Pilates Teachers' Manual

Special Guest - Micki Price Havard

July 08, 2021 Olivia Bioni, Micki Price Havard Season 5 Episode 3
Pilates Teachers' Manual
Special Guest - Micki Price Havard
Chapters
Pilates Teachers' Manual
Special Guest - Micki Price Havard
Jul 08, 2021 Season 5 Episode 3
Olivia Bioni, Micki Price Havard

Micki Price Havard of @mickiphit joins me on the podcast this week! She shares her Pilates journey from watching VHS tapes to teaching, all about her new book, Pilates for Everyone, and the ways she's making inclusivity the new normal in the Pilates industry on social media and beyond. Tune in!

I want to hear from you! Share your thoughts and follow the podcast on Instagram and Facebook @pilatesteachersmanual. Full show notes, episode transcription, and chapter markers can be found on the podcast website here: http://bit.ly/pilatesteachersmanual. Be sure to subscribe to the podcast for updates, and rate and review wherever you listen!  Episodes now available on YouTube: *https://bit.ly/YouTubePTM*

Email [email protected] with your feedback.   

Show Notes:

Micki is certified through Power Pilates as a Mat and Mat II Pilates instructor. She also has certifications through ACE, AFAA (Aerobics and Fitness Association of America) as a Group Fitness Instructor, Personal Trainer and Wellness Coach. She has received training from Total Training Systems a small Pilates studio in Atlanta, and continuing education through Peak Pilates. She currently teaches private and group Mat Pilates classes. 

You can find Micki on Instagram at @mickifit and on her membership site: http://www.mickiphit.com/

Preorder Micki's book, Pilates for Everyone, on Amazon here

Support the podcast:    

Visit https://links.oliviabioni.com/affiliates to take advantage of some sweet savings!

Episode Music:

This episode uses NCS music in compliance with https://ncs.io/usage-policy

Track: Tobu - Good Times [NCS Release]
Music provided by NoCopyrightSounds.
Watch: https://youtu.be/YHSH9k9ooZY
Free Download / Stream: http://ncs.io/goodtimes

Track: Tobu & Itro - Sunburst [NCS Release]
Music provided by NoCopyrightSounds.
Watch: https://youtu.be/4lXBHD5C8do

Support the show (https://www.buymeacoffee.com/oliviapodcasts)

Show Notes Transcript

Micki Price Havard of @mickiphit joins me on the podcast this week! She shares her Pilates journey from watching VHS tapes to teaching, all about her new book, Pilates for Everyone, and the ways she's making inclusivity the new normal in the Pilates industry on social media and beyond. Tune in!

I want to hear from you! Share your thoughts and follow the podcast on Instagram and Facebook @pilatesteachersmanual. Full show notes, episode transcription, and chapter markers can be found on the podcast website here: http://bit.ly/pilatesteachersmanual. Be sure to subscribe to the podcast for updates, and rate and review wherever you listen!  Episodes now available on YouTube: *https://bit.ly/YouTubePTM*

Email [email protected] with your feedback.   

Show Notes:

Micki is certified through Power Pilates as a Mat and Mat II Pilates instructor. She also has certifications through ACE, AFAA (Aerobics and Fitness Association of America) as a Group Fitness Instructor, Personal Trainer and Wellness Coach. She has received training from Total Training Systems a small Pilates studio in Atlanta, and continuing education through Peak Pilates. She currently teaches private and group Mat Pilates classes. 

You can find Micki on Instagram at @mickifit and on her membership site: http://www.mickiphit.com/

Preorder Micki's book, Pilates for Everyone, on Amazon here

Support the podcast:    

Visit https://links.oliviabioni.com/affiliates to take advantage of some sweet savings!

Episode Music:

This episode uses NCS music in compliance with https://ncs.io/usage-policy

Track: Tobu - Good Times [NCS Release]
Music provided by NoCopyrightSounds.
Watch: https://youtu.be/YHSH9k9ooZY
Free Download / Stream: http://ncs.io/goodtimes

Track: Tobu & Itro - Sunburst [NCS Release]
Music provided by NoCopyrightSounds.
Watch: https://youtu.be/4lXBHD5C8do

Support the show (https://www.buymeacoffee.com/oliviapodcasts)

Olivia: [00:00:00] Welcome to Pilates Teachers' Manual, your guide to becoming a great Pilates teacher. I'm Olivia, and I'll be your host. Join the conversation and the Pilates community on Instagram at @pilatesteachersmanual and visit buymeacoffee.com/OliviaPodcasts to support the show. Today's chapter starts now.

