• Kajsa Sagebrand

Interview: Olivia Brierley - Mindfulsoul Pilates

Name: Olivia Brierley

Profession: Movement Teacher

Location: Global

Olivia, for those who do not know you, can you please describe yourself in 3 sentences.

Hi, I’m Olivia Brierley and I am the founder of the Mindfulsoul Movement Library- a dedicated online membership platform, specialising in Pilates and holistic practices that have been carefully curated to support you on and off the mat.

Explain your perfect morning!

My perfect morning would be to wake up early, the sun to be shining, pour my favourite cup of tea, light some incense or candles, roll out my mat, play my favourite playlist and move my body through a free flow.

Who’s your role model?

I have a few role models! But the main one is my mum. She was one of the reasons I started practicing Pilates early on in my life. When I was struggling with my anxiety we would roll out our mats together and move every morning, building strength internally and externally every time we stepped on the mat. She has been by my side supporting me with every new element of my Pilates career.

What is your all-time favourite song?

This is tough, I love music so much. My Mindfulsoul Members always talk about how much they love our Pilates playlists. At the moment I have this on repeat: London Grammar – Californian Soil.

What would you say to your 20-year-old self?

When I first experienced anxiety, I thought this feeling was going to last forever, it was a scary time and I found it difficult to open up.

I think I would tell my 20-year-old self to trust that things always work out in the end. All experiences good and bad are experiences that will help shape who you become, which is constantly changing. I would tell her to accept yourself the way you are. Don´t waste your energy comparing yourself to others, we are all unique and there is space in this world for all of us. Love yourself more and forgive yourself for mistakes in the past.

First! Tell us, what you are up to! What are you working with, and how do you spend your days? I am getting ready for the launch of my new platform – The Mindfulsoul Movement Library - a membership platform offering remedy and respite from lockdown and beyond on the 25th of April.

Launching in reaction for the need of more intuitive movement as a form of self-care and to enhance health and wellbeing, the Mindfulsoul Movement Library is set to provide users with a space to enhance their health and wellbeing, a safe environment and diverse community for members to tap into at a time when they really need it. The platform presents the opportunity to study mindfulness, learn a range of tools and techniques that will help to reduce anxiety, loneliness, stress from work and poor posture, to enhance not only physical but also mental health. My days have been spent filming and editing for the Library, really excited for the launch, only a few days away.

Are you interested to sign up to Mindfulsoul Pilates? We have a unique discount code - 50% discount for your first month to the new Pilates platform. Use the code: NIKA50 Sign up HERE!

We’re curious to know more about your Pilates journey, how did you stumble into Pilates or was it something that was planned from your side?

After working in London for a number of years, I started to suffer quite frequently with anxiety and panic attacks. During this period Pilates and movement had an immensely positive impact on my mental health and grounding myself on my mat became my number one coping mechanism. Witnessing the profound impact Pilates had on my well-being, I decided to become an instructor. Later I wanted to design an online platform that would provide clients with all of the tools and movement techniques that I had used to tackle and manage my anxiety. Moving everyday became a vital part of my mantra. The Mindfulsoul Movement method is my form of holistic medicine. I wish to share my understanding and experience of Pilates as a powerful healing tool through my online platform.

Your passion for Pilates became Mindfulsoul Pilates. Did you ever think you were going to become an instructor, and start your own business, when starting with Pilates?

In the beginning I used Pilates as a healing method. During my most anxious period I would roll my mat out every day, listen to how my mind and body were feeling and then choose my class accordingly. Some days I would meditate for an hour, other days I would do a 20-minute stretch or a power flow. When I look back on that period of my life, although I would never wish anxiety and panic attacks on anyone. Those few months really helped me to slow down and really evaluate what was important. I am so happy that Mindfulsoul Pilates has come out of a really low period in my life and I hope to help others along the way. Realising that the tools one learns on the mat can be translated into the everyday has been revolutionary for me and my clients.

What does Pilates mean to your mental health?

