Entries in Instructor/Studio Profiles (34)
Some of our favorite Pilates news stories that I come across when rounding up the Pilates Pro newsfeed are the great profiles local papers have done on Pilates studio owners. Not only are they fun to read, but they help raise the awareness of Pilates and put a personal face on a local business. Last week, Allison Weyand, owner of Studio Core in Saginaw, MI, was interviewed by the business section of a Michigan news site. Here are a few of Alison’s answers to questions about her business (read the full article here):
• Best way to keep competitive edge: To always be one step ahead. Finding the best quality clothing, teachers and exercise. I like competition - it pushes you to be better.
• How do you motivate people: Positive energy - they feed off your energy.
• Best business decision: Taking a leap of faith and investing in Pure Barre.
• Worst business decision: I didn’t do my research on a project associated with the business.
• Biggest management myth: That you have all the answers.
• What advice would you give to yourself 10 years ago: To trust myself more and not let negative personalities bring me down.
• Three greatest passions: Making people feel better about themselves, my family and living life to the fullest.
Here are a few more Pilates studio owner profiles we’ve found in the last few months:
Q&A with Zayna Gold of Boston Body Pilates
68-year-old parks pilates instructor still going strong
Pilates studio attracts clients
Sue Dalton believes fitness is life
Suzette Smith: From hedges to the heights
Core in the carriage house
Instructor is off to a rolling start
“Continuing Ed” is our regular look at workshops, programs and other methods of exercise and bodywork that can enhance your skills as a Pilates teacher.
By Nicole Rogers
The Alexander Technique is a method for reeducating the mind and body to eliminate unnecessary tension. It focuses on changing unhealthy movement habits in everyday life, creating a more relaxed, enjoyable and energetic experience.
The Alexander Technique is popular with musicians and performers. F.M. Alexander (1869-1955), the creator of the technique, was an Australian Shakespearian actor who suffered from chronic hoarseness. Through intense self-observation and experimentation, he conquered his hoarseness and developed what he called the primary control. According to the American Society for the Alexander Technique, “He named this relationship the primary control because he perceived it as primary in controlling posture, breath and movement.”
People with chronic pain, back problems, arthritis, asthma, repetitive strain and carpal tunnel syndrome have found particular success with the Alexander Technique. The medical community has widely endorsed the method, as well as respected scientists such as Dutch ethologist Nikolaus Tinbergen, who noted Alexander’s discoveries in his 1973 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine acceptance speech. Clinical studies have even proven some of the Alexander Technique’s benefits. Suffice it to say, this is a form of body education that is well established and respected and will be around for a long time.
THE PILATES PERSPECTIVE ON THE ALEXANDER TECHNIQUE
Heather Snyder, a nationally certified Alexander Technique teacher and Pilates instructor and founder of The Graceful Body, a studio in New York, agreed to answer a few questions about the Alexander Technique and how it affects her as a Pilates instructor. She is a graduate of the Manhattan Center for the Alexander Technique, and she received her Pilates certification from Romana Kryzanowska.
“Continuing Ed” is our regular look at workshops, programs and other methods of bodywork that can enhance your skills as a Pilates teacher.
By Nicole Rogers
The Olympic gold medal-winning Italian fencing team recently revealed Feldenkrais as their “secret weapon,” and many others rave about the benefits—pain and stress relief, enhancement of artistic and athletic performance, improved posture and balance. But it may be easier to experience Feldenkrais than to explain it.
The method was invented by a man named Moshe Pinhas Feldenkrais, with a long and impressive resume including degrees in mechanical and electrical engineering, a D.Sc. in physics from the Sorbonne, work on a Van de Graaf generator used for atomic fission experiments, and extensive knowledge of Judo and Jujitsu. Before his death in 1984, Feldenkrais taught small groups of practitioners to continue teaching the method we know today as Feldenkrais. Now there are approximately 6,000 practitioners around the world.
