by Anna Young –
When Pilates instructor Juliana Santos came to the United States nearly 30 years ago, she could never have imagined owning a business and doing what she loves every day.
The Brazilian native, who owns Juliana Pilates in Tarrytown, began her journey as a USA Gymnastics Instructor, training children for 14 years. In between coaching, Santos fell in love with yoga and eventually became a certified instructor teaching classes in various clubs throughout Westchester.
But after opening her first yoga studio in Tarrytown in 2003, she quickly realized that more could be done to help strengthen the body, enhance the core and relieve pain. Her curiosity led her to pursuing her training in Pilates from Power Pilates in Manhattan.
“I saw how amazing it was to mix yoga and Pilates,” Santos said.
Despite her success, Santos closed her studio when family troubles led her back to Brazil.
When she eventually returned, Santos returned to yoga and continued coaching gymnastics until she threw in the towel for good to officially open Juliana Pilates.
“My body was really feeling it from the gymnastics,” she said. “I thought it was time to retire from the kids.”
Over the years, Santos has perfected her approach to improving the lives of those experiencing chronic pain. When she opened her studio in 2011, she expected a clientele focused strictly on getting fit, but was surprised so many sought her guidance in pain relief.
With a Master’s degree in physical education, along with certifications in gymnastics, yoga, meditation and Pilates, she utilized her expertise and has helped clients restore their balance.
“I’ve developed my own methodology to teach Pilates,” Santos said. “I work with the person to work with their pain and their posture to strengthen and stretch people to make them feel better.”
Along with traditional on-floor Pilates, Santos offers private sessions for Thai yoga bodywork, positional therapy, restorative yoga, rehabilitation therapy, and nutritional training.
Specifically designed equipment, including a reformer, is also provided to improve core-strength or for those who may need modified training. The machine offers a versatile impact free workout through more than 100 exercises, Santos said.
Santos offers private classes for beginners, intermediate and advanced students. Classes are $90, or students can receive four classes a month for $320. Thai yoga bodywork classes vary in price. She will be offering lower-priced sessions in May for the underprivileged.
Santos prides herself on providing a warm and relaxing environment for her clients to disconnect from their daily stresses. Through her hands-on training and comforting disposition, she never pressures people to do more than what their body can handle, stressing that the workout stops when the client feels discomfort.
“You have to be relaxed and in a nice, fun environment and respect your body and yourself and you’ll see the results,” she said. “Always listen to the body, not the mind.”
Juliana Pilates is located at 19 North Broadway in Tarrytown. She is available by appointment Monday through Friday. For more information, call 914-703-1155, email JulianaSPilates@gmail.com, or visit www.julianapilates.com.