Instructor in Focus: Jen Cooksey

Jen Cooksey

Jen Cooksey

Trainer Level 1, The Perth Pilates Studio and Pilates for Living, WA

Instructor Name: Jen Cooksey
Studio(s) you work at: The Perth Pilates Studio, and Pilates for Living
Location: 6/299 Charles Street, North Perth, WA 6006, and Melville WA, 6156
Instructor training: Graduate Certificate in the Pilates Method at University of Technology, Sydney, and Diploma in Professional Pilates Instruction, Polestar
PAA Level: Trainer Level 1 Member

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

As a Full-Time Classical Ballet Dancer it was part of our Curriculum and within one year of adding Pilates into my training, my body had so much more available movement and strength. It allowed my body to be more efficient and supported and I loved it as my personal physical training. I was already a qualified Classical Ballet Teacher so integrating Pilates into my teaching skills was the obvious choice for me to develop deeper as a Movement Instructor.

What did you eat for breakfast?

Coconut milk yoghurt with pepita’s, sunflower seeds, coconut flakes, almonds, dried cranberries and fresh blueberries, and a black coffee.

In one word, describe your first Pilates experience?

Bliss!

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

Wow, so many impacts its hard to pinpoint. Firstly it slowed us down which highlighted our priorities. It heightened my compassion, my gratefulness, my passion to nurture my family, and my need to nurture myself. It allowed me to let go of outside commitments/responsibilities/distractions and to be present now and Breathe slowly. It forced me to be active on socialising online. It exposed me to the online world of Teaching which has had more benefits than I ever imagined it would. It has brought out an even deeper awareness, as I continually witnessed how peoples emotional state effects their bodies, and how powerful our work is to facilitate and support our clients mental health through positive movement. It gave me time to go deeper into my own Anatomy Studies and to experience and experiment on my OOV. It has changed our home set up so that I could have a space to take online sessions (we no longer have a dining area). It allowed my family to have quality time together without outside distractions. It stopped me from being present at my brother’s wedding interstate and visiting my parents interstate but it opened up more time to speak daily on the phone to them. It has brought me closer to the people whom I treasure. It brought our Neighbourhood together. It brought financial strain alongside with gratitude for all that we do have. It has brought out deep, real, true conversations…

How have you handled your Pilates teaching with COVID-19, any advice to other teachers?

I have been hosting Online classes, semi’s, and privates from our Dining Room space. My main advice would be to keep connected with your clients. You may be the only person that they have contact with on that day. Our profession is so powerful at giving people a positive experience through movement, that they then can continue to experience even after the camera has been turned off. We can cause a beautiful ripple effect. AND be creative utilising everyday home items such as dining chairs, couches, rolling pins, tins of food, etc.
Be incredibly grateful for the knowledge that we have that Pilates improves health and that we have this tool/lifestyle accessible to us.
Share your knowledge.

What’s the best thing about your job?

All the people around me who share my passion and joy for what Pilates has to offer. My Colleagues, Students, and Clients. My joy feeds off their joy.
The next best thing would be knowing that I can make a positive difference in their day.

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

Pilates Anytime

The best advice you’ve ever had?

“If you internally do not feel comfortable to stand on top of a hill and announce to the world whatever it is that you are about to do, then don’t do it!”

An indulgence you can’t live without?

Chocolate!!!

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

7 Years. I heard about the PAA through my colleagues.

Do you have a motto?

No.

What’s the most challenging aspect of your job?

Balancing it with a family life.

How do you use PAA?

Mainly for workshops and conferences but I do also like the research articles.

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

I don’t have a Pilates idol, and over the past 19 years I have been incredibly fortunate to have already meet some of Joseph’s 1st Generation and 2nd Generation Teachers, who I value so much for their knowledge and experience. Each of them had something different and special to share. I have also already meet some other incredible instructors of my Generation. I guess if I had to choose someone I would love to meet, it would have been Clara (Pilates). I would love to know more about her and watch her at work with their clients. I believe that she was critical in implementing Joseph’s work but doesn’t seem to have as much of a following.

What do you appreciate most about your body?

I most appreciate that it has the capabilities to evolve and change.

The book you’re currently reading?

For someone who doesn’t take the time to read for pleasure, its odd that I have 3 books on the go at the moment:
Job from the Bible
The Diary of a Young Girl by Anne Frank
Muscles and Meridians The manipulation of shape by Phillip Beach

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