Tag Archive for: Pilates Instructor Training

Please join us for an

Open Studio Event

to preview the 2024 MOVE Pilates Instructor Training Program

November 5, 2023
4:00 – 5:00 p.m.

Join our expert team of instructor trainers for a preview of the 2024 MOVE Pilates Instructor Training Program. Our interactive information session will give you the opportunity to decide if our program is right for you. 

  • Hear from our instructor trainers and former students who have successfully launched Pilates careers.
  • Discover the innovative fitness that began with Joseph Pilates himself.
  • Walk-through what to expect in our progressive and comprehensive Pilates education.
  • Learn about how we’ve updated our program with adaptable in-person and online components.
  • Tour our light-filled studio and explore our Balanced Body Reformers.
  • Bring your questions and join the conversation — our goal is to support you every step of the way. 
  • Join a 20-30 minute Pilates mat class (all levels welcome).

Take the first step toward a marketable movement career as a Pilates instructor. Whether you’re looking for a full-time career or a part-time complement to your current professional or educational goals, this is a great time to pursue a new passion!

Interested but can’t attend these dates?

Let’s chat another time! You can schedule a free 1:1 consultation with our program director. Just fill out this simple form and we’ll reach out to schedule a date.

Quick links:

Pilates instructors come from wide-ranging ages, stages, and backgrounds. Pilates as a career can be attractive to many different people. In part, because the schedule and demands can be highly varied according to what is a fit for your own life. Some trainers teach many classes and private lessons at a single studio and keep consistent hours day to day. Other trainers have diverse hours to accommodate second jobs or the demands of parenting. There are successful trainers anywhere from under 20 to over 70 years old. There are men and women. There are trainers of all different body types and sizes. There are trainers with a background in dance, gymnastics, and sports, and those who never had a strong connection to a movement system before Pilates. There are trainers who were already physical therapists and fitness professionals, and some who came out of completely unrelated fields.

What they all have in common, is that at some point they learned what Pilates could do for people’s bodies, got excited about it, and wanted to share it with others. In short, Pilates can be for anyone. These are the personal stories of some of our MOVE Wellness instructors sharing what inspired them to pursue certification in Pilates as a career. We hope you might find your own inspiration in their experiences.

Elaine Economou on the Pilates Tower Reformer

Elaine is the owner of MOVE in Ann Arbor. She is also an accomplished Pilates teacher and Instructor Trainer. When she first considered becoming a Pilates trainer 20 years ago she was looking for the next step after years of training as a dancer and dance teacher. 

Elaine:When I first started doing Pilates, I realized I was doing something really hard that was getting me fit, and it also gave me so much joy. It struck me that this was so different than what we often think about working out: that it’s something you “have” to do, as a duty or a chore. It made me want to help people understand their bodies the way I was learning to understand mine. I took the leap to becoming a trainer when someone I knew let me know that she was starting a Pilates teacher trainer program locally. Suddenly I had available, accessible training and I enthusiastically signed up.”

Davy is a former Gymnast and Peace Corps volunteer.  She started her Pilates training back before she had kids, when she was working 50+ hours a week at a corporate job.

Davy:  “A friend of mine from work was going through the Pilates teacher training, so I first heard about it from her. I was not fulfilled in my corporate job. When I first started Pilates teacher training, I thought that I would be doing it as a supplement to my corporate job, something to help me feel more fulfilled. It was when I started having kids that I decided to make a change professionally. I felt I needed a job with more flexibility that would allow me more time with my family. When I was younger I was in the Peace Corps and it was there that I become passionate about Health Education. It’s always been my goal to get back to that, and teaching Pilates has allowed me to do that. I still believe that being a Pilates teacher is a great supplement to other professions.”

Angela found Pilates when she was in college studying dance. She loves science and movement and found Pilates to be a perfect blend of the two. She also loves helping people!

Angela: “I knew I was going to move to NYC after college and wanted a job that supported my dancing more than just monetarily. I also was referred to my first pilates job in college and just found that it was something I loved to do and the community I worked with was great. I have made lifelong friends through teaching movement and networking all around the world. I know no matter which city I visit when I travel, I will be able to find someone I know or have a lot in common with who is a movement instructor.”

A male Pilates trainer teaching two other men

Kenny is a father and also works full time as a lawyer. He has had a long time passion for Yoga, and started training as a Pilates teacher after talking to his friend Elaine, a Pilates instructor trainer.

Kenny: “A conversation with Elaine inspired me to delve in further to what had previously just been curiosity. I started reading more about Pilates, and soon realized that it’s more than just exercise. I joined the teacher training program because I wanted a new challenge. Even though my first movement passion is Iyengar Yoga, Pilates training seemed like it would be a more time efficient way to become a movement teacher. It also seemed to me that Pilates would be appealing to more potential students. And then there was a course available that I could feasibly fit into my busy schedule. I had originally thought that I would just do the mat course to start. I then realized that although the timing is never perfect, it made sense for me to go ahead and do the comprehensive course all the way through.”

