November 2018 Inspiration of the Month Debra Aegerter

November 2018

Inspiration of the Month

Debra Aegerter

When did you start Pilates and what inspired you to start?

I was looking for a way to increase my strength so that I could continue practicing and teaching yoga. I was struggling with some of the more challenging yoga poses I had been able to do when I was younger but as I got closer to 60 I just didn’t have the strength. 

How often do you practice Pilates and what type of sessions or classes have you been doing?  

I try to take as many classes as I can. Sometimes that’s four times a week and sometimes it’s only two. Four times is always my goal because I feel the most benefit for me personally. I definitely feel as though I’m building at four and maintaining at two. I always book the reformer classes.

What benefits or improvements have you noticed in your body and life from doing Pilates? 

The first thing I noticed was that I felt stronger. It’s a mental and physical thing. I was getting stronger and the yoga poses that were challenging came more easily. In my daily life things became easier too and I didn’t have to worry about injury. I felt stronger and I was stronger.

Do you have a favorite exercise or piece of equipment (or both)?  

I love the reformer! Maybe it’s because I spend a lot of time on a mat in yoga but it is the class I always want to take. I also love working with props.  I feel like it really teaches you a lot and helps you identify your weak spots.

What would you say to someone who is thinking about doing Pilates?
I would encourage anyone who is considering Pilates to do it! Also, don’t be afraid of the reformer. It took me forever to learn to how to flow with the equipment but I never felt out of place in class with more experienced students. The studio is welcoming and helpful. You won’t regret starting something that makes you feel fabulous.

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in Inspiration of the Month, Motivation and Inspiration, Pilates in Your Life

Meet the Instructor – Shannon

What do you love about teaching Pilates and Barre? 
I love those moments when a client finds an exercise in their body, feels the intention of the movement, and a new connection with themselves. I really appreciate that Pilates and Barre both are not just about one thing or one muscle group at a time. Both exercise methods require that our entire selves are active, alive and participating. I like to tell clients: nothing is ever dead in Pilates or Barre. Feel energy everywhere.

How would you describe Barre to someone who has never done it?  I do not have a dance background, so I like to tell people that.  Dance experience is not required at all. Barre is similar to Pilates in that our focus is on the whole body working together; something is always stretching while something else is strengthening, all the while being supported by form and posture. Barre, like Pilates, is good at finding and working the smaller, supporting muscles that can bring greater stability, balance, and tone.

You have been teaching Pilates for a long time, besides being a mom and having a full time job. What benefits has this had for you in your life? 
I started taking Pilates mat classes about 18 years ago and really fell in love with the focus required by this movement practice. I began to learn my body and to become very in touch with it. That, more than anything, has served me over the years, through pregnancies and crazy schedules and periods of higher stress. When we practice Pilates with intention and remember to keep our mind engaged, then we really have an opportunity to come into ourselves. Pilates has consistently offered me a practice that helps me manage stress, spend time with like-minded and amazing people, a way to connect with myself, and a way to remain healthy, strong and flexible well into my 40’s.


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in Rivercity Pilates Instructors

Celebrate Purple Friday November Life Inspired: Roll, Release and Relax Class

Need to relax after the holiday? Our free Roll, Release, and Relax class is the perfect way to destress and pamper yourself!

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!

Stay after class for apple cider, snacks and shopping! This is a free class but space is limited and it will fill up- so sign up early here:

You can also email us at or call us at 319.665.2499 to sign up!

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in Getting Started, Life Inspired monthly gathering, Motivation and Inspiration

November Beginner Pilates Mat 4 Week Series

November 7 -28, Wednesdays at 5pm with Jane McKenrick

This 4 week Pilates Mat class series is designed for those who are brand new to Pilates and want to learn what it is all about and how they can use the Pilates method of exercise to feel better and move better in their body. This class will move slowly and participants will get detailed explanations of how to do each movement in a way that is safe for their body and in a way that makes it most effective for them!  Expect to learn how to breathe better, how to engage your core muscles, and how to start thinking about movement and exercise in a whole new light!

Sign up here.

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in Beginning Pilates, Getting Started, Motivation and Inspiration, Upcoming Workshops

The secret that will make you want to start Pilates this week!!

If you have been following us on social media and reading our blogs and thinking about coming in I have a little secret to tell you today!  If you have been looking for a relaxed, friendly place where you can strengthen your body safely, destress and actually enjoy your exercise time….we’re excited you found us! You may already know this from following us… but we love helping people feel better in their bodies and we love being part of their health and fitness journey!

So here’s our secret…. From now until December 31 is what I call a slow time at the studio from a business standpoint. Like any business there are always times of the year that are busier than others at our studio. From a fitness standpoint I’m sure it has to do with the fact that this is a busy season in many people’s life and they are just not as likely to be able to be as consistent as they would like when it comes to getting to the studio.  As a Pilates teacher I have to tell you I love the “slow times” just as much, if not more than the busy seasons.  I actually love to have just 1 or 2 people in a group class versus 7 or 8 because it means I can individualize those client’s classes even more than what I normally would.  Our regular clients actually love these times too because they have discovered that these small class sizes mean they get an even more personalized experience that allows them to keep improving in big ways in their movement practice!  Our regular clients often comment on what a great deal it is to be able to get the individualized attention without having to pay for a private lesson with a teacher!

