It’s a sunny Sunday morning as I make my way through the swarm of people strolling through Newcastle’s Quayside market en-route to a brand-new pop-up fitness event, Sunday Sessions, on the other side of the Millenium Bridge. Dressed in the most pilates-ish gear I could dig out and armed with a water bottle, I’m ready for the three-hour session at BALTIC.
The brains behind Pilates on Pointe is Sabina Medina-Kelman, Barcelona-born fitness blogger and instructor who’s been living in the North East for the past eight months after a 10 year stint in London. I shake her hand, try my hardest to keep eye contact instead of staring at her six-pack (a great advert – I’m absolutely sold) and she encourages my guest and I to help ourselves to the coffee and mingle before we start.
The idea of Sunday Sessions is to celebrate health and wellbeing by bringing a community together for a fun workout and inspire a change in lifestyle. Cup and saucer in hand, I browse the different exhibitors, who cover everything from personalised fitness gear to vegan haircare.
There’s a 45-minute full body workout but Sabina explains everything clearly at all times, demonstrating a number of options for each move depending on how much you want to stretch yourself. After the warm-up I decide I’m a pilates pro, opting for the more challenging positions which, by number four of 10 pulse movements, I’m more than seriously regretting.
What follows is a relaxing 15-minute yoga Nidra meditation session, which aims to tap into that state of semi-consciousness you’re in as you drift off to sleep. We’re asked to focus on something that we want to happen or achieve. I’m having an mild panic about what my focus point is. Do I want Sabina’s abs? To be a Blue Peter presenter? By the time I decide what my focus is everyone else is coming around from their naps. Damn you, indecisiveness.
Next, teacher-turned-health and wellness coach Paula Lawson stands up to share a deeply personal inspirational talk, in which she tells us we need to stop being people-pleasers and put ourselves first. There’s a big applause and a few teary eyes: everyone’s feeling really motivated by this point.
Thanks to the workout we’re building up an appetite so it’s wonderful timing when a colourful buffet of tasty salads and chicken is laid out. Did I mention the prosecco? This day just keeps getting better. As we sit on the terrace overlooking the river with our fizz, there’s a raffle. Both numbers either side of my ticket strip are called, which I’m only just about getting over now.
On the way out we’re handed goody bags filled with discount vouchers and healthy treats. As I wander home with my protein bar and almond butter swinging from my shoulder I feel smug: I’ve had quinoa and all-natural protein shakes instead of heading for a full English. My hands are the silkiest they’ve ever been thanks to a coconut oil hand massage. I am practically a goddess. Sabina, your work here is done: I’m walking home feeling the most inspired I’ve felt to be healthy in a long time.
Sabina is based in Durham where she offers group and private classes. For more information head to www.pilatesonpointe.co.uk