Cadillac Toe Taps

Lauren is a lifelong ballet dancer/student who had just finished graduate school and had a new baby when the idea of becoming a Pilates teacher first crossed her mind.

Lauren: “I had just finished my graduate degree: a Master of Science in Geology. As I applied for jobs in Earth Science I feared that with a baby and a full time desk job I would no longer have time for my other great passion in life: dance and movement. Oddly, I was first inspired by the personal trainers on the show The Biggest Loser (which is kind of funny because I really don’t like that show at all for so many reasons, and don’t at all condone or support the methods they used.) I was, however, jealous of the trainers’ jobs. What appealed to me was that their job seemed to involve a combination of passion for movement and connecting with people one on one to support their growth. The body shaming and the yelling I could do without. 

I didn’t take my own thoughts too seriously at first; it seemed impossible that I would change careers before I’d even begun the one I’d just trained for. But ultimately, while I loved my new baby with all my heart, the prospect of sitting at a desk all day with no time to dance after was utterly depressing to me. I began at first just playing with the idea by googling Pilates training programs. I was surprised to find a training program available just blocks away from my house. I’ve been happily teaching and training ever since.”

MOVE Trainer Sarah Cohen doing a plank on the Pilates Reformer

Sarah’s first career was a former software developer and then a stay-at-home mom and then she found Pilates. The first time she got on the Reformer, she knew something magical was happening in her body. Within months of that moment, she became part of MOVE’s first Pilates Instructor Training Program class.   

Sarah: “About 3-4 classes into trying Pilates, I had a lightbulb moment. I realized that I love this and I want to do this the rest of my life. I knew I didn’t want to go back to a desk job. I did my instructor training about 6 months after that. I’m continually amazed every day by the human bodies in front of me and how I can help them and how they can help themselves. It’s been a gift. I can’t imagine doing anything else now.”

A Pilates trainer teaching a client on the Reformer

Mary is a retired VA worker. She worked in patient safety, and had a desk job for 40 years before embarking on Pilates teacher training.

Mary: “I started taking Pilates 15 years ago from my neighbor who had just opened a studio. I was recovering from breast cancer at the time and was happy to find exercise that felt safe and effective. More recently I ended up deciding to do the teacher training program. At first I didn’t think I could do it, it didn’t occur to me that I was the type of person who could be a Pilates instructor. But I was looking for something challenging that I loved to do with my retirement. A conversation with Elaine (from MOVE ) made me feel like I could do it.”

Pilates Reformer Instructor Training

Jane is a mother of two, a ballet dancer, and former ballet teacher. She was teaching ballet and waiting tables for a living when when she first considered becoming a Pilates instructor.

Jane: “I was teaching ballet and wanted to diversify what I was able to offer students. At first I was just thinking about teaching Pilates to ballet students. As a ballet teacher and a waitress I usually had to work late. After I had kids, I realized I needed earlier nights. That’s when I started to consider teaching a more diverse population of Pilates students. I had just finished my teacher training when I ran into a friend who let me know that they were hiring instructors at MOVE. Soon I was working there several hours a week. Eventually I felt comfortable giving up my waitressing job. Now I just teach Pilates and don’t teach ballet anymore, which makes sense for me and my life right now.”

Pilates trainer Tony with a client on the cadillac

Tony was approaching his 40th birthday and training as a runner to improve his health when he decided he needed to kick it up a notch. After researching various fitness options, he found MOVE Wellness and decided to give Pilates a try.

Tony: “I began my fitness journey back in 2014. Fitness was something I had always struggled with and I wanted to take control. I started with running, and then some biking. By the end of 2014 I ran my first two 5Ks. In the beginning of 2015, I decided I wanted to add something new to my workout routine. After a few months of research I found MOVE Wellness Studios and Pilates. My first private session was such an eye opener and in August of 2015, I decided to become an instructor. I like to create workouts that are not only challenging but fun as well. Because who doesn’t like to have fun, right? I believe doing something that you enjoy gives you the best opportunity to succeed. I am so happy and proud to be part of the amazing team at MOVE Wellness Studios. I am looking forward to being able to help others reach their fitness goals and live healthier lives.”

Legs in Straps on Reformer

Natalie discovered the power of Pilates early in life. She began training in high school to support her love of dance and along the way learned how Pilates can help with strength, power, and injury prevention.

Natalie: “I was initially interested in becoming a trainer because of the powerful information Pilates gave me about my own body in my dancing. I noticed that I was able to have more control and nuance in my dancing and I wanted to share that with younger dancers. I knew I wanted to take the training to become a Pilates instructor, so as soon as I was 18, I signed up. I have definitely loved being a Pilates trainer, but I still want to go to physical therapy school. I know that I will be able to take everything I have learned and continue to use Pilates in my career as a physical therapist.”

