Anita came to Pilates through a friend. Her interest was piqued when she signed up for the matwork series that used to be offered at the HPER, when she was working on her dissertation. She used to do about 30 exercises in a sequence that she created and relied on them to strengthen her core for almost 20 years. After she started doing Pilates mat classes, she noticed that she couldn’t get her body to do those exercises any more, and kept drifting into Pilates territory. When she was pregnant with her daughter, she took a private class at a classical Pilates studio and knew she was hooked for life. She loves how Pilates can adapt to almost any physique in any state of fitness. It can be a wonderful complement to athletic and artistic lifestyles and is beneficial for health in general.
Anita is originally from London, Canada and came to Bloomington for her Masters in piano at the Jacobs School of Music eons ago. She also received her Ph.D. in Hispanic Literature from IU, in the more recent past. Anita holds a comprehensive certification for Mat and Apparatus from Lotus Pilates.
She teaches a mix of Pilates styles, since she was exposed to Stott matwork and both BASI and the classical styles on the mat and on apparatus. She looks to what she has found beneficial in her recent workouts (i.e., her latest obsession) and tries to pass that on to clients. She combines this perspective with the needs of clients and often gives choices for the ending of the workout. Since Pilates exercises emphasize core stabilization, moving any part of the body becomes a way to strengthen the powerhouse muscles. She tries to teach correct alignment and mindful movement, but also strives for flow and ease of movement during sessions.
Her favorite exercise would be a toss-up between Neck Pull and Boomerang. They stretch the spine and strengthen the core. These exercises come near the end of the classical order of Pilates matwork, so by the time you get to them, your entire body is warmed up and prepared for the challenges they pose. Plus, they feel great!
If a student walked into her Pilates class for the first time, Anita would want to say “Welcome to my class! We’ll start with breathing and alignment and work our way through the body, so that at the end of the class, you will feel stretched, strengthened and walk out taller than when you came in.”
When asked what season she would, Anita replied “Fall, because pumpkins and persimmons, oh my!”
Anita Park instructs the following: