Get To Know Pilates Instructor Brooke Howard
If you’re looking to get leaner, stronger and more flexible, look no further than new BodyBusiness staff member Brooke Howard. Brooke is currently teaching Pilates mat classes on Tuesdays at 10:30 a.m. Get to know some fun facts about Brooke in this month’s staff profile!
Why did you choose Pilates?
Movement in Pilates and the mind/body/spirit connections are similar to what I loved in my ballet training
as a young girl and into my 20s. I believe the classical methodology and equipment were brilliantly
designed, and there is still so much room now for it all to be enhanced and modified with contemporary
work. It is all really fun for me!
How did you get in to Pilates?
My first Pilates classes were on the mat for strength and conditioning when I was a young ballet dancer. Then, in my mid-20s, I was introduced to all of the equipment and fell in love with the way it made me feel after every workout!
Did you take any courses/how did you learn to teach Pilates?
I’ve been a regular student of Pilates for quite a while, so I’ve learned along the way. And, yes, I am comprehensively certified through Peak Pilates. Beginning this fall, I will also begin a Masters Pilates program called, “Discover, Move, Inspire,” taught by Master Instructors and physical therapists.
What would you tell someone who has never done Pilates? Benefits, tips, etc?
I would recommend private sessions or small group sessions before jumping into
classes, just to begin to learn the basics. I would also say to be patient with the names
of exercises and how equipment is set up because it can all be a little overwhelming at first. I always tell new clients, too, that there is a method to the madness, and it is worth it to persevere.
What types of people (gym-goers, age, fitness level, etc) benefit from Pilates?
Truly, everyone benefits from Pilates! I love sharing that it is great for people of all ages and stages in life, from pre-teens to busy parents to those who need extra help with balance or coordination. It can be a great supplement to any sport or fitness regiment, and it has amazing physical therapeutic benefits, too.
What is something most people don’t know about Pilates?
There is so much more to Pilates than just working on the Reformer. It is, no doubt, a wonderful piece of equipment, and it looks really cool in a studio, but deep, satisfying Pilates work also happens on the other equipment, and definitely on a plain, old mat.
Where were you born? Grew up? Went to school?
I was born and raised in Corpus Christi. I got my degree in Spanish from SMU in 2000, but I got to Austin as fast as I could after that.
What were you doing before instructing at BB? Any other fitness-related jobs?
I have 2 precious daughters, so I am first and foremost a mom. I have also taught Pilates at a couple other local studios, one of which is where I did my certification. I still train apprentices in preparation for certification.
What did you want to be when you were young?
Oh, when I was young I wanted to be a professional dancer. And a Mom.
Hobbies? What do you do during your free time?
I love to ski, hike, and explore outdoors. I really love road trips, too.
What is a perfect day to Brooke?
A perfect day to me is being unplugged from technology, doing something exhilarating
outside all day, preferably in the mountains or by the ocean. I would need good snacks, chocolate, and people I love with me.
What has Pilates done for you personally?
Pilates has brought me so much joy. I always leave a session feeling stronger and happier. It truly lifts my spirits, even on the hardest of days. I realize it may sound trite, but I believe there is beauty in the connection of mind, body, and soul found in the Pilates Methodology.
What brought you into BodyBusiness?
One of my Pilates trainer friends and I wanted to move our bodies in a way completely different than Pilates to relieve some stress before our Comprehensive Training Assessment, so we decided to try Nia. BodyBusiness offered the class that fit our schedules! It was so fun! And, turns out, that class was serendipitous because it introduced me to this awesome club and such lovely people.
What are some of your favorite Austin spots?
Of course I love Barton Springs. I volunteer a lot with Ballet Austin, and my daughter dances there, so I love their studios, as well as The Long Center. I also think the whole Mueller development is great! I’ve lived there for a year and a half.
How would you describe yourself as an instructor/trainer?
I am patient and encouraging. I love to challenge clients in the work so that they begin to have “A-ha” moments about how or why the exercises work and all the benefits. It is such an exciting dynamic!
You’re driving somewhere with a scenic view, the weather is perfect and your windows are down – what song/band/album is playing on the stereo?
If my kids are with me, Imagine Dragons. If I’m by myself, probably Patty Griffin or Alannis Morrissette.
You have guests coming over to your house for a small gathering – what are you serving them?
Snacks, meal, drinks, etc. I’d serve them sparkling water, tea, or lemonade. I’d make a big, green salad with lots of veggies, and we’d probably order pizza, if I’m honest. Then, something sweet. Always something sweet.