Kathy is long time fitness enthusiast and competitive synchronized swimmer. She signed up for Pilates teacher training to prepare for a second act career upon retirement from her human resources job.

Kathy: “I believe in Pilates and the effect it can have on one’s overall health. I felt Pilates teacher training would allow me to get back to teaching as well as have a new career after I retire. Pilates is for everybody and every body…. you don’t need to be a certain type of person or have a certain type of body. Anyone can do it, and everyone can achieve a sense of success and accomplishment.  It feels good on the body.  Pilates allows you to discover just what your body can do and how it moves. I look forward to being able to be a catalyst to my clients in trying new activities, in seeing them explore how and why their bodies move, feeling good about themselves.”

Think a career as a pilates instructor might be for you?

Learn how to become a pilates instructor in our Frequently Asked Questions blog post. Then, check out this video with our top three tips if you’re considering a career in Pilates.


Interested in learning more?

Schedule a free 1:1 consultation with the Program Director, Elaine Economou. 

Mark your calendars and plan to join us March 5–6 as Shari Berkowitz and The Vertical Workshop visit MOVE to present a deep learning weekend for Pilates instructors.

The Vertical Workshop Deep Learning Weekend at MOVE

Join Shari for Pilates education that makes sense: science and evidence-based, effective, inclusive, fun. Pilates that you love!

  • WHO: Pilates instructors
  • WHEN: March 5–6 at MOVE Wellness Studios
  • COST:
    • $600 for the full weekend of continuing education classes and workshops*
    • $200 for the morning workshop and master class
    • $180 for the afternoon workshop
    • Saturday, March 5
      • 9:00 a.m. Master Class: Magic Circle Mat
      • 10:30 a.m. Archival Standing Exercises Workshop
      • Lunch Break
      • 2:30 p.m. Brilliant Buttocks Workshop
    • Sunday, March 6
      • 9:00 a.m. Master Class: Midline Mat
      • 10:30 a.m. Teaching Reformer Classes Workshop
      • Lunch Break
      • 1:45 p.m. Fascia Fascination Workshop
  • CEC: 14 NPCP continuing education credits available when attending the full weekend
    • Fully vaccinated plus proof of booster required
    • Masks will be worn at all times
    • We reserve the right to require a rapid test (at attendees expense) each day or as we deem necessary

*Can’t make it for the full weekend? A’la carte registration is now open for individual workshops and classes. Please call us at 734-224-2560 or email us to register.

Semi-Private Classes with Shari Berkowitz Available

In addition to the Deep Learning Weekend, Shari will be offering several semi-private class opportunities on Friday, March 4th. Classes have space for up to six participants each and cost $50.00 per participant. Email us to reserve your spot!

Course Descriptions

Master Classes

A Pilates class with Shari is a true education. You’ll find your body and brain sweating with both a strong workout and a new education: physical and intellectual. Now…you get PMA CECs for these classes. We’ll work hard for 45 minutes on a particular theme. Then we’ll take time to discuss. Workout first. Embody and Experience. Discussion next. Intellectual understanding for the teacher. It’s a mini-workshop…a maxi-hour!

Whether in a group class or in a private session, we must work with a theme…an intrinsic action that we’re working to teach our clients to incorporate into each exercise in Pilates…and life. In thematic class, Shari picks one intrinsic action to add to our constant deep low abdominals and active lower back muscles to weave a physical and intellectual understanding of the value of the action. Saturday’s class theme will be Magic Circle Mat class and Sunday’s theme will be Midline Mat class. Join in and learn while you do, then discuss how to make a class extremely effective!

These thematic classes earn 1 NPCP Continuing Education Credit each.

Archival Standing Exercises

Mr. Pilates’ progression of exercises in a session ultimately takes the client to stand up and leave the studio with the ability to use what he/she/they learned in the outside world. The end of each session or class must end with standing exercises, but most of them are unknown to the majority of teachers. Learn these exercises and use them to challenge, encourage and excite your clients…and yourself! 

This workshop earns 3 NPCP Continuing Education Credits.

Brilliant Buttocks

The time has come to wake up that sleepy cheek of yours! That “dumb butt syndrome”…let’s be done with that! I know…I know…you think you have tried everything and nothing has worked. But you have not, actually, tried everything. I’m a biomechanist and have studied gluteus maximus in all ways. What we have to do to get your buttocks awake, smart and brilliant, even, is different from what you’ve learned. In this workshop, I’ll share the functional anatomy and physical biomechanics of gluteus maximus and all that goes into getting it to come alive in the most remarkable way. Then, of course, we’ll apply it all to Pilates. If you follow the protocol I share with you, yes, your buttocks and those of your clients will achieve their highest GPA: Brilliant!

This workshop earns NPCP Continuing Education Credits.

