Inside the Pilates Studio: Cynthia Lochard

OMG Inside the Pilates Studio: Vblog Edition

with your host, Alisa Wyatt!

Cynthia Lochard is one of the topmost Teacher Trainers for Romana's Pilates. She continues to travel for months at a time to conduct their Continuing Professional Education seminars around the globe.

Based in Sydney, Australia and with just a hint of an Aussie accent – I love to wait for it on certain words – Cynthia's teaching is steadfast, pragmatic and masterful.

She encourages teachers to to be confident, independent thinkers and to trust in ourselves as well as our beloved Pilates Method. She has a calm and commanding presence that you want to  must soak up and inject into your own teaching.

There is a lovely quote from Cynthia in one of my most-viewed posts (7 Spot-On Pilates Quotes to Keep you Honest). She was speaking on the proliferance of clients who stop and chat during their workouts and how to combat that in a nice way. Welcome to California!

“Today let's focus on NOT stopping.”

In this manner you give your clients the gift of stamina and endurance that maybe they thought they didn't have. A perfect lesson. How very Clara-esque to lead your student to the brink of discovery without giving it all away. Look what they can do!

Thank you so much Cynthia for your participation in my blog series. It is a true pleasure to have you and this awesome vblog courtesy of Pilatesology.

Enjoy the show!

The transcript of Cynthia's interview:

Alisa Wyatt: So these are the 10 questions that Andrea asks of every instructor that she interviews for this [Inside the Pilates Studio] and for Cynthia Lochard the first question is:

1. What is your favorite Pilates exercise and why?

Cynthia Lochard: The ones I could do well (smiles, laughs). Because I looked good doing it (laughter).

AW: Is there any one?

CL: The arabesques of course…

AW: Oh, lovely! The arabesques, I love it.

CL: They come after the Elephant.

2. What exercise is your least favorite? Pick only one.

CL: Oh, but you see, now I was trying to think about that, and I can't… It changes.

AW: Mmm…I like that. Okay, that's a great answer.

3. What turns you on creatively, mentally or physically about the Pilates method?

CL: The movement. The simplicity and his genius in how – you know, we're all over-complicating it – and it's just so simple. And every time you realize how simple it is…that really turns me on.

AW: I love it.

4. What is your idea of earthly happiness?

CL: A king-size bed with fabulous sheets and those fluffy things over the mattress and lots of feathered pillows and that: a great bed.

AW: You must have the time to spend in it as well. I love that idea.

5. What to your mind would be the greatest misfortune?

CL: Oh, gosh. What's happening – our insensitivity to the planet and what we're doing to it. What's happening, what you can see happening to everything around us.

AW: Yeah, it is a great, great misfortune.

Inside the Pilates Studio: Cynthia Lochard

Romana's Pilates CPE 2013 with Cynthia Lochard

6. What is your favorite Pilates word?

CL: Reach.

7. What is your least favorite Pilates word?

CL: (with rapid-fire delivery) Wrap.

8. What profession other than your own would you like to attempt?

CL: Singing. I always wanted to be a singer.

AW: Are you a good singer?

CL: No. I thought I was when I was younger, I think, maybe…

AW: In the car?

CL: Yeah, the car's a good one… (laughs)

9. If Heaven exists, and by some chance when you arrive at the pearly gates Joseph Pilates is also there, what would you like to hear him say to you?

CL: “Let's go.”

AW: Nice!

CL: “Get on the Reformer.” (laughs)

10. What did you learn today?

CL: I learned, what I was saying before, that what a great medium this [pilatesology] is for really shedding some light on the Pilates Method and sort of hoping to inspire people to come to it and to really have the experience for real.

AW: Thank you, that's wonderful to hear. Thanks everyone!

Learn more about Cynthia here.

Related interviews:

7 Spot-On Pilates Quotes to Keep you Honest

Literal. Clear. To the Point. I love it when a Pilates teacher does not mince words.

I thought I'd share a few of my faves.

