Momentum Fest From a Student’s Perspective


I wanted to attend Momentum Fest 2018 from the moment I saw it advertised on social media. Initially, I didn’t have anyone to go with and was too nervous to go alone.

Don’t get me wrong, I’ve traveled alone plenty but this was different. Deep down, I was scared to go alone because I knew it would mostly be instructors & studio owners in attendance. In other words, I would be outnumbered. In February 2018, Jennifer messaged me and asked me if I was planning on attending. I told her the story and she said she wanted to go. Within 24 hours I bought my ticket to Momentum Fest and booked a flight to Denver.

Friday morning – the first day of the event – I woke up nervous. It felt like the first day of school! I was nervous, excited and worried. A small percentage of me didn’t want to go to registration. The things that concerned me were feelings of inadequacy – not sure if I would be able to keep up in classes, with my schedule (I went for four hours of Pilates every day) and that I wasn’t good enough. This was probably the most nervous I’d been in a long time.

Right away the jitters started to drift away!

I went down and met Jen for registration. We walked outside to wait poolside, because both of our first classes were outside. While there we met Ashley and Karyn, two studio owners from the Fort Collins, CO area. They were great ladies with good energy. Ironically, my first class, I set up my mat right next to Karyn. As we began moving through Grace Hurry’s “Cadillac on the Mat” class, my nerves slipped away. Throughout the day, I’d see some of the same faces, whether it was in passing or in class. Smiles, high fives, laughs and even grimaces after a tough class were had by everyone.

One of the things I enjoyed about Momentum Fest was the social interaction. Seeing people I met along my journey, meeting people from social media for the first time and making new friends. It’s surreal meeting people you’ve only chatted with or commented via Instagram or Facebook. Social media has a way of bringing us together and making the worlds seem a little bit smaller. During the weekend, I was able to speak to different people about business and teaching. I even found a few other Pilates enthusiasts to talk with.

Jessica and Brian brought in some amazing talent to kick off this first year! The caliber of teachers that were presenting during the weekend were out of this world. Many of them you will already know and love if you are a member of Pilates Anytime or are on social media. To be able to learn from them, move with them, and have small moments of conversation are epic. I was so thankful for every chance I was able to speak to them, even if to only say thank you and let them know something I learned.

Not only did these presenters head the classes but they also participated with us. My first class had Lesley Logan behind me, ready to join in and learn along with us. I took a reformer class with Grace Hurry and Tracey Mallett was right next to me. I thought, “No pressure there, Stacey”. Crazy huh? They wanted to show up, support their friends and move with us!

My final thoughts

Magical. Strength. Uplifting. Empowering. Special. Game changing. Emotional journey. Eye opening. Excitement. Good enough. Where I need to be. These were words that came to mind when I sat on my hotel balcony Monday morning. I was beginning my day with coffee, overlooking the mountains, and journaling about the weekend. As I started to write, I began to cry. All of these amazing emotions and thoughts were courtesy of Momentum Fest and the people I met.

I wish everyone to be able to feel the energy we all felt over the weekend. The presenters moved us physically and emotionally. Even if you aren’t into Pilates, if you’re into movement, you will walk away feeling empowered and loving the experience!

To anyone who I made eye contact with, smiled with, laughed with and met, please know that you’ve helped make this experience so wonderful. You’ve left an imprint on my heart and mind.

I am full.


Momentum FestStacey Extence began practicing Pilates in 2011 to become healthier. She soon realized how much more it was to her than simply a healthy lifestyle. Pilates became a form of therapy for her mind and soul and she fell in love with the movement practice. Stacey enjoys her Pilates practice at home and also spends time traveling and seeking out new practitioners to learn from. She is a Pilates enthusiast and loves sharing the method with anyone who’s willing to listen and try it out! She looks forward to completing a teacher training program in the future. Stacey is a Momentum Fest ambassador for 2019.

Why Momentum Fest means so much

Momentum Fest Pilates

Momentum Fest Pilates

Eight years ago I attended my first yoga and movement festival.

