I was raised in Chile, where I grew up surrounded by dance, art, education and medicine. I am a dancer, primary school teacher, obstetrician (midwife), fitness instructor, and children's dance teacher.
My passion is to study and learn more about my disciplines. Pilates eventually became one of those things.
To pay for my obstetrics studies at the University, I started teaching dance. I was already a professional dancer at 15 years old, and came to discover fitness by chance. I loved fitness from the beginning, and with my knowledge in dance and medicine, it was much easier to incorporate everything in each format. In order to be a comprehensive and complete instructor who could help my students achieve their goals in this world of fitness, I became fully certified in each available discipline. However, I knew there was something else I wanted to attain.
Through ballet I learned about Mat Pilates. I knew that there was much more to it, but in my country it was difficult to access.
One day I fell in love, and at age 38 I got married. I packed my bags, sold my house, left my business and all my students, and came to the United States with just my knowledge and my native language. Having spent 18 years on a fitness trajectory and 25 years in dance and productions, I knew that there were more opportunities here if I tried hard enough. I learned the language as quickly as possible (I am still learning), and started my work teaching classes in different places.
However, that still didn’t feel like it was enough. I wanted to know more. I wanted to study to be an instructor in Pilates Apparatus.
I looked everywhere, but there was nothing that suited my time and work. Everything was either too far or very expensive. Then, one day, at the corner of my house, I saw a sign that read “Club Pilates – Opening Soon”.
When I saw this sign, my heart jumped! I waited excitedly for 3 months and when I finally saw the “OPEN” sign in the window, I went into the business and asked about the classes. I was so happy, and immediately paid my registration fee. I think I was one of the very first people to inquire and register.
I believe it was fate that brought Club Pilates to my doorstep. When you really want something, the universe always conspires in your favor.
As I started classes, I admit I was absolutely lost. Despite my extensive knowledge as an instructor, I knew nothing in the area of this discipline. Thanks to the help, patience, and wisdom of my beautiful Master Trainer, Leslie Russell, I fell in love with Pilates.
The best person the universe could have delivered as a teacher was Leslie, and she has inspired me like no one ever before. I’ll always love her and be eternally grateful to her.
Step by step, despite my language barrier and being surrounded by people who knew much more than me, I remained inspired and wanted to grow and be much better. I wanted to learn so as to teach my students to feel, explore, learn, grow, advance, progress and be better every day in each class. I can't stay calm if I don't see a progression, no matter how small. I am so satisfied when I see them achieve the exercise flawlessly. I have a memory of each student in their first class and I don't forget their progress in this beautiful journey called Pilates.
Every thank you I receive, every assistance I provide, every smile I return, every drop of sweat, and even every frustration is a reward. Together, we never give up and seeing them come back for more fills up my heart and soul.
Since arriving in the United States, I have earned 10 more certifications, plus all the Pilates Apparatus certifications with 8 specialties.
The ultimate question is - why did I fall in love with Pilates? Because, finally I can offer everything I have acquired and learned throughout my life as a contribution to generate a positive change in people.
I understand that from a beginner to an advanced student, a simple exercise brings powerful results. I personally practice and experience each combination so that my students can do them properly and transform their lives and bodies with Pilates.
There is no other type of fitness that I teach (and I teach almost all of them) that makes me feel that kind of happiness and connection with my soul.
I began to understand how my body and mind were adapting to each exercise. I’ve learned how my breath flows with each combination, and I progressively feel the flow of my body, mind and spirit. For me, that is priceless.
Club Pilates gave me all the tools to be a better Instructor. It gave me freedom, it gave me comfort, it made me feel at home and in communion with my colleagues and my students.
Through Club Pilates I have experienced this world more fully, and I know my students see and feel the change. I have to say that not a single person has regretted trying a class with me. They fall in love just like I did. By seeing their muscles work it invites me to connect with others, and when they feel it for the first time, I can see the happiness on their faces. I can see them finally understand the dynamics of their body, just like I did in the beginning by connecting body, mind and spirit.
Today I have my private clients who love Pilates as much as I do and thank me every time for having insisted on participating in a class. It has changed their lives, and it makes me infinitely happy to be able to help them on their journey through this magical world of Pilates. I do everything in my power to make sure my members have an unforgettable experience.
Nothing is a coincidence. If you are reading this, please don’t hesitate.
If you have not yet taken that first step to Pilates, I invite you to. I assure you that Pilates will change your life in an absolutely positive way!
Written by Jazmin Baeza, Club Pilates West Palm Beach Instructor.