As some of you may or may not know, I am a huge Pilates freak! I started adding it to my normal workout regimen of dancing and yoga about two and a half years ago and I am amazed at what it's done for my body! But it's not just any Pilates that I do, it's Pop Pilates! If you don't know what this is, go right now to the Blogilates YouTube channel and get in the best shape of your life! Created by Cassey Ho, the most wonderful and encouraging fitness instructor ever, who was dubbed Best Healthy Living Blogger by Fitness Magazine and the #2 Most Influential Online Personality by Sharecare (only second to Jillian Michaels), Pop Pilates is a unique method of the normal practice of Pilates, set to your favorite pop music. The mentality of it is to listen to the music and do as many reps as you can without thinking about it and to have a good time. Cassey creates workouts that target every part of the body to tone and shape. She also has amazing cardio videos that will make you drip with sweat (all of which she cheers you on in and can somehow talk during as if she's not doing an insanely hard workout). Since starting to follow Blogilates two years ago, I've watched it transform from self made videos done in Cassey's living room with only a few thousand followers, to now a giant self made business with hundreds of thousands of followers! Her videos are now professionally recorded and all of them have really fun themes (bikini workouts, victoria secret workouts, etc). She also not only has fitness videos but healthy living videos with tons of recipes and tips on how to eat clean. The Blogilates community is a wonderful one to be a part of, and as you can see, Cassey has made quite an impact on my life and the way I view fitness and eating. So you can imagine how excited I was when I got an invitation to her Blogilates Meetup in NYC!!!!
Last week, over 400 people gathered at Dance Manhattan for a chance to workout and meet with Cassey. I was amazed at the line waiting outside. I thought I got there early at 9 am. The workout started at 10:15, and some girls had shown up at 7:30am!
Sponsors supplied over 400 of us with Jamba Juice and healthy eats.
As expected, everyone who is a part of the Blogilates community is incredibly wonderful and friendly! I went by myself but quickly made friends. One of the contests they had going on was an Instagram contest, where you had to take photos with people you didn't know and when you post them put #blogilatesnyc and #newfriend and whatever photo they chose at random, the person would win a tshirt. I thought this was a brilliant way to use social media as a means for making new friends in the real world.
My new friend Melanie was the big winner of the day. Before the workout, she was called up to answer questions and won a Pop Pilates DVD, and she also won the Instagram photo contest and got a T shirt! We were so excited for her!
After the workout was over, we headed to Madison Square Park and had a meetup. Everyone was so eager to meet and talk to Cassey and tell her their success stories and she was so kind to take time and listen to everyone as well as answer any questions people might have. Some peoples stories were amazing! Girls having lost 50 to 75 pounds in a years time! It was incredibly inspiring! I was also shocked to see how many teenagers were there and follow her workouts! I think it's awesome that Cassey is their role model and that they're interested in fitness at such a young age!
When it was finally my turn to meet her and tell her my story, I nearly cried. I thanked her for being such a wonderful influence in my life, for making me believe I can accomplish anything. I told her how Pop Pilates has reshaped my body, made me a stronger dancer and how I've gotten more work because of that. I was so thrilled to learn that she was every bit as friendly, loving, encouraging and supportive in real life as she is in her videos. Thanks Cassey for everything! Come back to NYC soon!