In this episode, Janet and Nikki chat with Theo St Francis & Stephanie Behrendt Comella about the process of recovering from a spinal cord injury (SCI) and their project Zebra Fish Neuro.
About Stephanie Behrendt Comella
Stephanie has engaged in over 15,000 hours working directly with individuals with spinal cord injury and other neurological disorders. She was first introduced to Pilates in 2014, which forever changed her thinking about spinal cord injury rehabilitation.
Stephanie graduated from University of California, Davis in 2011 with a B.S. in Exercise Biology. She studied sports medicine and exercise-based rehabilitation as an intern with the university's Division I athletes. After graduation, Stephanie served as a Neuro Exercise Therapist and Manager at a spinal cord injury & neurological disorder specialty gym in Pleasanton, CA for almost 5 years before starting a Pilates-based SCI recovery program – AbsoluteENDEAVOR – at Absolute Center in Lafayette, CA in 2015.
She blends her formal education, vast experience with SCI, and training in Pilates and mindful movement to provide a unique style of training that is focused on body re-connection.
About Theo St. Francis
Theo has been exploring the vast landscape of body-reconnection since his 2013 injury at the start of his Mechanical Engineering and collegiate swimming careers at MIT. Having the trajectory of his healing completely redirected by his practice of Pilates, Theo is now working on ways for others to benefit from the same effective therapy.
Theo is the author of TheOvercoming blog, where he shares the journey of reconnecting to his body. Since he first read Calais-Germain's Anatomy of Movement textbook while in a cervical collar at inpatient rehab, he has approached his healing as a research project on which his life depends.
Having sought out and worked with Pilates instructors around the country on his healing journey, Theo seeks to blend various mindful practices to discover which ways best reconnect a paralyzed body. He lives to problem-solve and cannot wait to resume his studies in Mechanical Engineering at MIT.
In this episode, Nikki and Janet chat with Pilates Adam McAtee about his experience teaching Pilates in both a clinical and fitness setting and how using critical thinking can help you create a better client experience.
In this episode, Janet and Nikki chat with Jill Harris, Pilates teacher and master instructor about the product development for inventing Fitsprings.
About Jill Harris:
Master Pilates instructor Jill Harris is a fitness innovator with over 20 years of teaching experience. In her San Francisco studio, Jill offers Private and Semi Private Pilates and FitSprings training. Jill's creative exercise ideas make your workouts both fun and challenging. These ideas were the foundation for her Reformer Box Workout workshop which is available to studios and trainers now.
In this episode, Janet and Nikki chat with Tom McCook, Pilates teacher and movement specialist about what it means to create an embodied movement practice.
Tom McCook, founder and director of Center of Balance in Mountain View, CA, is an internationally recognized Pilates teacher and movement specialist. Beginning his full-time career in personal training in 1984, Tom designs programs for health and life performance for working professionals, people rehabilitating from injuries, and world-class athletes, including Olympic Gold Medal swimmers Natalie Coughlin, Jenny Thompson and Misty Hyman.
Through years of continuous study and his strong commitment to a daily meditation and physical practice, Tom has developed a refined understanding of what it means to be have a balanced, functionally fit, intelligent body. His teaching integrates Pilates, Franklin Method, yoga, hands-on bodywork, resistance stretching, BodyCode system, somatics, and life coaching, which enhance his holistic approach to working with clients and teachers. Tom produced "Combining Pilates & Yoga for Balance," an exercise video that brings together the benefits of Pilates and yoga.
Tom began his study of Pilates in 1991. He has been leading Pilates teacher training courses since 2001 for PhysicalMind Institute formerly, and currently for Balanced Body Education. He has certifications through the PMA, ACE, along with being a CEC provider. In 2010, Tom became one of the first Master teacher trainers in CoreAlign.
Since 2004, Tom has been studying the Franklin Method, an instrumental part of his teaching that offers a very effective approach to improving movement potential and health through imagery and experiential anatomy. Tom has completed all 3 levels of the Franklin Method training and is now a teacher trainer for the Franklin Institute.
Tom teaches workshops, conferences and retreats worldwide. He is part of the Passing the Torch Mentorship program offering continued education, insight and guidance to certified Pilates teachers. Tom also offers a 3-month movement and life coaching course, “Embodying a Balanced Life,” helping students to develop healthy practices, create momentum, and experience more freedom in their lives.
