Girl of the Month: Meet Emily Bench-Lahrssen

 Emily Bench-Lahrssen is a full-time Pilates teacher and the founder and owner of Pilathon, a boutique pilates studio. Her insatiable curiosity and passion for learning new things about the human body, health, nature, and the environment led her to leave her career as a dentist and embark on a new journey as a full-time pilates teacher and entrepreneur. Bench describes herself as a "hard worker and over achiever" which shows in her dedication when working with her students and in the way she runs her business with the help of her husband, Guille.
Straight forward, detailed oriented, and sincere are only some of the qualities of our girl of the month of December. We wanted to close the year with a bang and we couldn't think of anyone better than Emily Bench-Lahrssen. Or should we say decade? Peace out 2019. You were amazing!

How did you get started with your career?
I was inspired by my then Pilates teacher,  dear friend Jeannine Bergman owner and founder of Pilates One. She was the one who saw a Pilates teacher in me… After noticing how much I was struggling with the decision of carrying on with my former career ( I was a dentist) she suggested me to do a Pilates certification. I remember her words: "Em, you know the human body, you love people and talk to everyone, and know the moves…” and that’s how all began… My husband gifted me my favorite Pilates book - Pilates Anatomy by Rael Isacowitz- just for me to check it out after noticing me flirting with the idea and WOW! I fell in LOVE with the whole method, the intelligence of it, its benefits. So you could say J and Guille are kind of responsible of my Pilates path. 
Describe a day in your life.
Life is good! I have happy days… I'm an early riser since I was a kid. I like the sounds of the morning and the energy of the morning sun. As soon as I open my eyes I go into child pose for 5-10 minutes and then I head over to the living room for another 10-15 minutes of meditation. Breakfast is my favorite meal. I regularly have a vegetables smoothie or lately a veggie warm soup and ALWAYS since I was born a cup of tea with honey and a dash of milk (nut milk since 2010). Then I go to Pilathon to teach private or group Pilates sessions. I practice Pilates or yoga between clients or very early before leaving home. I get to be surrounded all day with wonderful energy. People that come to us excited with the certainty of knowing they will feel even better afterwards. It is a great great job!
At noon I normally go home to have lunch with my husband, Guille. We respect lunch time and we like to set up our table and eat it together at home. I also like to escape to yoga studios that offer noon classes before going home for lunch. I teach in the afternoon too or work on the computer, read and correct homework from our teacher trainer students. Once or twice a month I teach a beautiful Pilates and healthy lifestyle teacher training designed by Pilathon teachers. This, although very time consuming is one of the best and most rewarding parts of my career.
At night, I watch Netflix with my husband or I read a book… when the weather permits we like to take walks around our neighborhood and talk and dream about the future… 

Tell us about your journey from dentist to pilates teacher and entrepreneur.
I knew I didn’t want to spend my whole life seated in a dental office. I loved studying dentistry, but didn’t enjoy the social aspect and the routine of it. People come to you scared and not really wanting to be there and besides, you cannot engage in a real conversation with your patients. I did enjoy the health part and teaching my patients how to care for their dental health. After long hours of seeing patients at night I had neck discomfort and someone suggested I tried Pilates… long story short, I fell in love with it. I then moved to Miami, and was inspired by my Pilates teacher J. Bergman. Did my certification with Polestar Pilates where I met my Pilates and body-movement mentor Dr. Anna K. Tishenko (I owe her my keen eyes and the way I look at bodies nowadays). I understood that my passion was to teach health and give people the responsibility of taking care of their own health, so I decided, with the support and encouragement of friends and family—to open Pilathon.  

What inspired you to start your own business?

