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Palm Coast Thursday, Jun. 8, 2017 3 years ago

Palm Coast woman who studied under creator of Pilates continues to teach at 82 years old

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Fitness One Pilates instructor Anna Shaffer studied the exercise with Joseph Pilates, after whom it was named.
by: Paige Wilson Community Editor

Songs from “The Nutcracker” play as Anna Shaffer counts positions out loud to the dozen students in her Pilates class at Fitness One in Flagler Beach.

Shaffer has been doing Pilates for 66 years, and at age 82, she’s not slowing down yet. After spending 16 years training with the creator of this fitness method, Joseph Pilates, Shaffer started instructing the art to others.

“At 16, I walked into [Joseph Pilates’] studio, and he said ‘I will change your life, and you will live my way of life,’ and I have ever since,” Shaffer said.

Shaffer is an inspiration to many in her classes. Angela Camit, 59, has been taking Shaffer’s class for three years and praises this exercise for improving her balance and mobility.

Angela Camit, 59, (left) and Ursula Pfeil, 74, (right) take part in the Pilates barre class. Photo by Paige Wilson

“She’s my role model,” Camit said. “She has done this all her life, and the way she moves is fantastic for her age.”

Though Shaffer occasionally gets an ache or pain, she credits Pilates as the cause for her impressive agility even at her age.

Shaffer said she developed osteoporosis about 25 years ago and stopped teaching for 10 years. She said she didn’t take any medication, but instead used Pilates as her healing method. When Shaffer started teaching again, she said her doctor was amazed.

“I’m one of the remaining people who actually studied with Joseph Pilates to be a teacher,” she said. “So I feel it’s very important to get the authentic viewpoint and style and reason for his teaching. And that keeps me going as well.”

Shaffer has been an instructor at Fitness One for 10 years, and she developed the Pilates barre class there, in addition to a Pilates chair class for seniors who can’t get down on a mat to do the stretches. For more information on her classes, visit www.fitnessoneinc.com. The class meets at Studio Fit 1 at 2517 Moody Blvd., Flagler Beach.

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