Balance Pilates Studio (BPS) had its official opening launch in Alsancak, Izmir on Monday January 5. Mayor of Izmir Mr. Aziz Kocaoğlu, Member of Parliament Mr. Alaattin Yüksel, Basi Pilates Faculty Member Cengiz Han Üçgün and celebrity actress, TV personality and BPS member Ayumi Takano attended the event with BPS founder Ertuğ Akgüner.
I was invited along to the opening and was lucky enough to experience my first pilates class with skilled instructor and business owner Ertuğ.
The luxury journey began right from the moment I handed my car keys over to the BPS valet service in Izmir’s most hunted locations ‘1. Kordon’ on the waterfront esplanade.
“In 10 sessions you feel better, 20 sessions you look better, 30 sessions you have a completely new body.” Joseph Pilates
I did not believe a word of what is considered one of the most well known quotes of pilates founder Joseph Pilates.
Please note my use of the past tense – ‘did not’. It is an opinion set well before my first pilates class with Balance Pilates Studio founder Ertuğ Akgüner.
Like many I think I was unaware of two things; what pilates meant and how important the core values are to lead a healthy and happy existence.
The key word is ‘controlled’. My breathing became controlled and coincided with esthetic bodylines that had a strong technical base. My stomache and core seemed to control the energy flow and tension while my whole body became engaged.
The above may sound a little feminine to some, but, there was also an underlying masculine strength which is what allows pilates to appeal to both genders.
The result? You feel unbelievable.
It may just be icing on the fitness cake that I enjoyed this experience in a studio that has also impressed TV personality Ayumi Takano.
“I have seen many studios in Japan and Istanbul, but none compare to BPS which has an incredible sea-view and the highest industry standard reformer beds.”Ayumi Takano
Australian born fitness trainer and business owner Ertuğ has an in-depth training history. To understand his skills one can do a class with him or simply look at his many credential certificates that line the wall.
Having graduated from Ege University’s Sports Academy Ertuğ also trained with a Basi Pilates institute and has coached national athletes that have represented Turkey on an international level.
There seems to be a professional consistency with BPS trainers Burhan Buralı and Merve Gündoğar graduating from the same University Academy. Both instructors have also represented Turkey in international fields, triathlon and taekwondo respectively.
Perhaps some skills that cannot be taught are the ability to engage with a positive, supportive energy in a peaceful, calm manner carried out with a precise and focused determination. There are no certificates for these qualities of which Ertuğ naturally radiates.
I am not the only one to believe this 31 year old retains these characteristics. Just ask Cengiz Han, a Faculty Member of Basi Pilates.
Cengiz Han says, “Ertuğ is down to earth, easy to communicate with and reachable.” Agreeing with Ayumi, he also believes there is not a studio out there quite like BPS with its luxury detailing, a full sea-view of the Izmir bay and a personal training studio with a weight gym.
Giving BPS the crown and perhaps placing other Izmir pilates studios as royal servants is the title of ‘Basi Pilates Host Studio’ of which there are only two in Turkey.
“What is important is to be positive, to be hard working and to take things seriously. Ertuğ was the right guy. He searched for it. I think he’s going to do an amazing job here.” Cengiz Han
Cengiz Han is a part of a Basi team of 39 Faculty Members worldwide. With this elite team he has placed the honour and title of Basi Host Studio onto Ertuğ and BPS which means future instructors, especially from the Aegean region, will have the option to receive their internationally recognised education closer to home and from the world’s best trainers.
Basi is more than a leading global pilates educator, they are also a pilates equipment provider using metals from aviation, pulley systems from sailing and ropes from mountain climbing ensuring the best quality and comfort design.
Offering the highest standard in clientele care seems to be a consistent theme at BPS as Ertuğ explains, “We offer members a free health check at a private hospital. We co-ordinate and discuss any possible issues with the doctors then come up with the best possible training program for our members.”
Ertuğ says both doctors and fitness trainers also advise patients to do pilates during and post pregnancy. Most importantly he does not underestimate the sensitivity of this period and consults with doctors to shape the best program.
He also informs me the conception of pilates was born from a hospital bed to treat the injured, so it is only natural that the pilates method continues to be administered to those who have sustained injuries.
In-fact, someone who followed doctor’s orders all the way to a pilates studio and to Ertuğ is 54 year old Nimet Woodham. With a back injury that posed ongoing problems for a chronic three decade period, thanks to BPS Nimet tells me she has “never felt this good in her life”.
“Ertuğ is not only a professional but also a person who has such a positive attitude. His approach makes my body and soul relax and also makes me feel so energized at the same time.”Nimet Woodham
It is very surprising to learn Nimet is a type one diabetic and has been for the past 46 years. She says, “the way Ertuğ makes my muscles work also helps me control my blood sugars much better. That actually is the most important thing for me…”
She speaks with a confidence of knowing that she is succeeding in managing her health challenges. One would never guess her obstacles. Actually, with her fitness level and positive outlook one would never even imagine she is anything but 100% healthy.
The word ‘pilates’ is beginning to sound like the elixir of life, so of course it is only natural that I learn this magical fitness potion can also benefit the elderly.
Pregnant, injured and elderly aside, even national level athletes do pilates.
Don’t want a taste of the elixir? Feel more like a gym junky?
Ertuğ says, “Generally gyms offer what I call ‘prescription programs’ tailored for the average person’s needs.” He then continues telling me that BPS is different with a personalized approach with training programs designed by professionals and carried out with one-on-one guidance from a trainer that takes needs and expectations into consideration and of course any health conditions.
“Frequent tests and body measurements check the client’s progress, which allows targets to be reached quickly while decreasing the possibility of injury to a bare minimum and also ensuring motivation will be at a maximum.” Ertuğ Akguner
When I left the studio I found myself continuing to smile. I now understand Joseph Pilates. But perhaps I can rework his three lines down to one…
“You WILL feel different after just one class!”
I predict my body will morph in time, but my mind, outlook and energy has already initiated a positive change.
I feel different.
I am not Sheldon anymore.
So, who am I?
Written by Sheldon Heyes
Facebook – Balance Pilates&Personal Training Studio
BPS offers – pilates reformer, pilates matwork, personal training, crossfit, Booty Barre, 4D Pro and TRX
Mon – Sat 9am – 9pm.
You may also enjoy reading ‘Chikirina pilates collection‘. The latest pilates inspired label designed specifically for the Turkish market for the independent and active women of Istanbul.