Owner of Mountain Pilates, Bright, VIC
Instructor Name: Anne Heuperman
Studio(s) you work at: Owner of Mountain Pilates
Location: Bright, Victoria
Instructor training: Diploma of Professional Pilates Instruction, Polestar
PAA Level: Professional Level 2
What originally motivated you to try Pilates and then go on to train as an instructor?
A friend suggested I give it a try in the early 2000’s when I was living in Canberra. I promptly forgot about it for a couple of years, moved to Melbourne and then saw an ad in my local paper for a new studio – Body Centre Pilates in Fairfield. Working as a Radiographer and with my spare time spent climbing, skiing and mountain biking, I was instantly intrigued by the combination of anatomy and movement. Not to mention, my flexibility improved, and my postural headaches and low back pain disappeared! I was looking to do something different career-wise and so enrolled in the Polestar Mat course in 2010. I completed the Diploma a few years later – alongside having 2 small children, moving to Bright and continuing to work as a Radiographer.
What did you eat for breakfast?
Home-made granola and coffee. Always coffee!
In one word, describe your first Pilates experience?
What impact has the recent COVID-19 virus had on your world?
Like many people, it’s been massive – but at the same I acknowledge that many people had it far worse than me. Navigating business shutdowns (I owned and ran another business ’til 12 months ago), home school, border closures and not being able to see family and friends made life really challenging. But, it also taught me the simple pleasures of being in the mountains, the importance of family, community, exercise, health and to seize an opportunity if it arises (as who knows when the next lockdown will come!!)
How have you handled your Pilates teaching with COVID-19, any advice to other teachers?
COVID has given me the opportunity and confidence to take my classes online. It’s been a massive learning curve, but offering online classes is something I never thought I was capable of – until it was my only option! I also made the decision to be part of a group of Pilates teachers mentored by Ingrid Thompson from Healthy Numbers, which I heard of through the PAA. This inspiring and passionate group of Pilates teachers got me through 2020 and was one of the best things I could have done for my business.
My advice would be don’t be afraid to be honest with your clients (and yourself!). If something is new to you, don’t pretend to be an expert – tell your clients you are learning too, and they will respect you and probably be able to relate to you all the more!
What’s the best thing about your job?
This is hard as there’s a lot I love! I love having an active job, I love impacting people in a positive way through movement, I love seeing the progress my clients are making week on week, I love the interesting and inspiring conversations I have with my clients, I love learning about how amazing our body is and I love that I still have so much to learn about!! I also love that I am in charge of my schedule and can go skiing or riding mid-week!!
Your ‘go to’ website for all things Pilates (other than PAA)?
The Victorian Small Business website is also excellent – by staying connected to this I’ve managed to apply for and receive grants and business mentors which have been game changing for me (one grant completely funded the set up of my online Pilates classes – I couldn’t have done it without that grant!)
The best advice you’ve ever had?
“Trust your instincts.” as well as “No is a complete sentence.”
An indulgence you can’t live without?
Coffee with dark chocolate a close second!
How long have you been a member of PAA and how did you hear about PAA?
I’ve been a member since 2011 – I would have heard about it when I was studying my Mat qualification.
Do you have a motto?
“The more you give, the more you receive.”
What’s the most challenging aspect of your job?
Being the person who does everything, from teaching, cleaning, and ALL the admin, it can be hard to switch off. Plus, feeling like I’m always “hustling” to build business can be tiring.
Living in a small country town can be isolating in the Pilates industry, and the lack of a local professional network is quite challenging. I have a 150km round trip to my closest Diploma qualified instructor – so the opportunity to take more online classes with other instructors since COVID has been one of the benefits!
How do you use PAA?
As an industry resource and a voice for our industry in the broader community.
Who is your Pilates idol or would love to meet, and why?
Maggie Magill manages to blow my mind almost every time I have the pleasure of taking a class with her! I would really love to meet Clara Pilates and understand her perspective of the Pilates Method – imagine what she could tell us!!
What do you appreciate most about your body?
That at 47, I have less pain than when I was 27 (thanks to Pilates!)
The book you’re currently reading?
I’ve got a few on the go:
More than a Woman, Caitlin Moran
Atomic Habits, James Clear,
but the highlight of this year would have to be Love Stories by Trent Dalton.
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