Teacher of Teachers Sets Up Pilates Shop at Philosofit in East Hampton

Philosofit Pilates Director Susan Moran Sheehy works with a member during a session in the new studio earlier this month. Michael Heller photo

 The energy you feel is my passion. I’m a holistic soul and I came back with a life mission to bring peace to the world through Pilates.” – Susan Moran Sheehy

When Ari Weller decided to expand his business, he knew he would need additional space. To find it, he would not need to look far. And to help launch his Pilates and Gyrotonic Loft — located directly above his six-year old training facility on Lumber Lane in East Hampton — he knew exactly who to call.

“We’re delighted to welcome Susan Moran Sheehy as the Director of the Philosofit Classical Pilates program,” Weller wrote in a letter online at philosofit.com.

During the week prior to the loft’s opening on March 9, Weller called himself “lucky” to have Sheehy, who was an owner of Power Pilates in New York City, on board at his studio.

“Susan is one of the premier Pilates teachers in country,” Weller said. “She has certified over 12,000 Pilates teachers, including me.”

Sheehy, 53, began studying Pilates when she was 19 and worked with Romana Kryzanowska, a disciple of Joseph Pilates, who developed the art of controlled movements designed to improve flexibility, strength and endurance. As it turned out, a more complete Pilates studio made so much sense to Weller, whose core principle is to build solid bases for movement in his clients.

“When he called me to do this project, I thought I would be more of a consultant,” Sheehy said prior to her first class earlier this month. “When I saw the space and felt the vibe, I thought it was a project I could not pass up. I really enjoy working with Ari, so to have an opportunity to work with him was something I couldn’t pass by.”

The new loft, which replaced a yoga studio and is now filled with specialized equipment, will feature Classical Pilates and Pilates Mat classes, as well as Gyrotonic and Gyrokinesis programs, in private, semi-private and group sessions. To help introduce new customers, Weller is offering a three-pack of Pilates Tower group classes for $135, or a 10-pack for $470, which Weller said compares favorably to the traditional cost of $150 for a single private Pilates session.

Sheehy, for one, is completely on board with the group mentality.

“My reason to want to do this is touch as many people as I can,” she said. “I learned Pilates in a group environment. That’s the way I learned it, and that’s the way I’ve been teaching it. There’s a healthy competition that is needed. If you have someone on the mat next to you that is pushing a little harder, that’s a good thing. I love that dynamic of a community.”