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Interview// Helen Phelan

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Helen is Lauren's personal pilates instructor (and now, friend!) who created an entire new system of body positive cueing in workout classes. Here she is pictured doing her favorite ab workout :)

Where do you give yourself a tender touch?

Lips, hair & feet 

What's your self-care routine? What kind of rituals, processes or products are involved?

I make sure to wake up early enough to have time to sit down, eat breakfast and have a matcha before work. I feel rushed and frazzled when I don't take that time for myself in the am. In the evening, before bed, I record a few things I'm grateful for about the day which makes even a bad thing seem brighter.

At night I also drink a glass of water with a scoop of magnesium powder stirred in before bed to help calm my nerves, stay asleep through the night and ease back spasms caused by my scoliosis. I practice Pilates every day because it makes me more confident and soothes aches and pains- and wearing cute workout clothes definitely makes working out all the time feel more fun.

Can you think of a problem that you solved through being kind and gentle?

Anytime in the workplace when people are really frustrated: compassion, kindness and patience always works!

When do you feel strong (physically, emotionally, intellectually)?

I feel physically strong after conquering a tough workout, emotionally strong when I work my mental wellness muscles in therapy and I feel très intellectually strong in French class now that I've begun to be able to communicate intelligibly!

What areas, ideas and/or people do you currently work with?

As a Pilates instructor I work with all types of people, which is how I like it. My coworkers are typically fellow dancers but the clients who come in and out of the studio on a daily basis are so diverse, it makes my days anything but boring!

Where do you find inspiration?

The concepts in the book Anatomy Trains: Myofascial Meridians for Manual and Movement Therapists by Tom Meyers was a large part of my training and I refer back to it often. When I get stuck in a choreography inspo rut I look to Pilates Anytime or instagrammers like @informedtechnique and @at_the_mat . I read Well+Good religiously and the Goop newsletter always has the wellness lowdown!

I teach a lot of Mamas, so currently I'm reading What to Expect When You're Expecting (purely for research purposes) but because I always have my book with me, it's been turning a lot of heads!