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Exploring Life & Business with Julia Shmurak of Pandora Pilates & Physical Therapy

Today we’d like to introduce you to Julia Shmurak.

Hi Julia, we’re thrilled to have a chance to learn your story today. So, before we get into specifics, maybe you can briefly walk us through how you got to where you are today?
Growing up in a family of doctors and educators, I’ve always been into promoting wellness and health. I graduated with a Doctorate degree in Physical Therapy from the University of Miami in 2010 and worked in the Sports Medicine field for a few years until I discovered and fell in-love with Pilates. I decided to become a certified teacher and use Pilates principals to aid my patients in recovery of their orthopedic injuries. I purchased my first Reformer (the most commonly used Pilates machine) and little by little, I started seeing clients privately at home. When the demand grew, I rented a small room inside of a private gym in Coconut Grove, took a risk and left my stable job at a PT clinic. For several years, I relied solely on word to mouth referrals and my small business grew. When the COVID pandemic started and we all went on lock-down, I finally had the time to plan out my ultimate dream of having a real Physical Therapy / Pilates Studio! I found a beautiful space across from a lovely park in Coral Gables and worked very hard along with my fiancé on making my dream of a healing place come true. Together we painted walls, found, delivered and built equipment. Thankfully when the lockdown ended, my loyal customers stuck around and followed me to my new studio. Since then, I’ve hired and trained wonderful Pilates Teachers and a Massage therapist to make a strong team of professionals and expanded our customer base. At PANDORA, we focus on promoting healing and wellness using Pilates with a hands on therapy approach. Our studio is full of light, life and quality of care. We strive to improve the health of our clients and maintain it.

We all face challenges, but looking back would you describe it as a relatively smooth road?
Right before the Pandemic, I was notified by my landlord at the private gym I was renting space from for the last four years that the other tenants are leaving and I had to either take over the rent of the entire gym myself or move out ASAP. Due to the nature of my business, the layout of the gym was not fitting the requirements of treating clients who are injured and potentially cannot climb stairs. I was also not ready to pay x4 the rent per month and purchase the equipment needed to fill the studio at once. I was very concerned as I could not find the right space in the area that would suit my needs.

Once I finally found the space and signed the lease turned out there has been a major problem with leaking windows, it took the landlord five months to solve the issue which was halting my plans at the studio. I had to work around it and make the best out of the situation, it was not easy but it bought me time to find the equipment and the teachers I needed.

We’ve been impressed with Pandora Pilates & Physical Therapy, but for folks who might not be as familiar, what can you share with them about what you do and what sets you apart from others?
PANDORA is a concierge Physical Therapy & Pilates Studio; we are a small Wellness Center. We offer a variety of services by quality professionals and work together as a team to provide a healing environment to rehabilitate special orthopedic conditions and maintain our clients’ physical health. First and foremost, we offer a Physical Therapy evaluation and treatment which mostly consists of one on one hands-on approach. I, as the owner and physical therapist utilizes the McKenzie Technique to guide treatment plan and use Pilates equipment and principals for rehabilitative movement (“Pilates Rehab”). We also offer therapeutic massage therapy geared to resolve tissue restrictions and address specific dysfunction. Our Pilates teachers are available to see clients privately for Pilates sessions and we have a variety of group Pilates Reformer classes seven days a week. Clients are welcome to purchase a class membership to stay consistent with their practice. Some of the classes we offer are taught by our PT, like “PANDORA Spine” which is a therapeutic class for clients wishing to focus on their back health. We have Cardio based classes mixing the Versaclimber machine and the Pilates Jump Board aiding clients to raise their heart rate up and lose weight (“Cardio-Lates”). We offer a variety of body sculpting classes that add props such as bands, weight and balls (“Guts & Butts”, “PANDORA Sculpt”). On the weekend, we have a stretch and alignment class “PANDORA Restore” which is very popular. Each session/class ends with a moment of relaxation infused with aromatherapy customized to our studio with a specific blend of essential oils which we also have for sale. Every two months we offer an evening workshop where we collaborate with a local acupuncturist and combine therapeutic movement and stretching with group acupuncture session, ending in guided meditation,

We try to create a friendly, welcoming environment and cover all of the needs that our clients may require to stay healthy and strong!

What do you like best about our city? What do you like least?
Joseph Pilates, the creator of the Pilates method said: “By all means never fail to get all the sunshine and fresh air you can.” I stand by him in that and truly love how green, sunny, and lively Miami is. I tried to bring the outdoors inside my studio, with the big windows, the plants and the natural light, we embrace the beauty of Miami in our Studio. I also love how diverse and cultural our city is; everyone is welcome.

I think I can speak for all of my team, clients and residents of Miami when I say that I do not like the traffic. However, that is the natural process of living in a metropolitan city, so I’ll take the bad with the good.

Pricing:

  • Pilates Class $35, and lower with package
  • Physical Therapy Evaluation / Treatment $175-150
  • Massage Therapy $120
  • Pilates Rehab Session $120
  • Pilates Private $100
  • Unlimited Group Pilates membership – $250 / month

Contact Info:

  • Email: pandorapilates@gmail.com
  • Website: www.pandorapilates.com
  • Instagram: @pandorapilates
  • Facebook: @pandorapilates


Image Credits
All photos by Matt Roy The last photo (teacher wearing burgundy leggings) is by Julio Silvavi

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