How did you get into Pilates?
It's actually a funny story — I knew very little about Pilates but in my imagination, it was mainly stretching. I was a ballet dancer and a competitive gymnast when I was younger. I liked what I considered more demanding workouts. An instructor I knew socially kept inviting me to her classes. Eventually, I was convinced to give Pilates a try. To my surprise, it was so much more than stretching. Focusing on building muscular strength and proper alignment. It was a total experience. With Pilates, I could combine my love of movement with strengthening the whole body. It was love at first "try"! I was working towards my certification soon after that.
How has Pilates influenced your life?
Pilates has changed my life on so many fronts. It's become my passion; I express myself through movement. When I started doing ballet as a child, I wanted to be a choreographer. I have taken on that role in my classes now, bringing variations, progressions, and transitions to my classes that are a bit like dance choreography. It's changed my life on a professional level, taking me from the corporate world to the studio but also to travel worldwide, bringing my workshops and classes to India, Korea, England, Italy, the US, Argentina, Paraguay, Qatar, Dubai, Panama and Argentina. It has also changed me physically.
What inspires you?
I am constantly inspired! My children. My family. Nature. My colleagues. I'm lucky enough to have been able to travel a lot and the people and places I visit never fail to inspire me. My clients and students, at home and abroad are a constant source of inspiration as well.
How do you recommend people get more out of their practice?
You need to work on your mind-body connection. Be present in your practice as well as in your everyday life. I have a dear friend and colleague that says: "Every practice is sacred." Be grateful for what your body can do for you and constantly work on the principles that guide our Pilates practice.
What's one item on your bucket list?
One place I really want to go back to and spend quite a bit of time at is Australia. There are, however, many other places I'd like to both go back to and visit for the first time. I would travel all the time if it were up to me!
Favorite activities to do alone?
I love to read and during normal times I love to walk on the beach with my dog. These days I'm spending a lot of my time studying. While quarantined, I'm taking a Classical Pilates certification, an Anatomy course plus a Physiology, Anatomy, and Biomechanics course. I’ve also taken weekly Pilates workshops and private classes. I'm a total Pilates nerd!
How has the Pandemic changed you?
As soon as the quarantine started, I began teaching free classes via Instagram live. I firmly believed and still do that during these difficult times it is fundamental that we keep moving our bodies. I wanted to make sure everyone had access to move at home. My first free live class was on March 16th. I taught three free classes a week on Instagram live for about the next two months and then because of scheduling issues I changed to twice a week. I continue to do so to this day.
I have created my very own platform nancycastiglioni.com where I share all of my Pilates Mat and Hiit classes as well as Training Programs. This is an on-demand subscription-based platform I'm hugely proud of.
I've started a presence on YouTube and Facebook, as well as teaching online, not just through Instagram but also for clients, studios, and international conferences. I've been very busy, to say the least!
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Core Compassion Project has changed my life. I know every person coming into my studio is battling something, and it is my job to teach them strength and love them. I am thankful to Great Soles for standing by Core Compassion Project and giving so generously to our cause. Together we are making a difference.