Pilates Plus Singapore
How empowered we would feel, if we can just wake up in the morning,
feeling refreshed and excited to face the day with vigour and freedom of movement,
knowing our bodies are capable of whatever our mind can imagine.
Perhaps you have lived a life thinking of all the “impossibilities” when it comes
to fitness. And after the countless attempts, your subconscious self may
think that you are unable to achieve your physical fitness goal.
Truth is, we are all born unique with a great physical potential
and it is what Pilates Plus hopes to develop together with our clients.
We wish to bring you on this marvelous journey of self-discovery
in unleashing this hidden potential in you.
A licensed Physical Therapist, Michel is passionate about uplifting the lives of others and finding ways to improve himself. He has been mastering Pilates for more than 20 years now, injecting his values of patience, discipline, and hard work into every class he teaches.
His vast expertise and interests include Wall Climbing, Competitive Road Cycling, Capoeira, Boxing, Ido Portal Movement, Handstands, Classical Guitar, and Carpentry-Woodworking.
Don is an American Council of Exercise-Certified Personal Trainer (ACE-CPT). He has been teaching HIIT, Power Plates, Kettlebells, Les Mills Barbells, and Vitality, Performance and Reconditioning exercise programming (ViPRs) even before he pursued Pilates formally at age 25. It’s his goal to continually explore more complex movement patterns and hone his practice in the Ido Portal Method.
With a specialization in Movement and Calisthenics, Don is an instructor for Calisthenics, Calisthenics Fundamentals, Handstands, Strength Pilates, and Reformer Strength Series at Pilates Plus Singapore. “Pilates helps me further expand my knowledge and understanding of the body. It’s a good foundation to help people be more aware of, and understand the body better.”
“I chose to teach at Pilates Plus Singapore because here, we don’t just instruct students on Pilates, we also teach bodyweight movements and give them riddles/games to further understand what they can and cannot do with their body. Play is also part of the Calisthenics and Movement classes, allowing students to learn in a fun manner,” according to Don.
His approach likewise involves giving students homework, so they can practice at home on their own. “I discourage my students from practicing movements that require machines or equipment to which they don’t usually have access. Instead, I make them do bias movements that can be done at home.”
The flow of Don’s teaching programme starts with exercises that help him observe the students’ body awareness. To do this, they are made to perform basic movement patterns such as push, pull, squat, lunge, hinge, and spinal movements. He then follows it up by building a solid base for both strength and mobility. From there, the student can gradually progress to much more complex movement patterns, by way of Coordination, Rhythm, Balance, Improvisation, Object Manipulations, and many more.
“I find great satisfaction in teaching students who are willing to dive deep into their movement studies and practice with me. I’m always more than happy to be part of their movement journey,” says Don.
Expertise and Interests: Calisthenics, Ido Portal Movement, Capoeira, Contemporary Dance, Tai Chi, Acroyoga
It was her physiotherapist who introduced Surbjit to the fascinating world of Pilates, but it was chronic lower back pain that made it necessary for her to take it up. “My therapist said that I may need to look into continual rehabilitation and, after trying out countless other remedies, I jumped at his suggestion,” she recalls. “I did not hesitate at all as I was desperate to heal my body. I’m so glad that I took that leap of faith and I’ve never looked back ever since.”
Her journey as a Pilates instructor began in 2004, when she first trained with Pilates Master Alvin Giam (1955 – 2015). Pilates made her realize how little awareness she had of her own body, and how muscle imbalance is caused by a disconnect between the mind and body, which worsens our physical challenges over time.
“That realization spurred her to explore Pilates from a holistic perspective–not merely as a workout for the body but a conditioning of the mind,” Surbjit shares. “In spite of my limited range of movement, Alvin had always encouraged me to look beyond the choreography of movement. I am forever in debt to him for his guidance and for broadening my perspective on movement.”
Pilates has further instilled in Surbjit a curiosity on how people move and what goes on within the layers of physicality. And so, in her own words, “I left my professional marketing career, a vocation that I had enjoyed tremendously, and went on to pursue teaching Pilates and other modalities of movement.”
