My passion for fitness began after I suffered a serious skiing accident in 1991. Following a year of physical therapy to strengthen the damage to my hips, knees, lower back, and shoulders, I was unable to function properly without chronic pain. I tried different methods of exercise, from yoga to traditional strength training. I received regular chiropractic adjustments and weekly massage. Though the treatments relieved my discomfort in the short term, I still suffered recurrent headaches, lower back pain, and neck and shoulder pain. As an active individual, I began to understand how pain limits activity.
At the time, I was of the mindset that flexibility and muscle strength were key to solving my dysfunction. I became certified as a personal trainer with the goal of helping myself and others. But I soon realized the limited personal training education and approach to movement I’d learned was ineffective for my chronic pain. I loved exercising, but my movement patterns were improper and actually creating injuries. The pain became more frequent, so out of complete frustration, I treated the pain with prescription medication only to discover my pain increased. I realized that in order to stop pain in the long term, I needed a fundamental change in my movement approach.
It became apparent that the modalities I incorporated for exercise were primarily toploaded and constantly compressed my spine. With my particular spine injury, this exacerbated my problems. I was desperate to find a method that focused on building my supporting spine and core muscles rather than continuing to build primarily muscle strength. With this shift in mindset, I began to research the Pilates method. I discovered that the majority of Pilates exercises are not top-loaded. I was excited to have found a method that may be exactly what I needed to reach my goals.
In 2005, I was formally introduced to the Pilates method. From the moment I learned of it, my interest grew. Shortly thereafter, I relocated my personal training business to a Pilates and personal training studio in Portland, Oregon. I began studying under certified instructor Alicia Fajardo, who taught me a unique approach to movement known as Holistic Biomechanics™. This immersive training incorporated Pilates equipment to teach applied biomechanics, and focused on movement reeducation and core strength rather than on building muscle strength.
After a few years of training with Alicia, I experienced a decrease in pain and a notable improvement in my posture. I knew I was on the right path and excited that I could finally realign my body, improve functionality, and eliminate pain. This life-changing experience led me to a career as a Pilates teacher.
In 2007, I moved to Palm Springs, where I soon opened Ecore Fitness and received my Pilates certification from Polestar Pilates. After a few years out of the gym, I began to experiment with increased spring tension, creating unique exercises using the Reformer to build muscle strength while following Pilates principles. I discovered limitless ways in which to use the Reformer to build strength. None was top-loaded. All were safe for spinal injuries. Today, I train my clients who have spinal injuries to develop muscle strength without compromising their spine.
In addition to running Ecore Fitness, I teach weekly group classes and private lessons, and offer annual teacher training workshops. I’m an avid reader, and actively research, study, and participate in progressive movement workshops. I believe that continuing education is key! By staying on top of the latest scientific information, I can enhance my practice and further assist my students and clients in reaching their personal goals.
Over the years, I’ve had the amazing opportunity to work with students and teachers from all over the world. I saw the need to develop a Progressive & Athletic Pilates workshop to reach students beyond my studio and to make it available to teachers seeking additional training.
My workshops and workbooks initially grew from my experience, my education in Pilates, and my own physical limitations due to pain. Unable to perform many classical and traditional Pilates exercises, I created unique routines designed to assist in teaching my students new ways to exercise in an environment that worked with their individual needs. My workshops and workbooks offer students a fresh perspective on classical and traditional Pilates Reformer exercises.
My love of Pilates, and of developing effective ways to use the Reformer that stay within the boundaries of the Pilates method, has lead to my series of workbooks and my online subscription website. In the meantime, I sincerely hope you enjoy the journey.