Has it been a while?

“If you will faithfully follow the instructions, beginning with the introductory lesson, you will without a doubt acquire correct physical fitness with proper mental control. 

As you progress in your self instruction, you never have anything to “unlearn”.  These exercises will actually become part of your very self, securely stored away forever in your subconscious mind.  You who have learned correctly how to ride a bicycle, how to swim or how to drive an automobile need never worry with respect to the possibility of your failing to use the right technique in these skills.

So too the the acquirement and practice of the art and science of Contrology will instill confidence in you that will remain forever for future use.  Then it is simply only a question of “re-toning” the muscles that have in the meantime become “soft” as the result of disuse.”   ~ Joseph H. Pilates, Return to Life

I LOVE this passage taken from Joseph Pilates’ book Return to Life!  To me it really speaks to the value of learning how to move your body properly versus just exercising.  I am a firm believer that any movement is good movement if it is safe and you enjoy it, but at the same time I know that by there is immense value in learning how to move your body efficiently and with an awareness of your body. Anyone who has practiced Pilates on a regular basis can tell you that when you learn how to engage your deep abdominals, or stabilize your hips or shoulders it becomes part of you.  You are not just thinking of those things in your Pilates practice, but you continue to incorporate those ideas into all movement throughout your life.

Anyone who has practiced Pilates also knows that just because you are not making it to the studio to get your weekly classes in doesn’t mean you “lose” everything you have gained in your Pilates practice.  Just like once you’ve learned to ride a bike you never forget how….you never forget how to use the skills you learn in Pilates.  You may not be going through an entire workout like you would if you were taking a session or class with an instructor but you still know how to move properly and I’m guessing you’ve incorporated many of your Pilates principles into your daily life( good posture, balanced movements, using your breath to cue your body to destress and connect, etc.).

I love how Joe also talks about how when you do come back to your Pilates practice it’s not a matter of relearning technique but “re-toning” the muscles that in the meantime become “soft” as the result of disuse.  My translation of this is: It all comes back to you…just like riding a bike.  If you pay attention to your working level and use your Pilates principles you will safely strengthen your muscles and get your body back in shape in no time!

So if you’ve taken a break from your Pilates practice…don’t be discouraged- it happens to everyone.  When you are ready to come back to it you can assured that your body will remember how to move and you’ll be back to a regular Pilates practice in no time!

A “slept wrong” morning & Pilates magic…

Have you ever had one of those days when you wake up and immediately know that you “slept wrong” ?  By “slept wrong” I mean you wake up to immediately find that the muscles in your back or neck hurt and it hurts to move? I had one of those days this week.  It was an early morning for me as I had 5:30 am clients, and when my alarm went off at 4 something I immediately knew I had “slept funny”.  The muscles around my right shoulder blade were kind of screaming at me and it hurt and ached when I did even a shoulder roll.  I wasn’t too concerned as I just assumed that it was caused from how I slept and that eventually it would go away.

I played with moving my shoulder and arm as I got ready to go into the studio and it was feeling slightly better when I went in, but it was definitely still there and not feeling great.  After getting to the studio I decided that I was going to do some Reformer work with my morning clients.  As I often do before I teach I decided I just wanted to jump on and do a little of the work I was going to teach.  This always helps me connect with the work and just get my brain ready for teaching(especially at 5 in the morning!)  I wasn’t sure how any of this was going to feel on my shoulder, but decided to try it anyway.

So I did my Footwork, my Hundreds, and then when I got to the Short Spine exercise something amazing happened.   I could feel the pain in my upper back and around my shoulder blade going away a little more each time as I rolled down through my spine.  I know the power of movement to balance and even heal the body, but I am still utterly amazed every time it happens in my own body!  I think I did about 15 or 20 Short Spines that day because it felt so good. I was loving just the time to really feel how the exercise and the support of the equipment allowed me to articulate through my whole spine and lengthen out all those tight muscles that had been causing me pain!

If you aren’t familiar with the Short Spine exercise on the Reformer I included a quick video of it below.  Although it looks intimidating at first most clients end up LOVING this exercise as it really supports your body and allows you to move through your back in a way that decompresses your spine, lengthens your muscles and feels pretty amazing!

When will we re-open?

As a valued part of our RCP community I wanted to be sure to keep you in the loop so you know what to expect from us as a business.  I have made lots of hard decisions over the years as a business owner, even some harder ones this year, but the decision to wait to open back up for movement services like Pilates and Yoga right now is not necessarily one of them.
Let me tell you why.

I created my business as a way to share my love of movement as a health tool in my life with others.  I have been blessed a million times over with the opportunity to work with so many amazing people over the years and to be able to make a living from doing what I love.  I have been blessed to find an amazing, talented crew of staff members who are also passionate about helping others use movement in their lives.  When it comes to making a decision that directly effects my staff, our Rivercity Pilates community and our community at large I feel like my number one responsibility is to do the thing that keeps every one the safest. 

Like most people I have studied the cases of COVID-19 in Iowa, I have read all the research and know how it spreads, the best way to not spread it, who it could be most detrimental for, and I know what the best practices are to keep everyone as safe as possible.  I also know that this is not going away anytime soon. 

I know that it’s probably not realistic for everyone to completely stay home and social distance until there are better ways to deal with the virus’ effects and until there is a vaccine.  Yet I feel like if as a business we can continue to serve our clients in a way that encourages them to stay home a little more, our business will be contributing to something that could save some lives in the long run.    And since the purpose of my business is to help people stay healthy, this decision aligns perfectly.

