Staff Spotlight: Susan Clavijo

Posted on Monday, 17 October 2022

Meet Susan, she’s been in the fitness industry for over 30 years and has been teaching Pilates exclusively for 19 years, so you know you’re in good hands.

Tell us about your role at C-Life and what is your favourite part of your job?
I am a Pilates Certified Mat Instructor and a STOTT certified Reformer Instructor. I teach group classes specifically designed to give everyone a total body workout. I offer modifications for beginners and set challenges for my more experienced participants. I love to make each class different by creating new flows, introducing props and so on. I also host workshops and master classes which are always fun.

How did you get into the health and fitness industry?
I have loved sport from my childhood and have tried all sorts of sporting activities. When I discovered Aerobics at school I knew I was destined to become a fitness instructor; using music and movement to create a healthy and fit body. I received my very first Fitness Leader Certification in 1989 and have been studying constantly since to further my education.

What motivates you to be fit?
Understanding my body and being able to move with ease in everyday tasks. Feeling strong and having energy to sustain myself for the future.

How do you like to spend your time outside of work?
I love spending time with my family – whether it’s going to the movies, dinner or heading to the mountains or beach.

What’s your favourite post-workout meal?
My fruit smoothie is so refreshing after a workout. Here are the ingredients: blueberries, strawberries, dates , banana, chia seeds , honey, kefir milk and almond milk.

What’s the secret to your abs?
It’s no secret…IT’S PILATES!

What’s your favourite pilates exercise?
That’s a really hard question to answer as it changes every day. I love all the exercises as they are beneficial but my favourite would have to be the Pilates hundred.

What advice can you give to those who just started pilates?
Be patient. Take your time to learn the 6 principles of Pilates (ask your instructor to explain them), learn the foundation exercises and go slowly.
Breathing in the Pilates style can be confusing so don’t overthink it, just focus on good form and technique then the breath will come naturally with the exercises.
Be consistent and practice regularly to create muscle memory.
Just enjoy the Pilates journey and move at your own pace in every class.

What made you decide to be a Pilates instructor?
I was teaching 10 to 20 high energy classes per week for many years and  I knew I could not sustain that pace forever. I decided to try Pilates and absolutely fell in love with the mindfulness and awareness it brought to my body.

My body actually transformed during my Pilates journey. I noticed my posture improved, I had more musculature and more energy plus my sleep improved. I knew then that I will teach this exercise method to help people improve their quality of life.