London, Paris, Melbourne! Sebastian Coles’ journey has seen him live and work in some of the greatest cities in the world, a far cry from his upbringing in a rural English village, before settling in the latter and calling Australia home.
A change of career and a total life metamorphosis allowed our M8 of October to find a balance that inspires us. Rerouting his stressful career from high level positions in the Retail industry to curating and creating a safe space for people to get in tune with their bodies potential through Pilates, he has found his purpose.
Calisthenics, strength training and boxing are the other ways in which Sebastian gets in touch with his body's abilities. When he’s not doing that, his happy place is cooking up a storm or swimming in the ocean. And breathe...
- Tell us a bit more about your Pilates journey.
I first experienced Pilates as a child. I had growing pains, and a physio in the village suggested I try it. He had a classical Pilates studio at home and introduced the method to me.
I rediscovered Pilates as an adult as a form of exercise and relaxation, as a counterbalance to a stressful job and gym workouts. Pilates made such a big difference in my life that I decided to train as an instructor to help others.
- How did you decide to become the owner of a Pilates studio?
There was nowhere for people to have a private, 1-on-1 Pilates experience. Most studios have larger classes, or other people in the space, and not everyone feels comfortable doing a session in front of other people.
Garage Pilates was founded on the principle of providing clients with a more intimate Pilates experience in a bespoke, private space.
I was looking around for a studio to hire when I realised, I had the perfect space for a studio in our garage at home.
- You used to work in a corporate environment before opening your own studio. What were your biggest obstacles in this transition?
Retraining was an adjustment. I never thought I would be going back to school, and I chose a very thorough and comprehensive diploma program. To qualify I had to undergo hundreds of hours practicing teaching and observing some of the best instructors in Australia, as well as studying the method of Pilates and human anatomy. The qualification allows me to work closely with physios and chiropractors for rehabbing clients.
- What are your goals with your Pilates studio? What is your strategy to achieve them?
My goal was to create a safe space for people to learn about their bodies, and to have time for themselves. Most of my clients have come from word of mouth. I’m lucky that everyone that comes here brings a special energy to the place.
- Wellness is a topic we talk about constantly. Is being your own boss altering it?
It definitely helps create balance for me. I can determine my hours, work from home, and create an environment in the studio that nurtures me, and inspires my clients. Of course, being your own boss comes with its own challenges and is not necessarily the answer for everyone. I was lucky to find something I loved doing, and that allows me to work for myself.
- Tell us more about Garage Pilates. Which values do you want to bring in the studio?
I like to share my knowledge to empower others to move through life with the ability to listen to and be aware of their own bodies. Above all else, I value kindness. This is something I bring to the studio every day.