Check our newest interview with Celebrity Pilates trainer Amy Jordan, who in 2011 launched WundaBar Pilates, the revolutionary addiction-driving studios taking Southern California, and now New York City, by storm. With fan celebrities like Vanessa Hudgens, Ashley Tisdale, Colin Farrell to name a few, you can imagine the success of WundaBar and Amy.
Amy leads her team not only with an expertise in anatomy and biomechanics, but also as an entertainment marketing pro, Amy ran global campaigns for Marvel Entertainment, Universal Studios, Fox, Sony and DreamWorks. Amy and her husband, Vahe, enjoy their sunshine-soaked life in Los Angeles with their beautiful son and daughter.
Tell us about yourself?
First and foremost, I am a mother. The sun rises and sets on my 2 year old baby girl and 4 year old boy. (affectionately referred to as #theoriginalwundababy and #theoriginalwundababypartdeux) I roll with my kids just about everywhere – literally from the factory floor making WundaFormers to studio openings and everything in between! I am a wife and lover of movement, which drives my desire to share the benefits of movement with as many people as I can via WundaBar Pilates!
Who has been the biggest influence on your life?
My Mom. I know, I know, everyone says that but it’s the God’s honest truth. My Mom passed away this year and her love and influence remains strong every single day. Her humor and welcoming, warm spirit were second to none. A few examples, I post every Monday with the hash tag #ilovemondays. This was one of my Mom’s outlook — “Mondays are 1/7th of your life, why would you choose to hate them???” She even wore a gold pin on her dress every Monday that said “I heart Mondays”. My other favorite life perspective my Mom gave me is this — “Everyone is wearing an invisible sign that says ‘I’m special too, please treat me this way.'” It is an important and guiding principle in my life to love everyone where they are at, every day.
What led you to become a Celebrity Pilates trainer?
My aim was never to train celebrities – my background as an entertainment exec makes me largely immune to getting giggly over a celebrity (although I think I’ll turn into a puddle when I get to meet Oprah…). The celebrities we work with at WundaBar Pilates found us via their own journey in health and wellness and love what we do for their physqiue — always with an inside out approach. It’s easy to focus on the outside, what resonates with our clients – celebrities or otherwise – is that the intention of every movement is deep, making the results in mind and body absolutely profound.
I was wrapping up a difficult divorce and started taking Pilates in 2006. I found that one hour to be incredibly healing and head clearing every time. So, getting bitten by the ‘Pilates Bug’ is exactly how I got my start in this rewarding and dynamic work. Not being one to wallow, I felt a passionate desire to open a studio in order to share Pilates with my home town. One studio with reformers wasn’t achieving exactly what I wanted to share so I literally sketched our patented WundaFormer on an airplane and within one year had our first WundaBar Pilates studio open for business. It’s been a wild and crazy (and sometimes bumpy!) path, especially as that year coincided with the pregnancy and birth of my son(!) but it’s an intrinsic and fulfilling choice I made to create my own path sharing positivity and health with as many as I possibly can!
What do you think is the most rewarding part of your profession?
I’ll give you an example – every day clients walk into the studio after a difficult day or with a lot of stress on their plates. Their shoulders are slouched, their gaze is down and you can “see” the weight of life on their shoulders. Cut to 45 minutes later — every single person is standing tall, feeling accomplished and strong, often with a better understanding of their own body’s function AND with a recharged energy to take life on with resolution. That enthusiasm and true strength is an incredible gift to share. The other business of a narrow waistline and sculpted arms is the cherry on top!
What is the biggest highlight of your career?
Which career…you’ll have to narrow it down! As a woman who’s reinvented her professional path from entertainment executive to Pilates mogul (haha…can I say that?!) there are dozens upon dozens of highlights. What first comes to mind are the incredible relationships built in both careers. The people I’ve worked with are some of the dearest people to my heart and I appreciate their presence in my professional and then personal life. As far as tangible accomplishments, I was very proud to earn a Key Art Award for my work on Schindler’s List as well as sharing fun and joy with children around the world working on films and product lines from Spider-Man to Curious George! In the Pilates arena, my goal has been to launch in NYC since I opened our flagship studio in LA in 2012 — and as of January 2016, we’ve done it!!
What kind of training routine do you follow?
