About

Blue Mat Pilates was first established in 2007 in Hamilton, and we opened our second location at Mt Maunganui in 2015.  Our intention is to share the limitless benefits Pilates can offer, to our Community, in a supportive and safe environment. We know what it takes to get the body feeling good, less injury prone, and generally stronger and more flexible. We ensure that what we teach is first class, by well-informed, fully qualified Instructors. Our classes are modified where needed, to ensure that each client is offered a safe yet challenging workout session.

We offer Pilates Mat classes, one on one Reformer sessions, Vinyasa Flow Yoga classes and Corporate/Workplace classes.

 

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  • RIANA LEAF – BLUE MAT PILATES CREATOR AND PILATES ADVOCATE

RIANA LEAF

  • How did you discover Pilates?
  • I discovered Pilates when I was at a cross roads with my career. I wanted a career change that would revolve around helping people. My mum was in a bad way with her back, so I wanted to be able to help people like her, find ways to look after, and tune into their own bodies to manage pain – without necessarily having to go to someone to give them a short term ‘fix up job’. I wanted to teach people some awesome tools they could use to ‘fix’ themselves, where possible.
  • What does Pilates mean to you?
  • It means my absolute passion and calling. I feel like the luckiest and most blessed person to have a job that I love so much. It gives me so much fulfillment, knowing that I am making a positive difference in peoples lives.
  • Why should people adopt Pilates as their primary exercise program?
  • Because it absolutely works.
  • Do you have any advice for people considering taking up Pilates for the first time?
  • Ensure you are with a Fully Qualified Instructor. There are plenty of ‘Pilates Instructors’ out there that may have done a weekend workshop, and then can all of a sudden start teaching it. You know you will be in safe hands when you have found a highly skilled instructor that has done at least a year long course, hundreds of observational/teaching and self mastery hours and plenty of continuing education.
  • Is there anybody that has particularly inspired or influenced you in your Pilates career and why?
  • I would have to say my mum. She has had some fairly traumatic back surgeries, and has managed her pain so well with practicing Pilates every day. Her surgeon has always been amazed at how much she has managed to continue doing with the state her back was in. She has been a perfect ‘walking billboard’ of how effective and beneficial Pilates can be, especially with people with some fairly hefty injuries or conditions.
  • Can you tell us about an experience in which Pilates benefited a client or someone you know?
  • I had a client recently come up to me and share this story. She has a high needs teenage daughter who is wheelchair bound. She (the mother) has spent the last 10 years visiting her chiropractor every week and physio treatments 3-4 times per week, to help with her back pain from all of her heavy lifting and 24/7 care she gives to her daughter. Since attending her Pilates classes weekly, she no longer needs to see her physio, and only goes in to her chiropractor once every 6 weeks or so. This made my heart absolutely sing!
  • How has practicing and teaching Pilates changed your perspective on life?
  • It has taught me so many amazing things. One thing that definitely stands out is how much we all need nurturing and ‘me time’. No matter how ‘together’ or ‘on top of things’ someone can appear, there is always a need for taking time to breathe and get back in touch with their bodies. It has made me appreciate how important it is to treat each individual with as much love and respect as you would expect for yourself. We are all connected in this universe and share the same energies, so by taking time for others, you are feeding your own energy system too.
  • When you’re not doing Pilates, what can we find you doing? Your favorite hobby?
  • Well when there are waves I like to go surfing. Otherwise I like to get out for a run or walk 3-4 times per week.
  • What are your favourite foods?
  • Oh there are so many! Sushi, smoothies jam packed with goodness, anything my sister Kara makes is generally raw and delicious. Mum makes a pretty amazing fish curry…. cafe inc make a delicious raw/gluten free/refined sugar free picnic bar which is amazingly yummy.
  • If you could only do one Pilates exercise, what would it be?
  • The Bridge. It awakens your deep supportive spinal muscles, lengthens your spine, strengthens the back side of your body and frees the spine up beautifully. A few of these each day helps to keep my spine happy.
  • What's your favorite quote?
  • Where energy goes, energy flows.