Q and A with Sol Walkling from Body, Mind & Sol

Posted on 17 December 2013


Sol is a yoga and Pilates instructor from Sydney. She certified in Stott Mat and Reformer Pilates, Hatha and Ashtanga Yoga Flow, Cardiolates, Pelleres and much more. 

Tell us a little bit about yourself? 
I'm a mind body studio manager and owner, write a weekly column on wellbeing for the SBS and regularly contribute to other websites, magazines and publications, teach privates, group and corporate yoga and Pilates sessions and organise wellbeing days and workshops. 

I live in my dream house and studio  in my favourite Sydney spot in Tamarama. It is absolutely idyllic where I live - as it's secluded from everywhere else with trees all around, the beach just on our doorstep and sweeping valley views. It really is like something out of a fairytale. 
I have created my own very nurturing space full of light and I use it to bring a bit of zen to my clients' lives. My work is reflected in the space I teach from at the Royal Sydney Golf Course, at home as well as corporates. It is accessible, energising, uplifting and transforming. I've basically studied Pilates, yoga, Reiki, acupressure, yoga therapy, rehab methods, fascial release, energy healing etc etc and keep studying to give my clients a good way to align their bodies, get more flexible and stronger and feel good in body and mind. I do not believe in teaching one particular method. I try to work with the bodies in front of me whenever I can in my privates. 
I started gymnastics when I was 8, yoga at age ten and kept exploring sports and mind body therapies much as I do now in my work with clients.
What attracted you to Pilates?
In early 2005, I suffered a bulging disc which prevented me from exercising - not to mention the excruciating sciatic pain and being immobilised for days. Pilates became my daily routine to help me balance my body. I loved the way it left me feeling elongated, uplifted and energised.
What’s you number one reason for taking care of your body?
Our mind, body and being - or spirit - are one. We need to align and transform all three to be whole and feel well balanced, healthy and happy.
What or who is your biggest inspiration?
Life. And my yoga teacher when I was 14. Her way of being struck me as so beautiful - I had no concept of spirituality then. I wanted to be like her. A zen, fit, happy and glowing 70-year-old lady who inspired others.
There are so many different types of Pilates now- barre Pilates, reformer, mat etc. what is your favourite type and why?
My personal favourite for my body is a strong flowing reformer workout - preferably on my v2Max - a machine that allows for acrobatics and Pilates for yoga exercises I am developing myself.
Besides Pilates, what other ways do you like to stay fit?
I have done many sports and as I have grown softer and calmer in my body and life, I love gentler ways of movement: yoga, walking, swimming, paddle boarding, kayaking and anything that you can do for a long time without being exhausted. While I've done strenuous workouts in the past, I've never been a huge fan of them. I like moving all day - at a more moderate pace with some short bursts.
You also teach Yoga, what’s your favourite yoga pose?
Oh wow. that's a tough one. I'd have to say shoulder stand. As a 12-year-old, I remember doing ten minutes in it and loving it at the end of every practice. It feels really restorative to me, as it drains the blood from my legs, frees up my spine (especially the neck) and builds core strength. 
And since I started going to Yoga Synergy with Simon Borg-Olivier, I have discovered that you can also do leg variations that allow for backbends and side twists as well as deaf man's pose to release your back. It is a very flexible pose with so many health benefits due to being an inversion. Writing about it makes me want to do it right now!
What are your top three tips for staying healthy? 
1. Water! We are it. Drink lots. Be in it every day. (Shower or bathe at least.) It cleanses us. 
2. Hot lemon, Manuka honey, ginger. It helps me ward off getting sick, brings down inflammation and helps your body heal.
3. Nature. We have removed our lives so much from our original way of being, it is truly amazing we don't get sick more often! I try to do my calls while walking in nature, write at my desk outside, read research on my desk, take business meetings to the beach… 
What is always in your gym bag? 
Nothing. I believe in not needing anything and not being attached to "having" things for my yoga practice. When I travel, I get a little more complicated as I know I need to perform for several days while being out of my normal environment. I love lavender drops for my pillow at night, Zen Oil to ease out tight ares and any aches and pains from sitting in cars and on planes and Self Love Oil to have on me all day. It grounds and reconnects me.
What do you typically eat and what do you try to avoid?  

I try to have as many veggies and fruit as possible. I avoid gluten and dairy. I have a horrible sweet tooth - especially when I'm busy, tired or stressed. I drink A LOT of teas. I have had tea draws in the last four places i lived in - with up to 60 teas...

Head on over to Sol's website Body, Mind & Sol for more information on her classes and services. 

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