I am so so very happy to start this new series on my blog! Each month, I will be featuring a new individual who is part of the wellness world, as a way to shed light on all of the amazing people who are doing their part to help make the world a better place, and to make people feel their best. These people are following their passions, and are badass hard working, dedicated people. I’m so excited for the features I have planned so far for this year. If you are interested in having a feature done, please email me through my contact page, I’d love to have you here!
My very first feature is Mary Waterfield, a Classical Pilates instructor, (and, she’s also my sister too!) Check out our interview to learn more about Pilates and why Mary loves it so much.
Tell us who you are, and what it is that you do?
My name is Mary Waterfield and I am a Classical Pilates Instructor. The method of Pilates that I teach is most closely aligned with the founder Joseph Pilates original exercises he formulated in the early to mid 1900’s. To quickly sum up Pilates, the work that I teach is designed to tone and sculpt by body utilizing breath and proper alignment. This method will not only give you physical results, but Pilates can also be utilized to help clients through an array of physical ailments.
What brought you to try Pilates in the first place?
My original interest in Pilates began when I started to develop chronic back pain from my scoliosis. When I was younger, my scoliosis progressed to a point that I needed to wear a back brace for 16 hours per day. When I entered high school, I no longer needed to wear my back brace, but the imbalances in my body were not corrected. I have always struggled with inflexibility but it seemed as though this issue seemed to progress as I got older. After trying numerous forms of exercise, like Yoga and lots of running, I noticed that nothing seemed to build strength in my back or alleviate any of my back pain. On a whim, I tried a Pilates class with an instructor in the Hudson Valley and I immediately fell in love. It was like nothing I had ever experienced before. After doing classes for just a few short weeks, I noticed I was slowly gaining more flexibility and my chronic back pain started to disappear. It was then that I realized this work was life changing.
What about Pilates do you love?
Pilates never ceases to amaze me. Through my work as both a teacher and a student I find that I am constantly learning new things and finding new ways to feel and teach an exercise. This method takes work and it takes time, and in moments can be quite humbling, but the outcome is worth the struggle. Not only will you see physical results in your body, but you will notice you stand taller (I have had a few clients who have actually grown since starting), breathe deeper and will be moving from a place of proper alignment in your everyday life.
Why do you think it is such an integral part of a healthy lifestyle?
In working with an array of clients that are of all ages and lifestyles, I will say that I have seen how everyday life and bad habits can take a serious toll on your body. Because most people now a days are either hunched over a keyboard or craning their necks looking at their phone screens, we have created habits that can severely affect not only our posture but our usage of our organs and our muscles. And while we think riding a bike or lifting weights is counter acting these habits, the truth is most people do not know how to proper align their body to truly work from a place of stability. Pilates will not only allow you to work your muscles more deeply, it will also bring you to a new sense of awareness of your body and will allow you to take the work that you do in your session with you through your everyday life. This work was intended to be taken out of the studio and integrated into your lifestyle.
Tell us about your own personal workouts.
Some may say that I overdo it when it comes to working out, but I truly enjoy moving my body on a daily basis. I usually workout 6-7 days a week. I have always enjoyed running, so I usually try to run 5-6 times a week. If I’m not running, I mix up my strength training workouts at the gym focusing on legs, back, arms and shoulders. And of course, I try to do Pilates 6-7. Even if it means I hop on my reformer at home for 15-20 minutes, I will make sure that I get in at least some form of Pilates everyday.
What do you like to do in your free time?
In my free time, if I’m not working out, I usually am outside hiking in the Hudson Valley, working at my other job on a farm, or I am visiting local art museums. While Pilates has become my passion and main focus, most people don’t know that my first love was art history. In fact, I recently graduated from NYU with a master’s in art history. That being said, I still try to keep up with what is going on in the art world by reading recent critic reviews or any art historical book I can get my hands on.
Where can we find you teaching?
At the Warwick Pilates Gymnasium in Warwick, NY or at my home in Cornwall on Hudson, NY.