Tell us about your studio when did it open?
I opened Vela in December 2021. It’s a home studio space located in Lewisham, NSW where I run small group Pilates classes on my private residence rooftop terrace on Fridays and Saturdays as well as virtual zoom classes.
How did the idea come about?
The word Vela comes from the Tongan language meaning Hot/Burn. I’m half Tongan so that’s where I came up with the name Vela Pilates (Hot Pilates). I came up with the idea of opening a home studio in August 2021, during the lockdowns when home workouts were becoming an only option for most people at the time.
What was the idea behind the studio?
I love being out in the sun and I love hot yoga so when I moved into my apartment I wanted to offer something different on my rooftop terrace and decided to combine both ideas and create hot rooftop Mat Pilates in the direct sun instead of heated rooms so people would be absorbing vitamin D as well as getting fresh air.
What is your signature style of Pilates?
My signature style is definitely a modern contemporary style of Pilates. As much as I love vintage classical style, I believe that the Pilates method must continue to evolve as we move through time.
Why is it different?
My background stems from Rhythmic gymnastics, I spent 10 years competing as an elite gymnast and 7 years coaching the sport and have applied my years of knowledge from coaching professional athletes to design a totally different Pilates program which offers a fusion of Mat Pilates, Barre, Yoga, Stretching, Ballet, Strength and conditioning as well as a Rhythmic gymnastics twist all in one!
What is your favourite feedback you’ve received?
That my program has helped gymnasts and dancers gain strength and flexibility back again as well as mothers get rid of back and knee pain.