Instructor of the Month

Introducing Andrea Sarabia-Lock, co-founder of The Practice Sport

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I have been working in the fitness industry since the age of 14 (Saturday work) and I am passionate about sport.

When I was younger I was keen on trampolining,swimming and martial arts. I competed in the martial art Tang Soo Do and achieved a world event gold medal. I am currently a 2nd Dan black belt.

I worked on cruise ships around the world teaching Pilates and whilst cruising to Rio, I met the man (navigator of the ship) who is now my husband.

As well as teaching I enjoy taking part in various sports .i.erunning and triathlons. I have completed 2 half Iron Mans and I would like to complete a full Iron Man when the children are older (when I have more time!)  

Q&A Session

How would you describe your style of teaching?

I try to incorporate as much as possible into a class. Each participant is there for different reasons. The 55mins consists of core, flexibility, toning and flowing movements. Apart from constant teaching points (to work on technique), I’ve been focusing more on functional training which is fundamental to everyday life.

What is your client base like? 

I teach all sorts of people from MPs, to elite athletes with all sorts of injuries and strengths and weaknesses. The oldest person I’ve taught is 96, and still alive (now 98!). I always keep the beginners separate and smaller classes. This encourages them and gives them confidence, also I get the chance to know them and how to teach them, verbally or visually etc. and also to recognise what their body needs, i.e flexibility etc

As well as one to one sessions, I teach approximately 150 people per a week in a range of classes.

After your Level 3 training what other training have you done?

I was heavily pregnant with my son when I finished my Level 3 training (and since then had a daughter) which has restricted my time. However, I have done the `Studio in a Bag workshop’ (brilliant) and attended the JPilates Convention last year (also, brilliant). I’ve been a Sports Therapist for 16 years before entering the Pilates world 12 years ago. The non Pilates qualifications I’ve done since Level 3 are Acupuncture for Sports Therapists’ andKinesiology Taping for Athletes.

What are you planning for the next 12 months?

I have just booked my place on the Level 3 in Pre and Post Natal Training in July..... can’t wait!

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I’m very fortunate to have just recently opened a sports rehabilitation clinic in Thame with my sister, who is a chiropractor. Over the next 12 months we are looking at working together to focus on rehabilitation classes, focusing on different injuries and weaknesses. Eventually, I would love to experiment more with reformers.

Bit more about the Practice

Juliet, my Mother and I were founders of the Practice 9 years ago. Since then, Juliet and I have also gone on to develop the sport side, The Practice Sport.

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

As cliché as it sounds, but being able to help people is job satisfaction at it’s best. I find using biomechanics is a wonderful tool, it encourages us to look at individuals as a unit rather than piece by piece. Being able to identify various muscle groups which are either over contracting, or not engaging correctly, and helping participants by adapting their technique.

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

Go that extra mile and make people feel special. Any instructor can teach the moves, but it’s how you connect with the participant, and relate to them that makes them feel individual. I learn and use everybody’s name as much as possible, encourage people to ask me questions about aches, pains etc  either by chatting or emails. I even bake cakes at the end of term... silly, but people love it!