Lexi Rodriguez On How Pilates Can Improve Your Health and Wellbeing
An Interview With Maria Angelova
Mind body connection: I actually just finished working with my own teacher and in ever single move I have to activate my mind in reference to the muscle I’m focusing on. This mind body connection really shows you how powerful your mind really is.
Pilates was invented around 100 years ago, and it is becoming an increasingly popular form of exercise. What exactly is Pilates? How is it different from other modalities like Yoga or Tai Chi? What are the benefits of Pilates? Who can most benefit from it? In this interview series, we are talking to Pilates professionals & practitioners who can talk about how Pilates can improve your health and wellbeing. As a part of this series, I had the distinct pleasure of interviewing Lexi Rodriguez.
Lexi is a Reiki Master, Movement Expert & Trauma Informed Embodiment Mentor who specializes in Somatic Healing & Energetics. Her medicine fuses movement, meditation & breathwork into every session she offers leaving her community’s mind, body & spirit nourished by their innate magic. If you’re local to San Diego, you can find her teaching Sculpt at Activate House. Lexi’s mission is to guide the collective into deeper connection & awareness with their sacred internal environment.
Thank you so much for joining us! Before we dive in, our readers would love to “get to know you” a bit better. Can you tell us a bit about your ‘backstory’?
I’m Alexis Rodriguez & I grew up in Tucson, AZ. Everyone calls me Lexi, so please do! I’ve been into competitive sports and movement since I was a little kid. Always on a team and playing a sport. After playing college softball came to an end for me I began to learn more about how to become a personal trainer, and from there I dove all the way into studying the body & all forms of movement. From Barre to Pilates to Kick-boxing to Vinyasa Yoga and more I’ve always been fascinated by exploring the body through movement.
Can you share with us the most interesting story from your career? Can you tell us what lessons or ‘takeaways’ you learned from that?
Initially, after college along with training in a small private gym, I was offered a job at the local radio station in town and worked my way up from interning with the ‘street team’ to being given the opportunity to host a morning radio show. Along with movement & wellness a big dream of mine was to work in entertainment and production. It was the best time of my life for a while but the lifestyle wasn’t sustainable for me at that time and I had a deep feeling that there was more for me in a more elevated city. So I moved to San Diego and started teaching fitness full-time after attempting to get back into entertainment the universe forced me into Health & Wellness. San Diego was exactly where I needed to be to begin my career as a Holistic Wellness Coach & I remember being really disappointed after not getting hired back in entertainment but a BIG takeaway from that experience was a lesson on not trying to force wasn’t meant to be and trusting the bigger picture that was so clearly being laid out for me.
You are a successful leader. Which three character traits do you think were most instrumental to your success? Can you please share a story or example for each?
Integrity, confidence and trust for sure!
When it comes to integrity, I was raised to always be honest and true to myself and others while growing my career. I believe to embody integrity you have to know what core values create the foundation of your career. The integrity that I embody comes from knowing that if I stay true to myself and treat others with respect, I will always have a business and serve the best of the best types of humans.
My confidence comes from preparation. At a young age practicing what I preached was a big thing for me. It may sound cliche but I was the first at any practice and the last to leave. Now I can relate that to making sure my mind and body is always prepared before any class that I teach, event I host or client I drop in with. Preparation breeds confidence.
Trusting that what’s meant for me will always be is the foundation of my career as an entrepreneur in the wellness space. A lot of the work that I do in my coaching practice Is exactly the practices I needed in my early 20’s. Exploring the body & mind connection, nervous system regulation exercises. I trust that God has a plan and I try my best to go with the flow when that plan doesn’t go as my mind may have drawn it out.
Are you working on any exciting new projects now? How do you think that might help people?
Yes, I am opening the doors to my online studio in October. ‘Align’ This studio will include all things body, mind, soul alignment. Meditations, breathwork practices, pilates, yoga, & sculpt classes, embodiment tools, etc. The thing I am most excited about with this online studio is the monthly group meditations and workshops, to come together in person or online with other like-minded individuals is healing in and on it’s own. This will be a space to elevate and grow in community and in the comfort of your own home!
