Emerging Instructor in Focus: Leila Coogan

Leila Coogan, PAA Student Member, On the Green Physiotherapy and Pilates, South Perth WA

Leila Coogan, PAA Student Member, On the Green Physiotherapy and Pilates, South Perth WA

Emerging Instructor in Focus

We’ve launched a new take on a favourite feature to meet our next generation of Pilates Instructors!

Instructor Name: Leila Coogan
Studio(s) you work at: On the Green Physiotherapy and Pilates- South Perth
Location: Wesley College, South Perth, Western Australia
Instructor training: Ultimate Reformer Series – Polestar
PAA Level: Student

What originally motivated you to try Pilates and then go on to train as an instructor?

I have been practising Pilates for years now, I started in Sydney before having children. In the last couple of years, now in Perth, I discovered it again; needing something to compliment my weight training and running. Teaching just seemed the next logical step. Practising it is so fulfilling and teaching has been just as fulfilling.

What did you eat for breakfast?

Eggs on GF toast. Lots of butter and salt.

Describe your first Pilates teaching/apprentice teaching experience?

In Sydney I had a great teacher. She was very thorough and clear with her instructions. I easily continued it well into my first pregnancy. I am relatively new to the teaching side of things and so far, the experience has been wonderful. The people that attend the studio I am at are great and I have excellent colleagues. I feel very lucky to have landed on my feet the way I have.

What impact has the recent COVID-19 virus had on your world?

Fortunately my family and I have seen minimal changes within this Covid time period.

Of course, with the big shut down there was no way to complete our necessary hours in the studio and during the workshop weekends (post lockdown) the students could not do any tactile cueing but apart from this, I came out relatively unaffected.

How have you handled your Pilates teaching or training with COVID-19?

It has forced me (and other students) to be exceptionally clear with how we describe movements and what we need to see from our class. Without tactile cueing it comes down to visual and verbal explanations. In a way, this is a good way to learn; I think that it has helped me clarify my words and explain things better.

What was the most unexpected part of your training?

How much I enjoyed it all. I knew it would be interesting but in no way did I think I would thrive in it as much as I have.

Your ‘go to’ website for all things Pilates (other than PAA)?

I don’t really use many websites yet. So far I have been relying on my study books and some (fat) Pilates research books.

The best advice you’ve ever had?

It is hard to narrow it down to one piece but the one most relevant to Pilates would be “to slow down”. I tend to rush with life and I started my training in the same frame of mind. It has been a learning curve and I have had to force myself to take a slower, calmer pace. The journey has been enjoyable though as it is a long needed change (still a way to go yet though).

An indulgence you can’t live without?

Chocolate and nice face cream. Two necessary items for happiness I believe.

How long have you been a member of PAA and how did you hear about PAA?

I heard of PAA through the trainers at Polestar. As I am a new graduate I have not been a member long.

Do you have a motto?

“Life’s too short”. So just enjoy it, have fun.

What’s the most challenging part about learning to teach?

Trusting yourself. That what you have studied has gone in and you do know what you are doing and accepting that you may actually be good at it.

How do you use PAA?

I have a student membership so I am reading all the info I can on the website and also using the member benefits.

Who is your Pilates idol or would love to meet, and why?

I am lucky enough to have learnt from some very experienced instructors. I don’t actually have an idol that I want to meet (yet) as I feel so lucky to have had the teaching I have had so far. My focus has been on them so far!

What do you appreciate most about your body?

My strength. I have always been so grateful for my muscles and their ability.

The book you’re currently reading?

Such a Fun Age by Kiley Reid. So far so good.

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