Instructor Spotlight: (An Homage to) Om

  • Instructor Feature

1. Tell us about your life before becoming an instructor...
Before teaching Pilates, I worked for a standardized testing company in California for 10 years, grading college-level English essays. A typical desk job involving lots of sitting and reading. As a child, I actually dreaded PE and felt I was the most uncoordinated human in the world. As an adult, I tried to stay healthy. I took walks and swam on a regular basis, but never considered myself a super active or athletic person. Never in my wildest dream did I think I would one day work as a fitness instructor.

2. How did you get into Pilates?
Totally on a whim! I wanted to try something new and just happened to find a nice Pilates studio near the apartment I recently moved into. And that’s where my journey began.

3. Why did you decide to become an instructor?
Well, my curiosity turned into an addiction (the good kind!), then my addiction turned into a strong passion. And I realized making a living by sharing my passion with others wouldn’t be such a bad idea.

4. What's the best and / worst part of being an instructor?
The best part is seeing students grow. I love seeing my clients get stronger, healthier, more flexible, and feel more confident about their own bodies. The worst part? Hmmm.....I’d rather keep the worst part to myself, okay? We’re moving on to the next question now.

5. Tell us about your experience teaching in Singapore...
I wouldn’t say it was a bed of roses, but overall, it has been a great experience. I’ve grown a lot both as an instructor and as a person during these past 9 months in Singapore. What I’m most grateful for are my regular clients. They’re amazing and fun to work with, which makes my work feel a lot less like work!

6. What is your most memorable teaching experience here?
My most memorable experience is my very first class at Upside. The night before that class, I arrived in Singapore at around 10 pm after a 20-hr flight from California. I slept quite poorly that night and probably had just about 3 hours of sleep total. The next day I had to teach my first class at around 11 am (it was not initially planned that way but they really needed a sub). So I went, got lost, and couldn’t find the Orchard studio, so my coworker, Yvonne, had to go find me and rescue me. In the end, I (severely jet-lagged, sleep-deprived and disoriented in this new foreign country) made it to class right on time and did my job. Not sure about the quality of the class. But hey, I made it through the whole 55 minutes without passing out, having a nervous breakdown or letting students notice that I actually felt like I was about to die!