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Amber Flowers is Proving that Brown Girls Bloom Through Pilates

Pilates, a low-impact exercise that gives you long, lean, and strong muscles while improving posture and flexibility, has often had a diversity issue. Let’s face it, it can be disheartening, lonely, and frustrating when you’re trying something new, and you rarely see anyone who looks like you. Because of this, Amber Flowers, a former NBA Dancer from Durham, NC, jumped at the chance to accept a pilates certification scholarship while managing a boutique fitness studio in Dunwoody, GA. 

Although celebrities like Lori Harvey and Normani have made headlines recently for their love of Pilates, the fitness method has been predominately white for decades. So Amber, a now 2x Comprehensive Certified Pilates Instructor, founded Spiced Pilates to increase representation in this form of fitness. 

Keep reading to learn more about our June photo contest winner’s fitness journey and how the 28-year-old is diversifying Pilates.

Favorite quote: “It’s not where you start, It’s where you finish. Finish strong!”

Tell us how your winning photo came about? 

Photo Credit: @ToneItUp + @PeterKhoy

I’ve been following the [PRETTY GIRLS SWEAT] page for about two years now. I was living in Atlanta and noticed the page pop up on my feed. I noticed that it was a page full of beautiful women who looked like me, giving beneficial workout tips. Follow button clicked! I’ve been able to connect with the community and share my pilates knowledge through reposted videos and DMs. Really cool community, and happy to be a part of it. 

I’ve really been wanting to share my knowledge with the black and brown community when it comes to Pilates. It’s a practice that just recently caught the attention of my sista girls due to celebrities like Lori Harvey and Normani’s Met Gala (bangin’ ass body-ady-adys) appearance. In the practice, it’s a rarity that you see a black Pilates instructor. Honestly, it’s one of the reasons that I got into the practice. I like to challenge myself in spaces where people that look like me barely exist and then bring my knowledge back to my community. 

I’ve taught at multiple studios where the minority expressed to me that I’ve been their first black instructor, which is unfortunate. I’ve been able to texturize my Pilates classes by being concise and detailed. Yet, adding in my dance background, my culture, and my vibe. It’s honestly set me apart from my counterparts. [PGS] has reposted some of my reels which sparked the interest of many. This photo challenge honestly came at the perfect time with all the buzz. I am very appreciative of the opportunity and hope that more of my sista girls get into the practice. 

Please briefly share your fitness journey with us.

I’ve been in the fitness game for about five years now. Being an NBA dancer and realizing that I could actually make dance a career really sold me on the fitness career path. I needed a field that would allow me to be flexible. I came from working in collegiate sports. I’m a dancer at heart, so the transition was pretty smooth coming from dancing. I started off on the admin side, managing boutique fitness studios. 

I managed a Club Pilates in Dunwoody, Georgia, for a couple of years, and the owner of the studio (best boss ever) offered me a scholarship to become a Certified Pilates instructor. The alignment was perfect because I was getting bored with tucking away my creative side. I for sure took advantage of the opportunity! Whew Chile, 500hrs of training in 6 months, and I received my certification in 2020, skilled in Reformer, Mat, TRX, Barre, Cadillac & Exo Chair, all the things. I then transitioned into strictly teaching Pilates full-time. 25 hours for a “full-time” job, how can I beat that!? I earned another 200hr Reformer Pilates certification from Body Bar Pilates a few months later. 

I just recently moved to Los Angeles, California, to pursue my dance and entertainment career. I’m a part of a few things. One is an instructor for an online fitness community run by all women, Tone It Up. They have an App for different modalities of fitness. I was announced as their Pilates Instructor this past February. So grateful for the opportunity!! 

I’m also a Lead Instructor at Club Pilates in the Pacific Palisades area. In addition, I have my own personal brand called Spiced Pilates. Spiced Pilates is not your average cookie-cutter Pilates practice. It’s free, infused with dance and low-impact cardio, rhythmically led, and incorporates both high & low-energy functional movements. It brings out the inner flame! I’m based in the LA area and do group training, personal training, and virtual training. I’ve seen a beautiful transformation in my body and love sharing the love. 

We believe fitness + friendship = FUN! So what is your favorite group fitness workout?

Photo Credit: @ToneItUp + @PeterKhoy

Reformer Pilates! With my girls Lori Harvey and Normani. I love the low-impact modality for fitness. It has a major impact on the body for the right reasons. It helps you look great and is an amazing benefit for your core and spinal health! As long as your spine is flexible, you are youthful!!

While working out is essential, so is eating the right foods. What is your go-to pre-workout meal? How do you refuel after a workout?

Nothing too crazy before I get started working out. I try to eat a piece of fruit, banana or berries, and a granola bar. 

After I work out, I have a protein shake with my @ToneItup vegan vanilla protein, all the berries, banana, spinach, almond butter, and honey. Yum! 

What is one item that is always in your gym bag?

My gym bag go-to: AirPods. Gotta have the vibes for sure!! 

What are your top 3 fitness Instagram accounts to follow?

  1. @EmbodyByCam – my sister girl cam!! She’s a Pilates instructor here and is the kindest! Love her.
  2. @GrndPilates – Another brown Pilates babe in Atlanta!
  3. @FlyFitLenise – literally the sweetest person with amazing energy! True ball of fire.

All my Pilates babes are gems. You’ve gotta follow them! #PilatesHottiesOnly

What is one thing people would be surprised to learn about you? 

I really love everything outdoors. This includes fishing!!! I put the worm on the fish and all! 😀

What are the top three goals you hope to accomplish in life?

  1. live a happy and healthy balanced life with my family
  2. own a Pilates/Dance Studio 
  3. uplift others and help people understand that anything in life is attainable

What does PRETTY GIRLS SWEAT mean to you?

Photo Credit: @ToneItUp + @PeterKhoy

PRETTY GIRLS SWEAT means sisterhood and accountability. It’s a space for like-minded women to come together and share their knowledge of fitness, look cute, and have fun! 

Since PRETTY GIRLS SWEAT, what is your favorite deodorant?

Native!!! The vanilla. I love a non-aluminum deodorant that works!!! (Target.com, $12.99)

How can readers stay in touch with you on social media?

My main page on IG & TikTok: @TheLifeOfAFlowers, and my Pilates page: @SpicedPilates. Follow meeeee!

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