Here at Meder Beauty we embrace the skin and microbiome as an ecosystem. While the skincare products you apply are important in order to help it thrive, we equally believe in the importance of a healthy lifestyle and a holistic approach to ensure the best results.
Paola Langella is an internationally recognised Stott qualified Pilates teacher, wellness and nutrition coach based in London and Italy. As a firm believer in a 360 degree approach to health and wellness, we asked her to share more about SHAPES studio as well as her approach to embracing a healthy lifestyle.
What inspired you to start SHAPES studio?
I established SHAPES Studio with the goal of extending my teaching and coaching services globally. Focusing solely on the city felt limiting, and I hoped to create something more significant and supportive for individuals looking to adopt a healthy and sustainable lifestyle. I also wanted to travel more and spend time with my family while still organising retreats and wellness events. That’s why developing an online studio was crucial for me to balance my personal and professional life in order to offer my clients the best possible guidance and care.
At SHAPES, my passion for helping others to nourish their bodies through Pilates, nutritious eating, and lifestyle changes stems from a place of love. I strive to coach my clients with a body-positive mindset and emphasise that exercising should be viewed as a celebration for what their body can achieve instead of a punishment.
By promoting a healthy outlook on exercise and wellness, I aspire to inspire others to treat themselves with kindness and respect.
If someone is new to fitness, where should they start?
I have a passion for working with beginners and individuals who are new to any type of fitness routine. In order to accommodate their needs, I have tailored a three-week program specifically for beginners. Each day is accompanied by a video that guides them through the exercises they need to complete. They have the option to filter the studio’s library and select ‘LEVEL 1’ for Dynamic Pilates, Cardio Pilates or Stretching. They can also tailor their workouts to a specific body part, duration, and filter based on the props they have available.
The concept of SHAPES is to make caring for overall wellness approachable, fun and sustainable according to whenever and wherever they need. Especially those who have been keen to start a fitness routine but felt the gym environment to be confining and limiting because of their personal schedules.
Can you explain why a 1:1 health consultation is an important step for you?
The one-on-one health consultation is a crucial stage for me, as it enables me to engage with my clients on a personal level. This helps me identify their needs and concerns, and provide them with tailored guidance throughout their journey. It also provides them with a safe and relaxed environment to reflect on their wellness with ease.
What benefits will people see with regular movement?
After just a few sessions of attending regular SHAPES classes, individuals will experience an immediate boost in confidence and self-love, which will spill into their everyday lives.
Continuing this routine for two weeks will also result in a stronger, more toned body and a more relaxed yet sharper mind. The practice of Pilates can be likened to a moving meditation as it requires individuals to focus on each movement and the rhythm of their breathing. Thus allowing them to live mindfully in the present moment.
This increased sense of calm can translate to improved decision-making when it comes to food choices and can ultimately lead to better overall diet and lifestyle choices.
It's important to recognise that everything is interconnected in a 360-degree manner.
Mindfulness is a key principle for you, what is a common misconception you think people have about practising mindfulness?
People often think mindfulness is about meditation and sitting for hours. Yet mindfulness is a state of being fully present and engaged in the current moment, with a non-judgmental and accepting attitude towards one’s thoughts, feelings, in a way that is open, curious and compassionate.
Practices like in yoga, Tai-Chi and Pilates, involve intentionality to bring awareness to the body’s sensations. The movements and breath involved in the movement while noticing any thoughts and emotions that arise in the process. The key is to find a practice or practices that resonate with you and that you can integrate into your daily life.
What are some of your personal rituals to help you relax and unwind?
My personal rituals begin in the morning by drinking a glass of water on an empty stomach, followed by making a cup of coffee. I then engage in a writing meditation where I jot down my thoughts and feelings, and set a positive intention for the day. I then do a 20-30 minute exercise routine which helps me to feel both relaxed, energised and sets the tone for the rest of the day.
In the evening, I unwind by listening to good music while preparing dinner for myself and sometimes even meal prep for the next few days, which helps me feel organised. Additionally, I enjoy indulging in some beauty self-care rituals by using scrubs and masks on my skin twice a week as well as incorporating Gua Sha and other body/face products to pamper myself and encourage the feeling of being comfortable in my own skin.
I believe it’s always important to do something that brings joy and tranquillity before bedtime. Reading or watching something I enjoy while eating a square of dark chocolate and drinking a cup of chamomile tea is another ritual I do to unwind and prepare myself for a restful night's sleep.
What is a motto or mantra you live by?
My mantra is: Consistency is key!
Consistency is my guiding principle. Even when I feel fatigued or there are obstacles to overcome, I remain consistent with my actions, even if it requires me to take a more measured approach. I encourage others to experience the transformative power of consistency in their own lives, whether it be in their values or their pursuit of a healthier lifestyle as the rewards are truly remarkable.