Interview w/Arlene Salomon Pilates Retreat Maui Hawaii

Arlene Salomon is a longtime resident of Maui with a professional background in horticulture and years of volunteer work in Hawaiian conservation, restoring native forests and service oriented backpacking expeditions with the Friends Of Haleakala National Park. Arlene is also a very skilled and sensitive Massage Therapist practicing the traditional art of Hawaiian Lomi Lomi, Sports Massage and energetic bodywork using Zero Balancing protocols.

Arlene discovered Pilates in 2002 and has been teaching since 2010. She is a graduate of Vintage Pilates Masters Program, THE WORK, directed by Jay Grimes, one of the few remaining teachers in the world who learned the Method directly from its inventor, Joe Pilates. She is a hands-on, intuitive and technical teacher with a deep understanding of how to use the entire Pilates system to address the particularities of each persons body. Arlene’s passion is empowering others to connect to the Method and guide students to greater self-discovery and independence as they workout in the studio and as they interact with the rest of the world outside the studio.

Arlene practicing 'Balance Control Step Off' on the Reformer
Q: Why did you want to invite people into your studio?

Gosh, there’s so many reasons but it all boils down to sharing. I’m given to sharing the things I’m learning and even more so seeing people benefit from what I have to share.

I love my job. I love teaching, I feel impelled to teach. In previous careers I’ve had, I love the act of doing the skill, whether its Art or Arboriculture or Pilates but I always end up teaching the skillset. Its who I am.

I’m also at a very good place in my life, literally, I live in a house on the beach in Maui with my husband who I adore and I have this amazing, fully equipped Pilates studio on the lanai. So when I invite people to my studio I’m also inviting them into our home. So here’s the crux of my story, the property has been in the family for generations, it has such a rich history of Aloha and hospitality, and today it continues to be a gathering place for family, friends, travelers and strangers, all kinds of people are drawn here every day to talk story or watch the sunset. And it’s a venue for holidays, birthdays, catered weddings, special celebrations and charitable events, we have great cooks in the family and my husband is a Chef by profession, he can whip up breakfast, brunch, lunch and dinners for any number of guests and make the meal an occasion to remember forever.

And the Pilates retreats have been developing organically right along with the rest of the events that happen here, my husband and I do what we do and together as stewards of this beautiful oceanfront property we feel that the very best part of being here is upholding the tradition of sharing it with others.

Q: A retreat is like an interruption in your regular day to day business? What are you hoping people get from coming to Maui and specifically your studio for a retreat?

Having a home-studio in this particular scenario, there’s always interruptions all day long while I’m teaching. Friends come to visit, the dog barks, we have guests checking in & out of our vacation rentals, my husband works around the house animated and telling jokes. They are all sparks of the divine- I have to see it that way. It keeps things interesting.

Yes, the retreat will put my regular business schedule on hold but will also be a special addition to the services that I offer. And some of my local clients will attend the retreat classes, meals and special events going on that week. My hope is for our retreat guests to experience Hawaii from a local perspective, a lifestyle based on informality, and a chance to connect to all the elements so uniquely Hawaiian- feel the trade winds, smell the ocean, smell the flowers, listen to birds sing, walk around barefoot, feel gratitude.

Q: Why did you choose to do a workshop on the Teaser? What will attendees take home?

Teaser is a great learning exercise to find the dynamics that are going on as you move through it, which makes it a perfect choice for people that find it frustrating because they haven’t been able to do it, as well a challenge for advanced practitioners who are looking to develop more control and refine the movement. Its like the ultimate work in progress.

We’ll practice other basic exercises in the system to key out some important skills needed for a successful Teaser. And since every body is different, retreaters will take home adjustments specific to their own body and hopefully be empowered to continue to progress towards their unique goals.

Q: What is your most favorite thing to share with visitors?

Personally, I love to hike, there are so many hiking opportunities on Maui, coastal hikes, mountainous, National Parks, rainforest, waterfall hikes, miles of beach walking. I have a background in horticulture and lucky enough to participate in some of the conservation projects in the islands so I have a relationship with Hawaiian environment and knowledge of its native plants and ecosystems. So if you hike with me I’ll share with you lots of plant names and cultural usage and share the evolutionary story of Hawaii’s flora, fauna and people, its both beautiful and tragic at the same time.

Ohelo kai

Ohe makai


Ohe makai


What are you currently the most excited about Pilates or not Pilates wise?

I am just over the moon about my Vintage Pilates family, I graduated from their program, THE WORK in 2016 and since then continue to go to Los Angeles for their alumni workshops w/Jay Grimes, continuing to build meaningful relationships, teacher exchanges, and continue my private study w/Sandy Shimoda. I couldn’t be happier about fulfilling my Pilates dreams.

Quite the line up of Vintage Pilates GRADS.

I’m also excited about my fermentation lab (haha), I’ve been working away in my kitchen reinterpreting the ancient art of fermentation and cultured foods. I make my own home-brewed Kombucha, Kifer, Beet Kvaas, yogurts, cheeses and herbal tonics as well as pickled vegetables and sourdough breads. These cultured foods are nutrient dense, incredibly rich in B vitamins and probiotics which help your gut and support your immune system. I can really geek on about the subject but the other amazing thing about fermentation is that it elevates the culinary value of food too making it more delicious and thats a big part of what our retreat is all about, really good food.

Q: What is something that people don’t know about Maui?

Maybe people already know this about Maui but it always strikes me at how diverse it is, the people, the weather, the geography. Hawaii is a melting pot of different cultures of people, there’s Hawaiians, Portuguese, Phillipino, Chinese, Japanese, Spanish, Puerto Rican, English, etc. And there’s the weather, there’s a dry side to the islands, the “leeward side” and a wet side, the rainforests on the "windward side". If you wake up and its cloudy and raining, you can usually drive 10- 20 minutes away and be in the sunshine, and be in a totally different climatic zone. You can be in warm 90° weather, swimming in the ocean and in the same day drive up the mountain to Haleakala National Park where the summit reaches more than 10,000 ft. The year-round temperatures up there range between below freezing to highs of 50°-65°F (10-18°C). When you visit Haleakala you need long sleeves, a sweater, jacket, scarf, hat and gloves because of the wind chill factor, and it does snow up there, it did this year!

Haleakala National Park Maui, Hawaii. Photo's by Arlene Salomon
Q: Why is coming on a retreat different than just coming to your studio any time of the year?

Well, for one thing I’m really excited to be teaming up with one of my beloved Vintage Pilates classmates, Lesley Logan, for my next retreat in August, so there’s that! I can’t say enough good things about her, she’s a gifted and knowledgeable Pilates teacher and an ingenious business woman. I love watching her teach a group, she’s fun, funny, cutting edge, compassionate, and just a real beautiful human being. Anyone who's lucky enough to attend her sunrise and sunset Mat Classes is in for a real treat. She’ll be teaching outdoors under the coconut palms, blue Maui skies and on the beach.

Another thing thats way different is the culinary services, with our very own private Chef (my dear husband, Derrick) for the duration and a final night special Dinner banquet with entertainment, oh my! I encourage you to read some of the sample menu’s for the retreat, check out the fascinating interview with Chef Derrick https://spark.adobe.com/page/ jq5AwKYLfJzHk/


Arlene & Lesley ~ Kaupo, Maui

AUGUST 4-8, 2018

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