Long-time Pure Pilates instructor Jeannie Jernigan recently visited Japan with her family. While there, she took the opportunity to visit an international Pilates studio with her daughter, Caty. Jeannie shares some highlights of her visit and her thoughts on Pilates in Japan.
In November last year, my husband, Dan, and I traveled to Japan to meet our daughter Caty and her new husband who lives in Yasu City, near Kyoto, Japan. Our daughter has lived in Japan for many years and works for a company that writes technical manuals for computer games in Kyoto. While we were visiting, I knew my body and I needed to do Pilates. I have an addiction!! I get a little grumpy without coffee and Pilates. Luckily, there was a Pilates studio in Kyoto. I was fortunate that I was able to spend time with a Pilates instructor and see how Pilates in Japan is taught.
While in Kyoto, we stayed at the the Mitsui Shinmachi Bettei Hotel, in the central district of Kyoto. This is a neighborhood of many traditional type buildings along very narrow streets with many small local restaurants and businesses. After a full day of sight seeing, my daughter and I walked the few blocks to the studio of our instructor, Daiki San, who runs the eQuality Pilates Studio in central Kyoto. Daiki San has taught Pilates there for the past ten years. Caty and I arrived at the building where the studio was located and had our first challenge of trying to find where exactly the studio was located. Finally, Daiki San poked his head out the door and we entered the studio. Space always seems to be at a premium throughout Japan, especially in the urban centers, and this studio was small and efficient. He had all of the equipment and mats laid out in a no-nonsense manner and use of space for which the Japanese are known.
The duet began with a series of traditional mat exercises and progressed to using the baby arc and other props. We then moved on to the reformer (essentials). I should mention that this was Caty’s first Pilates experience so the instructor didn’t venture into anything too advanced. And that was fine because we had a lot of sightseeing to do the next day! Daiki San was an attentive instructor and seemed to pay close attention to detail when it came to form. I would have loved to spend more time discussing Pilates with him and finding new ways to instruct, but time was somewhat limited. I was very fortunate to have Caty translate for me, as I speak no Japanese and Daiki San spoke no English! Apparently, so so so so so, means yes yes yes yes in Japanese. He said that a lot. The only English he spoke was Short Spine. I smiled gave him a thumbs up when he said this and immediately went in to Short Spine. The exercise felt wonderful after a 12 hour flight and sight seeing. It was a wonderful experience and a great opportunity to see how Pilates is taught in another country. Like I always say, PILATES IS FUN!!!
The next day we were out and about, and I was feeling a bit confined driving around sight seeing. We stopped at my new son in laws place of employment at the local fire station. I already had on my maroon Alo sweater from Pure Pilates so I thought why not do the plank challenge!!!!
— Jeannie Jernigan
Thanks to Jeannie for sharing her experience of trying Pilates in Japan with us! To try Short Spine for yourself, check out Jeannie’s class schedule on MindBody.
Have you tried Pilates overseas? Let us know! We’d love to hear about your experience.