Graduate Highlight : Justin Shipley

On Pilates and Martial arts:
I was a wreck when I found Pilates, and thus the name @shipwreckpilates ! I had been in pain all day, every day for a couple years at that point. After a year plus of daily Pilates, stretching and as much Rolfing as I could manage, I started to feel strong in my back again. I had studied a little kick boxing as a teenager and had always wanted to get back into it. I found a local teacher I really liked (Jeet Kune Do), so during my Polestar education I started training a little martial arts in my free time too. I was having fun working at both and loved getting in to the little details that really make Pilates and martial arts effective. It’s all based on similar body science and we share many exercises. It helped me to really see how Joe, Clara, and many people since have refined and expanded the exercises that they found around them into what we know as the Pilates method today. I hope I can continue bringing together the Martial arts family and the Pilates family; we have a lot to share with each other.  Happy training! – Justin

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

JS: I really enjoy the gratification I get from helping my clients achieve goals and just feel better when they are out and about in the world. I am lucky enough to live in the same town as Roxanna Cohen of The Pilates Place in Grass Valley CA, so I trained in her studio and now work for her also.

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

JS: I get most of my inspiration in the studio. The Pilates Place is a great melting pot of ideas and teaching styles. Plus, working for Roxanna is like continuing education 24/7! I spend a lot of time at home rolling around on the mat, exploring small movements and variations of exercises; I get some good insights when I put in the time to play.

Why Pilates?  How did you find the practice? 

JS: I found Pilates through back pain! I had a bulging L4/L5 that was giving me nerve pain down both legs due to an old construction injury that I thought might never heal. Thanks to the one-two punch of daily Pilates and as much Rolfing as I could afford, I was able to get my life back.

What do you hope to convey in your teaching?

JS: I want people to know that they can always improve their quality of life. Whatever physical issues you’re dealing with can be improved with a good Pilates regime, if not completely fixed. I want my clients to leave class feeling confident that they can go play hard and continue to do the things they love.

Where would you love to vacation? 

JS: I’m a bit of a beach bum when given the chance. Some day I look forward to running a Pilates studio near a good surf break and training martial arts in the evening. I would call that paradise!!!

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

JS: “Out d air to in d air.” Lately I’ve playing with breathing patterns, finding times in mermaid stretch for example to breathe in to problematic, tight areas and deepen the stretch to facilitate a little extra mobility in the spine and rib cage.

Describe your movement style:

JS: Slow it down!!! I took a “Systema” class and the teacher had us do a one minute push-up, 30s’ down and 30s’ up, and I got stuck at about 45. I had been using momentum in my push-ups and was “skipping” over a weak spot. So, I’ve been trying to get my clients to be aware of relying on momentum and to move slowly and deliberately.

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

JS: Mixing in the Oov on the Reformer with the Konnector set-up has been the most challenging combo of toys that I have played with, and I’m now a convert to both!

Polestar Practitioner Justin Shipley

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  1. You made some great information here. I’ll try and follow your site because you have most definately shown me a couple of important things man. Peace and blessing!!

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