What sparked your initial love for Pilates?
I remember my very first Pilates class 16 years ago. My sister brought me along to a mat work class at her local gym. It was love at first plank! I was amazed with the results I saw so quickly from only a few classes a week, my body felt strong and I started walking taller.
How is Pilates unique from other forms of exercise, like yoga?
Pilates is a functional form of fitness training, whereby you stabilise one part of your body while mobilising another. This fine balance requires the engagement of your core muscles – which include all the muscles of the Trunk (shoulders/hips and abs).
Tell us about your approach to teaching? What did you do before choosing Pilates as a career?
My classes blend multiple exercise techniques I’ve studied over the years including PT, Barre and Pilates. I like to get people up and moving quickly, and challenge their balance, strength and stamina. I put a lot of energy into my classes and try to engage with each student; I’m very hands and like to “fix” and “tweak” form constantly. You’ll hear me say, “do you feel the difference?” about a dozen times in one class.
I have a law degree (which I’ve never used), and a communications degree which took me overseas working in the editorial departments of Bridal Guide magazine in New York, and Harper’s BAZAAR in London. But I always felt drawn to a career where I was actually helping people, something I fear magazines often fall short of doing.
You have three little ones. How has reformer Pilates helped you rehab after pregnancy and giving birth?
Last year I gave birth my my third daughter. She’s truly divine, as are her older sisters, almost six years and just turned seven years. It was after the birth of my first daughter I decided I needed a career change, but I fell pregnant with number two very quickly, so I had to put my training on hold until she was born. I started my Pilates and PT courses concurrently, when she was six weeks old, and within six months I was teaching. I had to fast-track my observation and practical teaching hours to do this, but I was determined. As soon as I started teaching I knew I had found my dream job.
The teacher training was incredibly physical, and it had the most amazing effect on my post-baby body. But I was practicing A LOT. These days I don’t get to practice as much as I’d like (three kids and working doesn’t really allow for much “me” time), so I haven’t bounced back as quickly. However, muscle memory is a wonderful thing, and I still feel respectably strong.
I also credit Pilates to three very quick drug-free labours. I encourage all my pre-natal students to practice as much as they feel able, for as long as they feel able. Labour can be a marathon and you need balance, strength and stamina to get you through.
If you could give new mums one piece of advice, what would it be?
Treat your baby’s first 12 weeks as the “fourth trimester” its meant to be. If your bub only settles in your arms then buy a good quality carrier (I love the Ergo 360) and bundle bub in that and get on with your day. It gives you your hands free to do what needs to be done (lots and lots of washing), and also ensures bub feels secure and loved. After 12 weeks you can spend time getting into a routine and transitioning bub to sleeping in their cot, but don’t expect to have a rigid routine before then. Most bubs won’t be keen on one, and you risk feeling like you’re failing… when you’re not!
Tell us about Pilates Teacher Training at BodyMindLife… who is the course for in your opinion?
Our head of Pilates Chelsey Cameron has put together the most phenomenal Teacher Training course and I couldn’t be more proud to be on the team. It really is the best of the best in terms of Pilates fundamentals, exercise breakdowns progressions and modifications, sequencing as well as building your confidence as a teacher. The course is for any student who has ever daydreamed about breaking away from their day-job and making a career doing something they love.
Interested in Pilates Teacher Training at BodyMindLife? Check out the details here.