This week Journal meets the founder of Pilates in the Clouds, Lauren Masaoka, whose clients range from age 11-93 at her super exclusive, appointment only Pilates studio. With a background in classical Pilates and evolved Pilates, native Californian Lauren is know for her challenging and dynamic sessions in the most beautiful and uplifting studio going.
How did you get into teaching?
I started taking reformer Pilates when I was 18. I remember it being the first form of exercise that I actually looked forward to. The class was very small with only three clients at a time, which made it feel more like a catch up with friends than a dreaded workout after a long work day. It was the rapid and positive change in my body in less than 10 sessions that got me hooked! Having a background in premed and anatomy, I was keen to learn how Pilates could transform the body in other ways, apart from aesthetically, although a very welcome side effect! So I started my teacher training in the US.
How did you choose your area of expertise?
My area of expertise has been arrived at through a natural progression. I initially worked with professional sports teams and performers from Cirque du Soleil, which meant a lot of injury prevention and rehabilitation. However I’m also from LA, where everyone’s focused on that photoshopped body goal. I tried to combine strengthening and lengthening while maintaining perfect form to help the body perform at it’s best.
Have you been inspired by anyone in the industry?
My brothers are self defence and tactical trainers for the Navy Seals in the US. They specialise in Krav Maga which is the contact combat taught to the Israeli army. I always enjoy workouts that are beneficial on multiple levels. They give a workout that is endurance and cardio based, as well as enables you to feel prepared and safer walking at night in the city.
Do you train at home? What’s your routine?
I shouldn’t admit this, but I am not disciplined enough to train at home! I try to make a plan to go for a run with a friend so I can’t back out and end up relaxing on the sofa in my workout clothes!
What makes your studio special?
As cliched as it sounds, I aimed to create an environment that is only positive vibes. From the serene always non street front setting in the clouds, away from the hustle and bustle of the city, to the individualised attention to each client ensuring they feel relaxed yet invigorated and challenged yet comfortable. Most importantly, the personal attention and results clients receive are what keeps our waitlist long. Clients love coming to the studio. Many start to feel more like friends than clients.
What is the one piece of advice you would offer for someone taking your class for the first time?
Don’t be discouraged if you don’t have perfect breathing or perfect form on the first session. It will come as you continue to strengthen and perfect your movements.
What is the one mistake your see most often in your class?
When clients have only been in larger classes and haven’t learned to properly maintain navel to spine. They just suck in their stomach, arch their back and pop out their ribs.
What should everyone do as part of their warm up?
A great warm-up on the mat is the roll up. On the reformer, I love a classical footwork routine. Try to speed walk or jog to your class to fit in a little sneaky cardio.
Top workout tracks?
Depends on the client. I love all types of music! Sometimes it's Ludovico Einaudi, sometimes it’s Jay-Z. My boyfriend is from Alabama, so sometimes it’s even Blake Shelton!
One tip for daily fitness you can do from anywhere?
Everyone can benefit from stretching, and you can do it anywhere.
One lesson you have learnt in your fitness journey?
Consistency is key! To maintain that consistency, you need balance. I am a huge foodie and I love to cook and bake, so I try to follow the 80/20 rule. 80% healthy eating and exercise, 20% indulgence and chill time!
“Be happy with what you have, while working for what you want” Hellen Keller
Pilates in the Clouds offers exclusive by-appointment only Pilates sessions at their private studio led by founder Lauren Masaoka. With no website or shop front, DM Lauren at the Pilates in The Clouds Instagramor email for bookings and pricing.
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