I know what you might be thinking….that sounds terrifying!  I am brand new to Pilates and there is a chance I might take a class and get extra special attention from the instructor??  Let me reassure you that it is not as scary as it sounds and our instructors are so great at helping you learn at your own level that even as a new student you too will be loving the extra small class attention you get this time of year!

So why am I telling you all of this??  I’m telling you because if you are new to the studio and are wanting to get started.. now is a fabulous time of year to get started, instead of waiting until the new year!!  I probably don’t need to mention that the new year tends to be one of our busy seasons at the studio right?  Even during our busy season we keep our class size small and individualize classes to those who are there…. but if you feel like you might enjoy a little extra personalized attention as you get started, I would suggest coming in now!  

Check out getting started on our website, send us an email at or give us a call at 319.665.2499 and we’ll help you schedule a complimentary private Pilates session to get started!

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in Beginning Pilates, Getting Started, Group Classes, Motivation and Inspiration, Pilates in Your Life

What is a barre class anyway?

I’m guessing that some of you think that a barre class is only for people that have taken dance lessons in the past!   That is absolutely not the case.    The Barre classes at Rivercity Pilates combine attributes of Pilates, dance, and functional fitness training. This class incorporates small isolated movement to fatigue the muscles, large range of motion to elevate the heart rate, and sequencing that incorporates upper and lower body to make every minute count.  This results in a total body workout that leaves you mentally strong and feeling accomplished.

Here are some frequently asked questions we hear about barre class.

Do I need to have ballet experience or know the ballet terminology?
No, our instructors will explain and demonstrate each movement.

Is it ok to hang on to the barre?
Absolutely.    The barre is there to assist you in keeping your balance.

Will this hurt my knees?

The small controlled movements and the attention to form make this a great class even for those who have chronic knee pain or even a knee replacement. There is not any impact or jumping in the class!  By doing controlled movements that strengthen around the knee joint, we find the clients who have had knee issues in the past discover Barre class helps them to keep their legs strong and avoid future injuries!

Do I need to be able to stand on my tip toes (like a ballerina)?
No. If rising to the balls of your feet does not feel good in your feet our instructors will give you options to keep your whole foot grounded!

Is the entire class done standing?   
No, usually around half of the class is done standing at the barre. The other half of class will be a combination of Pilates and functional body strengthening exercises that are done on a cushioned mat.

Is it ok to take a break if my legs get tired?
Of course — we never want you to overwork!  You’ll see lots of different levels of fitness in our classes and our instructors are fabulous at reminding you how to work at your own level!

Do I need to wear a leotard and tutu?
No, just wear exercise clothes that you are comfortable in!  But of course if you want to put on your favorite tutu…we don’t mind!

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in Barre, Motivation and Inspiration

Do you want to feel and move better? This is the class for you: Roll, Release and Relax with Carey

People have been Raving about this Guided Rolling Class with Carey Sadler 
Saturdays at 8 am 

From reducing migraines, to reducing pain, to just plain feeling better, clients have been loving our Roll, Release and Relax class on Saturdays at 8 am.    Many of the principles we employ in this class are described in the book, “The Role Model”, by Jill Miller.    This class is appropriate for everyone from couch potatoes to runners and those who participate in regular fitness classes!     
Fascia is a type of connective tissue in our bodies that wraps around muscles, organs, bones etc. Fascia can be thick or thin, stiff or pliable, healthy or unhealthy. The composition of fascia depends on where it is in the body and what its function is. Basically fascia gives our bodies its structure and helps us to move efficiently.
In terms of our muscles, think of fascia as a sausage casing. The shape of a sausage is a result of the casing. If you remove the casing, all you have is a pile of chopped meat. One function of fascia is to give shape to our muscles as well as to connect groups of muscles together to function as units or chains. Wherever the Therapy Balls roll, they impact your body’s fascia.   You will find that by “hydrating” your fascia by rolling, you will erase pain, improve mobility and love the way you feel!   
While this is definitely something everyone can do at home with the right tools, often we find ourselves rushing through the rolling sequence, or feeling guilty about taking time for self care when there is so much to do in our home.    Many of our clients tell me, that rolling class on Saturdays is their favorite type of self care!    
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 and drop ins are welcome!   
*Use any class card or membership option for these classes

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in Pain, Pilates & Aging

Two things your body absolutely needs in the morning!