Teaching Reformer Classes and Teaching Tower Classes

Apparatus Classes are a big part of our growing Pilates world. You teach them, but you were never trained for it. In your reformer classes, there are people of all levels, many who have never seen or been on the reformer or been on a tower in your class and some who are pretty advanced, as well. How do you create a class that takes care of them all? Let’s take the time to learn how to create really safe, strong and challenging classes on the reformer OR the tower. There are special guidelines you can follow and great ways to make a fantastic class for everyone…including you as the teacher!

NOTE: These are not combination classes, we will spend part of the workshop talking about the reformer and the rest about creating tower classes.  

This workshop earns 3 NPCP Continuing Education Credits.

Fascia Fascination

Each year there is more and more talk about fascia! More workshops, books, videos… But what do you really need to know about it? How does it really affect you to know about fascia? What else do you need to know? What have “they” all been missing in their explanations? This workshop will educate on what has been left out of the conversation and how to really make the most of your fascia…and your fascia education. Typical to Shari’s work, we’ll cut straight to the point and get to the root of your Fascia Fascination! 

This workshop earns NPCP Continuing Education Credits.

Register Today!

Please contact us with any questions. Online registration is available for the full weekend by clicking the button below. To register for individual classes and workshops, please call us at 734-224-2560, email us, or drop by the studio in-person.

Head Shot of Shari Berkowitz of The Vertical Workshop

About Shari Berkowitz

Shari Berkowitz is the founder and creator of The Vertical Workshop.

She is a Pilates Teacher of Teachers, biomechanist and ergonomist holding Master’s of Science degrees in Ergonomics and Biomechanics from New York University (NYU). She travels the world teaching teachers of all styles of Pilates, though her vocabulary of exercises is classical. Her ability to cross over the boundaries of style in Pilates comes from her remarkable understanding of how the human body works, how people learn, how the apparatus works… She has an unusual ability for taking the most complicated concepts and turning them into simple nuggets of information that you can immediately use.

Prior to her Pilates life, Shari performed in musical theater. A successful singer, dancer and actress, she performed across the stages and screens of the world. Her Pilates practice and education began in NYC during the last 6 months of a 1.5 year period of physical therapy in her recovery from partial paralysis. You can read about her story From Paralysis to Pilates here: PDF. Once Shari found her passion for Pilates had overtaken her love of performing, she started The Vertical Workshop.

Though Shari’s Pilates vocabulary is classical with Romana Kryzanowska training her to be a Pilates teacher and then as the Power Pilates Director of West Coast Education and Lead Teacher Trainer for many years, Shari firmly believes that all styles of Pilates can give rise to effective work! We all share the same goals for our clients even if the way we get there is different. She does not support the conflicts between the different styles in Pilates. Shari works to create what she calls “A Community of Help” that crosses over the divisions of style.

Shari Berkowitz working with a Pilates client

About The Vertical Workshop

The Vertical Workshop as a brick and mortar studio opened in Beverly Hills, CA in 2004. Shari owned and operated it running a teacher training program alongside the studio’s regular client workouts. The Vertical Workshop’s blog, The Pilates Teacher Blog, launched in 2008. In 2010, Shari closed the studio to move back to NYC (romance was calling). That is when The Vertical Workshop took to the road and the internet. 

The Vertical Workshop thrives around the world in the many teachers who take continuing education workshops and webinars, sessions and classes in-person, live-stream or recordings, read The Pilates Teacher Blog and now train in The Vertical Workshop Comprehensive Teacher Training and Bridge Program. Wherever you are in the world, you can always access the education you need and desire.

The Vertical Workshop is shared by some of the greatest and dearest teachers in the world. Join us as we continually work to learn and share…and have a good time while doing it! We take the work seriously, of course, but we do not take ourselves too seriously!

This past June, we wrapped up another round of Pilates Reformer Instructor Training at MOVE. Think an hour-long intermediate or advanced reformer class is challenging? Try back-to-back days of reformer work with a little intensive academic study mixed in!

Despite the challenge, our most recent cohort of reformer instructors jumped into their straps feet first and showcased the commitment to teaching movement that you’ve come to know and love from each and every MOVE team member.

Below are some highlights from this summer’s training.

Interested in giving Pilates a try with the support of one of these smiling, movement-obsessed faces? Get started today by signing up for an introductory session.

Already a Pilates fanatic and thinking about a career change? Check out our instructor training program and submit a contact form today!

Stephanie Oldre started the MOVE instructor training program in 2017 after falling in love with Pilates and what it did for her body. That same year, she had x-rays taken of her back showing hyperlordosis, an exaggerated curve of the lumbar spine. Two years later, she’s celebrating a new and very different image of her lower back and putting her love of Pilates into practice on behalf of her clients.

From diving, swimming and weight-lifting to Pilates

Stephanie first fell in love with fitness and working out as a swimmer and diver in high school. She practiced twice per day and was encouraged to lift weights two to three times per week. She recalls, “We were encouraged to lift heavy, and I built up quite a bit of muscle. But stretching was never really taught or prioritized.”

