Posted on 28-2-2023 by Mad Dogg Athletics
My journey from a sporty school girl, computer engineer, neuroscientist, business consultant to Peak Pilates® and Wellbeing teacher.
Hi, my name is Ivana Despotovic Jelaca. I am a passionate neuroscientist with a PhD in biomedical engineering/computer science, business consultant and most importantly Peak Pilates® Master Instructor!
I love sports and exercise. Since early childhood and elementary school, I have trained gymnastics, swimming and basketball. I trained hard and competed nationally and internationally until I was in high school. Then I fell in love with group fitness classes and discovered Pilates when I was 16. A year later, I started organizing my own group fitness and Pilates inspired classes at a local school. Since then, I have never stopped teaching, and I have always been hungry to learn more about fitness, Pilates, health and wellbeing. I always like to say that Pilates and exercise helped me achieve my highest educational qualifications and become a confident and strong person.
Why did I choose Peak Pilates® for my certification?
During my doctoral training in Belgium, I had a bicycle accident and severely injured my knee. Pilates saved me and helped me recover from this injury. In 2016, I decided to enroll in the Peak Pilates® Comprehensive education and immediately fell in love with it. I was very impressed with the professionalism, the education materials, and the approach to how you teach, not just what you teach. What I learned exceeded my expectations, and as a fitness instructor with many years of experience, I was blown away by the classic Pilates method. I wanted to see it through to the end and in 2019, I began my journey as a Peak Pilates® Master Instructor.
What do I love about Pilates?
Pilates feels amazing and is more than just a workout! It is a wonderful method that can positively impact your health and change your lifestyle. I would highlight 3 main reasons why I love Pilates. Pilates makes you stronger! It shapes and strengthens your body, but it also frees your mind and gives you energy and inner serenity through controlled, flowing and mindful movements.You also learn how to breathe, maintain good posture and align your body properly, which in turn boosts your confidence. Pilates trains your brain! It teaches you to live in the moment, listen to your body, be more creative, find your inner balance, grow beyond your expectations and become a better version of yourself. Through controlled body movements, we build stronger connections in our brain and train both the right and left hemispheres. This is extremely helpful in stressful situations as our minds are able to come up with inventive solutions to deal with challenges. Pilates is suitable for everyone! With carefully selected exercises, using necessary modifications or building blocks, anyone can do Pilates, regardless of age or physical condition.
What is your mission as a Peak Pilates® Master Instructor?
I am very grateful to be a Peak Pilates® Master Instructor and to help others grow and become great Pilates teachers. My mission is to pass on my passion for Pilates and mindful movement to others who want to improve their health and wellbeing, and to pass that knowledge on to others as well.
My responsibility is to be a good mentor and a role model.