In Conversation with Pilates Instructor Andrea Maida

We had a chat with the lovely Pilates instructor Andrea Maida. Andrea lives in California and we wanted to hear her view on how things are over in Cali, her view on Pilates and much more!

Meet Andrea Maida, professional Pilates instructor and studio owner: 

Currently, I’m...

traveling with my husband and about to launch a new website. New offerings are in the works and I recently reopened my home studio post-Covid when California opened up on June 15. Now I just need to remember what to do with my hands… LOL

The best with living in California...

Hm, although it is cliché, the weather is a huge mood enhancer. And I love my proximity to the ocean. I feel very fortunate to call San Diego my home.

My very favorite studio in California is...

Vintage Pilates. Jay Grimes, Sandy Shimoda and Karen Frischmann created an amazing community of Pilates teachers from all over the world. I feel so blessed to be a part of this amazing Pilates family. Like I cannot believe my good fortune sometimes…

There are also two other studios in California - also in Los Angeles - that are chock full of Vintage Pilates colleagues! I love to visit Westwood Pilates when I'm in LA to jump into class with Jay. Even if I'm at home in my studio I can sign up for an Old Skool workout online and be under the watchful eyes of studio owner Daniela Escobar and Ken Krech. Strong Body Pilates is another amazing studio owned by Nicole Briggs and Keion Moradi Means where I can soak up the Pilates all day long with Jay and my Vintage friends.

Andrea Maida for Pebbles Sportswear

My first Pilates experience...

was a very humbling Mat class. Pilates has taught me so much about my body and one of the first things it taught me was that my back is stiff. In my very first Pilates class I could not do the Roll Up (the 2nd exercise!) AT. ALL. Pilates made me ask myself “should I be able to roll up and down from the floor? I think this is something I should be able to do…” I thought I was super fit at 29 but the Pilates exercises told me a different story.

I cannot imagine being without the Pilates Mat exercises...

They are a wonderful gift to us and if you learn them you’ll always have a portable exercise system in your back pocket. That is the short answer to this question. Most recently I have come to realize I cannot be without my Foot Corrector. It really lives up to its name, although you could also call it the Whole Body Corrector.

My secret to maintaining a consistent Pilates practice is...

to make appointments. At the bare minimum I take one private lesson per week. Lately I have increased that to a couple lessons and a class each week so I can stay accountable to myself. When I make the appointments there are no excuses and I have to show up for myself (and others).

Andrea Maida for Pebbles Pilates
The best thing about Pilates is...

that you really just need to do it. Even if you think you are tired or not good at the exercises, just by doing them, they work. And you get better. It’s amazing the change of attitude and energy that can happen in an hour of Pilates exercises.

My dream client is the Nerd Enthusiast...

regular people who may not be Pilates instructors (although some are) who learn their workout and have a studio of apparatus in their homes. They have decided that the Pilates Method is the best way to take responsibility for their health and well-being. I believe the whole world should be doing their Pilates exercises and these Nerd Enthusiasts make me feel like it’s all possible.

My favorite Pilates move is...

the Roll Up. Earlier I confessed that I could not do the Roll Up when I began taking Pilates classes. Now it is literally one of my favorites. I also LOVE the Open Leg Rocker and all the exercises on the Ladder Barrel. Someday I will love the Short Box Series. Ha ha I truly believe this. I have also finally realized the supreme benefits that come from Side Bending exercises and the exercises for the feet. I try to visit them daily.

I prefer my Pilates without music...

I find music to be distracting. When I start my Pilates workout I must cultivate a deep focus and concentration. Also each exercise has its own rhythm to explore.

Andrea Maida for Pebbles

Right now I am extra curious about...

the balancing of our oppositional forces in Pilates exercises. When one end of the body overworks to the point that it takes over and prevents the opposing force to work effectively. So I have been playing a lot with the Rolling exercises - which require a delicate balance to be successful: too much of one end of the body and you can’t get over, too much of the other end and you cannot return. I like to see how this concept plays out in all our other exercises.