During her time diving, Stephanie ended up hyperextending her back while attempting a reverse dive, which resulted in some lower back pain. She was able to get some massage therapy but otherwise maintained her usual workouts and continued to lift weights beyond high school.

Pilates, pregnancy and weight gain

In 2008, Stephanie had her first child through cesarean section. And over the course of the pregnancy, she gained an unexpected amount of weight. At 5 feet 2 inches tall, she had started her pregnancy at 130 pounds. At the time of delivery, she was 205 pounds, going down to 185 pounds shortly after. 

“I had never been overweight before and this was really hard for me to deal with. I didn’t recognize myself in the mirror.”

While Stephanie did slowly lose the extra weight through returning to everyday activities like walking and waitressing, she quickly noticed that she’d also lost much of the strength she once had.

Around the time her son turned three-years-old, Stephanie joined a gym. But this time she had an interest in toning her body rather than simply building muscle, and heard that Pilates was the thing to do.

A passion for Pilates practice and efficient exercise

Stephanie was hooked from her very first Pilates experience. She practiced Mat Pilates regularly and saw differences in her body she’d never seen before.

“I fell in love. It felt as if I had core strength for the first time ever. Which is nuts considering I’d been so active with weight lifting in the past,” she says. “I was going to the gym just twice a week for Pilates and some cardio and ended up being my smallest size and lightest weight ever.”

Early on during Stephanie’s Pilates work, her instructor Ginger noted what a natural she was at it and suggested she might consider becoming an instructor herself. Stephanie, despite loving this new experience, had to laugh. With a young child and a very necessary full-time paycheck from her traditional desk job, it just didn’t seem feasible. 

“Over the years, Ginger continued to encourage me to look into it. She could tell how much I loved it. But I continued to laugh it off as a dream idea.”

Deciding to become a Pilates instructor

Five years after the birth of her first son, Stephanie had a second child. And after a brief interruption to her new favorite fitness routine, Stephanie found her way back to Pilates and added some weight training back into her routine as well. But something still felt off.

“After I went back to work after maternity leave, it never felt right,” she remembers. “I was always wishing that I could somehow work a more flexible schedule so that I could be home with my kids. But when you have a good job with good money and benefits, that’s hard to do.”

However, Stephanie and her husband eventually decided that a change was doable and it was time for something else. And it didn’t take long for her to realize exactly what that something else should be.

Stephanie went back to her Pilates instructor and asked about next steps. Ginger sent her to Elaine Economou at MOVE Wellness, where she was able to join the new instructor training class. “I loved mat Pilates and loved helping people, but I didn’t know anything about Reformer or other equipment. I suddenly realized I had all these new tools at my disposal for helping people. It was intense and a great learning experience.”

That passion for learning and helping others was also evident to Elaine. “It was obvious Stephanie would make a great trainer. She told me this story about helping her father-in-law develop a fitness routine that eventually improved his health.”

Lower back pain, tight muscles and the lumbar spine

Over the course of Stephanie’s instructor training, she noticed some lower back pain and tightness, which she’d experienced for much of her life but had always dismissed as “normal.” But working through and analyzing posture during her training helped her see just how tight her lower back really was.

And Elaine noticed the same thing. “Stephanie was strong. But she had extremely tight hamstrings, hips, lower back and shoulders. Her erector spinae muscles, which run along either side of your spine, were really tight and that made it difficult for her to articulate her spine and get balanced movement.”

The same year that Stephanie began her training at MOVE, she started seeing a chiropractor who took x-rays of her spine that confirmed exactly what they had been seeing during her posture analysis in Pilates. 

“I was only a little surprised to see that my tailbone was practically parallel to the floor.” But Stephanie knew that she now had the knowledge and tools at her disposal to do something about it.

From lordosis and a desk job to Pilates powerhouse

The bright side to Stephanie’s lordosis diagnosis was that she had the power to change it. Elaine notes, “I think that Stephanie’s lordosis was probably always there, but that her muscular imbalance and tense tissue, compounded by several years sitting at a desk job, gradually pulled her lumbar spine into a deeper curve.”

During her instructor training, Stephanie diligently chipped away at the tightness and tension she’d developed and brought balanced movement back to her body. She worked on integrating smaller muscles into stabilization, mobilizing her spine, and ultimately lengthening her back and relieving tension on those larger back muscles.

“For Stephanie, it truly was as simple as doing the exercises in a way that she could actually feel her body moving the way it was supposed to. Once she did that, her dedication and consistent practice took her the rest of the way,” says Elaine.

Stephanie had a clear, new goal. Stretch out that lower back and correct the degree of her lordotic curve using the Pilates principles from her training. She worked hard for the next year and noticed an increase in flexibility and mobility. She could sit up tall on her sitz bone without having to bend her knees and could feel the difference in the reach of her spine during certain stretches.

