Principal Teacher and Founder of North beach yoga and Pilates, Mia Martin, truly believes Yoga, Pilates, Mindfulness are the keys to health and happiness
Mia’s aim is to challenge and inspire you to find strength and balance both in your practice and in life; to be vibrant and centred in your body and mind. We’ve spoken to Mia to share with you the keys to health and happiness.
Romi: Could you tell us a little bit about North Beach Yoga & Pilates and how you started your studio?
Mia: North Beach Yoga & Pilates is my own business and I teach out of my Home Studio and also at our local Trigg Surf Club and Trigg Beach. I teach a range of styles from Vinyasa Yoga, a Yoga-Pilates Fusion, Yin/Restorative, Beginners and also – my fave classes – Beach Yoga in Summer!
I have been teaching since 2013 and started my own Studio in the same year (initially in Scarborough). When we moved to North Beach in 2014 I set up my Home Studio and became “North Beach Yoga”. I then rebranded as “North Beach Yoga & Pilates” when I later became a certified Mat Pilates instructor!
Romi: How did you get into yoga and Pilates?
Mia: On New Year’s Eve in 1996 I was on a balcony which collapsed, fracturing my spine in two places, as well as multiple other injuries to my foot, ankle and knee. Having to give up a lot of the sports I was into, I was at a loss for quite a while, not sure what my future held.
After about 9 months, I signed up for a beginners Ashtanga course and really enjoyed it – that was the start of my life-long love of Yoga and its incredible healing powers. 23 years later and I am still hooked, though my practice ranges between styles these days.
Over the years when I have had to have various surgeries from my injuries, I would often turn to Pilates for rehabilitation and grew to love the core strength and stability I could achieve, even when healing.
Romi: Could you tell our readers a bit about the difference between yoga and Pilates, and the benefit of combining the two?
Mia: In Yoga we focus more on the Mind/Body/Soul connection, in addition to the physical practice. We endeavour to adhere to the 8 Limbs of Yoga and the teachings of the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali. We are working on ourselves at a much deeper level, beyond just strength and flexibility.
In Pilates we also practice with mindfulness, concentration and the breath just as we do in Yoga but the focus is more on core strength and stabilising. We use sequences of exercises with multiple repetitions to target and work strongly into specific muscle groups.
I always knew the two modalities of Yoga and Pilates would blend seamlessly together and our Yoga-Pilates Fusion classes are some of the most popular on our timetable. After these classes we always offer an additional 15 minutes for a seated or lying down meditation or Savasana as well.
Romi: This year had an impact on all businesses. Being in Perth where you were lucky enough to have low cases around 788 (on 16 November 2020), how did you have to adapt your studio to follow the new regulations?
Mia: We had to close down for a few months and then when we were allowed to reopen I could only take 6 people, due to the social distancing laws. So I was working very hard getting my timetable back up and running but without being able to have many students.
Even now I am only taking 8 people at my Home Studio to comply with the continued social distancing laws, instead of the 10-12 people I used to be able to fit in. I stopped providing mats and props and we are of course very strict about everyone using the hand sanitisers and/or washing station when entering. Cleaning and sanitising remains a priority – which I think is a good thing!
Romi: Has your online classes increased this year since the outbreak?
Mia: As soon as we closed down I started filming around 5 classes per week and began building a bank of Online Classes. These are still popular as people are enjoying the flexibility of paying $15 for a Week’s Unlimited Access to Online classes, which they can do any time and as often as they like.
We currently have over 55 to choose from and they vary in styles and duration so there is something for everyone and the library will continue to build!
Romi: Before using Bookamat for your students to register for your online classes, did you have to manually register each new student or did you use another platform?
Mia: I used Mindbody but I chose the timing of COVID19 to switch to Bookamat for a more cost-effective option
Romi: Could you share with us what the Gracetown Wellness Retreat 2021 entails? From what I’ve seen on the website, it looks idyllic!
Mia: lt is a magnificent, untouched part of the world, and it’s right in our own backyard! Gracetown is one of the few places that still has that small country beach town vibe, yet is one of the most spectacular bays along our Coastline.
It is just 3.5 hours south of Perth, yet it is a world away! We focus on really nurturing the Mind Body and Soul, so everything from the food to the variety of classes/ sessions, to the location is really quite magical 🙂
During our November Retreats we are even blessed with watching whales breaching…. from our balconies as we eat our breakfast! As well as world class surf breaks and beautiful bush walks at our doorstep
Romi: If you could give advice to other studio owners from what you’ve learnt this year, what would it be? And what is the one thing you will take going forward for your studio?
Mia: I think it’s vital to learn not to stress over that which is beyond our control, and then letting go of that which no longer serves us. In the Yoga Sutras we learn of Abhyasa and Vairagya – this idea of giving our best efforts in everything we do and then surrendering the results.
Surrender is not about giving up, it’s about letting go of the desire to control that which is beyond our control.
Romi: Last but not least, what are some of your favorite foodie places in Perth, and must do activities that you would recommend to people planning a trip to Australia when travel restrictions allow it.
Mia: We eat at Canteen and Island Market, right on the beach at Trigg, at least once every week! In North Beach we have several fab cafes within 2 min walk from our studio – we especially love La Buda for amazing Smoothie bowls and great coffee.
Yelo is another fave in Trigg, as well as Monty’s in Scarborough for super healthy breakfasts and lunches. I am such a beach girl and a surfer so I can’t boast enough about our beautiful coastline. WA is blessed with so many stunning beaches so you really can’t go wrong picking any of them. From our beautiful South-West region with Margaret River / Gracetown / Yallingup / Denmark, and then the North West is also breathtaking.
Especially along the Ningaloo Coast and Rottnest Island has been a huge part of my life – no holiday in Perth is complete without a trip to our favorite little island – Rotto!
Find the keys to health and happiness on their website http://www.northbeachyoga.com.au/yoga-retreat-wa-gracetown-margaret-river/