Denver Here I Come!

It’s no secret that I love to travel. My husband thinks I’m addicted and maybe he’s right! In fact, I am writing this whilst staying in the tiny village of Arrifana in the Western Algarve whilst my husband surfs (that’s his addiction!)

Last year we were lucky enough to take four months to travel through six countries and I can honestly say we felt ‘at home’ in every new city, town and village that we visited.

Now, that’s not because I am a super-chilled, van-life hippie. Not at all!  I am just as uptight as the next ballet-dancer-turned-pilates-teacher (but I’m working on it!). The truth is we always felt at home thanks to the connections we made through movement practices, be it Pilates, yoga, surfing or ninja training (true story).

This is why Momentum Fest is so important and exciting for our global Pilates community. Having a weekend purely dedicated to making connections with liked minded people whilst celebrating movement is quite simply a recipe for a life-enhancing experience!

Just as we did whilst on our travels, I have no doubt you will find people whom you automatically ‘click’ with; people who make you see and feel things differently; people you will learn from, and who will learn from you.

For all those attending, or those thinking of attending I can’t encourage you enough to grab this opportunity to connect, share and celebrate with other Pilates enthusiasts!

I will be making the journey to Denver from Jersey (a tiny 9 by 5 mile island off the north west coast of France!) because I love to travel, I love Pilates and, most of all, I love the people who love Pilates. I hope to see you there.

Grace x

Purchase your ticket to Momentum Fest today!


Grace Hurry is a BASI and PMA certified Pilates teacher having owned and taught at studios in the Channel Islands, United Kingdom and the Cayman Islands. She is also a qualified yoga instructor. Grace was lucky enough to begin practising Pilates from the age of 11. Throughout her training and career as a professional dancer at Tring Park, the Royal Ballet School, English National Ballet and Scottish Ballet, Grace credits Pilates as the tool which allowed her to meet the high demands of a classical ballet dancer. However, it was only after retiring from dance that Grace began to discover the broader physical and mental benefits that practicing Pilates offers to all aspects of life. Being able to share the magic of movement with any ‘body’ who wants to learn is the core of Grace’s teaching ethos. Grace’s teaching is dynamic, creative and precise. She encourages you to explore the awesome things that your body can do, and to feel good whilst doing it!

Why I Love Pilates

Why do I love Pilates so much? 

I love many forms of exercise – pilates, distance running, strength training, sweaty spin classes and more.  Pilates is the one movement discipline that ties them all together for me.  It is my number one favourite of all of the activities that I participate in.

What is it about Pilates that puts it on the top of my list for movement?

Here are my 7 reasons why I love Pilates:

1. Pilates feels amazing!    I will always remember my first Pilates session on the reformer.  I left the studio feeling marvelous and excited about what I had done.  There was also a feeling of confusion about why I felt so great.  It was a beginner level workout that wasn’t super hard. I did break a sweat, but it wasn’t anything like what I was so used to from my spin or the fitness classes.  A day later I noticed some muscle soreness, a feeling that I quite enjoy.  I was definitely sold and ready to learn more.  Twelve years later, I’m still learning and practicing Pilates and loving it more and more.  

2. Pilates challenges my mind and body. – There’s always more to be learned. At first, I was challenged with learning each exercise and the basic choreography of those exercises.  I love that in every Pilates workout I learn something new about how I move, breath, or align myself.  The more I do Pilates, the more I realize I can learn.  I will always continue to be a Pilates student, learning from attending Pilates classes with various instructors, as well as going to workshops and conferences.  Hearing and seeing new ways of approaching an exercise challenges me physically and mentally, making me both a better student and teacher. 

3. Pilates helps me to be more self-aware. – When I first started doing Pilates, I became very aware of my posture and breathing, particularly when I would be driving. The more training and Pilates education I have completed has made me more and more aware.  I not only catch myself standing with more weight on one leg or with my hips twisted. I now correct myself and work to find uniform alignment, better posture and take fuller breaths.  This awareness spills over into daily life as well as the other physical fitness activities that I participate in.

4. Pilates makes me stronger and feeling more connected. – I have several hobbies that I started long before I found Pilates and continue to participate in now.   Endurance running and cycling, functional strength training, spin classes, downhill skiing, and gardening are some of my favourites.  Pilates has made me so much more aware of how I move and align my body while doing these activities. Overall, I feel stronger and more efficient in my own movement.  Even more special to me is having a Pilates client come tell me how strong they felt doing one of their fitness hobbies.  Especially when it is an activity that they thought that they may have to give up prior to finding Pilates. 

5. Pilates creates goals and helps me achieve goals. – There are a great number of Pilates exercises that are challenging and require practice and patience,  along with improved flexibility and strength.  Every time I do Pilates, I have goals.  Sometimes its to improve upon an element of an exercise, while other times it is to attempt an exercise that perhaps I have only done a couple times.   Accomplishing my Pilates goals always feels amazing.  

Another big goal that I always have, is to get through my training for running events, cycling races and now a triathlon, injury free.  Being consistent with doing Pilates has equated to success in achieving this goal. 

6. Pilates Friends. – Through Pilates and my other fitness activities, I have met so many wonderful people with common goals and interests.  People start doing Pilates for various reasons and there are different styles of Pilates. But we are all continuing to do Pilates with the common reason of feeling better inside and out. Having this common interest and bond can be the seed to grow beautiful longtime friendships.  

7. Pilates travel and adventures. – As a Pilates teacher, I began traveling to conferences and workshops about 8 years ago.  My Pilates knowledge and community has grown from only knowing of gym based mat classes, and of a couple of local studios, to now knowing instructors and studios all over the world.  I have always loved to travel and explore new places, so to now do that partnered with Pilates, makes it oh so much better!

