enough for bringing home this breakthrough lifestyle to us, so beautifully packaged, it hurts!

After practicing for the last 14 years and now teaching Mat & Standing Pilates since a year, I’m ecstatic to have access to Reformer Pilates at Pilates Lab, the most wonderful movement system that surprisingly challenges & sculpts me every day by the end of our class. This is hardcore resistance training, intelligently engaging even the smallest of your muscles all out in a sinfully low-impact manner. The magic of Reformer Pilates runs so much deeper than just a flat tummy. You notice the difference in how your body looks and moves, improving your alignment, posture, strength & flexibility. The calming power of Reformer Pilates at Pilates Lab clears our minds, leaving us de-stressed and relaxed, while taking our body confidence sky-high!

Reformer Pilates sessions at Pilates Lab

“Being Karachi’s first-ever dedicated Pilates studio with all the essential Pilates equipment comes with a great responsibility. At Pilates Lab we take each and every client’s responsibility upon ourselves; from aligning their postures, to rehabilitating their injuries and devising a program to help them get in their best shape, we use the method of Pilates as a medicine to help integrate their mind, body and soul” shares Saniya, the superwoman to change the spectrum of fitness innovation for women in Pakistan and soon branching out overseas in her quest to spread love in the name of Pilates!

More on the astounding benefits of Reformer Pilates, next week.