Every morning after I get up I grab a glass, fill it with water and make my self drink it. I say “make” because on many days I’d much rather have my coffee first thing…but I know that water is what my body really needs and making this simple little change in my habits (water first instead of coffee) really helps my body feel better.  Some days I forget about my coffee without even realizing it ( hard to believe I know!) Just like our bodies need to replenish with water first thing in the morning, I believe our bodies also need to replenish and start the day with movement.  Movement is basically a way to hydrate your muscles, fascia and body tissues after a night of sleep and not moving a whole lot. Here’s just a few things morning movement can do for your body:

  1. Morning movement will aid in better circulation! Morning movement helps raise your body’s temperature by getting the blood flowing from the core of the body out to the extremities. Increasing blood flow helps circulation and delivery of oxygen and nutrients to the rest of your muscles and organs.Better circulation keeps your tissues healthier and you will just plain feel better and more energized! 
  2. Morning movement will stretch out tight muscles and increase flexibility and mobility.  When we sleep we often hold our body in positions for long periods of time that keep our muscles tight and shortened.  By starting the day with movements designed to lengthen and stretch the muscles you will have a head start on your day!  You will not start your day sitting at work with already tight muscles.  You’ll probably find that this helps you feel amazingly better in your body. Increased mobility and flexibility will help your your body be more balanced and you will breaks out of the cycles of always having tight and shortened muscles that don’t work as well as they could and could cause pain and aches in your body.
  3. Morning movement will prevent aches,pains and even injuries.  Morning movement will help your body be prepared for the day ahead and that means it is better equipped to move better and safer.  You’ll be more likely to use good alignment and body awareness throughout your day which will keep away those pesky aches and pains that happen related to poor posture and poor habits.  You physical body will be more balanced and reactive to deal with those silly injuries that happen when we trip over something on the floor or bend over to far to pick something up with tight back muscles.
  4. Morning movement will give you mental clarity and stress relief.   Increased blood flow throughout the body from movement time means your brain also has increased blood flow. This blood flow to the brain increases concentration and focus for the rest of the day. It also accelerates endorphins to the brain helping relieve stress and anxiety. Morning movement time is like an all natural focus pill for your day! 

There’s lots of great ways to add morning movement into your life.  Need some ideas for some movements you can do at home to start your day?  Check out our Rivercity Pilates Youtube Channel.  I especially love anything with a foam roller in the morning as I feel like the massaging effects of the foam roller work to really wake up our tissues for the day. We also offer early morning classes that are designed to get your body ready for your day.  Check out our class schedule here.  And of course..don’t forget to drink some water before and during your movement time!!


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in Foam Roller, Group Classes, Motivation and Inspiration, Pilates in Your Life

October Inspiration of the Month: Diana Strahan

 Inspiration of the Month
October 2018
Diana Strahan

 When did you start Pilates and what inspired you to start?  When my youngest son started college last year I decided it was finally time to focus on myself and me and some friends started looking for an exercise class of some sort.  Although I had been working out regularly on my elliptical, I wanted something for flexibility and strength.  I started Yoga at Rivercity Pilates last September and I hesitantly transitioned to Pilates in November. I wasn’t sure what Pilates was and thought it would be too hard for me.  My friend Theresa talked me into it and I agreed to try it for one month.  I have now been doing Pilates for almost a year. 

How often do you practice Pilates and what type of sessions or classes have you been doing?   I mostly take mat classes, but enjoy taking Barre classes, as well.  I try to do Pilates three times a week but due to work schedule and life commitments I can’t always make it to the studio so I do Pilates at home on the days I can’t make it, using techniques I learned at the studio.  

What benefits or improvements have you noticed in your body and life from doing Pilates? My core is definitely tighter and I feel stronger all over.  I have noticed that my clothes fit me better even though I have not lost weight (which was never the goal).  In addition, doing Pilates really helps my mental health.  I can have a stressful day at work, but once I start doing Pilates I can feel the stress melting away.  Pilates has been great for my body and mind!
Do you have a favorite exercise or piece of equipment (or both)? 
My favorite exercise is Seal!  
What would you say to someone who is thinking about doing Pilates?  
I really didn’t think I would do Pilates for more than one month but I have found it to be so beneficial for me and I genuinely enjoy it.  Anyone who is thinking about Pilates should go for it!  I think the teachers at Rivercity Pilates teach to everyone’s level and help new students feel great about themselves and their ability.   

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in Inspiration of the Month

Exploring the Advanced Pilates Mat Exercises Workshop

This workshop will take you through the entire Pilates Mat sequence that Joseph Pilates outlined in his book, “Return to Life”.  For each exercise we’ll talk about how Joe did the exercise, the goals and skills of the exercise, transitions between exercises and how you can find a working level version of the exercise that works for your body!
This workshop is designed for anyone who has been practicing Pilates and wants to dig deeper into their Pilates Mat practice. We will “workshop” each exercise so that there is plenty of time for you to try the exercise and find a version that works best for you.
Cost $25.00     Register Here 

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in Motivation and Inspiration, Upcoming Workshops

4 Week Beginner Yoga Series starts October 7th

Start your week right with our Beginner Yoga Class on Sundays at 4pm!

This series is designed to introduce Yoga to those with limited or no experience. If you’re a beginner in Yoga or haven’t practiced in awhile, start here! Over the course of 4 weeks, we will learn the basics of Yoga, breath work, postures and alignment and see how all of these combined will help you on your journey to more focus, balance, strength and flexibility.

