Interview: Helen Phelan
Helen is a pilates instructor at the best studio in NYC: East River Pilates! 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!