In her early 40’s, Becky Suarez, founder/owner of Better Bodies Pilates, was plagued by chronic low back pain. In the early days of “googling” “relief for back pain” Becky found a unanimous theme, Pilates. At the time Becky, a Kansas City native, was living in Fairfax, Virginia as a spouse of a career Military serviceman. Luckily Pilates studios were plentiful in the Washington D.C. metro early 2004 era.
THE START OF BETTER BODIES PILATES
Partner Content Better Bodies Pilates, Kansas City
Article by Becky Suarez
Photography by Jason Lehtinen and Becky Suarez
Becky found her first Pilates Instructor, Bonnie Bowers, owner of Bodies by Bonnie who taught Pilates Mat and Reformer classes at a local gym in Fairfax, Virginia. Bonnie also had a full suite of Pilates equipment at her home studio. This is where Becky began to have her “ah ha” moments. As a former schoolteacher and senior sales director for The Pampered Chef, Becky knew that her new subject and new product would be Pilates. It was a no brainer for her.
Supplementing her two mile a day walks with Pilates, just twice a week, Becky felt the back pain relief she had been searching for; no medication, no shots, just movement of her spine and strengthening her core muscles with Pilates exercises. Bonnie was 62 at the time and quickly became Becky’s mentor for aging well. At 43, Becky had found her recipe for aging gracefully and knew that her journey to help others was just starting.
In 2006, Becky returned to the Kansas City area settling in Lee’s Summit, MO with her two daughters then 8 and 16. Fortunately, there was one comprehensive Pilates training site in Overland Park, KS. At the time it was Personal Best Pilates and today is one of Better Bodies Pilates trio of studios. Fortunately, and perhaps unfortunately Comprehensive Pilates Instructor training takes about a year to complete. Instructors learn to teach on all pieces of Pilates equipment, the Reformer, Cadillac, Chairs, Barrels, and props. For Becky, this was followed by a 300-hour supervised apprenticeship.
As soon as Becky completed the program, she started a home studio in her basement. Balancing private clients at home, teaching group equipment classes in Overland Park, KS and teaching Pilates Mat classes at nearby Zen Zone Yoga, Becky knew the demand for Pilates was growing. The time was right to move to an outside location. Along with a former business partner she opened the first studio in 2013, the second in 2014, and purchased previous Personal Best Pilates in 2018.
Becky is thrilled each day as she watches a highly trained group of 16 instructors help body after body each day of the week. The testimonials are endless. From 15 year old dancers to 90 year old Grandparents, to cancer survivors and professional athletes, all bodies are welcome to receive the benefits of the Pilates Method of exercise.