Joel thank you so much for being part of Pilates Protagonistas.
Could you tell us a bit about how you started in the world of Pilates?
I have been a personal fitness trainer since 1994. I was always looking for better ways to train my clients to keep them injury free and moving better. I wanted them to be able to do this when they were on their own not just in the gym while I was working with them. In 1999 I did my first Pilates. I was curious what it was. After one session I knew these were the exercises I had been looking for my whole life. I was so upset that I had never heard about Pilates before. I kept taking classes on the mat and apparatus. That same year I went through a certification program so I could teach this wonderful exercise method. I did a mat certification 1st then a year later did comprehensive certification. It was a contemporary Pilates program. Shortly after I completed the program, I wanted to learn the classical work. I then did the certification program with Power Pilates. I have been teaching classical Pilates ever since. I opened my 1st Pilates studio in 2004 in the back room of a Karate Dojo. In 2006 I moved to my current studio. There are 11 Pilates teachers here, and we have an exciting time teaching hundreds of people Pilates.
How would you define Pilates from your point of view?
Pilates is a skill-based exercise method that establishes a foundation for proper movement. It trains a person to have better coordination of mind and body in order enjoy life and survive the physical stresses of life. The uniform strength and mobility, that Pilates creates, enhances any sport or activity that someone may be involved with.
What is the most important tool in your career as a teacher and mentor?
I would say it is my ability to teach people and to empathize with people. I work hard at my Pilates practice; however, I work equally hard at developing the art of teaching. To me, becoming a good teacher is a lifelong project. People learn in different ways. When people come to a Pilates session it is up to me to figure out how they learn. I must be empathetic to theirlearning style, limitations, and
What is your way of seeing life and what do you think is important right now?
I see life as an opportunity to help people feel better. Life in this world can be hard. When people are around me, I want them to feel special and that I am here to assist them with their health. I know that I cannot fix everything for someone. However, if I can make them healthier and move better, that gives them a strong foundation to manage everything in life.
I think this is so important now. Anxiety and stress are at an all-time high. I feel strongly that people need to focus on the inside of themselves. Mindfully working your body to exhaustion and sweating are important to reset the nervous system, in my opinion.
Do you have a secret that you would like to share or any advice that that you think can help?
Here are my 5 foundation “secretes” to being happy and successful:
When you are not sure what to do, always do the kind thing.
Make it a goal to be a patient and forgiving person.
View other people as superior to you.
Know that problems and anxieties are just temporary.
No matter what happens, always keep moving.