Meet Our Instructors: Svenja Poppe

It’s time to sit down with our lovely Svenja Poppe this February! Specialising in prenatal and postnatal pilates, learn about how she started her journey into Pilates, and how she feels staying here as an “ang moh”!

Hi Svenja! Thanks for taking the time to sit down with us today. Let’s kick things off with telling us what got you hooked on Pilates and how did you end up teaching it!

I started Pilates when I lived in Istanbul, Turkey in 2011. It was very fascinating and complicated at the same time as I didn’t really understand the instructions which were naturally given in Turkish, a language I don’t speak. Needless to say “neutral” went totally over my head and I squeezed my butt tightly to press my lower back into the mat, something I had learned in the years of gym training. When I came to Singapore I wanted to start something new, so I searched the net for answers and spoke to some people I had met during Yoga classes. Pilates kept coming up and so I enrolled in a class to learn how to teach STOTT Pilates. It was difficult in the beginning as English isn’t my first language and it was very anatomical, and I also finally discovered “neutral” and “imprint”. But the more I practiced, the more I loved it.

What’s your pick for Exercise of the Month and why did you choose that?

One of my favourite exercises is Feet Pulling Straps on the box, Kneeling one leg pull. It brings all the principles together. The 3D-breathing, pelvic placement, rib cage placement, scapular stabilisation and head and cervical placement. It’s a full body exercise that requires great control, the Essence of Joseph Pilates’ idea of controlled movement – Contrology.

Do you do any other workouts?

As mentioned earlier I enjoy Yoga and body weight based exercises, as it makes it easier to work out without any equipment needed, since I like to make that my priority in the morning to start my day.

Now that we’ve got all the exercise questions out of the way, let’s get to the fun stuff. What’s your favourite way to relax and unwind after a tiring day?

I like to unwind with a good book or watching a movie or series.

You’re from Germany! Which part of Germany and were there any major cultural shocks for you when you moved here?

The North of Germany, or what I call “Heimat”. The English language unfortunately does not have any equivalent for that word. As I have lived out of Germany since 2005, it wasn’t really a culture shock to move here. I’ve lived in Abu Dhabi, UAE and as mentioned Istanbul, Turkey before coming here. I had also visited Singapore several times before moving here.

Do you feel like you are treated differently cause you’re “ang moh”?

Sometimes yes, sometimes no. Being respectful is always important and it goes both ways.

Top 5 favourite hang outs places in Singapore!

1. East Coast Park,

2. Little India,

3. With friends,

4. At home,

5. In my head

If you could have dinner with anyone (dead or alive), who would it be and why?

I gave this one a lot of thought and decided on my Mother. She died when I was 10 and I never got the chance to know her as an adult.

Share with us your favourite healthy recipe!

Apple porridge

3 1/2 tblsp oats
125 ml non-dairy milk (oat, almond, soy whatever you like)
1 🍎
170g cottage cheese (Low fat)
1 tblsp flaxseeds
Bring the milk to a boil, stir in oats. Simmer until soft. Add small cubed 🍎 and cottage cheese, let simmer for 2 min. Add flaxseeds and cinnamon to taste. Enjoy and have a healthy start of the day!

What’s one inspirational quote you live by?

“It does not matter who you are. It only matters how you radiate.” – Yogi Bhajan

Svenja teaches Preggi Bellies, Postnatal and Reformer & Tower 1 in our Parkway and Novena branches!

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