How I Sakara: Heather Andersen
Movement, nourishment, and more with the founder of New York Pilates
Heather Andersen is redefining reformer pilates. When she started teaching in 2006, boutique fitness wasn’t yet in its heyday and reformer pilates was reserved for the occasional private or therapeutic session.
After years of teaching and refining her instruction style (including her signature ABS ARMS ASS™️ class), Andersen founded New York Pilates (NYP to those in-the-know) in 2013—a haven of reformer classes ranging from beginner to challenging, all fun and all set to killer playlists. Now, her studios span the Hamptons and downtown NYC, including one around the corner from the Sakara Life HQ (and beloved by many of our team).
We sat down with Andersen for her thoughts on movement, nourishment, music, and more.
On What Makes NYP Unique
“I’d say our dedication to authenticity, quality, and style is where we shine brightest. We guide you to YOUR best body with results you see and feel.”
On Music and Movement
“Brion (my husband and NYP creative director) and I met at Bowery Ballroom. He was drumming for the opener and I was dancing for the headliner. We met backstage and have been together ever since. Music is just so obviously important for experience to us. It moves you like nothing else.
We take the time to update our lists and curate them regularly, playing tracks you’re not going to hear anywhere else. [Our classes] will leave you Shazamming the whole time you’re in the studio. Here’s a playlist just for you, Sakaralites!”
“I love the combination of Sakara’s super clean ingredients, incredible variety in flavors, and the stunning beauty of the food. So many times ‘healthy’ is delivered as beige and uninspiring. With Sakara meals, the colors and combinations are just so beautiful.”
On Pre- and Post-Workout Fuel
“Snacks are my favorite meal category! My go-to’s are low-sugar, high-protein, whole foods, like nuts, seeds, fruit with no added sugar, and ancient grains, like quinoa. Little Sakara hack: Eat the breakfasts as an afternoon treat.”
On Eating Clean and Playing Dirty
“I take Pilates class or bike ride every day, and I eat super clean. But, I also love a beautiful cocktail and dance party.”
On Quick Resets
“I’ll go outside for a walk and a coffee! Standing up, getting the body moving, and breathing fresh air always resets my mood and brings clarity.”
On the Power of Transformation
“I absolutely love seeing peoples’ transformations. Whether it’s students empowered by getting strong (I have countless stories from students who needed to take every modification in class who are now so, so strong and taking all the advancements!) or instructor trainees blossoming into incredible instructors, this is the good stuff. It’s what keeps me going on the hard days.”
On Her Personal Wellness Mantra
“Eat healthy, be present, and prioritize your body.”
On Personal Style
“I would say my style has a lot of juxtaposition. All white or all black. Either all the way utilitarian on a construction site, or remarkably impractical and can only be worn if I’m traveling by car. I love the unexpected, but always with an elegant line or balance of high/low.”
On Words of Wisdom for Pilates—and Life
“Always keep learning and embrace change, it’s the only constant.”