By Yuuki Yamagiwa
Alison Manheim is passionate about the benefits of Pilates at any life stage. A former professional writer, Alison discovered that Pilates was an excellent antidote to the neck and shoulder issues that come from working at a desk. In 2013, she became a certified instructor through Jill Cassady, who studied with Romana Kryzanowska in New York City. She has been happily teaching ever since and continues to study under Ken Krech and Dena Drotar, among others.
Read on to learn more about Alison’s background and her favorite thing about being a Pilates instructor!
How did you get into Pilates?
I grew up studying dance in New York City and was always a mover. When I graduated from college, I taught aerobics part-time (it was so long ago that we used LP records on the turntable). When I was ready to make a career change in my forties from writing to something else, I decided on Pilates. I’d seen that my mom, who had never been an exerciser, was able to stick with Pilates, and it helped her navigate New York City: carrying groceries, walking up and down to the subway, and dodging delivery guys on bicycles. I knew that it would appeal to me intellectually and not be just another workout.
Pilates can definitely be helpful physically in navigating our everyday lives! What other hobbies do you have? Has Pilates affected your performance in these areas?
Pilates has not just been a new career, it’s also made all of my other fitness endeavors more successful. I was able to take up paddle-boarding, a new enthusiasm, several years ago, and my 20-year yoga practice has improved. I cycle, dance salsa and take barre class in addition to practicing Pilates. I’m thinking about taking up tango in 2019.
Tango sounds like a lot of fun! What are your favorite things about being a Pilates teacher?
One of the best things about being a Pilates instructor is that you get to wear comfortable shoes and clothing all the time! Another is that Pilates clients tend to be committed, thoughtful and great fun to be around.