Made in the 956: My Body Pilates

By: Trey Serna

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Tanya Swayze Miller has been a dancer her whole life. That introduced her to what would become her next passion, Pilates.

"I was in college, and I was majoring in Dance, and we used it as a form of strength and conditioning. So I was using it for my own personal practice, but when I was doing it, I really felt like it was something I wanted to do forever. Not just something to supplement for my dancing," Miller said.

Miller looked into it more after college.

"I did research to find there was so much more than just Pilates Mat and from there I got certified. I spent three years in Austin getting my training," Miller said. "From there, I hit the ground running and saw there was an opportunity to bring it to the Valley."

She seized that opportunity. 

"I was a single mom, still am, and that's been my drive through all of this. I wanted to create a career for my son and I, something that we could have forever, and then I have a passion for movement and Pilates, so when those two things collided and business came from it," Miller said.

And that business, My Body Pilates.

"We're about to celebrate 10 years here in Harlingen, and three years in Brownsville," Miller said.

Now, Miller and her instructors are spreading the knowledge about this unique mind-body exercise.

"I think one of, the most fun fact about Pilates is that it was actually design and invented by a man himself. It comes from one source. His name is Mr. Joseph Pilates, in the early 1900s. So the apparatus, not only did he come up with a series of exercises on the mat, but he also invented this apparatus to help execute the exercises on," Miller said. "We spend so much time in this kind of kyphotic rounded-shoulder world with driving, texting and being on the computer. So I think that's probably one of my most favorite benefits is improved posture, and you improve your posture by strengthening your core. Because without that center strength, your arms and legs need a place of stability and strength, so we focus primarily in the center of the body and everything from there should move freely from there. Pilates has a great way of re-wiring habitual patterns in the body, and also creating symmetry in the body."

It's staying true to Mr. Pilate's teachings that Miller says her studios take very seriously.

"I've had the pleasure of studying underneath one of Mr. Pilates' students who was actually certified by Mr. Pilates himself," Miller said. "We teach true to the source. However, we also implement modern day science. So what we know now about the body, we implement that into our sessions with our clients."

Tanya says she'll continue this for years to come. 

"I want to see it grow. I want to see authentic Pilates in the Valley just spread. Pilates is more than just exercise, it's such a lifestyle. It's such a mind/body integration that I feel every person deserves to experience," Miller said.

Tanya Swayze Miller and My Body Pilates, Made In The 956.


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