Meet the speaker
Audrey O’ Connor is the founder of CoreState pilates, the Pilates platform for everybody from absolute beginners to advanced movers. Audreys background for the past 8 years has been in sports therapy, rehabilitation and personal training. She then began to explore Pilates as a tool to supplement her Rehabilitation & Personal Training work and throughout the years Pilates became her passion. After working in the industry for years with an array of clients ranging from strength and conditioning Ireland’s top class athletes to clients with various disc pathologies, Audrey then furthered her studies with Polestar Pilates UK and qualified as a Polestar Pilates Practitioner. The Comprehensive qualification with Polestar Pilates is one of the world’s top Pilates qualifications.
Tell us a little about yourself?
I am a Dingle native, living in Dublin, and am the founder of the Pilatess Platform CoreStateHQ. I am a true believer in visualisation, and if you visualise what you want, be honest about what you deserve, know your purpose, and put in the groundwork; anything is possible. Our possibilities and true potentials are endless. I am also a crazy cat lady and am a total cat stage mom when it comes to my cat Meowsles, you do not want to see the photo gallery on my phone!
How did your career first start out and what led you to your career change?
I began my first career as a Quantity Surveyor and Construction Manager and after five years in the industry made the shift from Construction to Pilates and wellness. After years of not having a good work life balance and intense back pain, Pilates helped me heal through movement. I began to see my potential off and on the mat and wanted others to feel the transformation Pilates made to my life. Pilates is not a quick fix, it is a way of life with long lasting results. Pilates is more than just movement , it creates body awareness, it helps you find focus and makes you feel physically and mentally stronger, so you can get the results you want from your practice.
Changing careers is never an easy decision - when was the moment you knew it was the right decision for you?
I knew it was the right decision for me when I stopped listening to others for permission, listened to my intuition, and followed the path of a career change. To go back to college full time at 27 wasn’t easy, but once I was clear on where I was going it just felt right. I knew the PoleStar Pilates Comprehensive qualification, which is one of the best qualifications in the world, would open up so many doors for me. Once I passed those exams in London I knew I was where I needed be in order to help others heal and transform through movement.
What was it about pilates that got you hooked initially?
I was advised by my physician to take up Pilates to help rehabilitate my back. I remember being so self conscious and thinking about how I was moving compared to everyone else. Then after a few sessions I moved my attention out of my head and into my body and that when everything changed. I started noticing the progress in my movement and mobility, I became stronger every week and more aligned. When these changes started happening my confidence started to bloom and it transformed so many areas of my life. I was hooked!
How did the pandemic affect business and how did you adapt?
In March 2020 I lost all my classes and clients overnight. I went from having 3 corporate classes a day to zero. I adapted by converting my living room into a home studio and investing in lights and cameras. I also had no time to process doubt so I started my newsletter, reached out to my client base and moved them to an online booking system within the first week. The classes went from strength to strength with new members joining every week. Consistency was key and I felt that showing up for my clients when they needed me the most was my way of helping others through what was a less than desirable situation. I soon found that it worked both ways, and having the connection with my clients online has really kept me going throughout this pandemic.
What is the greatest piece of advice you have ever received?
“You get in life what you have the courage to ask for” – I heard this is one of Oprah’s podcasts and it really resonated with me. People are not mind readers, you have to be clear about asking for what you want.
For those considering pilates for the first time, how is best to get involved?
I think the best way is to set a realistic expectation of your Pilates goals and what you want your practice to look like. Set up space in your home, start by carving out time for your practice that is realistic and commit to your practice, The best way to start is by joining the CoreStateHQ beginners 8 week series, which is our most popular online series. There are three classes every week for 8 weeks. Each week bringing you new progressions and classes. See and feel the results and progress in your own time from the comfort of your home.