Welcome to the first chapter of The Breathing Blog;
I hope you enjoy, learn, laugh, and discover more about Pilates and
how the practice can change your life.
"How did you hear about us?"
It's usually the first question I ask my new clients. Many say they've walked by or have driven by the studio countless times and finally decided to stop in.
Some simply respond, "Word of mouth," and a few have admitted they peaked in the windows and were so intrigued by 'those torture devices" (the Reformers) they just had to see them up close!
While I'm thrilled our signage is effective, and I love our large studio windows which face a beautiful golf course and walking/bike paths, what I really want to know is how my clients first heard about Pilates. What did they hear and why did it lead them to me?
From Hollywood to hockey arenas, Pilates has now been "mainstream" for a few decades - Stanley Cup goal-tender Cam Ward used it to strengthen his back and even Lady Gaga is gaga for Pilates (sorry, couldn't resist) and has a Reformer at her gig sites. But for many years, Pilates method of exercise was pretty much unknown and then, popular only in the dance world.
Staying on Your Toes
Pilates has a humble yet intriguing story. After WWI broke out, Joseph Pilates and his circus troupe were traveling in England and taken into custody as enemy aliens (yep, he was a tumbler - and that might explain "Rolling like a Ball" in the mat routine!) He led the camp’s daily exercise routines for inmates and developed his ideas on fitness.
Later, in the late 1920s, he made his way to NYC, opened a studio, and quickly developed a reputation for his ability to “fix” dancers’ injuries. Word of mouth worked for Pilates, too. Soon famed dancers, such as Martha Graham, studied with Pilates and often referred injured colleagues to him. Pilates continued his rise in the dance world inspiring new teachers and eventually creating his various exercise apparatus (like the torture bed-like-Reformer) and ...
well, fast-forward. Now, Pink and David Beckham share that it's how they got their best bods ever!
“In 10 sessions you'll feel the difference,
in 20 sessions you'll see a difference,
and in 30 sessions you'll have a whole new body”
My Pilates story goes back to early 2002, and I often share it with clients to distract them during leg circles. That's when "just 2 more" becomes 10 more.
I was a marathoner and could barely reach my knees let alone touch my toes. I was also teaching at the time when a student's mother offered free Pilates Mat classes to fulfill her required teacher training hours. At that time, no one did
Pie-Lates. But it sure sounded like it could relieve my tight hamstrings. Oh, my! Did it and more than that. It took about 15 sessions, but I could finally reach my toes. By 20, my core was stronger than it had ever been and my low back pain was gone. And by 30, yes; I did have a whole new body. ITB pain? Gone. My running gait? more aligned. My form? Taller. 17 years later? I still teach (just a different subject in a different room,) and I still am training for marathons.
So what's your story? Why Pilates? Maybe you want to run a marathon, or just be able to walk around the block with better posture. Do you want to be able to pull your children in a wagon at the park and not have your shoulders hurt the entire next day, or you want to keep arthritis from flaring up? You know, "move it or lose it." It could be that you want to get up easily from the floor while playing with your toddler, or bend over without back pain while tending to your vegetable garden. Is it to stand steady at the stove while whipping up a gourmet meal (see address above to send invite.)
Maybe you've yet to begin your story. Pilates is considered "functional fitness." The goal is to take what you accomplish in the studio out the door and into the real world. I'm so happy to help you start that first chapter of the story that is your life.