Hello, hello everybody. Welcome back to the podcast. I am [00:01:00] absolutely thrilled today to be here with Micki Havard. She is the superstar behind @mickiphit, and you don't follow her on Instagram, you should, as a teacher, um, because she has such amazing inspiring flows and ways of looking at exercises and cool props. Um, she's got amazing stuff happening there and also amazing stuff happening on her membership site. She's got a book coming out that she's going to share with us as well. She's in Atlanta. Which I'm assuming is Hot-lanta right now because it's hot in Chicago. 

Micki: [00:01:32] You know, it's kind of a weird mix of rain and heat, but it's always hot. Yes. The humidity is what really blows us out of the water. No pun intended. 

Olivia: [00:01:42] So thank you so much for being on, Micki. I'm so glad you're here. 

Micki: [00:01:46] Thank you, Olivia. I really appreciate you. I've been listening to your podcast for a while and I'm honored to even be a part of it. So thank you so much.

Olivia: [00:01:54] Yes, yes, yes. So the first thing I always like to ask everyone who comes on the show is [00:02:00] how did you find Pilates when you found it?

Micki: [00:02:03] So I found Pilates through DVDs, so I know just age myself just a tad, but I was living with my parents for, um, a transition time where I was just finished school, and then moved back to my parents for a few months. And my mom had all these well, not DVDs. I'm sorry. VCR tapes. Let me take it back. Yeah. VCR tapes in the basement where she was, you know, doing all her Jane Fonda workouts and she had just ordered these Mari Winsor Pilates workouts. It was like a three pack. 

And I was like, this is pretty cool. Like, what is she doing here? So I pushed out, you know, her, her ankle weights out of the way and moved over her little mat. And I started doing these Mari Winsor Pilates workouts, and absolutely fell in love with the practice. And that was over 20 years ago. I mean, I was in my maybe [00:03:00] mid twenties at that point. And so definitely over 20 years ago. 

And I just fell in love with it. I, I love the flow. I love the connection between my mind and my body. And I mean, I was like 25. So I had no idea that was the best body I was never going to have, but I really liked the way that the results, because I had been a track runner most of my life, um, short bursting distances. So I, you know, I had a little bulkiness in my legs. I just really liked the way Pilates didn't add to that because that was what I was trying to get away from. And so that's how I found it. I found it in my mom and dad's basement, um, on some VCR tapes. 

Olivia: [00:03:40] So how did you go from basement Pilates practitioner to becoming a teacher? How did that transition happen?

Micki: [00:03:48] So I continue to practice mostly. The VCR tapes with Mari Windsor and Denise Austin. And there were a couple other, um, I guess not DVDs, VCRs that I bought. Keep [00:04:00] on wanting to say DVDs. And VCR tapes that I bought to connect to the practice. Really looked for a studio that taught Pilates.

At that point, I was living just outside Atlanta in a city called Decatur, which is just about 20 minutes outside of Atlanta. And in the nineties, there were no Pilates studios that I knew of. And so I went to the Y and there was a lady that was teaching Pilates. So I took her class and really fell in love with the practice.

Fast forward. I was a buyer for a retail shop and a lot of the girls in the retail business work  were doing Pilates. And this was in a different area of town called Buckhead in Atlanta, a little more advanced as far as, you know, fitness trends. And so I found a studio in Buckhead and started to practice. And really got a deep connection with the teacher that was teaching. And she suggested that I get certified. She was like, you know, you're really good. You should, [00:05:00] you should get certified. You have a natural, I don't know a natural form if you will. And so I started thinking about it and we'll see, and kind of put it on the back burner for a few years. 

