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I began my Pilates journey in 2000, on the recommendation of a physical therapist. In my case, it was hyper-mobility, a condition of being too flexible, which led to my injuries. Pilates showed me the importance of balancing flexibility and muscular strength and I became certified to teach in 2004. Since that time, I have observed hundreds of bodies over thousands of Pilates sessions. I am graduate of the Soma Institute of Clinical Massage Therapy in Chicago, and in 2013 I became certified in KMI Structural Integration (www.anatomytrains.com). My passion is working with physical therapists and chiropractors to coordinate exercise and massage regimens that help clients achieve sustained results. In my Pilates sessions, body and mind unite on a journey of self-discovery. Through focused observation of your body in motion, you will build postural strength and balance and experience a renewed enjoyment of vital movement both on the mat and in your every day life.
I was born and raised in Hyde Park, a community where mind dominates body. My husband and I have raised three children here. I have been a freelance writer over the past 30 years and a yoga student for the past fifteen. I completed yoga teacher training at the Temple of Kriya in June, 2010. I discovered yoga, as so many do, after suffering an injury. It was the subtle parts of the practice that captivated me—“inhale, lift the sternum; exhale, soften the back.” The grosser parts—“inhale, lift the legs; exhale, place the feet on the floor over the head”—tended to repel me, and that has increased over the years because I’m aging at a faster pace than I am mastering yoga poses. The happiest yoga for me is slow and subtle, so that’s the yoga I teach. Slowing down the practice gives the body time to teach the mind. Usually we listen to our bodies only when they’re complaining, but when we do a little yoga, our bodies show us equipment we didn’t even know we had. Whether we are old, young, brittle, or callow we have treasures inside that, if we can activate them, will make us feel freer. Yoga activates our insides to give us a little breathing room. The teachers who have illuminated this principle for me are UnSoo Kim, Sue Rexford, Cynthia Latimer, and Mary Samano. Believing, as I do, that yoga is for everyone, I teach yoga from the bottom up, one pose at a time, often one piece of a pose at a time. In class we set up the foundation for a pose first, then we align the joints and stack the bones, and finally, we move into the pose. We hold the pose until our form or breath becomes compromised. Depending on the student, the poses can be held for one breath or ten or more breaths. This means we don't move quickly from one pose to another. While we hold the pose we explore what's going on inside the body, for instance, how the placement of the feet can release tension in the lower back or how the grounding of the shoulders frees the neck. The complexity of the body and the poses are a continuing source of information for all students. My goal for students is to enjoy the class while they're there; to be able to use what they have (body, mind, and breath); to ground and decompress through movement, breath, and rest. If a student should become more flexible, or stronger, after a few classes, that's icing on the cake.
Marcy has lived in Hyde Park for over 30 years during which time she and her husband raised their four daughters, and she started her own garden consulting business. Marcy came to Pilates after an illness that greatly impacted her fitness and metabolism. She is certified in Pilates Mat and Equipment through Power Pilates and Bally’s Fitness. Marcy’s classes are based in the classical system, but include many other influences from her experiences in teaching and continuing education. She emphasizes proper positioning and accessing the correct muscles systems while achieving a flow through the classical sequence of exercises. Her goal is to bring the benefits of the Pilates system that restored her health and fitness to all of her clients.
Leslie was born and raised in Hyde Park, and no matter where she's roamed, has always felt called back to her home neighborhood. After working in corporate America as a project manager for over 15 years, Leslie knew she wanted to spend her time doing something more fulfilling. In May 2015, she took a leap of faith and left corporate life behind. Opening up to Universal guidance, she was led to the Chaturanga Fitness Pilates Teacher Training program. This was a perfect fit for Leslie as fitness, tied into the mind-body-soul connection — so central to her personal life — could now be applied in her daily working life as well. Being deemed a “natural" by the Pilates Program Head, as well as by fellow Chaturanga Pilates teachers, she is now certified in Pilates Mat Instruction, and continues to build her skills in mat and equipment repertoire as an apprentice at Chaturanga Fitness. Leslie also loves to obstacle race and travels around the country to compete, coming home to two zany and lovable cats, Edgar and Mishka.
Keom has been practicing yoga for over two decades, and has been teaching for eleven years. He was certified at Yogaview and YogaState, and has experience in Viniyaga, Anusara, Iyengar, Tantra Hatha and Ashtanga. Erich Schiffmann, who teaches Freedom Style Yoga, is a strong influence for Keom. Keom also has several years experience with Vipassana Meditation and is a certified Thai Body Worker. Keom is also currently a trainee in Chaturanga's pilates teacher training.
Sarah came to Pilates after a back injury several years ago which seriously impacted her ability to exercise. Pilates Therapy at Chaturanga offered a gentle introduction to the Pilates practice and philosophy which started Sarah on her journey to becoming a PMA CPT (certified Pilates teacher) through the Chaturanga Teacher Training program. During her training, Sarah became curious about Pilates for Osteoporosis and was inspired to take further training at Basi Pilates in California to understand how Pilates can help bone strength, and to ensure that her Pilates Therapy and Osteo Strength classes adhere to bone safe principles for those with the condition. Through Pilates, Sarah hopes to help others improve their core stability, overcome their injuries and become stronger and more flexible humans, so they can be at their best and live life to the fullest!
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