Amy Smiley, Age 62
TELL US A LITTLE ABOUT YOU
I spent most of my life in California, with a short stint in Sweden in the 1970s. My degrees are in Chemical Engineering and I worked in the biotech industry once I got out of graduate school. I loved working in such a new field at the time. As the family grew, I decided to quit my paid job and stay home with the children. As time went on I realized I needed a creative outlet and took up Plein air painting (with the same fantastic friend who introduced me to Teresa’s classes!). After my family and friends, I love the outdoors, science, gardening, and art.
WHEN DID YOU BEGIN SESSIONS WITH TERESA?
I started classes with Teresa in 2012 and have continued with them ever since. Teresa’s Pilates classes are a priority for me because of the physical and mental benefits they provide. I have celiac disease, which causes any number of inflammatory problems and Teresa’s classes are essential to my ability to manage those issues. When something has to fall off my plate it won’t be Teresa’s class!
WHAT MOVEMENT OR PRINCIPLE HAS HELPED YOU THE MOST?
I’d like to choose just one movement or body dynamic principle that I learned from Teresa that has helped me but there are too many! From ribs down to soup bowl to lifting your toes…I am always learning something new, even ten years later. I think, for myself, as I continue to become more body aware, I continue to learn in each class. And, as new issues develop as the years march on, I discover new fixes for them. Everything that I have learned from Teresa applies not only in class but in other activities and my daily movement. Not to mention that Teresa is so gracious with her time whenever anyone has a question about alignment or movement difficulties. She always takes time to answer any questions and I learn from my questions and those of others. What a fantastic tool!
WHAT WERE THE EFFECTS OF THE PANDEMIC ON YOUR MOVEMENT PRACTICE?
At the beginning of the pandemic, I dropped the gym and in-person classes. Although we stayed active, I really missed the benefit and connection of group exercise classes. I worried about how well I would maintain mobility and strength without the motivation and guidance that Teresa provides. When Teresa opened her remote classes I jumped right in and was so grateful! Now that some degree of normalcy is returning, having the option of in-person and virtual classes is even better than before.
I absolutely love the energy and camaraderie in the in-person classes. They are a tonic for the soul. I can’t think of a single class where I haven’t had a good laugh for one reason or another. I missed that tremendously until in-person became available again. But it’s also great to have access to the class online if I can’t make it in person and to have the videos afterward.