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

If you hate crunches because they hurt your back, read this!

Do you remember someone sitting on your feet and you had to do crunches in gym class? Or maybe you took a fitness class where you were trying to do as many sit ups  or crunches as you could in a short amount of time?  It wasn’t any fun and hurt your back.  

The Pilates Roll Down works your abdominal muscles in a slow controlled movement that actually feels good as you are doing it. The movement is designed to strengthen your abdominal muscles and help you gain flexibility in the muscles of your back at the same time.  

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in Instructional Video, Pilates in Your Life

Pilates can help you ….Breathe Better

Maybe you’ve never even thought about how you breathe and how it affects your health…if not you should! Joseph Pilates talked a lot about the importance of learning to breath correctly in his book, Return to Life.  Joseph Pilates said,” Breathing is the first act of life and our last and our very life depends on it. It is deplorable to contemplate about the millions and millions who have not mastered the art of correct breathing.”   The Pilates method of exercised is based on the fundamental idea of learning to breathe fully and properly and to use breath to help our body movements more efficiently!  Want to learn about some more benefits of practicing your breath?  Check out this great article about all of the reasons you might want to learn to breathe better:



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in Motivation and Inspiration

Do you want to strengthen your core without crunches?

Try these exercises that you can do at home, with a small playground ball that you can get anywhere!   

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in Motivation and Inspiration

What is Gentle Yoga and would you like it?

picture of yoga classAre you wanting to try Yoga or maybe you’ve practiced in the past and you’re looking for a class that fits you?  Let me tell you about our Gentle Yoga classes so you can decide if it might be a good fit for you!

Gentle Yoga is a slow paced class that focuses on the making Yoga accessible to any body. No need to worry about standing on your head or doing any of what I hear called “crazy poses”!  You’ll learn how to focus your mind and use your breath to move with ease into poses that are very doable for your body.  Your teacher will give lots of variations of the pose to help you find one that works best for your body.  You’ll learn to use props like a Yoga strap or Yoga block to help poses work better in your body.  The class atmosphere is relaxed and mindful, but you’ll always feel comfortable asking a question if you have one.

How will your body benefit from Gentle Yoga?  You’ll find yourself building strength and flexibility in your body.  Your body will start to feel more and more balanced. The sense of calm you get from taking this class will ooze into your daily life. You’ll be moving in a way during class that will teach you how to move better indoor daily life.

If this sounds like a class you would enjoy we encourage you to come in and try a complimentary class!!

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in Yoga at Rivercity Pilates

Have you thought about starting Pilates?

Watch this video, with quotes from some of our inspiring students! 

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in Inspiration of the Month

Free Community Event: Pilates Every Body Mat Class

Life Inspired Monthly Group 
Sunday, January 28th 
6 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. 
We’ll have a free Pilates Mat Class and you are welcome to stay after for wine, chocolate and hot cocoa!
Join Shelley Oglesby for an Every Body Pilates Mat class for our January Life Inspired. You’ll focus on the fundamental concepts and ideas we use in Pilates in a workout designed to leave you feeling longer, stronger and energized! This class is great for beginners and those who enjoy a slower paced Pilates Mat Class focusing on proper alignment, functional movements and how you can incorporate Pilates into your life!
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

Sometimes the biggest jump in your fitness journey – is the one from the couch to the studio!

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in Motivation and Inspiration

Balance and Strength Magic Circle Workout

This standing Magic Circle Workout will not only strengthen your body but will also help you work on your balance!  If you don’t have a magic circle at home we have some in the studio and VIP’s get $10 off if purchased in January.

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in Instructional Video, Mini Workout, Pilates in Your Life

