How did I get started in Pilates? Back in the nineties, after becoming enthralled with participating in group fitness, I got certified as an aerobics instructor. Sometime after becoming an instructor I was attending a conference to maintain my certification. One of the many CEC classes to choose from was an introduction to Pilates. I was curious. This was back when Pilates was still very new to the public and it was just ‘coming onto the scene.’
Now at that time, I very much enjoyed teaching hi-lo impact aerobics, step aerobics, and circuit classes. Having had a background in my younger days as a dancer (10 years), experiencing the Pilates class at the conference, brought me back to that movement memory of being focused on the quality of my movement rather than the quantity of reps. Because the Pilates method demanded the focus of my attention, as well as incorporating a practice of breath, I found that I could receive so much more. It was the first time since dancing that I felt like I was being mindful of breath at the same time as movement.
Don’t get me wrong – I had a blast when I ” followed along” by mimicking steps to music in a group fitness class – that’s one reason I started teaching. But I could sense that this was different and invigorating in quite a different way. It felt rewarding to work at a deeper level and with fewer repetitions. After that conference, I knew I had to do this – I made up my mind – I wanted to teach the Pilates Method. And as I practiced Pilates myself, the best part was that I felt strength gains just as well and maybe even better than when I’d done a circuit class – with fewer aches and pains. I was all in!
I began teaching Pilates around 1999 in a group mat class setting, and during that time, I had designs in my head for a studio some day. I found this picture from 1992 which shows what Pilates looked like back then. They didn’t even use the words Pilates Studio! They called them Body Conditioning Studios. As Pilates has grown over the past 20 years, my dream of having a studio came true. How did you discover Pilates?