Pilates and Your Brain - It's Not Just About Getting Fit

Pilates and Your Brain - It's Not Just About Getting Fit

You've heard all about the amazing things Pilates can do for your body. From strengthening your core to easing point pain, it's a true total body workout. One thing you might not know is that it's also the perfect workout for your mind. Health isn't just about your body. Your mental health is just as important as having strong muscles or good posture. Nothing beats that feeling you get when you start noticing changes in mood, confidence, and emotions. Here are just a few ways Pilates will improve your mental health.

It Teaches You to Be Mindful

A wandering mind is one of the worst things for our mental health and mood. It can strike at any time, making whatever you're doing much harder. Pilates requires your complete attention and focus, which eventually leads to a more meditative state. There's no room for a wandering mind in Pilates! Eventually you'll be able to take the skills you learn in Pilates and use them to promote mindfulness at home. This can lead to less stress and a much better mood.

It Improves Your Sleep

Not getting enough sleep is bad for both the body and the mind. Pilates is the perfect way to improve your sleep. You could spend hours in the gym on the elliptical and treadmill to wear yourself out, or you could enjoy a low-impact exercise that will expend your energy, calm your mind, and improve your spirits. You're much more likely to have a full night's rest after a Pilates class, than if you just sat around the house all day.

It Eases Pain

When you're in pain, of course you're not going to be happy. By relieving the stress tension in your body, Pilates calms your body down. When stress hormones settle in your body, it leads muscle spasms and pain that can really put a damper on your day. Gentle stretching through Pilates is the best way to relieve the pain and improve your mood.

Other Ways Pilates Helps

With so many mental health benefits Pilates brings, we could go on all day. Here's a list of more common mental improvements you'll get by attending a few classes each week.

·         Improved anxiety

·         Reduced negative emotions

·         Increased feel-good endorphins

·         Sharpens the mind

Perhaps the best way Pilates improves your mental health is by improving your confidence. Believing in yourself and feeling good about yourself is the first step to a healthy life.

Why We Love Intermittent Fasting

Why We Love Intermittent Fasting

Intermittent fasting is a craze sweeping the health and fitness world right now, and we're here to tell you that along with Reformation Pilates, this might be exactly what you need to drop those pounds or wake up feeling healthy and refreshed. Giving up food for all those hours may seem like a crazy idea, but there are so many benefits to giving your body a break with intermittent fasting that you simply can't pass up!

Here are the basics of intermittent fasting along with a few ways it can improve your health.

The Basics of Intermittent Fasting

There isn't one right way to do intermittent fasting. Of course, you results will absolutely vary depending on the route you choose to take.

·         Fast and Feast Daily - If you want to reap the benefits of intermittent fasting quickly, fasting and then feasting on a regular basis is a good choice. When you do this, you'll fast for a certain number of hours and then consume all of your daily calories in a specific amount of time. Many women benefit from fasting for 14 hours then eating within a 10-hour window.

·         Fast a Few Times a Week - A more laid-back way to do intermittent fasting is to choose two days of the week where you'll fast for 24 hours. This means you'll eat all your regular meals every day of the week and on the day you choose to fast, you won't eat for 24 hours after your last meal the night before.

·         Fast Randomly - Though not technically considered intermittent fasting, fasting occasionally still has great health benefits and can prepare you for larger fasts. If you want to fast occasionally, just choose to skip a meal one day. If you binged on junk food all day Tuesday, for example, you may choose to skip breakfast the next morning.

There are actually many different types of fasting to consider once you get involved, but the ones listed above are the perfect first steps for anyone considering intermittent fasting.

The Amazing Health Benefits of Intermittent Fasting

Now that you now a little more about intermittent fasting, you might be wondering why we love it so much. Intermittent fasting is amazing for your physical and mental health in many ways.

·         It's an effective, healthy way to lose weight.

·         It is the perfect way for diabetics and women suffering from PCOS to reduce insulin resistance.

·         It reduces inflammation in the body, making it perfect for everyone including those suffering from autoimmune diseases.

·         It strengthens and protects your brain.

·         It reduces junk food cravings and helps control hunger.

By pairing intermittent fasting with Reformation Pilates, you're on your way to feeling like a new you!

Tips for Gorgeous Skin

Tips for Gorgeous Skin

We all want glowing skin, but all the face creams on the market aren't always enough. Although using the right skincare products is an important part of your daily skin routine, there's much more to having glowing skin than simply rubbing a little lotion on your face every day. Check out some of our favorite skincare tips and tricks for that beautiful, healthy look.

Don't Skimp on the Sunscreen

It's easy to forget the sunscreen when you're getting ready for a day outside, but it's one of the most important factors in the health of your skin. This might surprise you, but over 90% of wrinkles are from too much sun exposure. To avoid early aging, along with a higher risk of skin cancer, always remember to slather on the sunscreen - even during the winter months.

Get Enough Sleep

Your energy levels aren't the only thing suffering when you pull an all-nighter. If you ever wondered where those dark circles under your eyes come from, ask yourself how much sleep you had the night before. A lack of sleep also leads to low pH level in the skin, which leads to redness, breakouts, and an uneven skin tone. Make sleep a priority.

Stop Picking at Your Face

Whether you want to admit it or not, we all catch ourselves picking at our face from time to time. When you have a bad pimple bothering you or flaky skin, try to avoid messing with your face. For example, trying to pop a pimple creates inflammation in the skin, leading to redness and irritation. It can even cause scarring. On the other hand, think of all the dirt and germs you're getting in your pores each time you touch your face. You'll notice a huge improvement in the look of your skin if you simply stop touching it.

