How long have you been a teaching Pilates?
I’ve been teaching for 7 years .
When did you first fall in love with Pilates?
I really fell in love with Pilates after my first time on a reformer. Every movement engaging mentally and it was a full body workout. You can’t zone out or get sloppy. And instead of feeling beaten up after a workout, I was tired, but I felt a little taller and more limber. It really changed the way I think about moving my body.
How did you get started teaching?
Right after college, 10 years ago, I started teaching group fitness classes. I’d liked movement and exercise since I was a kid. I’d done a little of everything – cross-country running, Irish dance, yoga, soccer, snowshoeing – you name it. But when I started my first professional job, I found all that time indoors at a desk was wearing on me. So I led this double life, sales rep by day and teaching cycling and weightlifting at night. At that point, I was a huge gym rat, and I’d accumulated a lot of little injuries from overuse and bad alignment. A friend recommended Pilates as a way to balance out my workouts. At that point, I was training to hike the Grand Canyon and my feet were killing me so I thought I’d give Pilates a try. I figured I’d be lying on my back doing crunches, that it would be easy. Instead I was a shaky mess after my first class. After that, I decided I had to learn more and eventually teach.
What is your favorite exercise and why?
Oh gosh, that’s tough. As an instructor, I honestly love ab preps. Those curls are so basic, but they are the building blocks of a lot of movements. A properly executed curl shows that you know the Pilates principles and have really internalized them. But personally I love all the splits on the reformer. I love that stretch in the front and back splits. And those side splits targeting the gluteus medius are great for me, and most everybody else. Those strong hip muscles really make me a better hiker… and keep me out of PT.
How has your own Pilates practice improved your own health?
First of all, Pilates is fun so I actually want to do it. I can really thank Pilates for keeping me fit and pain free during my pregnancy and helping me rehab after a major knee injury last year. And Pilates has been the perfect compliment to the fun outdoor activities I love. I don’t know how I would have logged so many miles on my road bike without being able to get in some great back extensions and shoulder work in the studio to even myself out. But the best gift has been how Pilates changed my perspective on health. I work out less now, but I’m stronger and more flexible than I’ve ever been.