It really means everything. One of the biggest factors of my healing process was practicing Pilates every day. - “During times of extreme mental instability my Pilates practice allowed me to centre my concentration away from my worries and helped me take control of varying factors in my life. This included my breathing and my strength, which started to build as well as my energy which started to increase whilst practicing most days at home. I could feel my body starting to harmonise with incredible balance and flow. Creating the Mindfulsoul Movement Library, I was able to draw on my own personal experience and create a platform that I hope will contribute greatly to the health and wellbeing of others.”

You write on your website that you find a lot of your inspiration from Western Australia, what impact has Western Australia had for you, and what makes it a place close to your heart?

Western Australia is a place which is extremely close to my heart, I consider it my second home. It is a place I draw a lot of my energy and inspiration from. It is also a place where I spent a lot of time healing. During this period, I would scroll endlessly through the internet but struggled to find a platform that offered a variety of classes and support to help me navigate and alleviate my anxiety. This is how the Mindfulsoul Movement Library was born. Throughout the last few years, I have helped men and women navigate their way through difficult periods of their lives. I believe Pilates is inextricably linked to the constant development of the mind and body. Every time we step on the mat, we build strength internally and externally. Australia is a culture that famously promotes the importance of keeping fit both physically and mentally, I have continued to share these beneficial beliefs back home, and of course, when practicing on the mat.

In the future, when we’re able to visit Western Australia, what can’t we miss?

This is an easy question! You have to go a few hours south of Perth to a place called Margaret River. Margaret River is a great place to rejuvenate, relax and reconnect with your happier self. It is a haven for wellness practitioners! The Margaret River region is known around the world for its top-quality wines and food. While the region produces less than three per cent of Australia's wine, it accounts for more than a fifth of its premium wine, and the beaches are incredible.

We are in the process of starting our own business and building our community. What would be your advice to other female entrepreneurs?

My advice would be to keep going! Setting up your own business is scary and brave but also so rewarding. Remember that each time you do something that scares you, you get a bit braver. Lastly, lean on friends and family. They are all there to support you along the way. Try to build a community up that trusts and believes in you. But the belief has to come from yourself first.

Give us your elevator pitch! Why should we become members at Mindfulsoul Pilates? What do you offer?

Hi I’m Olivia Brierley and I am the founder of the Mindfulsoul Movement Library.

I believe in approaching Pilates and health holistically. I work with individuals, encouraging them to move intuitively and show them how Pilates can be used as a magical tool to improve and support their mental health and stress management, whilst also building your physical strength and core stability. Each of my classes has been thoughtfully designed to support your mental, physical and emotional wellbeing.

We want to talk more about mental health and to feel more connected - we tend to plan, compare, and live in the future a lot by visioning the next step instead of realizing what we have right here and right now. What do you do to make yourself feel grounded, and find your inner peace?

I love that this question has come up as it is something I discuss with my clients on a daily basis. We spend most of our lives thinking about what’s happened in the past, or what’s going to happen tomorrow. We rarely spend a moment being present. I truly believe that one of the best ways to stay present is through intuitive movement. Stepping onto the mat, becoming aware of the breath, grounding yourself and moving the body. Putting all those other distractions to the side, and just focusing on you and nothing else. That is the true essence of self-care and practicing mindfulness.

But, we also love to dream big and get inspired by others. Therefore, last but not least - what are you dreaming about?

I am dreaming and hoping to teach more people across the globe The Mindfulsoul Movement Method. My vision for the Mindfulsoul Movement Library is to make this online space a safe environment that is available to all men and women to tap into. When they feel they need to reset and rebalance the mind and body. To use the Mindfulsoul Movement Library for daily practice, listening inward to those internal cues to determine what practice and movement to engage with that day. Finally, to use the library as a tool to help guide and navigate themselves through different stages of their lives.

Thank you, Olivia! Find Olivia on Instagram @mindfulsoulpilates Find Mindfulsoul Pilates webpage And, use our discount code NIKA50 for 50% discount for your first month to the new Pilates platform. Sign up here!

#ad In collaboration with Olivia Brierley, Mindfulsoul Pilates