We were living in Hawaii at the time and I drove an hour to the North Shore with a group of girlfriends for two days of yoga classes, movement, dancing, eating and connection.

I spent my days falling in love with my mat again. Moving for the fun of moving.

I spent my nights dancing and then staying up late with my girlfriends, eating in our rooms and talking about the amazing classes we took that day.

I drove home sore and tired and full in every sense of the word.

I was explaining the weekend to my husband when I got home and the conversation steered towards Pilates. I had been a teacher and physical therapist for ten years at that point and I could honestly say there was nothing like this in our industry.

I explained to him that yes we have conventions and workshops. We have networking events. We have classes for CEC’s.

But we don’t have movement events simply for the sake of moving.

We don’t have a single opportunity for STUDENTS to move along side TEACHERS.

Wouldn’t it be amazing if someone created something like that for the Pilates industry?

We kind of laughed about it and let it go.

It became one of those ideas that we would return to periodically. I would continually wonder why we didn’t have anything like it yet and when it would finally come about.

In the summer of 2017 I was on a walk by myself. I was eight months pregnant with our second baby and we had recently moved back to our hometown of Denver after ten years away.

The idea of the event hit me and this time I couldn’t let it go (because isn’t that what everyone does at eight months pregnant?!)

I texted Brian that maybe it was time we finally did something about it.

And so we did.

I am not sure I could ever find the words to describe our first Momentum Fest. It brought together all of my favorite things – family, friends, movement, joy, hugs, laughter, music – into one amazing place and time.

We had professionals and students. We had complete beginners and people who had been teaching for thirty years.

Brian and I had literally poured our hearts and souls into this event and we wondered if people would feel what we were trying to give.

I can promise you they did.

Workshops and conferences and courses are amazing and needed in Pilates and all fitness industries. They hold teachers to high standards and allow us to share ideas and improve our skills.

What they usually don’t let us do is move.

We got into this profession because of our love of movement. Yet – because of busy schedules and owning studios and teaching – we lose the connection to our mat and our own bodies.

I want you to have the feeling I did all those years ago.

The feeling of leaving your notebook at home.

Forgetting your client list and proper breathing techniques and exercise protocol and cueing.

I want you to get on your mat, close your eyes, feel your body and move.

Then maybe laugh.

Connect with humans. Not because of where they were trained or how long they’ve been teaching or what studio they own.

Just because they are people.

Then come shop and dance and maybe have a glass of wine with us because that’s how we roll :).

I had someone recently tell me “I just don’t get it” when asking about Momentum Fest.

To that I say maybe it’s something you don’t necessarily need.

But for those who have a longing for something more in their movement lives. For those missing the heart in the technique. For those missing connection – both to themselves and to others. For those wanting to step into the possibility of something more. To explore other modalities. To learn something new about themselves. To meet new people. To embrace sweating and moving and laughing. To hold hands and chant and cry happy tears (because yeah, that happened).

Momentum Fest is for you.

I promise we will continue to put our hearts and souls into this event.

I hope you come and share yours as well.

Click here to join us.

All my love,




Our Natural Rhythm

Our Natural Rhythm

Joseph Pilates made it his life’s mission to take us back to our animalistic state of movement. He studied animals and babies and used their natural rhythms as a source of what adults should strive towards. He also encouraged human’s to be outside as much as possible and to live a pleasurable life full of zest!

This summer at Momentum Fest in Denver, we will be celebrating our natural rhythm through the power movement, music, and the outdoors!

Joseph Pilates characterized himself as a small, sickly child when he was younger. He took it upon himself to strengthen his body through various forms of movement such as wrestling, yoga, gymnastics, boxing, and martial arts. While doing this, he also studied the behaviors and movements of animals and babies, as these are our most natural states.

It is important for us to approach each day with a sense of wonder and newness, much like a child would! The Pilates method encourages us to connect with our natural rhythm, as every exercise strives to embody effortless ease, much like those of animals and babies. The exercises are performed in various positions, such as supine (lying on our back), prone (lying on our stomach), side lying, quadruped, tall kneeling, and standing—all of which are stages that animals and babies move through as they develop.

