Instructor in Focus: Susan Cottrell

Susan Cottrell

Susan Cottrell

Level 2 Member, The Body Refinery, New Farm, Brisbane QLD

Instructor Name: Susan Cottrell
Studio(s) you work at: The Body Refinery
Location: New Farm, Brisbane
Instructor training: Polestar Pilates
PAA Level: Level 2

What originally motivated you to try Pilates and then go on to train as an instructor?
I had injured my neck and my mum suggested I try Pilates. I did 3 sessions and my neck was better! I wanted to bring Pilates to my physio clients as a rehabilitation tools so I started to train.

What did you eat for breakfast?

I didn’t – I try and fast most days but I am often tempted by a good breakfast burrito

In one word, describe your first Pilates experience?


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

Stressful – I had to stand down 24 people in one day at it was the worst thing I have had to do in 13 years of business. Thankfully all my team have returned to work and The Body Refinery has been back to “normal” since July.

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

Try not to take it personally and always look for the positive….

What’s the best thing about your job?

My Team and my clients

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

Pilatesology and Pilates Anytime and of course

The best advice you’ve ever had?

Whatever anybody thinks about you is none of your business

An indulgence you can’t live without?

Raspberries and Horses

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

I think I have been a member for 6 years….. I think I heard about the PAA through Polestar Pilates

Do you have a motto?

Focus and Discipline

What’s the most challenging aspect of your job?

Saying no… and making time for myself

How do you use PAA?

For advice and to ensure our profession is represented. Having a good governing body is an important part of Pilates becoming a recognised profession.

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

Juan Nieto – his passion and knowledge of movement
Brent Anderson – and the science and knowledge he brings to Pilates
Anula for her passion for Pilates to be inclusive of all whether contemporary or classical
Benjamin Degenhardt – in general, but his passion for the history of Pilates and sharing it with all
Lesley Logan – for her ability to help so many people build their business in Pilates

What do you appreciate most about your body?

Its strength and flexibility

The book you’re currently reading?

Re reading Nelson Mandela’s The Long Walk to Freedom

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