Mentor Highlight : Christophe Blanc, Hong Kong

How did you discover Pilates? Why Pilates? 

CB: While I was studying at university in the early 2000’s, I started my career in the fitness industry teaching step and aerobics.  What I enjoy most about being a group fitness instructor is the interrelationship between music and movement, particularly in a class situation where everybody is moving in unison.  

The more I taught, the more I became passionate about the human body, particularly how to improve its potential and functionality, which led me to study personal training. 

After I relocated to Hong Kong in 2011 I was encouraged to learn and become proficient teaching a myriad of group classes from Body Pump to Grit to ViPR to cycling to TRX.  It was under this environment of constant learning and development that my group fitness director, Meech Aspden (who is also a Polestar mentor), strongly encouraged me to take a Polestar Pilates mat course.  

Meech has been a keen advocate of all things relating to Pilates, but particularly Polestar Pilates, and her words have always resonated with me, “Pilates will make you a better instructor.” Taking the Polestar Pilates mat course was a revelation as it showed me the link between understanding anatomy and the practical application of how and why we should move.  From a personal perspective, I could feel the benefits that Pilates has had on my own body, session after session, as it reduced my back pain and muscle tightness.  

Pilates self-mastery has allowed me to move with more fluidity, improved my sense of balance, and helped me recover more quickly from other training modalities.  

After mat Pilates, I then progressed onto the Polestar Reformer course, which fueled my passion for Pilates even further.  It was during this process that Meech encouraged me to become a mentor for Polestar, so that I, too, can share my passion for Pilates. 

What do you love about teaching Pilates and what do you convey in your teaching? 

CB: As a Pilates Instructor I love mat Pilates, because it was my first foray into the Pilates world.  Pilates is for me a combination of lengthening and strengthening, mobility and gracefulness that reminds me of dance.  I love teaching the sequence of movement as a flow because it reminds me of life: a constant flow of events happening one after another.  I want to teach my participants to take a journey with me moving consciously and with purpose from one exercise to another so that it mirrors their real lives: being able to move with grace to the ebbs and flows that they face on a daily basis.  

Our mantra should be to live a life that is pain free so we can enjoy and savor every moment. As a mentor, I love to teach students the theory and science behind Pilates and help them to understand why Pilates can change peoples’ lives.  The Pilates approach to movement is unique and fascinating: it requires a methodical approach, linking the mind and body.

Where did you take your training and who was the educator? 

CB: I took the course with Isofit Pilates Studio in Hong Kong.  Samantha Robinson who is a senior educator for Polestar Asia conducted the mat Pilates course.  I loved the way she delivered the course – she made it fun and enjoyable.

What is your favorite quote?  How do you embody and apply this?

CB: “Insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result.” -Albert Einstein.  

For me, that means if I want to see change or exact change, I need to break out of my comfort zone and challenge myself.  Nothing is really easy, but nothing is impossible too.  That quote has helped me in the process of self-development and self-actualization. 

What is your favorite apparatus or favorite way to move? 

CB: The Reformer is one of my favorite fitness apparatuses because it was so challenging initially and revealed all of my flaws.  The more I practice on the Reformer, the more I realize that the human body is complex, yet capable of much more than we give it credit.  

I love the concept of the resistance of the springs and the way the feedback from the springs can either facilitate or challenge the movement.  

I could feel huge improvement in my spine mobility with exercises like semicircle and snake and twist.  For my students the Reformer is also my number one go-to apparatus as I see them improving in leaps and bounds particularly with their own body awareness and coordination.

What are you reading or learning about? 

CB: At the moment I am reading Sapiens, A Brief History of Humankind, by Yuval Noah Harari.  I have always been interested in history and how humankind has been able to evolve so differently from other species.  It’s a New York Times Best Seller and the author takes a very interesting approach to the creation and evolution of homo sapiens.

Where would you love to vacation?

CB: Anywhere where there is nature and space.  I love nature and greenery; I am from the mountains in France and that’s what I miss the most living in the urban hustle and bustle of Hong Kong.

Discover Polestar Pilates Asia here

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