The ‘Series of 5’ Things To Know

Bethany

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

I was introduced to Pilates mat in college (and HATED it!). Soon after moving to NYC in 2000, I got a job in a Pilates studio as a receptionist. The apprentices at the studio would practice on me all the time. This is where my love of Pilates was born—in a studio on the machines.
In 2003, I was trying to live the starving artist life, pursuing my passion—dance, the reason why I moved to NYC to begin with—while waitressing. The problem was I had stopped dancing. My heart wasn’t in it anymore, at that time. A Pilates instructor friend, who had also taught me many times, thought I would make a good instructor and encouraged me to get certified. And I did just that. I went through Power Pilates’ comprehensive program in 2004 and have loved being a teacher ever since.

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

I love when I finish a really good workout, I feel both mentally and physically better than when I started. An hour of thinking about nothing but what I am doing with my body in each moment is a much needed respite for my mind. And who doesn’t like to physically feel taller and looser and more toned?
More so than the increased overall body strength and flexibility achieved from practicing Pilates, l value the heightened body sense and awareness gained by my clients. My clients have an understanding of alignment and proper mechanics, like how to lift an arm from the back and not the shoulder, for example. We work on stuff like this all the time in our sessions, in the hopes that it promotes movement efficiency and injury prevention in everyday activities and moving about in the world.

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

Gait issues. Some people, including myself are walking incorrectly. I’m seeing people who walk on their heels and those who carry weight on one leg more than the other. Awareness is key. I try to get clients to notice the pattern first and help them to understand what they need to be thinking to fix the habit. In my case, my left leg does not like to support me, and without that support my left torso has nothing to lift up and away from, therefore resulting in weakness in certain muscles in my left side, which my lower back does not like. For a client with an issue like this, there would be a big focus on energizing the left side of the body and making sure that the left core muscles are engaging in the workout.

4. What was your “aha!” moment in Pilates?

Oh my gosh, there have been so many in my 18 years of practice… I do vividly remember the day I did Teaser III on the mat and not only were my arms and legs arriving at the same time, but they felt like feathers. My mind and core were dually in control. I was like, I am SO doing this right!

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

If you are one of my clients or coworkers, you are not going to learn anything here. I enjoy dancing and using my Instant Pot! I am a contemporary dancer and also a Simonson dance teacher on faculty at two prominent dance studios. I perform occasionally for a couple different choreographers, and I am starting to branch out into choreographing myself.