Donna, a Podiatrist and extraordinary Cake Artist creating the most incredible cakes for all occasions from her home, has been a Private Client at Inna Essence for the past two years.  With a history of extreme lower back pain which became so severe it required two separate surgeries, Donna has battled an intrinsic fear around movement and flaring up her back pain.  She has found Private Pilates with our studio has increased her strength, spinal mobility, and the ability for her to exercise without pain.  Congratulations Donna, our Inna Spirit Member of the Month for September.


What challenges or goals brought you to Inna Essence?

“I have had problems with back pain since I was 19 years old – I knew I had disc bulges, and I saw a surgeon at 24 years old who said that I’ll probably need surgery within the next 10 years.  Over the next few years, the disc bulge I had in my lower back was becoming so severe I was tripping and falling over.”  

Donna’s L5 disc had bulged so much that it was now impinging her S1 nerve, commonly referred to as the Sciatic Nerve, causing extreme pain and loss of feeling and function in her left leg.  Donna had two invasive surgeries on her spine in 2014 and 2017 to cut away and cauterize parts of the disc to reduce any further nerve impingement.  

“I wanted to get strength back in my body after surgery.  I wasn’t capable of doing much exercise without triggering a flare up; only walking 3000 steps a day would cause me huge amounts of nerve pain.  My movement was very limited and really slow; I would fatigue quickly and I was quite fearful of movement.  I reached out to Inna Essence after hearing the referral of a friend, but I was still very nervous.  My body was in such a bad way, and I just couldn’t cope with very much movement, let alone exercise.”


What is it about Private Pilates that motivates you?   How have our classes and services been helping you on your wellness journey?

“I like that I’m being supervised in a Private Pilates session, and I feel I’m much safer.  The exercises I do are more challenging than if I were on my own; I’m encouraged to do more than what I think my body’s capable of.”

When Donna first came to us, she could barely bend her body forward; you could see how cautious she was of any movement which might cause her back pain.  Now, she is strong and capable, moving in a way where she no longer needs to guard or resist movement in fear of pain.


What do you love most about the studio? What is your favourite aspect of a Private session?

“So many things – I love that everyone is so welcoming.  I felt like I was safe and that I was going to be really well looked-after from the first time I visited Inna Essence.  I knew that everything would be okay.”

Donna was referred to Inna Essence by a friend, but she didn’t act on her recommendation for some time.  Donna had done Reformer Pilates previously, but it had been quite a bad experience.  She was very reluctant, fearing that Pilates with our studio would have the same outcome.

“A friend told me to come to Inna Essence years before I actually did, but at the time I was too scared.  Then I finally went into the studio, and I’m so glad that I did!”


What was one unexpected benefit?

“The fact that I don’t come out of sessions feeling like I’ve been hit by a truck!  Previously, even with walking, I’d always feel that my body wasn’t loving the exercise.  Now, I feel it’s doing me some good, and I know my body isn’t mad at me!”


Inna Essence will be making a donation towards a charity of Donna’s choice to thank her for being such an incredible part of our studio community:  QIMR Berghofer:  Medical Research Institute:  https://www.qimrberghofer.edu.au/our-research/cancer-research/

Check out Donna’s amazing cakes here:  https://elegantlyfrosted.com.au

Donna Inna Spirit Member