Parker Stevens Chakales
Educated at UNC Chapel Hill: Bachelors in Public Health
American University: Masters in Nutrition Education
Loves Astronomy | Dealt with low back and SI joint pain
I started practicing Pilates in college after an injury
that resulted in a painful bulging disc. That, combined with a slight scoliosis and SI joint dysfunction, left me struggling to find ways to exercise that did not irritate my back. Pilates helped me strengthen my core, identify movements that triggered pain, and get back to doing the things I loved. Since then, Pilates has been my ideal tool for staying strong and managing pain. When I let my Pilates practice lapse, my back pain inevitably returns.
After 5 years in the nonprofit sector, I knew I wanted my work life to include more movement and less desk time, so I began training as a Pilates instructor. I already loved Pilates and knew how much it had changed my own body and life, and I wanted to share that with others.
I love teaching Pilates. I find it so rewarding to facilitate those “a-ha!” moments when clients realize something new about their body. I also love seeing people’s self-confidence increase as they become stronger and progress to more and more challenging exercises. I have always been passionate about learning, and Pilates gives me the opportunity to constantly gain new knowledge and learn new skills.
I am a highly skilled Pilates Instructor because
I can empathize with clients dealing with pain or unable to perform daily tasks they once could. Because of my own experience with back pain and developing my own Pilates practice to deal with this issue, I believe I have an edge over other instructors when it comes to back issues.
I also believe that my Pilates training in two different certification programs (STOTT and Balanced Body) has helped me become a better instructor. I can take the best parts of what I learned in both programs and apply them to the situation at hand. I have also benefited greatly from my continuing education, which helps me stay current with the latest research and practices within the Pilates industry and beyond.
Perhaps the thing that has contributed the most to the development of my teaching skills and confidence as an instructor is my experience working with so many different clients and different bodies. I have worked with individuals with back pain (including disc problems, spondylolisthesis, and SI joint pain), hip replacements, knee replacements, frozen shoulder, as well as pre- and post-natal clients.
I love working with prenatal and postnatal clients!
Having gone through my own first pregnancy in 2018, the physical changes of that journey are still fresh in my mind. I continued doing Pilates until my due date, so I know how Pilates feels from the beginning to the end of pregnancy. Pilates can play an important part in helping a woman stay healthy, active, and comfortable during pregnancy, prepare for the physical demands of labor and delivery, and regain strength and proper function of the abdominals and pelvic floor during the postpartum period.
My own pregnancy and postpartum journey combined with my pre- and post-natal specialist training (including how to deal with diastasis recti) has given me an in-depth understanding of the physiological changes that accompany pregnancy and how to exercise safely in each trimester.