Mr. Pilates emphasized that “Normal muscles should function naturally in the much the same manner as do the muscles of animals.” Every Pilates exercise encourages organic strength and flexibility, similar to how a cat moves through space. The work teaches us to move efficiently like animals– Therefore saving our energy for when it’s necessary, as well as being able to peacefully rest when it is necessary.

Music is another great contributor to our natural rhythm—and is an exciting part of Momentum Fest!

Although sometimes our music taste differs from one another, we can all agree that music is something that brings people together. Listening to music that we love or relate to has many positive benefits. Music helps to reduce stress and anxiety, as well as elevate our emotional state. With an elevated emotional state comes improved cognitive function, as well as increased exercise motivation, performance, and endurance!

Joseph Pilates also encouraged his students to “…never fail to get all the sunshine and fresh air (they) can.” Similar to music, being outdoors also eases stress, calms the mind, and elevates the spirit.

The 1st Annual Momentum Fest will be taking place in sunny Denver, Colorado! Among its many benefits, natural sunlight also helps to improve eyesight and increase Vitamin D intake. Vitamin D is good for bone and cell growth, immunity strength, and inflammation reduction. Some of the classes at Momentum Fest will take place outside, allowing us to move together amidst the sunshine and fresh mountain air!

This summer at Momentum Fest we can’t wait to move to our natural rhythm within an amazing community of movement, music, and the outdoors.

Register today!

Whitney Shea, PTA, PMA® -CPT, RYT is a Pilates Teacher and Physical Therapist Assistant in Boulder, CO, and she currently teaches Pilates at Physical Therapy of Boulder, Colorado Athletic Club, and at The University of Colorado at Boulder. She is PMA and Yoga Alliance Certified, and has Advanced Teacher Training and Master’s Program Certifications from the Pilates Center in Boulder, as well as a degree in Integrative Physiology from CU-Boulder. After experiencing a traumatic car accident in 2008, she developed a deeper appreciation of The Pilates Method as rehabilitation, which has brought her to her most current position as a PTA and Pilates Teacher. When Whitney isn’t teaching or practicing Pilates and Yoga, you’ll most likely find her outside hiking, skiing, rock climbing, or fly fishing with her husband Billy, and their pup, Solus!

To Mat or Reform?

To Mat or Reform?

My first introduction to Pilates was the mat work. A friend dragged me to a class. I’ll admit I was a big doubter of Pilates. If you have heard my bio on PilatesAnytime I share that I truly thought it was an infomercial fitness thing. But, boy was I wrong! So, wrong. As the mat class went along I felt parts of my body that I had never felt before in my entire life of being an athlete.

I left that first class and changed my work schedule so that I could go to mat classes at a studio down the street from my house every day. Yes, I was there 6 days a week unless I wasn’t in town. I had no idea that Pilates wasn’t only the mat work.

Until I moved to Los Angeles, and I struggled to find classes that were in my neighborhood and at times I could go. And the ultimate need, a teacher who could inspire me and help me dig deep into my practice. What I ended up discovering was a small Pilates studio. No classes just privates and duets. I made the switch from mat classes to duets and privates.

And, then, I found myself never wanting the mat but just the Reformer, Cadillac, and Chair. It wasn’t until after my training program and a couple years of studying under some incredible mentors that I realized how beautiful the whole package of Pilates is.

No need to choose which piece was the best.

So, when I was asked what I would want to teach at Momentum Fest I knew I wanted to bring the Reformer on the mat. I wanted mat lovers to feel the reformer in their bodies and even how it teaches the mat work. And, I wanted the reformer lovers to find some love for the mat. Now, you don’t have to choose between the Mat and the Reformer!

The thing is the mat is a piece of equipment. It might feel like the least supportive one out there but it’s not. The mat has the most space, and like a good friend can meet you where ever you are. If you’re in a hotel, your house, a studio, park or on a boat you can find the mat work waiting for you.

So, if you are a Reformer lover of Pilates then get ready to fall in love (even just a little bit) for the Pilates mat at Momentum Fest! I know I can’t wait to see you and every Pilates lover of every level for three days of Pilates flow.