Our reopening plan is broken into 3 phases and we are hoping to start Phase 1 July 1st:

  • Phase 1: Pilates privates and same household semi-privates will be offered in studio
  • Phase 2: Pilates Equipment Classes (4 people maximum) will be offered in studio
  • Phase 3 : Pilates Mat, Barre, Zumba, and Yoga Classes (4 people maximum) will be offered in studio

You can be assured that when we do open we will have procedures and protocols in place to keep you and our staff as safe as possible and also to create the best possible in studio movement experience. We’ll be sending out more details on our protocols for staff and clients when we get closer to our Phase 1 reopening.

Until then, we will be doing everything we can to help you incorporate movement into your life virtually! 

  • If you are looking for instruction and motivation to keep your body healthy and strong…we have you covered. 
  • Need a quick anytime workout? Check out our RCP Youtube Channel where we post absolutely free classes, mini classes and tutorials that you can take any time of day. 
  • Want to connect with real people and workout in the comfort of your home?  Our virtual classes will keep you moving and pushing yourself to maintain your health!

Thank you for being part of our RIvercity Pilates Community and supporting us as a small business during this time! You are the reason we do what we do and we are grateful that you let us be part of your health and fitness journey!

Carey Sadler getting ready for a virtual class

Pandemic Pilates

Isn’t it crazy how life can change so quickly? Like you, myself and the staff at Rivercity Pilates are adapting to a new normal for awhile! As hectic as it’s all been, we are super excited about all of the amazing things that are coming out of this experience. We are so appreciative of the fact that technology allows us to continue to serve you even if we can’t see you in the studio!

We are headed into April with the assumption that we are going to need to be virtual for awhile and we are excited about it! We of course will be super excited when we can see you in person, but until then we are going to be delivering the BEST motivation and movement teaching we can right in your house! Be sure to check out our virtual class schedule where we have over 30 virtual classes each week that you can take in the privacy of your home!!

If you haven’t tried a virtual class yet simply sign up in Mindbody for a class and we’ll email you instructions on how to take class utilizing Zoom as well as give you a free class on your Mindbody account.

In these challenging times I am reminded of something I say to my kids often. There are many things we don’t have control of, but we do have control of how we decide to react to what has happened.

I have been so proud of our Rivercity Pilates staff and community as I have watched them react by making the decision to stay positive. They have looked for the silver linings and taken action on the things they can control, like continuing to help others and maintaining their own health and wellbeing. I truly believe that choosing to make those positive reactions and choosing to surround yourself with people who do the same, will result in us all being stronger and better as we navigate this year!

Keep moving, stay positive and I hope to see you virtually in class this month!

We care about you!

As you are probably already aware, the COVID-19 Coronavirus strain is making its way around the world!

At Rivercity Pilates, we take your personal health and safety very seriously. So, we want to put your mind at ease with the steps we are taking in the studio to keep our students and staff safe and healthy. We know how beneficial mindful movement can be when life gets a little stressful and chaotic and it’s our goal to create a safe, healthy environment where you can get some much needed “you time”!

If you are immune compromised or feeling unsafe coming to public areas we also want to give you some options to get your movement time in without coming to the studio!

We have options for you to get your mindful movement time!

We know that everyone’s first impulse is just to stay home, but we don’t want you to skip your movement time. Here’s how you can attend a class without leaving your home.

  • Request to attend any 1 credit class (Pilates Mat, Yoga and Barre classes are great at home options) via ZOOM. Send us an email if you are interested in this option and we’ll email you instructions! The picture to the right is one of our snow birds attending Shelley’s Every Body Pilates class — as you can see — you can attend anywhere any time!
  • Use our Youtube channel to do some workouts at home! Let us know your favorite workout on social media — and we’ll put you in a drawing for a prize! Here are some of our favorites! :

25 Minute Pilates Mat
Just Side Leg Kicks!
Arms and Abs Pilates Mat
Home Barre Workout
10 Minutes of feel good movement**
**great for reducing anxiety and stress!

Here’s what we are doing!

We are:

  • Increasing how often the studio/restrooms/lobby are being cleaned. Including wiping down all surfaces, door handles, etc.
  • Props and Pilates equipment are getting extra cleaning and sanitizing throughout the day.
  • Providing you with complimentary hand-sanitizer.
  • Movement teachers are minimizing hands on cueing and contact and will ask you before they give you a hands on cue or stretch
  • Staff are diligently washing their hands between classes and clients as well as using hand sanitizer.
  • Continuing to monitor the COVID-19 outbreak keeping you informed at all times and following governmental advice. 

Here’s what you can do:

  • Wipe down your equipment before and after every class
  • Hand-washing is your best self-defense against the spread of germs. You should wash for 20 seconds. You can sing the Happy Birthday song in your head or out loud twice if you don’t have a timer :)
  • Please stay home if you are not feeling well, especially if you have a fever, are coughing or sneezing or are experiencing shortness of breath. If you are starting to feel ill please cancel your class or session early. Don’t wait until the last minute. If a member shows up with symptoms, the staff will politely ask them to leave. If you are interested in having your private pilates session at home please inquire about our virtual options. 
  • Help us by being vigilant. If you have traveled to any of the countries where there are outbreaks of the virus, please follow guidance on the CDC website.

We are closely monitoring updates from the Centers for Disease Control and the World Health Organization regarding COVID-19. We will continue to seek guidance from these agencies and public health officials, and we will update you as new information becomes available.  

We are committed to making our studio a safe and enjoyable place for all. Thank you for being such a valued member of our Rivercity Pilates family.  

What is the Pilates Chair??

What exactly is the Pilates Chair?  The word chair often creates images of a senior workout geared for those with limitations, when in reality the Pilates equipment named the Chair is a versatile spring based piece of equipment that can be great for practicing fundamental Pilates concepts but can also challenge even the most seasoned professional athlete.

In this quick video Carey will introduce the chair and show you just a few examples of different exercises that can be done on this amazing piece of Pilates equipment.