Ok, thank you for all that. Now let’s shift to the main focus of our interview about Pilates. To begin, can you tell our readers a bit about why you are an authority on the topic of Pilates?
I’ve been teaching pilates for about 5 years now and have studied under and taught along side some incredible teachers. Pilates has really allowed me to slow down and explore the power and force within our bodies.
Let’s start with a basic definition so that we are all on the same page. What exactly is Pilates?
Pilates if a form of exercise that concentrates on strengthening the body as a whole with focus on the center core. This modality is a full mind-body experience expanding the students capacity to move through the pilates principles with poise and power.
How is Pilates different from other movement modalities that you have practiced?
I love how pilates focuses on the center body in every single move. Every part of the body matters but the power and flow comes from the center.
On a personal level, what are the biggest benefits that you have gained from regular Pilates practice?
I have gained a different type of connection with my mind and body. A regular pilates practice has enhanced the way I move in everyday life and opened me up to healing different injuries through movement instead of rest.
Who do you think can most benefit from Pilates?
Everyone can benefit from pilates. I have clients that range from 14–75! There is always a modification or variation that can be given to anyone I practice with.
Pilates can sometimes be expensive. Can you share with our readers your perspectives on why Pilates is worth its costs?
I’ve heard this a lot recently in the wellness space and I just want to say that you can find a teacher at any price point. With that being said Pilates being a full Mind, Body, Soul experience it is well worth nourishing those 3 elements in order to have a long, healthy fulfilling life. If you’re new to pilates and try a group class first! More bang for your buck and just as good of an experience.
Based on your research or experience, can you please share your “5 Ways That Pilates Can Improve Your Health and Wellbeing”? (Please share a story or an example for each)
1) Mind body connection, I actually just finished working with my own teacher and in ever single move I have to activate my mind in reference to the muscle I’m focusing on. This mind-body connection really shows you how power your mind really is.
2) Breath- Strengthening the diaphragm is great to enhance your movement practice but at the same time, the focus put on breath in a pilates class is also strengthening the health of your nervous system & detoxifying the full body.
3) Pilates can be used as a moving meditation. When you’re in the right class or working with the right instructor you can truly just find your flow and release the worries that may come along with life. I always leave a session feeling emotionally lighter!
4) I move my body in many ways but I’ve found that Pilates is the perfect supplement for every other form of movement that I practice. Your core and your back are probably the most important part of the body and with pilates I have become exponentially stronger.
5) Community and connection, there is no better feeling than connecting with other humans on the same path to health and wellness as you. The pilates community is much like a big family!
In my own Pilates practice, I stress the importance of precision in Pilates. Based on your experiences and research, what are your thoughts about why precision is important in Pilates?
Precision is one of the main principles in any pilates class and crucial to the depth of a practice because it will take you beyond surface level when it comes to the strength you can gain. There are so many movement techniques that work with force and momentum & I believe you can only be so integrated without the deep exploration that precision practice takes you through.
You are a person of enormous influence. If you could start a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger. :-)
Movement, breathwork, meditation every damn day! It will change your life!
What is the best way for our readers to continue to follow your work online?
This was very inspiring. Thank you so much for the time you spent on this. We wish you only continued success.
About The Interviewer: Maria Angelova, MBA is a disruptor, author, motivational speaker, body-mind expert, Pilates teacher and founder and CEO of Rebellious Intl. As a disruptor, Maria is on a mission to change the face of the wellness industry by shifting the self-care mindset for consumers and providers alike. As a mind-body coach, Maria’s superpower is alignment which helps clients create a strong body and a calm mind so they can live a life of freedom, happiness and fulfillment. Prior to founding Rebellious Intl, Maria was a Finance Director and a professional with 17+ years of progressive corporate experience in the Telecommunications, Finance, and Insurance industries. Born in Bulgaria, Maria moved to the United States in 1992. She graduated summa cum laude from both Georgia State University (MBA, Finance) and the University of Georgia (BBA, Finance). Maria’s favorite job is being a mom. Maria enjoys learning, coaching, creating authentic connections, working out, Latin dancing, traveling, and spending time with her tribe. To contact Maria, email her at firstname.lastname@example.org. To schedule a free consultation, click here.