Tom’s goal as a teacher is to empower, educate and inspire others to live more fulfilling and balanced lives. He lives on the coast outside of San Francisco with his wife and business partner Karen deMoor.
In this episode, Janet and Nikki chat with Hunter Cook, FRC and Kinstretch instructor about mobility training for injury mitigation.
About Hunter Cook
Hunter has been personal training for the last 11 years, and has also worked as a physical therapy aide for 6 years in both New York and California. Hunter is well qualified as a fitness professional to work with any demographic of clientele, however, excels in nutritional guidance, mobility and flexibility, and post-rehabilitation clients due to his background working in physical therapy offices.
He holds a Bachelor of Science in Kinesiology with the option in Exercise Science from California State University, Long Beach. Hunter’s certifications include the National Academy of Sports Medicine (NASM), and the Aerobics and Fitness Association of America (AFAA).
In this episode, Nikki and Janet chat with Dr. Ellie Somers, physical therapist and owner of Sisu Sports Performance & PT about how using body positive language in medical and fitness settings can create better outcomes for patients and clients both in improving performance and reducing pain.
About Ellie Somers
Dr. Ellie Somers is a physical therapist of 10 years, with a special focus on treating the female athlete. She has a background in sports performance and rehab, including extensive training and education in the science of pain.
She started her practice, Sisu Sports Performance & PT, in Seattle, WA with the goal of empowering female clients to help them reach their unlocked potential. She hopes to keep women actively engaged in sport and activity for their lifetime.
Dr. Somers has spoken at the Women in Physical Therapy Summit in New York City as well as at several continuing education courses and professional conferences. She is a lover of soccer, running, heavy things, craft beer, and the great PNW. You can learn more about Dr. Somers on her website, or follow her on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.
In this episode, Janet and Nikki chat with Amanda Holt LeNaire, Balanced Body Master Instructor about her experience working with the Oklahoma City Ballet and training professional dancers to become Pilates teachers.
About Amanda Holt LeNaire
Amanda is the co-owner of The Pilates Body in Oklahoma, City. She is a PMA® Certified Pilates Instructor, a Balanced Body® Master Instructor in Comprehensive Pilates and MOTR® She is a graduate of the Balanced Body Pilates Comprehensive Training and the Polestar Pilates Comprehensive Training. To connect with Amanda, visit her website or say hello on Facebook.
In this episode, Nikki and Janet chat with Jules Mitchell, yoga teacher and movement educator, and Charlie Reid, strength and conditioning coach, about transitioning clients from post rehab back to regular activity and performance.
Jules Mitchell MS, CMT, RYT
Jules is a Los Angeles based yoga educator. She combines the tradition of yoga with her background in biomechanics to help people move better and achieve individually defined physical success. Her approach to asana is multi-modal and skill based, balancing the somatic (moving from within) aspects of yoga with exercise science.
Jules writes on yoga biomechanics and references the exercise science literature on topics (such as stretching) where the yoga research is lacking. She is a regular contributor to yoga teacher training programs worldwide, providing yoga schools with the most current research in biomechanics, even when it invokes a discerning analysis of tradition.
Her most influential teachers include Leeann Carey (Yapana Yoga), Gil Hedley (Integral Anatomy), John Casey (yoga philosophy and Sanskrit), and the many dedicated scientists who collect, analyze, and publish data so we may continue to ask more questions. As adjunct faculty at Arizona State University, she serves as the yoga consultant on research studies to quantify the effects of yoga therapy on special populations.
Jules is currently writing her book, Yoga Biomechanics: Redefining Stretching, which is expected to become available in 2017 through Handspring Publishing. You can find her leading workshops at your favorite local studio or check out her classes online.
Charlie Reid, CSCS, CMT
Charlie is a Movement Educator, Coach, and Massage therapist based in San Francisco, CA. His mission is to help cultivate stronger, more resilient humans. When he’s not coaching one-on-one, teaching workshops, or hosting seminars in the Bay Area, he is most likely drinking too much espresso whilst torturing a bass guitar.
In this episode, Janet and Nikki chat with self-care expert and yoga teacher Alexandra Ellis about how to integrate self-massage, mobility, and strength work into a movement practice to improve function and decrease the risk of injury.
