Spela Perc is my long time friend I met through Pilates classes and one of the best Pilates instructors Europe had, not to mention the pioneer of Slovenian Pilates, Gyrokinesis and Gyrotonic classes. Spela and me went through so many interesting moments since we met in Pilates studio and because I cannot write about all of them, I will only mention the most important one. I have introducted Spela to her husband and for love of her life she and her son moved to Toronto. At that time I gave birth to my second daugther and we sold our business. But we still wanted to work together and be connected so me and Spela created a Smart Movement System of workshops for healthy spine and burnout prevention. It gave us a good excuse for traveling and visitng eachother often. So, when Spela called me in March that she is visiting Ljubljana, we scheduled Healthy Spine workshop in Sunny Studio in Ljubljana.
I amusingly teased Spela that this workshop will show if really so many of her more than 2000 Facebook friends miss her Pilates, Gyrokinesis in Gryotonic classes as they often post it on her Facebook wall. We even included one of the best physiotherapist Izidor Ivanovic to make workshop more attractive and interesting. We were laughing to discover that once again Facebook friends are whatsoever more virtual friends than anything else. It is always easier to write on the FB wall, then really act and do something for yourself while rekindling with your favourite pilates teacher and friend. It took some work of my Betterlifestyle team to sell our Healthy Spine workshop and even though we had sponsors as Goriska Brda for cocktail hour and free heathy snacks from Restaurant Arboretum,gave beautiful giveavawys from HEAVEN cosmetics, wore beautiful Corpocabana sportswear; meaning free drinks, food and gifts, it took effort to convince audience about this Healthy Spine workshop. But at the end of the day it was beautiful, sold out workshop, that focused on improving your spinal health and gave participants tools and excersices that can be applied in everyday life to improve one’s spinal health which prevents burnout.
I am attaching gallery of photos for all that would like to feel the moment from workshop and take this opportunity to thank all of the participants, our sponsors and announce that there will be more workshops to come.
Remember that by strengthening your spine you are strengthening the core of your life.
Last week me and four of my friends decided we needed an afternoon off. These women appointed me to take care of the reservation and organise SPA day. Guilt free, no worries, stress relieve, soul refreshing day. I scheduled SPA afternoon with hammam , saunas and jacuzzi before each of us took on two hours Thai massage. As one could imagine five women in one small steam room can come up with many discussions about relationships and women issues. Good thing was that the only guy that dared to join us in steam room was Italian and could not understand us. Since one of us is doctor we got somehow scientific explanation on women hormones and what brings so many relationship problems. Note that two from the group are divorced and we all have children, from toddlers to teenagers. Basically it is simple explanation of hormone levels that drives us into different situations in our lives. I will not go into monthly women cycles of hormone changes that we all know way to well, but just on general issues. I will simplify this hormone explanation and forgive me if it is not completely accurate, but as I understood it , is that when we are in our reproduction phase in our life is that we look for good DNA and that is why we are attracted to certain type of men. For example I always wanted to be little taller and this is why I was always attracted to tall men. Don’t get me wrong, of course I as well looked for intelligence and that something extra, that one cannot explain. But if we talk about simple basic things and DNA material, it gets as simple as that, small gene attracts tall gene. For all those that will once again ask me how comes that I married the tallest guy in this country :). Once you have children you get into diapers, bottles and taking care of the children, because your progesterone level is bumped and you are in your reproduction phase in your life. In a phase when you are primarily interested in caregiving and raising your offspring. But then comes the time when your children can take care of the basics and are at least somehow independent, we, women, realise that we are not just mothers and wives, but as well women. And then our progesterone hormone levels go down and the estrogen hormone ( our primary sexual hormone) raises. And this is why women change . As one of my friends that divorced after three kids and twenty years of (from the outside you would say solid) marriage, it is her that have changed, not him. Her husband was the same man she married many years ago. It is her, that changed and realised, she wants different life for herself, as a woman. We came to realisation that as our hormones and lives are changing, as we are more experienced, as we become mothers, women feel more independent,. self-confident and self-assured and that is why we do feel better with age. We are mothers, we are educated, we learned to say no, we learned not to care what others think and we learned that what we want matter just as much as what our children and partners expect from us. We concluded that once our reproductive ability and hormones slows down, we are the “queens”….And that I shall not be afraid of ageing (yes, I admit, I am sometimes scared of growing old). Because our faces will get old, nice bodies will change, but lets not forget that good women will stay good women!!!
Few days ago, when I visited birthplace of Aphrodite in Paphos, Cyprus, I was contemplating what is the true, principal meaning of love and beauty, that we distorted lately. Since then I have been thinking about woman power and beauty.
