Interview With An LA Pilates Instructor
From London to LA this inspiring woman has always taken an interest in fitness, eating well and feeling strong. We are delighted to have a new ambassador of OAK who inspires us to dream big & be mighty. When Abena moved to Los Angeles 5 years ago with her husband and young family she turned a personal love of fitness into a passion to teach and guide others. Through pilates she has found physical & inner strength which is aspirational. Her calm manner organically inspires those around her to live a healthy happy life.
How has your fitness or wellness changed since you trained as a pilates coach?
My fitness and wellness has evolved and improved tenfold since I trained to be a Pilates instructor. I try to workout as much as possible in the studio before or after teaching clients. It just feels amazing to rejuvenate myself after treating my clients, Otherwise I feel exhausted. I also go dancing when I have extra time, because I just love to dance. Otherwise I live, eat, breath, think of Pilates all the time, it provides such a discipline that is so amazing for the mind. It is truly empowering.
What made you decide to train as an instructor?
I actually stumbled into it thinking it was like yoga but it is nothing like you yoga though I also love yoga. I have always been into fitness so after having my second son, I felt I needed a tummy tuck without the surgery and basically pilates has achieved it for me. My abs are stronger than before kids, it’s incredible.
How did you start sharing your pilates on instagram?
I started using Instagram to share my passion for Pilates, it is hard to convey the essence of Pilates through Pilates poses because it is a movement exercise not a 'pose and hold' so my aim is to present strong images that looks like a movement in process to arouse curiosity hence Instagram.
Favourite meal? which guilty pleasures are your favourite treat?
My favorite meal has to be Eggplant Melanzane alla Parmigiana. Guilty pleasure is a simple Dark Chocolate of 60% Cacao with as little preservatives as possible.
Smoothie or coffee in the morning?
Strong Dark coffee first thing in the morning, followed by 16oz of warm water preferably, then a green dream smoothie consisting of almond milk, kale, banana,parsley, granny smith apple. Sometimes I add goji berries, fresh ginger, bee pollen, or blueberries……so yummy and filling.
What are some of your current fashion obsessions?
Right now, I love wearing shorts and light airy tops to avoid feeling sticky in the LA weather, but I love all things Lululemon for when teaching and working out. I love to collect from high street stores like Zara, Topshop, Karen Millen, BCBG, All Saints, Urban Outfitters and mix match them. I also love designers like DVF, Alice + Olivia, Stella McCarthney, Clover Canyon, Burberry, Alexander McQueen, Prada, most favorite of all Valentino and Oscar de la Renta.
How would you describe your own personal style
My style sense of style revolves around how I am feeling on a particular day, I walk into into my closet and it is all about intuition and comfortability for me, if I feel confident that’s all that matters. I dress for myself based on my mood and what I feel like I can handle when I step out of the house.
Favorite piece of jewellery? & why?
Besides my wedding jewellery, all my favorite pieces are by Oak Jewellery, they are such statement pieces that when I wear them I am conscious of it, for example the Lovers earrings are my favourite, because though they look big, it’s rather light and delicate and it really stands out in the most elegant way every time I wear it. I get so many compliments.
What is your dream job? Are you doing it now?
I am definitely living the dream career, though it is fairly new I feel very comfortable in this role and see huge growth ahead, I never feel like I am working but rather making people feel strong and great in their bodies. Our bodies are so sacred so when one allows me into their personal space I feel truly honored.
Music you are listening to at the moment?
I love all types of music, one of my favorite artist is Sade, I love her essence, she is graceful, and truly expresses herself through her music, she appreciates her fans and she is so, humble, classy and cool. I find her very inspiring, she is all about the art of her music.
If you could what is the one piece of advice you would give your 18 year old self?
I would tell my 18year old to trust your instincts, not to compromise yourself for anyone, you really can be whatever you want and finally never be scared of your potential.
If you could interview anyone who would it be and what would you want to ask them?
I would interview Joseph Pilates, because he has changed so many lives, mine included, he was way ahead of his time, revolutionary and extraordinary in creating the system of exercises we now call Pilates. I have met some pretty amazing people through Pilates, and will continue to because of what he created through his legacy.
You’ve moved from London to LA, where would you like to move to next? Or are you done moving?
Naturally, when I moved from London to LA I was pretty overwhelmed for some time, but after 3years I started to find my path and place, and have never felt more settled, however, I am open to new adventures and as long as I can practice Pilates wherever I go I will be open to moving, nonetheless I love LA, it can be a very liberating place where you can literally be whatever you want to be.
Come for a mind blowing Pilates session with me in Los Angeles, you really won’t regret it.
Follow @AbenasPilates on Instagram for a daily dose of wellness inpiration