By education, Julia Sheganova is a director of mass sports events and a trainer-teacher. She began her career with modern dance, and after going to study in Europe and the USA, she mastered a new direction for herself - Pilates. Today, Julia has both participated in the opening of the Youth Olympic Games and trained with Madonna's personal trainer. But she considers her main achievement to be the launch of the Bodycontrology school, where absolutely everyone can learn Pilates - both adults and children.
- How did your relationship with sports start?
- It so happened that I am not an athlete, but rather a dancer. In the 90s, she even managed to work as a children's dance teacher and aerobics teacher. When I was at university in sports, I took a Pilates course. I immediately became interested in the direction, but there was not enough information from the teacher. I began to delve into primary sources, to study the method. I even went to a Pilates conference in Europe. And there experienced instructors told me where the legs grow from - from America. At that time, it was not so easy to go there. I started writing to different schools that I wanted to learn the method and then teach it in Russia. I was invited to study at the famous Balanced Body school. They manufacture Pilates equipment and conduct training courses. I spent a long time collecting letters of recommendation and documents. And here my higher sports education came in handy - in the states it, as it turned out, is very highly valued. I was invited to a Master Trainer Program and ended up on a team with 50 of America's best coaches - a great success for me. We have been taught the origins of the Pilates method. I gained knowledge that no one else in Russia had at that time, and became the first official representative of the method who could teach others and issue an international certificate.who could train others and issue an international certificate.who could train others and issue an international certificate.
- There are many directions and schools in Pilates. But it turns out that there is only one method?
- Quite right. Both in America and in Russia, different directions are taught in clubs and studios. But it is generally accepted that Pilates is a single method of gymnastics. There is a base on which all directions are built. My author's methods are Pilates-based functional training, which is directed separately to muscle groups - arms and back, legs and buttocks, as well as the Tone & Stretch program - the balance between stretching and muscle load.
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- Did a lot of coaches study under your supervision?
- I have about 300 students all over Russia - and these are only those who have been successfully working as coaches for about ten years. When they came to study, they had very little teaching experience. But I told everyone that they could start their own business. As a result, many really opened their own studios, mainly in the regions. It is much easier to do it there. They still say thank you to me for giving them this idea.
- And then you opened the studio. Tell us how it was.
- It was a difficult path. At first there was no financial opportunity, then I was engaged in family and children. But at the same time, since the days of dancing, I had a clear concept of my own school in my head. On trips across Europe, I went to different fitness clubs, observed how everything was arranged there. There is a picture of the studio that I want to open. Of course, my many years of experience in coaching helped me a lot. And besides, I participated in the launch of dozens of projects in Moscow, St. Petersburg and other cities of Russia. So I knew how everything worked. In general, I took on all the tasks at once - from finding a room to choosing the color of the walls. I remember the first time I saw the future studio at the construction stage - I immediately realized that it was her. Everything came together: a convenient location, large windows, the required area. Then she came there many times, almost crawled through the scaffolding, controlled everything. And I never doubted that I had chosen the right place. Now I am often convinced of this - people literally do not want to leave. They say the atmosphere is special here.
- And what else, besides the premises, did you choose with special care?
- Yes, almost everything. Here's at least a ballet barre. It's just a sacred thing! It was based on the machine tool of the Stanislavsky and Nemirovich-Danchenko Musical Theater. Finding the people who built it there was unrealistic. But we were able to find a team that made an exact copy. It is one-piece, without joints, very beautiful. Do not believe it: the girls come up to him and immediately straighten their backs. The reception area is similar to the lobby of a luxury hotel. I have traveled a lot and have always found a special aesthetic in them. Another "fad" was the floor. On the second floor there is natural parquet, which is pleasant for clients to walk on with bare feet. And once I saw how a barefoot man with socks in his hands went to training from the locker room and said: "What a happiness that I can walk barefoot like at home." Then I realized that my idea was fully implemented. I tried to think through everything to the smallest detail and make the space primarily for people. Dumbbells, for example, look like stuffed leather bags with handles - you won't get hurt like that, even if you accidentally drop them. There are many indoor plants in the studio, and the furniture is made from natural, eco-friendly materials.
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- Your studio is very spacious.
- Yes, it was intended. Preserving volume and air is one of the main tasks of architects. That is why the entrance area is not fenced off by a wall or glass from simulators - you enter and immediately see the training process through transparent shutters. Foreign colleagues really liked this decision - they came and took pictures of everything here. By the way, my studio is one of the largest specialized sites in Moscow, both in terms of area and equipment. There are Balanced Body machines - specifically for Pilates. In terms of format, I was guided by similar spaces in Europe and America. I call it a cultural and sports studio.
- Still, why did you open a Pilates studio, and not a dance studio, for example?