Then I really decided to do something outside being a retail buyer, which was pretty all consuming. I was traveling a lot and you know, to New York and Miami and Vegas for these, um, retail buying shows, I just wanted something that wasn't that. So I looked into certification and got my certification probably in that last year of me working at the boutique. 

I then got engaged and, um, I got engaged to my now husband and I really use Pilates as a way to get my body ready for my wedding again, in my mid twenties had no idea how fantastic my body was then, and thought I needed to [00:06:00] slim down. So yeah, took Pilates in order to, to fit into my wedding dress and, you know, be long and lean. And that was really what made me fall in love more because I was really consistent in my practice. 

Olivia: [00:06:14] You've been teaching for more than a decade for almost 20 years. Yeah. So how, how have you seen your teaching change over the course of, you know, getting wedding dress ready to now, especially looking at your book, you know, Pilates for Everyone and looking at, you know, different body types and different ages. Share a little bit about that, if you can. 

Micki: [00:06:35] Sure. So when I started teaching and, um, the teacher that I connected with in Buckhead, she was a teacher trainer as well. So I took the course, um, through her, at her Pilates studio and she left the studio to pursue some different things and sold it to a different teacher.

And her style was totally different from my teacher trainer. I really didn't click with her. And a [00:07:00] lot of different clientele came in. It became really a homogenous group of women. And I just didn't connect with that. So I really start to seek other Pilates studios that weren't so homogenous. I mean, everyone was at the studio, you know, it was thin, a stay at home, mom, you know, it was blonde. And I was like this, this can't be what Pilates is all about. Because I had learned from a teacher that had welcomed so many different other students. 

So at that point I started to look for another student to teach. I bounced around to a couple studios. Just didn't get the connection. And so I started to teach at the Y. I went back to the Y where I had begun my practice.

That taught me so much because when you teach at a facility where people are coming in, who have never heard of Pilates. I mean, don't know how to do Pilates and, you know, really are on a big difference as far as the learning curve of Pilates and in fitness levels [00:08:00] so I had everyone from, you know, 17 year old students that were athletes. You know, they were coming in from little local high school, to 80 year old women to people that were, you know, had just had knee replacements and their physical therapist told them to do Pilates. 

So I really was forced to learn how to teach a variety of students, not only to teach the variety of students, but also to teach in a different way. Because I was taught just like most classical Pilates instructors are taught to teach, by verbal cues, exclusively verbal cues. That's how I was taught to teach. And, you know, you didn't have to even touch the floor. You didn't have to be on the mat. I mean, I could go in there and heels and a skirt, you know, if I wanted to and teach Pilates the way that I was taught to teach.

And so I really got down into, on the mat, like literally on the mat and I really found a better connection. Not only [00:09:00] because I was teaching modifications, but because I was literally on their eye-level. There's something about teaching and standing over someone that changes the dynamic, you know? So when I began to be on the mat and added tons of visual cues with my verbal cues, added tons of tactile cues with my verbal cues, I really learned how to be a different teacher. A better teacher. And I really learned a lot from each of my students. 

Olivia: [00:09:29] I think that that's so valuable because one of the biggest shortcomings I see in teacher training is the fact that you're, for the most part, teaching other teachers, you're teaching people who already know Pilates, who know how to move, who are in touch with their body, who if you mix up right and left, they'll like, auto-correct for you, you know, or they'll know what you meant and they'll do, you know, saw anyway.

But when you're working with people, like you said, who, you know, variety of abilities, variety of ages, [00:10:00] experience, possibly zero experience exercising, let alone something as complicated and complex as Pilates I can only imagine that your first few classes were- 

Micki: [00:10:09] They were mentally taxing.

Olivia: [00:10:13] Yes. Because you're like, how do I do this? Because especially when you have, you know, a very specific tool kit, and then you show up and you're like, oh, these tools do not. Assist. 

Micki: [00:10:25] Yeah. I mean, I really did feel a tad ill prepared to teach that variety of fitness levels. If it wasn't for the teacher that I had before that was my teacher trainer, it wasn't for her having the variety of students in her studio, I really would have been, you know, out of it. 

But I always say I learned so much from those students and, and like you said, I was coming, I was coming home and I was like, I was doing homework. I was scrambling to really think outside of my, you know, just Pilates box and come up with [00:11:00] modifications and come up with variety.