Never Sleep With Makeup On

After a long day, all you want to do is curl into bed and sleep. Even when the last thing you want is to wash off your makeup, do it. Sleeping with makeup on clogs your pores and leads to extremely dry and flaky skin. Removing your eye makeup is especially important.

With these tips in mind along with your normal skincare routine, you're on your way to the glowing skin you deserve!

What's the Deal with Essential Oils?

What's the Deal with Essential Oils?

With all the chatter about essential oils on Facebook and around the Internet, you might be wondering what's so special about some kind of oil. These super oils are getting more and more popular, and for good reason. Essential oils are natural and safe, providing remedies and treatments that are safe for people of all ages. There's an essential oil for practically anything, but these are the basic ones to start with.


Often used to calm the nerves and relax after a long day, lavender is perfect for use in soaps, candles, and lotion. It's extremely versatile and has a soothing scent you're sure to love. If you like to come home and soak in a hot bath after work, just add four drops of lavender oil to your bath and feel all your stress and worries melt away. It is also perfect for use on burns, wounds, and acne.


Another calming scent, Eucalyptus has a wide range of benefits. The list of ailments you can use this versatile oil is huge, including cold relief, respiratory issues, asthma, bronchitis, pain relief, and fever relief. It can also improve your dental health by getting rid of cavities and gingivitis.


If you ever get tired in the middle of the day and or find yourself zoning out in the middle of important events, peppermint oil is here to save the day. This oil not only makes you more alert, but it can also improve your energy levels drastically. Many people also use it for anxiety and depression.

Tea Tree Oil

Tea tree oil is an antiseptic you should always have on hand. If you have a cut, blister, or small burn, just put a dab of this on it and you'll see improvement in a matter of hours. If you have an insect bite, it will not only stop the itching, but it will also disinfect it at the same time. This essential oil is not to be ingested, but can be used on a number of ailments.

This is just a small list of essential oils to start with. Once you get used to using these, consider picking up an essential oil kit. You'll be amazed at the amazing health benefits you'll get from just a small bottle of oil.

Working the Glutes - How Pilates Builds Your Tush

Working the Glutes - How Pilates Builds Your Tush

At the end of the day, we all want a firm, round booty that will look good in any pair of jeans. The key to achieving the butt of your dreams is in the glutes. Since Pilates activates your glute muscles, you’re in luck. A few classes of Reformation Pilates will have you on your way to the type of booty they talk about in rap songs.

Why Are the Glutes Such a Big Deal?

The gluteus maximus, the gluteus medius, and the gluteus minimus are the three muscles that make your butt. The gluteus medius and gluteus minimus are important, since they are help with leg movement but when it comes to the shape of your butt, the gluteus maximus is where the magic happens. Since it's so close to the surface, this muscle primarily gives your butt its shape. When you strengthen the gluteus maximus, your butt will grow with it.

What Pilates Moves Work Your Glutes?

Resistance training is the key to strong glutes, which is why Pilates is perfect for working that booty. Here are a few movements that can give your butt the shape you desire.

·         Heel Beats

·         Lunges

·         Side Kicks

·         Flutter Kicks

·         One-legged Pelvic Tilts

When you go to Reformation Pilates, you'll learn these moves along with many others that not only strengthen the glutes, but also strengthen your back and core.

If you're new to Pilates and resistance training, start out slow. Just half an hour a day two to three times a week is enough to work those glute muscles.

Tips to Stop Those Annoying Junk Food Cravings

Tips to Stop Those Annoying Junk Food Cravings

Junk food cravings happen to the best of us and unfortunately, are the perfect way to ruin your healthy diet. Whether you're trying to lose weight or just enjoy a cleaner diet, it can be hard when you're constantly craving sugary, processed foods. Of course, it's okay to be bad sometimes. If you really want that cookie, eat it. When the cravings get so bad that you find yourself eating junk all the time, that's when you know there's a problem. Here are a few tips to help you stop the cravings for good.

Drink Your Water

Did you know we often confuse thirst for hunger? It might sound crazy, but sometimes when your stomach is rumbling and you really want to eat that bag of chips, all you really need is water. If you get a bad craving for something unhealthy, opt for a glass of water first. If after a few minutes that craving fades away, you'll know you were just a little thirsty. You should also drink a glass of water before you eat, because this can prevent overeating.

Don't Get to Hungry

It's easy to get busy with your day and forget to eat. Unless you're doing a planned fast, however, it's important that you don't go long periods without eating. If your body isn't getting what it needs, it will start looking for it in the form of horrible cravings. When you're that hungry, you're much more likely to grab something fast and processed rather than what your body really needs. One pro tip to avoid this is to plan your meals.

Fill Your Meals with Protein

Eating enough isn't the only key to stopping junk food cravings. It's about what you eat, too. Eating enough protein is essential to getting full at mealtimes. Protein makes you feel full, which means you won't be craving a snack 10 minutes after eating. At the very least, make sure you eat a high protein breakfast. Protein smoothies are the perfect way to get in enough protein.

Incorporate these tips into your daily eating routine, and watch the cravings fade away.

Pilates Helps With Weight Loss, Too!

Pilates Helps With Weight Loss, Too!

Starting a new workout for weight loss can be intimidating. It doesn't have to be, though! With Pilates, you don't have to spend hours in the gym sweating on the treadmill. Pilates is a low-impact exercise that works your whole body. Pilates isn't going to make you lose weight fast, but it will help you lose weight healthily while also making your body look toned and slim.  If you're ready to lose weight, look great, and feel amazing, this is the perfect exercise for you. So how does Pilates help you lose weight?

