We are so excited to have our very own Pilates Director, Jenny Speirs, featured in La Revista Biobalance, Costa Rica’s leading wellness publication. In an interview for the publication, she was asked to tell us her favorite things about Pilates, how her practice fits in with her overall wellness routine, and her thoughts on mat classes versus equipment classes, among other topics.
Jenny tell us a little about yourself, what brought you here?
Jenny: The first time I came to Florblanca was for a Yoga retreat almost 8 years ago. I met my husband when I was here. Initially we had a long distance relationship, but then I decided to come to Costa Rica. Now we have 2 children and I’m here.
Where were you before coming to Costa Rica?
I grew up in California, my Pilates studies were there. I have traveled a lot through Central America. Costa Rica is very different. California is more like a desert and here we have jungle and biodiversity.
What does Pilates means for you?
Pilates is a way of conditioning, it consists of a set of physical exercises specially designed to strengthen and tone the muscles. All the exercises are made so the abdomen is the center of your body, resulting in the strengthening and toning of the lumbar spine, which is the base of the spinal column.
The Pilates method means that the mind, body and spirit work as one.
What do you enjoy most about Pilates?
I love how it feels in my body. When I finish a Pilates session, I feel taller, longer, more toned. I do not feel heavy, rather I feel like floating.
The difference between this and other practices where you feel heavy is that Pilates makes you feel toned, it is a practice that anyone can perform, it’s for everyone.
How does Pilates play a role in your perception of conditioning?
I was a runner, practiced yoga and surfed in the summer, but I felt more powerful doing these exercises when I joined Pilates.
I feel better when I practice Pilates, but mostly I feel protected. With Pilates now I know how to protect myself, because I can feel it.
What do you think is better; practicing Pilates with the equipment or doing a Pilates mat class?
It is better to combine them, because they are very different. Pilates mat classes do not have anything that will help against gravity. This is why the equipment was created, to help people to be better at the mat class. So the best combination is to do both, the equipment supports you with the technique and the mat will push yourself to do a little more.
With respect to the equipment, was it easy to find it here in Costa Rica?
When I began to search on the computer, I had no idea where to start. But I found a girl in San Jose that sold me part of her equipment. Then I found someone who has a company that imports the best Pilates equipment including Multispa, and I ordered the equipment that was missing. Then it was a challenge to bring it from San Jose to Santa Teresa.
But, thanks to all that, Florblanca has one of the best Pilates equipment studios in Costa Rica. All this combined with the beauty of Santa Teresa and Florblanca, that is paradise.
Which factors do you consider important when planning your routine?
When I’m planning a private lesson, it will depend on each person and which factors influence each individual.
When it is a mat class, I always try to make a class that involves the whole body.
The most important reason I have my studio at Florblanca is because I want not only to promote Pilates locally, but also to promote it with all the people that visit us, including people from San Jose and other parts of Costa Rica. Then they can integrate a Pilates routine into their holiday and likewise integrate it to your life. People can plan a holiday without leaving out the fitness. They can focus on their body and also relax in this beautiful place.