BDA Pilates is a welcoming space for everyone. The classical Pilates on offer at BDA takes participants through a series of precise, controlled movements that work all muscle groups in the body and, at the same time, emphasize breathing and mindfulness.

Most people have heard of Pilates, but not everyone knows exactly what it is. What are the benefits of this form of exercise? Will it strengthen your body? Increase your flexibility? Improve your posture? Relieve your back pain? Enhance your focus and concentration? Reduce your stress and anxiety?

The answer to all these questions is yes! Pilates is a type of mind-body exercise that has been shown to have incredible mental and physical health benefits—which is why the co-owners of BDA Pilates, Vehia Walker and Pauletta Francis, are passionate about bringing this practice to the masses. Trained through the Pilates Studio in New York City under master instructor Brett Howard, Vehia has been teaching classical Pilates for the past 20 years. Pauletta is a Pilates enthusiast whose vision is to provide professional, high-quality instruction to everyone in Bermuda.

“Pilates is a safe, fun and engaging way to increase your core strength, enhance your body awareness and improve your posture,” says Pauletta. “It offers low impact, full body exercises and requires no particular fitness level or body size to participate. Anyone can try it and make a habit of it. That’s one reason why I love it and why BDA Pilates is a welcoming space for everyone.” The classical Pilates on offer at BDA takes participants through a series of precise, controlled movements that work all muscle groups in the body and, at the same time, emphasise breathing and mindfulness. As both a physical and a mindful practice, Pilates develops strength and flexibility while also promoting a sense of calm and alertness. It also creates balance in the body.

“It can be all too easy to become out of balance,” says Vehia. “Any time we do repetitive movement, we tend to overuse some muscle groups and underuse others. For example, a runner or a dancer relies on some muscles much more than others. And if we’re sedentary, we can easily become imbalanced, with weak core muscles and poor posture. Over time, that can lead to developing pain and attracting injury. Pilates is a safe and fun way to address all those issues and, as a result, live a fuller, more satisfying life. I always say that when you are in control of your body, you also control your life.”

BDA Pilates offers both private and group sessions using either a mat, tower or reformer. Just as it sounds, members of a mat class perform all movements on a mat using their body as their fitness “equipment.” A tower class relies on a vertical unit that uses a variety of attachments and springs to provide a full body workout. And a reformer class makes use of an apparatus with a carriage that moves back and forth along tracks within a frame. A set of springs and a person’s own body weight provide resistance during the movements.

Pilates is ideal for beginners and elite athletes alike. It offers tremendous benefits at every level of fitness and requires no specialised knowledge. BDA Pilates even offers pre and postnatal classes, senior classes, and classes tailored to those who need low impact workouts. As an instructor, Vehia enthusiastically welcomes clients from all backgrounds with diverse needs, with or without Pilates experience. “My classes are built as much on my passion for wellness and my compassion for people as they are on my expertise,” says Vehia. “I put it all into my work. I love seeing people feel good about themselves, which is what happens when they start feeling stronger, more flexible, more fluid in their movements and more confident as well.”

In short, Pilates has the potential to transform your health and your life. Here’s a quick list of what studies show can be improved with Pilates: core strength, posture, flexibility, mobility, balance, energy, sleep, sports performance and cognitive ability. And here’s what can be decreased: back pain, stress, depression and anxiety. “I like to say that classical Pilates can help you achieve all your goals,” says Pauletta. “Combine improved strength and flexibility with greater rest and relaxation, and you will have the energy you need to go after everything you want out of life. And that’s what it’s all about—living the life you dream about and deserve to have.”

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  • BDA Pilates is a fully-equipped classical pilates studio, offering low-impact private and group classes for people of all ages.
  • Bermudiana Arcade, 2nd Floor, 27 Reid Street, Hamilton | (441) 705-1668