New spine x-rays and a new Pilates trainer

In April 2019, Stephanie went back to her chiropractor and had new x-rays taken of her back. The images spoke for themselves. The extreme curve to her lower back had been corrected. “I am living proof of what Pilates can do. And more important, I now know how to help other people with the same issues and can confidently say, “Yes, I CAN help you with that!”

For Stephanie, making a difference for her clients by helping them be more mobile and pain-free is the best part of her new job. And she’ll be the first one to tell you that experiencing limited mobility in her own body helps her relate to what others are going through. 

“My favorite thing about teaching Pilates is knowing that I’m making a difference in so many lives. Hearing stories of what they can do now and what they weren’t able to do before. That never gets old.”

Elaine agrees that Stephanie’s own experience paved the way for a bright future in teaching and healing. “Stephanie really came to this work enjoying it in her body and with a desire to help others. She realized during instructor training that she could actually unravel her own unique postural issues. That, to me, is a great pathway to becoming a trainer.”

Consistent Pilates practice can heal your body

One of the biggest takeaways from Stephanie’s experience is that consistent Pilates practice with the help of a supportive, knowledgeable trainer can have a life-changing impact on your fitness. Having that set of expert eyes on your body and working toward relieving pain and increasing mobility, rather than just treating symptoms, sets the stage for aging well.

Recently, Stephanie was asked if she had a favorite Pilates exercise or apparatus. And true to form, her love of all things Pilates made it impossible to decide.

“There are so many good ones. I love the versatility of the Reformer and the challenge involved with chair exercises. Oblique work on the chair is awesome. Feet-in-straps on the reformer is just the best. But I love mat work. It’s what I first fell in love with and nothing can replace that. Side-lying leg work on the mat gets me every time.”

Ready to bring out the best in your own body? Find out what Pilates can do for your own fitness and health needs today.

Teach From The Heart is a weekend intensive experience that fuses movement, meditation, reflection and writing to reignite your passion for your own practice, and help you grow as an instructor.

A unique professional development experience for Pilates, Yoga, GYROTONIC® and other movement instructors

As movement instructors, we engage in continuing education and professional development all the time. But how often do we get a chance to step away from anatomy and physiology and prioritize our own personal and professional selves? How often do we get to step back and ask:

  • What does your professional future hold for you? 
  • How do you sustain your energy and avoid burnout while working tirelessly on behalf of your clients? 
  • Who are you meant to work with and how do you find and connect with those people?

Celebrate Pilates Day this spring by carving out some space to celebrate yourself and all that you hope to become. Join Jenna Zaffino at MOVE Wellness for Teach from the Heart, a special teacher immersion experience focused on the things we never have time for but wish we did.

Workshop Schedule

Saturday, May 4, 9 am – 5 pm

Sunday, May 5, 9am – 4 pm

Location: MOVE Wellness, 2058 South State Street, Ann Arbor, Michigan

Cost: $525

Two-day workshop participants receive 14 Pilates Method Alliance CECs.

To register for the event or get more info:

Call us at 734-761-2306 or email office@movewellness.com

Pilates UNFILTERED podcast recording at 7 pm on Saturday

Teach from the Heart participants will also have the option to join Jenna for a free LIVE recording of her Pilates UNFILTERED podcast on Saturday evening. This unique experience offers you the opportunity to connect with the community and get in on the discussions that matter to us most.

Movement and career coaching with Jenna Zaffino

The course celebrates the very best of Jenna’s work in movement and career coaching. During the retreat, you’ll take a deep dive into your identity and growth as as teacher, methods for navigating the inevitable bumps in the road, and opportunities for further personal and professional development after you’ve been at it with this beautiful work for so many years. We’ll move, explore, plan and create together to empower you as you head toward the next part of your journey.

This course sets you up to share the teaching voice you’ve been waiting to speak with, work with the clients who are excited and willing to take this journey with you, and build a business that supports your gifts as a movement professional.

We hope you’ll celebrate the coming of spring and yourself with us during this special event!

To learn more about Jenna and see a sample workshop schedule, visit the Teach from the Heart page.

Interested in becoming a Pilates or GYROTONIC® instructor? Explore the 2019 Instructor Training course offerings at MOVE Wellness today.

Meet Sammy Hart, Our Newest Pilates Graduate

  You may recognize Sammy – she’s been teaching yoga at MOVE Wellness for more than three years. She has recently expanded her movement knowledge even further by taking the MOVE Pilates Instructor Training course, and is now a MOVE Pilates Trainer. Find out more about Sammy below!
“I’ve been at MOVE for about 3.5 years and have been teaching yoga for 6. This past year I took a bit of a hiatus to go traveling with my husband which was more amazing than any photo could capture. Returning back to Ann Arbor I find myself once again in the role of student as I finish up my Pilates Reformer course. Pilates has both humbled and inspired me as a movement educator, and I look forward to teaching it. I am curious by nature and find myself in constant studentship whether that’s diving deeper into yoga and pilates, or different modalities of movement. I am fiercely independent, love to travel, eat, and drink good wine… it’s all about balance.”
  CLICK HERE to schedule an appointment with Sammy.