WundaBar, WundaBar, WundaBar. I literally do not exercise other than taking class or working myself out after hours at the studio. Unless of course you count chasing my 2 year old and 4 (and a half) year old! He’ll want to make sure I include the “half” in there.
Do you follow any diet?
I’ll tell you what. When I was 16 years old at my house we got to choose one food we’d never have to eat again. I chose hamburgers! And my parents graciously let me extrapolate that to meat in general. I currently eat a pesca-vegan diet: vegan except for fish. I also avoid gluten. I’ve found that I feel better eating foods that work for my system but don’t expect or advise anyone to mimic my choices exactly. It’s important to investigate what works for you and your body — I have done some “testing” in the past by eliminating certain foods and then working them back in to see if my body reacts well or not. I now know if I’m going to have a few bites of sourdough bread at dinner (OMG, yum) I’ll have a bit of a belly ache but gosh darnit sometimes it’s just worth it! 🙂
What is your favorite healthy food?
WUNDASHAKE!! I start every single day with a WundaShake. My own concoction of vegan protein powder, veggies, fruit, homemade almond milk and raw cacao because who doesn’t love chocolate. If I tell you this please don’t ever alert my children to the fact this is not, in fact, a chocolate shake. So far they’re buying it!!
And your favorite cheat food?
Champagne. And a sweet bite like vegan chocolate chips. But mostly a little sip of champers!
Tell us about your company WundaBar?
Simply put, WundaBar is Pilates, Reinvented. We initiate all movement from the inside out — literally starting with our bones to deliver results and target muscles you didn’t even know you have! My aim is to improve every WundaBody’s experience in their own skin. Do they look amazing on the outside? You bet, but the intention and impetus for everything we do is about the INSIDE. Feeling good, improving function and strength – the results we see on the outside are just gravy to how we feel on the inside!
What we can find there that is different from other places?
I could go on and on but let’s focus on two main distinctions:
Our patented WundaFormer! Nowhere else can you get this Swiss Army Knife of Pilates machines. It incorporates a Reformer, Wunda Chair, Jump Board and Ballet Bar into one easily changeable machine for quick in-class transitions. This allows for zero down time between exercises and the results from the proprietary combination these incredible apparatuses that you can’t get in any other studio!
Can you name some celebrities that you work with?
WundaBar Pilates is adored by celebrities and world-class athletes alike! The short list includes: Vanessa Hudgens, Ashley Tisdale, Colin Farrell, Tia Mowry, Austin Butler, Steve Kazee, Susan Sarandon and World Bench Press Champion Narbe Mansourian.
What’s next for Amy Jordan?
WundaBar Pilates is coming to NYC! We open our 9th studio in SoHo (21 Thompson St) on January 2, 2016! We’re so jazzed to share WundaBar with the East Coast and one of my favorite cities in the world!!
Do you support any charity?
Indeed! Right now we work closely with the Robin Hood Foundation in NYC – all of our first class sales are direct donations to the Robin Hood Foundation.
3 things you can’t leave home without?
iPhone. Lip gloss. Booty shorts. (just in case I get a few unexpected moments to Wunda!)
Describe yourself in 3 words?
Mother. Lover. Mover.
What do you think of Social Media?
It provides an amazing platform to connect with folks you might otherwise fall out of contact with. It’s dark side is the ability for people to not only become consumed with it, but for women in particular to compare themselves to others based on polished and filtered snapshots of life rather than keeping the honest perspective of us all being in this great big life together.
Where can we follow you?
Favorite Song: Impossible question! I sing You Are My Sunshine to my children multiple times every day! 🙂 I know it’s a throw back but In studio I always love when Starry Eyed Surprise by Paul Oakenfold comes on…
Favorite Travel destination: Tropical beaches off the beaten path. Barbados comes pretty close to topping the list! Mexico is close and fabulous for Angelenos to get to – always avoid the touristy spots and head for beautiful shores and private houses with your best friends!
Favorite Restaurant: Local fave is hidden gem Iroha Sushi on Ventura Blvd. LA fave is A.O.C. in West Hollywood
Favorite Quote: My current fave is “The evil trick about perfection is that it disguises itself as virtue.” – Elizabeth Gilbert. I’m reading her book Big Magic and working on allowing imperfection in life to be ok!!
Favorite Book: The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett, Close second is Emma by Jane Austen
Favorite Movie: Grease (is the word, is the word, is the word…)