From being a doubtful novice to truly living the Pilates lifestyle, Andriesa Verloop is the best example of how Pilates changes people’s worlds.
“I spent many years in management positions within corporate concerns,” she remembers. “These environments are very stressful, fast-paced and pressurised and it started taking a toll on my body.
“I started getting sick all the time and developed neck and backpain. I also saw co-workers struggling with similar issues and other diseases, which was mostly stress-related.”
Pilates was mentioned to her as a possible solution and she signed up with a private studio. However, she was still doubtful of the exercise method. After meeting several other clients with various ailments, but great success stories, Andriesa decided to give this method at least three months to see whether it would yield positive results.
“Needless to say, I felt the change after about four weeks of regularly practising Pilates,” she explains. “I was amazed by how wrong I had been doing my exercise previously, both from a body alignment point of view, as well as the type of exercise that I was engaging in.
“Before I focussed on loading my body and joints rather than unloading. With pilates I became more graceful in terms of the way I moved. I gained strength and flexibility that I never thought would be possible. After about 12 weeks I was pain free.”
Andriesa had always loved exercise and was a competitive athlete and dancer since she was a child. Growing up she spent a lot of time in the gym and participated in - from running and golfing - to strength training and sweaty spin classes. But Pilates is the one movement discipline that tied them all together. She had found her passion.
“I enjoy how Pilates challenges your mind and body. There is always more to be learnt in every workout - the way you move, breathe or align yourself,” she says. “It also makes you more self-aware. When doing Pilates at first, you become very aware of your posture and breathing. It spills over into your daily life whether you drive, sit, walk, move or participate in sport.”
Andriesa qualified as a Comprehensive Pilates Instructor in the classical pilates style over 13 years ago and has worked with several physiotherapists & chiropractors since then. She has done numerous courses ranging from Anatomy and Movement; to Clinical Pilates and Rehabilitation, and various other fitness and pilates related courses for different population groups during her more than 13-year journey of managing a successful pilates & yoga studio. “To teach or train came to me naturally – having held managerial and training positions within various corporate concerns,” she says. “Pilates changed my life and I have seen how it changed the lives of the clients whom I have trained. So, I thought: ‘Well, why not spread the good work?’. “Joseph Pilates dreamed of having his method recognised and shared with others. The more I thought about the idea of teaching, the more I became excited about changing the lives of others by continuing to hold the torch of Joseph Pilates.”
Andriesa has had to employ pilates trainers in her studio, so she was very much aware of the fact that there was a huge need for good qualified pilates trainers/instructors and she decided to use her knowledge, experience and passion, to provide a comprehensive pilates training programme to potential pilates instructors.
Andriesa also realised that by teaching people wishing to change their careers to become great Pilates teachers, she would also help them change their lives and impact positively on them, their families and the people they in turn teach.
So, the next phase was set. Pilates Dynamics Studio implemented the Pilates education programmes, with international and professional affiliations and recognition. Pilates Dynamics not only train potential instructors and giving South Africa well-trained and knowledgeable Pilates Instructors, but also to the rest of the world. Pilates Dynamics also offer various short courses for qualified pilates instructors with a need for further learning and development.
As an added benefit, Andriesa started travelling to conferences and workshops across the world.
“Being exposed to several different styles and communities, my Pilates knowledge has grown tremendously. I also network with instructors and studios all over the world.”