We had the good fortune of connecting with Jenny Eisenberg and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Jenny, why did you pursue a creative career?
It’s funny because I actually have a degree in Commerce from the University of Virginia, a very practical and arguably uncreative area of study. I studied business because it’s a strong foundation for every industry, and I still didn’t really know what I wanted to do for a career when I was in college. After graduation, I moved to NYC and worked in Fashion and then in Media, but I hated sitting at a desk all day, felt unfulfilled, and had no freedom of expression in my jobs. I wanted to be more active, work with and help people, and be able to express myself through my career. Creativity not only keeps life interesting, because change and freedom are at its core, but creating something is exciting! With my Pilates practice, it challenges me mentally to design workout programs with movements and choreography specific to each client’s needs. Further, since Pilates is a method of movement, it has the benefit of also stimulating the body to complete these new and different moves. Even for first-timers, where I stick to the essential moves, they are often thrust completely out of their comfort zone because Pilates requires you to move in a way that your body often isn’t used to. You have to use smaller muscles that you may have never thought about or really worked out before. It’s a foreign experience but one that is exciting and rewarding to introduce to people! Artistry, especially in the fitness industry, is about expanding the mind & body, and with Pilates instruction, this allows me and my clients to feel revitalized, entertained, and hopefully even youthful.
Can you give our readers an introduction to your business? Maybe you can share a bit about what you do and what sets you apart from others?
While my website and solo business might be relatively new, the journey I’ve taken to begin my career as a Pilates Instructor began eight years ago when, almost on a whim but with a purpose, I left behind an unfulfilling corporate job in NYC. I sought a career where I felt like I could make a difference, work with people, be active, and feel passionately about. Fortunately, it was the best gut decision I’ve ever made, and it has turned out to be all of this and so much more. I started out knowing very little about Pilates. I knew it was good for strengthening and rehab but beyond that the method was completely foreign to me. I had researched various certifications and fortunately, STOTT, one of the most renowned certifications in the industry – often referred to as the “Ivy League of Pilates” – happened to have a training facility in my hometown of Richmond, VA. I was drawn to STOTT because it embraces a more athletic approach to the classical Pilates certification. It also incorporates new learnings from exercise science over the years, whereas some of the classical forms stick very closely to the original way Joseph Pilates first designed it back in the 1920s. Growing up as an athlete, I really wanted to bring this modern and dynamic form into my teaching. I became acquainted with the machines: Reformer, Cadillac, Chair, Barrels and the standard Mat Pilates during my year and a half apprenticing at the training center, practicing, teaching, and observing the exercises. I treated it like a graduate program and worked on the side to pay for it, as it’s quite expensive, ultimately receiving an advanced certification on all of the equipment. On completion, I decided to move out to Los Angeles for the weather and the extremely tuned-in fitness industry knowing it would be an amazing place to grow my practice. I began working at Equinox in Santa Monica and also worked at a studio in Koreatown that I found on Craigslist. I was the only non-Korean teaching or working out there and many people didn’t speak English. I learned how to better communicate through mannerisms and read bodies more astutely while there. The hours between the two studios were crazy and so was the commute, but I was making ends meet being a Pilates Instructor full-time. A year after starting at Equinox, I was promoted to Pilates Manager and began managing the studio and instructors, while still teaching my clients. I learned that there are many challenges to managing people, with their unique personalities and different motivations and goals in their careers. I discovered so much about people, psychology, and communication from my instructors, coworkers, and clients. Unfortunately, I was hit in two car accidents during this time which left me with herniated discs in my neck and low back, as well as with severe post concussive
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
I’m a huge fan of the beach. It was one of my biggest reasons for moving to LA. I make a point of going as often as I can, especially when the weather is beautiful. One day I hope to live on the beach! I go to Venice Beach down by the Marina the most often and enjoy walking around the Venice Canals there too. I also love Dockweiler State Beach for having bonfires with friends, and Manhattan Beach by the Strand for a change of scenery. Malibu is one of my absolute favorite places; it feels like a mini escape from Los Angeles and the drive up the PCH is so gorgeous; I find it incredibly calming and relaxing. I love watching the sunset from Point Dume, laying out, and taking walks along the beach. Whenever friends and family visit, I like to take them to many of LA’s beaches, so they can soak up the vibe, and experience each one.
LA obviously is a great food and bar scene with such diverse options. Some of my favorite places to go are Manchego in Santa Monica for Spanish tapas, Fia also on the westside, for Italian, Republique (mid-city) for French, Rock N’ Fish in Manhattan Beach for Seafood, Cafe Vida in Culver City has delicious brunch, and The Conservatory has amazing coffee. When I go out for drinks some of my go-to spots are Hotel Erwin, Neighbor, Mama Shelter, the Culver Hotel, Laurel Hardware, Melrose Umbrella, and The Ace Hotel. I love rooftop bars and places with a great view! I enjoy sports and am particularly a fan of going to the Staples Center to watch the Lakers or the Kings play. I also love live music and driving out to the Rose Bowl, The Greek Theater, or The Forum to watch a concert is always a great time and one I definitely miss during Covid. I like paddle boarding and often drive down to Huntington beach to paddle through the Harbour. Another outdoor activity I enjoy is hiking and particularly am fond of Temsecal Canyon Park and Runyon Canyon Park for hikes with friends. I like to try new workouts too and have gone to Aerial Warehouse for aerial classes and to Annenberg Community Beach Club for stand up paddle board (SUP) workout classes, both of which I definitely recommend trying with visitors from out of town. I’ve now been learning to surf during Covid, although I’ve been taking a slight hiatus with the colder weather. Lastly, even though I spend most of my time in activewear, I do love shopping. The shops on Abbot Kinney, Westfield Century City, the boutiques on Melrose, or even the Rose Bowl Flea Market are always fun to explore and anyone local or visiting will definitely love them if they like shopping.
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
Over the seven years I have been teaching Pilates, I have worked with many other instructors and personal trainers. There are a few along the way though that have been so encouraging, supportive, collaborative, and inspiring. My good friend, Sarah Croce, who is a Pilates Instructor and Doula worked with me during my time teaching at Equinox Santa Monica. She is fun, knowledgeable, and such a supportive colleague to work alongside. I learned a great deal from her and gained so much confidence from having her in the studio with me. Another that comes to mind is Mirea Sharifi. Mirea has a very long history teaching Pilates, even having owned her own studio in Arizona, at one point. She has an endless amount of wisdom to impart regarding the body and movement, which she draws from years of experience. Olya Vavrenyuk is another Pilates Instructor and a stunt woman, who designed inventive workouts and even trained me through some serious injuries that I sustained from the two car accidents. Her Pilates knowledge and gymnastics background really helped with restrengthening my back and neck. Lastly, Bethany Endter, a Personal Trainer and Fascial Stretch Therapist, is a close friend who not only inspired me to get my NASM Personal Training certification during Covid, but really opened my eyes to the larger health and wellness industry. She is also certified in Nutrition, Yoga & Pilates, understanding that learning never ends! Overall, this group of women inspired me to be the best Pilates Instructor & Personal Trainer that I can be for all of my clients and the fitness industry, as a whole. When you work together you can achieve such great things and really find love and happiness along the way.