I mean, I wanted to challenge those students that were used to doing Pilates, but I also wanted to welcome the students who, you know, were a little bit intimidated by just the name of the class: Pilates. So it was definitely something that I, uh, it really made me stretch as a teacher and maybe especially as a person.

I mean, so I always, I always thank those students and every, you know, any interview or any time talking about my Pilates career, they really did make me a better teacher. 

Olivia: [00:11:35] One of the things that I love on your Instagram is that you not only share amazing incredible exercises. And you are so strong. I look at you doing things sometimes and I'm like, oh my gosh, I would be falling on my face right now. It's like on the ball or on whatever. 

And what I love is that you give so many options. You say, you know, we can do this in a higher intensity. There's a [00:12:00] jump, you know, we can take this, jump out, make it low impact. And you just really, you can see that in the work that you do, even in social media, which can be, you know, very curated it's, you're still showing this very big variety. In the way that you know what this person's lunge looks like, what this person, like you could lunge any of these lunges and you're still doing the work.

Micki: [00:12:21] Yeah. I just think that inviting people by offering a variety is what a teacher supposed to do. No matter if you're teaching Pilates or if you're teaching Spanish, I mean, you have to be ready to welcome a variety of levels. And if you're not, then it's a disservice to you as a, as a teacher. And I think it's hard to call yourself a teacher if you are not willing to teach different levels. I mean, that's the whole purpose of being a teacher. You want people to learn. You don't just want, you know, the A student to learn, you know, you want everyone to be able to [00:13:00] learn. So that's just one of those things I aim to really open up Pilates to a very large group of people. That's my whole aim. 

Olivia: [00:13:10] Can you tell me little bit about your, uh, Instagram journey and your, how you really have the  social media, like in the wild? And just like, like how, how is it like for you? Because you just stunning things constantly. Like, what is your schedule? How do you even handle that? I'm just like on Instagram once a week and I'm like, wow, this is a lot. 

Micki: [00:13:33] I thought, I think, I don't remember how long ago that I started posting maybe five or seven years ago. I really can't remember. I'm really bad at like time. But, um, when I did start posting, I made my first post a picture of like a training manual that I was, I was leading a Pilates training and I took a picture of my training manual. And I don't even know if I even put words there because I didn't really know what the deal is. Right. 

And then I started [00:14:00] posting stuff. It wasn't Pilates stuff. It was, it was fitness stuff because my, my Instagram name has always been @mickiphit. So it was fitness stuff. Everything from, you know, a workout or a picture of my, you know, sneakers or whatever. And I, I just, just doing it for fun. And it was the personal page. It was private. It wasn't even a business page. 

Then when I started working at the Y and social media became a little more popular, people started asking me, you know, could you throw a couple of those workouts on, you know, uh, you know, I missed a class. So that's when I really started throwing a few more Pilates workouts onto my Instagram page, you know, per request of my students. And you know, now, you know, however many years later I'm still posting, you know, still, still curating and, you know, still having fun with it because I told myself that if I wasn't having fun doing it, I was going to stop.

And so, yeah, I I've changed the way I post, but I definitely still enjoy posting. [00:15:00] I hope I answered your question. 

Olivia: [00:15:02] No, I mean, it's just, it's phenomenal. Again, if you check out on Instagram, you have like 120,000 followers. And like, you can see why, first of all, you're like the coolest person ever. You're so kind. 

And just like, I really do look at your page for inspiration because you know, we have, especially as teachers, I've got, you know, an exercise ball behind me, I've got, you know, these weights and I've got this resistance band and we have all these things that like we have, but we tend to like get into a little bit of a rut of, well, okay, I'm all right. I'm going to put this looped resistance band around my knees. I'm going to do some clams. Like that's what I do with my looped resistance band, but you just have like endless creativity. It's so fun to see. 

Micki: [00:15:40] I appreciate it. It's funny because when I, when I'm a lot of people ask me, like, how do you come up with the different workouts? It's really with music. So if I'm playing something and I'll just, you know, I'll just pick a playlist, I'll play something. And that is what normally will inspire me for a move I mean, it may sound [00:16:00] weird because I know there's not, you know, music and classical Pilates at all, just, you know, just you and your voice, but that's what really inspires me a lot of times.