It Burns Major Calories

That's right. Crazy cardio isn't the only way to burn a ton of calories. Pilates helps build and strengthen the muscles, which makes you burn more calories at a much faster rate. As a form of resistance training, Pilates allows you to burn more calories for the rest of the day long after the workout ends.

It Shapes Your Entire Body

If you want to lose weight chances are, you're not happy with the shape of your body. Pilates works the whole body, especially the midsection. This will ultimately give your body a leaner, fitter shape.

It Gives You the Strength to Stay Active

Being overweight and out of shape makes it incredibly hard to lose weight. Not only do you not have the energy to get moving, but also you probably have a lot of pain as a result. Pilates is a low-impact exercise that doesn't require you to be in perfect shape to start. As you come to more and more sessions, your core will gain strength and flexibility, allowing you to do more exercises without feeling horrible pain and fatigue. Once you're moving more, you're going to lose much more weight than if you are always sitting on the couch in front of the TV.

It Makes You FEEL Good

When it comes to losing weight, your mental health plays a huge role. If you're upset and uncomfortable with your body, you might be prone to hiding indoors rather than getting out there and being active. By attending Pilates classes, you'll find that your attitude and confidence improves dramatically, giving you the internal strength to tackle your weight loss journey.

Losing weight isn't easy but with Pilates, it can be fun. Remember that you won't lose all the weight overnight, so you have to stick to it to see the results you want and deserve. You're worth it.

Essential Supplements for Good Health

Essential Supplements for Good Health

It's so important for your health to get all the nutrients you need on a daily basis. The truth is, you could be eating a diet full of vegetables and organic meats and still be lacking on some important vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. For this reason, you should include a few key supplements in your daily routine for optimal health.


The first supplement on the list, and perhaps the most important, is a multivitamin. Multivitamins contain many key nutrients in one pill or chew, which keeps you from having to take a handful of supplements each day. Make sure you choose a multivitamin that has everything you need specifically. There are multivitamins labeled for children, men, women, and even elders.

Vitamin D

Vitamin D is an essential vitamin that many people are lacking. If you have low levels of vitamin D, you might experience serious symptoms including tingling in your extremities, depression, migraines, and weight gain. Low vitamin D levels are even linked to cancer. To determine your need for vitamin D and the correct dosage, you can request a blood test from your doctor. Another way to get vitamin D is to spend time in the sun, but make sure to protect your skin from sunburn.

Fish Oil

Fish oil contains DHA and EPA omega-3 fatty acids, which help prevent heart disease and cognitive decline. Omega-3s can also lead to a higher HDL. You can also get these essential nutrients by eating fatty fish like wild-caught salmon at least two times a week.


Probiotics are extremely important for your digestive system. They are also in yogurt, some dairy products, and other fermented foods. Look for supplements that have live probiotics for the best results. They promote regularity and a healthy gut.

If you aren’t taking these four supplements, check out your pharmacy and consider adding them to your daily routine.

Six Things You Probably Didn't Know About Pilates

Six Things You Probably Didn't Know About Pilates

Pilates is a popular workout among people of all ages due to its amazing health benefits. Whether you're a die-hard Pilates enthusiast or are just considering it, there are many interesting things about this popular workout that you should knew.

Pilates Dates All the Way Back to World War I

Although its popularity has grown over the past few years especially, it actually dates back to WWI where Joseph Pilates created it to help prisoners of war rehabilitate and stay fit, along with soldiers returning home from war. The exercise he taught these prisoners were actually exercises he created for himself to help strengthen and tone his muscles.

Pilates Works ALL Day

Yes, you read that right. After just one hour of Pilates, your body actually burns calories at an increased rate for the entire day. Similar to other resistance training, Pilates boosts your metabolism dramatically.

Pilates is a Great Form of Physical Therapy

When recovering from an injury or battling chronic pain from a disease, the last thing you want is a high-impact workout. That's why Pilates is actually an amazing form of physical therapy. It's low-impact and often targets the core, which is important when dealing with many types of injuries, diseases, and even chronic pain.

Pilates a Full-Body Workout

One of the best things about Pilates is that it works your entire body no matter what move you're doing. Pilates teaches you how to engage your entire body to ensure that every muscle group gets a workout.

Pilates Improves Concentration

Pilates not only works out your entire body, but also your mind. When doing Pilates, your instructor will urge you to focus on your breath, your body, and the way they both move together. This not only helps to improve your concentration, but also helps ease stress. You're forced to really think about the workout so you can leave anything that may be bothering you at the door and enjoy a relaxing, effective workout.

Pilates is a Hit with the Stars

Do you ever wonder what some of these celebrities do to keep a hot bod all year round? The secret for many healthy and fit celebrities is Pilates. A few stars who love Pilates as much as we do include Madonna, Russell Brand Sarah Michelle Gellar, Uma Thurman, Amanda Seyfried, Cameron Diaz, Megan Fox, and Kate Hudson.

How to set S.M.A.R.T. goals

How to set S.M.A.R.T. goals

At Reformation Pilates in Ringwood, Eastland, we know the importance of setting S.M.A.R.T. goals. We touched on what S.M.A.R.T. goals are in a recent blog, but the real question is how do you make one? This technique is favoured among fitness enthusiasts, health coaches, and mentors all over the world and it just might be the secret to reaching all of your health and fitness goals. Start by being clear about want you want to accomplish, and then use these five steps to achieve long-term success.


You're much more likely to achieve your health goal if it is specific. An example of a general goal is "Go to Pilates more." Instead, your goal could be to "Go to Pilates twice a week for a month for better health." This tells you what you want to accomplish, when you want to accomplish it, and why you want to accomplish it. This gives you a specific goal you can hit easily.


