Our girl Nicole has been helping TPB clients through Pilates for years. Her energetic personality, years of experience, and intuitive nature make all her TPB classes a steal. We caught up with her to get the inside scoop on all her fitness secrets.
How did you discover Pilates? How has it affected your life personally?
I discovered Pilates years ago while I was working at a Law Firm as a Marketing and PR director. I was not really working out too much and was in a very unhealthy relationship. Pilates saved me, actually. I started taking classes with a co-worker about 3 times a week. I wasn’t noticing any changes in my body just yet, but I realized something more important than a chiseled down waist-line. What I noticed was a profound sensation of empowerment internally. I knew I was building my core physically, but what I noticed more than anything was that I felt emotionally and mentally stronger.
I started taking private sessions in addition to my classes, and found an instructor that I just adored. She inspired me so much with her energy and strength. She is the one I thank for really introducing me to the power and strength of my core – my complete core of body and mind. I actually followed her to this studio- she used to be an instructor here at TPB.
Why did you want to become a fitness professional?
Coming from somewhat of a dance background, specifically in Indian Classical Dance and some other non-western traditional dances, movement has always been a huge part of my life. Pilates was a great way to rediscover movement in my body – not only as a workout and fitness tool, but as a therapy as well. It truly made me strong enough to leave a bad relationship, made me feel whole again and empowered, and showed me how important movement is when dealing with the mind…how very connected the body and mind are.
And there I was – I knew I had to find a way to teach this. I wanted to be able to give back what Pilates gave to me.
What is your style of training?
My style of training fits in with my personality type. I am a mover, full of energy, and so I like to give that to my classes and clients. I like to push myself to the limit and be in awe of what the body can do if we allow the mind to let go, so I like to incorporate that within my practice as well.
How has ballet influenced your Pilates practice? What other types of dance do you practice?
I studied ballet at a very young age, and was very fortunate to have an excellent teacher who had devoted her entire life to ballet. She still has the same studio in the Claremont Village where I grew up, and I believe still teaches from time to time and must be in her 70s at least – she looks exactly the same as she did when teaching me over 30 years ago. However, for me at the time, ballet was a bit too structured. I had a hard time following directions as a kid and really loved free-flowing things…
At the beginning of college, I studied Modern Dance for a little while…then funnily enough found myself studying Indian Classical Dance, Kathak, from the Northern region of India. I studied Kathak for 6 years, and the irony is that it is very strict in form; I’d say more strict than ballet. This time, however, I enjoyed the unwavering structure. I also began to explore West African Dance and Indonesian Dance. I found that structure in dance and movement was what my mind (not so much body) needed.
You’ve been working at TPB for quite some time now. What makes this studio unique?
I love working at TPB – it’s such a wonderful studio. Kelly Tourgeman is the best boss ever. Her coolness and easy-going attitude makes her such a pleasure to work with – she really cares about her employees so much and it has been so much fun working at her studio.
The studio itself is such a gem because of the clients as well. There’s such a great community and family vibe among everyone, which makes the environment to work in all the more special and enjoyable. I am very fortunate and find myself very lucky to work at this studio. I have created such beautiful friendships with the clients here, my co-workers, and boss. I absolutely love TPB!
Last week, we discussed positive body image with our clients. How do you maintain a positive body image? What struggles have you had?
As far as body image issues go, I have always been aware that they start with the mind more than the body. For me, it’s not so much a question of weight or size as it is of feeling – how one feels about his or her body. I think that if there is strength in the mind, then there will be confidence, which will provide a healthy outlook on body image. I understand this is easier said than done, and society builds certain images that may not provide a healthy promotion of this thought.
However, I strongly believe that once someone feels healthy on the inside, the outside reflects that too, naturally. With plenty of rest, lots of water (and I suggest lemon-water – the vitamin C from the lemon and detoxing properties of lemon really strengthens the mind and body) healthy eating, and movement- i.e. walking, running and weekly Pilates, all together, provide a groundwork for happiness and confidence.
What are your greatest strengths as an instructor?
My greatest strengths are being able to read what people really need and want – being empathetic and compassionate to others. Also, I’m able to push people to their full potential in a healthy way. I love enabling people to believe in themselves and just making them laugh a lot. One of the greatest medicines in life is a really good laugh, so I try to supply quite a few doses of that in my classes and Privates/Duets.🙂
Healthy eating tips?
I love eating and I love food. There are many resources for “healthy eating” these days, so much so that it can be difficult to tell what is actually good for you. Over the years of noticing changes in my body due to fitness, aging in general, and being a woman, I’ve found that everything in moderation seems to work best. It’s also important to be mindful when eating – meaning knowing why we are eating and what we are eating.
I’ve never been on a diet and my love of food would probably make that impossible, but I do know that portion and moderation in everything is the key to feeling better and healthier. There will always be food fads that will come and go, – the one consistent thing is moderation and the portions we take in. I try to be mindful of how and why I’m eating a particular food, and just listen to my own body. Our bodies do talk to us if we take time to listen.
What is your biggest fitness inspiration?
As far as inspirations in fitness, I would have to say this year the U.S.A. Women’s Soccer team really inspired me in how far women have come in sports and fitness. By really applying oneself through fitness and strength, one can overcome many obstacles. Change begins in the mind, and the core provides the body a space where not only physical strength occurs, but also mental and emotional strength.
How do you stay strong and build endurance within your own fitness practice?
I push myself to my limit, and then see if I can go beyond that limit by creating a place of solid confidence in my mind that will then be present in my body. I have found this on my mat in sacred moments of my yoga practice, in my mind while running up hills in Silver Lake, and sweating on a reformer building my core … My core, the one that saved me, the one that healed me and continues to heal me, the one that empowers me and enables me to give that power to my clients.
Nicole teaches at TPB Monday, Wednesday, and Thursday nights. She is available for Private Sessions, Group Mat classes, and Group Reformer. Call 818.265.9918 or visit thepilatesbodyglendale.com to book🙂