The ‘Series of 5’ Things To Know

Courtney

1. How did you get into practicing and teaching Pilates?

I began practicing Pilates somewhat randomly when a friend of mine who was training to teach at the time asked me to be a practice body. I had no idea what Pilates even was when she asked! I come from a dance background, but found that I typically only bounced around between different styles of dance for training, so going into a practice that was specifically for lengthening and strengthening excited me. I worked with her for quite a few months and then she passed my name to other trainees once she graduated. Before I knew it, I had been practicing twice a week for nearly two years! At that point I was completely sold and never stopped practicing since. The more I practiced, the more I became fascinated with its history. I loved learning the ins and outs of the system and how through mastering the physical body you are ultimately gaining control of the mind and healing the unit of mind-body-soul. It was then that I decided I wanted to become part of the lineage and continue the teachings.

2. What’s your favorite Pilates exercise to teach?

One of my favorite exercises to teach is Breathing. This can be performed both on the Cadillac using the trapeze or on the mat with bent knees. I love it because it typically comes at the end of the session when the client is fatigued and is asked to pull together everything we have been working on throughout the session. It’s a moment where I see, and they can feel, how strong they actually are. Seeing that satisfaction makes it all worth it.

3. What is the most common condition or injury that ails your clients, and how do you approach helping with it?

Lately, I have been seeing a lot clients with knee pain. I’m curious to know if this is related to how much walking, usually very hard and fast, on concrete we do as New Yorkers. I believe that having weak gluteus and inner thigh muscles attribute to this. Much of our forward power comes from our glut muscles, so I try to focus on building strength in those areas while focusing on proper alignment and stretching the hip flexors. The Ladder Barrel does wonders for stretching all parts of the leg and hip!

4. What do you love most about Pilates for your clients?

What I love most about Pilates for my clients is watching people grow to understand their bodies and discover how strong and capable they are. Often clients will come in, and before we even start I’ll hear about how out of shape they are, or what ailments they have, and/or anxieties around working out, but by the end of the session, we are often laughing and there is a glow about them about how surprised they are about being able to perform as well as they did. Pilates works, and it works quickly. I think it’s beautiful watching people grow into their strength.

5. What activities do you enjoy when you’re not in the studio?

I love being out in nature. During the summer months I try to get to the beach as much as I can. I tend to take a lot of walks around the city. I often get off the subway early just so I can wander around a bit before I get to where I have to be. I love to travel, see new landscapes, and get outside in general whenever possible.