Women In Wellness: Vanessa Voltan Of Studio Pilates Boutique On The Five Lifestyle Tweaks That Will Help Support People’s Journey Towards Better Wellbeing

An Interview With Wanda Malhotra

Wanda Malhotra
Authority Magazine
7 min readNov 13, 2023

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Embrace a growth mindset and be open to continuous learning. In my case, the field of Pilates is constantly evolving and there is always more to learn. Embrace a growth mindset and stay curious. Seek opportunities to expand your knowledge through workshops, courses, and conferences. This will not only enhance your teaching skills but also keep you inspired and engaged.

Today, more than ever, wellness is at the forefront of societal discussions. From mental health to physical well-being, women are making significant strides in bringing about change, introducing innovative solutions, and setting new standards. Despite facing unique challenges, they break barriers, inspire communities, and are reshaping the very definition of health and wellness. In this series called women in wellness we are talking to women doctors, nurses, nutritionists, therapists, fitness trainers, researchers, health experts, coaches, and other wellness professionals to share their stories and insights. As a part of this series, we had the pleasure of interviewing Vanessa Voltan.

Vanessa Voltan is a Brazilian Pilates expert, movement specialist, and the founder of studio Pilates Boutique in West Hollywood. After decades of dedication to her craft, Vanessa has developed a deeply rooted belief in the transformative power of movement and its healing properties. Her profound knowledge and specialization in spinal injuries, hip and shoulder replacement and pre/post natal care sets her apart as an industry leader and a coveted mentor.

Thank you so much for joining us in this interview series! Our readers would love to “get to know you” better. Can you share your “backstory” with us?

Wellness has been a part of my life since my childhood in Brazil. I grew up in a family that saw food, community and time in nature as natural medicine; for me, walking barefoot outside was mandatory. I was always encouraged to be active and started dancing when I was very young. I later started practicing Pilates to heal a hip injury from dance. When I moved from Brazil to the United States, I got certified in Pilates with many specializations, one of those was Therapeutic Pilates with Erika Bloom. I also studied holistic nutrition to learn more about the body’s natural healing mechanisms and to find new ways to get to know myself and my body.

Can you share the most interesting story that happened to you since you started your career? What were the main lessons or takeaways from that story?

I don’t have a most interesting story per se, but many of my Pilates sessions (particularly with my private clients) have stood out in my mind, and they have all been interesting because I have gained profound insight from every encounter. It’s amazing to witness my clients heal their bodies through movement, to rehabilitate old physical and mental wounds, and live their lives pain-free. It’s beyond gratifying and humbling to see them heal not only their physical but also their emotional bodies.

It has been said that our mistakes can be our greatest teachers. Can you share a story about a mistake you made when you were first starting? Can you tell us what lesson you learned from that?

When I first started, I used my own injuries as a frame of reference to treat my clients’ injuries. With my heart in the right place, I would teach them movements that had worked for me without necessarily taking a more holistic, bird’s eye view of their overall physical makeup. It doesn’t work that way at all; I quickly learned that every body is different, and the imbalances of each person are unique to them for countless reasons, they are not comparable and therefore require an individualized approach. This opened up a whole new world of possibilities and helped me become more patient and more curious altogether.

Let’s jump to our main focus. When it comes to health and wellness, how is the work you are doing helping to make a bigger impact in the world?

I just opened my first Pilates studio in Los Angeles. My studio, Pilates Boutique, is the first Studio in California to have a signature fusion class consisting of Cadillac, Reformer, and Wunda Chair Pilates equipment in one class. Opening the first Cadillac Studio here is a huge step forward since even most advanced Pilates veterans have never practiced on the Pilates Cadillac, let alone all three main apparatuses in one class. Having people try these three apparatuses and explore their bodies like they never have before is like a Pilates revolution.

Can you share your top five “lifestyle tweaks” that you believe will help support people’s journey towards better wellbeing?

1 . Exercise. Especially Pilates because the method respects the natural biomechanics of the body. It keeps the spine healthy and expanded, improves circulation, balances the fascia, and calms the nervous system. Pilates strengthens and lengthens the body at the same time while helping prevent injuries and promoting longevity.

