Osteoporosis and Pilates Workshop

May Video of the Month

Osteoporosis and Pilates
Have you been diagnosed with Osteoporosis or Osteopenia?  Are you concerned about what type of exercise you should and should not be doing?  In this workshop we’ll talk about the type of movements and exercises that are recommended and not recommended for those with Osteopenia and Osteoporosis.
You’ll learn how you can use appropriate exercises and movements to strengthen your bones.  We’ll specifically talk about how Pilates can be a very effective health tool for those wanting to strengthen their bones and of course you’ll get to try out some safe effective Pilates exercises that are great to practice at home!
May 20th 6pm

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in Getting Healthy, Instructional Video

May Inspiration of the Month – Martha Szylberg

Inspiration of the Month

Martha Szylberg

When did you start Pilates and what inspired you to start?
I started when my yoga studio closed. I wanted group class exercise close to home in a friendly atmosphere. I had never tried Pilates but heard it was good exercise.
How often do you practice Pilates and what type of sessions or classes have you been doing? 

I have been taking Nancy’s Barre, Pilates & Fun mat class once a week. I have also taken the evening Pilates mat classes.

What benefits or improvements have you noticed in your body and life from doing Pilates?
After having a c-section, I really needed to build up my strength again. I was struggling in my yoga classes, but Pilates has helped me build my strength back up.
Do you have a favorite exercise or piece of equipment (or both)?
I like rolling like a ball and bending back over a ball or foam roller for a chest opener. I find the hip  strength series challenging, but I really need it.
What would you say to someone who is thinking about doing Pilates? 
Definitely try it, and do it at Rivercity Pilates! It’s such a supportive and welcoming environment. There is something for every level.
I would like to thank Carey and all the staff for creating such a welcoming and inclusive environment.

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in Inspiration of the Month, Motivation and Inspiration

WINNER – Joe’s Challenge

Joe’s Challenge Winner!

Since January 1st many clients participated in what we called Joe’s Challenge! We challenged you to complete 30 sessions of Pilates or Yoga by March 31 or by the end of April if you got a late start. We asked you to send us an email about how you felt after 10, after 20 and after 30 sessions. We have shared some of what you said in our past couple of newsletters. We know you’ve been anticipating the prize announcement!
…and the winner is….

Danielle Wilbanks!!

CONGRATULATIONS!!  You win 3 Months of  Unlimited Classes! 
$780 Value!
Thanks to every client that participated! You are all winners by continuing to move and encourage and inspire us all with your dedication to your Pilates and Yoga practice.
Here’s what a couple of our fantastic clients said after finishing the challenge:
“As always, I am grateful that Pilates came to me at this stage in life!! I love the classes in which I participate, 
the instructors, the studio, the participants…AND, most of all that it’s keeping me fit, toned, limber & balanced. I have no fear of saying ‘I’ve fallen & I can’t get up’….I CAN get up!!!”      ~Pam
“Having finished 30 sessions I come to recognize how I actually feel when I’m not doing Pilates. It took me a while to finish all 30 sessions because I was traveling and what I noticed most is how much better I can move and feel when I’m attending Pilates regularly. When I miss Pilates I am not as flexible and not able to move as well and overall just don’t feel as good.” ~Cyndi


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in Motivation and Inspiration, Pilates in Your Life, What's so great about Pilates?

Special Class with Carey – Roll, Release and Relax

Roll, Release & Relax 

Classes with Carey Sadler 

Saturdays, May 12, 19,  and 26  (8 am)

You’ll spend all 50 minutes of this class using specialized therapy balls to do self-massage throughout your entire body. These self-massage techniques are designed to release tight muscles and fascial adhesions, releasing tensions and leaving you feeling more mobile throughout your entire body.
This practice is great for anyone…from those who want to combat tightness due to chronic sitting to athletes wanting balance out their training time and prevent injuries. Balls are provided by the studio. No experience necessary!
*Use any class card or membership option for these classes

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in Group Classes, Motivation and Inspiration, Upcoming Workshops

May Beginner Pilates – Mat and Equipment

Beginner Pilates 

Mat and Equipment 

4 Week Series with 

Shannon Ottoson

Sunday, May 6, 13, 20, 27

4pm – 5pm

Are you wondering if Pilates might be a good exercise method for you? Our 4 week Introduction to the Pilates Method Class series is designed to introduce beginners to the Pilates basic concepts and ideas in a safe, non intimidating atmosphere. You’ll learn how to do fundamental Pilates exercises using your own body and also using the Pilates equipment. This class is designed for true beginners and is safe for those with chronic back pain and those with knee and hip replacements.
$89 for 4 week series

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in Getting Started, Group Classes, Pilates Equipment, Upcoming Workshops

Meet Jane McKenrick – our newest Pilates teacher

Introducing our newest Pilates teacher 
Jane McKenrick!
Congratulations Jane on completing your Pilates Mat Teacher Training!
Jane will be teaching a new class called Mindful Mat Pilates on Tuesdays and Thursdays
at 10:00 am
She will also be teaching a Beginner Pilates Mat
4 Week Series of classes on Wednesdays, May 2, 9, 16, 23
5pm – 6pm

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in Getting Started, Group Classes, Pilates in Your Life, Rivercity Pilates Instructors

Pilates Day is Coming Saturday, May 5th !!

