Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in wellness but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Rachel Prabhakar, Founder of Integral Pilates, located in Brookline, MA, USA.
What's your business, and who are your customers?
Integral Pilates offers Pilates, Alexander Technique, and Franklin Method teaches. My clients range from athletes and dancers to people managing medical conditions to people focusing on healthy aging.
Tell us about yourself
When I first discovered Pilates, I was a software engineer struggling with a serious repetitive stress injury. I quickly found that Pilates was extremely helpful in my recovery. When my husband’s job took our family to Australia for a few years, I took advantage of the high-quality training programs in Melbourne to switch careers and certify as a Pilates instructor. As I continued to grow as a teacher and look for further ways to serve my clients, I completed certifications in the Alexander Technique and Franklin Method.
What gets me up each day is feeling that I am making a difference in the lives of my clients. It is a great joy to see people improving their strength, balance, flexibility, coordination, and breathing. But the biggest, deepest transformations often occur through work in areas that people may not even be considering: proprioception, embodiment, and understanding of our human design and function.
Proprioception. Proprioception is our sense of awareness of our body in space, including how we are moving, how much effort we are using, and how we are balancing. We can train our proprioception, and doing so can improve our balance, coordination, and performance in sports or dance while reducing the risk of injury.
Embodiment. If you want to improve your tennis serve, plie, or cello bow hold, it is probably pretty intuitive that it will be useful to be present in your body. The more fine-grained our awareness of what we are doing, the more options we have to change and improve it. Although it may be less intuitive, I believe that the same is true if we want to improve our relationships with family, friends, and colleagues or work on any project that is important to us. As long as we are human beings alive on the planet, it is through the body that we experience life. The more deeply, richly, and fully we experience the body, the more deeply, richly, and fully we can experience life.
Understanding design and function. When we understand a little about the anatomical design and function of the human organism, we can improve our quality of movement and reduce our risk of injury. As Eric Franklin puts it, “Embodying function improves function.” When we learn anatomy with the goal of embodying what we are learning - being able to feel and visualize what is happening when we move - we can make striking improvements in how we feel and function.
What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?
Clients often tell me that the work we do together is a critical part of their ability to manage difficult circumstances in their lives - this is my biggest accomplishment.
What's one of the hardest things that come with being a business owner?
As a business owner, it can be challenging to manage a work-life balance.
What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?
- Always live your life and run your business with integrity.
- Never stop learning.
- Ask for help when you need it.
Where can people find you and your business?
If you like what you've read here and have your own story as a solo or small business entrepreneur that you'd like to share, then please answer these interview questions. We'd love to feature your journey on these pages.
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