The Feldenkrais Method is an educational system designed to improve awareness through movement. The Feldenkrais Institute of New York puts it this way: “An integration of biology, neuroscience and psychology, the Method explores the biological and cultural aspects of movement and posture, and how habitual ways of moving, feeling, and acting can constrain us to a small portion of our potential.” In other words, as humans we ordinarily learn to move well enough to function, but our abilities to function with greater ease and skill remain to be developed. The Feldenkrais Method teaches—through movement—how we can improve our capabilities to function in our daily lives.
There are two ways in which Feldenkrais is taught:
Awareness Through Movement – group classes
Functional Integration – a hands-on, one-on-one session with a practitioner
THE PILATES PERSPECTIVE ON FELDENKRAIS
O-Sel Nyima is a Pilates instructor and Feldenkrais practitioner in Brooklyn, NY. She invited me to her home to explain more about Feldenkrais and how it enhances her Pilates instruction.
As the U.S. population grows older, and as the medical community gains a greater understanding of the benefits of Pilates, more Pilates professionals may have the opportunity to work in clinical settings with special populations. I sat down with one such instructor, Steven Fetherhuff, and asked him to share his experiences as one of two Pilates instructors at the prestigious Hospital for Special Surgery’s Integrative Care Center in New York.
Q: How did you initially find out about the Pilates program at the Integrative Care Center?
A: A colleague of mine, Sarah Faller, approached me about it. I used to work with Sarah at Alycea Ungaro’s studio. She’s the Pilates coordinator for the Integrative Health Care Center, and when she told me about it I was like, “That’s exactly what I want to do!”
By Nicole Rogers
With so many conflicting reports, it’s hard to tell whether the United States is truly in a recession or if we are just dangerously close. But one thing is certain—it’s on everyone’s minds.
It is especially on the minds of the small business owners and freelancers in the Pilates community. Could Pilates be one of the first things to drop from our clients’ budgets? Articles with titles like “It’s Not So Easy Being Less Rich” and “Is The Economy Making Us Fat?” suggest this possibility. Both explain how even the wealthy have been choosing to cut back on perceived “luxuries” like fitness.
I was curious to see how some prominent, successful studio owners across the country were doing in this economy, and what advice they could give from their years of experience with economic ebs and flows. While the current economy seems to have taken a dive from coast to coast, it is clear that people handle their money differently depending on location.
Alycea Ungaro of Real Pilates in New York, Lora Anderson of Pilates Studio City in Los Angeles and Stacy Sims of Pendleton Pilates in Cincinnati were kind enough to share their experiences and solutions in a tough economy. Thankfully, across the board, there seems to be as much good news as bad.
Attention San Francisco Pilates instructors: In case you haven’t heard, a group of your colleagues is forming a new group called the Bay Area Pilates Collective with the goal of “bringing together Bay Area Pilates studio owners, professionals and aficionados to meet and brainstorm about our profession and vision for the future of the Pilates industry.” Special guests for the first meeting include Marie-Jose Blom, Nora St. John and Elizabeth Larkam, and discussions will entail shaping a voice for the Bay Area Pilates community, scope of practice and the line between employees versus independent contractors. All area instructors are invited; the event will be held at EHS Pilates Studio (1452 Valencia St.) on Aug. 9 at 5:30 p.m. RSVP: 415-285-5808.
More Pilates-Related News
• Think you have a killer Teaser? If so, you can show off your form (and win an MVe Chair!) in Peak Pilates’ Teaser Photo Contest. The deadline is Sept. 1.
• A Philly Pilates studio is having success with a pilot program for Parkinson’s patients.
• Ana Cabon shares her thoughts about how Pilates can boost fertility on a conceive online podcast.
• A New Zealand Pilates instructor is awarded a grant to develop a training program for Pink Pilates, a program for women recovering from breast cancer.
• New York instructor Rebekah Rotstein is interviewed about practicing Pilates safely with osteoporosis.
