Pilates has made a big splash in the fitness world over the past few years, and Nashville is no exception. Not just for elite models and dancers, Pilates has become what its creator Joseph Pilates had always wanted it to be – exercise for every body. Several studios and well-trained instructors are available throughout Nashville, and we caught up with one of the best.
Owner Erin Weston-Meyers opened Simply Pilates of Nashville on April 1, 2006. The studio has attracted clients from such diverse populations as professional dancers to senior citizens to new mothers, and offers private and class instruction in mat and equipment Pilates exercises. Their motto is “Simply Making Better Bodies,” and the focus is on an anatomically correct approach to Pilates movement.
NS: You were a Rockette; can you tell us something about your dance background, what attracted you to Pilates, and what inspired you to become an instructor?
Erin: The day before opening, of my first year with the Rockettes, I walked into the tour manager’s office at the theatre and informed them that I couldn’t straighten my legs. (Not a good thing for a Rockette). I had so much inflammation behind my knee caps, and my IT Bands were so tight, that I had to go to the orthopedic surgeon’s office that day. It was great when I came back to the theatre later that day, for last minute rehearsals with knee braces on…the director really liked that! To make a long story short, Pilates was my road to recovery, and my path to dancing with the Rockettes for a second year. I fell in love with it.
NS: Why Nashville?
Erin: My husband and I were getting pretty tired of New York and prayed a lot for a direction and a place to live. We contemplated Charleston, but Nashville was the winner!
NS: Who should do Pilates, and what sort of benefits will they gain?
Erin: Anyone and everyone can do Pilates. Some people use Pilates as a form of rehab, when they are recovering from an injury and are in need of getting their muscles and bones realigned so their body can work in correct mechanical form. Others are active and fairly strong, and simply need a form of exercise to make them great, and that’s where the core strength and the power that the core strength gives comes into play.
NS: What’s different about your approach to Pilates from, say, classic Pilates instruction? Has the movement theory evolved since its inception?
Joe Pilates was an inventor, and an amazing one at that. Over the past 100 years, many new Physical Therapy and medical advances have happened, and that medical and anatomically correct knowledge has been fused with Pilates in more modern forms of Pilates. With the fusing of all this knowledge, you can not only help to rehabilitate people, but you also know that your exercise form is anatomically correct.
NS: Your studio is growing – can you tell us about the new instructors?
Erin: Simply Pilates has been growing at a very fast pace; Nashville must like the more modern and fused approach to Pilates! All instructors who teach at Simply Pilates were trained and teach in “neutral pelvis,” which is the anatomically correct alignment of the pelvis, which will put the spine in the anatomically correct alignment as well.
Modern research has shown that posterior pelvic tilt, or pushing your lower back into the mat during exercises (which is the classic form of Pilates) has lead to many back injuries.There are many clients who have come to Simply Pilates who have disc bulges, herniations, or other imbalances in their spine, due to wrong pelvic alignment, so why would we want to make them worse? All instructors who teach at Simply Pilates have the ability to speak to a Physical Therapist, if need be, when a client is released from PT so they can continue to work with them.
In this industry, knowledge is power.
Simply Pilates is located in the Edgehill district at:
1207 Villa Place Suite A Nashville, TN, 37212
– Christy Rose