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Studio 26 Trainer Spotlight: Jennifer Whittemore

In honor of Studio 26's 2nd birthday, we asked the trainers and practitioners that have been with Studio 26 along its two year journey to shed a little light on a particular relationship with a client. They range from massage therapists to personal trainers to Pilates instructors to physical therapists. We have so enjoyed watching these trainer-client relationships grow, and thought our birthday would be the perfect moment to share a bit about these trainers and their clients with you, our Studio 26 community. Jennifer Whittemore teaches Pilates, Yoga and practices a variety of energy work, including Integrated Muscular Therapy, or IMT. Jennifer identified the following principles as foundations of her teaching practice:

To honor and reflect the positive aspects of the client's physical, emotional, and spiritual self. To understand that mastery is not what you can do, it's what you can perceive. To respect pain because it leads to change. To embrace aging with curiosity.

Jennifer has been working with her client, Karen Shapiro at Studio 26 since February of 2011. We asked if she could identify a pivotal moment in their training together, a shift that allowed Jen to see not only her own teaching differently, but Karen's body differently as well. She responded:

"We were working on side bending on the Cadillac, try to achieve movement in those stubborn upper ribs. As my hands moved into position to guide her thorax, I remembered a contact point from my Integrative Manual Therapy training called Lung Synchronizer 5 on the lateral portion of the 5th rib. I decided to work energetically with this point as she executed the choreography. To my amazement, within a couple of repetitions, her entire right lung unfolded like an envelope under my hand. The change was so immediate and so profound that both of us took pause--she to breathe more fully than ever before, and me to balance her right and left lungs so that she would feel harmonious at the end of the session. The areas under her collar bones, previously hollow, filled in completely. Her torso was able to float away from the pelvis with her glorious new breath, and the transformation, intense for both of us, was permanent. What I understood at that moment, is that it's never to late to change. It's never to late to find alignment, balance, spaciousness and movement in the physical body, that Karen's diligent commitment, and my willingness to live outside of the box was the alchemy she needed to to find lasting freedom in an area of her body that others would deem stuck for good."

We asked each trainer how Studio 26 supports their teaching and healing practice. Jen replied, "Some of my best friends work at Studio 26. Some of them even own it. This community and camaraderie between staff, clients, sunlight and plants is a healing oasis for me."