This week’s ‘Date With Ains’ Guest is the dynamic Jill Marshall, who is a Conscious Movement and Holistic Fitness specialist .
Jill has the amazing ability to pull together her passion for bio-mechanics and anatomy with her Pilates, Yoga and Nia Dance qualifications to focus on her clients needs (and she provides some pretty awesome visual explanations during her classes!). She has also decided to focus on the needs of pre and post natal women to enhance the experience for mother and baby before, during and after pregnancy.
Over an afternoon catchup at High Street Bar and Grill we discussed tackling being a single mum whilst growing a business and how a fainting incident and seven shattered teeth resulted in a major wake up call that Jill desperately needed!
Grab your beverage of choice and learn more about Jill’s multi-passionate work and personality, particularly in relation to clarity, confidence and connection in life and business!
TELL US A LITTLE BIT ABOUT YOURSELF JILL. I’D LOVE TO KNOW WHAT BROUGHT YOU TO HONG KONG, WHERE YOU GREW UP, HOW YOUR BUSINESS GOT STARTED, YOUR PASSIONS ETC?
I love this question because it’s cool to sometimes take a step back to reflect!
I was born in London to Scottish parents and raised in Hong Kong since the age of 7. I’m a single-mum to beautiful Chloe and have spent my whole adult life raising her with the help of my family and friends, ex-boyfriend(s) and community on South Lantau where we have lived most of her 19 years.
I left Art School in Leeds, UK to have Chloe in HK in 1997 … in looking for some work in the art industry I ended up working in publishing and then teaching English. Here I learnt how to teach. Once I had the ‘ah ha’ moment several years later that teaching English was not my ‘forever job,’ I was looking for a way out. I didn’t know what to do but I did know I needed to ‘get out and move on’ when I had lunch with my wonderful inspiring mum who happened to look exceptionally good, toned, taller and slimmer.
How did she look this great? PILATES!
With a hot male instructor twice a week… I followed her and fell in love… Up for the challenge of something new and re-awakening high school interests of anatomy and nutrition, I went full steam ahead into the Pilates Teacher training with BASI and pursued other modalities of healing and practices consciously combining Mind & Body. I had found my path!
Coming from a fat, depressed young woman to a wobbly, youngish single-mum, it took me some time to find my feet but they definitely landed when I got into the health and fitness industry in Hong Kong around the year 2000.
I became a Pilates teacher and a BodyTalk Systems Practitioner first and continued studying and studying. As I gained experience and knowledge in ways to support a wide range of client needs, I worked in various environments and met amazing, supportive clients and wellness practitioners that led me to where I am now… a confident and experienced freelance teacher with room to expand into the running of two studios and a health platform that represents an accumulation of all my years of work.
‘pause’ has organically evolved to facilitate and assist new practitioners (both in the industry or to Hong Kong) and to create a reliable health community in HK that serves people wishing to find natural health solutions to empower and transform their lives.
It has a team of practitioners and people behind-the-scenes who help us to be able to guide people to the best health solution for them at that time, whether using Eastern or Western methods inclusive of Modern Medicine. Personally my focus is on conscious movement using my take on Pilates, Yoga and Nia Dance, with healthy eating and meditation.
WHAT DOES ‘CLARITY’ MEAN TO YOU? WHEN YOU’RE LACKING CLARITY IN LIFE OR BUSINESS, HOW DO YOU GET ‘UNSTUCK’? WHAT PRACTICES OR STRATEGIES DO YOU USE?
Clarity, to me is clear vision and a sense that everything is right, on track and a sense of peacefulness.
Clarity is an important thing to have but so easy to lose sight of! I have lacked clarity and got stuck over and over again… I probably spend more time being stuck than in clarity but when I get it, it’s so blissful, encouraging and freeing.
When I realise I need some de-fogging or feel uncertain and stuck I try to find clarity through stepping away.
This is usually through immersion in something new that inspires or by doing yoga and meditation which I do in several ways and am still learning. Or if I dance Nia I sometimes gain clarity as if I’ve moved blockages out the way through physical movement. There is also an essential oil blend called ‘clarity’ that I may choose to diffuse when I know I’m craving clarity!
Also when I get out of town or take a break I often find clarity. And sometimes when I talk to my friends or my wise daughter Chloe, and listen to their tales it puts things into perspective for me and I regain some clarity.
I’D LOVE FOR YOU TO SHARE A TIME WHEN YOUR SELF-CONFIDENCE HAS BEEN AT AN ALL TIME LOW AND WHAT YOU DID TO PICK YOURSELF UP AND GET BACK OUT THERE.
I had a period where I was so stressed by a failed friendship and business relationship.
