I am the founder and owner of Westside Pilates on the Upper West Side of Manhattan, and LIC Pilates in Long Island City, Queens. I became interested in Pilates as a way to alleviate my pain, and it has completely given me my life back.
After playing field hockey competitively in college, I suffered from numerous back injuries, including scoliosis, a torn and bulging disc, arthritis and sciatica. My experience of being completely sedentary to being able to move my spine in all 4 directions of a healthy back drove my passion to pass on the system of Pilates to others, and I launched my career as a Pilates trainer.
Moreover, Pilates has provided me an opportunity to be flexible and regain value in my work life as well. I was deeply unsatisfied in my corporate job and I decided to pursue Pilates as a career instead of remaining unfulfilled, and I am so thankful that I made that choice. I wanted to have ownership over my studio environment, what instructors I worked alongside, and the kind of training my clients were receiving. This led me to open my own studios. Managing a studio is a lot of work, but I have a lot of support from my instructors—it is a true team effort.
While using the reformer during Pilates, there is something to be said about having your skin actually touch the equipment— it provides a totally different level of energy to the exercise and makes you feel even more connected. Accordingly, I think the level of connection barefoot work provides also makes people feel more stable and secure in their movements. Lots of my clients love the aesthetic design of Tucketts, but more than that, I have found that they really hold to the foot well and feel secure. I like supporting other small businesses, so it just made sense to support and use Tucketts products in my studios.
My main advice to offer someone just getting started with Pilates is to know that Pilates is always going to get more challenging. It is important not to get frustrated when something is difficult. When you are ready to understand it, whether that be an exercise or how to activate and engage a certain part of your body, you will be able to! Also, I tell people first starting out that it is important to make sure they have a good instructor who really knows and is trained in Pilates.
In my Pilates practice I found a way to actually eliminate my pain and regain a range of motion and athletic lifestyle I thought I would never have back. Moreover, Pilates has provided me an opportunity to be flexible and regain value in my work life as well. Pilates has allowed me to become a successful business owner, engage meaningfully with my clients to help them rid themselves of pain through Pilates the way I did, and continue learning more about my body through my practice every day. I wish you a successful Pilates journey as well.