Can Pilates Class be effective with someone 50 years your senior??

I taught a Pilates Reformer class yesterday and had 2 participants…one was 26 and the other was more than 50 years older!  I couldn’t help thinking as I was teaching… How amazing is that??! These two women who are clearly at very different places in their lives came in and got on their reformers and went through a whole body workout focused around the Pilates principles of breath, centering, balance and just plain good movement skills together!  And in case you are wondering about the pace of class…..the 26 year old was often looking over at the older client to get a visual of what we were doing next or how to do an exercise as we flowed through a traditional reformer workout!  This situation really exemplified to me one of the things I love about Pilates as a movement method… is accessible for ANY BODY at ANY Age, SHAPE or SIZE! 

There are no prerequisites to starting to learn the Pilates method in your body.   You simply have to be willing to learn new things and practice.  Whether you are twenty something or in your seventies you can learn to move better in your body and how to stay strong, balanced and healthy simply by showing up and doing the work on a regular basis.  When you are starting Pilates there are a few tips that I would give any body:

  • Start at the beginning!  Even if you are an elite athlete, even if you can hold a plank for 5 minutes or run a marathon…..there is so much value at learning the basic skills we use in Pilates because these are basic movement skills that we use in all types of movements.  Give your brain and your body time to learn what you are doing and why and you’ll progress much quicker than trying to just jump into a more “advanced” workout!
  • Keep practicing!   The value of a movement practice like Pilates is the “practice” portion of it!  Take the time to focus your body and mind and do the movements on a regular basis.  The movements may be a super challenge or they may seem not very intense or “workout like” to you… do them anyway!  The Pilates movements will teach you to strengthen your center by stabilizing your back, help you gain flexibility in your body by sequentially moving through your spine and teach you to coordinate your breath with your movement( great for better focus in your life and stress and anxiety relief!).  The absolute only way to feel the benefits in your life is to do the movements on a regular basis!! 
  • Work at your own level.  Don’t worry about what an exercise looks like or that what you are doing does not look like what your neighbor in class is doing! Another benefit of learning a movement practice like Pilates is learning to pay attention to how movements feel in your body and trusting yourself to adjust as needed.  Your teacher of course is going to give you movement suggestions and options, but ultimately the goal is for you to be able to know what the goals of the exercise are and then be able to decide and execute how you are going to do the exercise on any given day.  
  • Let yourself be a beginner for awhile!  Don’t feel rushed to get to the next level and try not to fret over not being able to do an exercise perfectly after your 3rd session!  There is no prize for being able to hold a picture perfect teaser, other than the prize of feeling great in your body because of all the good movement practice you got while working your way to that teaser!  Every time you practice those basic movement skills you will be gaining the strength, flexibility and balance that will allow your body to do what is considered the more intermediate/advanced exercises when it’s ready.

If you are thinking about starting a Pilates practice we have a lot of great options at the studio.  I always suggest starting of with a complimentary private session.  This session allows you to get introduced to Pilates in a way that is completely individualized to you!  It gives your instructor a chance to work with you and see how you learn best so they can guide you to the best way to start you Pilates journey.  Most students end up starting with private lessons or one of our Beginner Class series after that initial session so that they can build a strong understanding of the basics in their body.  

Contact us today to get started with a complimentary private session!

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in Motivation and Inspiration

Workshop: Using the Oov to find your core.

Find Your Core with the Oov with Jenny Arnold

April 28, 11am to 12:15 pm

Do you ever wonder if you are actually engaging your “core muscles”? Do you ever question if you actually have core muscles? ( We know you do!) Maybe you just want to know how you could engage those core muscles better or more often so they can continue to strengthen and support you?

The Oov is a new fitness tool that is quickly becoming a standard piece of equipment in Pilates studios. Pilates teachers love how the design of the Oov allows clients to quickly and efficiently activate and find their core stabilizing muscles and figure out how to balance their body out. The Oov works by activating the user’s core stabilizing muscles while also gently extending the spine to stimulate healthy intervertebral disc lubrication.(ie strengthen your core and your back feels amazing when you are done!) If you want to work on strengthening your core muscles and improving your balance you have to try the OOV!

