Summer Turner, McKinleyville, California, USA

Summer Turner McKinleyville, California, USA

What originally motivated you to try Pilates?

A good friend of mine made a career change and became a Pilates instructor in the early 2000s. She knew I was an endurance athlete that had suffered a back injury in my early 20s, so she suggested I try Pilates to rehabilitate my lumbar spine. I was hooked right away, and it felt like Pilates was something my body had always known and loved. I purchased several Pilates DVDs to use at home, and took a few classes at the local gym. It wasn’t until 2008 however, when I moved back to my hometown of Santa Barbara, that my real love affair with Pilates began. The same friend was now teaching at CenterPoint Pilates and she strongly encouraged me to take a few Mat classes and private sessions with studio owner, Amy Havens. My first private session was life-changing, to say the least. I started regularly attending evening classes, invested in additional private sessions, and made Pilates a top priority in my life. Now, almost eight years after committing to healing my body, mind, and spirit through Pilates, I practice almost daily. For me, Pilates truly is like "coming home!"

The last thing you bought and loved?

A used pair of El Naturalista leather boots from the thrift store. I wear them all the time. Score!

In one word, describe your first Pilates experience?


Southern Oregon Coast

Your favorite Pilates exercise?

Teaser. It challenges me the most because of my back injury, and I’ve learned to gauge how I’m feeling in my body and lower back by how well I execute this exercise. The same really goes for Hip Circles and Boomerang. They are such a challenge for me, but that may be why they’re my favorite!

Your favorite website (other than Pilates Anytime)?

I don’t have an additional favorite website (other than Pilates Anytime). I subscribe to Pilates Style Magazine, and I eagerly await the day it arrives in my mailbox so I can read it cover to cover! Otherwise, Pilates Anytime is my primary online learning resource.

Your favorite workout clothes?

I seem to purchase a lot of Danskin from Ross or T.J. Maxx, and last year for my birthday my mom purchased some excellent workout pants from JC Penney that I’ve really enjoyed, too.

Summer in her home studio.

How did you hear about Pilates Anytime?

I was fortunate enough to hear about Pilates Anytime when it first originated, because of Amy Havens’ direct involvement. I signed up for the free trial right away and I think I’ve been a member ever since! This past fall, I was invited by Amy to participate in a few classes at the Pilates Anytime studio in Carpinteria, and the experience was one I will definitely not forget! I was fortunate enough to take a Mat class with Brett Howard (we share the same birthday!) and an individual Cadillac class with Amy. Being in the studio was so much fun, even better than Disneyland!

Do you practice a particular style of Pilates?

Just Pilates. I really love learning about the classical style because it is so fun to glean all of that historical knowledge. As understanding of the human body and mindful movement continues to evolve, it is a thrill to just move and challenge myself with the method, in whatever form. Amy Havens, my Pilates mentor, taught me to cultivate body awareness without judgement, so that is always at the forefront of my mind during my practice.

Summer in her home studio.

How do you use Pilates Anytime?

I use it nearly every day for my home practice. I now live in rural northern California and there aren’t a lot of opportunities for workshops or trainings in my geographic area. My amazing and supportive husband, Randy, helped me turn our guest room into a studio. I connect my iPad to a TV, and I take online classes primarily with Amy Havens, Kristi Cooper, Meredith Rogers, Debora Kolwey, and Kevin Bowen. I’ve watched all of the Legacy Project videos that Kristi Cooper put together (check them out, if you haven’t already – they are FABULOUS), and have fallen deeper in love with the method the more I learn. I also utilize a lot of the informative and fun tutorials on the site. I believe Pilates Anytime has given me the opportunity to stay connected, and to be exposed, to a broad community that I would not have access to, otherwise.


Do you have a motto?

Two actually come to mind:

  • "Be here now."
  • "Follow your bliss."
I’ve been anxious and a worrier for most of my life, and have looked to the past or present, instead of being in the ‘now.’ Breathing during Pilates helps keep me centered, focused on the present, and encourages more balance, awareness, and passion in my life.

Mad River Beach, Humboldt County

What do you appreciate most about your body?

I have back, neck, and knee injuries, and I’m often in chronic pain. I simply appreciate that I can move my body, and I move for pain relief. There are activities I refrain from doing (like surfing, running, power hiking, and backpacking) that I used to enjoy; however, Pilates keeps my body fit so I can continue to do other required daily activities like dog walks, gardening, and housework. I’m very thankful I have better body awareness now than before I sustained my injuries. Without a doubt, Pilates is 100% responsible for that!

An indulgence you would never forgo?

Private Pilates sessions.

The book on your bedside table?

Ironically, Pilates Anatomy by Karen S. Clippinger and Rael Isacowitz.

Klamath River

What was your most memorable journey?

Pilates has taught me to slow down and breathe on this journey - life. My modus operandi, up until recently, has been to attack life at warp speed, but this isn’t sustainable, and I’m starting to feel the effects. For the past five and half years, I’ve been looking for answers regarding the chronic pain, profound exhaustion/fatigue, and iron deficiency anemia I’ve been living with. I now put myself first and Pilates gives me permission to do this, and encourages valuable changes within my body and my mind. I want to engage with life for the long haul, and I love being a student of this method, and hope I’m still executing the Teaser 50 years from now. Pilates represents my physical therapy and self-care, and my practice is a wonderful gift to give myself every day. To quote Alycea Ungaro, Pilates is “my total health insurance policy!”

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1 person likes this.
Summer...I am honored to know you, to teach and mentor you, but most of all, to be your friend. You embody this work and it's principles so truthfully. You are an example for many and I am thrilled you are diving deeper----into the realm of teaching this work! There are 100's of lucky recipients just waiting to work with you! So sweet a journey!!

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