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Yoga, Pilates instructors go to work to unwind…

When Dana White and Rebecca Speight need relaxation for their bodies and minds, they go to work.

The two yoga and Pilates instructors leave their Pilates Reformer and Namaste Yoga Studios feeling refreshed after a full day of fitness and providing clients a retreat from their busy lives.

The co-owners, who each have 25 years of experience in teaching fitness, began teaching yoga and Pilates together in their own studio more than seven years ago, and moved to the San Miguel Square atrium in March 2007. The studio offers a variety of yoga classes, Pilates classes using mats, and seven Balanced Body Allegro Reformers and Towers, which help align their students’ bodies and provide resistance for a tougher workout.

Yoga and Pilates provide a necessary balance for each other, White and Speight said. The sculpting workout of Pilates helps tone muscles and provides a boost in energy, while yoga promotes a release of muscular tension and postural imbalances through breathing exercises and mindful stretching movements.

“Pilates doesn’t replace yoga, and yoga doesn’t replace Pilates,” Speight said. “They complement each other. It’s the glue that holds our whole body together.”

The workday starts at 7:30 a.m. for the instructors and ends at 6:30 p.m. They say the benefits on their own bodies were so great from participating in yoga and Pilates they found it to be a worthwhile venture to train others. They leave a full day of teaching classes feeling energized, not depleted.

“I feel so great doing classes with the people who come,” White said. “It’s a great way to reconnect and get your mind untangled.”

The fitness and goals of their students are widely varied, and clients range in age from 14 to 80. Seeing their students leave the studios feeling refreshed is what keeps both the instructors enjoying their job.

“It’s just the idea that we’re providing a good service and helping others enjoy their health,” White said.

Speight and White maintain their certifications to teach yoga and Pilates through continuing education, which takes them to retreats in places like La Jolla, Calif. The ideas they learn from nationally-known instructors help them to update their routines constantly. Their own studios in Midland are an evolving adult playground, with weighted hula-hoops, flex bands and exercise balls in a variety of sizes.

Both of the teachers have a background in dance, and Speight used to teach high-impact fitness like step aerobics and kickboxing. As early as seventh grade, Speight remembers cutting pictures of floor exercises out of magazines and working out in her bedroom. The instructors both have degrees in marketing, but can’t imagine working behind a desk.

“We don’t know any different,” Speight said. “We just kind of keep moving, and we look forward to coming to work. We both love to teach.”

For more information on group classes or private lessons at the studios, visit here.


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