I was never the kind of kid that was into sports. Even in school, I shied away from the competitive, attending a high school that had neither a real gym class (the only one offered was vaguely titled “Something Physical”) nor even a gymnasium (we had a “Multi-Purpose Room” whose basketball hoops were used more often to hang tie-dyed art projects than for athletics). Despite this, I always loved being physical, and danced, walked and hiked constantly. It was on a whim that I tried Pilates, a class offered at my dance studio that I knew absolutely nothing about. It was a classical Pilates class (the teacher was a former professional ballerina), and I immediately fell in love with the discipline and concentration the practice required. I quickly added it to my repertoire and loved what it did for my body. It offered the perfect balance of strengthening and lengthening, with a healthy dose of complex movements to keep me engaged and learning.
It wasn’t until I moved to Toronto that I discovered STOTT Pilates, and I was amazed to learn about the rehabilitative capacities of the method. I witnessed my fellow classmates restore proper body mechanics and return to activities they had been forced to stop due to pain or injury. On a personal level, I kept attending class because I felt like I was becoming a part of the community. The friendships I made with my teachers and other students provided a structure of support that I found incredibly uplifting, and which I now realize was a very rare blessing. I looked forward to class in the same way that I looked forward to meeting a friend for coffee – a common interest that kept me healthy, grounded and moving.
Becoming a STOTT Pilates Certified Instructor was a natural progression of this experience. I arrived in Portland after some major life changes and Pilates provided the grounds for my healing. From an emotional perspective, it gave me a sense of purpose and a strong community. From a practical standpoint, being an Instructor gave me the means to become independent and support myself. I feel incredibly lucky to work in an industry that is focused on health and healing, and to find myself surrounded by fascinating, intelligent, passionate and incredibly empathetic people. I spend each day learning from both clients and fellow Instructors, and deepening my understanding and respect for the different relationships we each experience with our own bodies. I continue to be humbled by the wealth of knowledge around me, and grateful that I get to play a part in re-educating the mind and body, and re-orienting the way in which we interact with our physical self.