Mandee Louie’s passion for Pilates and yoga has evolved into making doing what she loves her career path and lifestyle. She fell in love with the way Pilates simultaneously lengthened and strengthened muscles, achieving the results she wanted without the exhausting effort. Her belief in this incredible system of exercises led her to pursue her teaching certificate. Mandee originally went into teaching with the mindset of fitness, with an athletic clientele in mind, and has since developed a deep passion for working with rehab clients and those in pain. She is fascinated by the intricacies of the human body and continues to learn more about muscle firing patterns, ideal posture and injury rehab. Her goal is to empower her clients to get out of pain and finds contentment with her work as she continues to see this happen.
Mandee has found Pilates and yoga to be a complement to high-impact activities such as running and is effective cross-training for all sports. In her classes, you will find that she enforces the Principles of Pilates and proper bio mechanics while providing a challenging workout. She encourages alignment, breath and the mind-body connection.
Mandee holds a full certification in StottⓇ Pilates and has been teaching since 2011. She holds further certificates and has taken courses in Total Barre, Pre-Natal, Zenga & Fascial Foundations, Core Align, and is a Specialist in Pilates Based Education for Neurological Conditions (PMA). In 2015, she left her corporate job as an apparel developer at Nike to pursue wellness full time. She traveled to India in early 2016 to study alignment-based yoga and completed her 200-hour yoga certificate through the Yoga Alliance. While in India, she also studied at the Omkarananda Ashram in Rishikesh, India, under the instruction of Usha Devi, who studied with Yoga master BKS Iyengar from 1993 until his death. She has since returned to India several times, both to pursue Yoga trainings in Ayurveda & Lunar Cycles and for retreat. She continues to study Iyengar Yoga at Jewell Yoga in Portland, and is part of the Peer Teaching Group. You can read more about her story of moon-lighting as an Instructor and making the switch to full-time teaching here.
Mandee has found deep joy in making her passion her lifestyle, and being able to share it with others brings her deep contentment, otherwise known as Santosha in sanskrit, the ancient language of yoga.
What is Pilates?
Pilates is an incredible system of exercises developed in the 20th century by Joseph Pilates. Stott Pilates has taken his genius work and further developed it with the lens of physical therapy and science. The principles of Stott Pilates encourage good posture and teach functional movement, which basically means moving in the way we were designed to move, in biomechanically sounds positions.
The work allows you to work smarter and more efficiently, not harder. I fell in love with this system when I found myself seeing results without exhausting myself as I had done for so many years running endless miles and taking boot camp type classes. I appreciated the practical exercises that targeted all parts of the body, including the deep core stabilizers that I had never before felt in this unique way. Pilates teaches us to work in the most efficient way so as to not exhaust our bodies and leave more energy for other parts of our life. Once we build a foundation of good principles and functional movement, the work only gets deeper as we begin to layer on more advanced and challenging work.
Pilates is a powerful tool for injury rehabilitation. It has benefited those that suffer from ailments including but not limited to SI joint issues, knee injury, joint replacement, plantar fasciitis, pelvic floor dysfunction, arthritis, disc herniations, autoimmune disorders, pre and post-natal, and hypermobility. I have seen so many clients walk in the door in pain and after beginning a Pilates program they report decreased pain and often become pain free. My greatest days are those where someone tells me they feel better, and luckily that happens more often than I can even count. I feel blessed to be able to offer such a wonderful system of healing and to be able to help it become a part of your lifestyle.
How do yoga and Pilates differ?
Pilates starts smaller. It has more refined movements. In yoga, poses are held, and in Pilates exercises are done in repetitions, although not as many and not in sets as in other modalities such as weight lifting. In Pilates we move and stabilize from our center to avoid strain on our joints while building core strength. Pilates focuses on finding and recruiting the proper muscles for each movement. Yoga is an ancient practice that involves much more than just the physical practice and takes it to a spiritual and and mental discipline. There are many different styles of the physical practice of yoga, and the one I have been greatly influenced by is Iyengar Yoga, known for it’s attention to detail, alignment and use of props. The two modalities complement each other and I often find myself improving my yoga poses by incorporating the principles of Pilates and improving my Pilates principles by incorporating the mental & spiritual discipline of yoga.
Pilates will ‘bring you back to life’ by allowing you to breathe deeper and move with ease. You will stand taller with better posture and align your joints the way you were built to be!
“In ten sessions you’ll feel the difference, in 20 you’ll see the difference, and in 30 you’ll have a new body” -Joseph Pilates