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Meet Trailblazer Barbara Stamis

Today we’d like to introduce you to Barbara Stamis.

Thanks for sharing your story with us Barbara. So, let’s start at the beginning and we can move on from there.
Nearly 20 years ago, I injured my lower spine. I was professionally dancing in New York City, professionally waiting tables, living outside my means, and living out of alignment with my true self. The dis-ease and dis-connect were literally paralyzing. After being on several western “medicines” and told by two surgeons I should never dance again; I had an awakening. I saw only one path. Rather than listen to the doctors, opt for surgery and believe that my body was unable to heal, I chose the truth. I knew somewhere deep inside that my body has the innate ability to heal. My inner being knew then and knows always what is best for me. I needed to restore and re-align physically, as well as neuro-emotionally and spiritually. I found a physical therapist who utilized various methods including bodywork, Pilates, functional movement and yoga. She told me I would dance in six months. My depression began to lift as I began to heal and I was back dancing within a year. Astounded by my level of resilience, I chose to study and certify under amazing teachers. I found a functional movement and Pilates teacher as well as a connected yoga teacher and eventually left New York City to continue my journey in sunny salty-aired Santa Monica, California. I continued to immerse myself in learning and mentorship while building my Pilates and well-being business. For eight years, I focused on healing, while I worked with and learned from physical therapists, Pilates mentors, and yoga teachers. In 2010, I moved my business into my home and it has been growing ever since. Most recently, I’ve begun to shift into a more evolved realm of healing, which involves my thorough understanding of the Pilates method, the depths of the human form, along with the art of surrender and letting go. During this shift, my intuition has deepened and I am often guided to include many other modalities such as bodywork, sound healing, essential oils, breath, and meditation. I am becoming more of an alchemist, honoring my gifts and eccentricities. This encourages a deeper sense of alignment for each client and is ultimately transforming and expanding my business.

Has it been a smooth road?
My biggest struggle early on was letting go of what I thought I wanted. For most of my life, I dreamt of being a professional dancer in New York City. When I injured myself, I had to re-assess who I was. It was a difficult process, having been a dancer for most of my life. I realized that I am more than an artist. I can apply my creativity, the inspiration of the human form and passion for learning to my practice and my ever-growing business.

Similarly now, after the last 20 years of teaching Pilates and functional movement, I’ve had to re-evaluate my goals. My work and my business are so much bigger than being a Pilates teacher, a healer or a dancer. I am all of those things. I am also the culmination of my experiences. Every day, I accrue more knowledge and credentials. I recently became a mother and so have added that into my toolbox. I’ve learned that bringing my whole true self into my work every moment is what people need to truly transform. So, my advice to any woman at any age is to honor your true self and listen to the clues life is giving to you. The answers are within, and it is so important to find the practitioners, teachers, mentors, and healers who listen and empower YOU. Honor the shifts and surrender to the changes that life hands you because your career or business is meant to be something you love, but possibly never dreamed of!

We’d love to hear more about your work.
At the core of my being, I am dedicated to helping people heal. I have been running my Pilates and functional movement practice for almost 12 years in Santa Monica.

I like to believe I share the traits of many good teachers. I have strong intuition reinforced by a deep knowledge of the many layers of human anatomy, movement mechanics, yoga, the Pilates method, and holistic healing. I am sought out by those with pain or chronic injury, who are ready to do the work it takes to truly connect and transform.

I am well-rounded in my certifications and studies. My original training was in contemporary Pilates, functional movement and hands-on healing. I then continued into classical Pilates and learned under one of the last elders to have studied with Joseph Pilates. I have also immersed myself in several human dissections with an extremely special teacher. He has endowed me with the greatest gift; humility. The human form is a universe within a universe! Divine, complex, simple, endless and truly magical. I also experienced humility when I was injured, and again when I gave birth. Those experiences, along with being a continuous student, have made me an incredibly empathetic teacher. I acknowledge that each person’s journey is unique and may take a few sessions or may take a few lifetimes! My optimism, keen eye, intuitive hands, and sense of how to move someone out of physical pain and connect them to their physical, spiritual and emotional center are all key in the way I work.

We’re interested to hear your thoughts on female leadership – in particular, what do you feel are the biggest barriers or obstacles?
I think that the challenge for women in any field is that our greatest strengths have been seen as weaknesses throughout our history. Intuition and powerful emotion are just now becoming more acceptable.
Women have learned to rise and lead in masculine and competitive ways (myself included) by using our thinking centers rather than our emotional intuitive centers. The more we honor our feminine gifts, one another, our connection to the moon cycles, the tides and the miraculous power of being able to bring life into the world; the stronger leaders we will become. The women I follow, who are truly successful and inspiring leaders, are connected to their own personal truths. They are powerful in their vulnerability. They honor the absolute strength and resilience of being a woman on this planet at this time.

Contact Info:

Image Credit:
Aaron Benjamin Glassman, Ben Bertucci

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