The best Pilates sportswear is...

made with quality fabric and has a great fit. The last thing I want to deal with during a Pilates workout is any kind of adjusting of my clothing. The workout is hard enough.

Some of my favorite places to go...

are in Maui, Seoul and Finland. Someday I hope to visit another colleague at the southernmost point in Europe. And my friends in New Zealand and Australia - those would be amazing places to do Pilates!

The first thing I want to do after a Pilates session is...

decide what I am going to eat! Or I like to indulge in a spa-like shower or bath afterward. And later in the day I love to go out and about to feel all the energy in my body that I’ve generated with my Pilates workout. 

I love Korean food. It’s my current favorite, but I love so many types of cuisine. Maybe my favorite food is sushi too. I love Uni, and have just learned that you can also have Uni sushi served with a quail egg on top. Oh. My. Gosh. Let’s just say there are not a lot of foods I dislike. Also, Vienna, I love your cakes!

Pilates Instructor Andrea Maida for Pebbles

I like to prepare my sessions by...

making some decisions about what exercises and apparatus I will visit for my workout. This plan may change as I begin, maybe my exercises will lead me in a different direction than I had anticipated, but I do love visualizing what kind of workout I will do. I also strive to have an unfussy workout outfit on so I can focus on my workout and not have to make any wardrobe adjustments as I go. I love a good outfit :)

My feeling after a workout is...

I initially feel wiped out. And then about 1/2 hour or less later I feel an amazing amount of energy. And sometimes even if I feel like the workout was not “my best” the feeling after is still spectacular. You just have to do the exercises. They are working.

A book I suggest you read is...

Joe’s manifesto, Return to Life Through Contrology. I try to read it once a year at least. I’m normally an avid reader. The pandemic made it hard for me to achieve that kind of diligent focus necessary for reading. Recently though I have been getting back to reading and allowing my mind to be quiet so I can focus on the book.

My mantra during tough times is...

that everything will eventually be fine. Sort of along the lines of ‘this too shall pass.’ Sometimes I can get caught up in worry or become anxious, but intellectually I know this is always a temporary state and that later on these worries will no longer be important. When I am feeling stress I like to remind myself that in time there will be a resolution.

Pilates with Andrea Maida testing Pebbles Sportswear
Last time you were embarrassed was...

Hmmm… it was a while ago. I’m kind of a loud talker. most of my embarrassing moments come from being unexpectedly loud when everything around me is quiet and I haven’t noticed LOL

One thing I can't be without in life...

I love a good project. Of any kind really, a knitting project, organizational projects, cleaning projects, a trip, etc… Maybe that’s why I love Pilates so much. I’ve got the whole big project of my body to work on (for the rest of my life!). And that will keep me busy for a long time… Pilates gives me a whole body of work to help care for my most precious asset. I’ve got a bunch of imbalances and compensations that need my attention and Pilates has given me wonderful tools that make it fun to take care of myself.

The most important thing I have learned is...

the power of empathy. Empathy is imperative. The very act of viewing the world through another’s POV - putting yourself in someone else’s shoes - can create a cascade of understanding and peace. I try to afford others the benefit of the doubt I so easily give myself. I find you can really learn so much about the world around you and yourself by having empathy toward others. I like to joke that Pilates instructors need to have Pilates lessons too so they cannot become complacent or blasé toward their students. We need to regularly remember how hard the exercises are and cultivate empathy for our students!

If you want to get in contact with me... 

you can reach me via email andrea@pilatesandrea.com and I am @pilatesandrea on Instagram. I teach in person and online private lessons, and I do teach classes as well for clients and teachers. My classes are self-directed. This means you will learn your workout program in your lessons and you’ll get to practice it in class under my supervision. This way of working puts the focus of the class on MOVING. Even better, this way of teaching classes fosters greater independence and comes to us straight from Joe Pilates’ gym!

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