Birgitta Sundberg Moloney
The PILATES Boutique, Sunbury VIC
Emerging Instructor in Focus
Instructor Name: Birgitta Sundberg Moloney
Studio: The PILATES Boutique
Location: Sunbury VIC
Instructor training: Authentic Pilates Education – Full Comprehensive Training, Polestar – Diploma, Peak Pilates – Full Comprehensive Certification, Bachelor of Exercise Science and Human Movement, Fitness Instructor/Personal Trainer
PAA Level: Professional Level 1 Membership
What originally motivated you to try Pilates and then go on to train as an instructor?
I have loved and love movement as long as I can remember. My movement journey started with gymnastics and then I ventured into lots of different types of movement. In my teens Dad got me into tennis, that progressed into my 20’s and 30’s.
I was working as a Professional Tennis Coach at Australian Tennis/ Melbourne Park, and running a small fitness/Personal training business, when I was introduced to Pilates.
I was tennis coaching, doing my own training and competing. I knew I had scoliosis, lordosis and was unbalanced through my body. I had constant pain that was normalised and sometimes debilitating through my spine and body. I had been trying to address it through the years. The load on my body was showing itself more and more and what I was doing never really seemed to really address it.
I was having one of my regular massages when I was encouraged to try Pilates, Classical Pilates. I decided to incorporate it into my training routine. After 6 months, once a week, mat class there was a significant shift in my body. Pain reduced, I felt stronger than I had ever felt. I was playing the best tennis of my life. I decided to look deeper. I completed the Peak Pilates Comprehensive Instructor Training. I incorporated Pilates on the tennis court when coaching e.g. squads, groups and privates etc. There was a career change on the Horizon.
Today I continue to deepen my training, understanding and passion for the moving body, which is growing and thriving.
I have such gratitude for all the family, friends, teaches, trainers, coaches, guides etc. that have influenced me to where I am in my life right now.
What did you eat for breakfast?
Homemade green juice and Porridge with Cinnamon.
In one word, describe your first Pilates teaching/apprentice teaching experience?
What impact has the recent COVID-19 virus had on your world?
COVID has been an interesting journey. Imposed fear and confusion of COVID, vaccinations, body reacting to the vaccinations, masks, Glen20, hand sanitizer etc. We have all been through it on a global level.
Personally, I have used the time efficiently. Taking time to re-treat, reflect and re-calibrate. Setting clear purpose and intention in navigating forward. I used lock down as a well-deserved time-out. This time has deepened my gratitude and value for family, friends, health and well-being. Really refining and defining what matters and what does not matter.
How have you handled your Pilates teaching or training with COVID-19?
Just before COVID I discovered the platform ZOOM. I was doing online sessions with one of my trainers. So I took the learning experience from that and applied it to my business. All my Pilates training, studies etc. went from face-to-face learning to online as well. I was able to transition all my teaching online. I offered assistance to all my clients in the transition. We ended up learning and growing together. I continue to teach online. A great addition to the studio, for those who are unable to come in to the studio. It was fascinating to experience teaching and learning from a different perspective. Thinking outside the box and using creativity to convey a concept. Honestly, I would not have considered it an option prior to COVID.
What was the most unexpected part of your training?
The infinite depth of learning.
I remember at during my Bachelor of Exercise Science and Human Movement degree, in one of the Advanced Physiology classes, the lecturer was discussing his PhD. He was very invested into his topic he had chosen and ended up in tears. I can’t remember the topic but his research dove deeply into the infinite minuscule cellular level in the functions of the body. How everything works so perfectly with intricate precision on a cellular level. A natural intelligence behind it all. This stuck with me.
Your ‘go to’ website for all things Pilates (other than PAA)?
The best advice you’ve ever had?
Trust the process.
An indulgence you can’t live without?
How long have you been a member of PAA and how did you hear about PAA?
Less than a year. I have known about PAA since I started teaching from my trainers and Pilates community.
Do you have a motto?
There are many that resonate. One that I use a lot is “The magic is in the consistency”.
With anything when we are relearning a skill, habit or e.g. a movement pattern, it takes practice to rewire the neurological system in the body until it becomes automatic and easy to do. Watch a child learning how to write or changing posture when working at a desk.
What’s the most challenging aspect of learning to teach?
For me it has always been public speaking. Palm sweats, freezing, nausea, brain fog, fumbling my words……you name it……embarrassing. I didn’t back down. I have had lots of teaching roles, including lecturing at Victoria University. The paralysing fear still kicks in sometimes, but I can better manage it now.
I love teaching. I love giving, sharing and helping others. I think work-life balance is more of a challenge for me now a days. I need to plan my self-care routine, to manage my energy levels efficiently. I know when I’m tired and that I need to rest.
How do you use PAA?
Who is your Pilates idol or would love to meet, and why?
I am grateful for Joseph Pilates and the Method he created, the people around him that he inspired and the people that have transported it here today.
I am grateful for the amazing instructors along my journey and that are in my life right now. I love drawing on lots of the different Instructors’ wisdom. The possibilities we have now to be able to train with overseas instructors on Zoom is fabulous. I want to explore that even more.
What do you appreciate most about your body?
It’s innate wisdom towards healing, health and well-being.
The book you’re currently reading?
Big Book of Pilates by Brooke Siler.
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