I grew up as a dancer. My St. Louis based dance studio became a second home. And while I was diagnosed with scoliosis in middle school, I was told it wasn’t severe enough to treat so kept moving my body in the ways I always had. By the time I left undergrad with a degree in journalism, I entered my early twenties already experiencing back pain.
It wasn't long after that I developed a love for vinyasa yoga, and obtained my teaching certification. At the time, I had never heard of hypermobility or understood how it could affect an already vulnerable spine. By the time I was 26, I developed SI joint dysfunction. Through physical therapy, I discovered the stabilizing benefits of Pilates, and decided to add that to my certifications, while continuing to teach yoga. At 33, after having my first child, I was diagnosed with spondylolisthesis and stenosis of my lumbar spine.
The first surgeon I consulted recommended a fusion, then described how hard of a surgery that is to undergo and recover from, and I left with instructions not to bend forward, backward, or to the side, not to twist or lift anything heavier than a gallon of milk. I had a 1 year old at the time. So I sought a second opinion from a doctor who encouraged me to continue to build core strength, prolong the surgery as long as possible, and let pain guide me in what movements to avoid. I decided to switch the focus of my practice to Pilates, which helped me avoid surgery and allowed me to have a second child with no progression in my injury.
I’ve learned firsthand how imbalances caused by scoliosis can lead to compensation and further injuries. And nerve impingement caused by stenosis can be aggravated by just about anything. I’m intimately familiar with pain and injury, and I've learned that mindful movement is the best medicine. I’ve worked hard to find ways to keep my body strong without increasing my pain level or compromising my injury. Applying Pilates principles to other low impact forms of exercise allows me to get an effective workout while keeping my body safe and in alignment. This is how the idea for The Reformed Method was born.
I’ve spent the last 14 years teaching a combination of yoga and Pilates. Two years ago I added barre, and I’m currently fine tuning my specialty through focused Scolio-Pilates training. The feedback I often receive from clients centers around my precise attention to form, expertise in the area of spine issues and back pain management, creativity in formatting my classes and carefully curated playlists. My goal is to use my experience to connect with clients who have also experienced injuries, looking either to rehabilitate or challenge themselves through exercise that is both safe and effective.