Merrithew® Instructor Trainer, Floating IT
IT Qualifications: STOTT PILATES® Reformer, Mat, Cadillac, Chair and Barrels
Rujun Fu was 46 when she first tried Pilates. A yoga teacher in Shanghai, Rujun was dealing with the aftermath of her divorce, and her growing Pilates practice played a role in helping her heal. Now, she’s a floating IT for Merrithew, travelling to teach Pilates throughout southern and eastern China.
Here is her story.
Originally from Taipei, Taiwan, Rujun Fu was living in Shanghai and teaching at the Orange Room. At the time, however, the Orange Room was still mainly yoga-focused. When the owners Anita Tang and Patricia Liao began offering STOTT PILATES classes and training, Rujun decided to try it out. “We had a few yoga teachers, so we decided to learn,” she says. Jeff Ong was her first teacher. “I learned a lot from him.”
Around the same time, Rujun and her husband divorced. “It was a very low time in my life,” she says. But Pilates proved a benefit to both her body and her mind during this difficult time. “It helped me learn from my body,” she says. “I got stronger. I learned and improved.”
And it wasn’t just Rujun’s own relationship with her body and mind that improved. Her daughter, who works in the fashion industry, also noticed the difference. “My daughter also saw how I had changed,” she says. “We have a better relationship now.”
Rujun, now a Merrithew Instructor Trainer and floating IT, travels throughout southern and eastern China, to Fujian Province, Shandong Province and to cities like Guangzhou and Nanjing teaching STOTT PILATES. She also gives private Pilates lessons in her home studio. Her interest in martial arts has sparked an initiative to bring the benefits of Pilates to the martial arts community, specifically to those practicing qi gong or tai chi, where the focus is on cultivating energy, or qi, using the breath and controlled movements. Rujun often uses the traditional concepts of yin and yang, or finding balance, to help explain Pilates. “Often they may injure themselves through the movements, but not know why,” says Rujun. “Pilates offers them a way to better understand movement and to keep themselves protected from injury.”
In addition to protecting people from injury through mindful movement, Pilates can help keep old age at bay, says Rujun. She started her Pilates journey when she was 46. Now, she’s 52. “I’m not young anymore,” she says. “But I still feel young because of Pilates.”