What is Pilates?

Pilates is a method of exercise initially inspired and designed by a German born physical therapist named Joseph H. Pilates.  He utilized specially designed equipment to assist his clients and in the process he created a new form of physical conditioning which he originally named Contrology.  Joseph Pilates formulated a movement system that serves to educate and condition the body as an integrated whole entity which he described as uniform conditioning.   Pilates today is one of the fastest growing forms of body mind exercise that has as its foundation awareness of the whole integrated self (body, mind, & spirit) encouraging each individual to sustain their best health and to ultimately achieve their fullest potential.

Joseph Pilates taught that the mindful engagement of movement with a focused intention toward any given action was the key to developing awareness and greater muscle control that could be used to correct postural imbalances and ultimately restore enhanced health and optimal well being.  This form of physical conditioning is an intelligent one, engaged mindfully with a focused intention, an open heart and a concentrated effort of thoughtful action.  It is movement performed with a given purpose encompassing many movement principles primary of which are the six Joseph described as breathing, centering, flow, control, precision and concentration.  Some additional movement concepts broadening the practice since its inception adopted from research in physical therapy, kinesiology and movement medicine include neutral spine and active alignment, imprinting, initiation and stabilization, mobility, sequencing and dynamic integration of polar forces.

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Can anyone learn to do pilates?

Pilates practice allows everyone from novice movers to trained athletes achieve goals and objectives designed for their personal needs and particular aspirations.   I work with individuals who have never been very dedicated to structured exercise as well as serious highly disciplined dancers and extremely skilled athletes seeking to improve their game or get a competitive edge.  Pilates offers a place and a practice for everyone to learn more about their bodies and minds and I have the experience to provide the motivation and guidance you need to help you embrace your experience with joy and to increase your knowledge and improve your understanding through a varied and focused practice.

Can anyone even someone with limited mobility or physical limitations benefit from doing pilates?

Anyone and everyone!  Since pilates is a method of exercise that improves awareness and coordination, flexibility, strength and endurance without contributing undue stress on your joints it is ideal for most everyone.  Some of the first individuals to engage in optional pilates workouts were athletes looking to enhance their performance potential or to rehabilitate injuries due to the powerful demands of their chosen professions.  Dancers were also among the initial inquirers to experiment with pilates workouts.   Martha Graham and George Balanchine were among the many dancers to practice pilates in efforts to refine their dance technique, to correct muscular imbalances, and to strengthen the overall integrity of their hyper mobile joints that may result from the repetitious extremes and virtuosic demands of dancing. Due to the reputation pilates has achieved in the dance community as the method to best strengthen the core, rehabilitate injuries and realign imbalances it has found its way into the field of physical therapy and into populations seeking to improve proprioception and functionality. As a result it is one of  the best methods to improve movement efficiency and to achieve the wellness benefits of overall physical fitness.

What are the benefits of learning to practice pilates?

There are so many wonderful perks and benefits from practicing pilates.  Each individual will take away something very personal from their own individual study and practice.  The workouts I design are as many and as varied as those individuals doing them. Joseph Pilates initiated this form of holistic body work, but the essence of the practice is that it is a creative process of individual awakening and an engendering of subjective somatic awareness embodied by the practitioner.

The general overall benefits of pilates practice include a variety of health and fitness improvements including better posture, greater balance, increased strength and flexibility, especially of the spine and core musculature, contributing to prevention and relief of back pain, improvement of muscle and joint functionality, and a boost in energy as well as a potential increase in serotonin levels helping to uplift your mood.  Pilates practitioners develop focused body mind concentration and enhanced somatic awareness through a disciplined engagement of their practice which carries over holistically into one’s daily life, positively influencing more focused work and play, both in the enjoyment of casual activity or in the sacredness of seriousness play as in sharpening one’s intuitive edge in a game of casual or competitive sport.

The biggest attraction of the pilates method of exercise is in allowing and encouraging the body’s own ability to move efficiently and effectively, flowing fluidly through a variety of enjoyable stretches and dynamic actions of the whole body that make sense to the mind and deeper soul, instead of sustaining endless repetitions of gestures that may or may not connect to one’s inner spirit.

Will doing pilates help me to lose weight?

Unless you are focusing on the repetitious activity jumping on a reformer jump board pilates is not usually considered a form of aerobic or cardiovascular exercise which is a necessary component to any real fat loss program. However, higher intensity, continuously flowing, more challenging and skilled workouts can be designed that will foster a higher calorie burn and aid in the objective of weight loss.  In addition, the integral strengthening and flexibility benefits of pilates practice will help to develop a leaner, more elongated line to the musculature as well as generate an increase in muscle tone and definition.  If your objective is to lose weight and get in shape, pilates is an excellent way to help facilitate an ease into action, support, monitor, and assist in the maintenance of the necessary muscular development and systemic conditioning to sustain the more strenuous endurance and higher fat burning aerobic activity optimal for greater fat loss.

How many times a week should I do pilates?

Once a week will offer you a fundamental foundation of pilates and will positively supplement other fitness activities. Ideally, to see the best results, one would need to practice consistently several times a week.  To facilitate results geared toward improved suppleness and tone, to relieve possible back or joint pain and to engender the benefits of general overall conditioning, vitality and enlightenment in the body I believe one must commit to the practice on a regular basis at least 2-3 times a week.

Why should I practice pilates with a master trainer?

With all the opportunities to take pilates classes around town who wouldn’t want to find the best environment for their particular interests and temperament.   One should inquire after options that would mesh most positively with ones personal objectives and temperament.  I personally have sought to orient my pedagogical approach toward the unique objectives, goals, and aspirations of my students and private clients. I offer a tranquil and energizing learning experience within a peaceful environment directing my attention to address and facilitate the needs and goals of those individuals with whom I become invested.

I draw from my education on a broad spectrum of movement and body work genres as well as on an academic understanding of anatomy and the kinesiological elements of dynamic movement which encompass the essence of pilates practice. I also enjoy working with others and embrace an introspective passion for the theoretical and contemplative elements of teaching action oriented movement skills.  My practical attention is completely and conscientiously focused on those individuals I see in classes daily and or take on as my personal clients.  My intent is to understand your particular learning style and to address your individual needs and goals.

Keeping in mind the aspirations of my clients, I pride myself on my diligence, insight and creativity.  I constantly review the basics always keeping a creative eye toward potential modifications or innovations in program designs, new optional moves, a variety of choreographic approaches and/or pedagogical tools.   In view of the various somatic needs and objectives of my diverse clientele I creatively alter, modify, update and seek new ways to challenge everyone, to further their experience and knowledge, whether they are new students or seasoned professionals, keeping things fresh and exciting to sustain their interest, enthusiasm, consistency and dedication.


Read some triumphant testimonials of satisfied students here.

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