• A Cirque du Soliel performer turned Pilates instructor calls Pilates a “life saver.”
• Pilates instructor Claire Roberts discusses how she founded Power of Pilates, a UK business that operates classes in Earley, Reading and Wokingham.
• A dieting blogger gets hooked on Pilates.
• Man with foot fetish assaults New Hampshire Pilates and yoga instructors.
Just a few years ago, Kim Gibilisco, a choreographer, dancer and Polestar- and Stott Pilates–trained instructor, was teaching private Pilates sessions in her Manhattan studio. Today, she is an Assistant Professor of Dance at Shenandoah University, in Winchester, Virginia, and the woman responsible for bringing a Mat certification program to the school. Here she discusses how she came to be SU’s Pilates Program Coordinator and where Pilates fits in the university setting.
Top Story: A new concept in micro-focused spas has come to New York: pelvic fitness. While the idea behind Phit—which stands for “pelvic health integrated techniques”—might sound new (and uncomfortable) to some women, Pilates instructors already know the benefits of getting “in shape from the inside out.” But Dr. Lauri Romanzi’s services go beyond Kegel workouts—the board-certified gynecologist is also offering electrostimulation, nonsurgical labial contouring, vaginal tightening surgery and labiaplasty. I’ll stick with my Seated Legs exercises, thank you very much.
More Pilates-Related News
• Foam roller sales have doubled in the last few years.
• High-end hotels are adding Pilates to their offerings.
• First-generation teacher Ron Fletcher shares his thoughts on Pilates in The Guardian: “The trouble with this work, in general, is that people mistake it for an exercise regimen, and it’s not. It’s an art and it’s a science and it’s a study of movement.”
• A Brooklyn yoga instructor gives new meaning to “phoning it in.”
• An inspiring story about a disabled Pilates instructor
• Peak Pilates’ master trainer Colleen Glenn is profiled as one of Boulder’s “local health pros.
Top Story: US News Touts Pilates for Building Balance in Elderly
A study about the effectiveness of yoga for preventing falls has some experts skeptical. Debra Rose, codirector of the Fall Prevention Center of Excellence at University of Southern California, told US News that the improvements in coordination and motor skills that Pilates and tai chi provide are more effective at preventing falls when walking.
Athletes Still Love Pilates
LA Dodgers’ James Loney is using Pilates to “stay ahead of the curve” on the baseball field, while Philadelphia 76ers’ Maurice Cheeks introduced his entire basketball team to Pilates. Golfers in South Africa are also getting into the method.
More Pilates News
• Read the story of Dolly Kelepecz, a former showgirl who brought Pilates to Las Vegas.
• Is Feldenkrais “creeping into the consciousness of American households?” The Detroit Free Press thinks so—here’s its in-depth look at Feldenkrais, complete with a 5-minute audio guide.
Britons Are Leaving the Gym
Memberships are plummeting at British gyms, which have “been elbowed aside by yoga, Pilates and outdoor boot-camp-style programmes such as park circuits,” according to The Times.
Pilates Wear Reviewed
The Telegraph takes a look at Manuka Life, a line of yoga, Pilates and meditation clothing. It’s only stocked in British stores, but they will ship to other countries, including the U.S.
London Physio Clinics a Great Place to Work
Congrats to Sports & Spinal Clinics of London, which was listed No. 65 in The Sunday Times’ Top 100 Best Small Companies to Work for 2008. This group of seven physiotherapy and rehab clinics incorporates Pilates into its clinical work and offers Pilates classes.
Cricket Player Paul Collingwood Credits Pilates
“I’ve got a Pilates bench that looks like a torture device,” said the stylish Collingwood in the Daily Mail.
…And in American news…
Instructors everywhere will appreciate this nice profile of Rosanna “Nahnie” Barberio, a dancer-turned-Pilates-instructor who left New York to start a studio in Lansing, MI.