For those who are not familiar with greek mythology, Aphrodite is goddess of love, beauty, pleasure and fertility. The legend says that Zeus (king of all gods) was so afraid that her beauty could cause wars, that he had her marry to the ugly and deformed god Hephaestus ( god of fire, craftsmen and sculpture) , to keep her safe. But Aphrodite was not stopped and she had many lovers and children. Aphrodite is said to be lady of Cyprus,, because she was born at Phapos, as a result of castration of Uranus (god of sky) genitals, that were thrown into the sea and caused the foam from which beautiful goddess was born. That is why when in Cyprus, legend says swimming at Aphrodite beach will make you beautiful, young and fertile.
As of woman energy and power of beauty, woman love and fertility, I am often thinking about how beauty is being too much objectified these days. Women should look into being beautiful not only by our physical appearance, but also by our experiences, our attitude, our personality, our talents and our confidence. You were given the body you have, so celebrate it, value it and care for it. Standards of physical beauty are changing constantly, but love for yourself is bringing lifelong satisfaction and happiness. Because what can be more influential than gratitude for what you have, love for how you look and appreciation for what you have learned from past experiences? When I discussed woman issues with my dear friend Valentina, she once pointed out that she is concerned about so many women are talking that they want to look more attractive, but no one is talking about trying to become better person. And I couldn’t agree more. Lets be aware of our ability for loving ourselves and others and power to be good people. That doesn’t mean we should ignore all the fun stuff that was made or given to us as women to have fun, but I mean not to take beauty trends too seriously and enjoy all those things women can do, that men can’t.
I did put my legs into cold sea water where Aphrodite was born, and I thanked mother Earth for my healthy body and once again promised myself I will do my best to love myself and appreciate my woman power, try everyday to be better person and love the goddess that is whit-in me.
Even though I was moving with my husband, what I remember most while relocating, is feeling anxious how will I accommodate to new environment and meet new people. I knew I will have to form new friendships, if I didn’t want to spend my days without friends and support group. I didn’t want to stay home all day and wait for my husband to come home from his work.
So when you are moving to a new country or new town, after settling in, it is beneficial to subscribe yourself to local gym, yoga or pilates class, because that way you can meet new people, that are not involved in your workplace or your husband workplace. Not only will you meet people, you will get into regular exercise routine with benefits of social life, support group and stress relief. Not to mention being guilt-free for eating chocolate while being overstressed by unpacking or settling your child into new daycare or school.
I know how hard it is for a woman to take her own time out of family time (I have been there), but it will benefit everyone in household if a mother and wife takes her workout class. Do something for yourself. Taking care of YOU will make your lifestyle better no matter where you life.
When I first moved to the United States, my husband subscribed me to gym, because he was worried I will be lonely when he is at work. When I lived in Indianapolis, for the first month, I only knew how to drive to gym and groceries. That made me feel savage. Later, whenever we moved, that was my habit, to first subscribe to pilates classes. I have met amazing women and formed life-lasting friendships through my workout classes. We had so many funny stories and moments that we shared at our classes. My girls and me resolved many broken hearts, children tantrums, husband issues and discussed new fashion trends while sweating. Not only I got my body in shape after two pregnancies, I as well achieved inner peace and clear mind.
If you find yourself relocating to Ljubljana or just visiting it, I recommend you visit Slovenian biggest and most equipped wellness and fitness studio. In Sunny studio they as well have an amazing wellness program and a food bar where you can enjoy freshly made quick lunches or snacks, all made from ecological ingridients from nerby farm. Check it all out at Sunny Studio (http://www.sunny.si).
Pilates is my passion.
I was introduced to Pilates 13 years ago while I was living in Indianapolis. Since then pilates has been my favorite work out routine. Not only did I train at pilates studios, but I also made many friendship through my workouts. One of those is my long time friendship with Spela Perc (I will write separate blog on how I introduced her to her husband:). From our client-instructor relationship, we became friends and later business partners.
I am the co-founder of Smart Movement and this is the second project that me and Spela Perc have partnered on.
Smart Movement is a unique and innovative personal training, a functional and healthy workout, which tones the body in a natural way.
We offer workshops that present a unique concept of training and relaxation specifically developed for the issues employees and employers are facing in today’s corporate world. We bring a fresh and practical approach that will work for each person in your organization and help them understand the connection between a healthy mind and body and their performance and work habits. It also helps them create healthy habits to ensure they are performing at the optimal level.
For more about Smart Movement, visit http://www.smartmovement.ca