Inspiration of the Month: Danielle

Danielle Wilbanks
January 2018
Inspiration of the Month 
When did you start Pilates and what inspired you to start?
I started doing Pilates in October 2017. I was having a lot of hip, back and shoulder pain and couldn’t even sit on the floor with my kids to play for longer than 5 minutes. I knew I needed to do something, but I just didn’t want to do anything high impact. My friend Sarah Shonrock kept telling me about Rivercity Pilates and how much she enjoyed it, so I decided to give it a try. I’m so glad that I did! It has been the most welcoming place and not intimidating at all. I hadn’t done Pilates or Yoga to any extent before and was a little nervous about not knowing what to do, but all of the instructors are super helpful and patient.
How often do you practice Pilates and what type of sessions or classes have you been doing?    
I try to make it to the studio three times a week. I haven’t been to a class that I didn’t enjoy. I regularly attend Nancy’s Barre, Pilates & Fun classes and Shelley’s Every Body Mat classes. My schedule changes week to week, so I can’t make a lot of evening classes, but when I can, I really like to go to  Carey’s and Shaina’s Pilates Mat classes. I like going to a variety of instructors because they each seem to challenge your body in different ways.
What benefits or improvements have you noticed in your body and life from doing Pilates?
Physically, the chronic hip, back and shoulder pain that I was having has gone away. I feel more open and stronger and for the first time in my adult life I can feel my core muscles. I’ve also lost inches and weight and let’s face it, being able to get back into a favorite pair of pants is a huge benefit! Mentally, it has given me a chance to unplug and focus on nothing else but me in those hour classes. It energizes me and gets me going. Even when I’m not in class, I’ll do some stretches and breathing to get me through those long days at work. I’ve also discovered the Rivercity Pilates You Tube channel that helps me on days that I can’t get to the studio or when I’m traveling.
Do you have a favorite exercise or piece of equipment (or both)?  
I like the balance balls, both the big ones and medium sized ones. It really helps me to engage and strengthen my core. The balls add an extra challenge and you have to focus more on what you are doing.
What would you say to someone who is thinking about doing Pilates?
DO IT! 🙂 Really, just give it a try. You may or may not like it, but you never know if you don’t try. Rivercity Pilates is a great place! I appreciate all of the staff and other members because everyone is welcoming and helpful. There is no expectation for you to be at the same level as someone else,  just positive encouragement to go at your own pace and do the things that you can do.


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in Inspiration of the Month, Motivation and Inspiration

Need a Valentine’s gift idea?  Couples Beginner Pilates Mat Series with Janee Anderson


We have a lot of couples that practice Pilates together and rave about the benefits of not just Pilates, but getting to workout together.  Whether you are both brand new or maybe one of you has some Pilates experience, you’re going to enjoy this chance to learn and practice the Pilates basic mat exercises together!

Saturdays at 11:15 am on: February 3, 10, 17

$75 per couple for the 3 week series

Sign up soon!  
This class will fill up quick!

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in Motivation and Inspiration, Pilates in Your Life

#RealPeople Fitness goals: No Shrinking!

One of my clients said to me,” I decided I have a new goal: I want to maintain my height as I age!”   I LOVE that!  What a great goal!  Did you know that Research from the Baltimore Longi­tudinal Study of Aging found  average woman between 30 and 70 loses 2 inches?   What if you decided to keep your body healthy, strong and tall as you aged as one of your fitness goals?  What would that look like?  

First let’s look at why we shrink as we age.  What actually causes you to get shorter as you age?

  • You can lose height because the discs between the vertebrae in the spine dehydrate and compress
  • The aging spine can also become more curved, and vertebrae can collapse (called a compression fracture) due to loss of bone density (osteoporosis).
  • Loss of muscles in the torso can also contribute to stooped posture.
  • Even the gradual flattening of the arches of the feet can make you slightly shorter.

So what can we do to slow the shrinking process?

You may be able to slow shrinkage by taking steps that will help protect your bones and muscles.Things like consuming adequate calcium, vitamin D, and other bone-healthy nutrients; not drinking alcohol to excess; and not smoking will help! Doing weight bearing exercise and strengthening the muscles that support your spine is also very important.

 If you are wondering what type of exercises might fall in to this description, let me tell you about my favorite two!  

#1 is walking.  I love walking as part of your fitness and health plan because it really doesn’t take a lot of special effort or equipment.  All you need is you and a place to walk.  It’s also a skill that we all already have so you don’t have to learn anything new. Besides being a great weight bearing whole body exercise it is also great fro keeping your heart healthy.  

My other favorite type of exercise is Pilates.  The Pilates method of exercise is designed to teach you how to strengthen your body in a way that strengthens and balances out the muscles along your spine which is exactly what we all need as we age to help us shrink less.  Many of the Pilates exercises are designed to move your spine in a way that actually hydrates the disc in between the vertebrae, helping you maintain a healthy spine.  All of the exercises focus on moving from your center and strengthening your core muscles that help you maintain your great posture and avoid stooping.  The exercise method also focuses on always working in alignment which basically means every time you are doing Pilates your are practicing your strengthening your ” good posture muscles”. 

Want to learn more about how learning the Pilates method can help you keep your height?  Give us a call and schedule your complimentary private session today!  











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in Motivation and Inspiration, Pilates in Your Life

Meet Yoga Instructor Nick Glasgow

Tell us about yourself / your family.
I’m 32, an only child, born and raised in Iowa City.  Graduated City High in ’04, after that I had a cup of coffee at the University, then mostly worked at the family business until it was sold in 2016, at which time I decided to pursue yoga more deeply

Describe yourself in 5 words.     Fiercely loyal, flexible, freedom lover

When/Why did you start practicing Yoga? I was introduced to yoga in 2010 as a mode of therapy.  Along my path to mental, physical, and spiritual healing, yoga has remained the one prevailing constant.  The practice has had an incredibly positive impact on my life and I’m excited to share that with others.

