Tasha Franken is a Spanish model, entrepreneur, fitness enthusiast, certified health coach and Pilates instructor. Tasha has spent years in the modelling industry, appearing on the cover of Vogue and having walked in fashion shows for major brands such as Tom Ford, La Perla and Vivienne Westwood. Since finding her niche as a successful health coach, Tasha has worked hard to launch her online Pilates subscription T-F STUDIO, pushing boundaries in the fitness world and making a difference in people’s lives.
Let’s start from the beginning, how did you become immersed into the fitness world, and what prompted you to start T-F STUDIO?
I have always been active my whole life. I was modelling for twelve years and as a model, you’ve always got to stay in shape. I tried every trainer and every fitness class, which meant it was non-stop and I ended up over-doing it. I was adding more stress to my body, which led to a lot of inflammation and I just didn’t feel good. But, throughout my years of trying all these different workouts, I found myself always loving Pilates. It was something that every time I did it, I would feel so good afterwards, but I would never be consistent with it because I would jump onto another fitness trend. But then I had a trainer who made me stop everything and I began training with him only twice a week, I was not allowed to do anything else. I was told that I had trained so much, it was no longer good for my body and that really shifted my mindset towards working out. I wanted to do what felt best for me and so I really got into Pilates. Originally, I got certified because I wanted to learn how to do it correctly for myself, I didn’t think I wanted to be an instructor. But when I was doing my course, something just clicked. I was teaching a trial class and I just loved it, it just felt right. But this was in February 2019 and then we went into lockdown, so I started recording workout videos for YouTube because during that time I couldn’t find anything online that was Pilates based, and that’s how T-F STUDIO began.
What made you decide to train in Pilates as opposed to other workouts? What changes did you see in your body that you felt you didn’t see without Pilates?
Pilates itself is rehab movement. It was created by Joseph Pilates to help athletes recover. It aligns your spine, focuses you on lateral breathing, helps to reduce inflammation and calms the nervous system. Pilates has many long-term benefits that other fitness styles don’t. There’s no impact, it’s about strength and body alignment and all these things are so good for your body in the long run. It’s something you could do every single day for the rest of your life and you’re not going to injure yourself if you do it right. For me personally, it felt right because my body felt strong, but you don’t bulk, and you can do every movement with no equipment. The breathing is also a huge aspect for me, it combines mindfulness with movement and I believe focusing on a mind and body connection is how you get the best results. It’s about connecting the muscle groups that you’re working verses doing 500 reps and not paying attention to your body. Pilates is controlled, it’s beneficial and it works for everyone. It’s not a quick, high impact workout that burns you out. Doing little, low impact movements everyday makes a bigger difference than that stop start motion people can fall into. Consistency is key.
You’ve mentioned before that you used to eat and workout to look a certain way, but now you do it because it’s what makes you feel your best. What was the biggest turning point for you that altered your mindset?
My entire modelling career I worked out because I had to, and it really shifted my focus when I realised it wasn’t right. I felt stressed and guilty if I wasn’t working out long or hard enough. But I started to realise that you don’t have to work out all the time, especially as a woman, which I realised when I began my research on hormones and nutrition. When I got certified in nutrition, I realised that life is about balance, it’s about shifting your mindset and that can take a really long time. They say you should listen to your body, but I always thought, what does that mean? But when you just slow everything down and you try to focus, you really start to think, how did this make me feel? So then, if I felt burnt out, or stressed I would begin to think, can I try to do something different? That’s when I started to slowly implement little consistent daily steps into my fitness regime, instead of working out because I felt like I had to. At the end of the day, you shouldn’t do it because it’s trendy or because you think you have to; you should do it because it makes you feel your best.
We feel inspired to hear that you created the T-F STUDIO website yourself, you’re clearly very business-savvy and entrepreneurial. How do you maintain your motivation when working on a project that can take months to complete?
I actually had no idea how business-savvy I was until I threw myself into T-F STUDIO. I’m an all or nothing kind of person as well, I don’t do things half-heartedly, I’m very specific. In a similar way to how I didn’t think I was going to be an instructor; I didn’t think that I was going to launch my own fitness app. But I got rid of a lot of fear and I went for it during a time where I had nothing to lose. And now it’s mine and I work for myself. I found a drive and ambition that I didn’t even know I had. There are definitely days I feel unmotivated and it’s a lot of pressure, you can’t blame other people for things not working or going well, it’s all on you. I have to remind myself that no one else is going to do it for me, so when you just get up and do it, it’s really fulfilling.
What is one piece of advice you would give someone starting out on their fitness journey and trying to establish their path into healthy living?
Take small, consistent steps that you know you can do long term. There’s no quick fix, and you have to be really patient to find the best steps to implement into your daily routine. It’s so much easier to make something a hobby if you take those small steps instead of jumping into something unattainable.
Article written by: Holly Lewis, Features Writer British Thoughts UK