LIA BARTHA

Dancing and swimming. Until I was 20, those were the only forms of exercise I ever did. I was born and raised in Hawaii and would spend my mornings in the ocean and my afternoons in the dance studio. By the time I left Hawaii for Scripps College and was figuring out if a professional dancer’s life was my path, injuries and scoliosis made the decision for me. I bid adieu to Balanchine and with no ocean nearby, I found myself with no outlet for exercise. I was drinking too much, eating terribly and naturally just did what all of my friends were doing: cardio...lots of cardio. 

 

After college, I got a cushy corporate job and spent ten hours a day in my tiny cubicle, sitting in an uncomfortable chair. My posture began to suffer, my back ached and no matter how many hours a week I spent on the treadmill or elliptical, I was seeing limited results and was depleted. Plus, I hated working out! It was a means to an end, something I had to do. I had to either shut off my brain or distract myself with hectic classes just to get through it. To top it all off, my scoliosis was more aggravated than ever. I was miserable and in constant pain. So much so that it seemed like I was seeing my chiropractor more than my own family. Until one day that chiropractor recommended Pilates - and meditation.

After just a few sessions with a truly inspired Pilates teacher, my entire perspective on exercise shifted. I was seeing more results in a month than I had seen in a year of cardio. The low impact flow of pilates helped to correct my old dance habits and heal my scoliosis. I loved it so much that I decided to get certified in classical pilates to further learn and understand how and why. My only problem now was time. I was working my corporate job while training for my certification and was more stressed than ever. I was getting my body right but having trouble getting my mind right. I felt disconnected. So I took my trusted chiropractor’s advice once again and tried meditation. And tried. And tried again. 

 

I loved the idea of transcendental meditation but it just didn't feel right for me. I wanted the peace I felt when I was dancing or swimming in the ocean. Couldn’t I have the best of both worlds? There had to be a way to exercise while healing my body and mind at the same time. I wanted the calm stimulating awakening of meditation AND the low-impact, full-body benefits of Pilates. And what if I could do it all without the clunky equipment? That’s when the idea for B The Method hit me. So I quit my day job. 

I started studying anatomy and nutrition and how the mind affects the body and the body affects the mind. My goal was to strip away all of the noise, all of the useless extras, leaving something grounding, present and real. So for years, while I trained my clients in classical Pilates, I mixed in some exercises I was developing with a small stability ball - a light, portable and multifunctional prop. I discovered that Pilates foundations, mixed with ballet and swimming-inspired motions, tapped into every layer of muscle in the body while forming a flow-state within the mind. Slowly but surely, my clients, no matter what their body type or age, were telling me exactly how I had been feeling - the method was a deep, challenging workout that left me feeling fully connected, body and mind.