Surbjit attended workshops by Pilates Masters Alan Herdman, Pat Guyton, Michele Larsson, and Ruth Alpert, among others. She also explored Pilates at Dianne Miller studio in Vancouver, Canada to further expand her knowledge in the rehabilitation aspects of movement.
She went on to pursue other modalities of movement such as SivanandaYoga, Reiki Healing, Vipassana Meditation, and Prenatal and Postnatal work. “It imbued in me a holistic view of movement and how modalities complement one another, so we can function optimally—physically, emotionally, and mentally.”
Surbjit also learned that incorporating the Franklin Method—a skill set on how to communicate instructions of exercises through verbal, tactile, visualization, and imagery cues—into her practice added another dimension to movement, especially for rehab clients.
For Surbjit, Pilates is so much more than exercise, it’s more than building stronger muscles, it’s a lifestyle about feeling whole in our bodies and minds. “I constantly cultivate my teaching skills as I’m both inspired and truly humbled by my clients’ trust and the opportunities they give me to work with them symbiotically,” she shares.
She continues to study all things related to the body and mind and is now venturing into Sound Therapy and Breathwork. During her free time, Surbjit volunteers at healing centres and enjoys spending time with her family.
Expertise and Interests: Pilates Reformer and Matwork, Pre-natal and Post-natal Pilates, Pilates for Rehab and Scoliosis, Sivananda Yoga, The Eric Franklin Workshop on Visualisation and Tactile Therapy, Reiki and Healing Therapy, Vipassana Meditation
Gerardine took up Pilates in 2002 as per the recommendation of her Chiropractor. For many years she’s been enduring neck, upper back, and shoulder pains due to frequent work-related plane rides (as a full- time professional in the clinical and research laboratory industry), and the incorrect usage of gym equipment, as well.
Upon experiencing firsthand how Pilates had helped her out by leaps and bounds, she decided to sign up for the Mat, Reformer, and equipment instructor course in 2010—inspired by her teacher, Helen Stoker. Her role models likewise include Alan Herdman, Jillian Hessel, Emily Splichal, Pat Guyton, Blossom Leilani Crawford, Deborah Lesson, and Ron Fletcher. As part of her continuing education, Gerardine takes at least 2 Pilates courses a year, both in- person or via remote learning.
At Pilates Plus Singapore, Gerardine teaches Mat, Reformer, Trapeze Table, Chair, Ladder Barrel, and Spine Corrector classes, and Pilates Equipment group classes. “I like to observe my students and watch out for both verbal and non-verbal cues every time they come in for class, so I can determine the most effective way to communicate with them. My training approach varies, depending on how best to keep the client motivated in their fitness journey to meet their individual objectives,” according to Gerardine.
Gerardine recommends Pilates to those who want to improve not just their physical health but also their mental wellbeing. “Pilates teaches efficient and mindful movements—to work the body as it was designed, maintain good posture and form, and avoid injury or strain.
Though it’s not a high-impact exercise that brings immediate visible results, the benefits of Pilates are long term and enduring,” she adds. As we progress in age, daily activities or strenuous exercise become challenging, so it’s a good practice to preserve and maintain flexibility. “That way we can all continue performing our usual activities, and possibly take up new ones, for as long as possible.”
Gerardine enjoys scuba diving, travelling, hiking, pole fitness, reading crime novels, and being in the company of cats.
Expertise and Interests: Pilates, Scuba Diving, Cycling, Hiking, Pole Dancing, Track and Field
Susan first took up Pilates in 2002, when she was plagued by several sports-related injuries. “With Pilates, not only did my injuries diminish significantly, I also discovered its many fitness benefits, including building strength, improving mobility, and enhancing flexibility,” she says.
Living proof of what wonders Pilates can do for the body, Susan decided to embark on the journey of becoming a fully certified Pilates instructor in 2009. “I wanted to further my knowledge and sharpen my skills so I can help others overcome their physical challenges through Pilates—just like I did,” she adds.
By 2012, Susan had acquired certifications in Stott Pilates from Pilates Academy International and Smart Movement. She started off teaching women with pregnancy-related issues, specializing in Diastasis Recti Recovery and Pre- and Post-Natal Pilates. She also gave classes to people with scoliosis and those who are recovering from nascent injuries. In 2019, Susan took up continuing education and went on to become a Cancer Exercise Specialist (CETI).
