Q&A on Pilates with guest instructor Kim West
California-raised Kim West came to New Zealand in 2017 after marrying a handsome Kiwi. Founder of Pilates and wellness company BodyMoxie, Kim taught Pilates for 8 years while in New York City. She enjoyed many years as a dance artist, choreographer and arts educator.
In 2016, Kim became a Master Instructor with Balanced Body and is qualified to certify new Pilates instructors worldwide. She has authored and taught continuing education workshops to fellow Pilates and Yoga instructors. Her interest in the body’s healing abilities led to her current study of CranioSacral Therapy. Kim is certified in Pilates by the Kane School in NYC and holds a BFA in Dance from Cornish College of the Arts in Seattle.
Kim has taught a few classes at Bodywise Pilates, as well as taking our staff through a 'Foot Focuss' workshop session.
What do you love the most about Pilates and what inspires you to teach?
I love how Pilates not only positively changes my body every time I practice it, but it also changes my mindset for the better. For me, Pilates is a moving meditation that can be adapted to whatever I need on a particular day — whether that is restorative movement or a physically challenging workout. I love teaching because I see the huge difference it can make in people’s lives. The focus and commitment that my clients devote to their self-care inspires me to continue to learn and strive for creativity and new ideas in my teaching.
What is your favourite Pilates exercise?
For the mat work, I love boomerang because it brings together precision, timing and strength in a fun and challenging way. On the reformer, down stretch is one of my all-time favourites, because it’s accessible for most people and teaches core engagement, while keeping the front of the spine long and the chest very open. And I think it may help people feel regal and strong.
You only have 30 minutes, what is your go to healthy lunch or dinner meal suggestion?
Sauté whatever veggies I have around — say broccoli and kale — with fresh garlic. Toss with chopped fresh tomatoes and definitely some avocado (because I am obsessed), salt, pepper and a bit of olive oil. And if I’m feeling it that day, I’ll add a few pieces of smoked salmon on top. Yum!
One random fact about you that the Bodywise Pilates community wouldn’t know?
I ran a dance and arts collective in New York City called Banana Peel Dance, creating shows that brought together dance, live music, comedy and theatre. (Sounds amazing Kim!)
What would be your one gem of advice for someone looking to get into fitness and Pilates?
Don’t wait to start Pilates until you are “in shape”. I’ve heard this many times! “I can’t do Pilates because I’m not in shape yet.” Believe me, Pilates will get you into shape — in the safest, most efficient and enjoyable way possible!