What to expect/bring:

Bring a Yoga mat if you have one and if you don’t we have some at the studio!
Bring a water bottle if you like to rehydrate during movement.
Wear clothing that allows you to move freely.
Be prepared to move and also be prepared to have moments of stillness.
Bring a positive and open attitude towards the discovery of you

Click here to sign up today !!!  Or call us at 319.631.9510 or email us at and we can help you sign up! 

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in Group Classes, Motivation and Inspiration, Yoga at Rivercity Pilates

Healthy Feet Workshop

Healthy Feet Workshop

October 6, 2018 – 11 am

Cost $20.00

If you have ever had foot pain you know how debilitating it can be and how it can affect your whole body. In this workshop we’ll talk about some basics of why the feet are so important in relationship to the rest of the body’s movements and in our daily life. You’ll walk away with some easy exercises that can be incorporated into your life to keep your feet healthy, flexible and strong.

You don’t need to have foot pain to benefit from this workshop but if you have dealt with or are dealing with Plantar Fasciitis, bunions, hammer toes, heel pain or any foot discomfort you will especially love this workshop!!

Here’s what one of our previous participants had to say about the workshop: I was impressed by the workshop! I have to admit, I was a little skeptical when my friend asked me…after seeing a podiatrist and physical therapist for the past year, I figured the workshop might be more of the same stretches & that I had previously been told. I am excited to try all the different things you taught to do with the balls.

Register for workshop on October 6th.


Purchase Online in our Workshops section of our online scheduling software! Gift Certificates available online or at the studio as well! Contact us at or 319.665.2499 if you need any help purchasing or scheduling

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in Motivation and Inspiration, Upcoming Workshops

Beginner Pilates student: meet your new BFF

I’m not going to lie…learning to practice Pilates does not always feel “easy”. Just as learning any new movement in your body (think about learning to ride a bike, ski or learn a new dance) it takes practice and time. Any experienced Pilates practitioner will tell you though that it is worth investing your time! They would also tell you if you have the chance you should try learning the Pilates method using the Pilates equipment as well as the Pilates mat work as it will make it seem easier!  Here’s why:

  • The equipment simplifies the learning process.  This is opposite of what most people think when they look at the equipment with all of its’ springs, straps and chains, but I promise it’s true!  You see there is a lot of internal work involved in learning Pilates.  It is a mind body exercise method that is designed to teach you how to coordinate specific body movements using your thoughts and your awareness of what’s going on in the body.  The equipment basically gives you a support system that makes it easier to figure out how to do the movement so that you can focus on the specifics of doing it correctly in your body.
  • The Pilates equipment gives you instant feedback.  The Pilates equipment is designed to connect your body to the equipment in a way that will allow you to better feel if you are doing the exercise correctly. Joseph Pilates most likely designed his equipment to make his job easier as a teacher.   As a student you are able to make more corrections yourself because of the equipment and your teacher doesn’t have to give you as many cues to correct you. ( This helps you feel results quicker and makes your teacher’s job easier!!)
  • It’s an alignment corrector (everyone needs one of those right?!).  The equipment is designed to help you position your body properly for each exercise. Each Pilates exercise is designed to be done while in proper alignment to achieve the maximum benefit of each exercise.  Since it is often hard to tell if you are in alignment or not, your teacher will help guide you and give you instruction on how to figure this out.  You’ll also find that the equipment is like having a second teacher and will allow you to figure out how to feel your best alignment in your own body!
  • The Pilates equipment helps you create strength,stability and mobility SAFELY while you figure out what it means to practice the Pilates principles in your body! Joseph Pilates created the equipment as a tool to help people figure out this method he was teaching.   Joseph Pilates designed it so that people could start anywhere in their body and progressively build their strength and mobility and feel successful at every step along the way.

The Pilates equipment can be really intimidating when your first see it, but trust us when we tell you it is designed to be a beginner’s best friend!  Learn more about learning the Pilates method utilizing the Pilates equipment by signing up for a complimentary private Pilates session.  After you’ve been introduced to the studio, Pilates and the equipment we have variety of beginner small group classes and sessions available to get started!

Sign up for you complementary session here.

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in Motivation and Inspiration, Pilates Equipment

You don’t have to be an “advanced” Pilates Mat student to explore the “advanced exercises”!



If you didn’t even consider reading more about our Exploring the Advanced Pilates Mat Exercise Workshop because you still consider yourself a should think rethink it!  Even if you have no desire to ever take our Return to Life Advanced Mat class (trust me when I tell you this is OK … read this blog if this is you!), I think you’ll find that this workshop will change the way you practice Pilates in an amazing way.  Sometimes practicing the same exercises over and over again(even as a beginner) can seem boring or monotonous…but by educating yourself on the details of the exercises and the method I think you’ll find yourself more inspired than ever to give it your best every time you lay on your mat.  Let me tell you a little bit more about this workshop and why I think you will enjoy it regardless of how you might label your Pilates level.


