Instructor in Focus: Jo Carey

Jo Carey

Jo Carey

Level 1 Professional Instructor member, Movement Collective, Pymble NSW

Instructor Name: Jo Carey
Studio(s) you work at: Movement Collective
Location: Pymble
Instructor training: PITC Diploma 2019 and BREATHE Education Cert IV 2019 and Diploma 2020
PAA Level: Professional Level 1

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

I do believe an Ex said I’d like it….we went our separate ways before I ever attended a session but the seed was planted…..Group Reformer class – BAM – hooked. I’ve been an educator all my working life and love the chance to dive deep into something so when there was a training facility, PITC, at the Studio I attended I dove straight in and have loved learning and sharing ever since.

What did you eat for breakfast?

I’m a muesli with yoghurt fan – no milk as I like the crunch and chew. Cappuccino collected on the way to work.

In one word, describe your first Pilates experience?


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

I’ve been blessed in so far as being able to continue my work online when required whether in the Pilates Studio or my weekday vocation as a music instrumental teacher – what a gift it is to have amazing employers who can facilitate a swift shift in format when needed.

It has been a wonderful opportunity to connect with a more global community and be able to partake in education, classes, conferences, movement that travel or time restrictions would have prohibited before – thank you for the wonder of the replay.

I appreciate human connection more and realise that even though I’m a happy independent introvert seeing another human face and hearing their real voice does make my world that much better.

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

Perhaps my musician/performer background has given me an advantage for those moments particularly when talking to an ‘everyone on mute’ screen – the performance is real; you can still be you, crack the jokes, groan on everyone’s behalf, be their cheer squad and motivator.

It has been a wonderful opportunity to deepen the practice of giving the client autonomy, developing a stronger skill of verbal communication, expressive external cues, the art of patience in knowing we are facilitating a movement journey – and like all good journeys it has twist and back steps, detours and glorious surprise vistas.

Fatigue is real and YOU need to take care of you first. Looking at the screen for too long? The fake sounds of distorted online voices? Figuring out that you can speak at your usual volume. Talking through a mask. The clients and your own potential underlying stressors from outside the studio walls heightened during the ebb and flow of restrictions and lockdowns……. give yourself permission to rework your schedule so that YOU can be your best self for you, your family and then the client.

What’s the best thing about your job?

That look at the end of a session in every client’s face – what an achievement for them to honour themselves to come to class, to gift their bodies some delicious movement, the wins when they move closer to particular goals…how incredible to be a part of facilitating that experience.

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

I have memberships to MANY sites, instructors, workshops…..I enjoy exploring and believe you can learn something from everyone, or at least learn what you do or don’t want to be to as a movement facilitator. If I take a session from each site once a month it pays for itself as if I attended a live class. Those that don’t serve me anymore are unsubscribed to make room for something else. The same with podcasts and social media accounts.

The best advice you’ve ever had?

Do the best you can until you know better. Then when you know better, do better.

An indulgence you can’t live without?

A slow walk along the beach sand with the sun warming me and my lungs full of fresh sea air. There will most likely be 3 dogs running around my feet.

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

I commenced membership when a student with PITC in 2017

Do you have a motto?


What’s the most challenging aspect of your job?

Keeping the last class of the day to time – we just keep playing!

How do you use PAA?

I have my indemnity insurance through the PAA program. I enjoy having an easy access list of some of the workshops on offer online and in real life around the country. The conference is great value for access to a multitude of presenters, loving that it is online and with a replay option this year.

I paused when renewing my membership this year and asked myself the questions: how am I using this membership, what benefits do I receive or see being used in the community, do I really know what I am supporting by being a member? As I have generally been a member without overly paying attention – it was something that I continued past the requirement as a student – I did choose to renew again but with a goal for the year; pay attention, discover what are the values, assess if their direction is one that aligns with your own thinking, can they be the progressive, supportive, inclusive industry body you hope is possible? I’m excited to see what I discover over the year.

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

Anyone who is curious enough to give Pilates a try and then returns to try again.

Pilates isn’t the magic formula that everyone should take. Although everyone has the potential to benefit from Pilates, it is only for those that return to Pilates again and again that it can ever be of any real impact. Each person needs to find their own “magic pill” – your best exercise is the exercise you keep doing.

What do you appreciate most about your body?

That it is an ever adapting organism and has strengths that often amaze me.

The book you’re currently reading?

The Four Tendencies by Gretchen Rubin and The Joy of Movement by Kelly McGonigal are the latest on the Audible playlist.

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