The 1.000 mile journey starts with one step

Marga Bălan is one of the most famous Romanian pilates and yoga trainers. She started doing professional athletics at the age of 10 and since then, sport has been a vital part of her life. She has continued to train and in 2000 she started doing pilates and yoga. Marga Bălan has brought in Romania, at Shiseido Spa – Stejarii Country Club, a new concept of pilates called Exo Chair Pilates. The numerous sessions and the happy customers who keep coming back to her classes says a lot about the passionate trainer.

Marga, you have practiced many sports but chose pilates and yoga. Why so?
The surprise occurred at a cross-fit contest between teams of colleagues, fitness and aerobics professionals. It was an exercise program that contained tractions, bench presses, back leaps, pushups, bench leaps, planks, etc. I didn`t expect to be the best in isometry and to hold the most planks. Cardio and fitness trainings produce stamina, but endurance cannot be acquired without body awareness and selfcontrol, both practiced in pilates and yoga.

Can you explain in a few words the difference between pilates and yoga?
Just like alpinism, pilates is an extreme sport, where intense effort, dosed and directed thoroughly, it completely reshapes the body, mind and soul, depending on your emotional disposition. The pilates trainee uses positions that are different from fitness or aerobics and, working muscles that the body never knew it had, 100% present, attentive to your breath and an aligned body. Compared to yoga, which is a complete system of self-knowledge and awareness, pilates is focusing on applied therapy, punctually and rapidly, reshaping and harmonizing the trainee, while Yoga is a way of being and living on a spiritual coordinate, not just physical and material.

You have introduced a new concept of pilates in Romania. What is this all aboutand what is its purpose?

Yes, it is called Exo-Chair Pilates and it is anew concept of practicing body intelligence, efficient movements, an intense and dynamic Pilates Cardio training, with influences from yoga, dance and ballet.

We all want to be healthy and to have a beautiful and harmonious body. According to the 21st century, beauty standards mean slim and toned muscles. How do yoga and pilates classes help achieve these goals?

Exo-Chair Pilates training is shaping the body in a unique, personalized, isolated manner, focusing on deep muscles, not just on the large muscle groups. Both combined muscle groups are worked, within the harmony of a choreography that is scientifically produced in order to obtain quick results and long term changes. We need a strong body center, just like a belt that provides stability, to harmoniously tone and develop the body; the necessary stability is acquired by contracting the pelvic muscles, thus activating the deepest transversal abdominal muscle and the back`s closest stability muscle, providing force to the body; the work is done from the inside to the outside, and the final result is a perfect abdomen and a toned body.

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