What did you say? | Pilates Lingo for the Beginner

If you’ve never taken Pilates before, your first class may be a lot to take in. You’re moving your body in new ways and you’re learning more about how your body works as a whole. I’ve been studying this method for over three years now, and I’m still learning–it will be a lifelong pursuit. Knowledge of this method and anatomy is my job (and my passion). Your job is to simply come and enjoy a good workout. Lucky you! You are in good hands! Still, these terms will help you sail through your first class a bit easier.

Neutral Pelvis: This simply means that whatever position you’re in, whether lying down, sitting, or standing, your ASIS (or the bony hip points on the front of your body) and your pubic bone are in line with one another. Check out this image for a visual.

C-Curve: Looks like it sounds, right? 🙂 Tail bone is tucked under, draw abdominals deep so that hip bones and ribs are pulling toward one another, head and neck are gently rounded forward (not dropping the chin onto the chest).

Pilates V: Make a V with your feet, legs zipped together, inner thighs working to keep the legs together.

Hip width apart: We’re alignment freaks, us Pilates instructors. Line those feet up with your hip joints. To find this easily and quickly, simply make the Pilates V with your feet, and then bring the feet into parallel position.

Tabletop: This is a combination of a 90 degree angle of the knee and a 90 degree angle of the hip joint. Shins are parallel to the ceiling/floor.

Articulate your spine: This is the action of moving one vertebrae at a time from one plane to another. (Just a little clip from a client homework video.)


Just Say No to Grandiose Resolutions

Happy New Year, everyone! I’m not sure what it is about the New Year, whether it’s tradition or the constant craving for a fresh start, to try again to improve oneself. Even I woke up this morning excited to map out the coming year. There are a million things I want to complete this year, but I’m only human, so I’m going to do one thing: Start small.

We thrive on success, but it we bite off more than we can chew, the possibility of not succeeding at any one thing is quite probable. Do you have one large goal? Write down which parts should be completed during each month, this way you have measurable success throughout the year. Do you have several small goals? Divvy them up. Make habits of a new one every month or two (or three…).

Give yourself the opportunity to succeed. Do you want to feel good? Find rehabilitation for a part of your body that needs help? Be more flexible? Eat better? Walk every day? Pick one thing–just one–and make it what you work on until it becomes a habit.

If improved fitness is your goal, remember that you have the opportunity to purchase three private sessions for $90–that’s over half off! Three dedicated hours to your body, the stuff you want to address with your body, and learning to move better. You’ll thank yourself for it. I promise.


Invest in Your Retirement

Most of us hear quite often how important it is to save for retirement. We have 401K accounts and savings plans that we religiously place money into each paycheck. But have we been putting the same kind of care towards our bodies for retirement? What happens when we get to retirement and our bodies are failing? Clearly there are things outside of our control when it comes to our health, but there are things we can control, and that’s the good news I want to share with you today!

Whether you’re 20 or 46 or 65, you can invest in a healthy body so that you can enjoy a vigorous and exciting retirement. There are many things that are common in the active aging adult population, and Pilates helps to combat them all!

Fall prevention is key as you age. A fall can be devastating, resulting in a hospital stay or a broken hip or anywhere in between. In Pilates we work on building strength, balance, and control so that as you age, falling is less likely.

Posture is often an issue later in life. If exercise is not a part of your routine now, muscles will weaken and posture is quick to go. The shoulders round forward, the head begins to sit in front of the spine instead of properly atop it, the rib cage begins to compress the internal organs. These things can cause issues with breathing, digestion, and of course, greater risk of falling. In a Pilates session, posture is key! I’ll help you to learn how proper alignment looks and feels, as well as help strengthen the proper muscles to keep you upright comfortably. Sometimes, especially in the beginning, it can  be somewhat painful to find good posture, but as your muscles are moved and strengthened, good posture will become second nature.

Muscle Mass decreases as we age. New studies have shown that adding resistance and weight to your exercise program, rather than just aerobic exercise, will help you to retain and build more muscle. The Reformer, the Wunda Chair, and the Tower are all in the studio I work at, and all three offer resistance during your workout to help grow your strength.

How are you investing in your body? Try out Pilates with one of my current offerings or by contacting me to purchase your first three private sessions at over half off!

This Is Why You Need Pilates

Whether you come to Pilates for general fitness, for help with certain ailments, to cross train your body for sports performance, or to exercise safely during pregnancy–whatever it is–you’ll begin to feel and see results after about ten sessions. Below are a few testimonials from clients who are in their first ten to fifteen sessions. See what they have to say, and think about how Pilates might be able to help you.

I already feel positive change, and my low back isn’t hurting like it used to! I even went for my first pain-free run in months and I’m so happy.
-Lorie B.

I’m a 6’4,” 225 pound man who has been bodybuilding for more than 25 years. I can bench press over 300 pounds, deadlift 500 pounds, etc. But Pilates kicked my butt! It works my muscles and my core like nothing else. Best of all, it makes my body feel great! I’ve had chronic shoulder and upper back pain, and after just a handful of sessions, I’m nearly pain free. As a 47-year-old, still very fit man, I now see Pilates as a sustainable way to work out for life. It can challenge you at any level, no matter how big and strong you are.
-Kelly W.

I have really enjoyed how Pilates works on every part of the body, giving a complete work out! It lengthens & strengthens the muscle groups giving the lean, strong result that I like! Andrea has been wonderful at teaching me the proper postures and working with any injuries I’ve had.
-Gina D.

I like how it’s low impact to suit my health conditions. It also seems to help relieve stress. Even though I’m pushing my body it feels good. It helps my breathing, too.
-Cheryl D.

Give me ten sessions to work with you twice a week, one-on-one. It will be my greatest pleasure to address your personal goals and help you truly feel and begin to see results in your body. “You’ll begin to feel a difference in ten sessions, see a difference in twenty, and in thirty sessions you’ll have a whole new body,” said Joseph Pilates. Try his method, let it improve your life.

This month I’m offering a New-to-Pilates special! Three private sessions for $90. Learn about the foundations of Pilates all while getting a custom workout designed with your needs and goals in mind. Simply go to the contact page and fill out the form to find out available session times. 

Awareness | Principles of Pilates

Awareness is important in all aspects of our life. When I’m out at night by myself, you are certain I’m aware of my every surrounding and know just in my purse where my taser is. Awareness is very important–from keeping yourself safe, to reading social situations, to how you operate your body.

Before you walked into a Pilates studio, had anyone ever asked you to find a neutral pelvis? You have probably never considered how the position of your pelvis relates to the position of your spine, or how it might affect the way you walk, or if you could properly engage your back or abdominal muscles by its position. This has everything to do with body awareness.

Take a moment to sit down on a chair. Close your eyes and take a couple of deep breaths. Now contemplate your posture. Uncross your legs and sit up straight on your sit bones. Connect all ten toes to the floor and think about distributing the weight evenly on your feet. Are your knees in line with your hips and ankles? Are your abdominals engaged and ribs actively drawn in? Is your spine extended tall, and are your shoulders slid down your back for proper placement? Is your head sitting in the proper place atop your spine (not forward or tilted)?

Who knew so much work could go into simply sitting properly with good alignment?! If you practice Pilates consistently (and preferably frequently), these things will become second nature by way of working your body with intention. These principles will sink into your very cells and you will begin to improve from the inside out.

Would you like a private session and an analysis of your posture? Contact me to set up a session and begin the good work of Pilates!