Quiet, shy, afraid to talk in public and stand in front of many people, I have never been active and spent all my time at home in front of books, drawing or playing with numbers. That’s how I was for almost 20 years, while I was living back in my native country, Belarus. I thought I would stay the same, finish university and find a job in accounting according to my degree. But one day I decided to change everything, I decided to fight my fears. That year, I decided to sign my first modeling contract. Now, 5 years later, I can definitely say that was the best decision I’ve ever made.
I started to work as a fashion model at the age of 21, traveling a lot, changing countries every 3-4 months. But one thing I never changed - I ran every morning and continued doing exercises I learned from physical fitness in primary school and later in university. In Belarus, physical culture is a required course in school/university that you have to take 3 times a week. To be completely honest, I hated it when I was younger, I had a hard time jumping, running, and playing ball. I was even having a hard time in simple forward flexion, never being able to touch the floor with my fingers. I still remember words of our teacher, “As soon as you finish university, you will realize the benefits of our lessons and you will miss them.” And I did. After one month of traveling, my body went from strong to weak. I started feeling lazy and tired, it was harder to wake up in the morning, and my concentration and focus was not the same, it got much harder to study. From that day, I start to exercise regularly. I did it because I needed it, and in a short time knew that I couldn’t live without it anymore.
During my past five years of modeling, I tried different physical activities and exercise regimes to keep my body in a proper form. I tried running, yoga, gym classes, cycling, which all have their good sides and benefits, but I felt something was missing. Then I tried Pilates, and it completely changed my body. Maybe your shoulders are slightly forward and up, your spine is rounded, your knees are facing in, or you have ankles that were coming apart as soon as you put high heels on, or have lower back pain that you feel as soon as you lay down in your bed in the night after work. You don’t even think that you are able to fix all of these issues by doing the right exercises in a proper way. Once you gain a deeper understanding of what you are doing, what muscle you are using, and your ability to control every movement, you will not only look better, but you will be stronger and lighter, and everyday activities will become so much easier. You will automatically succeed in other aspects of your life. I still run and do yoga once in a while, and I’m always open to try new activities. Because of Pilates, it has become so much easier, I can now control every movement I do, preventing injuries and other undesirable conditions as I progress.
I decided to take my Pilates certification program a year and a half ago and started teaching my first classes and privates only six months later, after every day self-practice, observation, studying. It was the second best decision I’ve made (after modeling, of course!) This program changed my vision about exercising. While you are young and healthy you don’t think much about exercising in a safe way, and you don't think what thoughtless moves can do to your body and what injuries it my cause in future. This exercise regime can work for everyone, no matter what age and condition. It can help people with various injuries, prevent undesirable conditions – Pilates made me view exercise from a different perspective.
I have recently obtained my PMA (Pilates Method Alliance) certification, which is recognized worldwide. However, I know I still have a long way to go and there’s so much more I need to learn. I’ll continue to learn by reading books and articles, learning from other teachers, taking workshops, and trying to find best way to work with every person and every condition.