Pilates is my glue.  It’s my one activity connects all my other activities, with the added bonus of travel and new relationships.

I love movement!  I love feeling strong!  I love being aware!  I love my community!  I love Pilates!

Are you a Pilates lover too?  Are you a lover of movement?  Do you love to travel and explore?

Come join me, along with an amazing line up of Pilates and movement teachers at Momentum Fest!

Melissa Nagai is a 2018 Momentum Fest ambassador and the owner of b.Pilates in British Columbia.

How Pilates and Momentum Fest are Bringing People Together

Momentum Fest

More Than Just an Exercise
The Pilates method has been around since the 1920s when it was created by its namesake, Joseph Pilates. He originally called it Contrology because it is the ultimate control of body, mind and spirit. This is attained through Pilates’ six principles: centering, concentration, control, precision, breath and flow. He believed that by honing these skills, one can achieve a healthier and stronger lifestyle. Joseph Pilates was right. From the professional athlete to the couch potato, everyone can benefit from practicing Pilates regularly. There is so much to learn about doing Pilates especially when you have a partnership with a certified Pilates teacher. He or she will help you gain a richer experience, so you can expand the products of the exercise like increased flexibility, stronger core, decreased stress, etc.

Inspiring a “Movement” through Movement
Not only is Pilates making incredible impact on people’s health, it is inspiring people to come together. Pilates will be center stage at Momentum Fest this June 22-24 in Denver, CO. The three-day weekend will be a celebration for everyone who loves Pilates or is curious about learning more. There are so many different reasons that people do Pilates – to stay healthy, get fit, have time for yourself, have fun with friends. The list goes on. Whatever your reason, you will find that Pilates can bring us all together. Some of the greatest Pilates teachers from all over the world will be leading classes and conversations to inspire joy, movement and unity. There is no better time to share the impact that Pilates can have on our health and how it can be a common thread for us all to function better as individuals, in our community, and in our world. Who knew that by simply doing Pilates we can be that much closer to world peace? Joseph Pilates did, and this was his ultimate dream for his work.

How the Pilates Industry is Giving Back to the Community
You don’t have to look far to see the incredible work being done with Pilates as the unifying tool. Whether it is in the form of disease treatment, rehabilitation, or charitable support, there are people and organizations making positive impact in their communities and across the world. Who is benefiting? Children, military veterans, people with scoliosis and spinal cord injuries, and more. We think this would make Joseph Pilates smile. Check out the links below to learn more…and be moved.

Links to Organizations and Efforts where Pilates is Making a Positive Impact


Following in the Footsteps of the Original Disruptor

Momentum Fest

By Momentum Fest presenter Trina Altman and  ambassador Nikki Naab-Levy

In past years, a lot of the debate in the Pilates community has been centered around a specific question.

What is the best way to honor the work that we’ve been taught? .

For some, it has meant preserving the work and teaching it in the way they believe Joseph Pilates taught it. For others, this has meant taking what we’ve learned and incorporating it into other modalities or expanding upon it to fit the needs of the individual client.

The truth is there’s no wrong answer.

There’s great value in preserving the work, so the instructors who come after us have an opportunity to learn it and appreciate where the information came from. However, it’s also important to acknowledge that as time goes on, we learn more about how the human body works, which might mean updating our methods.

Additionally, the physical needs of a body in 2018 are very different than what someone might have needed in 1960. More so, our needs change as we move through different phases of life. What you might need in your twenties is very different in your sixties.

The end result, is now there are a lot of Pilates teachers who share this work in a way that looks different from what they were originally taught, regardless of who their teacher was or if their training was considered traditional or contemporary.

Cue the guilt, shame, and isolation, where you question everything that you do and wonder if you need to go back and take a second…third…fourth…or fifth training.

Meanwhile, you also need to pay the bills.

The irony is that most of our clients don’t care. They just want to enjoy movement and feel better in their bodies. So maybe we shouldn’t care so much either.

Some of us have overcome this guilt and started breaking the rules in an effort to make movement accessible for more people, so they’re inspired to take better care of their bodies.

This has prompted us to ask questions, and teach differently. In some cases, it’s been helpful that we collaborate with healthcare providers to best meet the needs of the client.

If you think about it, Joe was a disruptor. We’re just following in his footsteps.

We know that Joseph Pilates studied a variety of methods before he created his own.

It’s documented that he was a wrestler, bodybuilder, and circus performer. He led daily exercise classes for inmates, while interned at the Isle of Man. He studied breathwork, meditation and modern dance.

And when he saw a gap in physical culture, he drew on everything he had learned and tried to fill it through innovation and by creating his own equipment and method.

According to the PMA study guide on page 14, “Through his own experience and teaching, he created a system of corrective exercise that he introduced to the American market in the late 1920’s.”

In summary, Joseph Pilates didn’t want to just teach people how to exercise. He wanted to eliminate human suffering and change the world.

As Pilates teachers, we share his vision and his frustration.

Joseph Pilates wanted his work to be embraced by the medical community and educational institutions. He knew that movement was essential for all people of every age, not just athletes and dancers.

Despite this shared vision, the innovation that many of us have done to bring his work to more people has felt like coming out of the closet.

But thanks to the internet we know we’re not alone. We’ve been able expand the conversation beyond the studio and communicate with Pilates teachers of all backgrounds all over the world.

What we’ve observed is that we’re not as different as we thought we were. Rather, we all share the same goal, which is to help people feel + move better and share a method that we love.
Momentum Fest is a way to take the conversation offline and have it in person. It’s an opportunity to celebrate our differences and come together.

Ultimately, it doesn’t matter if you consider yourself a contemporary or traditional teacher or if you teach east coast or west coast style. What matters is that we come together and experience the joy of movement together as Pilates teachers and enthusiasts.