Redondo Beach, CA 90277
Most of what you need to know about me is written in “The ShapeShift Pilates Story” on the shapeshiftpilates.com website. It’s an account of my many-year journey to find myself and my work. I feel that I have had a blessed life and also a life with some personal challenges. It’s not always easy to be an extremely sensitive and empathic person but if I had to choose, I would choose who I am — a deeply compassionate person.
I am also non-competitive by nature. I was told as a child that I could have possibly been an Olympic swimmer but with anxiety in the face of competition, it really wasn’t possible. Within me though, I carried the spirit of an athlete, someone who excels in the physical arts but more importantly, I have used that intensity to face my challenges and work on overcoming them.
In March, 2011, I ran/walked the Los Angeles Marathon. I was a member of Team-in-Training for the Leukemia Lymphoma Society. My friend Jodi Stoltenberg inspired me to join. I had always wanted to participate in a marathon since I was 22 years old. Living in Boston at the time, I went to watch the Boston Marathon. We stood on what’s known as Heartbreak Hill, almost at the completion of the marathon. I stepped into the street to see who was coming and I saw a low-riding wheelchair participant working his way up the hill. I saw he was flying a flag that said, “Vietnam Vet.” I then noticed he had no legs. I yelled to him, “Keep up the good work, you’re almost there.” A split second later, our eyes met. A blast of light came from his eyes, a force, a spirit, that knocked me to the curb. I sat and cried for 20 minutes. While sitting there a voice came into my head that said, “It’s time to do something with your life.” I starting running that day and went back to school while working full-time.
So during the Los Angeles Marathon, it was so important to me to help my teammates who were around me. Some had injuries starting out, some were affected by the 40 degree temperature and the driving rain. We all helped and encouraged each other literally every step of the way. We were all connected for a worthy cause – to help fight blood cancer. My success was twofold; I had finally achieved my own goal of running a marathon after all those years while helping others.
So what does all this have to do with being a Pilates and Gyrotonic teacher?
Over the years, my specialty has evolved into teaching mostly people with severe injuries, helping those who need to prepare to have or recover from surgery, people with sensitive bodies, the exercise phobic, the ones who need extra TLC and for those who have concerns about staying safe while exercising. But there’s also another segment of the population — those who never believed they were athletic, those who got lost in the shuffle with no guidance or support. I have discovered that many people, especially women, just didn’t have the right guidance or art to practice for them to excel. I can see the hidden jewel that lays in wait for just the right circumstance to come along.
I am not a classically hard-core instructor but my focus is on perfect posture, alignment, precision and understanding your body. Being able to take the principles of Pilates and apply them in your other activities is essential. I teach proper walking form, how to drive with good alignment, how to have good form while cycling, golfing, etc.
I find that clients get very attached once they find a teacher who really can teach them in a way that they love. I also believe, every now and then, it’s great to try another instructor so you can learn from someone who has a slightly different take on the same art. Pilates and Gyrotonic gets “personalized” by whomever is teaching. Stick mainly with your teacher of choice but if he/she is away, open yourself to trying a new class and see what happens. I encourage my clients to try the other instructors and when they do, they thank me.
My current interest is in pursuing Energy Medicine in the form of the Healing Codes (Dr. Alexander Loyd). I am currently a coach-in-training.