This content has been updated January 9, 2020.

We are thrilled to share this inspiring three-part series by MOVE Wellness Studios Trainer Tony Brutz. Enjoy Part 3 below. You can click here to read Part 1 and Part 2.

February 2016 was the first weekend of the Mat training program. There were eight other students with me in the class. We all staked out a spot on the floor…Wait… There is something I forgot to mention. Before the classes started a few of the MOVE Wellness Studios trainers mentioned that a lot of information would come at me all at once. It may be overwhelming at first, but just hang in there don’t panic. Then one day everything will just click. Ok, now back to the first weekend… Our trainer for the Mat class was Aimee. She was and is a fantastic trainer. I mean this lady really knows her stuff. We started getting into everything right away. Quickly I realized why the trainers gave me the heads up. It was a lot of data to process in a short time. I mean I was getting new terms thrown at me left and right: Patella, vasti, concentrically, eccentrically. Transversus abdominis? Isn’t that a character from Greek mythology? All of us in the class left that weekend a little shell-shocked. Even though I was warned and told not to panic, well guess what happened. That’s right. I panicked. What did I get myself into? I can’t do this! How can I get out of this? How do I tell everyone at MOVE Wellness Studios? I will never be able to walk into MOVE Wellness Studios again. The world is coming to an end and I never did find out who shot JR. Yep, not one of my finer moments. I took a deep breath and collected myself and after a quick internet search I found out that it was Mary Crosby’s character of Kristin that shot JR. Hope I didn’t spoil that for anyone. That night I decided to just sleep on it and see how I felt the next day.

When I got up the next morning I was feeling a little less overwhelmed. I just remembered what I was told and decided to keep on keeping on. As the weekends went on, it started to get a little bit easier. Then one day, it started to click. Not that I was great, but it all started to make more sense. I even learned what transverus abdominis meant. Hint, it’s not a character from Greek mythology. Once I started practice teaching and observing other trainers it started to click even more. That moment of fear after the first weekend could have derailed everything. Lucky for me I didn’t have to go it alone. I had a great group of classmates that were going through the same experience. Add the MOVE Wellness Studios staff and I had a pretty awesome support group.

So, about one year after starting the training program, I am an instructor at MOVE Wellness Studios. I am enjoying the teaching I have been doing thus far and I am so looking forward to what the future has to bring. This last year has been great, even when things were tough it was still fun. Not that everything went smoothly. The training took up so much time that I began to neglect my own health. I fell back into some bad habits and they started to add up. Then those negative thoughts began to show their ugly heads. It took some time to pull myself back up and get back on track. I had to look back to that December day in 2014 and try to remind myself why I started this whole journey. Of course trying to lead a healthy life was a huge reason. Then something hit me, something I thought about even back in 2014. It was not just that I needed to treat myself better, but that I deserved to treat myself better. I know that may sound funny, but think about that for a minute. Sure we try to eat healthy and exercise, which is great, but how often do we treat ourselves the way we should? We forgive others when they make mistakes, but how often do we forgive ourselves for ours? We give compliments to family, friends, heck sometimes even strangers. You’re so talented, intelligent, kind, beautiful, and creative. How often though do we say those things to ourselves? How often do we give ourselves credit for our own accomplishments? It is one thing I think many people neglect to do for themselves. It suddenly dawned on me that I was neglecting doing it for myself. I would focus on my faults but never give myself the credit I deserved. It was about time I started treating myself with that kind of caring and respect. We all fall sometimes. We just need to stop beating up ourselves over it and get right back up.

Just MOVE Wellness Studios

So, why did I decide to become a trainer? That is a brilliant question that deserves an equally brilliant answer, but I will give you my answer instead. I can sum up why I became a trainer in one word; MOVE Wellness Studios…That’s it, just MOVE Wellness Studios…OK fine, I’ll elaborate. What Elaine and Robin have created with MOVE Wellness Studios is wonderful. The staff at MOVE Wellness Studios is a great reflection of the values that they hold. I told you I would explain the reason I name dropped throughout this post. All the trainers that I mentioned earlier were the ones teaching when I first started at MOVE Wellness Studios. Not only were they incredible at what they did, but also they were compassionate, caring, encouraging, and supportive. Along with Elaine and Robin, they helped me accomplish so much more than I would have ever thought when I first started this journey. To all of you wonderful ladies, thank you so much for your encouragement and support. You all were the main inspiration for me wanting to become a trainer. The first day of class we had to go around and introduce ourselves and tell everyone what we hoped to do with everything we learn during the training. I said, “I hoped to be for others what MOVE Wellness Studios has been for me.” I want to help others achieve their goals and now I am getting to do that. I am so glad I decided to do the training and would recommend it to anyone. Do I have any advice for anyone who may sign up for the training in the future? Why yes, I do. My advice would be this, to quote Douglas Adams, “DON’T PANIC!”

