What do you travel with?

Do you take any Pilates or movement props with you when you travel?  I love hearing about what clients decide to take with them on the road.  Email me and let me know what you’ve taken with you when you travel!

Some of the most popular items I hear clients talking about taking with them this summer have been their resistance band and their massage therapy balls!  The resistance band is small, lightweight and takes up no room at all!  It allows you to do supported stretches, practice your Pilates Mat exercises with support and feedback and can be used for general strength exercises.    

The massage therapy balls are great for rolling your tired feet (extra walking on your trip?) and can easily be used while sitting in an airplane, in a car or at a hotel up against a wall to give tight, tense muscles some relief.

If you are new to Pilates you might be thinking….  Oh I don’t exercise when I’m on vacation…that’s my me time! Or maybe you can’t imagine wanting to take Pilates with you on the road? I get it…

Here’s the thing you need to know:  

The people who take their Pilates with them on the road aren’t doing it because they feel the need to not miss a one hour workout, they are doing it because they have discovered that by doing some simple movements in their life even when they travel they can keep their body happy and feeling great so that nothing slows them down in enjoying their life!   

Practicing Pilates has taught them that paying attention to their body and using movement as a tool in their life is something they actually want to do all the time, not just when they are at an exercise session!

If you are new to our community and are intrigued by this idea of wanting to move more in your life…email me and I can help you set up a complimentary private session to introduce you to Pilates!

Have a great week and as always reach out if you have any questions about Pilates movement, studio offerings or anything else!

Need a quick core workout?

Me doing some counter push ups

I have had 4 or 5 conversations with clients this week that all revolved around us talking about how great it is that adding in regular very simple movement into your life can make a profound difference in how your body feels.  As I noticed this I thought maybe it’s something I should write about this week, because maybe you need to be reminded of this idea…simple works!

  • Do you find yourself not getting movement time in because you overthink what you need to do?
  • Do you tell yourself that if you can’t squeeze in a 30 or 50 minute class today that you just won’t be able to “exercise” today?  

I can tell you for myself and for all the clients I see who are successful at using movement as a health tool in their life…. they don’t believe this myth!

Adding in a 10 minute daily walk, 5 minutes of stretching at the beginning of your day or even just wearing your toe separators for 15 minutes a day can effect how your whole body feels! Getting regular classes and sessions in will absolutely help you feel better in your body, but so will 3 minutes of counter push ups when you are making dinner or practicing your one leg balance while you brush your teeth.

Take a little time today to start thinking about how you can add more movement into your life and when you start doing it…appreciate how effective it can be!

Adding in small amounts of movement throughout your day can seem so trivial and so simple, which is why I think most people don’t do it!  Don’t believe that just because something is not excruciating hard for you that it won’t make a difference!

If you’re coming into the studio you’ve probably “caught me” at some time sneaking in a little movement time in between clients! A few of my favorite ways to add movement in through out my day are hanging, standing on our rock mat behind the front desk when waiting for clients and counter push-ups!

If you need a quick workout to fit into a very busy day — here’s a 4 minute core workout for you!

What’s next after Physical Therapy?

Whether you sprained an ankle, had rotator cuff surgery, or injured your low back….physical therapy often is just what is needed to help your body recover quickly and safely.  But what happens after your physical therapy sessions are done?

Many times people find that an injury can be a wake up call to let us know that we need to take better care of our body.  Most Physical Therapists would recommend continuing to move and exercise in ways that will strengthen your body safely after your PT sessions are done…but what exactly does that mean for you?  If you weren’t currently exercising before your injury you might be nervous about jumping into an exercise program because of the fear of getting re-injured.  This is unfortunate because an appropriate exercise program is exactly what our body needs to continue healing and strengthening preventing re-injury.  Many Physical Therapists recommend Pilates to their clients post physical therapy for a variety of reasons:

  • Pilates teachers specialize in working individually and in small groups with clients to teach them how to safely do movements.

  • Pilates teachers are trained to work with a variety of injuries and some even specialize in post PT clients.
  • Pilates teachers don’t just have clients copy movements, they teach clients how to do an exercise correctly in their body.
  • Pilates teachers are trained in how to give adjustments and verbal cueing that helps the clients work safely and effectively.
  • Pilates teachers use basic movement principles and ideas that your Physical Therapist was probably already teaching you (this means that many PT clients start Pilates and feel like they already are familiar with the basic concepts and ideas used in Pilates). 
  • The Pilates method will continue to balance out your body …strengthening weak muscles and stretching those that are tight or inflexible so you continue to get stronger and move better without injury.
  • Pilates is based on using controlled precise movements that are perfect post injury.
  • Pilates teachers can easily be in contact with your Physical Therapist to ensure that your post PT exercise supports the work you already did with your physical therapist

Are you curious about Pilates and if it might be a good exercise program for you after Physical Therapy?  Contact us today to schedule a complimentary private session to try it out! 

Are you practicing Pilates effectively?

What if you considered your exercise time practice of life movements?  I’m guessing that most people hear the word practice and relate it to athletes practicing their sport or musicians practicing playing music, but practice is relevant to everyone who moves.  Who doesn’t want to move better?  Who doesn’t want to be the 90 year old who is traveling, walking and moving like a typical 50 year old?  I love the practice tips given in this video and how relevant they are to your Pilates practice or any type of movement you do in your life!  

From the video above:

Practice is the repetition of an action with the goal of improvement.  Practice helps us perform with more ease, speed and confidence.  

Mastery of anything is about the quality and effectiveness of the practice, not just the hours spent practicing.  Effective practice is consistent, focused and targets content or weaknesses that lie at the edge of current abilities.  

