My Story (Susanna Foustok Founder of PURE Pilates)

The journey of becoming a Pilates teacher, a good Pilates teacher, is very long and often frustrating. When I first started studying the method, I had no idea that it would become my life, my passion and my happiness. But it wasn’t an easy road and it took almost a decade for me to get there. With little knowledge then on the differences of what is called the “classical” and the “contemporary” Pilates, I chose to study with a school that was well known around the world but belonged to the latter category. Several years after studying, certifying, teaching this “modern” style of Pilates, I became bored and disillusioned. I felt like I was missing something.

By luck I had a lesson with a teacher that was highly trained in the traditional method and my life changed. I realised to my huge disappointment that what had been missing all along was Pilates! The essence of the work that Joseph Pilates had been developing all his life. What I had been studying all those years wasn’t his work, his method, but a modified, diluted version of it. It had been adapted to make it more commercial, more suitable for bigger groups, for videos, for certification programs, while changing the method along the way.  People that hadn’t understood the work themselves had changed Joe’s work to “improve” it.

After experiencing the original method, the true work of Joe Pilates, I knew I had to get as close to the origin as I could get. I wasn’t going to waste any more time on learning something that was called Pilates but was not the work of late Joe Pilates! I needed to get to the heart of true Pilates, contrology, as Joe called it. It took some time and on my journey I found many amazing classical teachers but it wasn’t until I met Jay Grimes, a man who was there in Joe’s studio for many years, that I felt that I found home … my Pilates home. Everything started to make sense, and there was no longer any confusion … only hard sweaty workouts. With my new mentor, I felt like I was learning Joes’s incredible work in its pure form without ballet, physio or foam rollers. And although I felt that I had finally arrived to the right place, I also knew that my journey was never going to end … I was always going to be on this path of discovery and learning. That’s how amazing true Pilates is … it is a never ending journey of self discovery.