PMA certified Pilates Instructor Jenny Arnold, owner of Intelligent Movement Pilates Studio  in Dyersville is going to be teaching an Oov Workshop designed to introduce class participants to the Oov. You’ll learn how to get set up properly on the Oov and you’ll get a chance to try a variety of exercises that are designed to work your core muscles like you’ve never experienced. No Pilates experience is needed. This workshop will be great if you are a true beginner or a seasoned athlete.

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in Motivation and Inspiration

Why Pilates might be your perfect exercise if you are a Snowbird…

If you are reading this, I’m going to assume that you are a snowbird, or you know someone who is.   Read things you didn’t know about snowbirds at this link  In Iowa, you are a snowbird if you are one of those lucky people who has figured out out how to escape the cold, snowy winters by heading south seasonally and then returning home to enjoy the other beautiful seasons of the midwest..spring, summer and fall. 

Many of our clients at the studio are snowbirds and I was reflecting on how great Pilates is as a movement practice for these clients!  Here’s a quick list of some of my favorite reasons:

  1. Most snowbirds are at a point in their life where they realize that keeping their body moving safely is key to being able to age well and continue to be active enough to do all of the fabulous fun things that they finally have time to do! Pilates is the perfect method to give them the tools to do this on a daily basis! Pilates is a safe effective method of exercise that teaches you how to move well, helps you work on balance, flexibility and strength that’s needed to keep you moving!
  2. Pilates is portable.   Although Pilates can be done with equipment, there are so many things you can do with simply your own body and maybe a small thera-band, a foam roller or a small ball that there is no reason to not be able to take your Pilates with you!  It’s easy to do in a hotel, in your camper or just about anywhere.  One of my clients still does private Pilates sessions with me via FaceTime while she’s away. Some days she does it in her camper and other days she’ll take a mat and some props outside and we do outdoor Pilates! Even if you are not doing a session with an instructor, there are a ton of online videos that can easily be done anywhere.
  3. You can find Pilates just about anywhere.   Pilates is popular enough now that you can usually find a Pilates studio close to you wherever you are traveling.  I often research studios for my clients who are traveling and give them recommendations of teachers and studios who I think would be a good fit for them when they are away.  

Learn more about Pilates as an exercise method by scheduling a complimentary private session with one of our instructors! 

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in Motivation and Inspiration, Pilates in Your Life

Workshop: Yoga for the Body, Mind and Soul

Spring Cleaning – A Yoga Practice for the Body,Mind and Soul 

 with Nicole Sohalia Hussain

March 24, 11:30am to 1:30pm

Join guest instructor Nicole for this special yoga practice designed to cleanse your body, clear your mind, and speak to your soul. In this two-hour workshop, Nicole will blend powerful detoxifying pranayama (breathwork) with dynamic asana (postures) and guided meditation to create a space for students to release tension and constriction in the body while strengthening and lengthening the spine in order to to allow prana (life-force energy) to flow freely and abundantly. Revitalize & renew yourself as we shed the layers of winter and welcome the budding seeds of spring!
Nicole Sohalia Hussain has been teaching yoga for the last decade and is a life-long dancer & performing artist. She believes that a full and happy life is an embodied one, in which we come into deep integrated relationship with this unique vessel we were each gifted. An advocate for the power of movement to bring us into harmony with ourselves and the world around us, she shares this path to self-understanding & self-expression through yoga, dance, and her healing practice.
 $20 per person

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in Motivation and Inspiration, Yoga at Rivercity Pilates

March Life Inspired Session: Yoga with Nick Glasgow


Yoga with Nick Glasgow

Friday, March 23

6 to 7:30 pm


Life Inspired is a monthly gathering that we host for our clients and the community to come to the studio and maybe learn something new and always having some fun with each other!

This month we will host a Yoga class with Nick Glasgow and we will end the night with some time to hang out and have wine and chocolate!

This is a free class, but space is limited, so sign up to reserve your spot!

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in Life Inspired monthly gathering, Motivation and Inspiration

Joe’s Challenge: 10/20/30 classes

What clients are saying about Joe’s Challenge after 20 sessions!

