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An Interview with Janet Kooba

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An Interview with Janet Kooba

Westwood Pilates

Janet Kooba first became interested in Pilates when she read about how “one could achieve long, lean muscles through this practice” and has now been training for over a decade. In June 2018, she trained with second-generation teacher Samantha Walley and has been teaching ever since. She also completed her Joe’s System Intensive with Pamela Debiase and Daniela Escobar in January 2019!

Read on to learn more about Janet’s Pilates journey, including where she gets some of her Pilates inspiration!

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What do you love most about Pilates? What frustrates you the most?

What I love most is the rejuvenated, ALIVE feeling I have after a lesson! What frustrates me the most is that whenever I feel I’ve “mastered” an exercise, or Pilates in general, I realize it’s only the tip of the iceberg!  The more I know, the more I realize how much I don’t know. I suppose that’s also the intrigue; there’s always more to discover in your body through the practice of Pilates.


Pilates definitely keeps challenging us the more we practice! What do you find is the best thing about being a Pilates teacher?

Helping others to find and feel the benefits of this unique and amazing method.

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Feeling the benefits of Pilates both in the practice and in everyday life is always rewarding. Where do you find inspiration both in and outside of the practice?

My favorite quote is a simple phrase said often by Pilates Elder Jay Grimes “DO THE WORK”.  He feels too many students want to go straight to the “fancy stuff” and skip the hard work of the foundational exercises. However, without a strong foundation, you cannot acquire the skills needed to execute the more advanced exercises.  

This is so true not only in Pilates, but in all of life. We must humble ourselves to start at the beginning-head down, nose to the grindstone, do THE WORK, and in time we will develop the skills necessary to progress, and thus experience our desired and deserved rewards.


Yes, doing THE WORK and finding that inspiration within our exercises can be so humbling! Speaking of exercises, what is your favorite exercise, and your least favorite exercise?

It is too hard to pick just ONE favorite exercise!  I am still in love with Control Balance Off on the Reformer, simply because it is so much fun to roll up and off, yet so challenging to do so with control. I also love the full Hang on the Cadillac because of the upper body extension, which I desperately need!  Also, the Ballet Stretches on the Cadillac – these help my legs feel so free…. And the Standing Leg Springs on the end of the Cadillac are a new favorite – you REALLY feel the work!

My least favorite – The Breast Stroke on the Reformer.  Need I say more?


That’s so surprising, as it always looks like you handle the Breast Stroke on the Reformer gracefully everytime! But now let’s talk equipment: 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 Reformer. I love the flow, freedom, strength, and stretch I feel on this apparatus, as well as the increased stamina and endurance it builds. It embodies the full essence of Pilates.


Great choice! Finally, if you were going to convince someone who has never tried Pilates before to come to your class, what would you say to them?

You must come and try it – it is a sweaty, rigorous exercise method that is fun, life giving, and as Joseph Pilates states “it will bring oxygen to every cell in your body.” But you must experience it to understand it.

‘Pilates is a natural rejuvenation of all the body-mind processes, so that the practitioner feels “new life”, a “return to youth”, and a “rested body”, from the exercise.’  

Quoted from The Pilates Pamphlet: Return to Life Through Contrology)