Meet the Mentor: Sally Anderson


Get to know Pilates ITC Founder, the original Mentor and education legacy, Sally Anderson.

Sally is well known internationally as a leading expert in the Pilates Method and for Pilates industry development. A regular presenter on the global online platform Pilates Anytime, Sally has presented extensively for the Pilates Method Alliance conferences, Pilates Alliance Australasia, Mind Your Body events, Pilates ITC, and been featured in Pilates Style magazine. 

Since commencing the Pilates Method in the late 1980’s with master teacher and mentor Rael Isacowitz, Sally trained and delivered Pilates specialist education extensively in all continents of the world for Body Arts & Science program (BASI), before returning to Australia and establishing the Pilates International organization, including PilatesInt Studios and PilatesITC, Pilates International Training Centre.

Sally travels extensively to deliver not only the formal qualifications, but also to deliver continuing education to Pilates professionals in the USA, Asia Pacific and Australia, and to consult widely on the future development of the Pilates industry both nationally and internationally. 

My top teaching tip is to enjoy the ride.

1. What is your go to or favourite Pilates movement or series?

My absolute essential and most-loved series is the Bridging (Pelvic Curls) and all the variations that go with that. For me Bridging gives endless information about the body for ongoing assessment purposes, but also provides release, activation, strengthening – from the very first repetition.

Being able to put that exercise onto all apparatus for different effects, and to incorporate a myriad of variations for even more outcomes and to address special conditions makes it my favourite and essential exercise that I think should be done every day (and yes I do) for ever and ever.

2. When was the moment you knew you found your calling in the Pilates Method?

I don’t know if I ever had a found-my-calling “moment”, but there are two instrumental times I recall as pivotal.

The first was my initial session in the late 1980’s with Rael Isacowitz in his tiny studio on campus at McDonald College in Sydney.

The outcome of that session was a complete awakening of every fibre of my body and brain, and I was hooked. The second pivotal memory that is more than a ‘moment’ is the complete feeling that I couldn’t continue to offer private teacher training that didn’t provide a formal recognition outcome.

This led me to develop the government accreditation of Pilates courses and to register the world’s first Pilates specialist RTO – the organisation that is now Pilates ITC and delivering formal qualifications to so many thousands of teachers every year.

I am a proud founder and continued supporter of Pilates ITC – all from that pivotal time of feeling a deep need to create professional recognition and pathways.

3. Mindfulness is an important part of Pilates. What’s something you do outside of Pilates to keep mindful?

My daily Pilates practice is one of my mindfulness activities. I strongly believe in ‘practicing’ and using that time to be in your body, to think about how blood, oxygen and circulation of both reach all parts of your body. Even short bursts make a big difference.

I also find going for a “shuffle” or going to the beach a mind clearing joy. A ‘shuffle’ for me is a combination of jogging (slow and shuffly;) with spurts of walking. It may not be pretty, but it gets my heart pumping, my endorphins up, clears the mind, and let’s me think clearly.

It’s my meditative process and also when I come up with my best ideas!! And anything to do with salt water, the beach, salty swimming is restorative and rejuvenating for me. Love me some ocean time!

4. What does a day in the life of Sally Anderson look like?

My days are same same but also always different. Consistently lots of computer work that I have to balance out constantly with movement and getting up from being in a sitting position.

But also meetings, filming workshops and planning filming storyboards. Every week I have a zoom with someone wonderful from the US that I’m working with – now that we can’t actually travel to be there at least we can zoom.

I’m also currently looking for new premises and seeing lots of potential premises for new sites, and I still teach a range of wonderful clients every week.

5. What's your top Teaching Tip?

My top teaching tip is to enjoy the ride. Also, long shifts can get tiring and dehydrating, so make sure at the start of your shift you are set up with water, and hopefully a vegetable juice or smoothie as well.

We talk constantly when teaching and it’s more dehydrating than we realise, so I find having nutrient dense juices (not sugary so skip the fruit juices) and hydration options are of huge benefit to keeping cognitive functions primed and energy up.

You’ll finish up your shifts feeling way less knackered if you do this.