How “THE WORK” Affected Gloria’s Pilates Business & Practice

Gloria Gasperi was in the 2012 Class of THE WORK, and has been a fixture in the Vintage Pilates community ever since. She has organized workshops and conventions in Italy (where she is based), and has come back to L.A. to take part in Teaching the Work, and other events.
We were thrilled to pick her brain about how THE WORK effected her business and Pilates practice. Here is a little essay from Gloria about her experience:

I started doing Pilates in 1999. In 2012, I started THE WORK with Vintage Pilates. In the 13 years in between, I went through many teacher training programs, looking for answers. I had the luck to meet great teachers on my path, but at Vintage, I could really find myself!
It is said that Michelangelo could see the sculpture inside a big piece of marble, and his method was to remove the excess material, until he got to the essence. That’s what THE WORK helped me to do – to see the essence of Pilates. Jay, Sandy and the Vintage Pilates team show you how all the exercises and apparatus are connected, and the philosophy that unites it all.

This information was not presented didactically. We were guided to find our own answers through experiencing the exercises in our own bodies. This allowed us to develop our own “voice” and understanding from our unique perspectives. THE WORK teaches you about Pilates, but you also grow as a person. In this program, you can ask yourself why you do this job, and why you do it the way you do.

Jay says that you can’t teach Pilates, you can only help people find it in their own bodies. When I heard this the first time I was pretty shocked and scared. But working it now makes sense to me, and now I couldn’t teach any other way. My focus is 100% on the body in front of me, not on saying or doing the “right thing,” and this makes me feel good, more free, never bored, but always more and more curious.

One of the biggest principles of Vintage Pilates is to make your clients become independent. I embraced this, and this led me to change the organization of my own Pilates studio, offering private lessons and small group lessons, similar to VP Classes. This has changed my business, allowing more people to workout in a single hour.

I remember the moments in THE WORK, when we were so tired from working so strong and hard all day, and all of a sudden somebody (Sandy, or Dena or Jay) started singing, and you realize you have more strength in you, and you can keep going with a light and fun attitude!

If I could travel back in time and visit Joe and Clara’s Pilates studio, I would for sure have a lesson with both of them! Then I would spend a lot of time observing their teaching, allowing my mind and my senses to capture the spirit of the work. And then I would love to be their guest for dinner in their home, prepared by Clara or maybe Joe!