  1.  Depending on who you ask there are about 13 exercises in the original 31 mat exercises that are considered “advanced”.  In this workshop we will talk about all 31 exercises…which means about 60% of the workshop time will be going over exercises that you’ve probably been practicing!  You’ll walk away with an in depth look at how to do each exercise in your body and how to keep progressing your Pilates practice.
  2. By understanding how the exercises relate to one another and the basic skills each exercise requires to do it safely and efficiently you’ll have a better understanding of how to improve your movement practice no matter what exercises you are doing.  Pilates is a system of exercises and each exercise utilizes a variety of basic movement skills to strengthen and balance your body.  In this workshop we will be breaking down each exercise in the original Mat sequence down into the movement skills needed to do each exercise. You’ll have a better in depth understanding of why you do each exercise and how you can adjust the exercise to challenge your body safely versus just doing the exercise because your teacher told you to!
  3. Knowing where you are going will help you work smarter where you are at!   You can have a fabulous strong, balanced body without having to do “advanced versions” of exercises but knowing the progression of each exercise and the possibilities of each exercise helps you to learn the skills of each exercise and helps you continue to gradually challenge yourself every time you do each exercise.  This workshop will explore things like the order of the exercises and how learning one exercise prepares you for other exercises.  You’ll get a better sense of the method as a whole and be able to set realistic expectation for your own body in your Pilates practice.
  4.  The advanced exercises are the same exercises beginners start with in disguise.  Sounds ridiculous I know…but its true.  This workshop will help you “connect the dots” between exercises.  You’ll be a lot more motivated to fine tune your Hundred and Roll up when you realize how those exercises are really just a variation of the Teaser and other more “advanced” exercises!
  5. You’ll be empowered to try an appropriate version of an advanced exercise because you’ll understand that it doesn’t matter so much what an exercise looks like.  What is important is that you are practicing a movement skill at your level that helps you feel stronger and more balanced in your body.

Maybe you are still thinking…but what if I can’t do an exercise?  The whole point of this workshop is to show you that every Pilates Mat exercise no matter how advanced it is…has a true beginner version. Even if you are brand new to Pilates you will be able to do a version of each exercise.  This workshop will be a combination of moving time and listening and soaking in details of the exercise time.  As a participant I promise you’ll feel comfortable trying out exercises if you want, but of course there will never be any pressure to do something you are not comfortable doing in your body.  If you have questions about the workshop feel free to send me an email or catch me at the studio to chat in more detail!

Cost $25.00   Click here to register for workshop.

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in Motivation and Inspiration, Upcoming Workshops

4 Week Beginner Pilates Mat Series

Beginner Pilates Mat Series

4 weeks – Wednesdays at 5pm

October 3, 10, 17, 24

Everybody has to start somewhere and if you are looking to start practicing Pilates or maybe come back to your practice, this is a great place to start. The Pilates Mat for Beginners class will focus on learning the fundamental Pilates skills as it introduces participants to a beginner  mat sequence perfect for building strength and mobility in your body no matter where you are starting. By committing to 4 weeks you’ll have a chance to not just try it out but to really experience how a weekly Pilates class can change how your body feels.  This is a great class for those brand new to Pilates, those coming back to their Pilates practice and those who are wanting to just fine tune their Pilates practice.
4 week package runs from October 3-24th,   Wednesdays at 5 pm
Need to miss a class due to other commitments? No worries, you can make up the class in the next 4 week session!
Cost $49.00

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in Beginning Pilates, Getting Started, Motivation and Inspiration

When’s the last time you exercised your feet?

Sometimes when I start talking about feet exercises or showing them to clients I gets some crazy looks.  I can just imagine the dialog going on in my clients head……

“I came here to do Pilates, you know…strengthen my core and tone my body so I can feel strong and energized in my life.  I can’t believe I’m paying for a Pilates session and we are doing “foot exercises”.  I’m mean really.. my feet are fine and how in the world is exercising my feet going to help me get a strong core, keep my back pain at bay and look good in my favorite jeans?  I’m not really breaking a sweat working my feet…how could this be good for me? Aren’t there more important things we should be doing?”

I get where clients are coming from.  If you’ve never thought about or been educated on the importance of your feet/ankles in relationship to how the rest of your body moves, then foot exercises probably seem ridiculous!  But I can tell you from someone who specializes in movement, it is SO important to take care of your feet!! And this doesn’t just mean taking care of them when they are hurting or are causing you pain, but taking care of them so they don’t ever cause you pain! And just in case you are wondering….paying attention to your feet CAN totally help you find proper alignment in your body, prevent injuries, strengthen the entire body more efficiently and can even help you lessen or get rid of back pain!

The wonderful thing about taking care of your feet is that it is truly not difficult and does not take a lot of time to do it.  But the little time and effort you put into your feet now can save you years of misery later in life!

Want to start learning more?  Here’s some basic foot facts that you might find interesting!!

