Saturday, January 6, 2018

My Pilates Journey

I LOVE PILATES and teaching it! I love what it has done for my body and my health! I love imparting that knowledge and helping others to find their health through Pilates. 

I learned about Pilates, about 17 years ago, when I was going to a small, local gym to workout. This older woman, laid down on the floor and started pumping her arms up and down while her feet were in the air. As most of you know, I can talk to anybody and as my husband, frequently tells me, “You have never met a stranger!”; of course, I had to ask her what she was doing. She told me Pilates. I decided to check out a, now defunct, studio and started taking classes. I loved it! Even then, the thought went through my head that I would like to teach Pilates. However, having two young daughters at home and a husband with a demanding job, traveling to NYC or California was not a possibility. Eventually, I stopped doing Pilates and moved on to kick boxing, gym memberships, etc. and started getting injured. The YMCA opened near us and I knew I had to do something for me; so I joined and they had mat Pilates! Yes! I had a wonderful instructor and started talking to her about going through the training. She told me about a studio in Charlotte that was a STOTT studio, I researched it and asked my husband for Pilates training that Christmas, 6 years ago.

I began my training in Mat in Charlotte and did not realize the journey I had begun! (I had earned my degree in Nursing at the University of Vermont and thought, ehhh, anatomy, okay, I’ve done this before. WELL, eye opener! I had to re-learn my anatomy and learned more than I had needed for nursing school! Muscles, bones, origin, insertion, action, muscle direction.... ) I tested out and became certified in Mat through STOTT Pilates. I started teaching at my Y and reached out, by accident, to Inner Strength Pilates. That was a God led moment because He took me to right studio for me. I began teaching mat and soon realized I wanted to train on the equipment as well. So, my patient family supported me as I traveled back and forth to Charlotte to train on the equipment. That studio had to change affiliations and became a Pilates Academy International training facility, went through more changes and finally, there was no place to go to finish my training and certification process.  Amy had just started offering Polestar Pilates training at the studio and after talking with her, watching her work with clients and learning more about the physical therapy emphasis of Polestar, which, for me, fit with my nursing background; I decided to take Polestar’s Comprehensive Training through their Bridge Program.

Becoming a certified Pilates instructor is hard work. You have your actual training, then you have to have several hundred, combined, hours of observing instructors, teaching, and physical review-practicing the exercises yourself before you can sit for the exam, along with12 fitness screenings and developing beginner, intermediate and advanced programming for those clients (mine were family and friends). You have to know the exercise, the correct name, the springs, modifications for clients with scoliosis, osteoporosis, spinal fusions, hip replacements, knee replacements, pregnancy, etc.  My Polestar Pilates exam was two days. It consisted of a multiple choice test of Polestar Principles, Pilates history-ask me about Joe sometime; exercises, proper modifications; then a case study from which I had to develop a beginner, intermediate and advanced program, I had to do a fitness screening on two different “body’s”,  real people, and from that screening develop a beginning and advanced program, teach and afterwards write down what I had taught, then I had to demonstrate 4 intermediate and advanced exercises on each piece of equipment plus mat. You think an hour is long...try two hours, non stop! Exhausting physically and mentally.

Every time I have taken a new training or a continuing education class, I have learned and layered my knowledge to create a toolbox to help you, our clients, practice Pilates safely and without injury. Polestar Pilates deepened my knowledge base allowing me to create a safe and efficient workout for you, to see you, to meet you where you are at and to try and progress you on your Pilates journey. #iampolestarpilates #itisajourney

Remember that older woman at the beginning?....she was doing the 100!

By Lisa Crozier

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