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Why Pilates?

About twenty years ago, I lived in Cleveland, Ohio living the dream as a professional actress and personal trainer. I was being hired for roles at The Cleveland Playhouse and Great Lakes Theatre Festival, in dance companies, films, and commercial work. I also certified with NASM to teach fitness and well-being privately. I was in the best shape of my life!...or so I thought. The truth is that, while I looked good on the outside, on the inside my body was a mess! I had regular headaches, migraines, joint pain, and back pain. It was all worth it, right? Not at all. I remember doing ab day and probably finished out 100 crunches, but knew I did not really feel anything.


It all changed when I was invited to take a Pilates Mat and Reformer Certification. I thought that it would enhance what I was already teaching to my clients. Deep down, I was wanting more. I was burned out working as an actress. I enjoyed being a personal trainer more and more because it was challenging my mind, but I still wanted more. I wanted to understand more about kinesiology and body mechanics. I didn't want to be a glorified rep counter. That is when Pilates changed my life.


It wasn't all at once, but it did feel like a hose in my mouth. Movement, I learned, was coming from a central place that could be more functional. I realized how imbalanced my body was. Okay, have you ever done the lean? You know the lean to one hip all the time. As Pilates made me more aware of where my body was in space, I noticed I would lean on my right hip while doing the dishes at the sink. Not only that, but my dishwasher was on my left side. Instead of taking the coffee mug I just rinsed and shifting my weight slightly to my left to put it in the dishwasher, I would turn my entire body and lean onto that all-powerful RIGHT hip to place it on the rack. No wonder I had right hip pain and low back pain. I did the same thing switching laundry from my washer to my dryer. I knew I needed to make changes and it started with awareness.


You see, Pilates gave me a conscience for my body in space. Suddenly, I would make myself think about how I stood waiting in line at the grocery store, or how I had my seat positioned in my car. Everything I learned, I longed to share with my clients, so they could experience the fruits of the Pilates Method.


Learning Pilates in a gym setting was not enough for me. I wanted to go closer to the source. Pilates was started by a man named Joseph Pilates about a hundred years ago. He called his method Body Contrology. He had a studio in New York City where he trained many famous people and many dancers, saving them from injury. He invented Pilates apparatus to carry out his routines of movement, training and aligning the whole body for optimum care. After his death in the late 60's, students that he apprenticed carried on teaching his method.


In 2006, I spent time training with the Taylor sisters at The Pilates Center in Boulder, CO learning the full classical repetoire as they had learned from Romana. Two years after that I completed a comprehensive certification through Balanced Body and continue learning to this day. I just completed specialty training with Mariska Breland to become a Specialist in Pilates for Neuromuscular Conditions. There is an immense amount of information to continually learn about the human body. Pilates continues to be my passion because I see it change people's lives. I have seen sciatica pain disappear in a client after she has tried everything else for her pain to no avail. I have seen a two clients forgo surgery for scoliosis. I have seen stroke survivors regain movement. I have seen the relief from lower back pain that Pilates brings. I have seen the gratefulness that clients have for Pilates after experiencing trauma. I have seen clients improve their health, their movement patterns, and their priorities. Pilates is valuable because Pilates helps you continue to live your life and do the things you want to do the most.


I will never stop teaching Pilates! Pilates is life in motion. I hope you will give it a try!


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