On Pilates by Apittiya’s website and in their tag line, it clearly states that they offer you the best Pilates experience in Bangkok. One might think that this is just another hyperbole; another ploy for another business to secure customers fast by making false claims they can’t deliver. Yet, after having visited the cute little home, family-run studio on Sathorn, we can honestly say that Pilates by Apittiya certainly lives up to its claim and we’re very glad about it.

Pilates studio on Sathorn. Credit: Catherine Napalai Faulder

Having spent some time with the studio’s founder, Apittiya or as we like to call her, P’Bomb – her fiery-red mermaid-esque hair definitely gives off the hot-bomb vibe – we really re-ignited our love for Pilates and its ability to put you back in touch with your body and more importantly make your mind aware of your body’s movement. What’s so special about Pilates, we realise, is that it’s not about the quantity of repetitions that we do, but the quality of our movement, and the pace of our breath. One session with P’Bomb ensured that we could touch our toes again, something that hadn’t been possible in quite a few – we want to say months, but years, because it’s so easy to get caught up in the stiffness of our muscles, legs, back… and mind. It sounds like a simple thing but hey, our abs, rear and thighs were also really aching too. Who knew such little movement could produce so much pain, ahem, results?

Apittya, AKA P’Bomb. Credit: Catherine Napalai Faulder

The garden is tended to by Apittiya’s brother who seems to know a thing or two about the true meaning of having green fingers. Yes, we know we’re not in a forest in the middle of nowhere but in the central business district of Bangkok and yet, there’s something so serene and peaceful about this garden that makes us forget where we really are. The home studio has been open for five years now; on approaching, you see the sign for Pilates by Apittya, her unforgettable logo which is actually a silhouette of her doing a mermaid pose; you know it’s her because you instantly recognise the gorgeous mane on the woman. We asked to confirm and got a resounding “yes”.

Facilities

There are four separate rooms in the studio, each filled with different equipment and apparatus used for different classes. All the instructors who teach classes at Pilates by Apittiya have been taught and trained by her personally. We’re impressed by the walls which are dotted with all the certificates she’s received over the years, at least twenty;  P’Bomb went to the US on a number of occasions to learn the practice and of course brought her skills back home to share with others. Equally pleasing to the eye was the painting-size picture of P’Bomb hanging off a cadillac – Pilates term, not the car! – in a wedding dress while handing a bouquet to her now-husband. When pre-wedding photos reach a whole new level much?

The great thing about Pilates by Apittiya is that you won’t just be making moves on a mat and you may not be on a mat at all. We spent most of my time on the reformer and then the ladder barrel to stretch out the spine. The studio and each of its rooms are filled with all the equipment that targets different parts of the body; if you’re confused about what does what, the life-size skeleton – dressed up in sexy shade and a summer hat – is quite a handy tool used by the instructors to demonstrate what every movement seeks to achieve.

The fashionable skeleton. Credit: Catherine Napalai Faulder

There is literally a playground of equipment available, with apparatus matching and even exceeding what you’d expect in any large, commercial pilates studio. You’ll find MOTR, bodhi suspension apparatus, reformers, cadillacs, wunda chairs, ladder barrels, paddle boards, TRX and of course the usual elastic bands, pilates circles, foam rollers, orbits and more. There’s a lot of top-notch equipment at Pilates by Apittya so that’s where choosing the right class comes into play.

Pilates reformer, where we spent most of our time! Credit: Catherine Napalai Faulder

 

Classes

The class we had with P’Bomb was a private one based around the use of the reformer. P’Bomb really took a look at my overall physique and posture before we got started and as we brought movement into play, she would draw my attention to the areas where my form was not balanced and help me fine-tune my positioning. This was a really helpful method for me as it meant that I was learning on the go and aware of my blind spots and problem areas, as opposed to being told everything at once and trying to replicate something my body doesn’t understand. If you’re used to standing incorrectly or positioning your feet in a strange away, chances are you aren’t aware of it as it is a habit; Pilates brings that awareness in.

Credit: Pilates by Apittya

The good thing about using the reformer is that it allows you to automatically notice when your body is out of alignment, something that wouldn’t be recognizable if you were just doing Pilates on a mat. If you don’t want to opt for a private class, there are plenty of different classes you can choose from: MOTR, Total BODHI, Pilates Apparatus, Core Align, Pilates Mat, TRX, Pilates Circuit and Paddle BOM Circuit. If you’re intending to do anything but Pilates Mat, there are about 3 introductory classes you will have to take to familiarize yourself with all the equipment. This is a good time to decide what classes you would prefer and to also talk to the instructors to discuss any certain goals you have in mind, be it increased flexibility or the healing of sports injuries.

Credit: Pilates by Apittya

Verdict

Pilates by Apittiya may not be the new kid on the block but like a good wine, it has grown better with age, bringing together the best of both worlds: a family relaxed vibe mixed with professionalism. It’s clear that you are in the presence of instructors who are passionate about what they do but it also feels like you have been welcomed into someone’s home. And the best thing is you leave feeling like you have actually achieved something. One session with P’Bomb and we were standing taller, feeling better aligned and there was definitely a bigger bounce in my step too. Thank you Pilates by Apittiya! Also, if you are serious about getting back into the swing of Pilates, we recommend you getting one of Pilates by Apittiya’s t-shirts, which has written on it: “keep calm and do Pilates”!

For more information, please visit www.pilatesbyapittiya.com or call +662 677 5260 or Line: pilatesbyapittiya. 

Catherine Napalai Faulder
Catherine is Bangkok born and bred and knows the angles of the city and its people very personally. You'll often catch her writing about the upsides of Thainess, the richness and diversity of Bangkok's third cultures and the true meaning of wellness.