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Kyle Georgina Marsh Of True II Form Pilates & Wellness On How Pilates Can Improve Your Health and Wellbeing

Uncategorized Feb 28, 2023

An Interview With Maria Angelova

Less pain and improved sleep. Moving regularly is good for the overall function of the body and is agreed to do things like help reduce inflammation and better regulate hormones etc. Regular exercise also plays a major role in improving people’s sleep patterns.

Pilates was invented around 100 years ago, and it is becoming an increasingly popular form of exercise. What exactly is Pilates? How is it different from other modalities like Yoga or Tai Chi? What are the benefits of Pilates? Who can most benefit from it? In this interview series, we are talking to Pilates professionals & practitioners who can talk about how Pilates can improve your health and wellbeing. As a part of this series, I had the distinct pleasure of interviewing Kyle Georgina Marsh.

A lifelong student of movement, Kyle is a former dancer turned educator, master Pilates instructor, Integrative Health Coach, and entrepreneur. As a teacher Kyle is known for empowering her students to move intelligently and fearlessly within their own practice.


Thank you so much for joining us! Before we dive in, our readers would love to “get to know you” a bit better. Can you tell us a bit about your ‘backstory’?

Thank you for having me, I am honored to be included! My backstory as a Pilates instructor feels a little atypical. I first discovered my personal practice of Pilates as a young dancer who was rehabbing from an injury. After I discovered the incredible benefits of cross training with Pilates I continued to use it as a way to sustain and support the physical demands of my dance career. While dancing I made the decision to pursue a master’s degree in dance education, and during my studies as a graduate student, I was offered the opportunity to enroll in a pilot Pilates Teacher Training program through my university. After completing my graduate degree, I continued to work as a dance artist and educator who taught Pilates on the side to help pay the bills. However, after a couple of years saddled with the burden of student debt, I transitioned into working more full time in the corporate world as a Pilates instructor for Equinox. Enter March 2020. I found myself laid off and scrambling to figure out how to teach online. Six months later, and after many conversations with my co-founder Val, True II Form was officially born. Founded with the intention of creating a dedicated online exercise space for our friends, family, and wider global community, True II Form is on a mission to make Pilates and wellness more widely available to every(body) in a way that is affordable, fun, and effective.

Can you share with us the most interesting story from your career? Can you tell us what lessons or ‘takeaways’ you learned from that?

I’ve taught a lot of famous people as well as people who I think should be famous so far in my career. I have also taught a lot of high performance athletes and everyone in between. The one thing that remains consistent across the board is that it doesn’t matter who you are, how much money you have, or what you look like, everybody needs some kind of consistent movement practice in their life to stay happy and healthy. No matter who you are, the body does not lie. With important exceptions, the body we have in our mid-thirties tends to be the version we keep for much of the rest of our lives. So the sooner a person can create a sustainable movement practice, the better. Exercising and moving regularly throughout a person’s life has been shown through research to have a high correlation with longevity and overall sustained wellbeing.

You are a successful leader. Which three character traits do you think were most instrumental to your success? Can you please share a story or example for each?

Curiosity — Staying curious is one of the most important qualities a person can have; it keeps you learning. No matter how long you have been teaching or immersed in the Pilates health and wellness field it is impossible to know everything. For example, I am not a doctor or medical professional. There is a lot that I don’t know about various physical conditions or limitations, and I don’t need to pretend to. When I am working with individual clients who have special needs and I am unsure of the best way to help, I get curious and seek out as much information as I can. I go to scientific literature when possible, do my research, and talk to my clients’ other care providers. The same has also been true in running a business. When Val and I started True II Form, we didn’t know anything about how to form an LLC, organize our taxes, build a streaming platform, etc. In order to do all of this we had to get curious, seek out the information, and continue growing from there.

