What brought you to Pilates?
I remember doing a Winsor Pilates DVD with my sister. I’d heard the word “Pilates” but had no idea what I was getting myself into—it was really hard! We were laughing at ourselves as we struggled to do teasers. Many years later, my father started taking Pilates lessons, and he noticeably reduced his back pain and improved his posture. He was the reason I started taking lessons at Atlas Pilates. While the videos were fun, it wasn’t until I took lessons in person that I started to understand the nuances, and realized how much of an impact one-on-one instruction makes.
What made you want to become a Pilates teacher?
I was working a traditional 9-5 job and feeling unfulfilled—it took me a long time to realize that just because you’re good at something, doesn’t mean it’s the right calling for you. I knew I wanted to do something in movement, and make a concrete difference in people’s lives by improving their day. As I got more serious in my Pilates practice at the studio, I started daydreaming about leaving my job to pursue a career teaching.
Why did you choose the Atlas Pilates teacher training program?
Choosing the Atlas Pilates training program was a no brainer for me. It was the teaching staff here who inspired me to pursue this new career. Everyone is so knowledgeable and so creative—they all helped me fall in love with classical Pilates. Without Atlas Pilates, I don’t know if I would have taken the plunge to become a teacher.
What is one of your takeaways from training?
Keep things simple, for your clients and for yourself. There’s so much information to absorb, and so much that you will have to relearn and reabsorb once you graduate and start teaching. As you watch someone work out, there’s maybe 15 different things going through your head at any given time. As far as what to actually convey to the client? Pick one, or none! So much of teaching is about removing barriers and just helping people get moving.
When did you graduate?
Why do you like teaching Pilates now?
I love Pilates because it doesn’t just challenge my ability to tailor to different bodies, it pushes me to understand how each person best learns. The body can’t go where the brain can’t imagine. I think one of the most rewarding parts of this job is the chance to reinvent yourself as a teacher when the learner in front of you needs a different approach. I’m not the first person to say this, but my clients teach me at least as much as I teach them. It’s a reciprocal exchange.
What Pilates exercise, concept or principle currently holds your attention and why?
Today, I’m contemplating the principle of Flow. Many of us have felt stuck at some point over the pandemic. We’ve had to miss birthdays and holidays, we’ve made tough choices about whether to see each other in person or through a screen. For a time, the variety of normal life just disappeared. Now that we’re able to move more freely again, it can be overwhelming. How do we return to what was once second nature? This is when I come back to the idea of Flow. There is flow in the order of the exercises and there’s flow between the springs and our bodies. If I’m feeling stuck in my day, or my workout, I’m trying to let go and tune in to the feedback that the springs give me, and lean into that energy exchange.
Why do you think people should do Pilates?
I see Pilates as a toolkit to help you move more, with more pleasure and less pain. It teaches you body awareness, it shortens the path to your goals. It is not mindless and it’s not easy, it requires focus. The hour you spend doing Pilates is an hour where you cannot fixate on anything else. I believe the mental benefits are as powerful as the physical ones.
Is there a particular exercise that has profoundly changed your body?
Just one? Ok, right now I’m thinking about Single Leg Circles. Don’t sleep on this exercise! Whenever you’re supporting and moving just one leg at a time—pay attention! There’s much to be gained there.
What is your weekly workout routine?
My routine changes frequently, but I have a loose ‘recipe.’ I do mat in the morning, before the day gets started. Sometimes it’s 40 minutes, sometimes it’s 5. I also run three times a week for better sleep, and I try to lift something heavy a couple times a week. When I have a break at the studio I jump on the Reformer or the Ladder Barrel most of the time.
What are you doing now?
Aside from teaching pilates, I work as a physical therapy aide and I volunteer helping families with loved ones in the hospital connect with resources for food, lodging and transportation.
What’s your favorite food?
All of them. All of the foods.
What do you do to unwind?
Run. Watch RuPaul’s Drag Race.
What are 3 words that describe you?
Goofy, empathetic, ginger.
If you were an animal, what would you be?
I would like to be reincarnated as a Sheepadoodle—was that the question?
What’s your signature phrase?
I wish I could pick a profound phrase….But judging by what my clients would say it’s probably something like:
“Time for the hundred! Let’s get’er done!”