I finished my next 10 classes this week, so I have 20 completed all together. I have been a bit disappointed because the number on the scale has not changed at all. What I am excited about though are the inches that I’ve already lost. From the beginning of the challenge to now, which has been about a month and a half, I have lost…
1″ from my bust, 1.5″ from my hips, 2″ from my waist and 1″ from my thighs. My arms and calfs have stayed the same.
I have also been able to wear a particular pair of pants that when I started Rivercity Pilates (in October, I think), I could not get them buttoned. Yesterday, I wore them and they felt kind of saggy.
So, I keep telling myself that the scale doesn’t matter. How I feel and how my clothes fit are the big motivators for me!
Thank you to all the instructors for helping to challenge me and keep me going!
I love you ladies!
Jane sent us a photo of her too loose jeans!
Remember you have 3 months to get in your 30 sessions from your start date!  Make sure you get your 30 sessions in and send us your comments and/or photos by email at
 or on Facebook after each 10 sessions! 
Each time your name is entered to win 3 Months of Unlimited Classes! 
$780 Value!

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in Motivation and Inspiration

March Inspiration of the Month: Bill McClelland

When did you start Pilates and what inspired you to start?
Racing around doing everyday activities, I started to gradually loose flexibility, which slowly started to impact mobility.  A buzzing sensation in my leg down to my right foot ultimately suggested something needed to be done.  Massage provided relief, but it was temporary. My wife had started Pilates with Carey and convinced me to give it a try a few years ago. After several private sessions and Carey’s keen eye for spotting trouble, the buzzing sensation went away and I was doing well enough to stop: too busy, too much travel.  Of course the original flexibility-related problems as well as the buzzing sensation returned. It took a year or so to finally understand what Carey was really saying – Pilates provides a lifetime of change if it becomes a life style.  So I re-started sessions and classes at Rivercity with a longer term outlook and commitment.
How often do you practice Pilates and what type of sessions or classes have you been doing?    
Pilates has become a critical part of staying healthy for me; I try to do something every other day.  Sessions with Carey and some classes happen when I am in town, but more often than not I am looking for space in hotel rooms to do something. If I am doing field work, any flat space outdoors will do. It is amazing how easy it is to find a spot for doing “100s” and teasers if you’re honest about looking. Sessions with Carey are still helping remove asymmetry and Shelley’s Every Body mat classes provide an excellent opportunity to focus and enjoy movement.
What benefits or improvements have you noticed in your body and life from doing Pilates? 
Pilates for me has been about mobility from the start. That has definitely improved, but the increased strength resulting from Pilates has taken me by surprise.  The combination of strength and flexibility has made moving through everyday life enjoyable.
Do you have a favorite exercise or piece of equipment (or both)?    
It may sound underwhelming, but my favorite time of exercise is when I first get into position on the Tower or Reformer for a session with Carey or lie down on the mat in Shelley’s mat class: check in with breathing, position, etc. – my mind drifts off of work and I think to myself “this is going to be fun…”
What would you say to someone who is thinking about doing Pilates?
Pilates is a foundational form of exercise that facilitates and enhances any additional activity.  If you are interested in a true change in lifestyle with increased mobility and function, do Pilates.  And since many of the exercises are transportable, you can do something just about anywhere!  Rivercity provides the inspiration, encouragement and knowledge to get started.  They also provide a warm friendly welcome when you return, no matter how far and long you have wandered.

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in Inspiration of the Month, Motivation and Inspiration

March MATness 2018: Join the Movement !