Persistence — Keep showing up even when it’s hard because showing up is half the work. This is a cliche for a reason and holds true on many levels: be it a person’s Pilates practice or your professional life and business goals. Lots of people get tired and quit almost immediately before they start to get good at something because patience is hard! Lululemon commercials, Instagram videos, and the like make it seem like success happens in 5-second montages. Reality is quite the opposite. For example, when someone first starts doing Pilates usually there is a lot of information to take in. People tend to feel overwhelmed and awkward because it’s possible they aren’t doing the moves correctly and confidently. Maybe they aren’t used to the new sensations in their body and they don’t like it. But with time and persistent practice the beginner will eventually gain mastery over these things and start to experience the physical benefits. The same is true in business, I can’t tell you how many times Val and I have pitched articles, sought out business collaborations, or attempted various marketing strategies that have totally failed. It is easy to quit when things are uncomfortable, challenging, or don’t go the way you want them to, but as my father-in-law says, “the worst thing that can happen is you get a no.”

Confidence — People like to say fake it ’til you make it, and in some ways I think this is true. Imposter syndrome is real and it is very difficult to work through. Especially in the age of the internet where it is way too easy to spiral down a dark rabbit hole of comparing yourself to everyone else. Be confident in yourself and the things that you know, but stay curious so that you can continue learning about the things that you don’t know and grow. When Val and I started True II Form, we had a gut instinct that what we were building was something special. But there were already so many other “more famous,” “more successful” instructors out there in the world attempting to do what we thought we wanted to do online. If we had lived and operated solely from a place of self-doubt instead of following our belief that what we could bring to the table was unique, then we never would have even gotten started. Confidence has a lot to do with letting yourself feel secure about the things that you do know, while simultaneously leaving the door open to learning more about the things that you don’t know.

Are you working on any exciting new projects now? How do you think that might help people?

There are a couple of new professional opportunities in the works that I am not at liberty to talk about just yet. So in the meantime a big focus has been growing True II Form by expanding our community and refining our offerings according to the feedback from our incredible community of practitioners!

One of the things I find the most inspiring about Pilates in the online space is how much it democratizes the practice and accessibility of Pilates, both financially, physically, and geographically. Gone are the days where you needed to have lots of specialized equipment or a studio that you had to go to all of the time to get a good workout in. Now there is so much more that a practitioner can achieve from home for a fraction of the cost, with minimal equipment, and the support of a platform like True II From. For example, at True II Form we meticulously design classes down to the exact verbal cue we know will translate effectively through an online interface. High quality instruction cannot be beat, online or in-person..

Ok, thank you for all that. Now let’s shift to the main focus of our interview about Pilates. To begin, can you tell our readers a bit about why you are an authority on the topic of Pilates?

I’ve studied movement and the fundamental functions of the human body my entire adult life. Through my work as an instructor and educator in the industry for 10+ years I have also had the privilege of working alongside many of the top industry professionals who have challenged me to remain at the bleeding edge of exercise science and movement education.

Let’s start with a basic definition so that we are all on the same page. What exactly is Pilates?

Fantastic and very controversial question depending on who you ask…

In its most basic form, Pilates is an exercise system that was developed in the early 20th century by a German man named Joseph Hubertus Pilates. Joe, as he is commonly referred to in the Pilates community, called his original system of exercises “Contrology.” In Joe’s manifesto entitled “Return to Life Through Contrology and Your Health,” he states that “Physical fitness is the first requisite of happiness” and that “physical fitness can neither be acquired by wishful thinking nor by outright purchase. However, it can be gained through performing the daily exercises conceived for this purpose by the founder of Contology” (a.k.a. himself).

According to Joe, Contrology (now commonly called Pilates) is the, “complete coordination of body, mind and spirit. Through Contrology you first purposefully acquire complete control over your body and then through proper repetition of its exercises you gradually and progressively acquire the natural rhythm and coordination associated with all of your subconscious activities.”

These days Pilates has evolved to incorporate many of Joe’s original exercises, plus a wide range of other functional fitness exercises like squats, lunges, and more. Pilates is commonly described as a full body workout that has the power to lengthen and strengthen your entire body (within reason). This is achieved through the use of specialized equipment like the reformer, cadillac, or chair. All 3 of which utilize spring tension and pulleys to offer resistance and feedback during your workout. However, slightly more accessible and equally as popular, Pilates mat work can be achieved with only your body weight and the occasional assistance of selected props.