And believe it or not, I'm actually sometimes I'm thinking of moves like when I'm not even doing Pilates, I could be, you know, watching something. Or it's like, you know what, I can integrate that into, you know, a loop band or I can use a stability ball to do that. So just a weird, you know, a weird mind. 

Olivia: [00:16:26] It's very movement teacher where like, you'll see someone do something or you'll do something and be like, oh, we could definitely throw some rotation in there with that, you know?

Micki: [00:16:34] Absolutely. Yeah. 

Olivia: [00:16:35] Constantly inspired. I love it. 

Micki: [00:16:37] Thank you. 

Olivia: [00:16:37] Um, can you tell me, as someone with all of this amazing teaching experience, like what advice do you have for teachers, either teachers who are just getting started in their adventure or even teachers like you, who've been teaching for a hot second? 

Micki: [00:16:53] Um, for new teachers, I always say, you know, find your student tribe [00:17:00] because that is so important. I think, I really think that students make you as a teacher. And when we were saying before, Olivia, that, you know, the way we are taught, we're taught by other teachers. And so it really does- doesn't lend to you, um, growing as a teacher. So I think you should really find what connects with you. 

It may not be what it was with me. It may not be a variety of fitness levels. You know, maybe you want to teach, you know, a niche, you know, of students. But that's so important to me to really find a studio and or gym or wherever you're teaching that you really do enjoy the students. 

Because just like any other job, you know, I consider my students like my fellow employees. So that really is what makes my day when I would go teach. I mean, that was, that was what made me happy being around, you know, my students. Yeah, the other instructors, but more so the students, because that's who you really are going to develop these deep relationships with. 

I mean, Pilates is very [00:18:00] intimate. I mean, you're talking about your pelvic floor, you know, you know, lift your glutes, you know,  there's a lot of, you know, tactile cues, so it can be very, a very intimate practice. So I really think you have to be really in touch with the students and find students that you really do enjoy. 

Olivia: [00:18:17] Any advice for experienced teachers who have been around the block a few times and are still kicking? 

Micki: [00:18:23] I say to like, keep your mind open, like really keep an open mind.

I remember when I first started posting on Instagram, um, when I first started posting posting Pilates, I got a lot of criticism. I mean, tons. I found out later that it was like a whole campaign to like, get me off of Instagram. Like I'm not kidding. Yeah. It's really weird. But anyway, so I, so I mean, DMS, emails from classically-trained teachers who were basically questioning my form, my training, um, the fact that I was, you know, [00:19:00] varying off of some of the classical moves. I mean, it w- it was weird. 

And I still have some of those emails and I keep them and I will, I will never say who it was. But I still keep them just to remind me. And I just really was not, I was really motivated by the messages actually to continue to think outside the box.

And I do think that people forget that Joseph Pilates is a guy. He's not a God. He's like, he was a man who created a movement, a practice. I mean, Jack Lane, a dude who created movement and people followed. And we're all people, we're all teachers. And we can create moves that help us as a teacher or help our students.

So I say to teachers who have been teaching for awhile to keep an open mind, And, you know, think outside the box and be sure that you are adjusting your [00:20:00] classes for, not only your students, but for you. I mean, as I age and my body is different. I mean, there are things that I can't do as an instructor, so I want to not take for granted that students can.

So that's my advice. So definitely think outside the box and be open to some kind of change. 

Olivia: [00:20:16] Well, I'm very sorry that you had to deal with, uh, such criticism and such, um, negativity because. I think everyone, as you're saying is, is able to contribute a very different perspective and a very unique way of looking at an exercise. Because if your body doesn't do that thing, but you still want the benefits of a movement like that, we can- like, we know this, um, and all the Pilates exercises, it's the same shapes.

You're just on your side, on your back, on your front, you're standing, you're sitting, you're kneeling. And so why not take something- like I'm looking at my clients, you know, I've got people in their seventies and their eighties, like we're not doing the rollover. We don't need to do the [00:21:00] rollover. No one needs to do the rollover, really.