If money were no object, what would you do all day?  Travel the world doing yoga

Why did you become a Yoga teacher?    I love yoga and want to share it with others

Describe why you love Yoga in three words.    The healing power

Would you rather hike or bike?     I can’t choose.  It depends on so many factors.  Hike uphill, bike downhill?

If you could live anywhere in the world — where would you want to live?   I’m currently in love with the Northern California/Southern Oregon area, somewhere out there, up in the mountains.

What are your favorite ways to incorporate movement into your life in addition to Yoga?   I love a good hike out to a nice spot to relax.  I try to walk or bike instead of drive if I can.  I also enjoy a variety of exercise modalities in addition to yoga, including running, weight lifting, and plyometrics.

Do you have a guilty pleasure?     Something that is generally looked upon as wrong — but you keep doing it?  Movie theater gluttony

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in Rivercity Pilates Instructors

In 30 sessions you’ll have a whole new body…

Yeah, I know…it sounds like an infomercial! In 10 days you’ll feel better, in 20 days you’ll see a difference and in 30 you will be on your way to a whole new body.  Like you, when I first heard this I thought wow,  Mr. Pilates was quite the marketer…  almost 18 years of teaching Pilates later….I can tell you that there is a lot of truth in this statement.

As a new teacher I didn’t always recognize the pattern, but the more I taught Pilates the more I began to see it over and over and over again.  I think I dismissed it at first because I thought… well of course people felt better after starting a movement program.  It didn’t surprise me that after 3 or 4 weeks of a regular Pilates practice clients were commenting about how much better they felt.  It was a little eerie though how almost always when a client comes in and says hey I was able to fit in those jeans that were too tight, or my clothes are fitting better… and I checked their session count it was always right around 20 sessions.  As I watched clients move through their Pilates practice it never failed that I found myself saying something to myself like,” Wow, they are just moving so well…it’s hard to believe that’s the same body that walked through our doors originally.”  And of course when I checked to see how many sessions they had done …it was always eerily around 30.

In hindsight I guess it really shouldn’t have surprised me.  I know that the key to making change in your body is consistent practice.  It takes time to build strength and to achieve balance and flexibility in your body.  The exciting thing about this is that any body can create healthy change in their body through movement if they can be consistent with their practice!  I don’t know about you but I love this concept.  It means if you show up and do the work on a regular basis…you see and feel results.  You don’t have to be a movie star or a professional athlete to get the benefits of a Pilates practice.  Unfortunately, many times the just showing up part…is the hardest part!

That’s why we are motivating you in the new year with Joe’s Challenge!  We want to help motivate you to create a movement practice in your life.  Get all 30 sessions in before March 31 and you’ll earn a super cool new Rivercity Pilates shirt.  Document your progress by writing or videoing yourself talking about how you felt at your 10 session, 20 session and 30 session progress and you get entered into a drawing for 3 months unlimited Classes at Rivercity Pilates ($780 value!).

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in Motivation and Inspiration

Are you ready to take Joe’s Challenge?

Are you ready to add some more movement into your life? Do you need a little help getting motivated to stay committed to your movement and fitness program?  Join Rivercity Pilates in 2018 for Joe’s Challenge.  One our favorite quotes about the Pilates method from Pilates inventor Joseph Pilates himself goes like this:

“In 10 sessions you’ll feel a difference, in 20 sessions you’ll see a difference and in 30 sessions you’ll have a whole new body.”

What we love most about this statement is that it emphasizes the importance of sticking with it!  So often we see people kick off the new year with some great intentions to workout 3,4,5 times a week and it never fails that by week 3 of the year most of those people have already given up.    At Rivercity Pilates we are pretty passionate about helping people create a movement practice that becomes part of their life….not just a January workout!

Our 2018 challenge for you is to take Joe’s 30 session challenge. We’re challenging you to commit to 3 movement sessions per week for 10 weeks (and we’re giving you a few extra weeks to get those 30 sessions in because we know even when you are committed to being consistent…life happens.

Ready for the extra motivation??…. Get all 30 classes or sessions in before March 31 and you earn a our newly designed RCP Shirt.  Document by journaling or videoing yourself talking about how your are feeling when you reach 10, 20 and then 30 sessions and turn it into us at the end to be entered into our drawing to win 3 months of unlimited classes ($800 value!!)

Track your classes at the studio on your very own tracker sheet!

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in Motivation and Inspiration

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