As an exercise system Pilates is extremely adaptable and has the versatility to be intensified or dialed down depending on the practitioner’s needs. Because of this Pilates has become increasingly popular in physical therapy and rehabilitative settings, but also has the ability to serve as incredibly effective cross training for Greatest of All Time athletes like surfer Kelly Slater, football’s Tom Brady.

In short, Pilates is a dynamic and easily adaptable system of exercises that can be done on the mat or with specialized equipment that is designed to help you build strength, flexibility, and muscular stamina at any age or stage of life.

How is Pilates different from other movement modalities that you have practiced?

One of the primary differences between Pilates and other movement modalities like Yoga or Thai Chi is that Pilates with props and other equipment usually entails working with some level of resistance in addition to body weight, which is especially important when it comes to maintaining bone density and building actual strength.

Similar to Yoga and Thai Chi, Pilates contains elements of a mind-body practice, however this also differs in that it is not explicitly spiritually based. Instead, the mind-body focus is centered around tuning into how your body feels, where it is moving through space, and how it functions. Working in this way builds the practitioner’s kinesthetic intelligence, which in turn provides feedback and information about where a person may feel stiff or weak.

On a personal level, what are the biggest benefits that you have gained from regular Pilates practice?

Pilates has given me the structure and versatility that I need to maintain a consistent and sustainable movement habit. On the most basic level, Pilates has given me a routine and vocabulary of movements that I can take with me anywhere I go and use regularly for cross training and bodily “maintenance.”

Additionally, at this stage in my life (a former dancer in her mid-30’s) practicing Pilates gives me a sense of routine that allows me to connect with myself, and continues to grow with me by physically offering new and fun ways to challenge myself and keep things moving. It has also kept me relatively injury-free so I can continue to confidently pursue other physical practices that I enjoy like Capoeira, hiking, and even a little surfing.

Who do you think can most benefit from Pilates?

Every single person. It doesn’t matter whether you’re Tom Brady or you’ve never exercised in your life. The adaptability of the Pilates system to meet the needs of the practitioner means that it is truly for every person. Crucially, finding the right instructor and appropriately leveled class is essential.

If you are thinking about picking up Pilates for the first time, I recommend being clear about your goals: What do you want to achieve with your Pilates practice? Some examples of initial goals could be:

  • I want to improve my back pain.
  • I want to cross train for a marathon I am running.
  • I want to feel less pain after picking up and holding my kids all day.
  • I want to improve my stamina when I am walking up and down stairs.
  • I want to feel stronger throughout the day.

Depending on your goals, whatever they may be, seek out Pilates instructors who are able to speak specifically to these issues. A good instructor or studio should be able to help you outline a specific plan. It is for this exact reason that True II Form always offers free initial consults for all of our new members.

Pilates can sometimes be expensive. Can you share with our readers your perspectives on why Pilates is worth its costs?

It is true that Pilates can sometimes feel expensive. However, I think it is important to also put this into context. Most experienced instructors have over 500+ hours of training, and a quality Pilates training involves not just the exercises but also detailed anatomy, and information about common physical pathologies. So if you are taking private 1-on-1 sessions with an instructor you are essentially paying them for a wealth of expertise in the same way that you might pay for a qualified airline pilot to fly a plane. That said this is also why if you are working 1-on-1 with someone you need to make sure that they are the right fit for you and your specific goals before you begin working together.

Group classes or online classes and programs are an excellent option for getting great results at a much lower price. The key here, like any form of exercise, is to commit to showing up and being consistent. That said, one of the things that has inspired me most about teaching Pilates online through a digital platform like True II Form is that practitioners can pay a fraction of the cost that they would spend going to a studio and still have access to the same level of quality instruction. In some ways, after working out in our living rooms for two year the pandemic has proven to us all that you actually need a lot less stuff (equipment, props, ect.) to be effective and get good results.

Based on your research or experience, can you please share your “5 Ways That Pilates Can Improve Your Health and Wellbeing”?

1. Pilates can improve your confidence and sense of self efficacy. Through regular practice Pilates empowers practitioners to feel more in tune with their bodies and what they need. Learning new things isn’t just good for our bodies, it is great for our brains to.

2. Improved energy levels and enhanced mood. Researchers and doctors alike agree that moving regularly is good for everyone and that it helps support sustained health and longevity. Picking up a practice like Pilates is a great way to ensure that you will have the tools you need to sustain a healthy movement practice for your entire life.