- Pilates teaches us the principles of movement that we use in everyday life. Just imagine: people were told that they must take 10 thousand steps a day to be healthy. They do it obediently, and then every third person has a backache. Why is this happening? Because the internal support muscles were not ready for the load. The motor muscles have fulfilled their function - you took and walked this distance. But the supporting ones did not cope. This bridge between the outer and inner muscles builds Pilates. That is, it prepares us for real life - it helps with a sedentary lifestyle, with stress. Many of my students admit that they can now walk a much greater distance without pain. That is, they have experienced on themselves that the method works. All this is what I call “smart body work”.
I gained knowledge that no one else in Russia had at that time, and became the first official representative of the method.
- In addition to Pilates and dancing, you have a workout with the interesting name "Garuda". What is it?
- I discovered this direction for myself about three years ago. It combines Pilates, dance and yoga. It was founded by dancer James Silva, who was Madonna's personal trainer. I also studied with him, he is an amazing teacher. Having received a certificate for teaching the technique, I brought the simulator for the garuda to Russia. Such workouts are good because the range of motion is much greater than in Pilates. Therefore, they are suitable for people who are bored with only Pilates. And for me, as a dancer, the garuda was a real find.
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- Who most often comes to you - mature people or, conversely, young people?
- Surprisingly, people of completely different ages come, both men and women. We are glad to absolutely everyone. Women often bring their elderly mothers, and men come here almost every day. For mothers with children, we conduct split workouts. In general, the children's program is in great demand with us. I think it's good when clients see different people around them - this emphasizes the versatility of the method.
- And there are those who come and say: “I have never studied, but I want to start”? Is it difficult for such clients to adapt?
- The good thing about Pilates is that the exercises can be tailored to fit a person of any skill level. Of course, not everyone can afford personal training. But we have a group program "Pilates start" in our schedule, just for beginners. In addition, those who have no experience, we certainly invite you to an individual meeting and functional diagnostics. It is necessary to assess how a person reacts to the load, what problems he has. There is also a kinesiologist who can do muscle testing. Another plus for beginners is that, no matter which coach you come to, classes are conducted on the same methodological basis. Our employees undergo training, pass standards. Each lesson should be conducted primarily according to the principles of Pilates, and not the way the coach wants.
My author's methods: functional training based on Pilates, which is directed separately to muscle groups - arms and back, legs and buttocks, as well as the Tone & Stretch program - the balance between stretching and muscle load.
- Are the team of trainers of the studio close to you in spirit?
- Of course. These are those with whom I have been in the profession for 15 years. I have known each of them for a long time - how they developed, what difficulties they faced and how they dealt with them. These are the most trusted people. And most importantly, we are the flagships of the profession. Each of them has already acquired many regular customers during their careers, and now they all continue to come to our club. Although it is not very convenient for some people in terms of location. But they justify themselves by saying that "there are no other such coaches."
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- Do your kids love Pilates too?
- And how! The eldest daughter is an athlete, and Pilates helps her a lot to cope with the main load. I have an author's program for children's Pilates. The youngest son is six years old, he passed it and knows all the exercises. And now, during quarantine, he even offers to record an online course.
- And how do you, by the way, cope with the quarantine? Have you switched to an online format?
- Since we used to be completely offline, it is now quite difficult for us to adapt. But we have already done the daily online home pilates, we are conducting them on video. For some clients, this format is not very suitable. For them, we made free lessons on YouTube and arranged them in the schedule grid on the site. In such an order that every day the workout affects different muscle groups, and in the evening there is a stretch. That is, everything should be dosed and for the benefit of the body. Of course, for us, trainers, the video format is also not always convenient - you cannot make sure that each person performs the exercises correctly. But nothing, we get used to it, and after quarantine, we may even launch a separate online course.
- How did the idea of the name Bodycontrology come about?
- The founder of the method, Joseph Pilates, originally called it contrology. And the direction was called Pilates after his death. Then there was a whole battle - many businessmen wanted to obtain the copyright for the use of the name. Balanced Body's owners and lawyers have succeeded in defending the idea that the word "Pilates" defies patent. This is a gymnastics method and, therefore, it belongs to everyone. I decided that the word “contrology” that Joseph Pilates used was very good and succinct. It is consonant with the Russian word "control". Well, body is everything about the body. Body control is what we do in our studio. And the abbreviated Bodyco on the logo looks beautiful and reflects the essence of the idea.
- What are your plans for the future?
- My big dream is to introduce Pilates to all schools as a compulsory discipline of general physical training. In America, by the way, this has been successfully practiced for a long time. I want to involve people so that they understand that these are simple exercises that help us a lot in our daily life.
You can join the online training sessions of the Bodycontrology fitness studio here.