The Teacher

Lisa B. Nicastri, BS, ATC

"When I moved to Z├╝rich in January 2007, I thought I'd stay for one year...and more than a decade later, I'm still in Switzerland, working with you."


With all the well-qualified Pilates teachers around, who to choose?

The difference in teachers varies widely, but is in Lisa's orthopedic / athletic medicine training. Having received a Bachelor Degree from Central Michigan University in 1999, she graduated with honors. She has more than the average teacher training, with a degree in Sports Medicine from a top program in the United States and continuing education over the last 20 years. Her experience spans working with professional, collegiate, and high school athletes, as well as physiotherapy and chiropractic clinics, and work as an orthopedic surgical assistant. Lisa's understanding of the body is different, perhaps deeper, than other teachers, and it is applied it to her teaching. It's interconnected, integrative, organic.

Why teach Pilates when you have a whole set of other skills?

Lisa loves to say, "There is a solution to every problem," and she enjoys working to find the creative solutions to unlock your body for better movement and a better life. "I enjoy giving all my focus to your movement to find the subtle changes you can make to improve it: better, smoother, more balanced for you means I'm satisfied too."

Lisa has been working with bodies since 1995 when studying sports medicine. "I love to learn and have been refining, learning and relearning what good movement, good alignment, and good posture are." She's passionate about teaching: "My job is to pass knowledge on to you, to help you, support you, and observe as you achieve the body you were meant to have."

How did Lisa start teaching Pilates?

The Pilates Method "found" her after suffering neck and back injuries in a car accident in 2004. When medications, physiotherapy, chiropractic treatments, massage, and accupuncture all failed to help her pain, she left a job in orthopedic surgery in Florida, and took a less physically demanding job with a local chiropractor, Dr. Melilli.

At nearly the same time, Lisa started private Pilates lessons at the local fitness center. When she began to teach the patients the basic principles of Pilates she learned in lessons, both her body and the patients were getting better. Dr. Melilli was very enthusiastic and sent her to the first teacher training course in August 2005. After that, she took another course, and another, and finally left the Melilli clinic to study Pilates full time with a program based in New York City: The PhysicalMind Institute.

Her studies at Central Michigan University's Sports Medicine Program complimented Pilates perfectly! As a BOC Certified Athletic Trainer (certified by the National Board in 2000), all the work in sports with athletic teams, in orthopedics, physiotherapy, and chiropractic medicine, came into the circle of her Pilates practice. Lisa keeps her ATC credential current and has since 2013 been studying with the Postural Restoration Institute of Nebraska.

Lisa, how did you come to live in Switzerland?

I traveled to France and Italy after graduating from CMU in 1999 and loved the European lifestyle, vowing to come back "someday". Teaching Pilates in Paris for the summer months of 2006, I soon discovered Paris wasn't quite "my style" and arrived in Switzerland in January 2007. With a 'twist of fate' in 2009, my "becoming Swiss" became a rather permanent condition!

Lisa Nicastri, the woman behind the SwissTwist method.