A measurable goal gives you the exact criteria you need to follow so you'll know when you meet your goal. Using the example from above, "Go to Pilates twice a week for a month for better health" tells you how many times you need to go to Pilates and for how long. Once you hit that one-month mark, you'll know if you have achieved your goal.


Setting impossible goals is the fastest route to failure. You should challenge yourself by setting high goals, but make sure these goals are realistic and attainable. If you set a goal to lose 20 pounds in a month, that's both unhealthy and unattainable. If you're new to running and set a goal to complete a marathon in two months, you're probably not going to achieve that, either. Start with small, simple goals and make them more challenging with time.


When it comes to setting your health goals, choose goals that are important to you and not everyone around you. Don't follow suit simply because everyone else is. If you're friends are trying to shed some weight but you're happy where you are, don't follow suit. If your goals are important to you, you'll surely find success.


A goal without a timeframe is useless. You can set a goal to eat healthier and be "working on it" for years. When your goal has a timeframe or deadline, you know how long you have to achieve it and are much more likely to get there. A goal with a deadline attached has a sense of urgency and priority.

If you've set goals in the past and failed to achieve them, setting S.M.A.R.T. goals might be your key to success. Grab a pencil and paper and set your first goal today. There's no better time than now.

4 Tips for Reaching Your Nutritional Goals

4 Tips for Reaching Your Nutritional Goals

How many times have you set nutritional goals, got super excited and motivated, then quickly went back to your old ways? Setting goals is the easy part; it's sticking to your health goals that can be hard. It's so easy to let the excitement of a new goal fall to the back of your mind once you realize how hard it will be to achieve. Giving up is always easier but the satisfaction of meeting your health goals is unlike any other. Living a long and healthy life is important, so here are a few of the top tips to help you stick to your nutritional goals.

Start With a Clear Goal

Making goals is exciting, but don't go too overboard when setting nutritional goals. Instead of having a million vague goals that sets you up for failure from the very start, begin with a single S.M.A.R.T goal. A smart goal should contain five very important characteristics:

·         Specific

·         Meaningful and Measureable

·         Attainable

·         Realistic and Relevant

·         Time-Bound

An example of a S.M.A.R.T nutritional goal would be to eliminate soda and caffeinated beverage from your diet in 2 weeks. Once you have reached your first goal, you can make another one and work towards that. One main goal at a time will make the whole process a lot less overwhelming and a lot more doable when first starting out.

Have a Support Group

Although it may seem like a good idea to keep your nutritional goals to yourself, having a circle of support can make all the difference in whether you reach your goal or not. Not only will having a support group help encourage you to keep going, but also it will hold you accountable. You're much less likely to order a soda or extra piece of cake when you're out with the girls if they know you're trying to get healthy.

Drink Lots of Water

No matter what your nutritional goals may be, success starts with a steady intake of fluid. Water is essential for health, but it can also be your number one tool in mindful eating. Often our body mistakes thirst for hunger, leading us to reach for unhealthy snack food when all we really need is a glass of water. If you have trouble drinking plenty of water, consider switching it up with a glass of hot green tea occasionally.

Celebrate Small Successes

It's important that you reward yourself when you reach a nutritional goal. This can encourage you to keep going, leading you to reaching optimal health. Of course being healthy is a reward in itself, but small rewards like a new yoga mat, outfit to wear to Reformation Pilates, or manicure are a fun way to reward yourself for sticking to your plan.

What are you waiting for? Start working towards your nutritional goals today and you'll feel like an entirely new person before you know it.

We are loving coconut oil!

We are loving coconut oil!

The coconut oil craze is all the rage with fitness enthusiasts, beauty vloggers, and health experts from all over the world. So, what's the deal with coconut oil? Along with substituting it for vegetable oils and shortening, it's is now a hit outside of the kitchen. We're talking about beauty hacks that will make your life so much easier. Check out a few of these great ways you can use the super oil known as coconut oil.

Sooth Dry Hands

If you suffer from dry skin and find yourself reaching for the lotion every chance you get, you may benefit from using coconut oil as a hand moisturizer. The best part is that you don't even have to melt it. Simply take a small portion from a jaw of coconut oil and massage it into your hands after washing for instant smoothing and moisturizing. This is even safe for babies and children.

Remove Your Makeup

There are lots of wipes and creams available for removing makeup but they can be costly and sometimes irritating for those with sensitive skin and eyes. Coconut oil is a great alternative to these expensive makeup removers. Put a small amount of coconut oil on a cotton ball and gently rub it into your skin before rinsing with warm water. The coconut oil will remove your makeup and leave your skin feeling hydrated.

Get Rid of the Frizz

Do you have frizzy hair? Coconut oil to the rescue! Stop wasting your money on products for your frizzy hair and grab a jar of organic coconut oil. All you do is rub a dab onto the frizzy parts for an instant fix. You can also apply it to the tips of your hair to add a bit of shine. Be sure to use just a little bit on your hair, or it will look greasy.

You can also use coconut oil a for shaving, relieving skin irritation, deep conditioning your hair, and much more. Buy yourself a jar today and discover the various beauty and health benefit it has to offer.

Bring on the Booty

Bring on the Booty

With the rise of stars such as Beyonce, Kim Kardashian and Amber Rose, the booty has made a comeback. Gone are the days of trying to be hip-less with no butt. Women want toned booties they can shake on the dancefloor. This booty-positive trend is on point and we love it. We also have a secret for you: Reformation Pilates at Eastland Shopping Centre is the perfect way to get the sculpted behind you want. Try out these at-home butt toning exercises and you will have a twerk-worthy booty in no time.

