Name: Juliet Kaska Swart
Prefers to be called: Juliet or Jule
Place of birth: I was born and raised in a small, 1 square mile town on the Mainline outside of Philadelphia, PA.
Raised: After my parents divorced I moved with my mom to Ocean County, NJ.
Birth Date: July 22nd
Education: I went to The American University in Washington, DC. I studied Communications, Law, Economics, and Government Studies, with a concentration in Public Communications.
The Pilates Life
In 2001 I started a 600-hour Pilates training program, here in Los Angeles at Angel City Gym, led by a woman who was trained by Joan Breibart, the founder of The Physical Mind Institute. At this time, I had already been running my own personal training business for 3 years but was looking to expand my tool box, little did I know how deeply I would fall in love with Pilates.
My training continued after graduation with Balanced Body's continuing education school, Pilates on Tour. Then in 2010 I started a 2-year mentorship program with Lolita San Miguel, a first generation teacher taught and certified by Joseph Pilates himself. Around this time I also began working privately with Master Teacher, Jillian Hessel.
Your Pilates Love Story:
The first time I saw Pilates I witnessed 2 women laying down doing what I now know is called, supine laying hip work with feet in straps, on the Reformer. I internally made the comment to myself, "that looks a bunch of Bull Sh*t"! A few weeks later a Pilates instructor asked if I wanted to have a complimentary lesson. You never know how one single Yes is going to change your life until you look back. When I decided to say yes, my life's journey changed for the better.
Pilates instantly felt like I had returned home. It combined the synergy and precision that my years of classical ballet had taught me, and something my mind and body were starved for. 1 year later I was signed up for my Pilates teacher training program, 4 years later I opened my first studio. The journey from that one Yes continues today with JK Zen Fitness.
Your favorite Pilates move or sequencing:
Oh gosh this is hard!!! I really love so so so many moves! There is nothing like just laying down on a Reformer and starting footwork series- it always grounds and calms me, mentally and physically. Short box abdominals and side-overs always kill me, which I love! I do also love my advanced level arabesque series on the Reformer. The list goes on and on!
Your trouble spot:
Well this list goes on and on as well! I have scoliosis (a lateral curvature of the spinal column) and hyper lordosis (linear curvature of the lumbar spine), therefore I have numerous compensatory "trouble spots". My lower abdominals are key in keeping my spine in the best and safest place I can, but the pulls of the curvatures make this a lifelong challenge. Tight hip flexors are also always a trouble spot for me; stretch them, roll them, strengthen the opposing muscles, and around and around I go to keep them from seizing up on me.
Your ideal client:
My ideal client is someone who can listen to and take direction, has an understanding of how to move their body properly, or a desire to learn. Pilates is so much more than just a workout. If a student is only coming to get worked out, this saddens me. They are only then getting half of the Pilates magic! I love working with people who want the entire brilliant package of Pilates.
In addition to teaching my group classes and private lessons at the studio, I also lead the Pilates Teacher Training & Certification program at the studio. We launched that program in 2016, our next program starts March 2018. Being able to work with budding teachers and develop them into accomplished instructors has been a gift to my spirit. I love teaching and the leading this students on their path.
I also lead workshops and seminars on various aspects of health, wellness & meditation. These take place at the studio, as well as in private residences and online. I am presently working on a wellness program that will encompass meditation, Ayurvedic diet, essential oils, holistic treatments, personal workouts and more. My goal is to have this program launch online starting in January 2019!
And last but not least my husband Simon and I are working together on creating a cultural events experience in South Africa (his country of birth), merging American & South African artists, musicians, and chef's , in a 5 star 5 day event, in partnership with the Nelson Mandela Children's Fund.
Checkout our past Teacher Features: Ava, Alexandra (Alex), Chris Ann , Laura Konz