Ready to join the movement? Fantastic! March is a particularly great month to embark on a Pilates Mat practice because the entire Pilates community is helping you get inspired and educated. Perhaps even
pick up a copy of
Return to Life through Contrology, the original Pilates book by the method’s founding father himself! We have some copies available at the studio.
To participate in the Rivercity Pilates #MarchMATness2018 daily challenge simply post a picture or video of you doing the exercise of the day and use the hashtag #MarchMATness2018 .  If you tag Rivercity Pilates we’ll enter you into our drawing jar every time you post and you’ll be eligible to win great prizes in our weekly drawing!!
We know not everyone wants to post something on their social media page and that is OK!  Here are all the things you can do to participate: 1) We still want you to watch our daily videos and work on your movement practice daily so you can join along in the fun! Comment on our post to let us know you practiced and get your name in our drawings  2) You can simply share our posts on social media.  3) Pick up a tracking sheet at the studio (available at the front desk) and track your daily movement progress at home and turn in your sheet at the end of the month to be entered into our prize drawing!
1. #hundred
2. #rollup
3. #rollover
4. #onelegcircle
5. #rollingback
6. #onelegstretch
7. #doublelegstretch
8. #spinestretch
9. #rockerwithopenlegs
10. #corkscrew
11. #saw
12. #swandive
13. #onelegkick
14. #doublelegkick
15. #neckpull
16. #scissors and #bicycle
17. #shoulderbridge
18. #spinetwist
19. #jackknife
20. #sidekick
21. #teaser
22. #hiptwist
23. #swimming
24. #legpulls (front and back)
25. #kneelingsidekick
26. #sidebend
27. #boomerang
28. #seal and #crab
29. #rocking
30. #controlbalance
31. #pushup
MarchMATness Tips
  • Note the date(s) for each exercise
To synchronize the campaign, the number on the list above corresponds with the day of the exercise’s turn; March 15 is The Neck Pull, for example.
  • Add hashtags
To connect with everyone participating, use the corresponding hashtag as listed above with each exercise. HINT: add #marchmatness2018 and your public social media post will appear in the live feed on the website!
  •  Spread the word!
Post on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, tell your friends! Be sure to tag us to get your name in the weekly drawing! Share with us at the studio how you’re doing!!
  • Practice!
Simply search the hashtags to get inspired and fall in love with your daily movement practice!
Want to learn more about the March MATness social Media campaign?  Click this website to read more and see live feed of posts throughout the month of March!

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in March Matness, Motivation and Inspiration

March Beginner Classes (4 week series)

Beginner Class 4-Week Series 

Wondering the best way to get started? Our beginner series classes will get you introduced to the movements in your body in a very beginner friendly atmosphere!  Schedule a complimentary private session with us and we can help you decide what options would be best for you based on your goals and movement experience! 
Beginner Barre & Pilates Mat 
with Shannon Ottoson
Sundays, March 4, 11, 18, 25
4pm – 5pm
Beginner Yoga 
with Nick Glasgow
Sundays, March 4, 11, 18, 25
6pm – 7pm

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in Barre, Getting Started, Motivation and Inspiration, Yoga at Rivercity Pilates

How do I find the best Pilates teacher for me?

If you are new to Pilates, you may be a little overwhelmed when it comes to finding a Pilates instructor or maybe you didn’t even realize that it was important to make sure your instructor was qualified and a good fit for you!

When it comes to fitness many people think that a good trainer or instructor is simply someone who can push you to strengthen your body and do something you might not choose to do if left to yourself.

And yes, a good instructor will motivate you to do what you might not have thought you can do.  But more importantly, your instructor will teach you how to do it with the proper form and technique for your individual body so that you don’t get hurt and you get the maximum health results from your efforts!IMG_2526

There is a lot more to TEACHING movement and exercise than just calling out exercises.   A good instructor will be able to guide you through a movement while helping you adjust and fine tune your technique at the same time.  A good instructor will help you learn a movement in your own body and not just having you mimic what they are doing.

Whether you are taking a class at the local gym or a Pilates or Yoga studio- it is still important for you to research your instructor!

You may be surprised to know that many fitness centers and studios don’t require any sort of formal training or teaching experience for their Pilates teachers.

Often times it is assumed that if someone can teach a aerobics class or is a trained Yoga instructor that they are qualified to teach a Pilates class.  Many times these instructors have never even taken a Pilates class from a qualified instructor.   Often times these unqualified teachers have no Pilates teaching experience or training at all.

So what should I look for in an instructor?

1. Learn about where they did their training.  How many hours of training have they completed?  Was the training only mat work, or did it include equipment?  Were they trained to work with different populations, including those with injuries or special needs?

Most credible Pilates training programs start out with 100-150 hours of training, minimum for a basic Mat Instructor program.  To qualify to take the Pilates Method Alliance Professional Certifying Exam, instructors must have a minimum 450 hours of training on all Pilates apparatus and Pilates Mat work at all levels. Most fully trained instructors have 700 or more training hours logged in before they take their exam.

2.  Ask about their teaching experience.  How long have they been teaching?  Do they teach group classes only, private sessions or both?

