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  • Writer's pictureCatherine Wiggins

About your instructor, part 1

Updated: Sep 4, 2019

Hi, I’m Catherine Wiggins, founder of Mindful Movement Studio. I’ve taught yoga and group fitness since 2003, working with thousands of clients to help them reach their fitness and health goals. I have received certifications from the Pilates Method Alliance (PMA), American Council on Exercise (ACE), and Athletics and Fitness Association of America (AFAA). I have also attended trainings and workshops varying from vinyasa power yoga to Silver Sneakers. Except for spin, if the class was at a group fitness studio gym I probably taught it (Zumba, kickboxing, step, pilates, and on and on!).

I didn’t start out in fitness. In fact, I have a degree in Chemical Engineering and worked for a Fortune 50 company for a number of years until I became a stay-at-home mom. Yet even during my time as a college student, I was a regular at the gym and loved working out. I took PE and dance classes for fun because I loved how movement helped me feel right in my body. I also secretly wished I had the courage to be the one leading the step class.

As I made the transition to an at-home parent, I certified as a personal trainer so I could train clients part-time. In 2001, with an 8-month-old baby at home, I passed the the ACE Personal Trainer Exam and was on my way to my dream career.

After training clients for a couple years as my young children grew, I found myself drawn to group fitness. I also continued my yoga practice and decided to learn how to teach it. I attended yoga teacher training and began teaching vinyasa flow classes.

I worked at a gym where they needed a pilates instructor, and curiosity led me to check out this unique form of exercise. I attended another training to learn how to teach mat Pilates. Almost immediately I noticed how this unique approach to movement left me feeling balanced and strong. My posture improved, and I noticed I soon had “flat abs” even after having children!

In these classes I taught the original mat series as taught by Joseph Pilates. I observed how Pilates helped the students improve their posture and sculpt a lean, flexible body. Students in their 50s and beyond told me Pilates was the only thing that helped keep their back pain away. Others commented on how pilates helped improve their sports activities like running, racquetball/tennis, and swimming.

Keep in mind, this was all Pilates mat work only! The only equipment we used were yoga blocks and resistance tubing. At this point I still had no idea how other pilates equipment was used, such as the reformer, ladder barrel, spine corrector, Cadillac… (the internet was still fairly new and information was scarce!) Read more about that story here.

Classical Pilates mat exercises are a great home practice for anyone wanting a way to practice at home. I created a list on Amazon for some great home resources I recommend to help you get started: Because form is so crucial, I highly recommend a video you can pause and rewatch as you’re learning the sequences, especially if you don't have immediate access private instruction. The payoff is really worth the effort!

Private clients who regularly train with me are given an optional home practice tailored to their unique needs and goals. I call this “homework” and it’s a great way to stay flexibly strong with minimal equipment at home and after our time together. It’s like mat exercises 2.0 created specifically for your needs!

Are you ready to learn for yourself how this private instruction can benefit your life and fitness goals? Let’s chat!



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