Adrianne Yurgosky (28), owner of Westside Pilates, is a professional Pilates instructor dedicated to inspiring people towards better health and wellness through Pilates. As a college athlete in the rigorous sport of field hockey, a painful case of sciatica in combination with scoliosis pain caused her to turn to Pilates for healing. After witnessing firsthand the powerful effects the exercise had on her body and mind, she sought to share the form of fitness and healing with others. She is certified through Power Pilates in New York City after completing 600+ hours of study under Bob Liekens, Junghee Won and Susan Moran.
Her second certification comes from The Pilates Studio with Sean Gallagher and Brett Howard and she recently completed her Pilates Method Alliance certification in August 2013. Adrianne works with a wide variety of clients including athletes, people struggling with physical ailments such as low back pain and other chronic conditions as well as those dealing with specific and general areas of tightness in the body. Because of her personal experience and extensive knowledge she’s excels at helping clients manage pain, build strength and find body movement that once seemed impossible. Adrianne is passionate about Pilates as a form of fitness and healing and dedicated to providing first rate Pilates instruction on the Upper West Side.
A graduate of Fordham University holding a degree in International Political Science and French Literature. In addition to being a certified Pilates instructor, Adrianne is also a holistic health counselor, certified through the Institute of Integrative Nutrition as well as the American Association of Drugless Practitioners (AADP). Adrianne also enjoys traveling, literature, photography and scouring the city for the next great restaurant.
When and why did you start practicing Pilates?
I started seriously practicing Pilates in 2005. I was a student at the time at Fordham University and I hurt my lower back, I developed sciatica, bulging disc and arthritis. I met a Pilates instructor where I was working at the time and I was hooked. I traveled an hour from upper Manhattan to lower Manhattan every week just to learn Pilates. I loved it so much that I wanted to learn all of the exercises so I could work on them myself. I never thought I would be hooked on Pilates and become a teacher.
Do you participate in workshops on a regular basis?
Yes. The last one I took was May 9, 2014 about Connecting your Feet to your Seat. The most inspiring workshop was with Phoebe Higgins about the wunda chair. It was a tribute to John Winters and I felt so inspiring and feel in love with the chair all over again!
What made you decide to make Pilates your profession?
I loved the result people have after they experience Pilates. I was not feeling fulfilled with my corporate job and I really loved how people seemed happier and felt better after Pilates and I wanted more of that.
Do you own a studio?
I own Westside Pilates located on the upper west side of Manhattan (91st and broadway). I have 6 renters who teach at the space, most of them I have know for years. It took me 3 years to receive a loan which could only be used for the equipment and I took out a personal loan to use for running expenses. My mother helped me fund the studio space and the security deposit downpayment. Right now I am doing everything by myself and the challenge of learning how to build a business is an amazing challenge for me.
What Pilates apparatus or exercise is your favorite and why?
I love the Wunda chair. Pull ups are my favorite exercises. I feel my core so much while doing that exercise and it makes me feel strong. I love how doing One Leg Pull Ups challenges flexibility and One Arm Pull Ups challenges strength and Side Pull Ups target the obliques.
What is your favorite brand of apparatus (Gratz, Peak Pilates,Balanced Body, Stott Pilates, Basi, Basil or other)?
I have all equipment that was done by Basil. I love the feel, he has been super supportive with me after all these years (and Sylvia too). He has kept the original design and measurements for me and I know that I am always welcome to visit (Basil and Sylvia have even welcomed my parents to their workspace!)
Do you experience difficulties keeping your clients because of the current crisis?
Most clients have found a way to make Pilates happen because of how the sessions make them feel and how Pilates affects their week. They have cut back on other aspects of their budget rather than cutting out Pilates because they understand the benefits.
Did you solve body issues or do you keep them under control with Pilates?
I definitely maintain my back through Pilates – the lengthening and strengthening helps alleviate pain in my lower back.
Do you have a target audience?
I do believe that Pilates is for everyone but not every Pilates exercise is for everyone. Due to my past with back pain, I definately work with people who have had injuries and are looking for Pilates to help them as well.
How many lessons do you give each week? Is your focus on private, duets or triosessions or do you prefer to give matclasses?
