Polestar Pilates Educator Highlight : Brad Jamieson

What do you love about teaching Pilates?

BJ: The most rewarding thing I find with my teaching is the feedback from clients.  When a client comes in and tells a story about how much better they are now compared to last year or last week, how their running times have decreased or injuries have disappeared… it makes it all worth while.  

My first ever client came to me in so much pain that she couldn’t complete a training session for basketball.  After one week she was back to full training, and after two weeks she managed a full game pain-free.  

It really reinforced how powerful Pilates can be and how we can make a really profound impact on people’s lives.

Where did you take your training and who was the educator? 

BJ: I took my training in Adelaide, South Australia under the tutelage of Jenni Guest and Kellie Miller, who I now work alongside as an educator. 

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

BJ: I am very scattered in my inspirations.  I can be inspired by a goal, a hobby, a really great educator or even a really passionate student.  I am currently trying to build back up to complete World’s Toughest Mudder (a 24 hour obstacle course race that has kicked my butt twice now), which is teaching me a lot about how amazing the body is, where our limits really are (a lot further out than we believe!), and how the body and mind are a complex system of interrelated influences.

Why Pilates?  How did you find the practice?

BJ: From the early 90’s into the mid 2000’s I was an elite-level athlete (Olympic level 400m runner) and was spending a lot of time at the physical therapist.  They heard about this new thing called “Pilates” and how it could build core strength, which was a focus of their practice.  They launched one of the first Pilates classes where I live and wanted athletes to be guinea pigs for the class, so I went along and fell in love.  

I would do a class and train straight afterwards, and I always felt better, so I became a convert!  

When they stopped the class, I started practicing (Pilates) at my athletics club, and my training partners joined in, then others, and before I knew it, I was a Pilates instructor!

What do you hope to convey in your teaching?

BJ: I want to convey the simplicity of movement.  I think movement in this era is being hijacked and branded so it can be sold.  Moving is just moving- arms, legs, spine.  It doesn’t need to be complex, or “wrong,” as long as it’s safe and effective.  We’ve been moving our human bodies for millions of years… we should innately know what we’re doing!  I feel there’s more benefit in someone having a positive experience of free movement than in building fear and blocking someone from moving. 

What’s your sporting background?

BJ: I was originally a “quick-sick” child, suffering from asthma and inner ear issues, but I was always doing some kind of sport- swimming (to help with lung capacity), surf life-saving (what Aussies call life guards), Australian rules football (google it!), athletics (as a 400m runner), and now obstacle racing.  I have been a multiple national champion as a beach sprinter and 400m runner and have held both the Australian and Irish national championship for 400m as an U20 runner.  At one stage I was world junior #1 ranked 400m runner.  I have also competed in World Junior, World Student, World Cup, Commonwealth Games, World Championships, and Olympics (2000 Sydney).  I am proud to say that I am an Olympic finalist from my run at the Sydney 2000 Games.  I now run obstacle races for fun and have completed a few 24 hour races.  Yes, 24 hours, very few stops.

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

BJ: While volunteering in Kenya, a volunteer asked a child how they could be so happy when they had so little.  

He replied “we’re happy… because we’re happy.”  

It is probably the most profound statement I have ever heard.  If I ever feel upset, I think of that little boy’s response and the simple way to control one’s own happiness, and everything is OK. 

Describe your movement style:

BJ: Flowing.  I have come to learn that if you fight yourself, block yourself, or fight what’s in your environment, you just make your job harder.  A good mover should look effortless.  You can see that in ballerinas, runners, and obstacle racers. They are effortless and working with the environment around them to be as efficient as possible. 

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

BJ: I began as a mat student, and I still love it more than anything else.  The ways to move are pretty limitless, and it’s a lot more challenging on the control of the body as a whole.

What are you reading or learning about?

BJ: I am currently learning about the brain, mind, and perception.  I have been on-and-off of this subject for a while and have been delving a little deeper recently.  Sometimes I think we work a lot on the body but forget that there is a brain and mind running the show.  It’s a bit like spending a lot of time building a great race car and putting someone without a license behind the wheel.  We need a good driver for our body to have a good overall outcome.

How does Pilates inform your profession?

BJ: Pilates is moving, moving is life… 

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