maven46 meets: Milena Jaksic, Co-founder of Platinum Pilates

Milena Jaksic Platinum Pilates Dublin

Words by Nicole Thomsen
September 16th, 2019

milena-jaksic-platinum-pilates

As co-founder and managing director of one of the biggest, most in-demand Pilates studios in the country, Milena Jaksic is the multi-hyphenate expert behind Ireland’s current obsession with all things Pilates. The fully certified Polestar Pilates Practitioner was one of the first Pilates instructors in Ireland and is now a leading authority in the area of functional movement.

We caught up with the (self-confessed) Pilates nerd and busy mum-of-three to uncover what exactly Reformer Pilates entails, the next big fitness trend that everyone should know about, and her top business advice for budding entrepreneurs…

On her introduction to Reformer Pilates and the goal behind setting up her own studio…

I was working as a personal trainer and decided to take a trip to a fitness convention in Germany in 2000, where I discovered Reformer Pilates for the first time. I was instantly hooked. I couldn’t get over the physical and mental effects I could see and feel almost immediately. I wanted to share this with everyone, shout it from the rooftops almost about just how good you can feel from practising this form of exercise.

When I got back to Ireland, I couldn’t find any training courses or information about how to become an instructor, so I travelled to New York and London to train and gain as much knowledge as I could to bring back home. I started teaching it at a gym I was managing at the time, the Leinster rugby team also trained at this gym, and organically, I got to share my Pilates expertise with them during pre-season conditioning. They got a huge amount from our sessions; I learned a huge amount from them. Soon, clients were getting amazing results too; back pain issues were getting resolved, people were really responding to it, and loving both the physical and mental benefits.

On her typical day…

It’s usually a 5:30 am start. My day has to start with a run; it’s my way of being able to drop everything and not be distracted, I am just ‘in the moment’ when I am running, I love the physical conditioning, and the way it boosts my energy levels when I need it most.

When I’m back, it’s operation get the kids to school. I have two in senior school now and one in junior school, so it’s all-go every morning. The rest of my days are a mix of private sessions with clients to a business meeting or a catch-up with one of the team or our lead Physiotherapist. I try to make it to a Reformer class around early evening-time, then, it’s home to do homework with the kids, dinner and later, it’s back either back to my laptop or an evening out with a friend.

On what to expect at a Reformer Pilates class…

It’s an exercise technique for building strength and flexibility while improving balance, coordination and endurance. The classes are intimate, 12 max in a class, on our springloaded reformer machines and led by our expert movement practitioners. Each class is about attention to detail, moving in the correct way, breathing with every move, with specific cueing and focus on helping you understand the activation and engagement needed to get the most out of your class. Expect to experience a full-body workout, as you pulse, squeeze and lift every part of your body imaginable (and a few you didn’t know existed!).

On the benefits of Pilates and regular movement…

Reformer Pilates is all about strength from the inside out. You gain flexibility and mobility and great sense of headspace; it’s really how you can create an overall sense of wellbeing; it makes you feel better and live better.

Why Pilates is becoming a go-to workout for athletes…

Athletes’ bodies are like the tool of their trade, any athlete needs their body to be finely tuned and Pilates is a technique that allows them to enhance the level of performance that they’re currently working at by improving recovery times when they’re injured, building core strength, and it allows them to endure a little longer, go that little bit further. And, there’s also a huge mind-body connection with Pilates, and athletes now realise that 80-90% of performance includes the mind as well as the body. This is where you get the edge when you’re an athlete.

On the next big fitness trend…

Gyrotonic—it’s huge in the states and the Far East, Madonna is a big fan, and I am in the process of training to be an instructor. We’ll be bringing it to Platinum this autumn for our clients too. It takes Pilates and the movement of Pilates to the next level. It’s a threedimensional system, that’s all about allowing the joints to feel more at ease because we’re more compressed now than we’ve ever been due to gravity, rituals, sitting down, staring at computer screens and phones. The concept of Gyrotonic is to decompress, even when you’re sitting down for a healthier, more supple spine and increased range of motion and greater joint stability. It’s hugely popular with athletes and dancers, and we’ll start to see flavours of it being brought into Pilates and other exercise methods and fitness classes soon.

On maintaining a work-life balance…

It’s a great industry, working in the wellness industry means helping people towards achieving their goals, and there’s great job satisfaction in that, which means I don’t carry that guilt around when I get home. I work really hard for ten months of the year, and I try to take some time out over the summer to spend with my family. I’ve learned that wrapping yourself up in guilt doesn’t do anyone any favours; the quality of time you spend with your family is what matters.

Her advice for fellow entrepreneurs and businesswomen…

Surround yourself with people you can trust to be honest with you. Have a three-to-five-year business plan no matter how ridiculous it sounds—just make the plan and grow your business around it. We tend to cripple ourselves with fear that causes boundaries for us, but try to find a way to push through the fear, and don’t be afraid to dream big.

What’s next for Platinum Pilates…

We have so much excitement going on right now. The introduction of the Gyrotonic method, some studio upgrades happening, new Physio clinics opening, and we’re moving the brand regionally, starting with Cork in 2020.


Want to know more? Milena will be speaking at our upcoming ‘Be’ summit on October 5th, 2019, alongside fellow entrepreneurs, Sonia Deasy and Alison Stroh.

Get your tickets below!

Be event 2019 Dublin