Right now I teach about 35 sessions a week. I use to teach 55 hours but I realized that it is too much and I can give more to my clients when I am only teaching around 35 hours a week. My focus is mostly privates. I like the one-on-one interaction and I think it keeps people focused more and take responsibility because they know that my eyes are only on them.
Who is your favorite person that you would love to teach Pilates?
I would love to teach Abraham Lincoln. He is an American president that fascinates me and I would love to see how he moved his body with all of the stresses during his presidential term. In Europe there are more female Pilates trainers than male. How is that in your country and more specific in your area? Even in NYC there are more female teachers than males. I think men think that Pilates is for woman not realizing that it was created by a male named Joseph Pilates.
What is your opinion about the future of Pilates?
In New York City, I think boutique Pilates studios are doing well, people are looking for more of an intimate experience. Unfortunately there is no real standard in Pilates and people can use the Pilates name, which is happening now, a new workout method will add the Pilates ab series to their routine and say that they do Pilates. I think there needs to be some clarity. I am also concerned with continuing education. I would like to see an expansion of continuing education where one can take different types of classes with different instructors or professionals to gain information regarding Pilates and the human body and have that count towards a renewal of a certification.
What is your own vision of Pilates?
I am not sure exactly what you mean so I gave two different responses. My vision of Pilates is more anatomical. I think about how it moves my muscles and bones and how that can help the structure of my body. My future vision of Pilates is that I would like to see openness to continuing education. I would like to see programs embracing students to learn more about the human body and how they can apply that to Pilates exercises.
Do you cooperate with other Pilatesinstructors?
Yes, I do get along well with other instructors. I think you can learn a lot from your colleagues.
Which Pilatesword you rather not use? (e.g. powerhouse, pilatesstance)
I do not like to use any dancer jargon. I prefer to keep Pilates language in laymen’s terms. I think it then fits into the stereotype that Pilates is for dancers and not the average person.
Did you change things about your teaching or would you like to?
I think I am always changing my teaching. Every time I take a workshop or take a session with an instructor, I learn new challenges or remember ones that I haven’t been teaching in a while.
What is the biggest insight Pilates gave you?
Pilates allowed me to really learn about my body and to accept that I will be continuously working on my body issues. There is always another challenge 🙂
What is your opinion about the classical, authentic Pilates and the contemporary approach?
I believe that Joseph Pilates created what he did due to his insight about the human body and he would be continuously evolving the system if he were alive today. I believe in keeping with the 6 classical principles.
Who is your biggest example and who would you love to meet (again) in the Pilates field?
I would love to meet Joseph Pilates. I think he was a character and it would have been nice to work directly with the inventor himself.
Are you familiar with Pilates over the world e.g. Europe, Asia, Australia? If so, do you see familiarities?
I taught in Paris, France last year which was eye opening. It depends on where/who taught the teachers because people learn slightly different things in their programs or have only seen an exercise done in one way. Most exercises were the same but there were many, many small differences. I would love to travel around the world and understand the differences and similarities in Pilates that have traveled through countries.
What is the funniest thing you have ever experienced with Pilates?
The most fun thing I have experienced with Pilates is the swinging monkey. It makes me feel like I am a little kid again and provides me with a sense of freedom. Although candlestick is also very fun and provides me with a sense of accomplishment. It makes me feel like I am a gymnast (which I always wanted to be one but never was because I was too afraid of hurting myself)
Did you ever meet an “Elder” and if so, how was that for you?
Yes, I met Mary Bowen. I originally met her at a workshop in New Jersey. She mentioned how she also comes to NYC once a week. I decided to connect with her and take a session. We ended up going out to Cornelia Street Cafe, eating dinner and listening to slam poetry for the evening. It was a very memorable evening.
Do you have a favorite story about Joe?
I love, in the archive videos of Joe, how he poses with his brother and the wrestling matches that the two of them have.
What is your Pilatesdream?
My Pilates dream is to have classical Pilates be accessible to everyone and implement Pilates into preventative care. http://westsidepilatesnyc.com/adrianneyurgosky/ http://www.fabletics.com/master-ayurgosky.htm https://twitter.com/WestPilatesNYC http://instagram.com/westsidepilates https://www.facebook.com/WestsidePilatesNYC https://plus.google.com/+WestsidePilatesNewYork http://www.pinterest.com/westsidepilates/