Combat the winter blues

By Paula Burkett
June 2012

Two months ago a friend introduced me to Pilates.

A new studio called ‘Sculpt’ had opened in Waikanae and we decided to combat the winter blues by getting ourselves fit. Knowing absolutely nothing about Pilates, I was in for a big shock. It was not at all what I expected.

Pilates was devised by physical culturist, Joseph Pilates in Germany 1883. Joseph believed mental and physical health went hand in hand, publishing two books in his lifetime relating to his training methods.

The Pilates method seeks to develop controlled movement from a “strong core” and demands great concentration, aided by properly coordinated breathing. Contemporary/Modern Pilates breaks the method down into various components and the order of the exercises varies from lesson to lesson, with some alterations made to the original exercises.

My first week proved to be interesting.  Having completed the Classic Mat Class I,  was lulled into a false sense of security,  waking up the next morning feeling energised and eager to do another class.

Hard Core was another ball game. – Not for the faint- hearted, this class began at 7am on a Saturday morning. It was still dark and icy cold when I left home at 6.40am and I started questioning my sanity.

After the Hard Core class I was exhausted but felt good. But, the next morning, as warned by Sarah Topliff, the vivacious instructor, … ouch! I could feel muscles I didn’t even know existed.  Moving my body around was very limited and resembled a two step shuffle (not the LMFAO kind).

A couple of days on I was moving more freely so my next class of choice was Ballet at the Barre. This looked more like my kind of work out and less taxing on the body.

Wrong again!  The next morning my body definitely knew it had been put through its paces and I began thinking, “why is it I do this torturous thing to myself?”

Fusion Class was next and the only one I hadn’t tried, – surely this would be easier. In fact this was the class I found the hardest .(Yes, even more than Hard Core) But the aches and pains were getting less the following day. This must mean my fitness is improving … yes!

Two months on, I am still attending and enjoying the classes. (Warning, it does become addictive.)

What I have noticed is that my old back injury does not give me the constant grief it used to, and the several comments I have had on the shape of my figure changing gives me the incentive to keep going. I even attended another Hard Core class again and questioned the sanity of getting up so early on a Saturday morning.

Sarah’s theory is. -“If it was later in the day you would make excuses not to go. Now you have the rest of the day free to eat cake or chocolate and feel justified” … there is some logic in that.

Having an instructor with such a bubbly personality also helps to motivate me. Sarah does a fantastic job at pushing us all. In fact I have been told at the next class I am going to I will be driven harder as it looks  as if I am finding it easier lately … gulp!

Sculpt have a great online booking system which is very handy if you are busy and like to book ahead, they have also just started Vinyasa Power Yoga classes which I am yet to try but word in the Studio is they are well worth attending. Head to if this sounds as if it’s for you!











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