Instructor of the Month

Introducing Yvonne Van Staden, owner of Yvonne-Marie Pilates

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Originally from Ireland, Yvonne moved to Cape Town in January 2013 with her husband and one year old son. She spent 9 years living in London; this is where she fell in love with the Pilates method and where she completed all her Pilates training. Yvonne decided to make the change from the corporate world (where she worked for one of the leading UK law firms) to the Pilates world.

Yvonne has always been devoted to participating in sport and has experienced the magic of Pilates in her own quest to push her body to the limit. She enjoys rock climbing; snowboarding; hiking; scuba diving and running. 

Q & A Session:

How would you describe your style of teaching? 

My style has evolved in the last 12 months since moving to Cape Town. My classes have become slightly faster paced – my clients like to be pushed quite hard.

I tend to do an all over body workout but generally will focus on two groups within each class – predominantly these tend to be glutes and shoulders as this is where most of my clients have issues. 

It is always good to mix it up and I enjoy using apparatus like bands, small balls, small weighted balls and isotoners. I use music in the majority of my classes and I play music according to the tempo of the class. 

What is your client base like? 

I have a fantastic group of clients who range from as young as 20 all the way up to 80.

Not only is my client base spread age wise, but also ranges from private home based individuals to corporate clients at their office, to pre and post natal and your standard studio group classes.

Generally my clients tend to be fit and well and are doing Pilates for strengthening and toning rather than for rehabilitation. However, I have most recently seen an increase in the number of clients coming to me with serious back problems (such as back fusions and broken backs).  

What other training have you done?

I completed my Level 3 Mat training with Jo at the Pilates Institute. Since then I have completed my Level 3 Pre and Post Natal training and various one day workshops. Most recently I completed a Sweatilates workshop.

What are you planning for the next 12 months? 

The last 12 months have been bit of a rollercoaster – I moved to Cape Town from London and went from working full time in the corporate world to starting my own Pilates business full time.

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As for the next 12 months – I have recently started teaching Stand Up Paddle Board (SUP) Pilates which is great fun. It never feels like work when I am out on the water! I am the first to offer this in Cape Town so I am hoping it will be a big hit for the summer season.

I am looking to expand my business over the next 12 months and am looking to recruit another instructor.

Of course I would love to squeeze in some more training and would love to persuade Jo to have a training retreat in SA! 

What is the most rewarding aspect of being a Pilates Instructor? 

When someone sincerely thanks you for helping them so much because for the first time in 5 years they are able to live life pain free and can now perform daily tasks such as sitting in the office, watching TV, walking, driving without having constant pain – something that prior to Pilates was not ever believed possible

If you could give one piece of advice to a new instructor what would it be?

If you are considering leaving your full time job to pursue your Pilates career – just go for it, there will never be a “right” time to give up that stable income. Give yourself 12 months – if after that it hasn’t worked out you can still go back to your previous career.