Micki: [00:21:02] Right. 

Olivia: [00:21:03] So, but what do I want you to find in that roll over? Is it about finding length in your spine? Okay. Well, we can do that in other places. We can do that, not with your legs over your head, you know? So, and I think that we gain a lot by, like you said, opening your mind and kind of exploring. 

Like I've been taking Maria Earle's workshop series and one thing I love about her as a teacher, and you as well, is that we take an exercise that you've done a thousand times and okay. What if we change the tempo? What if we added this prop? What if we took what we accept as like as law and Pilates and didn't accept it as law. What if you let your hip lift in single leg circle, would the world end?

No, it wouldn't. It would be a different experience. That's all. So I think that that's incredible, and I'm glad that you were motivated by that and because the Pilates community definitely benefits from [00:22:00] variety and adventures there. 

Micki: [00:22:02] Thank you.

Olivia: [00:22:09] Hi there. I hope you're enjoying today's chapter so far. There's great stuff coming up after the break, too. Be sure to subscribe wherever you're listening and visit buymeacoffee.com/OliviaPodcasts to support the show. There you can make a one-time donation or become a member for as little as $5 a month.

Membership comes with some awesome perks, including a shout out in the next episode, a monthly newsletter, a monthly zoom call with me and more. You can also visit links.OliviaBioni.com/affiliates to check out some sweet deals on products I use and love. Now, back to the show.

[00:23:00] This is probably the most important thing, and I saved it for last because I want it to build some anticipation, and that is your book is coming out and it looks amazing. 

Micki: [00:23:15] Thank you. 

Olivia: [00:23:16] And you posted about it and you said, uh, very similar to what you just said. The, you know, Joseph Pilates was a man. He created an exercise system. Why shouldn't I have the audacity to contribute to this kind of thing? 

So can you tell me a little bit about your book, how it came to be, and why it should be included in all teacher trainings? 

Micki: [00:23:36] Oh, well, I love that. So I was approached in like September or October of last year, via email, by an editor from Penguin, Random House, DK books.

And, and it was like, oh, is this real? Like this who, who wants me to write a Pilates book? And so I did this like deep dive, you know, vetted [00:24:00] this guy, you know, with you know LinkedIn, like did all this research on this guy just to, you know, are you a real person? Am I being punked? Right. 

You know, I mean, you get, so you get inundated with a lot of requests, you know, at a certain point in social. So, you know, I figured out he was legit. I actually talked to the publisher that he was working with and just to, you know, vet him just a little bit more. 

And so once I figured that was all good, then I was like, I started to consider it. So I talked to my sister about it and I was like, what do you think? She's like, what do I think? You have to do this! This is crazy! So I was like, okay. And I was kind of in a, yeah, to steal Shonda Rhimes, you know, a year of yes. I was saying yes to all legitimate things that were in line with my brand and that were in line with my future goals. And my future goal is to not always, you know, teach Pilates. So I have what I [00:25:00] call a beyond the mat plan. So, like okay. They, they all check, you know, it's in line with my brand, it's in line with what my goals are and it's something that I think will be a great, you know, legacy product to leave. So I said, yes and started writing. 

And I always laugh about it because I type like 25 words a minute, like no joke, like it's ridiculous. So I was like, can I dictate this book? Is there a way that I can dictate it? So luckily it was during the pandemic and you know, my clients had been slashed, you know, by probably more than half of my clients. Weren't, you know, kind of none, no clients were coming into my studio, which is in my home. And only about 30 to 40% stay with me, you know, via Zoom.

So I, it was, I was really fortunate because I had the downtime, which I wouldn't have had before. So I just, you know, created these deadlines for myself. And my [00:26:00] editor also created these deadlines for me and I just plugged away. And the book was- the manuscript of the book was finished, uh, by February. That was my last deadline.

And then we did a photo shoot in Indiana of all places, you know, glamorous, Indianapolis. You know, I was like, hoping they were, I was going to LA or New York, but they're like, yeah, we're going to fly into Indianapolis for a photo shoot for your book. I was like, you know. Okay, cool. 

