My name is Anastasiya Gerets and I'm legally blind. I grew up in Ukraine, but am now an American citizen. When I was 4, I lost my vision after an unsuccessful jump during ballet class. I injured my neck and was later diagnosed with Visual Nerve Atrophy. My dream to become a dancer never came true.
Because of this neck injury, I would often lose my balance and suffer injuries. My family couldn't afford chiropractors appointments, but it was important to find a way to increase my muscle strength and improve my balance. My range of physical activities was very limited.
Growing up, I discovered Pilates. I had many instructors, but my life changed after only a few classes with Kristen Sullivan at Body Balance Institute. She was able to teach me, even though I couldn't see her well or even understand English. Her Pilates class improved my muscle balance; it made my body strong, flexible and my posture beautiful. I learned how to concentrate and coordinate my movement in everyday life. Kristen rebuilt my body, made me self-confident and introduced me to a community where physical and mental health is celebrated.
In my country of Ukraine I knew others, like myself, who were having the same problems, so I decided to introduce Pilates to the blind by making it more accessible and affordable. Currently, Kristen Sullivan is helping me to become a great Pilates instructor like herself. I believe that, together, we will put the world into Pilates V!