Erika Bloom Pilates: Wellness Through Movement
Mindful Movement is medicine.
Each of Erika Bloom‘s celebrity-beloved pilates classes is about more than strengthening the body; the practice is fundamentally about wellness. “I love that our method of Pilates allows me to integrate the holistic modalities that contribute to my overall wellness — mindfulness, breathwork, proper alignment…” Bloom begins. “After every practice, I feel more grounded, stretched, strengthened, and generally uplifted.” At its core, Erika Bloom Pilates is also about nourishment—the crux of self-care and one of rē•spin’s core pillars.
As you’ll learn, Bloom’s approach to bodily movement takes on an integrative approach informed by her own past as an accomplished dancer and a wellness journey prompted by an autoimmune disease.
Bloom’s Wellness Journey:
After suffering a back injury that stalled her dancing career and upended her healthy lifestyle, Bloom found herself experiencing ovarian cysts, acne, and digestive issues. The symptoms of her autoimmune disease sparked her interest in alternative medicine and eastern philosophies that optimize health in myriad ways often unexplored in Western medicine.
Along the way, Bloom was influenced by Feldenkrais, therapeutic yoga, neuromuscular repatterning, fascial balancing, healing movement, nutrition, acupuncture, and others, leading to certifications and an extensive toolkit of modalities that inform her wellness-first philosophy. Bloom ultimately found ‘healing movement’ to be a key component of hormone balance, biome health, and overall bodily homeostasis, leading to her pilates certification in 2001 and the founding of her first eponymously named pilates studio in 2003.
Movement As Medicine:
Bloom first began helping clients with what she calls mindful movement nearly two decades ago. “Mindful movement is when you move with intention and cultivate a deep, daily awareness that allows you to live your life holistically,” Bloom says. “You’re not just informing your body, you’re informing your nervous system and releasing stress.”
With innate intention anchored into your movements, she explains that the rest of your day is filled with the same attitude of self-nourishment; the epitome of self-care. “Your day continues to be filled with that same nourishment and mindfulness that you’ve given yourself through your practice,” she says. “When you move in this way, your senses are awakened, you nurture your nervous and digestive systems, circulate your lymph and blood flow, and mindfully engage your intrinsic musculature to create a better functioning body.”
Tips for Creating Your At-Home Practice:
The key to reaping as many benefits as possible from your pilates classes is turning them into a consistent practice. This can be tricky to do from home—as Pilates studios are still shut down—but Bloom provides us with a few tips for making her online classes into a truly therapeutic practice from home.
Commitment is Key:
“I schedule my practice into my day and treat it like a required appointment so that I stick to it,” she says. “We created our live class schedule to create a structure for our clients. Having to sign up, show up, and be accountable to an instructor really helps you stay on track at home.”
Making Your Space:
“I suggest making a space in your home that is clean, beautiful, and yours. Even if it’s a small area in the corner of your bedroom or living room, an area that is organized and brings calm can help motivate you,” Bloom explains. “My practice area at home has natural light, fresh air, and my [pilates props]. It is a small corner that is my oasis to escape into my own thoughts.”
“I keep my mornings calm so I can carry the deep diaphragmatic breath of sleep into my day. I try to wake up before my kids to spend my mornings in quiet. I drink warm lemon water, sit in silence, and check-in: asking myself, ‘How is my body feeling and how should I move? What do I need to do to nourish myself and to be recharged today?'”
With Bloom’s guidance and expertise, consider making mindful movement a part of your day to experience this unique marriage of fitness and wellness firsthand.