3.  Ask to talk with them in person or maybe try out a class or session with them.  It’s important for you to feel comfortable with your instructor at all levels.  Not only do you want to make sure they are properly trained but you want to make sure you enjoy their teaching style.  Every teacher brings their own unique style to their teaching and it’s important to find an instructor that best fits you and your personality.

Want to learn more about how to find a Pilates instructor?  Go to and read more.    Founded in 2001, the Pilates Method Alliance is the professional association and certifying agency for Pilates teachers.  For the past decade, Pilates teachers from around the world have worked together to create a unified community, to share knowledge and information, and most importantly, to establish the practice of teaching Pilates as a profession.

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in Pilates in Your Life

Stretch Anywhere and fight the perils of too much sitting

Do you sit a lot at work or at home?  Is your back hurting from sitting?

Mayo Clinic research has linked sitting for long periods of time with a number of health concerns, including obesity and metabolic syndrome — a cluster of conditions that includes increased blood pressure, high blood sugar, excess body fat around the waist and abnormal cholesterol levels. Too much sitting also seems to increase the risk of death from cardiovascular disease and cancer.  Sitting in front of the TV isn’t the only concern. Any extended sitting — such as behind a desk at work or behind the wheel — can be harmful. What’s more, spending a few hours a week at the gym or otherwise engaged in moderate or vigorous activity doesn’t seem to significantly offset the risk.

The solution seems to be less sitting and more moving overall.   Here is an exercise that you can do multiple times a day anywhere.

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in Instructional Video, Motivation and Inspiration, Office Pilates, Pilates in Your Life

Iowa & Illinois Pilates Teachers: Don’t miss this workshop with 2016 Teacher of the Year: Carrie Pages


 Pilates Anytime 2016 Teacher of the Year Carrie Pages

will be at Rivercity Pilates in North Liberty, Iowa on April 13th and 14th, 2018


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in Pilates Equipment, Teacher Training, Upcoming Workshops

Active Agers: Have you thought about taking a Yoga Class?

I can’t tell you how often people call us and say – I’d like to take yoga, but I’m older now – and I can’t twist into all those crazy positions like “young” people .    My goal is to stay healthy and keep moving!    We have just the class right now on the Rivercity Pilates schedule!   It’s called “Gentle Yoga”.   

Here are four reasons to try Yoga at Rivercity Pilates, from an article written by personal trainer Debbie Abbott in Great Britain and a testimonial from a current 65 yo client who is a “regular” in our Gentle Yoga classes ! 

  1. Yoga makes our bones denser.   This is big, because Osteoporosis is rampant. The main sites for developing osteoporosis are the wrist, spine, ribs, and hip.  They’re vulnerable because most forms of exercise don’t stress these areas very much, and general living with no exercise means almost no stress at all on these sites. Planks, twists and other fun moves (aka, “asanas”) both load the bones and create a pulling/tugging of the muscles-tendons-ligaments that attach to those bones.  When that happens, the message the bone gets is, “We need to build.” 
  2. Yoga creates a hormonal-chemical concoction in your blood that’s conducive to “rest, digest, heal, and grow.”   Life often creates a hormonal-chemical concoction that’s conducive to “fight or flight,” which make us fat, sad, and tired. This is big, and this is important. The hormonal soup we swim in very much determines Who. We.  Are.  We have the ability to control that soup, but it takes intentional thought and determination. 
  3. Yoga teaches us to focus on one thing at a time.  Yoga was actually created thousands of years ago specifically for that reason.  Focusing has bigger benefits than you might imagine.  Short, choppy attention spans and difficulty concentrating are associated with anxiety, depression, and the inability to learn and perform tasks well.  Did you know the average U.S. attention span has shrunk to 9 seconds?  That’s not good! Yoga is both movement and “forced” focus. I challenge you to think of your to-do list, or a problem, while holding dancer pose; it’s not happening. These poses take too much concentration! Movement and focus stimulate brain growth, or “neuro-plasticity” in a good way!  When we practice yoga, we’re literally re-wiring our brain to be positive, productive, creative, and much, much less scattered.  
  4. Yoga increases flexibility and balance tremendously, more than most sports.   The ranges of motion and the poses that we practice in yoga are pretty unique to yoga.  Can you fold over and touch your toes?  Can you stand on one leg for a minute?  Can you squat with no pain?  Can you easily get on and off the floor? These are normal movements of life.  Our body, just like our mind, is a “use it or lose it” organism.  