Creator of AE Wellness, Body Nerd, and Self-Care expert, Alexandra Ellis has made it her life’s mission to better understand how the body works to help her clients DIY their self-care, strength, and injury recovery. Her teaching and studies focus on injury prevention, rehabilitation and wellness, inspired by her studies at UC Davis where she earned a BS in Exercise Biology. With a strong background and keen interest in anatomy and physiology, Alex strives to empower people to improve their health and well-being through a personal movement practice and enhanced body awareness.
Her programs have helped many people worldwide to be an empowered part of their health, rather than relying solely on their healthcare provider.When not Instagraming her food, workouts or Teacher Training adventures, Alexandra can be found teaching public classes in Los Angeles.
Learn more at www.aewellness.com
In this episode, Janet and Nikki chat with Mariska Breland and Meghann Koppele Duffy about Pilates and movement training for neurological conditions.
About Mariska Breland
Mariska is the founder of Washington, D.C.-based Fuse Pilates®, an award-winning creative director and writer, and a self-proclaimed “casual student” of medical neuroscience.
Mariska has been teaching Pilates since 2003, and developed her signature style, Fuse Pilates, as a mat class at a yoga studio in 2005. Over the years, the Fuse Pilates method has evolved to offer unique hybrid mat, tower, reformer, and chair classes, as well as private instruction. Her classes are heavily influenced by her background in Pilates, yoga, and barre, as well as a three-year mentorship with Julian Littleford. Fuse is a proud affiliate of Julian Littleford Pilates and was voted the Best Pilates studio in Washington, D.C. by Washingtonian Magazine.
In addition to her passion for creating fun and effective workouts for her group classes, Mariska is passionate about educating teachers and patients about exercise for neurological conditions. Her Pilates for MS™ Teacher Training incorporates the latest research into neuroplasticity and neurorehabilitation into a Pilates program design for multiple sclerosis, stroke, and other neurological conditions. It is core curriculum for Carolyne Anthony’s Center for Women’s Fitness’ Women’s Health Pilates Certificate. Mariska is a PMA@ Certified Pilates Teacher who completed her comprehensive training through BASI Pilates. She has additional training through Power Pilates, Peak Pilates, Balance Body, and PureBarre, as well as several specialty certifications. She also studies regularly with friend and “spirit guide,” Jennifer Kries.
A frequent guest writer for fitness and lifestyle blogs, Mariska is currently writing a book on exercise for neurological conditions, developing additional training manuals for the Fuse method, teaching internationally, running a studio, and spending rare time off with her husband and their dog-child – a Basenji named Zoe.
In this episode, Janet and Nikki chat with licensed physical therapist and certified Pilates instructor Jessica Valant about working with pre and postnatal clients in a Pilates and fitness setting.
About Jessica Valant
Jessica has been a licensed physical therapist and certified Pilates instructor for over 17 years. She first experienced Pilates during a short inservice at her first PT job out of graduate school. She quickly fell in love and realized Pilates could be used as an amazing tool in helping to rehabilitate her patients.
She received her Pilates training through Polestar Pilates and is a Certified Pilates Teacher and continuing education provider under the Pilates Method Alliance. She has a successful fitness DVD series, YouTube channel, women’s health program and online Pilates studio called Jessica Valant Pilates. She was named a top 10 finalist in the 2015 Pilates Anytime Next Instructor Contest and teaches workshops and courses to other health care professionals and Pilates instructors.
Jessica’s love and passion for the Pilates industry led her to co-found Momentum Fest with her husband, Brian. Jessica believes movement should be empowering and exciting and she hopes to help all people in her classes feel the same. To learn more about Jessica visit her website jessicavalantpilates.com.
In this episode, movement educator and professional classical musician Kayleigh Miller interviews Janet and Nikki about their experience creating the podcast.
About Kayleigh Miller
Kayleigh Miller is a movement educator and professional classical musician who helps people move better so they can be the best version of themselves in all aspects of their lives.
Drawing from the Pilates method, yoga asana, current research, and more, she helps people to strengthen, challenge, and integrate mind, breath, and body. Although music and movement may seem like disparate modalities, she's found them to be extremely complementary, and is constantly learning to become a better, more embodied musician.
She's passionate about creating connection, using music and movement as means to connect people with the human experience, and reconnect people to their own bodies and internal experiences.