The great thing about effective Pilates practice is that the more effectively we practice the more we feel the benefits of the exercises in our body.  Who doesn’t want to feel stronger, more mobile, more flexible and even taller quicker? Many of the tips this video gives to improve your practice time and make it more effective are things we do or can do in Pilates on a regular basis:

  1. Focus on the task at hand and minimize distractions.  
  2. Start slowly. Coordination is built with quality repetitions.  If you gradually increase the speed of the quality repetitions you have a better chance of doing them correctly.  
  3. Frequent repetitions with allotted breaks.  ( Practice your Pilates skills not just in class but take little breaks throughout your day and practice skills like good posture, walking in good alignment or just practicing one exercise at a time at home)
  4. Practice in your brain in vivid detail.  ( Yep…just practicing your teaser in your head is going to help you improve it!!) 

Having a Knee Replacement?


Are you thinking about a knee replacement or maybe you’re finally fed up enough with your knee pain that you decided to get it done?  Congratulations!!  As a Pilates instructor I see lots of bodies and lots of different things going on in the body.  As a general rule, I’m a fan of “do everything you can first before resorting to surgery” in many instances but I’ve really changed that attitude over the years when it comes to knee replacements.  I have had the opportunity to work with a lot of clients pre and post knee replacements and all of them have said something like this,” I’m so glad I did it! I can move and be active and not have pain in my knee! I wish I had done it sooner!”

I can also tell you that the clients who I taught Pilates to before their knee replacement swear by the benefits of their Pilates practice in helping them get through their recovery period with much more ease and speedier recoveries.   These clients always come back and tell me how their physical therapist is so happy with their quick progress and can’t believe how amazing their recovery is compared to others following the same journey.

Someone I know told me she was going to have a knee replacement soon and when I asked her if she wanted to come in and do some Pilates before the surgery to prepare her she said,”I have 12 exercises they gave me and I’m doing them twice a day.”  My response,” That is great- you should continue doing those exercises, but just doing the exercises won’t give you the same amazing benefits of doing Pilates before the surgery. I don’t know what exercises she was given but I am sure they were all great exercises designed to strengthen the muscles in her legs and hips, as well as keep those muscles flexible and mobile.  Since she was already doing these exercises I told her we would start her Pilates practice intro by just going over those exercises and applying the Pilates principles to those exercises so she could get more out them.

If you’ve never practiced Pilates before you might be wondering what is so great about Pilates?  What makes Pilates exercises different from the exercises the PT gave me as preparation?  Here’s my best attempt to explain the difference:

1.  Each Pilates exercise is a whole body exercise.  We are not just strengthening the leg muscles or the hip muscles! Yes the Pilates exercises will strengthen those leg and hip muscles but each exercise will also have you engaged,connected and working your whole body.  This comes in very handy when you are trying to figure out how to safely and effectively move your whole body around after your knee replacement surgery.  When the nurses come in to get you up and walking after your surgery you will appreciate your core strength, your upper body strength, and your ability to efficiently move all of your body, all thanks to your Pilates practice!

2. Pilates teaches you to initiate movement from your center.  Having strong core muscles that support your body and just knowing how to engage those core muscles is so helpful when you are recovering from an injury that is causing the rest of your body to compensate.  By having this knowledge and strength of how to engage those core muscles you will be able to support your body better whether you are using a walker or crutches and you’ll take some of the strain off of the rest of the body.

3. Body Alignment:  Pilates is considered a corrective exercise as we are continually trying to create balance in our body by doing movements in alignment and strengthening in alignment.  Creating balance in your body is important for everyone, but if you are recovering from an injury or ailment that causes you to compensate in the rest of your body it could save you from chronic pain, tightness and even injuries in the rest of your body long after your knee has healed.

When’s the best time to start Pilates if you are contemplating a knee replacement? Of course the sooner you start the more prepared you’ll be, but honestly even getting a few sessions in before the surgery with an experienced instructor can teach you some basic concepts that will help you immediately before and after the surgery.  After surgery you’ll want to talk to your doctor and physical therapist about the timing of starting regular sessions again.  The great thing about the Pilates work is that it can truly be adapted to any body so it is possible if you are working with an experienced instructor you can start incorporating the Pilates movements into your recover process sooner than later.

Want to see the benefits of Pilates before and after surgery?  Check out this video below of Pilates Instructor Nancy only 2 weeks after her kee replacement surgery:

My back hurts!


I hear it all the time. “Can you just give me a few exercises I can do to make my back feel better?”

If you are looking for a quick fix I’m here to tell you there isn’t one! If you want to make changes in how your body feels you need to learn to change how you are moving your body (or not moving it).  This doesn’t happen overnight and there definitely are not magic exercises that will cure your aches and pains.

One of the biggest reasons that Pilates as an exercise method is so effective for helping people get rid of back pain is that by practicing Pilates on a regular basis you start creating a habit of paying attention to how your body moves and you start learning how you could be moving better and more efficiently.  Better movement means less pain in your body.

The good news is that a regular Pilates practice does not need to be complicated or even take a ton of time, but to really get the benefits you need to stick with it on a regular basis.  

How often should you do Pilates to relieve your back pain?
  • 2-3 Pilates classes or sessions a week
  • 1 private a month to fine tune your at home practice which consists of 10-15 exercises you can do 2-3 times at home
  • 1 Pilates class a week plus incorporating the Pilates principles into other workouts

The possibilities are endless!  Ready to get started on changing how your body moves and feels?  Contact us today to schedule a complimentary first session to learn more!!