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Meet Laura Wilson of Natural Pilates

Today we’d like to introduce you to Laura Wilson.

Laura, let’s start with your story. We’d love to hear how you got started and how the journey has been so far.
Being a student in college, I had the opportunity to apply for a student program to work and travel abroad for the summer time. I arrived in USA in June 2002 with $100 in my pocket and a job as housekeeper in long beach island new jersey. The opportunities and American lifestyle were the motivating factors to apply for college in USA. Once accepted, in order to support myself, I applied for courses in massage therapy as I did cosmetology in Romania. Working as massage therapist on 26 and San Vicente in a physical therapy office, I was exposed to different pilates techniques used for rehabilitation. As I was in sports my whole life, getting my pilates certification was just the right fit. I opened my first pilates studio in 2005 in Beverly Hills. At that point, I had two pilates machines and a massage table. As time went by I added extra space to my existing location and now 14 years later the studio is five times the size luckily in the same location. In Beverly Hills, we currently have two group classrooms and five private rooms.

In 2015, after ten years of opening natural pilates, I opened the second studio in silver lake. In August of 2016 we opened our 3rd location in Brentwood and this year April 1 we opened our 4th location. We expanded from one person studio to around 30 employees nowadays.

Our main goal as a company is to help clients build awareness, strength, and flexibility. I think we are different from other pilates studio through the attention to details, hands-on and knowledge in anatomy and mechanics. Over the years, I never stopped learning and improving myself and my team in what we are trying to accomplish. I love to help people feel better that recover from injuries or/or clients that are just trying to get stronger and feel better in their skin.

My future goals for the company is the grow up to 20 studios and to spread the awareness for how people should exercise smart. It’s not about doing it it’s about how you do it! We offer Pilates training courses as well because I want to help other instructors open their mind on asking more questions about what we are doing and thinking outside the box.

Natural pilates is a self-financed business and I can say 16 years later that I feel lucky to have the opportunity the be a real American dream story. I hope in the future I can speak more in schools in encourage students to try it as well.

When I was eight, I joined the gymnastics team in my native town of Radauti in Romania. I have always been on the winning side, whether in gymnastics or as a part of the modern dance team in primary school. Discipline is most important to me and it comes from my focus on the goals. I learned this trait while on the national Archery Team in Romania, earning two national titles.

As a student in Romania, I had the opportunity of applying for an interexchange students program as work and travel. That allowed me to come to USA, work for three months and travel one month after. I arrived in NYC with $100 in my pocket and an information sheet on how to get to my housekeeping summer job in long Beach island in new jersey. After three months of working, the opportunities presented and the lifestyle were the motivating factors of applying to college in Los Angeles. Once accepted, I moved to Santa Monica with the $3000 I saved over the summer I got an apartment and I started my journey. In order to make a living, I went to massage school as that was the closest job to cosmetology. In Romania, in order to support myself in college, I was doing facials and waxing in campus.

Working as a massage therapist for about two years in a physical therapy office on 26 and San Vicente in Los Angeles, I was exposed to different pilates techniques used for rehabilitation. As I was in sports my whole life, getting pilates certified was the right fit. Once I got certified I opened my first pilates/massage therapy office in Beverly Hills that expanded in the last 14 years to be natural pilates in Beverly Hills today. Our studio was transformed over time from one room to 2 group classrooms and five private rooms. In 2015, I opened the second pilates studio in silver lake. In 2016, I opened our 3rd studio in Brentwood, and this year in April we opened our 4th studio in West Hollywood.

Our main goal as a company is to help clients build body awareness, strength, and flexibility. My passion is to help each client understand their straights and abilities and to challenge them to reach their full potential. It’s not just about doing pilates, it’s about how you do it. Natural Pilates is different from other studio throw the attention to details, hands-on and knowledge in human anatomy.

My future goals for natural pilates is to expand the brand throughout USA, not only to spread awareness about healthy lifestyle but also to encourage young girls without financial potential that everything it’s possible when you work hard. Natural Pilates is a self-financed business and I can say 16 years later that I am an example of living the American dream.

Great, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
When you are the boss it’s almost never a smooth road. I think the struggles were in the ability to listen to ideas and implement the right ones, learning about how people work and how can we build a fun and productive environment, ability to motivate everyone in your company to improve, communications between people and the attitude we deal with specific situations.

Please tell us about Natural pilates.
Natural Pilates is a pilates studio that stated as pilates and massage therapy. As I got certified in yoga, Gyrotonic, personal training and pilates, I like to look at what I do as being a movement specialist. My main job description would be pilates instructor but I tailor the workouts based on the evaluations I do with my clients. Based on the information collected, I create a workout that may involve other disciplines as well based on the client’s goals.

We are known for the quality of instruction and also the strategy of programming for each session. I am proud of the commitment of each instructor to improve and continuously learn. We are different from other studios through the fact that we are not teaching traditional repertoire. We believe in challenging the clients appropriately by adjusting resistance for each person and also the amount of repetition is necessary to reach the full challenge. It’s not about fitting the client into your routine, its about choosing the right exercises for your client. Our classes can be challenging and focus on clients feeling the right spot, however, we offer modifications for everyone in the class.

Do you look back particularly fondly on any memories from childhood?
Archery practices and camps! We used to travel for the competitions with the team and the couches. I learn to be focused and be consistent in training in order to win. I think I am who I am today because of the severity of my couches in training.

Pricing:

  • 10 privates pilates-$900
  • 10 group classes-$330
  • 10 semi-privates- $550/per person
  • 30 classes monthly membership-$299 (beverly hills not available this pricing option)
  • 8 classes monthly membership-$200
  • 4 classes monthly membership-$120

Contact Info:

  • Address: Natural Pilates Beverly Hills-9869 santa monica blvd, Beverly Hills,CA 90212
    Natural pilates Brentwood-11638 Barrington Ct., Los angeles, CA 90049
    Natural Pilates Silver lake-2894 Rowena Ave, Los angeles CA 90039
    Natural Pilates West Hollywood-8436 W 3rd st. #602, Los angeles, CA 90048
  • Website: www.naturalpilates.com
  • Instagram: @naturalpilates
  • Facebook: @NaturalPilatesLA
  • Twitter: @naturalpilates
  • Yelp: Natural pilates Beverly Hills, Natural Pilates- Silver Lake, Natural pilates -Brentwood, Natural pilates -West Hollywood


Image Credit:

Attila Iuhasz photography, Matei Horvath photography, Alexa Istrate

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