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Interview

Lift, Tone & Bloom with Erika In Conversation with Erika Bloom Pilates

We sat down with pilates expert, Erika Bloom, to see just how she flourishes through it all, and how we can, too.

Sometimes, the most beautiful flowers bloom in adversity.

Erika Bloom grew up with a love for movement, but she began to develop physiological problems as a postmodern dancer at 19. On top of that, she learned that she had an autoimmune disease that caused ovarian cysts, acne and digestive issues. After finding her path to recovery in the eastern hemisphere, she wanted to share her newfound body of knowledge in philosophy, functional medicine and movement. So, she became a pilates instructor.

Now, with her own studio and method certification course as well as certifications in everything from therapeutic yoga to pelvic floor dysfunction, Erika has successfully converted her individual struggle into a garden of wellness for others. When COVID-19 closed her studios across Turks and Caicos, Los Angeles and the Hamptons, she developed an even larger online platform. In fact, her following has only continued to bloom during lockdown. Her online classes have helped many people nourish themselves and move their bodies through a deeply troubling time. We sat down with Erika to see just how she flourishes through it all — and how we can, too.

YOUR BUSINESS

The best piece of advice you have ever received…

I built my business during a time when boutique wellness wasn’t a thing. Healing and movement were separate spheres. Being a woman and a business owner wasn’t common. Others constantly deterred me from pursuing this path, which only made me more sure that what I was doing was the right thing.

Healing and movement were separate spheres.

In some ways, this long journey prepared me well for persevering and growing with focus and determination during this strange year.My 2020 mantra came from some advice I heard this year: Every day is a new day to move forward. 2020 was a year filled with much grief and loss. As a result, many have reflected on the beauty of past peaks, but these moments couldn’t inform us how to move forward. How can we end this difficult period with peace? It is important to learn from our past, but it is perhaps more important to fully release and to move forward.

How to be an effective leader when navigating an unprecedented situation…

First, the key for me was to admit I didn’t know how to navigate a leadership position. Then, I figured it out alongside my team with communication, compassion and empathy. There is a Hawaiian saying that trauma comes from expectation. I had to let go of all expectation during this time. Instead, I took space to breathe so that I could turn, shift and dance with the constant changes while still holding up my staff and our clients.

Your philosophy to success since the pandemic started…

Follow the joy and the truth. I do what I love every day. Every second of my work is in service of healing and movement that truly makes change. I stayed steadfast through every boulder and every pivot in order to feed this joy and truth.

YOUR HOME

How you’ve transformed your home to continue teaching remotely…

Entirely! My closet became a filming wardrobe/prop room, half my bedroom became a reformer equipment studio, my living room became a mat filming studio with lights and cameras, and my kitchen became a nutrition film studio. I’m quite a minimalist, so it works! In fact, I’ve eased into finding pleasure in working from home. However, getting outside on my terrace and taking a walk along the river is my savior.

Advice on how to make a home a place where you can work and exercise…

Create designated areas for each so that you have a lovely setup that encourages focus and calm. For work, it’s important to have a stand so you don’t have to look down at your device. Further, it is best to have a surface that lifts so you can work standing alternating with sitting. If you have a zabuton, you can also sometimes work on the floor. Changing it up and moving throughout the day is key.

For exercise, there are so many home props that are small and easy to have on hand. I make a beautiful kit of props that blends in with any decor. It’s available on my website.

Favorite online stores for your home…

I’m obsessed with General Store. It is a little store in Venice that has a great website. I want everything on there. Another great Venice store with clothes and home goods that’s a go-to of mine is The Piece Collective.

For candles, my favorite is Ester and Erik. For clothes, I love this amazing consignment shop in Brooklyn.

YOUR BEAUTY & FASHION

Must-have skincare products for a gorgeous online glow…

Favorite makeup products for a natural look…

Favorite clothing brands for pilates…

Beyond Yoga, Live The Process, and Alo Yoga.

Feature image credit: Katherine C.H.E.

Teresa Deely

Teresa Deely is a graduate from Columbia University with majors in English and Creative Writing. She is a freelance writer and marketing assistant working for clients in the wellness, jewelry, creative, and sports industries. She believes that one’s skin is yet another canvas and vehicle for art, and has loved styling her hair and applying makeup from a young age. Spending much of her time in educating youth and leading enrichment programs for children, she is highly motivated in discovering new ways to care for herself and sharing them with others.

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