The Pilates Place is a fully equipped Pilates studio located on Miami Beach, Florida, right in the heart of South Beach. The Pilates Place offers a variety of both group and private Pilates classes. They have all the traditional Pilates equipment: trapeze table (Trap Table), reformers, pilates chair equipment, high barrel, spine corrector and ped o pul. We are the main training site for the Beyond The Basics Comprehensive Pilates Teacher Certificate Program. Jacqueline Weiner and Louis Gonzales are both PMA Certified and received their Pilates training from Core Dynamics, a comprehensive Pilates training program based out of Santa Fe, New Mexico.
Core Dynamics was developed by Michelle Larson, who studied Pilates with Eve Gentry. Ms. Gentry is considered a First Generation teacher, which means she was trained directly by Mr. Joseph Pilates. In fact, Ms. Gentry practiced with Mr. Pilates for over 25 years. Under the Core Dynamics Training Program, both Jackie and Louis completed a minimum of 450 hours spent in intensive weekend training workshops; anatomy classes; observing, assisting and teaching under certified Pilates instructors; and self directed practice to gain proficiency in the Pilates method. Upon mastering the basic principles of Pilates, demonstrated through passing an array of tests, both were awarded certificates of successful completion. Both Jackie and Louis have complimented their traditional training with additional hours spent in Pre-Natal Pilates and Pilates for Osteoporosis workshops. They both continue to increase their knowledge and understanding of the human body through workshops and conferences.
Jacqueline Weiner has been practicing Pilates since 1997 and has been teaching Pilates since 2002. Prior to that, she also taught yoga. Jackie began her Pilates teaching career in the Hamptons during the summer of 2002 and has been teaching at different Pilates studios and fitness centers around Miami Beach, Florida since 2005. Louis Gonzales has been teaching Pilates since 2005 at different Pilates studios and fitness centers ( i.e. Mandarin Hotel, Sports Club LA, Pilates Miami and Energy Fitness ) around South Florida. Prior to his career in Pilates, Louis was in the corporate world of finance. Together, they bring a balance of yin and yang energy to the studio. Below is an interview with Louis Gonzales.
You have been teaching Pilates from 2005 onwards, what was your initial draw to Pilates itself and what does your practice mean to you?
I was into the traditional guy gym workout and I was always plagued with injuries. I heard about Pilates and I found it to be challenging and a safe form of exercise. My personal Pilates practice keeps my body strong and healthy allowing me to enjoy physical activities like cycling, yoga and swimming.
What do you think are the greatest benefits from one of your Pilates classes?
Reinforcing correct body posture and developing long lean muscles now people are presented with a wide range of choices when it comes to fitness and weight-loss.
So why do you think Pilates is becoming the number one choice for people everywhere?
Pilates is very effective and very safe. In a typical Pilates session under a properly trained Pilates teacher, you will work all the muscles in your entire body promoting strength and flexibility.
How would Pilates benefit a Model’s physique?
It would improve their posture and makes your muscles long and lean.
Apart from training your clients for a better body, do you also coach them toward sound mental health?
Pilates is a whole body mind exercise so it promotes a sound physical body with an improved mental state.
How do you advise your clients about stress?
Stress is alleviated when you have a structured physical exercise routine in place. Pilates is a mindful whole body workout which means not only is your physical body working but because of some of the full body movements involve complex choreography your mental body will work as well
Now let’s talk more about Pilates in general. Some people confuse yoga with Pilates… what are the differences and similarities between the two fitness practices in your opinion? Are they more appropriate for a certain segment of people?
Yoga and Pilates are similar because they are both full body exercises yet they are different because usually pilates teachers queue every little movement of our clients’ body while exercising. Yoga is great however for most people, most of the postures need to be modified to fit their body.
How long does a whole program last for your training?
We don’t necessarily have a timeline for our training program but we have found that once a clients learns how to exercise their body efficiently and effectively in Pilates , they will continue their Pilates training because the other facets of their exercise will improve as well.
Can people practice Pilates without professional guidance?
Of course people can practice Pilates without professional guidance but I do not recommend it because of safety. Pilates is one of those type of exercises where micromovements or microadjustments in the body can create the difference between a effective exercise and a not so effective and safe exercise.
What are your greatest professional accomplishments and setbacks in your own point of view?
We created a teacher training program from scratch focusing on training our teachers how to be more sensitive to their clients body needs and knowing how to adjust exercises so their clients get more from each session.
What are the biggest challenges, in your opinion, for a person who strives for better health and shape?
The biggest challenge for most people who strive for better health and shape is maintaining the discipline to continue whatever exercise plan they start.
What part of your job do you enjoy the most?
Seeing my clients bodies change before my eyes and seeing the look of satisfaction on their faces after they finish each session.