At the end of last year, I had the pleasure of speaking with the lovely Elissa from Form Studio, a vibrant fitness studio in Notting Hill. Elissa and her Partner run this fresh and funky space, located on the corner of Portobello and Lonsdale Road. I wanted to find out more about the lady behind the classes and the upbeat vibe that pumps out of the door as we walk past when carrying out viewings.

Over a coffee at Gail’s on Portobello Road, I got to meet Elissa and have a chat so that I could find out more her passion for fitness at Form.
Elissa’s background is in dance and Pilates, something she has done her whole life. As a little girl, she watched her mum dance as a professional ballerina. Since then, copying her mum and incorporating it in her world, it has always been part of her life. As a natural progression from her career as a professional dancer and athlete, she began to share and impart her knowledge and experience, becoming a fitness instructor. Nowadays, Elissa brings her balanced approach to health and fitness, and as the founder of Form, she creates her own programs which you can find at this unique fitness studio.

What classes do you do at Form?
We offer nine different types of classes which include TRX, HIIT, BOX FIT, Yoga. We are also one of the very few studios in west London offering Ariel yoga which is a hugely popular class. We cater to all levels and welcome anyone motivated to get fit.

We talk about how Form Studios began.

The studio started with my Pilates-hybrid workout, which I created and has become my signature class, recalls Elissa. I designed this dynamic Pilates workout to target the core areas, giving you a complete and balanced workout. We started with these in 2015, and have grown so much.

It’s all about balance, Elissa explains. We are all about diversifying your workout so that your body is always evolving and not getting stale or stagnant by repetitive movement, whilst continually keeping the mind active and engaged. No class is ever the same, which keeps it new and exciting, and from a fitness point of view also avoids causing repetitive strain injuries. 

The repertoire in each class is varied, and our instructors are trained to the Form method, maintaining the high standards of alignment and Form, hence the name! This is really part of what we stand for, ensuring a solid foundation, that everyone is doing each exercise correctly and safely, and that teaching is of the highest level.

How do you get people motivated in your classes?

Music is a strong component in a lot of our classes; it can serve to motivate and relax. Our fitness classes are fun, vibrant, with upbeat music and a great vibe to get pumped up for a powerful workout. With small class numbers, we can mix it up, keeping it fresh and giving our members the attention they deserve to achieve their fitness goals. 

For those who want to push that extra mile- We also offer specialist fitness programmes which include personal training for specific sporting activities such as marathons, rowing and sporting competitions. We have some pro-athletes who come in and give specific one-to-one training.”

It sounds great! I’m starting to feel like I need to pay more attention to my fitness! What would you say to an absolute beginner?

Just come down and get training! Everyone is a beginner at some point. We are here to foster your passion for your fitness and wellbeing. We will help you create a programme to get the best results for your body.

We always explain why we are doing each exercise and the benefits so that, even at beginner level, members can understand and integrate their workout with the knowledge that they are working towards achieving the best results.

Elissa is also passionate about motivating people away from their desks too! 

“People spend so much time sitting at their desks, hunched over computers. With constant information and research, we know how detrimental it can be to the body and mind. Keeping mentally and physically fit and agile is important. But going from sitting 7/8 hours per day and then going to an intensive workout and killing it in the gym is not the right way to do it. That’s why balance is an essential component, it’s integral to our work at Form so that you are giving your body and mind diversity to stimulate and balance both inside and out.

Form Studio has won the Tatler Gym Award 3 years running, even in your first year of opening, that must have been a great feeling?!

Yes, it really was! We have a fab piece of equipment, similar to a Pilates reformer but this requires more core engagement, so it works you harder than most apparatus. It is challenging, but it really strengthens the core. We are the only studio offering these pieces of tech, and we have designed classes to get the best out of you. 

We run two different classes using this apparatus, pure core and sweat core. They are both performed on this equipment and both Pilates-inspired. Sweat Core is more focused on cardio while Pure Core is a highly effective session, engaging and working all the ab-muscles.

These are our award-winning classes, and it was a really exciting time for us and has added to the personality of the studio.

Why did you choose to set up your fitness studio in Notting Hill?

I have always had a connection with Notting Hill and have lived in the area for over 15 years, so it was a natural progression to open a studio locally. However, the studio doesn’t just welcome local residents, we have members who come from across the borough and beyond to take part in our classes at Form.

What’s your favourite place to eat in Notting Hill?

I love Farmacy and their fresh take on plant-based food. We also just love having all these lovely eateries on our doorstep with so much variety.

We end our interview on my favourite subject, food, which Elissa lightly and naturally turns back to health and wellbeing. It is clear that she is passionate about fitness, and a healthy & full lifestyle which comes through in her in-depth knowledge on this topic. She creates inspired classes and programmes to motivate and push the boundaries, keeping it light, balanced and high vibe! She loves jumping into classes as she is always inspired by other ways of doing things and being a lifelong student.

Her bubbly, light energy has rubbed off on me during our conversation and would love to feel as fit as she describes! Well, it’s January, and it’s a great time to start those new year’s resolutions to get down to the gym and work it out!!

You can find out more about Elissa’s work, and Form Studios classes, as well as their introductory offers here!