I was disappointed and scared, and financially stressed for some months. I eventually fainted – landed on a cement floor to wake with seven shattered teeth. Big kick in the mouth and a wake up call!
I needed clarity and to move on and let go of that story and to pick myself back up.
I took time to recover and heal by taking time out – forced rest – but it gave me time to slow down, step back and assess what I wanted, identify my strengths, think about my future and devise an action plan.
Born was my desire to move away from solely relying on teaching and to action my desire to accumulate all my knowledge and to start working with people again.
Also, leaving a toxic relationship behind, I was at an all time low and in leaving and starting again on my own I found courage, sought counsel from wise people with strategies and some with intuitive powers that assisted in me staying focussed, following my heart and dreams by myself.
HOW DO YOU STAY CONNECTED TO YOUR PURPOSE AND YOUR PASSION?
I’ve reviewed my purpose since my fainting incident and I check in with my self-help team including Nathalie Sommer and Justin Andries every now and then.
I keep visualising my dream and talk about it regularly with my close friends.
I’m always following people who inspire me or trying new ways of reaching optimal health through movement and meditation.
I also embrace womanhood, sisterhood and motherhood and I’m a part of several circles that are very inspirational.
The passion of helping people understand simple health solutions to meet their situation is a passion that never fades!
And I keep finding more ways of doing this the older I get and the older Chloe gets. She is a wise one and is older than me in many ways … she raised me!
WHO AND/OR WHAT INSPIRES YOU?
My daughter, being a mum, being a friend, an aunty and a co-worker and hopefully I’d like to be inspired by (and inspire) a partner.
My work and friends at work are inspiring.
Teaching inspires me and my students/clients inspire me… that’s a nice spiral I embrace with gratitude daily.
I am also inspired by all my teachers and entrepreneurs that have followed their dreams and intuition.
WHAT’S NEXT FOR YOU AND YOUR BUSINESS?
Next is to launch the online presence of my two physical wellness spaces called ‘pause.’
‘Pause’ is all about inspiring people to pause so they can learn, find help and live better.
I also am excited to not only share other people’s offerings at pause, but to get back into focussing on teaching and programming and working on my own personal website. I want to get back into putting all my knowledge and teaching experience into workshops, retreats and courses with more of a focus on working with pregnant clients, an area in which I specialise in, along with classes for new mums.
I’d like ‘pause’ to grow into a one-stop shop that can include a reading area, book shop, second hand or home made crafts area, heath retail and cafe, with a dance floor and a studio a bit bigger than what we have now but still keeping it intimate and cozy where people can really connect.
First, to really create a beautiful health community to share advice and events and talents that can help people live well.
WHAT DO YOU LOVE ABOUT LIVING IN HONG KONG?
It’s home for me and it’s comfortable and familiar but still it is such a diverse place where I see stimulating and inspiring new sights all the time.
Things are always changing.
People coming and going, the ease with which people meet and the openness that people have to share and inspire and support is so fascinating and special to me.
The energy and ease with which people dream big and give things a go, the chances that are on offer and opportunities.
I also love that the local people are so friendly and that I have watched Hong Kong change whilst raising my child here.
MY WORDS OF ADVICE FOR YOUNG WOMEN ABOUT TAKING THE LEAP AND FOLLOWING THEIR DREAMS WOULD BE….
You can do it! … Things always find a way.
Ask for guidance and share your experience…and make lists…and vision boards!
Expect changes and be flexible! Listen to your intuition, find good mentors!
AND FINALLY DO YOU HAVE A QUOTE OR A DAILY MANTRA YOU USE TO KEEP YOU FEELING CLEAR, CONFIDENT AND CONNECTED WITHIN YOUR BUSINESS AND LIFE?
Make it happen!! I can do it!! I have faith that I will be guided and am protected and supported!
I also chant sanskrit mantras with japa beads learned from Yoga studies that I love to listen to and sing along to too – Gayatri Mantra and Asatoma and Hare Krishna are my faves!
Jill Marshall has experience working with clients in groups and 1:1 improving postural issues, increasing fitness levels and making all her clients more comfortable, aware and mobile in their bodies. She has decided now to focus on the needs in particular of pre and post natal clients using her knowledge of Pilates, exercise and anatomy, particularly of the pelvis and pelvic floor to enhance the experience for mother and baby before, during and after pregnancy.
Jill Marshall has been instructing BASI* Pilates classes in HK since 2005, and has added Yoga Paramgati and Nia Dance to her repertoire so now describes her craft as Conscious Movement & Holistic Fitness. She is now looking to teach internationally and to complete her Teacher Training Programme in Pilates in 2017.
She runs two health studios, ‘pause’ in Central and on Lantau and is creating a community for people to pause and address their health, happiness and potential as well as aid practitioners to launch their health related businesses.