Breathmode* Pilates was born in 2016. That year, of my own volition, I shimmed into a black unitard** to explore moving for a living.
Sometimes I still can’t wrap my brain around the fact that this happened. I never thought of myself as a fitness person, let alone a body-centered person. I love walking, but I run only (a) when chased or (b) to the front door, upon pizza delivery. One of my favorite activities is falling asleep in a pile of warm laundry. Most of the time, I lead with my brain. I have been told that I have a “resting think face.” After college, I worked as a writer, promptly got scared of being creative for a living, and became a lawyer.
Somewhere along the way, my body started speaking. (With 20/20 hindsight, I say: It was speaking all along, and somewhere along the way, I started to listen.)
I was first introduced to Pilates in 2007, while I was in law school at the University of Arizona in Tucson. Tucson also happens to be the location of BodyWorks Studio, the Fletcher Pilates headquarters. A friend of a friend was certifying as a teacher there, and she needed clients for student teaching. After my first private lesson, I was hooked.
I quickly fell in love with the fluidity and spirit of the Fletcher work, especially the breathwork component. I’ve struggled with anxiety for much of my life. Practicing breathing and mindful movement saved me from being eaten alive by the Anxiety Monster during law school exams. Doing standing work with the Fletcher Towel (pictured above) even managed to pry my hunched shoulders from my earlobes.
Maybe this was because for the first time, I wasn’t trying to stop thinking too much by … thinking about thinking too much. Instead, I just breathed and moved. Something shifted. Or lifted. Shifted and lifted!
I loved how energized I felt after each session. And over time, I loved how Pilates helped me feel present and comfortable in my own body.
My teaching philosophy: Our minds and bodies need more fun. More play. More laughs. These days, when I’m not learning about or teaching movement, I work as a writer and actor. I’m super interested in the link between movement and creativity.
Over time, my body has taught me I learn best by improvising and experimenting. I appreciate precision. But I also frequently fall flat on my mat. And thank goodness for that. Also, thank goodness for cheese pizza.
*Why Breathmode? It’s a riff on Beast Mode, for all you Seattle Seahawks fans out there.
**QUICK SURVEY: How would you feel if your Pilates teacher showed up to class in a gold lamé unitard?
A. Terrified. Nauseated. Some things cannot be unseen.
C. It depends. Is it 1982?
D. It depends. Am I also wearing gold lamé?