Mark your calendars and sign up for classes for a Pilates Day Celebration at Rivercity Pilates!
May 5, 2018 —  8 am to 12:30 pm
If you are brand new to Pilates, we are offering an introductory class just for you!  Part discussion and part movement, you’ll walk away from this 50 minute class with a better understanding of what Pilates actually is, a knowledge of the basic concepts that are used and how a regular Pilates practice could help you feel better in your body.  The movement portion of class will be doable for complete beginners no matter what is going on in your body!
Class Schedule: 
  • 9:00 am Mat All Level Class w/Janee 
  • 9:00 am Return to Life on the Mat w/Carey
  • 10:00 am Get Introduced to Pilates w/Carey
  • 10:00 am Pilates Tower w/Janee
  • 11:30 am Get Introduced to Pilates w/Carey

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in Group Classes, Pilates in Your Life, Upcoming Workshops

May Life Inspired Session: Mother and Daughter Barre and Pilates

Life Inspired:  Mother and Daughter Barre and Pilates

with Shannon Ottoson and Carey Sadler

Sunday, May 6 at 6 pm

Mark your calendars and sign up early for the popular event!
To sign up: Click Here!

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in Motivation and Inspiration

Try out the Pilates Foot Corrector !!


Try out one of our new Foot Correctors at the studio!! 

This video is a quick tutorial of 3 basic movements you can do to help gain strength and mobility in your feet!! 



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in Pilates Equipment, What's so great about Pilates?

Nominate a Mom to receive the gift of health and movement!

Enter before May 5th !!

Do you know a mom or grandma in your life who could use a little me time? How about a mom who could really benefit from adding some healthy movement time into their life? We know that moms are generally the people who give, give, give to others and put themselves last… so this Mother’s Day we’re going to give away a special prize for a special mom…….

We’re giving one special mom a brand new rose gold Fit Bit, 3 private Pilates Sessions and a 10 credit class card in hopes of giving them time to do something for themselves.

Nominate a mom in your life in the comments or in the event comments in 3 sentences or less to give them a chance to win!! Send us a Facebook message or email us at: rcpilates1@gmail.com to tell us why they should win or simply tell them thank you by expressing your gratitude for them in the post! ( Tag them if you want!) We’ll put all of the entries into a drawing and draw on May 5th for the winner!

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in Motivation and Inspiration

Workshop: Relieve Neck & Upper Back Tension

Simple Movement Tools to Relieve Neck &  Upper Back Tension

with Carey Sadler

April 22, 6 PM – 7:15 PM

Are you one of the millions who suffer from chronic neck and upper back tightness and maybe even pain?  This workshop will empower you to take charge of how your body is feeling by giving you simple movement tools you can use immediately to loosen tight muscles and relieve tightness and pain.

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in Pain, Upcoming Workshops

Joe’s Challenge Continues !!!

Joe’s Challenge Continues until April 30!

...and the winner will be announced!!!

Here’s a quote from a client who is finished with her 30 sessions…
“I finished my 30th class yesterday for the 30 class challenge.  I went into the challenge to re-focus on the core exercises and to become stronger.  I have enjoyed taking classes with several different instructors and having different types of workouts.  As Cary discussed in a class, I have been and will continue to do each exercise with intention.  It is difficult sometimes after a long day at work, to focus in class, but it is nice to have these challenges to re-focus on the exercise and use the correct form.”
Thanks – Lindsay
Remember you have until the end of April to get in your 30 sessions from your start date!  
Make sure and send us your 3 quotes about how Joe’s Challenge helped your Pilates practice after 
10, 20 and 30 sessions!
Your name will be entered to win our grand prize:
 3 Months of Unlimited Classes! 
$780 Value!

