MEET the founders

How did you meet and when? How long have you been friends for? 

Ash: We met 10 years ago (gosh!) at Macquarie University. We were studying different degrees (Morgs was deep in a Finance degree and Ash in Psychology and Health), however our paths crossed thanks to our love of sport and netball at university games! Many netball games, a trip to the Gold Coast and a few wines later we realised we had a lot of common interests and the friendship continued from there! Every day we aim to challenge one another, listen actively, smile and forge our future together, side by side.

 

Has owning a fitness platform/studio always been a dream of yours? How did you come up with ember? What are your respective backgrounds & what are your favourite aspects of Pilates?

Yes! We have a long background in health and fitness, so working in the industry has always been a long-term goal, but we never really knew what we were destined to do. Throughout covid, we spent a few (probably too many!) nights sitting on Ash’s balcony with a G&T discussing our future goals and dreams. We wanted to open a studio that supported both men and women in fitness. A one-stop-shop for the sportsman, weightlifter, busy mum and fitness lover. We combined our business, finance and partnership skills alongside our Pilates and PT qualifications and took a chance!

 

Ash: I grew up playing every sport under the sun (I was THAT kid) but took a keen liking to netball and played that competitively (and still do) alongside Surf Boat Rowing. My first job out of school was a part time gig at Fitness First whilst I studied Psychology at Macquarie University. After graduating I fell into sales and partnership roles before running away to Canada for a few years to live and work in the mountains.

For me, pilates is the perfect foundation that feeds into all aspects of my life. I personally started pilates to help with injuries gained during rowing, netball and my everyday gym routine. However, I quickly realised that it was a great way to compliment my athletic training, something I should be doing everyday (not just when injured) to train harder, recover faster, lift heavier and see more muscle definition.

 

Morgan: I live by the notion that movement is medicine! I fell in love with pilates many moons ago searching for a functional form of fitness that was going to compliment both my active based lifestyle and my long days at a desk.

With a passion for surfing, the outdoors and adventure, I love that you can practice Pilates anywhere, anytime - in the park, on holidays, in your lounge room! My time spent on the mat is focused on total body toning, improved posture and increased mobility and flexibility.

Give us a snap shot of what ember is all about - what's with the name and what we should expect when signing up?

The name ember came from the glowing coals of a fire.

We are not your traditional pilates platform. Our classes are challenging – we are here to make you to burn, sweat & strengthen.

In our experience, it can feel overwhelming and confusing scrolling through hundreds of workouts online trying to choose what to do. ember takes the guessing game out of it. We offer our members 5 NEW classes each week, ranging from 20-40 minutes. These are uploaded on a Sunday night, are live in your online profile for 7 days, and removed and refreshed with 5 new workouts the next week. You can work out with us anywhere, anytime that suits your busy schedule for that week.

In addition to the 5 new classes each week we offer a library of pre and postnatal workouts, stretching classes and short form videos.

We aim to inspire our members to glow beyond their time on the mat. When the fire is out, the embers are still glowing.

You mentioned in an Instagram post that you welcome anyone. What could a male gain from practicing Pilates? We feel like there's some strong misconceptions/myths to dispel there... 

Ash: This is a MASSIVE myth. Pilates was founded by a male – Joseph Pilates - as believed that the "modern" lifestyle, bad posture, and inefficient breathing lay at the roots of poor health– so I can only assume it was designed for both males and females.

Working in a gym, I have seen my fair share of “gym junkie” males who can pick up a heavy dumbbell but can’t touch their toes or activate their core. They can deadlift 200kgs, but end up with lower back pain, as they don’t know how to activate their glutes.  We love working with men and male sporting teams to combat these issues and help them understand their bodies.

Do we need any props other than a mat?

We aim to balance our workout collection with and without equipment. However, all of our classes can be done without equipment (wine bottles & pillows are a great substitute!). To help take the hassle out of sourcing equipment, we have created an ember FirePack (inclusive of a custom made Theraband, Booty Band, Pilates Ball, Slider Disk Set and ember pouch). The FirePack will set you up for success, adding that extra spice and allowing you to follow along in class with ease.

What's one pilates cue or piece of advice you find yourself constantly instructing whether for a newbie or a longtime lover of pilates? 

“Find your neutral spine” is something you’ll often hear us say. What does this mean and why is it so important?

Your neutral spine is when the 3 natural curves of your spine – your cervical (neck), thoracic (middle)and lumbar (lower) curves – are intact. Neutral spine alignment is paramount to improving our posture, reducing stress on our muscles and bones and avoiding risk of injury. We encourage you to visit our ‘form’ library to learn about the fundamentals of different pilates techniques.

What’s your favourite way to sweat?

Ash: I train 6 days a week and love to mix functional weight training, running and my own Pilates practise. On top of this, I get to film lots of great Pilates workouts for our beautiful ember community, and I live next to the ocean so I'm also a coastal walk lover and swim/ surf in the ocean every chance I get.

Morgan: Everything and anything. Surfing, snowboarding, yoga, hiking, running. Most of all, I love to ‘sweat’ outside, connected and immersed in mother nature.

If you could get us doing 5minutes a day of pilates what would you have us do for overall spinal health and longevity?

Pilates increases your awareness of spinal alignment and good posture. We would recommend an ab series workout (planks, toe taps, ab curls etc) focusing on your neutral spine, creating length & strengthening of your core and back muscles.

Business or personal, share one goal you’re hoping to achieve by the end of 2021? 

Ash: These past 12 months have been an absolute whirlwind for me both personally and professionally. However, with all of its challenges, it has helped me to understand and solidify the things that are most important to me. Being able to help people through movement is a key goal of mine alongside launching a business with my best friend (how many people get to say that!)

In terms of ember, I would love to continue helping people achieve their personal goals, build our community engagement and transform the business from an online platform to a physical studio (watch this space!)

 

Morgan: “It’s not always that we need to do more but rather focus on less.” A side effect of being highly motivated, proactive and always up for a challenge or a new adventure… you are always BUSY.

This year, I am practising balance. Enjoying that Sunday sleep in, listening to my body, switching off from digitals/socials more regularly, spending time alone, being present and being still.

Finally, any words of wisdom or advice for those looking to start pilates? 

If you’ve never tried Pilates before, don’t believe the old wives tale that is a workout for females only, the elderly, immobile or injured. Pilates is for everyBODY. It can be used as a sole method of fitness, to increase athletic performance and aid recovery.

Focus on learning the fundamentals and techniques, be patient and have fun!  

Founded on Pilates, driven by performance

© 2021, Ember Pilates