  1. The foot and ankle contain: 26 bones (One-quarter of the bones in the human body are in the feet.); 33 joints; more than 100 muscles, tendons and ligaments (Tendons are fibrous tissues that connect muscles to bones and ligaments are fibrous tissues that connect bones to other bones.)
  2. During an average day of walking, the total forces on your feet can total hundreds of tons, equivalent to an average of a fully loaded cement truck.
  3. 75% of Americans will experience foot problems at one time or another in their lives.   ( WOW– thats 3 out of every 4 people!!)
  4. Women have about four times as many foot problems as men. High heels are partly to blame.
  5. It’s rare that two feet are exactly the same; one of them is often larger than the other.
  6. Over 2 million Americans seek treatment for plantar fasciitis (heel pain) each year.
  7. Foot disorders in the elderly are extremely common and are the cause of much pain and disability, and consequent loss of mobility and independence.
  8. 1/4 of all the bones in the human body are down in your feet. When these bones are out of alignment, so is the rest of the body.
  9. When walking, each time your heel lifts off the ground it forces the toes to carry one half of your body weight.  ( Who knew your toes were so strong??)
  10. Your feet mirror your general health. Conditions such as arthritis, diabetes, nerve and circulatory disorders can show their initial symptoms in the feet — so foot ailments can be your first sign of more serious medical problems.

    Click here to register.



Intrigued?  Join me on for my Healthy Feet Workshop on October 6 th where we’ll dive into learning about why your feet are so important to how the rest of your body moves and you’ll learn lots of “foot exercises” that you can easily start incorporating into your life to keep your feet and body healthy throughout your lifetime!!

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in Getting Healthy, Motivation and Inspiration, Upcoming Workshops

October Life Inspired: Mindful Mat with Jane




Life Inspired is our free monthly community event! This month’s class is Mindful Mat Pilates with Jane. Mindful Mat Pilates is a class focused on learning the basic Pilates Mat exercises in your body, with an emphasis on the Pilates principles of control, breath, centering and concentration. You’ll learn to adjust exercises to your individual body allowing you to achieve more strength, balance and mobility in your body.

If you are brand new to Pilates you’ll love this class as a way to learn the basics and experience how great Pilates can feel in your body. Those with Pilates experience will enjoy experiencing how focusing on the mindfulness of each exercise can help you get even more out of each exercise. You’ll walk out of class feeling refreshed, refocused and amazing in your body!

This is a free class but space is limited so please sign up ahead of time to reserve your spot! Sign up using our online scheduling system or email us at or call us at 319.665.2499 to sign up.

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in Life Inspired monthly gathering, Motivation and Inspiration

Do you want your high school body back?

Do ever wish you were in high school again? Me neither….but there are days when I wish I had the physical body of a high schooler! Whether you are 40 or 80…I don’t need to tell you that the way our body feels as we age changes.  For many of us, looking back on the things we did with our body as a youth leaves us longing for the days of not noticing body aches, pains and discomfort.  We realize how nice it was to not have to feel our body so much and not to feel limited in our life by those aches, pains and even injuries that seem to have crept up on us over the years.  We find ourselves asking…how did I get here?  I used to be so flexible, so strong, so ache free!  We find ourselves feeling helpless to the natural aging process that leaves us feeling creakier and less mobile than our younger days. 

I wish I could tell you I had a magic pill that could make your body feel like it did when you were 20…but you already know there is no magic pill.  The good news is though that there are lots of ways you can use your movement time in your life to slow down the progression of the “feel of aging” in your body.  Safe movement time that maintains and builds strength and mobility in your body might be the closest thing out there to a magic pill for aging! Try incorporating these simple but magical concepts into your life and see if they make a difference in how your body feels:

  1. Maintain and Build Strength  After 30 it is possible to lose 5% muscle each decade if you are not proactively doing exercise and movement in your life that will maintain and build strength.  Strength training comes in lots of different forms and it really doesn’t matter how you do it as long as you are doing movements that are safe for your body and target where you need to strengthen.  You can use weights and do a traditional strength training type workout, you can use your body weight as resistance and do things like squats, push ups, tricep presses etc., you can use resistance bands or you can take up movement practices like Pilates or Yoga that incorporate strength training into everything they do.  
  2. Maintain and Improve Flexibility Feeling less flexible as you get older really isn’t related so much to your age but to the fact that you stopped using your muscles in the ranges that you did when you were younger and so they continue to get tighter and tighter and before you know it it feels like you can barely bend over to tie your shoes! What’s the key to maintaining and even gaining flexibility and mobility as you age?  The key is to practice movements that stretch your muscles to what feels like close to their end range.  Just plain stretching will accomplish this or you can practice movement that has a stretching component built in like Pilates or Yoga.  
  3. Maintain and Improve Core Strength  Maintaining strong core muscles will give your body a support system of strength that will help you do everything you want to do in life better.  Whether your movement goals are running a marathon or piggyback rides for your kiddos…core strength is the key to doing these things well and not getting injured!  Core strength will keep your back feeling healthy, mobile and keep it injury free. 
  4. Keep Practicing Balance  Kids are natural at balancing and the reason they are so good at it is that they practice! Kids are always naturally working on balance when they are climbing things, playing sports, and playing at the playground.  As adults we start to lose the ability to balance because we often don’t challenge ourselves to do it.  Feeling uneasy about balancing our bodies in space is uncomfortable and usually brings up feelings of feeling “old”!  Start practicing you balance at home or take up a practice like Pilates or Yoga that continually works on challenging your balancing skills.  
  5. Practice Your Breathing  This one seems so simple and silly that most people ignore it…until they discover how much it can help them.  Learning to breathe well and use breathe in your movement and exercise time can not only help you move better it can help you destress and reduce anxiety.  Moving with ease and feeling a sense of ease through our bodies…feels youthful. It also helps with circulation which in turn helps everything in our body function better and leaves us feeling more energized.  Breathing can be practiced on its own or you can find a mind body practice like Pilates or Yoga that incorporates breath into each movement. 

