My First Pilates Mat Class with Rael Isacowitz
An Interview with Jonas Letieri
Jonas Leiteri is a 33 years old competitive Stand Up Paddle Boarding phenom. He hails from Brazil but now calls Southern California his home with his wife. Jonas also happens to be a double amputee. His story of strength and triumph is so inspiring that Rael personally invited Jonas to attend the Art of Life and Movement Retreat as a guest this past June. Jonas shared his journey with the retreat attendees and he was introduced to Pilates for the first time. Jonas shares his experience at the retreat in the interview below.
BASI Pilates - How did you connect with Rael Isacowitz?
Jonas Letieri - When Rael, and Mereille have invited me to be with them at the Art of Life and Movement Retreat, I said yes right away. I've heard of Pilates before and how healthy it is for your body and mind, and always wanted to know more about it. Learning from one of the best in the whole world was the best way to be introduced to Pilates.
BP - Was this your first Pilates Mat Class at the Art of Life and Movement Retreat?
JL - I had my first Pilates class at the Art of Life and Movement Retreat. It was amazing, real incredible, I was able to see how Pilates is important for our body, mind, and soul. I was amazed to see how I need it in my life.
BP - What did you think about the class?
JL - The class was amazing, real awesome, all the moves and positions felt so good. I felt like my body was being set free, unlocking each part of my body.
BP - What did you find most challenging about the class?
JL - It was hard to do some positions, I realized that my body awareness wasn't ready.
BP - What made you fall in love with Stand Up Paddle Boarding?
JL - In 2011 an accident almost killed me. During a volunteering job at a church, I got electrocuted, 13.800 volts burned my hands and they were amputated. I found on Stand Up Paddle Boarding a way to keep surfing, which I love the most. I just want to be in the ocean again, but God's plans were bigger than that, I started competing and eventually became a professional athlete.
BP - What type of cross training do you do?
JL - I go to the gym and also like to swim, run and cycling.
BP - What are a few other hobbies or sports you enjoy?
JL - Skateboarding, Snowboarding, Free Diving, Jiu-Jitsu.
Take a peek into Jonas' world of Stand Up Paddle Boarding