Tony Brutz teaches Gentle Pilates class at MOVE Wellness Studios on Tuesdays at 6:00PM. He is also available for private sessions.

About the MOVE Comprehensive Pilates Instructor Training Program

If you have ever considered Pilates as a career or as an enhancement to your current profession, we invite you to join us January 15, 2020 at 6:30PM for Talk and Train. This open studio event will offer you a preview of the MOVE Instructor Training Program. Come get your questions answered and see for yourself what the MOVE Instructor Training Program is all about. If you can’t make the event, you can also schedule a free 15-Minute Consultation with one of our Instructor Trainers. Get started on your own journey today!


This content has been updated January 9, 2020.

We are thrilled to share this inspiring three-part series by MOVE Wellness Studios Trainer Tony Brutz about his journey from running his first 5K to becoming a certified Pilates Instructor.  Enjoy Part 2 below, and click here to read Part 1. 

MOVE Wellness Studios wasn’t like any other gym or studio I have seen or visited. The studio was warm and welcoming. Instantly I felt like this could be a place I could workout and feel comfortable. The first question I asked was, “Is this place just for women or do men workout here as well?” The staff at the front desk assured me that men do in fact workout at MOVE Wellness Studios. I continued to ask questions and one of the trainers, Rochelle, was able to help answer them. It quickly became apparent that the people at MOVE Wellness Studios are just as warm and welcoming as you would expect. After that meeting, I signed up for a package of private sessions with Rochelle and my Pilates adventure was about to begin.

My first session was approaching. That stupid self doubt started to creep up. I can’t do this. What was I thinking? They are going think I am an idiot. Rochelle made me feel instantly at ease. There was no judgment. I felt like I had her full attention for the entire session. She was really paying attention to me, to what I needed and my goals. I was doing an AB prep exercise, and when I finished the first rep she asked, “Did you feel tension in your neck?” I thought to myself, yes, yes I did feel tension in my neck. How did she know that? She must be a mind reader. Well, maybe not a mind reader, but she just really knew what she was doing. The sessions went so well that I decided to get a membership to try the different classes.

The first class I took with a different trainer was the men’s class. Since I was the new guy, the instructor spent a little extra time with me to make sure I was using proper form and able to follow along with the class. Then I took a reformer class with Davy. Just like the other trainers, Davy spent time making sure proper form was being used with everyone in the class. With each new class, I got to work with many of the other instructors: Lauren, Nicole, Shannon, Sammy, Elaine, Jane, and Julie. The one thing that stuck out was that all of them are amazing. I know I named dropped a lot here but there is a reason for it but we will get to that later. After just four months at MOVE Wellness Studios, I decided to become a trainer.

Me…A Pilates Trainer?!

One day Elaine mentioned that they were going to do an instructor training course that coming February. I asked her if anyone could take the class or was it just for people who already had training experience. She told me that anyone could and asked me if I was thinking about taking the training. When I told her that I was thinking about it, she leaned over the front counter where we were having the conversation and said, “I would love to have a male instructor here.” That’s nice, I wonder who she has…Wait! …What? Did she just offer me a chance to teach at MOVE Wellness Studios? No, she couldn’t have been talking about me. I was thinking about just getting information for myself to maybe help out friends and family if I felt comfortable. It turns out she was talking about me. Our conversation went on for about an hour. At the end, she had me thinking about the possibility of teaching.

Shortly after my talk with Elaine, I had a session with Rochelle. During the session I told her that I was thinking of taking the training. To be honest I was still unsure about what Elaine had said about giving me a chance to teach at MOVE Wellness Studios (sorry, Elaine). I just wasn’t used to having anyone have that kind of confidence in me. It meant so much to have someone offer that kind of support. I mean I’ve only been doing Pilates for four months. Why would she give me a chance after only four months? Rochelle told me that if Elaine says it she means it, and also gave me her thumbs up as well. As the other trainers found out about me taking the training they all gave me their full support. I am telling you this part of the story because the support from this group of people is amazing. That support was a big part of me being able to get through the training.

Click here to continue reading Part 3.

Tony Brutz teachers Gentle Pilates class at MOVE Wellness Studios on Tuesdays at 6:00PM. He is also available for private sessions.

About the MOVE Comprehensive Pilates Instructor Training Program

If you have ever considered Pilates as a career or as an enhancement to your current profession, we invite you to join us January 15, 2020 at 6:30PM for Talk and Train. This open studio event will offer you a preview of the MOVE Instructor Training Program. Come get your questions answered and see for yourself what the MOVE Instructor Training Program is all about. If you can’t make the event, you can also schedule a free 15-Minute Consultation with one of our Instructor Trainers. Get started on your own journey today!