I love to multi task so practicing Pilates or Yoga just makes sense to me when it comes to the perfect anti-aging exercise.  These mind body practices build strength, improve flexibility, strengthen your core, improve your balance and on top of it all leave you feeling less stressed and energized because of the breath focus!!  As a teacher one of my favorite classes I teach is one I named Anti-Aging Pilates Equipment.  This small class (5 people maximum)  combines exercises utilizing the Pilates equipment and a series of functional balance stations to work on this whole list above! The balance stations are designed to safely challenge balance and strengthen in a way that prepares us for life’s balance challenges(not falling when we trip on the side walk, balancing a 3 year old on your shoulders so they can see better, etc.!).  All exercises are beginner friendly and participants range from 30 to 80 in age…because let’s face it we all need anti-aging Pilates no matter what age we are!  



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in Pilates & Aging, Pilates in Your Life

Are you tired of feeling stiff and achy?

One of the most common complaints I hear from my clients as they age is stiffness and specifically morning stiffness. If you often find yourself feeling stiff and creaky wondering what is going on with your body…I have some great news for you.  There are lots of things you can do to improve how your body feels and diminish the feeling of stiffness!  

Robert Chu wrote a great article called 10 Tips to Overcome Morning Stiffness and here’s what he lists as the main causes of Morning Stiffness :
The basic causes of morning stiffness are lack of daily physical activity, being overweight, having a poor diet, not sleeping properly, and being in an environment that tends to be cold and/or damp.  

The great news about this list is that all of these things are things you have control over!  By doing things like moving more, paying attention to what you are eating, having good sleep habits and keeping your environment comfortable you can keep your self feeling less stiff and creaky and more mobile!  

Here’s a few of my favorite movement inspired tips for feeling best in your body:

  1. Regular exercise that moves your body in a variety of ways.  You know how every time you look at a 5 year old they are doing something different with their body…jumping, twisting, summersaulting, squatting, etc.?  As adults we could take some lessons from those 5 year olds.  My favorite motto when it comes to our aging bodies is: move it or lose it! When we don’t regularily move our body in different ways… we start to lose the ability to move like that. It might not be socially acceptable for most adults to twist and cartwheel throughout their days, but what we can do is choose exercise time that encourages our bodies to move in a variety of ways to counter the fact that most of us are probably not moving as much as our bodies would like them too!  Practices like Pilates, Yoga and Martial Arts are great for safely introducing a variety of movements.   
  2. Add more mini movement time throughout your days.  When we make an effort to look at our activity throughout our days most of us probably are finding we are pretty sedentary.  Taking more breaks from sitting, parking further away at the grocery store or always getting up during commercials of your favorite TV show can help keep your body moving more and feeling less stiff and creaky!  Need some ideas on how to move more?  Check out our Office Pilates series on YOUTUBE for a great series of movements that can be done at the office or even from your favorite lounge chair at home!! 
  3. Drink lots of water...this one seems so simple but it is so important! Did you know staying well hydrated actually helps your joints feel better?  Read more about the benefits of drinking more water and joint pain here! It turns out your joints need water to stay healthy and as you might guess everything in our body functions better when it has enough water.  If you are adding more movement time in you may want to consider adding more water in to your life as your body will need it to function at it’s best!  
  4. Stretch more.  The feeling of stiffness often is a result of muscle tightness that happens due to our lifestyle. Sitting for long periods of time can especially affect muscles in our neck, back and hips.  Self massage techniques using small therapy balls is one of my favorite ways to  stretch and lengthen tight muscles and fascia(the connective tissue covering the muscles in our body).  If you are new to these techniques try a rolling class like our Roll, Release and Relax class that is designed to help you stretch and lengthen muscles throughout your entire body! Do you experience tightness in your low back, hips or backs of legs?  Some simple stretches at home with a theraband or yoga strap can really help loosen up tight muscles and will probably only take 5-10 minutes at the most! 

Looking for some ways to add more healthy, safe movement into your life? We would love to introduce you to the benefits of a mindful movement practice like Pilates in your life!  Sign up for a complimentary private session to get introduced to the studio, talk to an experienced teacher about your health goals and get introduced to Pilates!  