Register and purchase your ticket for the 2018 Momentum Fest today!


Lesley Logan is a PMA Certified Pilates Teacher and has been studying and teaching Joseph Pilates Classical Method since 2005 and 2008 respectively. She also has eight years of retail management experience, and six years managing studios regionally for Equinox fitness clubs. Hooked after her very first class in Orange County, Lesley arranged her schedule to take Pilates classes every day. This enthusiasm moved her to Los Angeles, where Lesley completed a 600 hour Classical Pilates Teacher Training. Soon after, Lesley completed a Masters Pilates Program from The Pilates Center in Boulder, CO. Her love for learning the method didn’t stop there, as she became the Lead Teacher Trainer for Equinox Pilates and led dozens of apprentices through their program from 2012-2016. In 2013 Lesley was voted ‘Best Pilates in Los Angeles’ by Los Angeles Magazine, featured in Pilates Style Magazine, can be seen on, and recently has completed ‘The Work,’ a masters program taught by one of Joseph Pilates ‘Elders,’ Jay Grimes. Maintaining that Pilates is a unique practice that is right for everybody, Lesley tailors the method for each client. Her goal is to help them connect their mind to their core, creating intentional body awareness so they can move from their center, be taller and stronger than when they walked in. You can find Lesley teaching private clients at Westwood Pilates in Los Angeles or through Skype or Facetime. She also offers online business courses for beginning to advanced Pilates instructors, studio owners and teacher trainers at her website,, and leading groups on Pilates retreats around the world.

You and Me…& Your Seven

You and Me … & Your Seven.
by James Crader

Murmuration: The phenomenon that results when hundreds, upon thousands, of starlings fly in intricately woven patterns while swooping and soaring through the sky, liquidly changing directions at any moment.

Science has long been baffled by the act of murmuration. How do thousands of birds cohesively alter flight patterns in split seconds with limited, and densely whirring, vocalized information? When looking at a flock of starlings cover the sky it’s clear that there is no “leader.” The movement seems to emerge from a group think that sometimes serves the purpose of hunting, or avoiding being hunted … whatever the impetus it’s always mesmerizing. Often the shape molds and shifts for in-obvious reasons.

Here’s what we know for sure, according to a study by George F. Young and colleagues, starlings form an intimate relationship with, and pay attention to, a limited number of their neighbors (seven to be exact). Because of this relationship starlings are able to cohesively navigate in uncertainty by relying on and attending to their seven neighbors. Consequently due to this Rule of Seven starling flocks are able co-create a highly dynamic system with independently operating parts that form a whole … with emergent properties of sophisticated movement.

We can notice similar behavior elsewhere in nature: shoals of fish, herds of mammals, swarming insects … and human animals. Think of a busy sidewalk, maybe in New York. Or a mass of people exiting an arena or venue of some sort. We don’t usually ask and tell directions at the moment, we just move with the group. We can sense the flow by interpreting the movement of those around us, and uncertainty is quelled by the innate knowing that you are not alone within the movement. You supported by a larger body of people with the same goals.

I know it’s difficult to predict the benefit of something before it’s happened. Foresight is elusive. What will “it” be like? Will it be worth it? Should I go it ALONE? Uncertainty is scary. What I can guarantee is that Momentum Fest is founded on the idea of celebration and uplifting each other through movement. Being that we (most of us in attendance) are human animals (more or less, probably) we are subject to our own version of this Rule of Seven. Unconsciously we by and large rely on and attend to our neighbors in pursuit of a common goal … this June our common goal is to celebrate and uplift each other through movement. Simply.

I’ve been fascinated by murmurations for as long as I can remember. The experience of seeing a group of individuals exploring, playing, seeking, and thriving because of each other is awesome in the truest sense of the word. As a teacher it’s my goal to be less of a leader and more of a facilitator of an emergent experience … one in which you and your seven can co-create not only sophisticated movement but deeply personal bonds with each other (and your body) that last beyond our time together. Does that sound interesting to you?