Exercise One: Pelvic Curl Up

This powerhouse exercise works the glutes, hamstrings and inner thighs.

1.      Start lying on your back with your knees bent and your feet on the floor. Rest your arms beside your body, palms facing down.

2.      Exhale and drop your low back flat on the floor. Lift your pelvic floor up as you draw your belly button towards your spine.

3.      Slowly begin to peel your back off the floor starting with your hips. Engage your glutes and curl all the way up until you are in a bridge position.

4.      Once you reach maximum height with your hips, reverse the movement and roll your spine back down to the floor. Again, go slowly and keep lifting your pelvic floor the entire time.

5.      Once your hips touchdown, release the pelvic floor and take a big inhale. On your exhale, lift the pelvic floor and begin the exercise once more.

Exercise Two: Leg Lifts

This will give your booty a nice little lift. Not only that, it works the abs and back muscles as well. Don’t be surprised if more than just your buns are sore the next day!

1.      Start on your hands and knees in a tabletop position. You want your shoulders over your wrists and your hips over your knees.

2.      Lift one leg up with the knee bent to 90° and the sole of the foot facing upwards. Engage your core muscles to stabilise your body.

3.      Begin to lift the sole of the lifted leg up towards the ceiling. Keep the hips as level as you can and only lift the leg to the height where the rest of your body can stay stable.

4.      Release the leg back to the starting lifted position.

5.      Repeat for 15 reps and then switch sides. Do a few sets on each side or move until you feel your glutes fatiguing.

            Exercise Three: Side Leg Lifts

This exercise targets the outer glute muscles as well as the inner thigh. All the jiggly spots in other words!

1.      Start on your hands and knees just like you did for the original leg lifts.

2.      Again, lift one leg up with the knee bent to 90° and the sole of the foot facing upwards. Engage your core muscles to stabilise your body.

3.      This time, lift your leg out to the side. Keep your knee in line with your hip and only lift your knee as high as you hip.

4.      Slowly lower the leg back down to the floor.

5.      Repeat 15 times on both sides. You can do additional sets if your booty is feeling up to it.

Exercise Four: Single Leg Lifts

This exercise is similar to swimming and works the whole back of the body, including your butt.

1.      Start lying face down and rest your forehead on stacked palms, just like you did for the previous exercise. Your legs should be extended straight back behind you.

2.      This time, lift one leg up off the ground. Engage your glute muscle to get the maximum lift in this position.

3.      Slowly lower your leg back down to the ground.

4.      Repeat with the other leg. Do 15 lifts on each leg, take a minute of rest and repeat.

It won’t take long for you to notice that your butt has gotten a bit of lift and tone after doing these exercises. For even faster results, try our Pilates Reformer classes where the added resistance of the machines will help you reach your perfect booty faster.

The Deal with Apple Cider Vinegar

The Deal with Apple Cider Vinegar

Apple cider vinegar is one of nature’s health support gems. Despite all the fancy supplements available on health food store shelves, there is something to be said for this tried and true product. It boasts numerous health benefits and can even be used as a humble addition to salad dressing. If you have somehow missed the apple cider vinegar craze, let us introduce you to this golden elixir of health and wellness.

Here are just some of the ways you can incorporate apple cider vinegar into your health routine, alongside Reformation Pilates in Eastland, of course!

Have a tablespoon of apple cider vinegar in warm water.

This simple health tonic is perfect first thing in the morning to help wake up your digestive system. The naturally occurring enzymes in apple cider vinegar promote the growth of healthy bacteria in your gut. Not only that, it has been scientifically proven that apple cider vinegar helps to stable blood sugar levels. Stable blood sugar means no energy crashes that lead to fatigue, lapses in productivity and unnecessary snacking.

Use apple cider vinegar as a toner.

The natural acidity of apple cider vinegar helps to minimise pores. So gently dabbing your face with apple cider vinegar can work as a natural toner. If you have sensitive skin, you may want to dilute the apple cider vinegar with water. Follow up with your favourite natural moisturiser. The vinegary smell of apple cider vinegar usually fades quite quickly so no worries if your nose is not super keen on the fragrance of your new toner.

Gargle apple cider vinegar to kill bacteria in your mouth and throat.

Vinegar is a natural disinfectant. Gargling apple cider vinegar when you have a sore throat can help kill off any unwanted bacteria hanging out there. Swishing it around in your mouth can also help to eliminate bad breath. As apple cider vinegar is a natural product, it only kills off the bad bacteria while leaving the good bacteria behind. So give it a gargle!

These are just some of the many ways you can use apple cider vinegar as its uses are pretty much limitless. It can be used as a cleaning product, to help eliminate dandruff, you name it! So go pick up a bottle and enjoy all the benefits of this truly amazing product.

Meat-Free Mondays: Our Top 3 Recipes

Meat-Free Mondays: Our Top 3 Recipes

Reducing the amount of meat you eat may sound like a good idea—and it totally is!—but unless your meatless meals are just as satisfying as the ones with meat, your good intentions won’t last very long. We’ve got you covered, though. Here are our top three recipes for Meatless Mondays, to be made before or after your Monday sweat session at Reformation Pilates in Eastland Shopping Centre:

Sweet Potato Curry (via bon appétit)


        1 lemongrass stalk, tough outer layer removed, coarsely chopped

        1 2” piece of ginger, peeled, chopped

        4 garlic cloves

        2 tablespoons vegetable oil

        Kosher salt

        ¼ cup red curry paste

        2 tablespoons tomato paste

        1 14.5-oz. can crushed tomatoes

        2 13.5-oz. cans coconut milk

        1½ pound[Office1]  sweet potatoes, peeled, cut into 1” pieces

        ¾ pound small or young carrots, peeled, cut on a diagonal into 2” pieces

        6 medium shallots, peeled keeping roots intact, quartered lengthwise

        1 red Thai chilli, thinly sliced (optional)