1. My personal favorite and a Sandy Shimoda special.

7 Spot- On Pilates Quotes to Keep you Honest

I have heard this one many many times. Weekly actually. Making the exercises as painstakingly perfect as you possibly can makes for a tense, slow turn of events. Oops, almost forgot Sandy has another fine quote for that too.

The suspense is killing me.

This one popped out due to the glacial pace of my Thigh Stretch on the Reformer. Her comment was memorable. And my Thigh Stretch is the better for it.

2. My own commitment to connection.

7 Spot-On Pilates Quotes to Keep you Honest

It's easy to poop-out in the middle of the exercise.

To anticipate the lying down in the Roll Up. Oh, mat so comfy

To rest when you roll up to sit in Spine Stretch. Cause sitting up tall is soooo easy…

To lie down for a little too long between reps of the Teaser.


Oh you know you've done it. We've all been there. I'm aghast when my teacher points up a little secret rest that's crept in unbeknownst to me. Gah!

My quote takes inspiration from Kerry DeVivo who was the first teacher to explain an ultimate goal of the Pilates workout. Use the exercises to find connection when you begin your workout and never let it go until the workout is finished.


3. Karen Frischmann of Vintage Pilates fame in top form.

Lessons with Karen are jam-packed with revelation. This one pertains specifically to the action of the upper back in the 2nd of the Stomach Massage Series on the Reformer. Mostly we (I) want to squeeze the shoulders together and back, essentially squishing the upper back.

Squishing is not really engagement.

It's just squishing.

7 Spot- On Pilates Quotes to Keep you Honest

Long the Back! Yes!

Squish the Shoulders!

I don't think so.

In the 2nd of the Stomach Massage series as well as its other exercise friends (Reverse Push Thru and Long Back Arms on the Cadillac, Backward Arms on the Wunda Chair) there is more to be had in the broadening of the upper back effectively relaxing the shoulders (in lieu of the squish) which will result in greater more yummy stretch across the chest.

And don't forget to Long the Back!

4. Kathi Ross-Nash gets extra points for gravitas.

I just think this one is hilarious.

7 Spot-On Pilates Quotes to Keep you Honest

I've tried to steal it, but I don't quite own it and it falls flat… But when it comes from Kathi I have to giggle. She says it in a sweet and gentle (mocking?) voice of false comfort while you wrestle with an exercise of outrageous proportion.

Reformer on the Mat anyone?

5. Cynthia Lochard gets right to the point.

7 Spot-On Quotes to Keep you Honest

I am guilty of this myself (of course) and it's a wonderful mantra for clients. It may seem like you need to take a moment to rest.

But maybe you don't.

What would happen if you willed yourself to continuously move for the entire hour?

Endurance. Stamina. Perseverance.

Tenacity. Grit.

Not too shabby.

 6. Jay Grimes always has a gem at the ready.

7 Spot- On Pilates Quotes to Keep you Honest

It's one of my favorites, really and it's always delivered in a silky-soft soothing voice while you sweat it out doing no less than the Twist with One Arm on the Reformer – ALL of it mind you.

 7. Romana quoting Joe Pilates. This one's a keeper.

Pilates is hard, yo. And full of tough love.

What doesn't kill you makes you stronger…yes?

7 Spot-On Pilates Quotes to Keep you Honest

Heard any Spot-On Quotes that really upped your game?

Leave a comment below and keep us in the loop. Then go workout. You know you want to.

5 Pressing Reasons to Continue your Pilates Education

5 Pressing Reasons to Continue your Pilates Education

Romana's Pilates Continuing Professional Education Seminar with Cynthia Lochard
Garland Studios, Sherman Oaks, CA


Post-workshop on Saturday afternoon, 5pm-ish…driving south towards I-5 after first procuring a treat for the trip back to San Diego.  It's been nearly 7 hours of Pilates, friends…

Someone needs a cookie.

The left side of my ribs, the weaker, gimpy side, is definitely sore. It's been beaten into submission. Both sides of my back happily fold into the car seat.

