Fostering body awareness, acceptance, and improved performance.

Welcome David

David Port de BrasWe’re happy to announce that David Schleiffers is joining us at Soma Pilates! We asked him a few questions to get to know him better.

How/When did you first fall in love with Pilates?

I was first introduced to Pilates with the Winsor Pilates VHS tape when I was thirteen or fourteen.  I was studying classical dance at the time and felt it was a great supplement to my training.  Even though I was taking about ten to twelve dance classes every week after school, I still found time to pop in the VHS and do a workout… I have definitely always been a nut for exercise even when I was younger.  I continued to study Pilates through my college dance training as a elective and found it was the only conditioning form exercise that inspired me to delve deeper. Because Pilates builds so incrementally from deep to superficial muscles, there is always room for growth and improvement and every day I learn something new about my body.

How did you get started teaching?

I started teaching because I also work as a clinical massage therapist.  I love working with my clients to help them achieve their health goals.  As a massage therapist, I can only offer my advice for them in 5 minutes after a session and hope they listen. By teaching Pilates, I can create a dialogue with my clients and pick appropriate exercises for their unique issues.   I am interested in working with my clients to change their perception of their bodies, to help them gain strength, correct postural deviations and feel empowered.  Through Pilates and massage, I believe I can help my clients achieve all of these things.  Pilates and massage have the same end goal – optimal health.  I’m excited to continue investigating both and bridge these two skills to help my clients reach their fullest potential.

What is your favorite exercise and why?

I love turtle. Perhaps because I’m tickled by exercises that are named after animals, but mainly because it’s such a seemingly easy exercise, but it targets your core instantly.  I can work up a sweat in 10 seconds flat.

How has your own Pilates practice improved your own health?

David Front Rowing In 2008 I started seeing a physical therapist because I couldn’t lie on my back without it instantly cramping.  I would have to bend my knees into my chest or lie on my side.  It was awful and excruciatingly painful.  I felt defeated as a dancer because I knew something was wrong with my body.  The physical therapist analyzed my posture and noted a whole slew of postural deviations – severely rotated pelvis, hyperextend of the knees, internal rotation of my femurs, tilted cervical spine… you name it and I was only 19 years old.  I realized then that although I trained my body everyday in dance class, I knew nothing about my skeletal and muscular system or how it should be balanced in gravity.  It all started then.  I went back to ground zero with the mindset of a complete beginner and built strength from my core to my periphery.  The thing I love most about Pilates is you can’t fake the strength.  If you don’t have the strength to do an exercise, you will fail.  A good teacher will not let you move on until you’ve mastered all the principles leading up to the harder exercise.   Although it was tough to feel like a complete beginner, Pilates single handedly realigned my body.  Body awareness and core strength isn’t a myth.  I don’t suffer from muscular pain anymore… ever.  If that’s not a testament to Pilates, I don’t know what is.

For more information about David and our other instructors, please check out our instructor bio page.

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