        1 tablespoon fresh lime juice

        Steamed jasmine rice (for serving)

        Thinly sliced scallions, basil leaves, cilantro leaves with tender stems, and lime wedges (for serving)


1.      Pulse lemongrass, ginger, and garlic in a food processor until very finely chopped.

2.      Place oil in a large heavy pot over medium heat. Add lemongrass mixture and cook, stirring often, until golden brown, about 5 minutes; season with salt. Add curry and tomato pastes and cook, stirring, until darkened, about 3 minutes. Add tomatoes and cook, scraping up any browned bits, until thickened, about 5 minutes. Stir in coconut milk; season with salt. Bring to a boil; reduce heat and simmer, stirring occasionally, until curry is rich and full of flavour, 20–25 minutes.

3.      Add sweet potatoes and carrots, then pour in water to cover. Partially cover pot and cook until carrots are crisp-tender, 10–15 minutes. Add shallots and cook until potatoes are tender and shallots are soft, 15–20 minutes.

4.      Add chilli, if desired, and lime juice to curry and spoon over rice. Top with scallions, basil, and cilantro; serve with lime wedges.

5.      THINK AHEAD: Curry can be made 2 days before serving. Let cool; cover and chill.

Brilliant Veggie Burger (via Jaime Oliver)

Burger Ingredients

       200 g frozen sweetcorn

       200 g frozen peas

       200 g frozen broad beans

       ½ a bunch of fresh coriander

       75 g plain flour, plus extra for dusting

       1 pinch of ground cumin

       1 teaspoon cayenne pepper

       1 tablespoon sesame seeds

       1 tablespoon sunflower seeds

       Olive oil

       ½ an iceberg lettuce

       2 ripe tomatoes

       2 sprigs of fresh basil

       2 gherkins

       1 ripe avocado

       1 lime

       4 large quality burger buns

       1 punnet of cress

       Tomato ketchup

Vegan Mayo

       2 spring onions

       ½ a fresh red chilli

       ½ a clove of garlic

       2 heaped tablespoons jarred chickpeas

       1½ tablespoons sun-dried tomato paste

       1 teaspoon English mustard

       1 splash of brandy

       1 lemon

       Extra virgin olive oil

Onion Rings

       1 large onion

       2 tablespoons red wine vinegar

       120 g self-raising flour , plus extra for dusting

       ½ teaspoon baking powder

       200 ml cold golden ale or IPA

       600 ml sunflower or sunseed oil


1.      Remove the frozen veg from the freezer, and leave to defrost for around 15 minutes.

2.      Add the defrosted veg, coriander (stalks and all), flour, cumin and cayenne to a food processor. Season well, then blitz to a rough paste. Add the sesame and sunflower seeds, then pulse to combine.

3.      Divide and shape the mixture into 4 equal-sized patties, roughly 2cm thick. Add the patties to a lightly flour-dusted tray, turning them over in the flour to coat. Place in the freezer for 10 minutes to firm up, then pop in the fridge while you make the vegan mayo.

4.      Trim, roughly chop and add the spring onions and chilli to a blender. Peel and add the garlic, along with the chickpeas, tomato paste, mustard, brandy, lemon juice and a good pinch of sea salt and black pepper. Blitz well to combine then, with the liquidiser still running, slowly pour in 4 to 5 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil until smooth and the same consistency as mayonnaise.

5.      To make the onion rings, peel and slice the onion horizontally into rounds, roughly 2cm wide. Separate them into rings, then place into a bowl with the vinegar and a pinch of salt. Leave for 5 minutes.

6.      Meanwhile, combine the flour and baking powder in a bowl, pour in the ale and whisk gently until smooth, thick and coating the back of a spoon nicely.

7.      Place a medium, deep pan over a high heat, pour in the sunflower or sunseed oil and allow to heat up. To test if the oil is hot enough, drop a piece of bread into the pan – if the bread floats to the surface, sizzles and turns golden, it’s about right.

8.      Drain the onions, dust a handful of them with flour until lightly coated, then dip into the batter. Remove with a slotted spoon and allow any excess batter to drip off, then carefully lower into the hot oil. Cook for around 1 minute, or until golden and crisp, turning halfway with the slotted spoon. Transfer to a double layer of kitchen paper, then repeat with the remaining onion.

9.      Preheat the oven to 160ºC/325ºF/gas 3.

10. Heat a splash of olive oil in a large frying pan over a medium heat, add the burgers and cook for 10 to 12 minutes, or until cooked through and golden, turning halfway and pressing down with a fish slice to get them nice and crispy. Transfer to a baking tray, then pop in the oven while you prepare the remaining ingredients.

11. Finely shred the lettuce. Add to a large bowl with half of the vegan mayo (keep the rest in the fridge for up to two days and use as a tasty dip or in sandwiches). Mix well.

12. Slice the tomatoes and place on a plate lined with kitchen paper. Sprinkle over a little salt and pick over the basil leaves. Top with another piece of kitchen paper and pat lightly to remove any excess water. Slice the gherkins lengthways, then halve and de-stone the avocado. Scoop out the flesh and cut into slices, then squeeze over the lime juice.

13. Halve and toast the burger buns on a hot griddle pan or under the grill. Once ready, pile the lettuce and sliced tomatoes onto the burger bun bases. Pop a burger on top, snip over the cress, then layer over the gherkins and crispy onion rings.

