What is your movement history?
I have been dancing my whole life. I started dancing when I was 3 years old.
What was your first experience of Yoga and Pilates?
When I was 16 I took some yoga classes as a way to cross train for dance but I felt a lot of strain in my low back and my joints so I stopped going. There was not enough attention on how to move in and out of the postures and this exacerbated my scoliosis.
I had a much better experience with Pilates. As a dance major at Adelphi University, I was required to take weekly Pilates classes starting my freshman year. We had a lot of individualized attention. Learning about the purpose and the alignment of each of the exercises helped me to grasp the concept of “working from the inside out” by engaging my deep abdominals.
It wasn’t so much that Pilates was better than Yoga, it was the difference in how they were taught that made an impact on my body. I like to understand the intricacies and the intention of the movement so that I’m fully informed about the workout. That’s why I love ANYA. Everything is very precise and purposeful. All of the ANYA classes leave you feeling energized rather than fatigued, activating muscles without straining them.
How did you find ANYA?
I found ANYA through my friend, Sasha, who was raving about the studio. She hosted an AntiGravity® Birthday class, I came and was instantly hooked. I not only loved the AntiGravity® hammocks but the whole vibe of the space. As soon as you walk off the elevator there’s a calm that comes over you. It’s not like any other studio I had ever been to, especially in the city. It just felt like a place where I wanted to spend time. Soon after, I signed up for the AntiGravity® FUNdamentals Training with Laura Colon and then did the ANYA Pilates Mat certification and am currently working on my ANYA Pilates Equipment certification, too.
What do you like the most about the ANYA Method?
I like that it’s a full body method and workout. It’s not just exercise. You’ll definitely sweat but it’s more about connecting the mind and body to increase core strength and improve alignment. And it’s not just about the workout. For every strength exercise there is a healing or restorative element that keep the body balanced. No matter which class you take on the schedule, you’ll enhance self-preservation.
Even as a dancer, someone who’s spent her whole life focused on movement, I am much more connected to my body because of ANYA. For example, I recently took a hiatus from dancing and was curious to see what my transition back would feel like, given my work with the ANYA method. My first ballet class felt great and I attribute that ease to the time I have put into ANYA working on the details of my alignment. Even though I hadn’t been to a ballet class in 6 months, many of the different quirks in my body that previously hindered my movement were less a factor than they had been before.
Which ANYA techniques have made the most impact on your body?
“Empty” is such a powerful phrase. It’s all about the empty! I am continually deepening my connection with my core strength. Also, I ground my feet no matter where I am. And, “Engage the ribs” is a big one for me. I have a tendency to splay my ribs so learning how to contract the front of the ribcage has helped me a lot, especially with my scoliosis.
What classes do you currently teach? What do you love the most about teaching?
I teach AntiGravity® FUNdamentals and ANYA Pilates Mat. I love sharing this method because it’s helped me so much in my personal practice. It is challenging when I want it to be and healing when I need it to be. I think that duality is so powerful. I hope to see my students cultivate more strength in their body and more ease in their life. I feel there’s something special about the way the ANYA classes are designed because it changes the way people think about their movement. By increasing body awareness, we improve our overall efficiency and become better equipped to carry ourselves throughout the day and ultimately our lives.