At Home is a portrait series by photographer Chloe Paul, documenting BodyMindLife’s teachers in the spaces they have created to play and practice. We take a glimpse into their lives, investigate how they hold space for the community both virtually and within the physical structure of the studios, and ask them about the silly things they are missing under the current restrictions.
Join us as we tune in with Pilates teacher Christie Preston.
Who are you/What do you teach?
I am Christie Preston and I teach movement. At BodyMindLife I’m a Pilates teacher. I have a background in personal training, yoga, Pilates, and various sports, so I like to bring that all into my mix.
Why were you originally drawn to Pilates?
My dad loved it. When I was 10 I wanted to do everything he did (my dad is so cool) so I asked if I could have a gym membership for Christmas and I got one! I loved the classes from day one. I was the youngest person in the room by about a decade and I was instantly obsessed. I will always remember what I wore to my very first class: a white tank top with a purple butterfly in the centre and matching purple shorts. A very good look!
Has your relationship with the practice changed over time?
Yes, hugely! Although part of me inside will forever be that little girl just in love with movement. Pilates was never something I thought I would teach – I was comfortable teaching all kinds of movement but Pilates often felt too slow. Now I think it’s the best thing ever to teach. I love how Pilates can challenge bodies but also make them stronger in such a safe way. I love the variety of bodies I can help move. I love the flow of the reformer. Gliding on the beds just makes me happy.
Has your perception of home changed in the last few months?
Moving halfway around the world two years ago altered my version of home in a big way. The last few months have solidified that I really am home here in Australia. I am a mega proud Canadian with the most incredible family ever. I miss them every single day and I know they are happy where they are and I am so happy where I am. The past few months have been exceptionally challenging as an international student but I’m so grateful to be here. I wake up and think LUCKY ME! I’ve been through a lot to make here home and if anything the last few months have provided me with the opportunity to reflect on that and be really proud of my journey home.
What do you love about what you do?
The people. Hands down. I LOVE the people. The teachers. The clients. They are my favourite.
What does your home practice mean to you?
It’s my playtime! I go down to my home park – Rushcutters, and bounce around and just let go. It’s my chance to dance the best way I know how: upside down.
How do you feel when you’re in flow?
Like I’m flying.
What insights have you had about yourself in isolation?
What are you listening to/reading?
I’m reading law textbooks! This is going to be the most boring answer ever, sorry, but it is true. Criminal law has some fascinating cases! I am in full-time law school at Sydney University and most days I’ve got over 200 pages of content to comb through.
I’ll forever be watching Sex and the City.
I’m listening to, my former personal training client, Jim Beqaj’s new podcast: BE YOU, the world will adjust. Jim is a colourful character!! He is an incredible businessman with a very successful coaching and recruiting business. I love Jim’s very solid straightforward advice. I can still hear him harping after me: you are CPE: Christie Preston Enterprises, be your brand.
Something silly you’ve missed?
About Chloe Paul
Chloe Paul is a portrait and social photographer from Sydney, Australia. Over the last decade, she has created imagery for Prada, Dior, Moet&Chandon, Burberry and Christian Louboutin. Her work has featured in Harpers Bazaar, Vogue, Elle and Instyle. When not working with influential publications and high profile personalities, she can be found capturing the world on her Hassleblad.