Why did you start taking Pilates classes?
My last hope to be pain free and able to breathe deeply again after having had an accident that caused two compression fractures in my upper back and several ribs collapsed inwards. No treatment was possible, I had to learn to live with the problem and continue to suffer pain and have the feeling of suffocating. Thanks to Pilates I started to live free of complaints!
What inspired you to become a Certified Peak Pilates Instructor and then a Peak Pilates Master Instructor?
The transformation I underwent thanks to Pilates, and the desire to share my experience with other people. The fact that my first teachers were all Peak Pilates® certified made it obvious for me to follow the same pathway of education they were doing.
What do you love about teaching Pilates classes?
Seeing the transformation of people mentally and physically and getting inspired by their enthusiasm.
What is your favorite apparatus?
I love them all.
What makes Pilates such a great workout?
The holistic aspect of it and the fact that it is good for everybody, no matter the background, age, etc.
Share a memory from your experience as a teacher/coach/presenter that embodies the value of being a Certified Peak Pilates Instructor or Peak Pilates Master Instructor?
I regularly get Pilates teachers certified in other education programs, then they decide to do the Peak Pilates Comprehensive program. They all become super enthusiastic about our Peak Pilates program because they finally learned how to teach the exercises and how to read bodies. Also, the enthusiasm from my students/clients physiotherapist who experience how our way of cueing an exercise gives a huge difference in the body. When they use their cues they learned at the university and afterwards they use the cues we use to provoke the same movement they experience compression using their cues and axial elongation using our Pilates cues. It makes a huge difference for their patients. So they feel the value of our approach.
What advice would you give to someone who is thinking about becoming a Certified Peak Pilates Instructor?
Look for a qualified instructor and train a lot, starting with the basic exercises. Learn to feel what happens in your body. After all, Pilates is all about body awareness and control.
What’s one of your favorite motivational quotes?
You’re only as old as your spine is flexible!
Do you have a hero in the Pilates community, someone who deserves recognition for their leadership?
I had the privilege to train with Bob Liekens. A real eye opener for me!
Is there anything about you that would surprise people?
I did build my house with my proper hands, make all my furniture myself. Will start making my own Pilates equipment, especially the arm-chair, which is a wonderful classical apparatus.
General Biographical information:
Born 1955, four sons and one daughter. Gymnast during my school time and longtime active in scouting. Studied medicine and dentistry at the University of Ghent. For thirty years I worked as a dental Surgeon in my two private clinics. I stopped all my medical work to spend all my time on Pilates.
List relevant professional certifications in health and fitness (define acronyms):
University of Ghent (Belgium): Masters degree in medicine and dentistry (1980), Peak Pilates certifications , Mat (Basic, Intermediate, Advanced), PPS I, PPS II, PPS III, Chair & Barrel Level I & II, Power Pilates Level I, Pre- Postnatal and Pelvic floor rehabilitation (Carolyne Anthony / The Center for Women’s Fitness), certifications for Neck-, Lowerback-, and Feet problems, Knee- & Hip Replacements,
What year did you join the Peak Pilates Master Instructor Team?
Where do you teach Pilates classes and/or Pilates Certifications/ Continuing Education workshops:
In my own facility: Y-Pilates Studio, which has become the official Peak Pilates education center for Belgium.
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