BB Education: Honoring the Past, Looking to the Fu...

BB Education: Honoring the Past, Looking to the Future

When Balanced Body Education began in 2006 the world was quite different, and the education landscape was an open field. In order to truly understand you would need to go back a bit farther, prior to the turn of the century, to the 1980s and 90s. At that time, Pilates was a well-kept secret and only for those fortunate enough to have found a practitioner skilled in the movement art. Due to a trademark dispute, associating a practice or a studio with the word ‘Pilates’ was forbidden. In challenging the trademark, Ken Endelman opened up opportunities, and studios everywhere came out of the shadows and flourished. This is the genesis of the industry around the practice of Pilates. Once the term Pilates was free from legal confines it not only grew in popularity but also became synonymous with quality movement, health and enhanced wellbeing.

Slowly, the world was embracing the potential of Pilates. Fitness began to understand that Pilates had much to offer customers. Physical therapy understood that Pilates had much to offer patients. And Pilates Instructors were realizing there was a secret sauce in Pilates that clients sought out, loved and valued. That sauce? Education.

A Pilates education is in equal parts a tradition, a movement art, and a practice. It is a movement medium that integrates the physical body and the sensory body to meet and thrive with the demands of modern life. Joseph Pilates himself believed that “civilization impair(s) physical fitness” and that “physical fitness is the first requisite of happiness.” As the world was beginning to agree with him the need for teachers and the desire to understand how and why this practice worked grew as well.

Enter Balanced Body Education. The Balanced Body Pilates curriculum, designed and created by Nora St. John, offers students the opportunity to truly find, in themselves and in their profession, a unique voice, place and confidence as a Pilates teacher. Every manual respects the traditions and exercises as Joseph Pilates crafted them and expands the practice to include contemporary understanding of movement applications, fitness foundations and kinesiology. Every course encourages students to reason critically, challenges both the body and the mind to find, feel and experience the why behind the movement. It provides opportunity and infinite possibilities, all with the individual client needs front and center.

This expansive approach is what has attracted talented master instructors to join our network and has supported and educated many who have grown into current leadership within the industry – leaders who now continue to pay it forward with quality teaching beyond the manuals and the walls of their studios. It has opened career paths for and provided education that stimulates as well as educates.

Mind Body fitness is now seen as a necessary part of overall fitness, not as an adjunct or accessory for the elite exerciser. With the mind body industry continuing to grow, so does Balanced Body Education. With a global network of highly qualified, motivated and enthusiastic master instructors, Balanced Body Education has made Pilates Teacher Training accessible, affordable and reliable. Our Pilates on Tour conferences and online offerings provide continuing education which is open to all within the Pilates and movement communities. As a result, the field in front of us is still wide open and full of potential with education as the secret ingredient to accessing, sharing and harnessing the power that is Pilates.

Joy Puleo is Balanced Body's Director of Education. In July of 2013, Joy moved, with her family, from New York to Sacramento, California to join Nora St. John and the rest of the Balanced Body team to work on developing curriculum and educational programming. Joy has been teaching Pilates teachers since 2002 and in the health and wellness industry since 1996. Joy earned her MA from Columbia University in Applied Physiology. As a lecturer she presents at conferences and studios across the country and abroad and with Balanced Body, she is a regular at most Pilates on Tours. In addition to her degree Joy is A.C.S.M. certified and is able to provide ACE credits for students who take her classes. She is a fully qualified Balanced Body Pilates Instructor and teacher trainer, CoreAlign and Bodhi Suspension System master trainer and a graduate of the PhysicalMind Institute. Joy was also trained on the GYROTONIC,® Level I and the Ladder. In 2011 Joy founded Body Wise Connection, a not-for-profit which works with women newly diagnosed with breast cancer. Body Wise Connections sole purpose is to remind women that even in the throes of a diagnosis and treatment for cancer the body can heal and strengthen. Body Wise Connection works to restore physical self-awareness and empowerment through gently, rhythmic Pilates based movements. Though Joy is no longer in New York, Joys work has expanded to include all cancer patients regardless of the primary cancer diagnosis. Joy believes that movement changes lives and that education is the key to unlocking potential. Joy is thrilled to be working with Balanced Body on the shared mission of elevating mindful movement as a component to long term health and wellbeing.



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