Inside the Pilates Studio: Kara Wily

kara wiley pilates

Jay Grimes’ program for teachers “The Work” is giving me the privilege of studying alongside wonderful teachers from all over the world, including the lovely Kara Wily. Recently a client mentioned an evidently famous quote from Brendon Burchard, a frequent speaker on motivation, high performance and leadership: 

“Experts are always students FIRST!” 

Kara Wily clearly falls into this category. I love in Jay’s workshops when Kara demonstrates an exercise that Jay has prefaced with something like “This one was only for the men” or “Joe gave this to his boxers.” Immediately Kara assumes a resolve that sets her jaw and hones her gaze to a laser-focus. It’s a look that says “Oh yeah? Bring it on. I’ve got exercises like that in my back pocket.” She is fierce and takes no prisoners.

Look for Kara in the September/October issue of Pilates Style and soon in the on-line edition of the Huffington Post. See, she is out there and gettin’ it done!

1. What is your favorite Pilates exercise and why?

Kara Wily: Right now it is the breast stroke on Reformer.  I feel like I am flying.

2. What exercise is your least favorite? Pick only one.

KW: (She says tapping her feet and scanning her studio…)  Okay really?  The sand bag—I know I should do it and I really just get bored—but that is probably even more of a reason why I need to work on it.

3. What turns you on creatively, mentally or physically about the Pilates method?

KW: Newtonian laws of motion are so relevant to the Pilates, and exercise in general, but you really see action and reaction when you lose control in Pilates.  I love that all three of those aspects of cognition and experience intersect in Pilates, it is problem solving in motion.

4. What is your idea of earthly happiness?

KW: Moving forward.

5. What to your mind would be the greatest misfortune?

KW: To stop trying.

6. What is your favorite Pilates word?

KW: Engage.

7. What is your least favorite Pilates word?

KW: Tabletop.

8. What profession other than your own would you like to attempt? 

KW: Photo journalism.

9. If Heaven exists, and by some chance when you arrive at the pearly gates Joseph Pilates is also there, what would you like to hear him say to you?

KW: That he would teach me thirty lessons.

10. What did you learn today?

KW: Piet Mondrian was an artist, and yet every quote I read from him makes me want to know more about him.


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Andrea Maida

Andrea Maida

A native of Pittsburgh, Andrea began her study of the Pilates method in 2000. She holds two comprehensive certifications from Romana’s Pilates in New York and Excel Movement Studios in Washington, DC.  Andrea continues to study with numerous world-class instructors including Romana Kryzanowska, Jay Grimes, Sari Mejia-Santo, Junghee Kallander, Cynthia Lochard, and Kathryn Ross-Nash whenever possible. Andrea was privileged to be in the inaugural class of The Work at Vintage Pilates under the direction of Jay Grimes, 1st Generation Master Teacher and student of Joseph Pilates.

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