Instructor of the Month
Introducing Georgia Gilz, owner of Posto Nove Studio, Lebanon.
In 2005 the Pilates method came into my life and changed my world forever. At the time I was living in London, working in fashion PRand like so many women I knew felt my body didn't look as perfect as I would have liked, so to remedy the situation I found myself a personal trainer who promised to get me to my dream body. Instead, within two months of his training I left was injured and unable to walk properly for almost 6 months. I had no choice but to spend several months undergoing a combination physio therapy, rehabilitative Pilates and acupuncture. Eventually, as I began to slowly improve my physio explained to me that in order to live a pain free life I would have to take up Reformer Pilates as my main form of fitness. At first I couldn't understand how 'Pilates' could be at all useful for fitness especially fora previously fit and sporty person like myself - after all I had tried those classes at the gym with 50 people and no one really correcting you - they were totally useless. However, after the insistence of my physio andmy need to not feel any more pain, I decided to start Reformer classes once a week, and to my surprise in one month my back pain was a drastically better and my body started looking better with every session - I quickly became a woman obsessed, it was my new passion!
In 2010, I was dating my husband when I came to Lebanon for the first time, it was then that I realized that Pilates Reformer, was virtually unknown here. For the next two years I came to Beirut over a dozen times, and every time I searched and failed to find a reformer class to attend. At this point I had become so passionate about Pilates and its benefits, that without knowing I had already started to create a small following for the discipline here. So in 2012 when I finally decided to move to Lebanon, my husband suggested I get certified and open a boutique studio here, so I would have somewhere to practice my passion. I loved the idea but was petrified that Iwouldn't make a good teacher but I began my search for a Pilates school and somehow, I was lucky enough to stumble across the incredible JPilates school and after a brief conversation with Jo I had no doubt that this was place for me.
In May 2013, my husband, his best friend and I opened our current studio Posto Nove Studio, a luxury boutique fitness studio specializing in semi-private Reformer classes (5 people max). We were an almost instant success, it was an amazing but exhausting feeling, Reformer was full almost all day every day and I quickly had no choice but to look at expanding our team. Today I am proud to say I have ateam of 3 full timers and 3 part time Pilates instructors, and although Reformer has become a massive trendhere in Lebanon with a lot of competition now, my studio stands out in large due to the training, knowledge and understanding of the Pilates method I acquired though my extensive training with JPilates
In the next four weeks, we will open our second studio, this time in central Beirut. I never imagined our studio would be such a success, let alone opening second branch in such a short time. My team and our clients have become like a little family and our motto here is quite simple:
Fitness, health and happiness.
How would you describe your style of teaching?
The simplest way to describe my teaching method is that I always teach the way I would enjoy being taught. I really try and create an environment where for 50 mins the client is consumed by our version of the Pilates experience, where the music is cool and modern, the moves are dynamic and precise and the over all feel of the class leaves the client feeling enjoyably challenged with that ever pleasurable post-Pilates high. I make sure that whilst our clients are having a dynamic Pilates experience that they are taught the importance and value of correct posture, movement and breath so that they are able to take these fundamentals home with them and can utilize them in their daily lives. At my studio our Pilates classes can best be describe as a dynamic reformer method with a heavy focus on strength, technique & posture.
What is your client base like?
Our clientele, is extremely mixed in terms of both abilities and ages. Our clients range from anywhere between 15-60 years, and from the super fit who workout 6 times a week, to the those who have never moved and never even heard of Pilates, let alone Reformer. A large number of clients come to us looking for a remedy for years of back, knee and neck pain and we are always excited to be able to help them make a positive change in their everyday lives in a fun, dynamic semi private (Reformer classes of 5 max) environment
What are you planning for the next 12 months?
When we first opened Posto Nove studio two and half years ago, Pilates was a relatively new concept here inLebanon and Reformer along with semi private training were concepts that were practically unheard of. So we started slowly, introducing first our friends to the magic of Reformer and benefits of semi private training before, we knew it we were full and a new Semi private Reformer trend had started here.
Today, we are 4 weeks away from opening our second studio in central Beirut, a reality I had never dreamed possible when my husband, business partner and I first spoke about opening a boutique Reformer studio. We are overwhelm at the success we've had so far and are excited to see what new adventures this new studio will bring us..
What do you find most challenging about your work and how do you overcome this?
I think that one of the most challenging aspects of my work here, has been educating clients on a new way to look at their bodies and their definition of health and fitness. Lebanon is a country where as longs you 'go to the gym' you are defined as fit and when clients come to me and they quickly realize that 50 mins of Reformer is much harder than anything they've very done at the gym because here they are required to focus on their bodies in a totally new way.
The second challenge we are trying over come, is that misconception that Pilates is discipline just for women. All new clients that come to us, are obliged to take an introductory class, here we discuss their injuries, fitness goals and we explain to them exactly who Joseph Pilates was and what his method is really about.
What is the most rewarding aspect of being a Pilates instructor?
One of the most rewarding parts of this job is that I am in a position where have been able to bring a new awareness of the Pilates Reformer method to a large number of people. In doing so I have been allowed the privilege of helping my clients free their bodies of pain and reach the the physical changes that they have always dreamed of.
If you could give one piece of advice to a new instructor what would it be?
Have fun, love what you're doing, keep learning, listen to clients' feedback and always smile!