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in Yoga at Rivercity Pilates

Magic Circle Workshop

Master the Magic Workshop w/ Cassie!

March 17, 2018 – 11:00 am

The Pilates Magic Circle is a fun and challenging way to add resistance and variety to your Pilates practice. In this workshop, you’ll learn how to incorporate the Magic Circle with Classical Pilates exercises to improve muscle tone and endurance while increasing body awareness and alignment. Whether you’re looking to tone your arms, legs, abs, or backside, the Magic Circle can help! Each participant will receive three mini Magic Circle routines to practice at home.
This workshop is taught by Cassie Cumings-Peterson. Cassie is a Pilates Method Alliance certified instructor who trained with Carey Sadler of Rivercity Pilates. Cassie has been teaching Pilates since 2012, and is currently the owner/instructor at Northwoods Pilates and Wellness in Ankeny, Iowa.
$20 per person

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in Motivation and Inspiration, Upcoming Workshops

February is for Love: Pilates Date Night for Couples

Life Inspired Pilates Date Night for Couples!

Saturday, February 24
6 to 7:30 pm
Spend an evening with your loved one moving, laughing, and having fun!  The only thing better than Pilates…is Pilates as a couple!  This playful class will incorporate creative versions of the Pilates exercises that you can do with your partner!
We’ll end the night with some time to hang out and have wine, beer, and chocolate!

This is a free class, but space is limited, so sign up to reserve your spot!

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in Life Inspired monthly gathering

Dear Pilates Client, I love it when…

Dear Pilates client,

It’s Valentine’s Day and in honor of this day where we celebrate the things we love, I wanted to write you a little love note telling you how much I LOVE getting to be your teacher!  I am a big believer in the practice of gratitude and I keep a running list of things in my life that make me smile, make me laugh and all the things I’m grateful that are part of my life. My clients and the moments I share with them are often on my gratitude lists! One of my lists I started keeping last year I’ve been calling the I love it when…list!  Basically I try to jot it down when I have one of those moments when I say to myself ,” Awww that makes me happy, or I love it when that happens…!”  

I thought you might enjoy reading some of the things I have wrote down over the past year:

  • I love that you really feel everything in your body and tell me about it! As a teacher it really helps me understand what’s going on in your body and figure out how I might help you better with your Pilates practice!
  • I love it when you sing along to a song during class! It reminds me that life is meant to be fun and playful and way too short to not sing along when a song you like comes on! 
  • I love it when you ask me what I have done for myself lately and when I don’t have an answer you give me suggestions!
  • I love that you are always pushing yourself to do something new, something beyond your comfort zone! This includes pushing yourself in the studio but also all of the amazing things you do in the community and in your life!
  • I love it when you show up for your class or session when you don’t really feel like it (it inspires me to move on days I don’t really feel like it and reminds me of the power of movement to change your outlook on the rest of your day)!
  • I love it when you do your own thing in class! It’s a huge success for me as a teacher when one of my students is confident enough in their movements and body to not do what I just instructed in class, but do a movement “their” way! 
  • I love it when you you tell me about how you used Pilates in your “regular” life and are soo excited about it! ( It gets me excited too!!) For instance, how cool is it that so many of you told me about how shoveling all that snow didn’t even hurt your back this year because of Pilates?! !
  • I love it when you make up an exercise variation! It’s so empowering when you are confident enough as a mover to create a movement that feels good or is good for your body and do it! 
  • I love it when we have a moment in class or a session when we have to stop moving because we are laughing about something.  True laughter is just plain good for your soul and what could be better than combining laughter and Pilates!
  • I love it when you take a photo of you doing a teaser or any Pilates movement while on vacation and send it to me!!!
  • I love it when you help a friend or loved one get set up to try a session at the studio.  I love it not because I care about it from a business standpoint, but because I can feel your care and concern and your wanting someone else to figure out that healthy movement can change your life for the better. 
  • I love it when you tell me that you enjoy or look forward to your session or class!  It’s always nice to know you are appreciated and are making a difference in people’s lives.  
  • I love it when you take the time to introduce yourself to a new person at the studio and really get to know them and make them feel welcome!  It reminds me of how grateful I am for all of our amazing, kind clients and the supportive atmosphere they create at the studio.

