You are the owner of the beautiful Pilates Studio Live & Breathe Pilates in Dublin which you opened a bit more than 7 years ago. You are offering a wide range of Pilates classes, workshops and teacher trainings. What body & mind movement trends have you been observing in Ireland up to today? And in which direction do you think the trends will be headed in your market?
When we opened the studio back in 2012 (a dream since I started teaching in 2005), we were one of very few fully equipped studios in Dublin that offered more than just Pilates Matwork - i.e. Reformer, Cadillac, Chair and Barrels as well as small equipment.
Initially we may have had to convince clients of the benefits of Pilates, including all this new apparatus that they hadn’t seen before like the Reformer and Cadillac, but since then Pilates has become more widely adopted. Now we see clients from a general fitness and toning perspective, to athletes who are cross training for other sports and clients of all ages wanting to address general aches and pains who want to move more or support their day to day activities.
We also get many referrals from healthcare professionals who are starting to understand the benefits of movement as medicine for their patients.
As clients take more time to address their health and wellbeing, Pilates and mindful movement is leading the way in empowering them to move more and feel better.
From the teacher training perspective I've always had a keen interest in continuing education personally, but there really wasn't a lot of courses available in Dublin when we first opened. Plus as an island native, any international courses meant time away from the studio, as well as the cost of the course, the flights and accommodation too. It all adds up. As a result, I started to invite teachers I wanted to learn from to Dublin and it’s grown from there.
I don't think we've followed trends on training we offer as such. It's been more about my own areas of interest which thankfully seem to be where other teachers want to learn more about too. We’ve had some of the most amazing educators to the studio over the years - art of motion academy teachers of course, Wendy leBlanc-Arbuckle, Michelle Lyons, Martha Petersen, Rebekah Rotstein, Mariska Breland, Madeline Black, Meredith Rogers and all of the amazing BASI Pilates faculty we’ve had with us too. We’re really privileged to be able to host these top quality courses in Dublin for our fellow movement teachers.
We’ll continue to provide all sorts of continuing education – in fact we’re already planning into 2020 and 2021 for courses, so watch this space!
Tell us something about your personal movement routine. How do you stay happy and healthy and in tune with yourself while running a busy Pilates studio?
It can be hard when we’re really busy to make time for our own movement practice, and I think from a female perspective we’re such natural nurturers that there’s a tendency to put ourselves at the end of the list (if we’re even on the list at all), so as I get older I’m making sure to make more time for myself. I try to get some sort of movement session in every day – and am lucky I have so much to draw on! My personal movement routine consists of loads of walking, Pilates sessions, sea swims, Slings sessions and myofascial release work. I really feel the difference in my body and in my mood if I don’t make the time to move!
You are in the middle of the comprehensive Slings Myofascial Training learning pathway yourself. How do you explain Slings Myofascial Training to your relatives over a Sunday family brunch in three sentences?
This is a hard question as it’s something I’ve always struggled to do with Pilates as it really means different things to different people! But I’ll give it a go... Slings is a mindful way of moving, that will help you feel great. During each session we breathe, move and have fun, creating vitality inside and out. Slings helps to build a balance of strength and flexibility in the body, ensuring you can continue to do the things that you love.
When did you hear the first time about Slings Myofascial Training and what was your motivation to become a host for art of motion?
We first hosted Anatomy Trains in Motion when it was called Anatomy Trains for Movement Therapists back in 2013 as I’d always had an interest in knowing more about the myofascial meridians and how they apply to movement.
When we approached Anatomy Trains to host again in 2015 they put us in touch directly with art of motion and the relationship has grown from there. Their founder Karin Gurtners' educational materials are amazing – highly detailed yet with a structure that makes learning easy and enjoyable. And I’ve always been hugely impressed with art of motion’s educators - their knowledge of their subject matter is vast and they are inspirational teachers, each and every one.
From what professional background are the attendees of your Slings Myofascial Training courses? Where do people generally travel from?
We’ve had quite a mix of people attend our Slings courses. We’ve had Pilates teachers, Yoga teachers, personal trainers, physiotherapists, nurses, doctors, a boxer and many others too. As the course is modality independent (i.e. it can be applied to any movement practice) it can benefit so many teachers and therapists with their own practice, as well as helping them develop their teaching abilities.
We’ve had people visit from all over the US, South America and as far away as South Korea and Australia, and of course all throughout Ireland and Europe.
How do you successfully promote your courses within your network in order to ensure that it is worth while for you running the courses?
As our studio has grown over the years we have run many courses, workshops and continuing education events. We have a good reputation in the international industry as an education centre. Word of mouth really helps and we also now have an extensive network of colleagues and contacts worldwide who come to us for training. We also use social media, newsletters to promote our courses and I also now present at various conferences and events so we’re getting more well known in the industry as an teacher training hub.
Who do you think will benefit most from the comprehensive Slings Myofascial Training and why?
There are so many benefits to this education that I don’t think that there is just one person who’d benefit most! But for those teachers who want to know more about the “why” and not just the “what”, the Slings education goes deeper than any other course I’ve attended. If you want to nerd out on anatomy the courses are amazing. Slings is one of the best programs we’ve ever run in the studio – and there have been many!
How can people sign up for your courses?
All of our courses are available to book via our website at https://www.liveandbreathepilates.com/teacher-training/slings/ However, we also know that courses can be expensive. Many of our attendees are self employed , so we offer payment plans for any courses over €500. Just get in touch if you’d like to know more at firstname.lastname@example.org
Is there anything else you would like to add?
Come to Dublin – it’s an amazing vibrant city. We’d be happy to show you around.