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Ana Caban's Story: A Dancer's Evolution Into Pilates
A passionate student of ballet from a very early age, Ana was a professional dancer until a back injury shortened her career. While Ana made ends meet by working as a teacher, her chiropractor “fixed” her on a regular basis. Then he recommended Pilates. After practicing only a short time, Ana was amazed at how Pilates relieved the pain and gave her back her mobility. She put two and two together and moved to New York for Pilates teacher training.
In 1998 Ana opened her own studio in Miami, and soon afterward moved to L.A. to create several award-winning Pilates DVDs for Gaiam and teach at Pilates studios there. Wanting to reach out and support the community, she volunteered to help runaway teens and did puppet shows and children's stories at the L.A. Public Library.Meanwhile she was building a remarkably loyal client and fan base; the letters we receive at Gaiam about Ana are some of the most enthusiastic we've seen:
"Ana Caban is my favorite instructor!!! She is real! She makes you believe that it is achievable, and you do not get bored," says one devotee.
"She has a very motivating style and is a big reason I enjoy Pilates so much," says Jennifer Thomas.
And another fan comments, "Ana uses a very professional and motivating style in her instruction. It does not become boring or irritating viewing her DVD every day. She is a delight to workout to! She encourages her audience and makes me feel like I am doing a great job! "
Ana believes that your body should be among your most prized gifts. “Your body is a very scientific machine,” Ana says. “It sends you signals through pain. People often ignore the signs their bodies send them until they have a major problem. Pilates teaches you to listen to your body.
“It's very mind-body connected,” she adds. “You have to 'be there.' Pilates is a great escape, because people must be so present mentally that they have to let go of whatever their minds are holding onto.”
Ana recently returned to Miami to live and teach. She's continued adding to her DVD series with Gaiam and is feeding a long-held interest in her Latino heritage, pursuing new ideas on how she can give back by positively impacting the lives of Latino Americans.