14. Add a good squeeze of ketchup to the burger tops, place them on top, squeezing down gently, then tuck in.

Spicy Veggie Tacos with Guacamole (via Meat Free Mondays)

For the Taco Filling

        600 g vegetarian mince, frozen

        1 large onion, sliced

        ½ red pepper, sliced

        ½ green pepper, sliced

        ½ iceberg lettuce, shredded

        100 g cheddar, grated

        1 handful coriander, leaves picked

        1½ tablespoons olive oil

        1 pinch salt

        1 pinch pepper

For the Spice Mix

        1 tablespoon chilli powder, mild

        2 tablespoons onion powder, or celery salt

        1 teaspoon ground cumin

        1 teaspoon paprika

        1 teaspoon oregano

        1 teaspoon garlic powder

        1 teaspoon sugar

        1 teaspoon salt

        1 teaspoon cornflour

For the Guacamole

        2 avocados, ripe

        1 tomato, diced

        ½ red onion, finely chopped

        ½ lime, juice only

        ½ teaspoon Tabasco, to taste

        2 teaspoons olive oil

        1 handful coriander, chopped

To Serve

        6 crunchy taco shells


1.      To make the taco filling, put a frying pan over a medium-high heat and add the olive oil. When the pan’s hot, fry the peppers and onion for 1 minute.

2.      Add the frozen vegetarian mince and cook for 5 minutes.

3.      When the pan starts to dry out, add the sugar, salt, spices and cornflour and stir to combine.

4.      When the mixture has combined, pour in 200 ml of water and bring to the boil. Cook for 4-5 minutes until the mixture thickens to coat the mince. Season with salt and pepper and keep warm.

5.      To make the guacamole, halve the avocados and take out the stones. Scoop out the avocado flesh into a mixing bowl.

6.      Add the olive oil, onion, coriander, lime juice, tomato and some drops of Tabasco.

7.      Season with salt and pepper.  Mix the ingredients together using your hands to form a thick paste.

8.      Warm up the mince in the pan and heat the tacos through in a hot oven according to packet instructions.

9.      Place the tacos on plates and add the coriander, lettuce, grated cheese and Tabasco. Top or serve with the guacamole.


How to Become a Morning Person so You Can Get to Your 6am Pilates Class

How to Become a Morning Person so You Can Get to Your 6am Pilates Class

There is nothing better than starting your day with a 6am Pilates class, especially at Reformation Pilates at Eastland, Ringwood. Exercise first thing in the morning wakes you up and starts your day on a powerful, I-can-do-anything note. You then get to carry that energy with you throughout your day. It’s really a no-brainer. Except for the whole bit about waking up super early to get to class. Oh yeah, that old hurdle.

For many people, mornings are tough. We have a few tips to help make your mornings easier so you can start your day off right with a 6am sweat sesh.

1.      Go to bed early. This one is pretty obvious but we could all use the reminder from time to time. It’s so easy to get sucked into scrolling through social media when you should be winding down away from a screen. So pick a bedtime and stick to it. You will be so happy you did come morning.

2.      Change your alarm. Pick your favourite motivational mix as your alarm. Some sort of feel-good tune that will put you in a positive headspace when you wake up.

3.      Put your alarm clock or smartphone on the other side of the room. Chances are, by the time you get to hitting the snooze button, you will be awake.

4.      Drink a big glass of water first thing when you wake up. Our bodies lose water as we sleep so starting your day off with proper hydration will help to kick things into gear. For an extra bit of zing, add freshly squeezed lemon to your glass. If you leave it out the night before, beside your alarm, you can skull it as soon as you wake up.

5.      Start with a positive affirmation. It’s normal to focus on the feeling of being tired when you first wake up. Instead, pick a positive affirmation to say to yourself to drown out those tired thoughts. “I am going to feel awesome after this Pilates class and have a great day!” is a good one.

6.      Stick to your routine. Our bodies are creatures of habit and do best when we have a consistent schedule. So stay committed to your routine and over time, mornings will be a breeze.

Do you have any tricks for getting yourself to an early morning class? Please tell us if you do!

Mastering “The Burn”

Mastering “The Burn”

At Reformation Pilates in Ringwood, Eastland – we’re all about feeling the burn!

If you ask any professional athlete how they push through those last few reps at training or the final stretch of a race, you might hope they say something along the lines of, “Oh, I don’t really feel the burn anymore.” Which would maybe give you hope that one day those last few reps of your 100s will suck a bit less. Unfortunately, the burn is here to stay. But here’s the truth: this is a good thing. The stronger you get in your Pilates practice, the more you can challenge yourself to reach your goals.

So instead of waiting for the day the burn disappears, focus on mastering the burn instead. Here are some of our favourite ways to get through those last few reps:

1.      Think about how good you are going to look naked. Seriously, every time you feel like throwing in the towel, picture yourself with a toned body wearing your favourite birthday suit. Oh yeah, the burn is worth it.

2.      Think about how good you are going to feel the next time you’re with your crush. This may involve a sexy black dress or your birthday suit. We’re not here to judge.

3.      Think about Kim Kardashian’s sculpted waist and awesome booty. She has to do Pilates. How else does she keep that toned but soft figure?

4.      Think about Michelle Obama’s arms. Not only is the First Lady an intelligent and progressive wonder-woman, she has some seriously sculpted guns. Best of all, she’s been showing them off since day one. Maybe she and Kim do Pilates together.

5.      Think about the U.S. election. Seriously, the most powerful country in the world might descend into darkness very soon and there’s a good chance a zombie apocalypse will ensue if this happens. If this is the case and the zombies somehow make it to Australia, we need to be ready. So finish those reps before it’s too late!