So my sister, who was my biggest cheerleader, um, came with me and helped me. And she was my assistant. And I mean, it still felt surreal until I actually saw the layouts of the book, you know, with my words next to the photograph. So that's how it started. 

How it ends is it'll be, you know, available July the 20th, but you can pre-order it. So, yeah. 

Olivia: [00:26:52] What I love in the snippets that you've shared of the book is that not every person in the pictures [00:27:00] is a Pilates teacher who is small and flexible and super strong. You've got different ages. You've got different body types. You've got people- I think I saw on one of the pictures you've got like amputees or people, you know, with less limbs. So it really does- and her book, you didn't share, but it's called Pilates for Everyone. 

Micki: [00:27:20] I'm sorry. Yes. Pilates for Everyone. I guess I should say that the book is called Pilates for Everyone and yes. Thank you, Olivia. I'm really bad at self promotion. 

And like you were saying, there, there is one instructor that's in the book, the rest of the models are everyday people. And everyone from a 70 year old guy to an amputee, to a special Olympian who suffers from fetal alcohol syndrome at one point. So I was so pleased with selection of the models, and I did have some input in the selection and I did really want to have a true variety because when we say Pilates for [00:28:00] everyone, or Pilates for everybody, I mean, what do we really mean?

And I know that, you know, there are limitations, you know, for people. So even me saying Pilates for everyone, of course, they're going to be something that, you know, someone can't do, but I really did want to have, you know, a more true sense of making modifications for so many different bodies, so many different fitness levels. And I hope that this book really does help someone believe that they're able to do Pilates 

Olivia: [00:28:34] Because the benefits are there. And I feel like I've, I've had this conversation with other teachers as well, that if someone comes into a Pilates studio, like they've already jumped so many hurdles just to get in the door to your Pilates studio and if you're going to throw all of these absolutely wacky exercises- objectively, there's some weird things that we want our bodies to do in Pilates. 

[00:29:00] Micki: [00:28:59] Absolutely. The crab, like that's ridiculous. 

Olivia: [00:29:03] All of those. What are we, what are we actually doing in this moment? Right. Or, you know, when you're talking about this really homogenous studio as well, if everyone in your studio is tiny, under 30, and super bendy, you know, like that can be really intimidating for someone who's older or heavier or any of those things.

And so I love that your book is really opening that conversation. And from a teaching perspective, to see like, Hey, like I need to up my game because if I really want to say Pilates is for everyone, Then I gotta, like, you gotta walk the walk. 

Micki: [00:29:41] True. I love that. Walk the walk. Absolutely. Like, look, you know, what are you really doing to make your class accessible or more inclusive?

Because I mean, Pilates has gotten a bad rap lately, you know. We've, it's been it's, you know, there's, we've taken some, you know, some punches to the chin [00:30:00] lately, you know, as far as the lack of inclusion in many different ways. But definitely if you are truly committed to teaching Pilates, or like I said, anything else, like you really should want to have a real sense of inclusion in your classes, your workshops, whatever you're doing.

Olivia: [00:30:23] Well, I love this and I love this bigger picture that we're looking at for Pilates. That, because even when I first started doing Pilates, it was very much like Pilates is for dancers and you know, I'm not graceful and not coordinated. How am I going to do that? You know? Yeah. There are a lot of beautiful, graceful people. 

I found that the more you do Pilates, you also do get a little bit more graceful as well. You get a little bit more in control of what's happening in your body, but the fact that, you know, you can do it at any age and with any background, whether it's a sports background, whether it's a sitting professionally as a lawyer for 50 [00:31:00] years background, like we got you.

Micki: [00:31:02] Yeah. I'm just happy that the Pilates community or industry is making this turn. I think it's, you know, long overdue. And I, I just don't think it could be a better time for it. I, you know, so I'm just really pleased to be a part of this turn because it's happening. 

So look out, you know, everyone who who's, you know, not up for this, you know, non homogenous, inclusive, new Pilates, but this, this is what, you know, this is where it is.

And I really, I really hope that people are more open. As far as teaching a different variety of students, as far as including, um, you know, more students, I really helped that the old heads, you know, in the, in the community are really going to be more open. 

