… about Katie

1. How did you get into practicing Pilates?

I was introduced to Pilates in 2011 because I was sick of aimlessly running on the treadmill at the gym. I came across a small studio near work and fell in love with their mixed class. I was a gymnast until I was 18, so when we started doing pull-up’s on the wunda chair, I knew I had found what I was looking for.

In 2014, I found a classical studio around the corner from my apartment in Jersey City. The teachers were all trained under Romana’s lineage and it was a much more structured studio. I loved it because they focused on the system’s fundamentals. I developed an appreciation for how the body as a whole works cohesively to make movement happen. I haven’t looked at a treadmill since.

2. How did you get into teaching Pilates?

I had been working in the ad industry for 16 years. I was working 70-hour work weeks with no end in sight, and I was becoming a miserable person because of it. One Saturday morning in 2016 before mat class, I was working with the TV on in the background. An AARP commercial came on for a program called “Life Reimagined”. It was really intended to help the newly retired find the next calling in life. I figured, ‘why not?’ and took the questionnaire to pin-point my work style and what excites me. When you finalize those truths, you walk away and let your thoughts marinade. So I closed my laptop and headed off to class.

20 minutes later, in the middle of doing a roll-up, it occurred to me, “I can totally do this!”. Probably not what AARP had in mind—I’m sure they intended to sell me on a few more programs. But my mind was set. It was the first career idea that excited me in YEARS. Six months later, I quit my job and embarked on my certification. I completed it in the Summer of 2017 and haven’t looked back!

3. What was your “aha!” moment in Pilates?

My “aha!” moment occurred during my apprenticeship. I was doing a teaser on the spine corrector with the weighted bar. It’s a great teaching tool to help understand the action of teaser and where the work originates (versus whipping yourself up with your arms and hoping for the best). I just remember doing it one day (and feeling it) and saying to my teacher, ”I get it, now! Can we do it again???”

People always talk about that moment in Pilates when they feel the connection. Sometimes it can be frustrating when you don’t feel it. This is totally ok! You’ll feel it when you’re ready to feel it. Pilates is a mind, body, spirit connection. Some people feel it right away, and some feel it much later. I didn’t feel it until five years AFTER my first Pilates class! Everything happens when it’s meant to.

4. What activities do you enjoy when you’re not in the studio?

My husband and I just bought our first home last February in South Orange, NJ. Every waking hour of my time outside the studio has been consumed with it. My weekends are basically spent haggling with people on Facebook marketplace over vintage furniture, that I then restore to decorate our place. And now that the weather is FINALLY in a good place, I’ve been spending more time in the yard attempting to landscape. Fingers crossed, but time will tell how green my thumb really is.

5. What is the most common condition or injury that ails your clients? How do you approach helping with it?

It’s basically something that EVERY person deals with: posture. We spend the majority of our days looking down. Laptops… phones… avoiding eye contact on the subway. We’re doing ourselves a disservice. As you’re reading this right now, where are your shoulders? Are they slouched or rounded forward? Do your ribs feel collapsed? Is your chin angled south? We’ve become slaves to our devices and our bodies are taking the hit for it. Realizing these bad habits is the first step in correcting it.

During our sessions, we talk about lifting up from the center, and creating a straight line from tailbone to the crown of the head. It’s refreshing to stand tall with your shoulders back. That’s because you’re lengthening your spine and your core is doing its fair share of the work. We spend time in our sessions doing posture exercises like pumping on the chair, so when you’re not in the studio you recognize those bad habits as they occur.