Instructor in Focus: Karen Gock

Karen Gock

Karen Gock

Pilates Focus, Sutherland, NSW

Instructor Name: Karen Gock
Studio you work at: Pilates Focus
Location: Sutherland, NSW
Instructor training: Diploma of Polestar Pilates Studio and Rehabilitation
PAA Level: Professional Level 2

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

I was having lower back pain and heard that Pilates could help. I started sessions in 2002 and fell in love with the method.
In 2006, I resigned from my position of Manufacturing Scientist at a membrane filtration company where I had worked for more than 14 years. I gave 6 months notice and had no idea what I wanted to do. I was at my Pilates class when I mentioned this to my instructor and she thought I would make a good Pilates instructor and suggested that I do an instructor course. I enrolled in the Cert IV in Pilates Instruction with Polestar/PilatesITC in 2007.

What did you eat for breakfast?

Chickpea vegetable curry and rice (leftovers from last night)

In one word, describe your first Pilates experience?


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

There were some challenging and stressful times (particularly home learning) , but I also found lockdowns gave me downtime from the hustle & bustle of life and time to reflect. I enjoyed not have to rush from one activity to another. We spent many hours as a family exploring the surrounding bush-something we would not done otherwise. I did a few online courses/conferences. I would never have attended some courses in person due to the distance and costs, yet online it was affordable and I could do it in my own time and pace. There are so many courses I want to do and not enough time!

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

During the lockdowns, I did offer my client online classes but no one was interested.
I tend to use tactile cues. I initially found it difficult to adjust my style of teaching and not use tactile cueing while trying to social distance. My advice? Don’t to be too hard on yourself.

What’s the best thing about your job?

Helping people and that I am always learning something new.

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

Pilates Anytime and Body Organics

The best advice you’ve ever had?

You made the best decision you could with the information you had at the time.

An indulgence you can’t live without?

Madam Flavour Green Jasmine & Pear Tea

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

Since 2007. I had a student membership while I was doing my course.

Do you have a motto?

Not so much a motto, but I like the quote “Every journey begins with a single step” by Lao Tzu

What’s the most challenging aspect of your job?

Mat classes where the client has poor body awareness (but think they do).

How do you use PAA?

For membership, courses, newsletters, Journal of Bodywork and Movement Therapies.

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

Kathy Grant. I get a lot out of instructors who studied under her and how they teach -it really resonates with me.

What do you appreciate most about your body?

That I’m always learning from it and what I learn can be used to help others.

The book you’re currently reading?

I usually have several books on the go at once:
A Brain is Born – Dr Upledger (textbook for an upcoming course)
Realm Breaker – Victoria Aveyard & Spy Glass – Maria Spyder (for some lighter reading)

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