Educator Highlight : Misty Woodden

I am a Licensed Physical Therapist Assistant, Certified Pilates Instructor, and Certified Kinesiotaper. I graduated as a PTA in 2004 and began working for Diamond Peak Physical Therapy. I am a Colorado native and enjoy hiking and running with my dog Champ, traveling, taking Spanish classes and of course doing Pilates! I love my job and enjoy learning. I have been able to enhance my clinical skills by taking continuing education classes. Some of my favorites have been myofascial release, muscle energy techniques, manual therapy of the spine, kinesiotaping and, the one that I am most passionate about, Pilates. I began my Pilates training in 2008. I chose the Polestar method, as it is taught by Physical Therapists and draws on the sciences of anatomy, physiology, biomechanics and motor control. I quickly discovered that Physical Therapy and Pilates truly compliment one another and have been merging the philosophy and teachings of both to improve function and well being of my patients and clients.

– Misty Woodden PTA, PMA®-CPT

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

MW: The joy of teaching is in seeing the excitement as a new movement or concept is understood by the client or student.  I enjoy being a part of that journey. I took my Polestar comprehensive training in Denver, CO.  I was fortunate to have two wonderful educators, Lise Stolze and Pamela Turner.  I was honored to mentor under Pamela, Lise, and later on Dannielle Holder.

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

MW: Two of my inspirations are Runity and the Oov.  These two trainings align with the Polestar principles and have given me new avenues to explore movement and enhanced my rehab “toolbox.”  Runity has given me assessment and teaching tools to not only help my clients with their running, but has also improved my own running.  It has also made me more conscious of being varied and spontaneous in movements and approaching exercise more playfully.  After the Runity program, my husband and I started entering Xterra competitions. I have kept my focus mostly on the trail running events, and I am enjoying running more than I ever have! The Oov has been equally inspirational.  The emphasis on eccentric control using the Oov has proved to be very effective in being able to create new motor patterns.  It has also been awesome in several of my clients’ home programs.  

Why Pilates?  How did you find the practice?

MW: I found Pilates through my work in Physical Therapy.  I took a Lumbar stabilization course as continuing education.  We learned a handful of what turned out to be basic Pilates exercises.  These exercises were effective with my clients, but I soon found myself asking “what do I do with my patient after they have mastered these exercises?”  In my search for Pilates teacher training programs, I came across Polestar.  The incorporation of science and critical thinking in their training program made me choose their course.

What do you hope to convey in your teaching?

MW: The joy of movement.  More important than what you call the movement that you like to do, i.e.: pilates, yoga, running, biking, kayaking etc, it’s the simple fact of moving and enjoying yourself in the process.  I hope my teaching inspires the desire to get the body moving, appreciating the many different ways we are able to move, challenging the body and also not taking it for granted or feeling the need to punish it.  

Where would you love to vacation?

MW: Ohh too many places to list!  I enjoy travel, whether within beautiful CO or abroad.  I recently went to Cuba and immensely enjoyed the people, geography, and learning the differences and similarities of our ways of life.  Wherever I travel, I find myself preferring to be outside and exploring the terrain, rather than in the city.

What is your favorite quote?  How do you embody or apply this?

MW: Many quotes have inspired me at different points in my life.  So many, in fact, that I have a notebook full of them.  On a day when I need a little motivation or reminder of how I want to live my life, I can flip through the pages and read the words of some great minds. 

Two of my long time favorites are:

“Physical fitness is the first requisite of happiness.  Our interpretation of physical fitness is the attainment and maintenance of a uniformly developed body with a sound mind fully capable of naturally, easily, and satisfactorily performing our many and varied daily tasks with spontaneous zest and pleasure.”  -Joseph Pilates

I partly love this quote because of the word zest.  Such a great word!  This quote reminds me of the connection between my mind and body and the ability to find joy in our everyday movements and tasks.

“A true sign of intelligence is not knowledge but imagination.”  -Albert Einstein

This quote reminds me that I don’t need to know the answers to everything, but to use curiosity as a guide to problem solving.

Describe your movement style.

MW: Thoughtful, varied, and playful.

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

MW: I am blessed to have so much beautiful equipment to work with at our clinic, so many options of ways to support or challenge every movement.  I have a lot fun with the equipment, but I love the mat.  I enjoy the simplicity and accessibility that the mat provides. 

What are you reading or learning about?

MW: Just finished reading Spark: The Revolutionary New Science of Exercise and the Brain.  As if I didn’t think running was great already, this book looks at the physiology of exercise, in particular cardiovascular, on the brain, and learning.  Great read. Things I am learning:  the Spanish language (poco a poco!) and how to mountain bike.

Polestar Educator Misty Woodden

Become a Pilates Instructor in Denver with Misty this January 2022

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