Hailed as a dance on the mat, POPPilates is really just a fun and actually quite empowering style of workout that focuses on strengthening our core. I always finish my flow feeling super motivated, confident and ready to take on whatever the day has in store for me; and for me that's actually a big deal because it addresses both my physical and mental wellbeing
I did my first POPPilates class in the summer of 2013 having recently moved down south with my fiancé, and was beginning to prep for our impending nuptials that October. I knew I didn't want to join the gym, and I'm really not a runner so after some searching on Instagram and
Google I came across something called Blogilates. Basically, this was a website that offered free monthly fitness planners and dynamic Yoga / Pilates style workouts on YouTube to go with it. Right up my street!
I figured there had to be some sort of catch since nothing in this life is free. But no, there was no catch and sure enough these YouTube workouts were 100% FREE; best of all I could do them IN MY LIVING ROOM!! I was sold. Each day I would give the workouts a go and of course there were some I loved and some I absolutely loathed because they were so haaaard. But, by the time my big day came, I felt really good in myself and my body
What I really loved about these flows was:
Cassey doesn't look like the stereotypical perfect fitness instagrammer. She also doesn't use filters to change how she looks. She is who she is and is so open. I have a huge amount of respect for that!
The workouts are FUN! I am no dancer by any stretch of the imagination, as much as I would LOVE to be on Strictly one day, I am no Ginger Rogers. But these workouts that are absolutely dance inspired kind of gave me the permission I needed to let go, laugh at myself and have a bit of fun without feeling like the instructor would get frustrated at my genuine lack of co-ordination!
All the workouts are choreographed to pop music, hence the name POPPilates. Now I'm not the biggest fan of pop music but even I could get on board with this since it meant you had these 3-4 minute bursts and so you get through the workouts really quickly
Cassey talks ALL THE WAY through her workouts. If she can do cha-cha abs while chatting about nail polish then I think I can manage to do cha-cha abs whilst only thinking about my breath, and how I wanna change my nail polish, right?!
When talking, Cassey is telling you about her day, her life, whilst also somehow managing to empower you by telling you how amazing YOU are, and how your smashing this workout together. THAT to me is what every teacher, mentor, facilitator should be doing; empowering YOU whilst also building a real connection with you
That same August the creator of these workouts (Cassey Ho) launched her Blogilates app, which meant it was even easier to do the workouts, view the calendar and track my success. It wasn't free but it was less than £1 to download onto my iPhone and all the content was actually all of Cassey's free content from her website and Youtube. All I was paying for was the app itself and the privilege of being able to tick off my workouts on the now computerised calendar. Essentially what Cassey's selling here is time since I no longer needed to get onto YouTube, connect my phone or print off the calendar and then find the workouts. It's all done for you and that is something I am massively on board with!
Over time I began to notice that I was really cherry picking my favourite workouts rather than following the calendar quite so strictly and so I eventually stopped using the app and reverted back to the website because although I loved the app, it was a bit pointless paying for something hat I wasn't really using in the way in which it was intended, when I could get it for free. Now, for anyone who is a seasoned POPster, you will know how much of an advocate Cassey is of doing only what serves you, and I began to practice POPPilates less and less as my focus turned to other styles of fitness
That being said, over the last couple of years in particular, I realised that my own flows became a bit of a mash-up between POPPilates and traditional Yoga. I was also beginning to miss POPPilates and felt this need to connect with other POPsters in real life; Cassey has somehow managed to build a really positive and encouraging community on a global scale. But my nearest classes were either in Southampton or Brighton, both about an hour away from where I live, and so I figured, why not create my own mini community by becoming a certified instructor and bringing POPPilates to my local area
Thank goodness for the online course, which I loved doing! I set myself a target of practicing one new segment each week, which would give me the 30 minute class within 8 weeks. Weirdly enough it wasn't so challenging that I felt out of my depth but challenging enough to stretch me and keep me feeling inspired and motivated
I passed and became a fully certified POPPilates instructor on 16th September 2019 and my very first class goes live just over a month later on 25th October at Rowland's Castle Parish Hall, near Havant. I already have 1 confirmed participant - Eeeeek!
I am so excited to share POPPilates with you and cannot wait to build my own POPster community within Chichester, Havant and Southsea
If you're still a bit unclear as to what POPPilates actually, then this page give you the lowdown