Co-owner and Teacher at Westwood Pilates
by Yuuki Yamagiwa
In her early 20’s, when Pamela Debiase was offered a job as a dance instructor and was asked if she can teach a Pilates Mat class as well, she said, “No, but I can learn too.” After starting her Pilates training and realizing the complete scope of Pilates and its benefits for one’s health, she fell in love with Pilates and received her full comprehensive certification with Power Pilates in 2007. A graduate of the Northern School of Contemporary Dance in England, Pamela brings her choreography, dance, fitness, and Pilates background to all of her classes.
Read on to discover Pamela’s experiences with Pilates, along with what she would do if she were stranded on an island with a Cadillac!
What would you say is the best thing about being a Pilates instructor?
Being any kind of teacher, you find that, by meeting various kinds of people, you end up learning so much yourself. You are constantly being a student at the same time, which means you are constantly growing and working on yourself.
How has Pilates changed your life?
It has done so much for me. Physically, it has helped me recover from a repetitive strain injury I struggled with for years and build a more balanced body. But it has also helped me learn to respect and listen to my body. It opened up a door to a new career that I didn’t see coming. It introduced me to new friends who I’ve become very close to. It has introduced me to a lot of strong independent woman who inspire me.
I love that you’ve stated that Pilates has helped you respect and listen to your body. Can you go into more detail?
I love that Pilates takes you however you are that day. If I’m having a bad day, perhaps I woke up with a stiff neck, I know I can still go in and get a safe but appropriately challenging workout and modify the exercises as needed. Yet on the days I’m feeling strong, I can do crazy advanced exercises that make the person walking by on the street stop to look with their jaw dropped to the floor. This is what makes Pilates for everyone. Through Pilates, I am learning to work with just what I need and get rid of unnecessary tension. I like to power through things, so I have to pull back and do just 50% of what I want to. In doing so, I figure out what I need to use to do the exercise and what I can let go of. This has translated through to everything I do in my life!
Wow! It’s amazing to be able to take Pilates with you into your everyday life. But let’s take Pilates onto an island. If you were stranded on a desert island and you could only have one piece of equipment with you, which one would you pick?
The Cadillac. I tend to gravitate towards it. It could double as a bed, table and clothes line too!