Here’s to you joining the flock of curious movers in Colorado this June. We’re hoping you’ll bring your body’s wisdom and mind’s wonder to our party!

Register for Momentum Fest

James Crader is a Movement Coach specializing in Pilates and John F. Barnes Myofascial Release Therapy, a CoreAlign Faculty Member, co-host of the Thinking Pilates Podcast, and owner of Evolved Body Studio in Sacramento, CA. Growing up he never thought anything fitness would be his calling. He was nerdy, enjoyed listening to and telling stories, and loved to experiment, create, and play with the shapes he could make while rolling around on the floor. He and his sister even practiced writing with their toes (just in case). All that made for a really weird kid, but an innovative movement educator. James began his Pilates training with Balanced Body, but has gone on to study with numerous teachers from many lineages of Pilates and beyond. James has contributed to movement and lifestyle conversations on podcasts, diverse blogs, Pilates Style magazine, the documentary A Movement of Movement, and recently Pilates Anytime. You can find out more about James and EB Studio at, or follow his movement musings on Instagram @physicalthinking.

Being a Pilates Student Again

How I learned to be a Pilates student again, and the honest truth of how I stopped exercising.

Just like so many Pilates teachers and fitness pros I somehow realized I stopped exercising. It has happened multiple times in my 15 plus years in the industry. I never thought I was going to or was intentional about stopping, I just realized several weeks or months later I had not gotten my practice in. I got into the fitness industry when I was in college and grad school getting exercise physiology degrees. Twenty year old me said I can get paid to work out? Yes please. I can get paid to work and and get a membership to one of the cities nicest gyms? Sign me up. At most times in my fitness career I am pretty sure I got in my own practice everyday.

Now let’s start with the list of reasons that I “blame” this on:
– I decided to moonlight from my full time job to open my own studio.
– I decided to move my studio to a bigger space or expand my studio.
– I had a sick family member and then got behind on life.
– I decided it was more important to spend time with my daughter…they are only small once!
– I needed to work on my businesses.

I realized I was jealous of my clients, teachers, and husband that all made time to get in their own personal practice. I felt serious resentment for them but did not know how to fit it all in. I was not sure what to do next other than the obvious answer of have a hissy fit and jump up and down. I have done this several times over during this process. I realized I was not only not getting my practice but I was also not getting my lesson planning down. I was not taking care of myself or my clients. I knew I had to fix this for my mental and physical health, family, and clients

Now the part that you care about. How to become a Pilates student again when your practice has been abandoned. The practical version.

Enter coaches. I had to have some yell at me to take care of me. It started with a program focusing on being fulfilled & successful as a teacher. Just what I need in the laps in practice after my daughter. The long and the short I needed to be held accountable in life and business.
Scheduling. Everyone says just put it on your calendar. I know there will always be email and phone calls to return. The list will never end as business owner or teacher so just give up and book in time to work out and forget about the work. Unplug for this time period and just move.
Something is better than nothing. Someone catches you walking out/in the studio to go workout. Then you are only left with 30 or 40 minutes and not the golden hour! Do it anyway! You do not need to be perfect.
Be a student. I find it hard to take classes at my studio as the owner. This might be only my issues. I find I can be a distraction and distracting to myself focusing on other things in the studio. I do try to get it to a class once a week and with multiple studios I mix it up as best as possible. When I travel I get in for a class at a studio and that is great. I love being under the radar and taking care of myself. I travel to the same cities often so I have my go to locations in those cities.
Accountability. Meeting a teacher to workout and catch up is always a game changer. My daughter loves to play in the studio so mentioning that on the weekend is a guarantee I will get to the studio after hours for us to “workout.”
Continuing education is not the end all be all answer. I thought I needed all the skills and workshops to be a happy teacher. No, I need a few skills that I understand and know how to apply them. Those skills I can take the time to apply are even better. I learned this from being ill myself. Rehab is rehab you do not need learn everything. Do what is working in that moment. You need to apply what you know and know when to ask for help. That is help can be taking the time to move yourself and help moving your clients. Have a team of pros that can help you along the road.