Olivia: [00:31:47] I do think that the Pilates community benefits from what's happening right now. And I know that change is difficult for people who don't want to change, but it's important. And this is, this is definitely the [00:32:00] direction that I think we want to be going in as well. 

Micki: [00:32:02] I couldn't agree more. 

Olivia: [00:32:04] Can you tell me, is there anything else that you're working on, any projects in the pipeline or any other adventures you'd like to share about?

Micki: [00:32:13] So I'm going to Greece. We went to Santorini on a, for a retreat in October. Yes. Right? The world is open finally. And, um, so I'll, I'll be there for five days. We opened two slots because we had a real big demand. It's, it's still a small group. It's less than 15 people will be on the retreat. So that's my, my latest project that's coming up pretty rapidly. I'm really excited about that. 

I'm also doing a manual for my chair fit program. Which is, was really spawned by my seniors class that I taught at the Y. I taught a senior Pilates class and my students simply couldn't get down to the mat. So I created a program for, you know, in the chair that is inspired by Pilates. That'll be my [00:33:00] next, um, my next writing project to complete my chair fit manual. Which will hopefully in turn be a, um, a certifiable class. I don't think that's the word. Certifiable. That sounds like you just went mad. And not certifiable, but- 

Olivia: [00:33:13] For certification, we can say.

Micki: [00:33:15] For certification. Those are my, um, my immediate projects. And, um, there'll be a book tour, um, in Atlanta over the summer. Hopefully that'll turn into, you know, a book tour or the Southeast and the U S and hopefully even, you know, bigger than that. So those are my, yeah. 

Olivia: [00:33:33] Come to Chicago. 

Micki: [00:33:35] I know. I would love to. I love that. I love Chicago. So that's, what's on the horizon right now. Retreat and book tour for Pilates for everyone and working on my next manual. 

Olivia: [00:33:47] Oh my goodness gracious. Well, all of the amazing things that are happening, I can say that you definitely deserve them. You have been working so hard on all of these projects. It's amazing. Cause the way you [00:34:00] share it, you're like, oh, you know, writing a book and a manual and all these things, I'm going to Greece. But like I know that there's so much that goes on behind the scenes that gets you to this place. And I'm so glad that you're reaping all of these incredible opportunities and adventures. Your book looks absolutely fantastic. I'm going to link to the Amazon- is that the best place to get it? 

Micki: [00:34:21] Yeah, definitely. Yes. Pre orders are going now. 

Olivia: [00:34:25] And I think I saw- are you also a bestseller before your book came out? 

Micki: [00:34:30] I am actually. Yes. 

Olivia: [00:34:32] See, I got to hype you up because I know these things about you and you're not sharing them. 

Micki: [00:34:36] Thank you. Like I said, I'm not the best self promoter. 

Olivia: [00:34:40] But no, that's absolutely wonderful. And I'm excited. I'm excited too, to see it in the paper, in the flesh.

Micki: [00:34:47] Thank you, Olivia. Thank you so much. I will definitely- I have, I have a series that is leading up to the, I have an IGTV series leading up to the launch of the book, which I've never done an [00:35:00] IGTV series before. I know what I know. I never really understood the whole live thing. You know, I was like, huh, but like, ah, now I get it.

So I'll be doing a series and one of the guests will be one of the models from the book and I have a couple other amazing Instagram folks that I know that are going to be a part of the series that's really showing that Pilates is for everyone. And so that'll be coming up next week. So that's something else I'm doing. I forgot about that. So yeah. So, so stay tuned for that. 

Olivia: [00:35:32] Absolutely incredible. I am so excited for you and I can't wait to get my hands on the book. So thank you so much, Micki, for your time, for coming on. 

Micki: [00:35:41] Thanks, Olivia

Olivia: [00:35:50] Thanks for listening to this week's chapter of Pilates Teachers' Manual, your guide to becoming a great Pilates teacher. [00:36:00] Check out the podcast Instagram at @pilatesteachersmanual, and be sure to subscribe wherever you listen. For more Pilates goodness, check out my other podcast, Pilates Students' Manual, available everywhere you listen to podcasts.

The adventure continues. Until next time.