“I feel a sense of achievement when I have a peace of mind, joyful moments, kind interactions and am engaged in things I am passionate about.”
The early years…
I grew up in a leafy suburb in Victoria called Warrandyte South, half way between Melbourne and the Yarra Valley. When I was about 19 I moved to an apartment in the Docklands, Melbourne.
In my mid 20’s I was working in a corporate IT job. Throughout this period I was struggling with depression and anxiety and at this time it was recommended that I start Pilates and yoga. I started with mat Pilates and yoga, going daily during my lunch break or after work. I was blown away by how amazing I felt mentally and physically. It quickly became my sweaty sanity and after I discovered reformer pilates classes I was absolutely hooked!
I loved the flowing motion of the reformer, how deceptively challenging it was and all the creative exercise variations. Most of all I love how the practice required my full presence. For me the easiest way to practice mindfulness is through movement.
It was at this time that I went through a pretty big life change, quitting my corporate job and embarking on my Pilates and yoga teacher-training journey, followed by open ended travel.
My reason for travel was not all starry eyed. I needed a new story. Since my early teens I had been navigating life with severe depression and anxiety. This story defined my life for many years and I figured the only way forward was to find a new story.
I took myself out of regular life environment in the hope that time and new experiences would help me to grow as a person and maybe shift something. I travelled solo through India, Nepal and Bali. I then travelled Australia and moved to Israel, living there before deciding to return to Melbourne.
I was a full time Pilates, Barre and yoga facilitator in Melbourne and then moved to Sydney after falling in love. Eventually we made the conscious decision to move to a small, sunny surf town on the North Coast of NSW, surrounded by nature and kind community. We boldly bought our beautiful little home on our second visit to the town!
Part of the reality of making a big move to a small town was that there wasn’t a reformer studio on every corner like in the big cities. So I could continue my personal Pilates practice, I purchased a reformer which we initially set up in our garage for a few months.
After receiving multiple enquiries to take people in the community for private sessions, I decided it was time to make a truly special space for myself and others to enjoy the kind of movement that I love.
I thoughtfully designed the Tropik studio to be minimal and uplifting, so Tropik movers feel like they have really created a special space in their day for joyful movement and moments of stillness. The studio looks out onto a lush tropical garden adding the perfect mix of calm and vibrancy to the movement experience.
I currently take Tropik Pilates sessions around a full time job in a completely different industry.
I am really mindful of ensuring that I am not taking on so much that I burn out. I am conscious of the exchange of energy when facilitating movement and made the decision when I started Tropik that I wanted the sessions to not only be uplifting for clients, but also for myself. A fair and sustainable exchange of energy. I therefore limit the number of clients I take on each week.
Over the years my perspective and priorities have definitely changed. For a while I thought that scalable business success would validate my existence, but now I’m focussed less on the hustle, image and materialism. I feel a sense of achievement when I have peace of mind, joyful moments, kind interactions and am engaged in things I am passionate about.
The most important ritual for my wellbeing is around sleep. I go to bed anywhere between 8:30 pm – 9:30 pm for a 5:30 am wake, ready to take 6 am Tropik Pilates sessions. At night we dim the lights in the house, turn the Wi-Fi off and put our phones on flight mode. We have a candle by our bedside table (no lamp) and that is what gets lit while we get ready for bed.
My movement practice is the other ritual that most supports my mental and physical wellbeing. If my movement practice is off, my mental state often suffers as a result, and vice versa.
When I take myself through my own Tropik Pilates session, I am mindful to keep it completely separate from client session planning. I set the room up in the same way I would if I were taking a client and allow myself to enjoy the entire Tropik experience. I put a lovely essential oil in my diffuser, turn on a Tropik playlist, start with a flowing warm up, Pilates reformer work and wind down after a sweaty session with stretching and stillness.
I enjoy getting out and about, walking our dog in nature. I have been in love with skipping (jumping rope) since it was introduced to me in primary school as part of the “Jump Rope for Heart” initiative that was rolled out to schools.
I love the repetition, play, flow and the process of creating fun new moves that take time and practice to master.
Keep in touch with Bek and Tropik here.