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in Getting Healthy, Motivation and Inspiration

Reformer Jumpboard Basics

Reformer Jumpboard Basics
with Shaina Boylan
Sundays,  April 15, 22, 29, May 6
12:30 – 1:30 pm
This 4 week series is designed to introduce you to the Pilates Jump board! The Pilates Jump board is a great way to add cardio and strength training into your workouts without impact. You’ll be laying on the Pilates reformer on your back and also on your side “jumping” in ways that will strengthen your core muscles and all of the muscles in your legs, thighs and hips! It’s unlike any cardio workout you’ve ever experienced! All movements are done with special attention to alignment and core engagement so that you are working your muscles most efficiently and safely.
This class is not recommended for those who have injuries, back pain or neck pain.  If this is you, start with a complimentary private session to get an instructors recommendation if this is you!
Space is limited to 4 participants!
$89 for 4 week series

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in Group Classes, Motivation and Inspiration, Pilates Equipment

April Inspiration of the Month: Jane McKenrick

Inspiration of the Month
Jane McKenrick
When did you start Pilates and what inspired you to start?
After I received an email about Pilates teacher training last fall, I signed up for a complimentary session with Carey and had the feeling I was about to get hooked. I’ve never really looked back! Additionally, I was facing potential surgery on a foot and wanted to know if I could improve things to the extent that I might avoid it. (I have!) At this point in my life, as a retired educator and having recently moved to the area, I knew I had the time to dedicate myself to teacher training and to Pilates practice.
I believe strongly in constantly improving one’s mind as well as one’s body, and constantly reinventing oneself to fight the aging process. Yes, we may have to get older but we don’t have to become older. Pilates practice seems to be a perfect fit.
I had been active in many ways throughout my life and at one time, even owned a smaller “home version” of the Reformer. I loved using it, as well as taking aerobic exercise classes, Jazzercise, Barre, Pilates and Yoga classes.   I was a YMCA regular when I lived in Waukee but it was also there that I discovered an affinity for strength training (and a very strict diet!) with professional boxers in the West Des Moines area. Since moving to this area last spring, I had really missed that. Pilates practice has become my new passion. I love it and am eager to work with other Pilates students and teachers. We all continue to learn from each other.
How often do you practice Pilates and what type of sessions or classes have you been doing? 
Everyday if possible, and on many days, more than once! I participate in many online challenges and use them to augment sessions and classes at RiverCity Pilates. My body and my mind just seem to crave regular practice. My body never felt or looked better than at the end of “Joe’s Challenge.”
My first class was actually Shelley’s “EveryBody Mat” and of course, I watched other participants and tried to copy their moves. Now, I just feel Pilates within my own body and realize that at times, a beautiful teaser may not be there for me. But I keep trying. I love to use the phrase: I practice Pilates.
I’ve really enjoyed Barre/Pilates Mat classes with Nancy and Shannon, and Foam Roller with Kelly. My goal was to start taking Carey’s Pilates Mat on Wednesday nights, and my new goal is to join her Saturday Return to Life. I recently started working on the Reformer (a real one!) with Kelly and love it. Just can’t seem to get enough!
What benefits or improvements have you noticed in your body and life from doing Pilates? 
Psyche. Balance. Core strength. Improved flexibility. Better posture. Better sleep. The benefits seem to multiply and I strongly believe that Pilates practice made shoveling snow a lot easier last winter. I love seeing muscular definition in my thighs and knowing how I got it. I enjoy challenging myself to use new props and to keep practicing, refining, animproving an exercise.
Do you have a favorite exercise or piece of equipment (or both)?
Not really, although I have to admit that at one point, I didn’t like using props at all. Now, I actually enjoy them! And I never dreamed I would actually enjoy an entire workshop dedicated to use of the Magic Circle. I laugh at Joe’s sense of humor in developing and naming exercises: rolling like a ball, seal, etc., and am fascinated by the sequence of exercises and the flow from one movement to another. I really enjoy knowing I performed an exercise well and knowing that at one point, it didn’t look that “clean.”
What would you say to someone who is thinking about doing Pilates? 
Just try it! You’ll be amazed at what you can accomplish in a few sessions. You’ll be amazed by how your body looks and moves with even more!

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in Inspiration of the Month

Life Inspired: Foam Roller with Kelly Sedlacek

Life Inspired:  Foam Roller with Kelly Sedlacek

Sunday, April 15   —  6 to 7:30 pm

Join us for our FREE monthly Life Inspired event!
Learn how to use the foam roller to destress, stretch tight muscles and fascia, gain core strength, and create more balance in your body! Beginners are welcome and those with Pilates experience will love time spent on the foam roller!
Invite your friends to this free class…
…after class join us for wine and chocolate!
To sign up: Click Here!

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in Life Inspired monthly gathering, Motivation and Inspiration

Am I ready to take Return to Life Pilates Mat Class?

Every Saturday morning at 9 am I teach a class titled: Return to Life on the Mat. The class is a Pilates mat class that flows through the original Pilates Mat work sequence that Joseph H. Pilates created in his 1945 book titled: Return to Life.  It’s probably one of my favorite classes to teach because I love how truly invigorating and empowering a Pilates Mat practice is!

