Beth Reading wants women to know how good they can feel in both body and mind with regular sessions of precise, careful movement. Whether you want to get fitter, combat pain, boost your wellbeing or just age a little more gracefully, MyPilatesTime makes it easy to achieve your health and wellness goals through fun, engaging online Pilates classes. Beth believes that above anything else, Pilates is about having a good time: about finding a connection with yourself and finding joy in every class as you work towards your own personal fitness goals. Here she talks to The Natural Parent Magazine about the passion behind her business, the pros and cons of running her own business, and her exciting plans for the future.
The Passion: What inspired you to set up your business?
When I worked as a primary school teacher, Pilates was a treat I looked forward to each week. I loved putting aside one whole hour to focus solely on myself and loved falling into bed that evening feeling heavy, relaxed and calm.
Then one day after class, I casually said to my husband, “I wish I could do this every day!”, to which he simply replied, “Why don’t you?”. And that’s where it all began!
The Launch: How did you start out in the beginning?
Rolling out the mats each week and teaching small groups of 5 or 6 people in community centres is where it all began. I loved these sessions because it is where I learnt how to connect with different women to get the best results.
While some women needed visual cues, others needed touch, while some preferred anatomical directions, and others liked understanding the reason behind each exercise.
Once I’d figured out the most meaningful way to connect with each woman, the results materialised: better mobility, stronger muscles and less pain. Seeing other women experience the same benefits that drew me to Pilates – including a new zest for life – was all the motivation I needed to keep going and growing My Pilates Time.
The Innovation: What was the biggest breakthrough for you with your business?
The truth is, I had spent so much time analysing and copying other teachers’ methods that I didn’t see that I had something unique to offer just because of who I am.
Once I had that epiphany and stopped trying to be something I wasn’t, I was able to lean into being who I am as a teacher and an encourager. I became more confident in the knowledge that my teaching technique is just right for some people and not necessarily for everyone. And I’m OK with that.
I offer a gentle approach to movement that leaves women feeling good about what their bodies can do and helps them progress gradually. This nurturing style is manageable and sustainable, making it easier for women to look after themselves consistently. My belief that the greatest transformation happens as a result of daily, incremental habit changes is at the core of my approach to Pilates.
Yin and Yang: How do you balance work and family?
There’s no doubt that there is a push and pull feeling in me when it comes to balancing work and family life. But I often find myself questioning if balance really exists at all and whether it’s something I should be striving for.
In business, there are some weeks when I’m very busy, perhaps launching a campaign or a new product. But then there are other weeks when I’m in maintenance mode, keeping things ticking along and taking time to dream about the future.
Remembering life is like this helps me go with the ebb and flow. This principle is something I also teach in my Pilates classes. There are days when our bodies need to rest, so respect that and move gently. Then there are days when we are full of energy and ready for a physical challenge. When that’s the case, respond to that feeling and go with it!
Since my business is designed by me, I have the freedom to mould work commitments around my family and choose the work I want to do. I’ve learnt that 20% of work produces 80% of the results. So, with less fluffing about, I am able to give my business what it needs and still have the time and energy to devote myself to my family too! And I fully appreciate the opportunity to show my children what it means to pursue your dreams, work for what you want, push through challenges and above all, enjoy the journey!