2 . Conscious breath. The breath is integral for developing a strong mind-body connection. Connecting to our breathing provides centering and strengthening for the deep core. It improves digestion and circulation while regulating the central nervous system.

3 . Going to bed early and getting adequate sleep. Sleep plays a vital role in cognitive function including memory, concentration, and problem-solving skills. By going to bed early, you allow your brain to consolidate information and process emotions, leading to better mental clarity and performance. It also gives your body the necessary rest to carry out other vital functions, not to mention it is essential for mental health and hormonal balance.

4 . Seasonal Eating. Eating seasonally can help us reconnect with the natural rhythms of the Earth and the cycles of agriculture. It reminds us to appreciate the diversity and beauty of each season and encourages a deeper understanding of the food we consume. Seasonal produce is typically harvested at its peak ripeness, which means it contains higher levels of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. Eating this way also minimizes the environmental impact.

5 . Spending more time in nature. By spending more time in nature, we can improve our well-being on multiple levels; physically, mentally, and emotionally. It helps us develop a sense of awe and gratitude. It is a simple yet powerful way to recharge and find balance.

If you could start a movement that would bring the most amount of wellness to the most amount of people, what would that be?

I would create a new law where conscious movement and conscious breathing are mandatory a minimum of 3 times per week. It can change the health and lifestyle of the whole nation.

What are your “5 Things I Wish Someone Told Me Before I Started” and why?

1. Embrace a growth mindset and be open to continuous learning. In my case, the field of Pilates is constantly evolving and there is always more to learn. Embrace a growth mindset and stay curious. Seek opportunities to expand your knowledge through workshops, courses, and conferences. This will not only enhance your teaching skills but also keep you inspired and engaged.

2. Taking care of yourself to avoid burnout is a priority. As a Pilates Instructor and small business owner, it’s easy to get caught up in the demands of teaching and neglect my wellbeing. Prioritize self-care by setting boundaries, scheduling rest days, and engaging in activities that recharge you.

3. It’s important to prioritize your own practice. It’s crucial to maintain your own personal practice. Regularly practicing Pilates will not only help you stay physically and emotionally strong but also deepen your understanding of the exercises and improve your ability to guide your clients effectively.

4. Embrace diversity and adaptability. Each client you work with will have unique needs, goals, and abilities. Embrace diversity and be prepared to adapt your teaching style to cater to different individuals. This will make you more versatile and effective.

5. Don’t take criticism personally. Listen to the criticism but don’t take it to heart. Learn to pivot and evolve from it and, — it’s okay if you are not everybody’s cup of tea.

Sustainability, veganism, mental health, and environmental changes are big topics at the moment. Which one of these causes is dearest to you, and why?

Of course environmental changes and sustainability are super important causes. However, in my case, living in a city like Los Angeles- mental health needs to be the priority because having a healthy mind and plenty of support is the only way to stay mentally fit in such a competitive and cutthroat place. Furthermore, you can only take care of others (and work on other causes) if you are healthy and of sound mind.

What is the best way for our readers to further follow your work online?

My website is pilatesboutique.com and readers can also follow me on Instagram at @studiopilatesboutique.

Thank you for these fantastic insights! We wish you continued success and good health.

About the Interviewer: Wanda Malhotra is a wellness entrepreneur, lifestyle journalist, and the CEO of Crunchy Mama Box, a mission-driven platform promoting conscious living. CMB empowers individuals with educational resources and vetted products to help them make informed choices. Passionate about social causes like environmental preservation and animal welfare, Wanda writes about clean beauty, wellness, nutrition, social impact and sustainability, simplifying wellness with curated resources. Join Wanda and the Crunchy Mama Box community in embracing a healthier, more sustainable lifestyle at CrunchyMamaBox.com.

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Wanda Malhotra
Authority Magazine

Wellness Entrepreneur, Lifestyle Journalist, and CEO of Crunchy Mama Box, a mission-driven platform promoting conscious living.