Educator Highlight : Katrina Hawley

What do you love about teaching Pilates and owning a studio?  Where did you take your training and who was the educator?

I suppose you want something more specific than everything!  I love how versatile Pilates is.  I have taught an eight-year-old child Pilates, and I have taught folks who are in their nineties.  The method has such variation and diversity that a Pilates teacher can reach any population.  And, even better, as a person’s movement world grows and develops, the method grows with them.   

Pilates is so varied that there is a challenge for any body, and as I continue to practice I love that I can continue to challenge my own body by simply progressing the method…it makes the possibilities infinite.

What do you love about owning a studio?

I find myself spending a lot of time thinking about the kind of community I want to create.  I go to work everyday in my own playground and I find that spectacular. Together my business partner and I have created a space that honors the individuality of each person.  I also find joy in the continued creative care that it takes to keep a studio current.  We are constantly reviewing the latest research, learning the newest marketing skills, and continuing to grow as individuals.

I did the Polestar Pilates Comprehensive series in 2006 with Nelly Lugo.  She’s amazing! 

What are your current inspirations?   What do you love about them?

Right now I am slightly obsessed with the idea of finding a work-life balance and living life outside of the theoretical (like moving my own body as much or even more than I teach others to move).  I am so excited about motor control, and I geek out about neuroscience and systems theory.  Somebody once suggested that I find a hobby because I work “too” much.  This person was not wrong, but the thought of finding another hobby that is as satisfying as my work seemed a little daunting. I have settled on making all of my food from scratch and coloring every page in Netter’s neuroscience coloring book.  I mentioned these new hobbies to my partner and he said, “Well that is wonderfully nerdy!” 

I am inspired by geekiness and am so grateful to live and work in a community where that is honored and even considered heroic.

Why Pilates?  How did you find the practice? 

I was a dancer and Pilates was my “day job.”  Then when my dance career evolved (I avoid the phrase, “when I retired”)  I wanted to find a way to make Pilates more interesting.  I needed to bring the creativity and art of the rehearsal process to the teaching.  And what a journey it’s been.  I love that my background in dance is reaching a wider population.  I love the idea that information my body has had since I was six years old is helpful in how it informs my intuition when I am teaching others.  I love that I have found a way to make every session new.

What do you hope to convey in your teaching? 

We can’t be kind to others if we are not first kind to ourselves; that error is the pathway to learning; that I have yet to see the ideal posture on an actual living human being; and that every body is perfect.

Where would you love to vacation?

Costa Rica.  I have been obsessed with sloths since I was getting certified in Laban Movement Analysis and one of our assignments was to go to the zoo, observe the movement qualities of an animal and create a movement piece that is inspired by that animal.  I spent the entire four hours watching a sloth move about six feet on a tree branch.  I was mesmerized by the constant unending motion.  There is a sloth sanctuary in Costa Rica.

What is your favorite quote?  How do you live and embody this?

“My mother told me to be a lady. And for her, that meant be your own person, be independent.” -Ruth Bader Ginsburg

RBG is my hero in so many ways.  I embody this quote as I vote, advocate, and teach.  Each person is independent in thought and that creativity should be honored.

Describe your movement style:

I love to move big and wide and to ride the momentum of my fascia.  My nephew characterized my movement with those words when I was geeking out to him about the fascial system.  My challenge is to move in a manner that is controlled and contained around my center.  My life’s goal is to balance the joy of flying with the accomplishment of control.

What is your favorite apparatus or favorite way to move? What do you love about it?

This changes from week to week… Right now I’m having a slight love affair with the ladder barrel and its support in spine movement.

What are you reading or learning about?

Netter’s Neuroscience Coloring BookTherapeutic Neuroscience Education, and Body Respect are the three new books on my nightstand, and I am always working my way through one of the Harry Potter books. We are at the beginning of a revolution of changes in thinking, or maybe we’re in the middle of the revolution and I am just figuring it out… I never know.

Join Katrina in the Upcoming Comprehensive Pilates Teacher Training in Hadley, MA

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