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in Barre, Motivation and Inspiration, Pilates in Your Life

Meet the Rivercity Pilates Instructor: Jane

Tell us about yourself / your family.
I’m a small-town Iowa girl, born into a family that can trace its roots back for generations. My brother (older) and sister (younger) would probably describe me as a “problem child,” and admittedly, that middle position does have its challenges. Yet I think that’s why I always felt a need to break out of the mold, and why I am today, so fiercely independent. We traveled often as a family, which helped to instill in me a strong sense of Roots as well as a huge urge for Adventure.

For family reasons, I returned to Iowa after almost 10 years away- in Arizona, as a school media specialist, and in a brief gig as a computer lab instructor on Grand Cayman Island. My only son and daughter-in-law live in North Liberty, so buying a house in Tiffin seemed like a perfect choice. (Not too close, not too far!) I have one grand-dog, Jack, and two grand-cats, Oliver and Jones. Three fur-babies live with me in Tiffin: an Arizona rescued Min Pin, Maci Rose; an Iowa-born Maine Coon, Gypsy; and an Iowa stray tortoiseshell, Thunder.  

Describe yourself in 5 words.

  1. Sensitive
  2. Compassionate
  3. Risk-taker.
  4. Driven
  5. Faithful- in every sense of the word.

Tell us about your first Pilates experience.    When/Why did you start practicing Pilates? 
Over 30 years ago, I took a Pilates class at my local YWCA and loved it. Much more recently, during a similar class in West Des Moines, I noticed nice changes in my body. I felt longer… leaner… stronger. Out of all the exercises and classes I took, Pilates was by far my favorite.

After moving to this area in 2017, I signed up for emails from Rivercity Pilates. Due to life circumstances, it took several months to actually contact the studio. But when I received an email about the teacher training program, I signed up for a complimentary session with Carey as well as the training program. I started taking classes and practicing regularly, and I’ve never really looked back.

Favorite food / or favorite restaurant
Cantina Laredo in Gilbert, Arizona. It makes my mouth water just to think of their guacamole.

If money were no object, what would you do all day?
Travel, travel, travel… or …………Become a professional chef!
Open my own Pilates studio (not in Iowa)!
Take art classes!
Become a floral designer and open a flower shop!

Why did you become a Pilates teacher?
To be honest, I became a Pilates teacher because the timing was perfect in my life. More importantly, I love how practicing Pilates moves my body and quiets my mind; as a retired educator, I’ve rediscovered my love for teaching and learning in general. It’s a perfect union.  

Describe why you love Pilates in three words.
Pilates moves me. (In every sense of the word!)    

Would you rather hike or bike? 
Hike! It’s a great way to slow down, enjoy the scenery, and notice the small things in Life up close and personal. I’ll never forget the first time I hiked the Superstition Mountains in Arizona; a tarantula crossed the path directly in front of me and I found it fascinating, even though I am terrified of even the smallest eight-legged creature.

If you could live anywhere in the world — where would you want to live?
I love the desert and frequently look for houses near my former home in Gilbert. If personal finances allowed, I would love to have a cabin in the mountains so I could escape the heat periodically. It can get pretty intense although it truly is a “dry heat.” I loved it!  

Or on a beach… I did it for a very brief time and loved every second of it.

What are your favorite ways to incorporate movement into your life in addition to Pilates?
I walk my dog daily- frequently more than once, do a lot of yardwork, and also do a little biking. I had trained with professional boxers in the West Des Moines area before moving last spring; I was at the gym every morning at 7am and Ioved every minute of those training sessions. Finding a similar facility has been on my to-do list!        

Who would you want with you if you were stranded on a deserted island?
My family and my fur-babies. But I hope friends would visit!   

If you won an amazing prize, and the choice was either take an incredible vacation or get the dollar value in cash — which would you pick?
The vacation- in a heartbeat. I’m not really into money.

Would you rather enjoy a houseboat or a speed boat?
It would really depend on the weather and the mood of the day, as I love both.  

Do you have a guilty pleasure?    Something that is generally looked upon as wrong — but you keep doing it?
Eating junk food! <grin> (Although I hate its effect on my body!) And binge-watching cooking shows and Big Bang Theory.

If you could live in a book, TV Show or Movie – what would it be? 

Definitely a book because I love the printed page. My favorite genre is Historical Fiction yet it would be impossible to select a single title. More than likely, it would be whatever book I am reading at the given moment. I tend to lose myself when I read.

What animal best represents you and why? 

Cats! They’re such quiet and curious creatures, absolutely fascinated by everything in their world. And I love watching them move!  

Do you have a pet peeve?

I have actually lost sleep over this question, because I don’t know if I have a pet peeve. There are several things I don’t like but in general, I’m pretty accepting of other people and things in my world. If I had to choose, I would have to say that a pet peeve is people who judge others; I try not to do that, perhaps because others have harshly judged me. We’re all here for such a short time and judgment seems a waste of it.


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in Rivercity Pilates Instructors

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