FITNESS INNOVATOR


Sean Bergara’s unique and motivating approach to Pilates offers everyone the opportunity to grow, learn, and to take their practice to infinity and beyond.

The Power of Cueing

Knowing how to communicate effectively when using verbal cues can turn an average teacher into an extraordinary one. Now that the pandemic mandates that we keep a safe distance from students and limit our tactile cueing, developing an arsenal of clear and concise verbal cues is more important than ever. First, let’s discuss verbal cues and how to prevent them from becoming nothing more than repetitive, ineffectual sound bites. As a teacher, it’s only natural to become a bit complacent with our verbal cues. The underlying problem is that we’re caught unaware by the common pitfalls and neglect to correct ourselves. Here are a few examples that are sure to

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Athletic Pilates

Return to Blog When I teach, my most often used quote is: “If the resistance applied to the extremities is greater than the ability to maintain proper breathing and alignment, then the resistance is too heavy.” Yes, I said it! It’s not about strength. It’s about balanced and coordinated movement. In addition to lifting functional loads, one of the most overlooked aspects of strength is flexibility. If a rubber band is inflexible and can’t be fully stretched, it won’t have the force to generate power. Athletic Pilates is similar to other forms of strength training, but is devoid of excessive and compressive spine loading. The most notable difference is that the

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Get Down to Your Students’ Level

Return to Blog There’s a distinct and powerful difference between an instructor and a teacher. I define an instructor as one who provides students information on what the instructor has learned from a book, workshop, or training program. He or she has not personally experienced that which they teach. This is a one-dimensional approach to learning, and one that I see far too often.  A teacher, on the other hand, offers a multi-dimensional approach to learning, making it a priority to personally develop their movement skills, apply what they’ve learned, and acquire teaching aptitudes through their personal practice. I, for one, believe that to be truly impactful, you must share

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The Key to Teaching Authentic Pilates

Return to Blog Let’s start with an analogy. The beloved wine we know as Champagne is authentic only if it comes from the Champagne region of France. That’s why Italian white sparkling wine is called Prosecco. California sparkling wines are not veritable Champagnes.  In relation to Pilates, the proper word for this is “classical.” If you teach the way Papa Joe taught, you’re teaching classical Pilates—the original style of Pilates. But if you teach in a way that is true to your personal experience and your beliefs about how the body works, don’t let anyone tell you you aren’t teaching “authentic” Pilates. The Pilates industry may have come under the

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Am I a Fraud for Calling Myself a Pilates Teacher?

Return to Blog As a studio owner, a Pilates teacher, and someone who lives and breathes Pilates, I have come to understand there may be necessary change on the horizon. Teaching in Palm Springs allows me to work with students and teachers from all over the world. In a typical month, I can have anywhere from 30-50 visiting international students and teachers attend my classes. I hear countless stories from students and teachers who struggle to understand the basic movement principles, and who also have difficulty executing many of the exercises. They often describe their experience both as a teacher and student as frustrating, repetitive, mundane, and uninspiring. I believe

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Check Your Gender at the Door: It’s Not All About Bulk, Brah

Return to Blog In the early 2000s, I worked as a personal trainer at a big box gym in Portland, Oregon. I remember those early days as grueling and necessary for character building. I worked long shifts and constantly lifted weights between clients. No matter what my other goals were, I wanted visible results, like muscular growth. I joined various group fitness classes and always felt frustrated. When I would go on a yoga or spinning kick, I would get discouraged and end up in the weight room pumping iron to maintain muscle mass. As a young adult, I remember that I always wanted to be big and strong. Every

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