Interview, Lifestyle
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BLISSFUL BUSINESS: Carla from Bodypass is Here To Help Us Rediscover Our Active Self

New, exciting, diverse, cheeky, fresh and flexible. Keeps you challenged, inspired and gives you permission to taste test other types.

No strings attached.

Sounds like the perfect scenario right?

Welcome to the new world of fitness!

Sticking to a gym or workout routine is tough, especially when it starts to go stale. With most of us unlikely to commit to long-term gym memberships or unable to afford the drop in rates of boutique studios, many of us fail to stay faithful to any one fitness studio. Lucky for us, Exercise Scientist Georgia van Tiel and Yoga Teacher Carla McMillan got together to create Bodypass in 2015 and have been redefining our workout routines ever since.

Whether you’re in a workout rut, or need the motivation to get started, Body Pass will help you rediscover your active self! With classes ranging from regular gym classes, Bare, yoga, 80’s aerobics, swimming, surfing, altitude training or Thai boxing – Bodypass gives their members access to thousands of handpicked classes.

Carla and Georgia had seen first hand the success of flexible fitness memberships in the US and couldn’t wait to get back to Australia to start refreshing the routines of their fellow Aussies. Many all night business benders later Bodypass was born. Now Georgia and Carla get to share their passion for movement and wellness with other entrepreneurs in the fitness space, while introducing thousands of people to their perfect workout routine.

I sat down with Carla, one half of this kick-ass duo and talked passion, wellness and staying active amidst launching a brand new business.

What has your journey to starting Bodypass looked like so far?

I started practicing yoga 12 years ago, which began my journey to a holistic, inspired and well life. That led to studying medical science, herbal medicine and nutrition. I have been a dancer my whole life, so being fit and active has always been a huge part of my life. I’m always in the ocean, running, on my bike – basically if it’s active, I’m doing it.

My business partner Georgia has been a huge part of that. We have always involved each other in things that are active and healthy. We are the go-to girls in our circle of friends for advice from what to eat, how to workout.

We came to know that people wanted to shift to a healthy lifestyle, they just might be missing the right tools to help them get there. We wanted to create a space where people can come and find what it is that resonates with them to enrich their lives. We’ve been blessed to have so many tools which enrich our lives and we wanted to open these up to others.

What makes you love what you are doing?

Oh so much! I get to meet so many incredible, inspiring people everyday. We are going out there and trying out people’s small businesses whether that be Pilates, meditation, yoga or surfing. We are meeting all these people who have often broken away from corporate careers to do something that they are so passionate about which is health and wellness. Each one of them have such beautiful personalities and unique offerings and everyday we get to be a part of that. When there’s a moment when I think, ‘ah I’m tired’, I meet another amazing person and I’m inspired again. We also get to be active everyday, which I love! Sometimes we do 3 workouts a day. It might be a surfing class in the morning, a boxing class at lunch and a yoga class in the evening. I’m really able to spend my days getting to do all the things I love.

Also, running a small business is tough, most people we work with have to teach, stay atop of their finances, come up with their marketing strategies etc – I really love being able to be an extension of these businesses and help get the word out there. It’s fantastic that we get to be a hub to connect people with these businesses in their neighbourhood.

What has been one of the most memorable moments of founding Body Pass?

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Carla and Georgia – The fun and fierce founders of Bodypass.

We have had so many hysterical moments, Georgia and I have laughed our way through this entire journey. Having each other has been such a blessing. I think the funniest story to date would have to be when we were 3 months into it, working day jobs and working on Body Pass nights. We got home one night and we were de-briefing in the kitchen at 1am. Georgia was really excited that we got to sleep in the next morning, even though our workout was at 7am! Anyway, the next morning at 5 to 6 Georgia is laying in bed and she looked at the class brochure and remembered its slogan was ‘life begins at 6am’
Georgia just ran to my door and started screaming – “Carlz, we have to be there in 5 minutes, we have to go!”
I just jumped out of bed, grabbed my bag and went to the front door and said “I’m ready!”
And Georgia just said – ‘Babe, you’re completely naked!’
So I ran and put some clothes on, jumped in the car and went to the workout. It was pitch black, but we managed to spot our group out of the dozen groups that were there and started running with them.

From there we had more classes and more formal meetings. I happened to leave my fitness gear at one of the more formal meetings. In the afternoon we had a dance class, all I had on me was the white silk skirt and a blouse I was wearing. So I stopped at the closest store, picked up anything from the bargain bin that was appropriate and ran to class. I was late, I was a mess, and Georgia and I just started to dance and of course laugh. This is just a small example of the day in the life of Georgia and Carla, and the hysterics of it. That’s just one day. We really do just laugh the whole way through.

Im sure your partnership really helps you ladies get through the more dry areas of running a new business.

Oh definitely! We are a great team.

Do you have any mantras that help you through those blah days?
I sure do! It’s actually from one of our studio owners, I saw it in class recently and wrote it in my phone, here it is;
“Observing the positive changes to the body and observing the positive changes to the mind, having the patience to know where you are at and where you want to be, knowing you will get there in your own time is the key to yoga practice.”

Carla Body Pass

Bodypass allows students not to limit their practice to one tradition, teacher or space. I personally love that, I have my own practice, however I often reward myself with a random drop-in class to spice things up.

Yes, and not just yoga. Even trying out Pilates or swimming, you learn so much about yourself by putting yourself outside your comfort zone. For me doing a boxing class is not something I would have done, but having pushed past many boundaries in those classes I have really learnt a lot.

What is your vision for Bodypass over the next few years?
Oh it’s HUGE! At the moment we are working on the Body Pass festival, a combination of group workouts from yoga, meditation, inspirational speakers, nutritional good fairs to create a new wellness festival. That’s just one thing, we are also started cooking demonstrations, which is something I’m really passionate about because food is my love!

What is your advice for people who want to take the leap towards doing what they love?

Do it! 100% do it. There is no looking back. If everyday you are waking up knowing you are doing what you love, there’s just no question. It’s hard, it’s tiring, but I feel like the rewards and sense of satisfaction of doing something you believe in, is so worth any sort of negative anything. So…do it!

If you are ready to spice your sweat life up, you can join Bodypass for just $49 for the first 30 days. A monthly membership is then $99 per month, cancel at any time. Also if you want expert wellness advice sign up to their amazing blog The Juice Daily, it is one of my favourite fitness blogs.

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