6.      Think about your favourite food truck. You will want to protect it from the zombies, won’t you? Oh, and also enjoy that delicious burger guilt-free, of course.

Give these a try and let us know how it goes. Also, we would love to hear what gets you through those last few, burning reps!

Top Pilates Exercises to do at Home

Top Pilates Exercises to do at Home

At Reformation Pilates at Eastland, Ringwood, we really love our Allegro Reformer machines. That being said, we know that you can’t always make it to class so we want to give you our five favourite, at-home Pilates exercises. Remember to do slow, controlled movements and exhale on the effort.

            Pelvic Curl Up | 30 seconds

The Pelvic Curl Up is a staple of any Pilates session. It targets your deep core muscles bringing all-over strength and stability to your body.

1.      Start lying on your back with your knees bent and your feet on the floor. Rest your arms beside your body, palms facing down.

2.      Exhale and drop your low back flat on the floor. Lift your pelvic floor up as you draw your belly button towards your spine.

3.      Slowly begin to peel your back off the floor starting with your hips. Engage your glutes and curl all the way up until you are in a bridge position.

4.      Once you reach maximum height with your hips, reverse the movement and roll your spine back down to the floor. Again, go slowly and keep lifting your pelvic floor the entire time.

5.      Once your hips touch down, release the pelvic floor and take a big inhale. On your exhale, lift the pelvic floor and begin the exercise once more.


Roll Up | 30 seconds

This core-strengthening exercise creates strength and stability in the body. The secret is to move slowly so you don’t compensate with momentum.

1.      Start lying on your back with your arms beside you, palms face down.

2.      Engage your pelvic floor and try to keep it switched on for the entire roll up.

3.      Begin the roll up by lifting your head shoulders and arms off the floor.

4.      Roll all the way up to seated, engaging your core muscles to lift you.

5.      When you get up reach forward towards your toes with your fingertips.

6.      Slowly lower yourself back down to the floor.

100s | 60 seconds

This is a classic Pilates exercise that engages your deep core muscles and makes them work a bit harder to stabilise with the arms pumping.


1.      Begin as you did for the Pelvic Curl Up [Office2] with your knees bent and your feet on the floor. Again your arms should be beside you with your palms face down.

2.      Start with a pelvic curl. Exhale and drop your low back to the floor as you engage your pelvic floor and draw your belly button down towards your spine.

3.      Lift your head, shoulders and arms up off the floor. Look between your knees to avoid creating tension in the back of the neck.

4.      One at a time, lift your legs up. You can keep your knees bent at 90° or straighten them for an added challenge.

5.      Moving from the shoulder and keeping the arms straight, pump the arms up and down 100 times. The movement is small, controlled and quick.

6.      When you reach 100, release your back down to your mat.

Bicycles | 30 seconds

This exercise targets your obliques and tones the side of your tummy. Definitely, a key exercise to incorporate into your at-home routine.

1.      Start lying on your back and interlace your fingers behind your head. Bend your knees and place your feet flat on the floor.

2.      Exhale, do a pelvic curl and lift the head, shoulders and feet off the floor. Your shins should be parallel to the floor.

3.      Stretch one leg out so that it is hovering off the floor. To make the exercise easier, lift your extended leg further away from the floor.

4.      Draw the same shoulder—not elbow—of the extended leg towards the opposite knee. The shoulders should stay lifted off your mat.

5.      Switch sides on your exhale. Repeat using controlled movements.


Single Leg Stretch | 30 seconds

The Single Leg Stretch is strength work combined with flexibility. This makes it a great exercise to do at home, especially if you have tight hamstrings.

1.      Start lying on your back with your legs lifted up towards the ceiling. Remember to engage that pelvic floor!

2.      Lift your head, neck and shoulders off your mat with your gaze between your knees.

3.      Bring one leg as close to your face as possible and extend the other leg so that it is hovering off the floor.

4.      Grab hold of the lifted leg—on the back of the leg, above or below the knee - and pulse it towards you twice before switching sides.

5.      Repeat on the opposite leg.

Repeat each exercise twice to get a quick, effective, at-home Pilates workout when you can’t make it to your regular Reformation Reformer class. Home Pilates is always better than no Pilates, after all!

How Tea Helps Keep Snack Cravings at Bay

How Tea Helps Keep Snack Cravings at Bay

Tea is a great way to reduce or eliminate snacking. While some nutrition plans praise the five-meals-a-day method, other studies have shown the benefits of giving your gut rest in between meals. Either way, snacking can quickly become a mindless activity that results in the consumption of unwanted calories.

It is common to confuse thirst for hunger so before you decide to reach for that mid-afternoon snack, have a big glass of water first. If after your big drink you are still hankering for something more, give a hot cup of tea a go. It may seem like you’re essentially just having another glass of water but there’s more to your cuppa than you might expect.

Peppermint Tea

Peppermint is a natural appetite suppressant. Studies show that smelling peppermint distracts people from feeling hungry, whilst keeping you hydrated as well.  If your snacking habit is due to an increased level of anxiety or worry, peppermint is a natural tummy soother, so it will help your gut manage stress.

  Green Tea

Green tea is another appetite suppressant with a naturally occurring antioxidant that boosts a hunger-suppressing hormone. These antioxidants keep blood sugar levels stable so you don’t experience the common insulin spike that leads to a need to snack. Plus, you get the added benefits of all of those detoxifying antioxidants.

We most often feel the need to snack when we are bored or have low blood sugar.  Preparing a cup of tea can be a great little meditation ritual if your hunger cravings are coming from a place of boredom. If your blood sugar is low, still have that cup of tea, but also eat some protein to boost your energy levels and keep them stable in the future.