Hey guys, I’m so excited about today’s blog! I was fortunate enough to interview Brittany Burns, who is training to become a pilates instructor in Los Angeles, California. How cool?!
My blog is all about lifestyle and wellness. What better topic to tie those two together than pilates? I’m ready for you to learn all about the practice from Brittany.
“So, what even are pilates?” I ask, Brittany.
“Pilates is a methodology of exercise developed by Joseph Pilates in the 1920’s that he originally called Contrology.”
She goes on to say,
“Pilates himself, was born in Germany and wasn’t the healthiest or strongest when he was young. He aimed to strengthen his body, trying out numerous forms of exercise from bodybuilding to yoga.”
“He moved to Britain, where he served as a nurse during World War 1. It was then, he had the opportunity to work on solidifying his methodology of exercise and rehabilitation with soldiers.”
“He opened a studio roundabout 42nd St in NYC with his wife, Clara, who ended up doing a lot of teaching. [The studio] gained a large popularity with dancers who had been injured, loving this rehabilitative approach that both resolved and prevented injury. Today it stands with growing popularity all over the world as a form of exercise that uses concentration and a focus on form with a connection of the mind, body and spirit.”
When asked how Brittany got into pilates, she says,
“Circa 2010, 8th grade in my home’s basement streaming Blogilates on YouTube. I know that’s very informal. I honestly don’t have as formal of a movement background that you’ll see with most teachers who are ex-dancers, physical therapists, etcetera. But, I have always had a deep passion for physical expression. I went to a theater high school, and that got me into yoga and other forms of expressive movement. I just always loved it. I would do everything I could to participate in our sister academy dance program to learn more.”
“When I came to LA, of course everything is health and wellness here, which I love. I felt like I had found my place. I took my first reformer class by accident actually.” she says, as she laughs.
“I had scheduled a hot yoga class that was cancelled in Santa Monica and happened to snag a reservation at a local studio in Santa Monica, Mighty Pilates. I was always a little intimidated and I think the universe knew I needed a little push, so to say. I instantly fell in love. I found that thing that made me feel like a dancer again.”
As mentioned, Brittany is training to be an instructor. I was curious to learn about what training entails.
“450 hours of study. There’s a lot to learn, and I feel like a lot of people don’t really know all of the knowledge that goes into teaching and working through this very precise methodology.”
“I’m training at the Sheppard Method Pilates Studio in Westwood, if you are in the LA area, definitely stop by!” she says.
“I am under the most lovely Risa Sheppard, who trained under Ron Fletcher, one of the first who learned directly from Joseph Pilates. My training is very classically oriented, how Pilates was originally designed to be performed and taught as our good friend Joe intended.”
“Are there any benefits of practicing pilates?”
“There is a long list. It improves posture, musculature balance, better control and awareness of your body, prevention and rehabilitation from injury, increased strength and toning of muscles, flexibility, mental clarity, and of course confidence.”
“How has practicing pilates helped you?”
“I’ve gained a lot of strength and flexibility, and I’ve also noticed my posture is so much better.”
“I’ll be standing in line at the grocery store and catch myself going ‘oh shoot, pull my shoulders down away from my ears, flatten my back, engage lower abs.’ I’m working with my fiance on his now, he’s in for a treat!” She adds, jokingly.
“When should someone expect to see results after doing pilates?”
“Immediately. I mean it, you’ll definitely feel taller and stronger, and just more aware of your body in space.”
“What if someone doesn’t have the proper equipment for pilates? Should they just give up?” I ask.
“No equipment necessary, Pilates was originally designed with the mat exercises in mind. YouTube is a great resource, of course. I’ve been streaming PilatesAnytime, which is fantastic, and has a great mix of everything from classical to contemporary.”
All in all, Brittany Burns is truly an inspiration for all individuals who are looking to start their fitness journey. She proves how no matter the circumstance, or in her case, accident, a new positive experience is always right around the corner.
If you are looking to take your first pilates class, or have any questions regarding the art of pilates, Brittany’s Instagram can be found below.
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