Right about now you should know that we love to discover new places where we find passionate people that want to help us create a healthier lifestyle in Bangkok. Whether this is a restaurant that uses the best organic products, a shop that has delicious produce or a spirited health advocate. And so we were super excited when Alisa McDonald invited us to her private pilates studio. Added advantage was that her studio is in Sukhumvit Soi 71 – an area that is not very known to us. So always a great start to explore another part of town.
Who is Alisa?
First things first – let us introduce you to Alisa. Alisa is an amazing Pilates instructor and founder of the one-on-one training studio Body Reform close to Phra Khanong BTS station. She completed 200+ hours of observation and self mastery and examination, and she is very keen about helping people become their best selves by introducing feel-good movements to strengthen, tone and increase flexibility.
When we got in contact with Alisa, you right away saw her professional side. Asking if we have any injuries she should know about, if we had any experience, and tuning in to see if we had any experience with Pilates Reformer already. We right away made it difficult for her as Joëlle had some injuries to focus on, and I had never done a Reformer class in my life. With this you see that these one-on-one sessions are perfect, as there is time to just focus on what is important for you and your body, and not what is important for a group workout.
On the day we met, I kind of got a bit scared. Why? Well I have seen these ‘torture’ machine, as I would refer to them, before and they intimidated me big time. So how would I be able to use them? And more important, how would I make sure I would not get trapped in them?! Nothing to worry about, as Alisa was calm and relaxed and made sure we were feeling comfortable before we started, explaining what each machine could do for us. Then she went through each exercise with an eye for detail to make sure we did the moves in the correct way.
How did Body Reform get started?
Alisa has such an inspiring story on how she got started, which is something we’d like to let her tell you herself. Alisa – the floor is yours!
“I’ve always enjoyed working out however I struggled when it came to the core part of each exercise, I would always feel a pain in my lower back whenever I did crunches or any sort of ab workout. I remember one instructor telling me its cause my core wasn’t strong enough.
Then I got to know Pilates. My first encounter was in Germany while taking my mum to her physiotherapy sessions after she had knee surgery, where they recommended her to take up Pilates classes. If you’re not familiar with the history of pilates – it takes its name from Joseph Pilates who was originally from Dusseldorf, Germany. It was perhaps the first type of exercise that combined the Western and Eastern ideas about health and physical fitness. Joseph Pilates combined the classical Roman and Greek exercise regimes to body-building and gymnastics, alongside practising the Eastern disciplines of yoga, tai chi, martial arts and Zen meditation. Additionally, he studied anatomy and animal movements to perfect this exercise and body-conditioning.
When I joined my mum to her Pilates classes, it helped me see exercise in a way that isn’t just beneficial to only our looks but our body functions and performance. I used to see ads and magazines promoting exercise to be about getting that summer body, instead of using exercise as a way to relieve pain, de-stress, or increase your overall health and energy levels.
After some research, I got to know all the benefits of pilates, enrolled in a course and instantly became hooked. After 20 classes I noticed the difference in the way I moved, everything felt more fluid. After 30 sessions I started seeing lines across my stomach and noticed my core had gotten stronger without doing any crazy HIIT crunches or drills. My love for pilates grew from there. I felt energized after each session without stressing out my body and overexerting it. My posture improved, my shoulders were no longer as rounded as they used to be. I began to feel how small precise movements changed my body, mood and overall happiness.
I wanted to share this with as many people possible, so I decided to become a Pilates instructor. Having completed 200 + hours of observation, self-mastery and examination. I’ve been able to help all different body types move better and find their passion for health and fitness. I currently offer clients one-on-one sessions at Body Reform, bringing in creative and fun ways to fitness routines without it feeling like a chore. I believe private sessions makes all the difference in helping clients reach their goals and implementing a healthy lifestyle in their routine to have a positive and lasting impact.”
What’s so special about Body Reform?
Body Reform is a one-on-one studio – no big groups, just a relaxing vibe to cater specifically to your needs. The big advantage of that is that you just need one person who shows up for you and knows exactly where you are and where you want to go to, who can inspire you in improving your health and well-being. And with Alisa you’re definitely in the right hands!
Both Joëlle and I found that Alisa makes Body Reform. She was on her game with our different levels of Pilates experience, injuries that we had, but also taking the time to get to know us. She paid attention to every detail and had a solution for each of our areas of concern. This in combination to the fact that Body Reform doesn’t offer group lessons, but one-on-one classes makes it a very personal affair. And to be honest a much easier way to start and continue doing Reform Pilates, as Alisa takes the time to make sure you perform each exercise correctly. We can wholeheartedly recommend her!
Where can I sign up?
As said Alisa’s Body Reform Studio can be found close to Phra Khanong BTS, a hidden gem at the Condo Town Sukhumvit 71. All her classes are taught in English.
The easiest way to get in contact is through LINE alisamcd or via body.reform on Instagram. The website is under progress, but we’ll keep you posted once it is ready!
Alisa McDonald is a Pilates instructor and founder of one-on-one training studio Body Reform. Having completed 200 + hours of observation, self-mastery and examination, she’s passionate about helping people become their best selves by introducing feel-good movements to strengthen, tone and increase flexibility.