Susan now has a Comprehensive Pilates Certification, which makes her eligible to train students in Mat, Reformer, Cadillac, Chair, and Barrel Pilates, among others. “I used to be a fitness studio owner before becoming a full-time Pilates trainer. Now I am a freelance Pilates instructor who also teaches HIIT, Stretch and Release, and Zumba.”
At Pilates Plus Singapore, Susan gives private classes in Mat, Allegros, and Pilates Fundamentals. “What makes Pilates Plus stand out is Michel’s positive energy and his deep trust in his instructors—to whom he gives creative freedom in handling their classes.” Of all the studios she worked with, Pilates Plus has a more comprehensive training programme, according to Susan, who herself trains her students to work on the entire anatomical plane.
What’s Susan’s advice to those who want to try out Pilates for the first time? “Combine Pilates and cardio exercises as your full-body fitness maintenance. Training with high-impact exercises plus low-impact workouts such as Pilates will help you build a strong core, strengthen your muscles, and promote body alignment.”
When she’s not wearing her trainer hat, Susan enjoys cooking and dancing. Whenever she gets the chance, she goes jogging, swimming, and hiking; or pursues her biggest passion—traveling to foreign countries. “For as long as I can, I’ll keep on preaching the principles of Pilates, teach safety cues, and enlighten people on the true essence of exercising, which is to achieve a full and fulfilling life.”
Expertise and Interests: Comprehensive Pilates Certification. Like Mat, Reformer, Cadillac, Chair and Barrel. Teaching Private, Mat, Allegros and Fundamentals classes at Pilates Plus Singapore.
Siti has structural S-curved scoliosis, accounting for an imbalanced musculature. She suffered from chronic pains on the shoulder, knee, ankle, and lower back due to repetitive sports injuries. As a full-time corporate professional, she spends around 13 hours a day on her desk, which worsens her back pain.
By the time she reached her 30s, Siti had enough, so she sought out a long-term and efficient exercise method for pain relief and injury prevention. “I asked for advice from my orthopedic doctor, who advocates Pilates for the prevention of spinal and muscle imbalance. I took up Pilates reformer group classes and, in a couple of months, I was hooked. I decided to learn in depth, so I can help others with chronic pain, like myself.”
Since then, Siti has acquired a Certified PoleStar Pilates® Comprehensive Studio Pilates Instructor Diploma. “Coming from an internationally certified Pilates school, I’ve had the privilege to study under educators and mentors from various countries. My constant mentors are Geri Nonis, Danny Yeo, Seok, Daniel Dittmar, and Julie Park.” To keep her Pilates Instructor certification up to date, Siti takes continuing education credits (CEC) every 2 years. She also attends workshops and the annual Pilates Summit regularly.
Despite of her vast credentials, Siti sees herself as a Pilates practitioner first and an instructor, second. “I’ve gone to the extent of converting my spare room into a personal practice room with several pieces of equipment, so I can practice at home.” Siti is also into weightlifting, running, paragliding, and trekking.
Siti teaches part-time at Pilates Plus Singapore, handling classes in Mat, Reformer, Trapeze Table, Chair, Ladder Barrel, and Spine Corrector. “Unlike other fitness studios in Singapore, Pilates Plus has small-sized group classes and quite a well-equipped studio. It’s fun to work with like-minded movement professionals who are passionate about their craft. For one, Michel, the owner, is also a physiotherapist who appreciates not just the ‘fitness’ aspect of Pilates, but also the rehab aspects of it.”
As sedentary lifestyles are now the norm, it’s more important than ever to move. “Think of movement as hydration or lubrication for the joints and muscles. Pilates can be vigorous and challenging, but it’s also a corrective and restorative exercise.” Siti always starts her classes by asking her private clients and Allegro group class clients how their body feels, or if there are specific concerns or areas they want to focus on. “It’s an accomplishment for me to hear them say how good they feel after a session!”
Expertise and Interests: Mat, Reformer, Trapeze Table, Chair, Ladder Barrel and Spine Corrector
PILATES PLUS SINGAPORE
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