3. Injury prevention and less fear of becoming injured. Because of the comprehensive nature of Pilates as an exercise system regular practitioners often boast fewer injuries and improved performance in their favored sports or physical recreation. People become less afraid of hurting themselves because they have more information and tools to help themselves stay active and healthy.

4. Less pain and improved sleep. Moving regularly is good for the overall function of the body and is agreed to do things like help reduce inflammation and better regulate hormones etc. Regular exercise also plays a major role in improving people’s sleep patterns.

5. Improved strength and stamina, plus a movement practice that you can do for your whole life! Pilates will make you stronger and as a result give you more stamina for all of the activities you want to do in life. The strength and stamina you build in Pilates isn’t just about being strong in Pilates studio, it is about having a body that is strong and functional for the rest of your life as well.

In my own Pilates practice, I stress the importance of precision in Pilates. Based on your experiences and research, what are your thoughts about why precision is important in Pilates?

Once the habit is there, then we focus on precise movement.

One of the unfortunate barriers new students often report encountering in their Pilates journey is the pressure of feeling like they need to do everything “correctly” or “perfectly”. As it turns out there is a lot more research out there nowadays that supports the idea of worrying less about how correct things are, and more about getting people moving within appropriate ranges of motion that correspond to their general levels of fitness.

Focusing on the Pilates principle of precision can be a fun way to challenge yourself, however in my mind it is also not an essential component when it comes to making your overall practice effective. Many Pilates training programs like to reference the following 6 principles: centering, concentration, control, precision, breath, and flow. While I agree that these can be fun and interesting ways to approach our thinking about Pilates as a physical practice, they are not a requirement. Historically, it is unclear exactly where these principles came from. Joseph Pilates himself never refers to them in his book Return to Life. All of this to say, as a movement practitioner and educator I have grown to care less about how precisely my students move and more about getting them moving in the first place.

In my mind the ultimate goal is to help students feel comfortable in their own skin by finding joy and consistency in a Pilates practice that they can sustain for the rest of their lives.

You are a person of enormous influence. If you could start a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger. :-)

I would like to help lower the financial barrier of entry to quality Pilates instruction and get more people doing more Pilates! For example, my 60 year old chain-smoking godmother in Australia (who I adore) casually does Pilates with her co-workers and girlfriends all of the time! I would like to see more of this mentality take hold in the United States and around the world. I think part of making this happen involves demystifying Pilates and making it feel less exclusive as an activity so that more people feel comfortable trying it. This is essentially one of the big reasons why my co-founder Val and I created True II Form. We want people to know that you don’t need to be a certain size, shape, gender, or color to do Pilates. It truly is a practice that can benefit every(body).

What is the best way for our readers to continue to follow your work online?

Online Studio & Business: www.trueiiform.com

Instagram: @true_ii_form of @kylegeorginapilates

This was very inspiring. Thank you so much for the time you spent on this. We wish you only continued success.

Thank you for having me! It was a pleasure.

About The Interviewer: Maria Angelova, MBA is a disruptor, author, motivational speaker, body-mind expert, Pilates teacher and founder and CEO of Rebellious Intl. As a disruptor, Maria is on a mission to change the face of the wellness industry by shifting the self-care mindset for consumers and providers alike. As a mind-body coach, Maria’s superpower is alignment which helps clients create a strong body and a calm mind so they can live a life of freedom, happiness and fulfillment. Prior to founding Rebellious Intl, Maria was a Finance Director and a professional with 17+ years of progressive corporate experience in the Telecommunications, Finance, and Insurance industries. Born in Bulgaria, Maria moved to the United States in 1992. She graduated summa cum laude from both Georgia State University (MBA, Finance) and the University of Georgia (BBA, Finance). Maria’s favorite job is being a mom. Maria enjoys learning, coaching, creating authentic connections, working out, Latin dancing, traveling, and spending time with her tribe. To contact Maria, email her at [email protected]

Source : https://medium.com/authority-magazine/kyle-georgina-marsh-of-true-ii-form-pilates-wellness-on-how-pilates-can-improve-your-health-and-92a10d2be8cc


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