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Two Fitness Truths I’ve Learned After Teaching for 20 Years

This year marks my 20th year teaching and working in fitness.

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Since the age of four, I’ve always been involved with movement. From the very beginning of my childhood, I was drawn to body movement and quickly realized that I wanted it to become a primary part of my life. At the age of 13, I assisted my teachers teaching dance and movement, which has given me the fundamental base of knowledge about the body and alignment. I’ve taught Pilates since 2002, opened my first studio in London in 2005. Soon after, I completed a 2-year Shiatsu course which introduced me to Cranial Sacral Therapy, ultimately leading me to earning a degree in 2015.

In 2019, I began a five-year journey in studying Osteopathy at the Switzerland International College of Osteopathy. Fast forward to today – I’m a licensed movement therapist (PMA-CPT & Cranial Sacral Therapist), based in California and founder of Movement Integration. With my wellness company, I combine Pilates, dance, Fasica in Motion, and Cranial Sacral Therapy to teach individuals to move their bodies.

To mark my 20th year in the field, here are two fitness truths that I’ve learned. While these two realisms are things, I’ve learned teaching in front of the class, I’ve also been an avid participant for just as many years. These two lessons will hold true whether you are the teacher or participant and are generally good principles that can apply outside the fitness industry as well.

One fitness truth I’ve learned throughout my teaching career, is the simplicity of a cross-legged stretch. This is very much focused on the basics of movement which one should never be overlooked. For those who wish to move their body well throughout all phases of life, a cross-legged stretch helps advance one’s range of motion. As we grow older, our muscular system grows weaker which leads to imbalances. Our body loves variety – moving in and out of different positions, including sitting cross-legged, is beneficial for maintaining range of motion in the knee, hip joint and to stretch the lower back.

The second fitness truth I’ve learned is simple but something I’ve always followed throughout my career and will continue to follow: you have to keep moving. The body is designed to move – as it improves body functions, promoting both physical and mental health. Movement seems like the simplest thing in the world – but it’s critical to incorporate movement into our lives.

Continuous movement while working the whole-body improves motor control, muscle suppleness, myofascial continuities as well as coordination. Exercises flowing from one to the other can build better flexibility and warm up your body for any high-impact activities. Engaging your body and your mind can be a great source of therapy, especially as we continue to walk through life.

Remember – wellness is an ever-evolving industry with ever-changing norms, but over the decades of transformation, the above, fundamental truths, have allowed me to enjoy the beauty of movement but has continued to fuel my desire for it.

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