Feedback from Pilates Master Kathy Grant
Carrying on the Tradition
When Jillian Hessel came to me in 1981, I remember saying to her, "I don't know what to do with you." Her back was so misaligned from years of rigorous ballet training that she couldn't even breathe properly. She didn't have much body and core strength, she had no abdominals, and her back muscles were completely imbalanced.
So for want of something to occupy her time until I could figure out what to do with her crooked body, I started working with her on her breathing. Once she learned to breathe properly, we moved on to my warm-ups — which she really needed.
Jillian first came to me as a client and then became an apprentice teacher. She has now been teaching for over 25 years and in 1988 opened a successful Los Angeles Pilates studio, The Well-Tempered Workout, which she ran for many years. She has trained numerous teachers in Pilates since then.
I feel that her coming to me as an injured dancer all those years ago has helped her be a more inventive and patient teacher of Pilates exercise. Jillian had to work hard to get the concepts of Pilates into her body. She understands the potential fear, pain, and frustration of a beginning exerciser because she had to start over from the beginning to retrain her misaligned back. And although I can still spot Jillian's back condition, you may be hard pressed to find it. That's the power of Pilates.
You, the reader, stand to gain much from all Jillian has learned, not just from me, but from all of her movement teachers. I know she has continued to study — as all teachers must — in order to remain inspired.
I'm proud of Jillian for carrying on in the spirit of Joseph and Clara Pilates. She makes starting Pilates easy, fun, and nonthreatening with her B.E.A.M. Fundamentals. The Fundamentals will prepare any healthy beginning exerciser to perform classic Pilates matwork in the best way possible. I know this book will encourage you to move, look, and feel great.
And now, as I like to tell my students, "Get a move on!"
— Kathleen Stanford-Grant
Teacher of Pilates
New York University
Tisch School of the Arts
New York, NY
(from the Foreword to Pilates Basics by Jillian Hessel)