Instructor Insights: A Monday With Magda
This week, I sat down with Magda and learned more about her physical therapy background, and how that paved her path to Pilates instruction, as well as a few fun facts from her favorite meal to her favorite book. The newest addition to our team, we love the unique energy and expertise that Magda brings to the studio!
Where are you from originally and how did you end up in San Francisco?
I was born in southern California but my family moved all over California when I was growing up. I went to school in both Davis and Oakland so I just naturally migrated to the SF Bay Area over the years!
How long have you been teaching Pilates?
I have been teaching Pilates exercises in a rehabilitation setting since 2005 when I became a physical therapist and found core strengthening essential for injury rehab and prevention. But I am new at Blue Sparrow Pilates, being here for less than a year.
What led you to begin your Pilates Certification and why did you choose STOTT?
I wanted my Pilates certification to expand my knowledge to become an expert in the field. I chose STOTT because it is by far the best method I found in terms of precision, modification for the individual client, and it is scientifically and biomechanically based for optimal strengthening while assuring the well being of clients.
What is your favorite thing about being a Pilates instructor?
Meeting and working with all types of people and teaching them to improve their strength, posture, and confidence levels. It is exciting for me to see improvements in clients with dedication and focus. I love the positive community of Blue Sparrow Pilates!
What’s your favorite thing about Blue Sparrow Pilates?
Blue Sparrow Pilates has such a positive and engaging community and its instructors have a quality of practice that is above and beyond most places I have experienced! I love working with people whose primary focus is on the individual client’s needs and helping improve others. The clients are amazing and also enhance this feeling.
Have you ever had any injuries that you turned to Pilates to help rehabilitate?
There is no question in my mind that practicing a more well-rounded Pilates regimen has drastically improved my chronic neck and back pain while improving my posture after only a few months, even after practicing physical therapy (and trying “to practice what I preach”) for years!
Do you have any hidden talents that we should know about?
I am artistically inclined and have an eye for design.
Now I’m going to ask you my favorite questions that new clients have to answer…Where do you see your health in 30 years?
I am 40 years old this year, so I’d be 70 in 30 years! I once ran a marathon in my 20’s and I had a man who was in his mid-80’s pass me at mile 13. He was breathing heavily and sweating, but I was impressed. I would like to be way above this level at 70! In the past, I have worked with 90 year-old “firecrackers” who are still so healthy and have so much energy to do things such as go dancing every week. I aspire to be like them.
What was the hardest part of your Pilates training/certification program?
Starting at the beginning and working towards the end! Being patient with myself to allow time for learning and improving.
How do you incorporate Pilates into your everyday life and how does your everyday life affect your Pilates work and instruction?
I try to practice what I preach. On good weeks, I do cardio 5 times a week plus a Pilates workout 4-5 times. On busy weeks, I usually still get my cardio in, but I may only get 2-3 Pilates workouts in. However, posture and core strength is essential for a healthy lifestyle so I incorporate these ideas all day long.
Favorite way to de-stress and wind down?
Working out, especially doing Pilates, gives me energy and confidence during the day. But at night I like to enjoy a glass of red wine with my husband, (on lucky nights with him and our good friends). The arts and cultural activities are also important to me and these activities help me feel centered when I am able to experience them.
What’s your absolute favorite meal?
Spicy Chicken Tikka Masala and Saag Paneer with Onion Kulcha. Spicy Bangan Bharta is also a favorite! A glass of red wine compliments any dinner, of course.
If you had a stage name, what would it be?
Sunset or sunrise?
Depends on my mood! I like independent and foreign films.
Cat or dog? or other?