Therapeutic pilates & yoga
I had no way of knowing how that summer job would change the course of my life.
After graduating from the AT program I needed a summer job. Anne McMillan was the first Pilates Instructor in Montreal and the only studio owner at the time.
I had never heard of Pilates but was thrilled to get a job at her studio. To become certified as a Pilate instructor, I did a year-long mentorship with Anne and it was a fabulous experience.
This method spoke to me as a dancer, as an AT and it was the final step in helping me heal.
This was ~4yrs post-back surgery and I had recovered well but continued to have intermittent low back and neuropathic pain.
Physically doing the Pilates repertoire of exercises got me strong, functional, and back to the level of athleticism and coordination that I had prior to surgery.
In 2003 I got certified through Polestar Pilates and mentored their teacher trainings for years.
Pilates got me back to the body & function I had prior to surgery.
I immediately started incorporating mat Pilates into rehab programs with patients at the two sports medicine clinics I was working for.
One of those clinics was expanding. I was a student, fresh out of school with no savings but I felt so strongly about the potential that I purchased a Pilates Reformer myself and rented a tiny corner of the clinic to run as my own business.
Now how to go about getting clients…It's mainstream now but back then, no one knew that Pilates even existed let alone how beneficial it was!
I was still working for the clinic as an AT and anytime I had a break between patients I would hop on the Reformer and go through the repertoire.
Many days were spent on that Reformer demonstrating all it had to offer, trying to pique the interest of the therapists and the patients in the clinic.
Where Pilates & Rehab Meet
It didn’t take long before patients were asking their therapist what this funky piece of equipment was and could they try it, would it help them in their rehab?
For the next 23yrs, the business steadily grew and I branched out on my own in 2003. From an 8 x 12 corner of space, to working out of my 4 1/2 apartment, to opening a very small clinic/studio, eventually adding the Trapeze Table, the Chair, and the Barrel.
CORE BASICS expand every few years until realizing the ultimate vision of my own multi-disciplinary clinic in 2007.
As my clientele grew I needed to hire more instructors. At this point, I was an Osteopath and my clientele consisted of people with complex injuries and chronic conditions. The few certified instructors in Montreal were more fitness-oriented, not trained to work with complex rehab cases.
This pushed me to develop my own Pilates teacher training program with a rehab approach.
I then hired those I trained to work with me and a beautiful and highly qualified team evolved over the years. Teaching movement teachers continues to be one of my favourite things to do!
I had dabbled in yoga here and there over the years but got into it seriously ~2007 to help me through a challenging emotional time. Ashtanga yoga is what I was drawn to then, I loved the physically demanding nature of it!
Pilates had taught me how to use breath during effort, yoga taught me to use breath for life. The combination is invaluable.
After 3 spine surgeries, a hip surgery, meningitis and various health challenges, Ashtanga is no longer the right style for me.
Always searching for ways to address my own challenges and the needs of my clients I was drawn to Marianne Thorborg’s Anusara Based Hatha yoga teacher training and got certified in 2019.
I also have certifications in Gentle Somatic Yoga, Restorative Yoga and Yoga for Pain Care. I have done >1500hrs of continuing education courses through Yoga U Online, Yoga International, Yoga Alliance, Pilates Method Alliance, Body Mind Centering, Feldenkrais, Embodied yoga, Osteopathy, Tom Myers’ Anatomy Trains and various fascial and somatic approaches.
I have a deep love and respect for both Pilates and yoga...All forms of movement really. They are complementary practices and I feel privileged to teach in both communities.