Being a Pilates student should be inspiring, not exhausting. All of those are reasons I decided I wanted to head to Momentum Fest and just be. Be student, Be a Pilates Teacher, and Be Relaxed.

Allison Zang has had a love of Pilates since her first class in 2001 at the University of Pittsburgh. She is has a Masters Degree in Exercise Physiology and love a learning and the science behind movement. Allison, her husband Andrew and there 5-year-old Alivia reside in central PA. They love being outside as a family and traveling. She owns five Pilates and Barre studios and has her own teacher training program. You can learn more about Allison here


The Power of Breath


Whether we’re on or off our mat, there are countless benefits of facilitating our breath. At any waking moment our breath is bringing oxygen-rich blood flow into our muscles, which then fuels our body with energy.

This summer at Momentum Fest, we’ll be exploring our breath as a powerful tool to connect, fuel our movement, and deepen our relationships with our self and our community!

As a movement practitioner and educator, I always come back to the importance of our breath. There are many breath patterns in the movement world, and all of them bring a depth of knowledge of the relationships between our anatomy, our nervous system, and the world around us.

To begin the exploration of our breath, it is important to understand the anatomy of breathing. Our diaphragm is the primary muscle used in breathing. It is a sheet of internal muscle that separates our lungs from the organs in our abdomen. When we inhale, our diaphragm moves downward and our ribs move up and out, allowing for increased lung capacity. When we exhale, our diaphragm relaxes, causing the air to be forced out of our lungs.

Connecting these concepts with our movement is an ideal way to notice where our breath is (and isn’t) going. This meditative breath practice often leads us to places where we may be stuck, tight, or have experienced traumas within our muscular structure. Allowing for a full, expansive, and 360° breath capacity will inevitably assist in healing us from the inside out.

Our breath is also a powerful tool in controlling our nervous system. Although breathing is involuntary, it is unique to our other systems in that it can also be controlled voluntarily. This voluntary control originates from the cortex of the brain, which therefore allow us to self-regulate our breath in relationship to our mental capacity and surroundings. By having control of our breath, we have the power to calm our sympathetic nervous system simply by initiating a slow, deep breath pattern. This intentional breath gives us the opportunity to re-center our body and our mind, allowing only for focus on the present moment.

This is where our breath and movement act in unison. Often times with exercise, and other forms of movement, we’re working towards the next big thing, causing us to disengage from the present moment. By allowing our breath to initiate our movement, we’re more likely to maintain a sense of calm control in our thoughts, and therefore our body. The distractions in our head should never overpower the texture of our breath.

In some movement practices, there is a specific breath pattern associated with how our anatomy moves through space. Often times the inhalation breath is used to create space and decompression, and the exhalation breath promotes connection and engagement. Although these concepts are helpful, it’s more important to promote a full and expansive breath than focusing on when and where to put the breath within a specific exercise. As long we have breath with intention, we’re in the right place.

In Mr. Pilates’ words, “Breathing is the first act of life, and the last.” Our breath is what moves us through space, even when we’re perfectly still. It allows us to practice contentment, equanimity, and presence within our self and our movement practice- All the while, connecting us together under the same umbrella. This summer at Momentum Fest, we’ll use our breath, among other powerful tools, as a celebration of community and movement!


Whitney Shea, PTA, PMA® -CPT, RYTis a Pilates Teacher and Physical Therapist Assistant in Boulder, CO, and she’s currently teaches Pilates at Physical Therapy of Boulder, Colorado Athletic Club, and at The University of Colorado at Boulder. She is PMA and Yoga Alliance Certified, and has Advanced Teacher Training and Master’s Program Certifications from the Pilates Center in Boulder, as well as a degree in Integrative Physiology from CU-Boulder. After experiencing a traumatic car accident in 2008, she developed a deeper appreciation of The Pilates Method as rehabilitation, which has brought her to her most current position as a PTA and Pilates Teacher. When Whitney isn’t teaching or practicing Pilates and Yoga, you’ll most likely find her outside hiking, skiing, rock climbing, or fly fishing with her husband Billy, and their pup, Solus!