If you are a regular Pilates goer then you are probably familiar with the heart of Pilates in Amsterdam – Studio Anna Mora. Voted as the Best Pilates Studio 2016 by our OneFit members, this studio has a real community of empowering women. Owner Anna Mora sat down to talk to us about her passion for movement and the journey to award winning studio!
Dancing, injuries and recovery
I come from Mexico City, I started as a professional dancer at the National Academy of Arts in Mexico City. Then I studied a combination of choreography, dance and theatre. At the time a friend of mine said why don’t you come to The Netherlands and my dream was to dance with the Netherlands Dance Theatre. But at this time I was 23 and the company didn’t want me – I was too old. I auditioned for the Dutch National Ballet and I did a couple of productions with them but by then I was already a bit injured. Then, I had an ankle operation and when I was recovering I started to do Pilates and Gyrotonics. I was really fascinated with how the methods helped me to get back in shape. After that, I started teaching dance for professional dancers and besides that I was doing my studies to become a Pilates teacher. I started my first studio in 2002 and in 2010 I moved to a bigger studio and now we’ve been here for almost 7 years!
The joy of movement
The core of what I teach is Pilates. We also have a variety of beautiful classes that connect to Pilates including ballet, modern dance, barre, Gyrokinesis, springboard classes and jumping fitness. Gyrokinesis is a method that is connected to Pilates but is a combination of tai chi, yoga and dance. Gyro means circle and kinesis is movement, the body makes spirals and circles and is connected to dance. Gyro came before all these trendy methods. It comes from a much deeper place and understanding of the body. People can expect that every single class taught at this studio is given by a professional teacher. 95% of my trainers were dancers and I believe that if you haven’t been through the effort, the understanding and the work of being a dancer; then it’s hard to make others understand what the real work is about.
A body and mind connection
I have clients that have been with me for 17 years. What we create here is a community not just a studio where you drop in. You know, a lot of women come to my studio saying ‘I’m fat here or I’m ugly’, and I always say, you have to understand that the body you see in the magazine is not your own body. We all have different bodies and we have to work to get the most out of them. I believe in a body-mind balance, forcing your body into positions and building strength quickly is not possible without ending up with injuries, it’s a process and takes time. When you take a Pilates class, for an hour you are connecting with yourself – connecting with the breath and your body. This hour gives you peace and balance and when you leave you feel freer, happier, more energetic and fit. Completely re-energised! I think that’s the whole goal of our studio!
Joseph Pilates was a man!
Joseph Pilates was a man and the method was actually developed for men! So it’s not logical that there are only women doing it. I want to show men that Pilates will improve their core, which is central when practicing other sports. Plus, we teach the method in the most safe and responsible way. You can start as a beginner and still really enjoy the benefits on the mat. In the studio we offer Pilates 1 (Beginner), 2 (Intermediate) and 3 (Advanced) and we also have Pilates Foundation. There are classes for people who are injured or who are worried that they will find the method too challenging. That way, people can start at zero and build it up and try different things.
Inspired by Anna Mora’s professional attitude? Book a class through the OneFit app or website and become part of a growing Pilates community!