The power of Pilates

The power of Pilates

It was Luelle Roberts’ passion for the human body, along with her inherent belief in the power of Pilates, which resulted in the medical doctor, specialist anaesthetist and mother of two stepping away from her career in medicine and becoming an instructor at the Pilates Pod at FITPOD at the Ballito Lifestyle Centre.

It might seem a little unusual – a highly qualified medical professional stepping away from her career in medicine to become a Pilates instructor – but for Luelle, the transition has been an incredible one.

Not only has it allowed her to become a more accessible and present mom to her two teenage children, but it has also enabled her to share her passion and deep-seated belief in the power of Pilates, and its ability to improve all aspects of a person’s life, with others.

Luelle is a true North Coast local. She was born and raised in Salt Rock and, with her father a well-known GP in the area for more than 50 years, she and her family have always been intrinsic members of this close-knit community.

After completing her medical degree at UCT, Luelle did her community service and internship in Pietermaritzburg before pursuing a career in anaesthesiology. She studied for a further four years to become a qualified specialist anaesthetist.

Luelle moved to Johannesburg to be with her husband Brian in 2002 and the couple had two children before moving back to Ballito in 2009. “We always kept our strong link with the North Coast,” says Luelle, who assumed an anaesthetist position at Umhlanga Hospital on their return.
Although she had been doing Pilates for a long time (finding it beneficial to her long-distance running training), it was during lockdown that Luelle began to understand the power and overall health payoffs from the core muscle strength and spinal and joint flexibility of Pilates.
“I did a lot of Pilates during lockdown, up to three classes a day, and decided to do an online teacher’s course, not with the goal of teaching, but to get a deeper understanding and improve my skill.”

Luelle completed an intense, US-based BASI Pilates mat course in 2020 and then a comprehensive BASI equipment teacher training course with Tash Barnard the following year. “I just fell in love with Pilates. My husband was commuting, and becoming an instructor felt like an effective way for me to be more available for my children. I was incredibly fortunate to be able to do this and I do not have any regrets.”

It is the scientific methodology of the BASI Pilates method, Luelle says, that appeals to her as a medical professional. “I have always been fascinated with human anatomy and physiology and I cannot emphasise enough how beneficial Pilates is for longevity and to improve and support other sporting disciplines. In fact, you can use Pilates principles in all aspects of your life.”

Luelle offers two mat classes a week, as well as private and duo (two people) sessions at the Pilates Pod at FITPOD using the state-of-the-art BASI Systems equipment. “It really is the most magical and serene space with beautiful décor, calming lighting and incredible equipment.”
Her clients come from varied backgrounds and age-groups. “I have clients in their sixties, seventies and eighties and you would not believe what they can do and how they move their spines! The BASI method allows you to work your entire body in a one-hour class and there is also a big emphasis on spinal extension, which is incredibly important in our day-to-day lives.” The most important thing to remember when doing Pilates, says Luelle, is that the more you use your brain, the more effective your sessions will be.

“The mind-body connection is extremely important to ensure that you are able to unlock your deep-seated, core muscles – which means the brain is key for achieving maximum benefit for your body.”

For more information on Luelle’s Pilates classes at the Pilates POD at FITPOD visit: