As sedentary lifestyles become increasingly the norm, it’s no surprise that obesity rates are climbing all over the world.
In China, weight management is one of the main reasons clients visit the Merrithew® Host Training Center, Orange Room Wellness Center, in Shanghai, says Stella Xu (Jue Xu), who is certified in STOTT PILATES® and qualified in Halo® Training, ZEN•GA® and STOTT PILATES ISP. We caught up with her at the Toronto Corporate Training Center in July where she was attending Instructor Trainer week.
“A lot of people start training in STOTT PILATES to lose weight, but once they start doing it, they realize that Pilates can help them with so much more and they see the many benefits of doing Pilates,” she says.
“There are different outcomes for different people, but most clients say they feel stronger, more flexible and have better posture after practicing Pilates regularly. It also helps them gain greater body and movement awareness,” she says.
Stella started practicing STOTT PILATES after suffering from back pain stemming from her pregnancy. She was eager to learn more about the method after seeing the difference it made in her rehabilitation.
In 2014, along with three other students, she took her training at the Orange Room and became a STOTT PILATES Certified Instructor. “Some people in China knew about Pilates back then, but it was still niche. Most people didn’t recognize the difference between yoga and Pilates,” she says.
Over the years, there’s been a growing interest and awareness of Pilates in China, especially among young fitness and yoga instructors who want to diversify their skills and learn a systematic and thorough method of exercise, one that’s proven highly effective for an aging population, pre- and post-natal women and rehab clients— all growing markets there.
“The new instructors are so eager and open-minded to learn new things and expand their knowledge. They take their training seriously and they want a high-quality education, which is offered by Merrithew,” she says.
“The yoga industry in China has been booming for many years, so that market is saturated here. Yoga and other fitness studios are seeing the value of offering more diverse programming, and instructors are seeing how being certified in a well-known Pilates method makes them more employable.”
As part of her continuing education journey, Stella will be attending Merrithew’s first Mindful Movement Symposium in Shanghai.
“It’s our best chance to take specialized Merrithew workshops that aren’t regularly offered at the Host Training Centers in China and meet with the Master and Lead Instructor Trainers from North America,” Stella says.
There are dozens of workshops to choose from during the September 20-22 conference, including STOTT PILATES Post-Natal Pilates, Intro to Merrithew Fascial Movement, and Intro to ZEN•GA V2 Vinyasa Flow on the V2 Max Plus Reformer, among other special population and equipment-focused classes.
“It’s a good opportunity for instructors to advance their knowledge and learn from the best in the field. I’ll be taking the STOTT PILATES Advanced Reformer: From Then to Now workshop, which will help me gain a better understanding of the foundation of STOTT PILATES and how the method evolved from the traditional style,” she says.
“Local instructors are really excited about the China Symposium because they’ll get to hear from experienced instructors and studio owners who’ve been successful in growing the Pilates community.”
There is still huge potential for growth in the fitness and mind-body markets in China, and Merrithew is here to support you, backed by our 31 years of experience in the international fitness industry.
We’re bringing Merrithew’s best-in-class exercise programs and cutting-edge equipment to China to help our partners and students acquire the skills and expertise needed to open their own successful mind-body studios. One of the many aspects that distinguishes Merrithew education is that our Host Training Centers in China can offer the exact same education programs available at our head office in Canada, taught by the same group of Merrithew Instructor Trainers who are sent by head office to teach around the world on Merrithew's behalf.
To meet those Instructor Trainers and find out how you can launch your career in mindful movement, visit us at the Merrithew Mindful Movement Symposium in Shanghai.