Natalie Ryan, PAA Student Member, Balanze Studios, Claremont WA
We’re launching a new take on a favourite feature and meeting our next generation of Pilates Instructors! Thank you Natalie for being our first ‘Emerging Instructor in Focus’!
Instructor Name: Natalie Ryan
Studio(s) you work at: Balanze Studio
Location: Claremont, Western Australia
Instructor training: Ultimate Reformer – Polestar
PAA Level: Student
What originally motivated you to try Pilates and then go on to train as an instructor?
I have always liked Pilates, I discovered Chiropractic when I was living abroad, started working with health professionals and decided I wanted to be a Physio. I’m currently at Uni now but it’s a long process, teaching Pilates is the first step to the bigger picture and it is an awesome one.
What did you eat for breakfast?
Avocado on GF Bread
Describe your first Pilates teaching/apprentice teaching experience?
The best way I can describe my first teaching experience, is that it was impossible to predict. You can practice and practice teaching your first moves but you don’t always know how all your words are going to come out (and in what order!) when you start describing the exercises in front of a group for the first time. My first experience wasn’t as awful as my imagination had me believe, and it was quite exciting in the end!
What impact has the recent COVID-19 virus had on your world?
All my training last year was without tactile queuing due to social distancing so it was learnt more on the job! The odd class cancellation now due to a lockdown, and having to teach in a mask is pretty hard!
How have you handled your Pilates teaching or training with COVID-19?
Watching tactile queuing videos, not forgetting the sanitiser, extra cleaning measures for the reformers. It is very different to learn tactile queuing from watching over experiencing it, so it made that particular process slower.
What was the most unexpected part of your training?
That I got through the hours of apprentice teaching, and passed the exam (not really…)! It is surprising how quickly you become comfortable in front of a group even without experience teaching before. I also was not expecting my own fitness levels to increase so much doing the training, which is a bonus.
Your ‘go to’ website for all things Pilates (other than PAA)?
Pilates Anytime, it’s an obvious one, but there is so much range and the membership is worth it. I also like watching videos from “Dez Fit” on YouTube.
The best advice you’ve ever had?
In life… not to worry about things as you are stressing yourself twice! In Pilates… probably just to not rush, and to take your time. This applies to exercises as well as teaching. Using your breath to guide your timing of movement.
An indulgence you can’t live without?
At the moment in winter… Chai Lattes.
How long have you been a member of PAA and how did you hear about PAA?
I heard about the PAA through Polestar when I first started my training. I have been a member just a few months.
Do you have a motto?
Not just one, but “there’s always a way” is a relevant one!
What’s the most challenging part about learning to teach?
Building up the confidence to teach others what I’ve learnt and to trust in my knowledge.
How do you use PAA?
I have a Student Membership which subscribes me to the awesome newsletters.
Who is your Pilates idol or would love to meet, and why?
I think I would like to meet Dez Fit (from Youtube), I think she has a very positive energy and I’m inspired by how simple but effective her workouts are.
What do you appreciate most about your body?
It’s ability to bounce back from anything.
The book you’re currently reading?
Just uni books I’m afraid. Human Structure and Function was interesting!