On this Valentine’s Day I hope you know that you are an important part of my life and I’m truly grateful for you every day!  Thanks for sharing your amazingness with me!


~Your Pilates Instructor, Carey

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in Motivation and Inspiration, Pilates in Your Life

Couples Pilates: Check it out !!

Take a look at a workout for Couples Pilates.

This is something you can do at home and is a sneak peak of what is in store for our February Life Inspired Event !!


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in Instructional Video, Life Inspired monthly gathering, Motivation and Inspiration

Do you have back pain? See how Pilates can help.

10 Best Exercises for Back Pain Workshop

Sunday, February 11
6 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.


If you suffer from back pain or tightness, this workshop is for you.  Carey will teach you her 10 favorite exercises designed to strengthen, lengthen and stretch your back to help with back pain. All the exercises can be done easily at home, giving you a toolbox of movements that you can easily add into your life to help you feel better in your body.  No Pilates or fitness experience is needed to take this workshop.
$20 per person

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in Motivation and Inspiration, Pain, Upcoming Workshops

Find exercise you love and then do all the exercises (even the ones you don’t like!)

I am always preaching to people about finding an exercise method or type of exercise that you love. Being a movement professional for 20 years I know the importance of moving and I know if you don’t enjoy what you are doing you are not going to do it consistently in your life and that’s really what you need to get the benefits from it.  So when I say something like,”Usually the things you need the most are the things we don’t like!”, it seems kind of contradictory!  But let me explain….

I don’t care how much you love your Pilates practice I know that you have said (either out loud to your instructor or in your head) …”I hate this one..I just don’t like it because it just doesn’t feel good…it’s hard…”.    You might be careful about saying that to me or your Pilates teacher because I’ve learned over the years that the “I don’t like this” reaction is usually a tell tale sign that the movement is probably one that you should do more of and do it more consistently! 

So why do we not like exercises?  There’s a few reasons that I have found that consistently come up:

  1.  Our Ego (we are hard wired to feel this way!) :  Whether we like to admit it or not…most of us have a little bit of perfectionist in us.  We don’t like the feeling of not being able to do something. And this is a great thing!  Because when you want to be able to do something and you can’t it’s a great motivator to practice that skill and get better!  If we were not hard wired this way we would have never learned to walk, ride a bike or do any other skills we use to function in life!    It is human nature to not like something that we’re not good at or something the is hard for us! The key is to focus on overcoming this feeling of not being able to do something well and not just giving up doing the exercise because “we don’t like it”. 
  2. The exercise or movement is still new.  Sometimes what we forget that doing anything for the first time is not necessarily easy or comfortable.  Your muscles and nervous system are trying to do something they have never done before.  It takes time to actually get to the place where your muscles (the correct ones) are firing when they are supposed to so that you can do the movement.  One of my favorite qualities about the Pilates method is what I call the depth of the practice.  You can practice the same exercise for years yet every time you do it you fine tune your ability to do it well and in a way that is best for your body. Every time you practice that exercise you get more “comfortable” with how the exercise feels in your body and your ability to do it well. When something is new it feels completely opposite to that: uncomfortable and awkward! Nobody ever says to themselves,” I like to feel awkward and uncomfortable!”.  
  3.  We have to work really hard to do it well. When an exercise makes us work muscles that are weak or unbalanced in our body….it takes an incredible amount of effort and concentration!  For most people having to concentrate so much and engage those muscles that get tired quick and just seem like they don’t want to work…does not feel fun or good…it feels like work!  And let’s face it…work does not necessarily feel enjoyable! 

So the next time you find yourself saying “I don’t like this”, turn the table around and try to say something like:

“I really don’t like how challenging this exercise is for me.  I’m going to be really dedicated to practicing it regularly and see if I can change how it feels in my body!  My reaction of not liking this tells me that it’s probably challenging for my body and I should try to practice it more!”

Of course if something hurts or is causing strain in your body than that is not OK and you should let your teacher know so they can adjust it in your body!  


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in Motivation and Inspiration

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!!) 




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in Motivation and Inspiration, Pilates in Your Life

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