Avid Ballerina and certified Pilates and Reformer Pilates instructor – Ha, really is a true testament to her teaching, I admire her healthy, toned physique, her dedication to her students and I thoroughly enjoy her method of teaching. For me, Ha is the Queen of Reformer.
From the age of 7, in her native country Vietnam, Ha took up free dance and ballet at a Russian Ballet Group in Hanoi resulting in a move to the Vietnam Ballet College, only coming home on weekends for 7 years until after the course was completed.
Although Ha is highly in demand and a busy mum, she kindly agreed to let me interview her. I also took some sneaky shots of the former ballet dancer in action (you have to see how amazing her body is).
Thank you for allowing me to interview you Ha. I love your figure, very toned, strong and petite. What were you doing prior to teaching Reformer Pilates?
I continued with Ballet even after my studies and also took up Pilates and Yoga as my daily exercise. I had absolutely no intention of ever becoming a Yoga teacher or Pilates instructor, it was actually my husband and my children who encouraged me to do it, so I decided to take it seriously, especially as I found it so beneficial for me, so why not share the benefits of Reformer with others.
How did you get into Reformer Pilates?
I never planned on teaching Reformer as I was planning on teaching matwork only. So, I decided to teach both matwork and Reformer so I can provide my clients with a variety of exercises depending on their individual needs.
I really enjoy your classes and your style of teaching. How do you come up with your sessions each week?
We have master programs to follow on a weekly basis but I also like to tailor my classes based on observing my clients progression and I make notes after each session, which helps me to plan my next class.
The one exercise I least enjoy is the calf and heel raise. The first time I did that with you, I couldn’t walk properly for 3 days. Do many clients find this exercise challenging and painful?
It’s part of Reformer exercise as Calf (Gastrocnemius) stretching and ankle stability. Yes, a few clients have said it’s painful but nobody wants to miss it during the session.
Why would you recommend Reformer?
Posture and alignment are really important in all sports, so once your posture and alignment have been fixed you can build your perfect body while also lowering your risk of injury. Pilates also has many exercises which focus on the transverse abdominals and both Reformer and matwork will strengthen and tone the whole body, adding muscle definition, all important flexibility, coordination and balance, strong core, better balance and posture and of course, overall wellbeing.
At the beginning of each class, you always ask if any of the clients have any back problems. Is Reformer suitable for everyone?
I make sure to know about my client before joining in the class, if they have any issues, injuries such as neck pain or lower back pain (major or minor), hip joints, knee pain etc, so I can give other option exercises to each case as we workout safely, happily and for the best results.
Apart from Reformer, what else do you teach?
As well as Reformer Pilates, I teach both matwork and Barre classes as well.
What is your fitness regime?
I eat everything but in moderation. Breakfast with a good cup of coffee is my main meal and my favourite way to start the day and every day I give myself at least one hour for exercise and stretching.
Thank you Ha and see you next week for some side planks and calf raises.
Ha teaches at my favourite Yoga studio, Naya in Motor City.