Something has happened. Something deliciously good.

Some of it might have happened on the Short Box. Some of it even happened in the Short Box on the Mat.

Without a strap!

And all of it leads to my newest fascination: Where exactly does my head go? I mean: How to Make the Neck a Part of your Spine. Sheesh. That's a topic for many more posts to come…which leads me to Pressing Reason #1:

1. To learn important stuff that's barely on your radar at the moment

We all get feedback in our regular lessons. So we know what works well, our strengths, and also the challenges we have.

For now. But our journey includes change.

Pilates is hard and challenging because it works. It changes our bodies, our minds, even our lives. Change is never easy. Last year I changed all of my bank accounts to another financial institution and unexpectedly discovered how visceral was my attachment to Bank of America. Bank of America??!! So imagine how long it will take to consider my neck a part of my spine…with which I undoubtedly have a deeper relationship. Sigh. As we change and progress there is always more to be had.

2. To remember what it's like to be a student

We sometimes find ourselves with a new client whose impatience is palpable. They want it all now. Perfect physique. Free of any issues they have. They want to be killed by you. Immediately. In an hour. Soon they will understand more and realize they actually do not want to be killed and indeed that their Rome will not be built in a day. How many years have they been in their current iteration?

5 Pressing Reasons to Continue your Pilates Education

Thanks Joe.

‘Keeping faith with yourself.' I love the sound of that. I have to admit there are times… I am swayed…

We must become students again to serve our clients in the best possible manner. If only to remind ourselves – “Hey, this stuff is hard…” and foster some renewed empathy and compassion. A client of mine recently remarked “So when you workout, everything is easy for you, huh?”


5 Pressing Reasons to Continue your Pilates Education

3. To gain new insight about the old favorites

The Hundred. Stomach Massage Series. The Elephant. The Short Box. These “beloved” exercises have been with us since our very first lesson. How exciting to feel them change as our bodies change. How helpful for our teaching to find a new gem of information about exercises we teach every day. 

Progress can be measured so tangibly as we do our familiar exercises. Maybe today will be the day you achieve the most beautiful Elephant ever. Pilates is exciting. What will you learn today?

It's no secret that I am a great lover of all things Short Box. Cynthia had a fantastic piece of information that was a fun combination of ideas I currently work on plus the genius of Joe Pilates (love that) plus new way to view the exercises I have been doing for over a decade. It was a wonderful moment of clarity. I may even learn to Side bend more properly, or at the very least I have a new plan.

4. To remember the exercises you've completely forgotten about

Semi-circle on the Wunda Chair anyone? This time I figured out why and when I might teach it to a client. Wunderbar!

5 Pressing Reasons to Continue your Pilates Education

Also part of this Pressing Reason is #4B To try those fancy, scary exercises you've never done before.

The Headstands. The Backbends. Gondola. Control Balance Stepping Off…and getting back on again. If it scares you then Continuing Education is a perfect opportunity to learn the exercise with expert guidance. Seize the moment to work on exercises that are beyond the scope of the training program.

5. To connect with colleagues and see new and familiar faces. I am a big fan of the group lunch as well.

Arizona. California. Las Vegas. San Francisco. New York. It was a wonderful diverse group.

Thanks Trish, it was a great event.

5 Pressing Reasons to Continue your Pilates Education

Bonus #6! Up Your Game

I relish the times to reinvigorate my education. Teaching long hours for months at a time creates in me a real longing to be a student again. When will it be time to focus fully on myself and find new and deeper elements in my Pilates workout?

The value of education to motivate and re-inspire cannot be underestimated.

My colleagues and I remember back in the day when we would workout and make great preparations for an upcoming Continuing Education Seminar with Romana. We pushed and willed ourselves into top form in hope that our greater strength and aptitude would inspire Romana to take us to the next level and introduce further challenges into our repertoire. Romana could then take us deeper into our understanding, our proficiency and beyond.

Find Upcoming Continuing Education opportunities:

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