Miami athletes! As a Pilates teacher one thing we notice a lot is people’s posture. Running around key Biscayne, near where I used to live years ago, I would worry about runners and cyclist’s form (if only some of them knew how much Pilates they need in their lives. I opened Pilathon with my dear friend and colleague (also a former dentist) Juan L. Pichardo, with the idea of attracting athletes and teaching them good form, balance their bodies and move their spines. 
Please tell us about pilathon. Pilathon is unique! It has a certain vibe that attracts only good-hearted people. It’s bright, light, and we are super welcoming. People love that! We make sure your visit is an experience rather than just a Pilates class. We care about our clients whom we call students, because they come to learn about their own bodies and its wonders. We are a Pilates studio, but we teach people how to take their Pilates home and how to incorporate it into their daily life. We share our knowledge about healthy foods, healthy habits, and meditatio.  At Pilathon we work from the inside out!


Where are you from and how long have you lived in Miami?
I was born and raised in Venezuela by a Venezuelan mom and an English dad. My personality is a perfect mix of two adorable cultures!  I have lived in Miami for 10 years. 
Last thing you cooked?
Roasted parsnips, sweet potatoes, carrots and green chickpeas with farro soup. Uff! Delicious I inherited my moms cooking skills. 
Can’t leave the house without?
Earrings - I feel naked without them-
Best way to decompress at home.
Watching the sunset on my hammock with a cup of tea. (or making love…but I don’t know if its TMI hahaha)
Currently reading. 
“La gravedad no tiene culpa”/ Carlos A. Fernandez E.  and “The Vital Glutes. Connecting the gait cycle to pain and discomfort” / John Gibbons 


How do you usually start your mornings?
With mindful meditation / gentle body movement / green smoothie and a cup of tea. 
What is the first thing you thought of this morning?
This bed it’s so freaking comfy and MiYI smells so good. (Miyi is how I call my hubby)
What is your go-to fitness routine or regimen?
Pilates everyday. At least 15 minutes (I rather move a lil’ everyday than 60 minutes twice a week) I applied my Pilates when driving, when cooking, when brushing my teeth… Also I like to strengthen and stretch my feet and hands a lot. 
Where do you work out/practice and why do you go there?
At home, Pilathon, SOL yoga.
What is your approach to nutrition?
Only good quality foods mostly plants, nuts and seeds enter my body. I am a “QUALITARIAN”. I don’t restrict myself from foods I like and enjoy. I must say no to potato chips—they are my cheat food. 
What are your lifestyle “must-do’s” and your absolute “no ways”?
I move my spine in every direction everyday! Stay happy and smile to everyone you encounter.  Take time to meditate and take that time for myself. I massage my feet regularly. Stay curious— read, learn, be open minded. 
No way: Wearing high heels daily. Using chemicals products in the bathroom or anywhere at home. PLASTIC IS NOT OK. (plastic the evil biopolymer and plastic people) Stay away from users and people that don’t appreciate you.
What is your relationship to food?
I LOVE FOOD! Good vibrant quality food! I have always had a good relationship with it. Growing up I was always in the kitchen with my mom. I would go to the groceries with her—I smelled, touched, and even tasted different foods all the time. Sharing a meal should be an enjoyable and memorable experience. 

Best beauty tip you ever received.
Less is more. Wash your hair twice or three times a week with a natural organic product (we don’t need the shampoo, conditioner, repair cream, the moisturizing… as soon as we accept ourselves and we LOVE who we are at our core, our body cells will recognize that love and respond with love.
What’s a beauty secret you want to share with us.
Eat your GREENS! Lots of greens… it shows in your hair and skin. 
What’s your philosophy about beauty.
Beautiful people smile from the soul; and WE smile often!

Favorite app.
Pocket Anatomy 3D
Favorite social-media platform.
Last google search.
ON shoes for my hubby 
Person you text the most.
Alexandra, my best friend. 

What’s your favorite city in the world.
Where do you want to travel next.
Holbox Island. 
Last trip you took.
Monterey, California.
What words do you live by.
Be who you are and say what you feel, because those who mind don't matter and those who matter don't mind. Dr. Seuss
If you could offer advice to your 18 year old self, what would it be? 
It’s all good! You are on the right tract… keep going!
What’s the secret to a healthy relationship/marriage?
No secret, it’s an everyday commitment. Just Don’t Stop the Love!


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