It’s the only class on our schedule right now that we require instructor approval before clients take it, but you might be surprised at the prerequisites we consider as instructors before we give you our approval.

My impression of what clients think about this prerequisite is this:

  • I have to be able to do all the exercises at their fullest expression (ie most challenging version).
  • no chronic injuries or tightness or minor pain in your body
  • I need to be super fit, strong all over and approaching my ideal body weight and size (whatever that is…)

These are NOT what I consider when I give my approval to a client.  I believe we should do Pilates to return to life just like Joe talks about in his book.  The very reason I do it myself is so that I can balance out my body and get rid of pesky aches and pains. I do it so that I can do all the fun physical things I want to do in my life (climb, hike, paddleboard, keep up with my kids, whatever!) If I used any of those above criteria to judge whether I was going to do my Pilates Mat practice- I would never do it!!

The requirements for taking this class have to do with having an established practice and being present in your body so you stay safe and continue to progress.  During Return to Life we incorporate the Pilates principle of flow and keep participants moving from one exercise to the next and we don’t have the time to teach an exercise from the beginning or teach it as we would to those newer to Pilates.  We will still teach the intricacies of the exercises but we probably won’t go over in detail how to do things like engage your deep abdominal muscles and other basic fundamental skills. 

Here’s the things I look for when giving a client approval to take our Return to Life Mat class

  • He/She has been practicing Pilates and has a good understanding of each exercise in their body.It’s important to have a basic knowledge of each exercise so that you are not spending time wondering what to do but you can do the exercise and listen to the instructor for fine tuning..taking your practice to the next level.
  • You know what your working level is and how to adjust it.  You see there is a version of each Pilates Mat exercise that you can do no matter where you are in your body.  As long as you know what that version is and know how to adjust it in your body you would be fine in a class setting.
  • Confidence in your Pilates practice.  You don’t need to be able to do the full expression of an exercise, but you need to know how to do the exercise safely in your body and you need to be confident enough that you can do your version of an exercise even if everyone else is doing something different!!  You need to be confident and comfortable doing a smaller range of motion than what your neighbor is doing in class or maybe even doing something that looks completely different.
  • Know how to listen to your body and adjust accordingly- again not also an easy thing to do in a group class setting if you are worried about keeping up with everyone else.  Just because you have done an exercise in it’s fullest expression doesn’t mean you’ll do it that way every time you do it.  If your back is feeling a little tight and achy one day you may need to adjust your entire workout and your range of motion to adjust for this.

Wondering if you’re ready to try Return to Life?  Review the list above and check in with your instructor to get their feedback.  We’d love to see you in class but more than anything want to make sure you are being safe in your body!  Want a bird’s eye view into what Return to Life Pilates Mat Class looks like?  Check out the video below where we recorded one of our classes! 


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in March Matness, Motivation and Inspiration

What’s next after Physical Therapy?

Whether you sprained an ankle, had rotator cuff surgery, or injured your low back….physical therapy often is just what is needed to help your body recover quickly and safely.  But what happens after your physical therapy sessions are done?

Many times people find than an injury can be a wake up call to let us know that we need to take better care of our body.  Most Physical Therapists would recommend continuing to move and exercise in ways that will strengthen your body safely after your PT sessions are done…but what exactly does that mean for you?  If you weren’t currently exercising before your injury you might be nervous about jumping into an exercise program because of the fear of getting re-injured.  This is unfortunate because an appropriate exercise program is exactly what our body needs to continue healing and strengthening preventing re-injury.  Many Physical Therapists recommend Pilates to their clients post physical therapy for a variety of reasons:

  • Pilates teachers specialize in working individually and in small groups with clients to teach them how to safely do movements.

  • Pilates teachers are trained to work with a variety of injuries and some even specialize in post PT clients
  • Pilates teachers don’t just have clients copy movements, they teach clients how to do an exercise correctly in their body
  • Pilates teachers are trained in how to give adjustments and verbal cueing that helps the clients work safely and effectively
  • Pilates teachers use basic movement principles and ideas that your Physical Therapist was probably already teaching you (this means that many PT clients start Pilates and feel like they already are familiar with the basic concepts and ideas used in Pilates) 
  • The Pilates method will continue to balance out your body …strengthening weak muscles and stretching those that are tight or inflexible so you continue to get stronger and move better without injury
  • Pilates is based on using controlled precise movements that are perfect post injury
  • Pilates teachers can easily be in contact with your Physical Therapist to ensure that your post PT exercise supports the work you already did with your physical therapist

Are you curious about Pilates and if it might be a good exercise program for you after Physical Therapy?  Contact us today to schedule a complimentary private session to try it out! 

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in Motivation and Inspiration, Pilates in Your Life

The Pilates Hundred – Why it’s so great and how to do it in your body!!

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in Motivation and Inspiration

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…..it 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

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