Joshua Keith: 2019 Equinox Scholarship Winner

I will train with EQUINOX’s and New York City’s Master Instructors for an entire year! WOW! Post Completion of 450 hours of training and Comprehensive Exams and I will begin instructing my own classes and transforming the body's dependencies on addictive medications and debilitating injuries to the magic and modern day practice of PILATES. The practice that not only heals, but strengthens your body holistically.My goal is to give back to the New York theater community and serve as a health coach to those in need, with or without quality health insurance.I will document my one year journey on my social media, so get ready! I am truly a believer in the #Healing And #Transformative Power Of Pilates, and I am #Honored to start this #Journey.Thank you to Gratz_Pilates Alexia P. Hammonds Equinox, the Gratz family,and most of all for blessing me to be a blessing to the world through the POWER OF Pilates!


Interview Part 1

1) Please confirm a little more background on your history prior to studying Pilates- whereyou grew up, what sports did you participate in, and any other details that you arecomfortable sharing with us and the Pilates community.

In 2018 I suffered a horrible back injury that resulted in a herniated disc during the run of a theater show. I will never forget the pain and frustration that came with this injury, and little did I know the effect it would have on my body and career moving forward.Along with the frustrations of losing my health insurance, and the show refusing to pay for the costs of my recovery; I knew it was up to me if I wanted get better.I flew home and after weeks of physical therapy (which came from my own personal savings account, with no help from anyone from the production studio), I started my journey with Pilates. The moment I sat on the reformer in class I knew my body would heal. With deep tissue work, coupled with the magical power of Pilates, I knew that my body and career would be saved!

2. What have the first few Months of Teacher Training been like? Module 1 [she meansModule 2, Beginner System]

The first few months of teacher training can be a bit daunting, there is a wealth ofinformation disseminated, anatomy, cueing, apparatus work, and even furthering theunderstanding your own body awareness is not easy. Finding where you fit inside the work,and not allowing it to overwhelm you. The gentle and constant reminder that you can do this,I would imagine this gentle reminder will be helpful in the future with clients and test outs.Modules 1 & 2 has provided me the opportunity to stretch. I think of Modules 1 & 2 as theintroduction to the basics. I quickly realized that at the beginning stages of any new practicerequires diligence, and the sooner I understood the basics, the sooner I could refine myteaching and cueing ability. Connecting with clients comes naturally, but I knew that if I couldrefine the exercises and bring clients to and through the basic understanding of Pilates andit’s intention, from there I knew I could find success. Modules 1 & 2 Provide a basicknowledge and awareness of what is needed in every exercise. Level 1 of any novice isalways the most important.


Interview Part 2

3. What apparatus do you enjoy working on the most?

I have always enjoyed the Reformer. It’s less intimidating to clients, and provides a fullbody workout that once experienced in my own body, cueing and instructing becomes muchmore fluid.

4) Having completed the basic portion of the teacher training program, is there anything thatsurprised you or was easier or more challenging than anticipated in the basic program? (Beginner System Module 2 summary)

I don’t believe anything comes easily in Pilates, however, Pilates lends itself to the world ofDance. They go hand in hand, so cueing anatomically came much more naturally than Irealized. I strayed away from over cueing, and sticking to a more simplistic approach. I’velearned through Dance, that Less is Always More! I think the same applies in cueing.

5) Have you noticed a change in your body and mind as you get deeper into the Pilatesmethod and practice and study more intensely? (Module 3.1 and 3.2)

Pilates is a full body workout, as the exercises become more intricate it challenges andstimulates the brain to work from within the body and challenging the precision and flow witha solid connection to the breath. I’ve noticed a difference in the way I approach all physicalactivity. A more knowledgeable approach aids in effective training, in outside of the studio.

6) How is it working as a teacher and leading a client through the technique, inspiring, and directing them during a class?

Working as an instructor is the opposite of being the client, but ironically the experience can be very similar. Whether I am the client or the instructor, I am always learning and growing. There are so many exercises and cueing that is involved in being an effective instructor that I am always learning from the body in front of me. However, experiencing the movement in my own body provides a clear route to effective results. Being an instructor also requires staying ahead of the client and their needs. Providing a safe and healthy learning environment is key. I like to help clients explore effective training techniques that they can use in or outside the studio. Pilates provides a cumulative approach to all work.


Interview Part 3

7) Please let us know how the intermediate work was challenging.

The difficulty of Modules 1 & 2 is simply letting go. Letting go of the idea that you are goingto master the craft and art of teaching after your first session and module work.Understanding that the process to certification is a journey, and you are always growing.Never stop learning, never stop moving, and in order to move forward with the work one mustunderstand that the journey is always informative, but must be experienced and felt first.

8) How do you feel teaching at this point? Are there any techniques or exercises that you arefinding easier or more difficult to perform and/or teach?

I find exercises that require great levels of coordination can be difficult to cue. There is alevel of maturation and progression that must be present before advancing any client, butcoordination doesn’t always come naturally, so it can be difficult to cue clients who are readyfor advancement but coordination isn’t their strongest suit.

9) What is the most rewarding experience you’ve had in the Intermediate phase of theapprenticeship?

The Most Rewarding Exercise in Modules 1 & 2 for would undeniably be the Short Box Series.I find it incredibly informative to the client and the instructor on the understanding oflengthening and body awareness. From keeping the shoulders down, not crunching in theneck, anchoring the tailbone into the box, keeping feet flexed and splayed in the foot strap,engaging the lats by retracting the shoulders from the ears when using the wand, and endingwith Tree truly is the most telling of them all. I LOVE THE SHORT BOX SERIES!

This Past Weekend...

We conquered Module 2. The amount of information was overwhelming and I initially thought, "How will I do this?" Then I took a deep breath, counted down from 10 and started again. I knew immediately that I was exactly where I was supposed to be. Challenged, Pushed, Motivated, Critiqued, Vulnerable, Humbling, Yet GOING FOR IT!

I looked at the reformer, I was immediately reminded of its magic and wonders it provides for the body. I remembered the feeling it gave me for the first time, and from there came strength! Anytime there was an opportunity to instruct or demonstrate I was always a body willing to be used. This Module has taught me the importance of Vulnerability and a true realization that we start our journeys exactly where we are. It's perfectly ok for me to Diveu In and simply GO FOR IT! I am so honored by this opportunity, and the push it's given me to dig even deeper within. Here's to 100 hours, A Reformer, And a Cadillac.

Joshua Keith

Equinox Scholarship Winner

Electric Chair


Wunda Chair




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