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.

Get Down to Your Students’ Level

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 your personal experience

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The Key to Teaching Authentic Pilates

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 influence of polarization,

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What Makes a Great Pilates Teacher?

As a studio owner, a Pilates teacher, and a continuing education provider, I have come to understand that a discussion on how our industry is evolving is overdue. 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. Why is this occurring?

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

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 time I saw

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Don’t You Wish You Knew Then What You Know Now?

As a young adult, I had a misguided approach to getting into shape. My quest took me countless years and many painful lessons. I subjected myself to endless hours at the gym, lifting heavy weights, running on the treadmill, and attending group classes while hoping to find something that resonated with me. I learned from watching other people exercise, and browsed the fitness magazines at the local grocery store. Looking back, I realize my exercise education came from other people who probably did the same thing I did. So, who really knew what they were doing? If someone looks physically fit, are they moving correctly? Sadly, in my younger years,

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The Perils of Being Overly Confident

My day started like any typical Saturday. I woke up, drank a cup of coffee, and prepared my breakfast. The Seattle winter had been dreary and cloudy, but this morning, there were high clouds and partly sunny skies. After two cups of coffee and oatmeal, I was fueled and ready for a road trip. The morning was off to a great start. My new friend picked me up, and we headed to the freeway. Through a series of winding roads we made it to the Mt. Baker Ski Area. We arrived around mid-afternoon and headed to Mountain Shop to rent our gear. Trying something for the first time mixes anxiety

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