This month’s studio focus is the idea of centering in your movement practice and in your life, and I think it’s pretty relevant to this time of year.
For me centering represents focusing on the important stuff first, because I find when I take care of what matters most first everything else falls into place.  When I’m practicing Pilates this means giving myself time to take care of myself and simply focus on myself even though life is crazy busy and I could be doing 100 other things other than Pilates.  It also means focusing on moving from my center first, because all the other details of the exercises often fall into place when I come back to practicing initiating movement from my center.
What does centering mean to you? We’re hoping you’ll take some time this month and explore how a little focus on centering might improve your movement practice!

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in Instructional Video, Mini Workout, Motivation and Inspiration

The one piece of fitness equipment that trains EVERY body….

I think we could all agree that not all workouts are for EVERY body.  For example….running is not the best choice for EVERY body.  If you are overweight or have knee or hip issues…running is not going to feel good on your body and its not necessarily good for it as it may exuberate pre-existing conditions.  Another example…if you have low back problems, jumping into a fitness program that does a lot of burpees and planks may actually make your back pain worse if you are not using good form.  Yet if you are an elite athlete, or fairly healthy with no pre-existing conditions this might be the perfect type of workout for you.  I truly believe there is not one exercise program that is the perfect fit for EVERY body…although I do think there might just be a piece of equipment that effectively trains EVERY body- the Pilates Reformer.  Let me explain.

The Universal Reformer, as inventor Joseph Pilates called it was truly designed to be adaptable to train EVERY body.

Here’s some examples:

For the overweight person who is just starting to exercise, the Reformer provides a supportive place to strengthen the entire body without strain.

  • Many exercises are done lying down on a moving carriage hence giving the body a way to strengthen the muscles without the weight bearing in knees and hip joints that can cause pain and discomfort.
  • The adjustable spring tension allows clients to be really supported in their movements (no straining!) and slowly progress as they strengthen.
  • The design of the reformer allows practitioners to strengthen their core muscles in non traditional ways( ie no sit ups!!).

For the overall healthy, fit person the Reformer works with the individual to challenge their strength, flexibility and balance in a very safe progressive manner giving them what I like to call the most bang for their buck.  You know… a super effective all over body workout that doesn’t take 4 hours..

  • The Reformer is designed to “work with the body” giving it feedback on how balanced it is and how it could work most efficiently.  This feedback from the spring based Reformer system allows practitioners to make adjustments in their alignment and muscles engagement quicker.  This constant feedback system is kind of like having a great coach giving you constant positive feedback as you workout about how you can get more out of your workouts.  The results are increased strength, balance and flexibility quicker than traditional strength training or flexibility workouts.
  • The Reformer exercise sequences are designed to challenge the body and your brain.  For most this means that this highly effective workout has the side effect of reducing stress and leaving you feeling energized after spending your workout coordinating your movements with your purposeful breath.
photo by getty images

Jake Arietta, Pitcher Chicago Cubs

For the elite athlete looking to improve their performance:

  • The feedback from the Reformer allows athlete to quickly identify patterns and movement habits in their body that are affecting their specific sport movements.
  • Many sport specific movements can be imitated on the reformer….giving the athlete’s body a chance to strengthen and balance their body specifically for their sport.
  • There are a variety of advanced exercises in the Reformer series that I’m pretty sure Joseph Pilates designed with an elite athlete in mind.  To get to these exercises you really have to develop the entire body uniformly and have a uniform combination of strength, flexibility and balance. The challenge of these exercises allows athletes to truly take their bodies to the “next level” of competition.
  • The Reformer Sequence is designed to challenge the mind and the body equally and everyone knows that the mind is just as important as the body when it comes to being able to excel at any sport at a high level.  The Reformer could be considered mind training for athletes!!

Curious about what the Pilates reformer could do for you?  Our Beginner Reformer 4 week series starts every 4-6 weeks.    Let us know if you’re interested! We’d love to introduce you to this fabulous piece of equipment!!




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in Pilates Equipment

Breath Inspired Pilates Mat Workout

Our focus this month has been on breath.    This 15 minute Pilates Mat Workout focuses on using the full capacity of your breath, coordinating your breath with your movements and just plain breath awareness!


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in Mini Workout

Is the Pilates Cadillac just a souped-up version of the Pilates Tower?

Definition of souped–up

  1. :  enhanced or increased in appeal, power, performance, or intensity; also:elaborate, embellished

I had a client who was fairly new to Pilates ask me,” Is the Pilates Cadillac just a souped-up version of the Pilates Tower?” and I absolutely loved her description!!

The short answer to that question is yes!!  The Pilates Cadillac is the souped-up version of the Tower!  The Cadillac was Joseph Pilates’ original piece of equipment that was designed to stretch, strengthen, lengthen and give your body feedback in a variety ways. Just like the name implies…the Pilates Cadillac has a quite the “presence” in the studio..  But that presence also takes up a big footprint in the studio.    As much as most studio owners would love to be able to have Cadillac class….it’s not really practical to have 4, 5 or more Cadillacs in one room.  This is where the Tower systems that you see in many studios came about.  The tower system is a version of the Cadillac that allows you to do approximately 75% of the traditional Cadillac exercises on a much smaller, space saving piece of equipment.

The main things missing from the Tower are the overhead bars that run parallel to the mat, the attached trapeze bar that attaches to those bars, and the hanging straps that attach to the bars. So what are you missing out on by using a Tower instead of the Cadillac? Most of the exercises are ones that involves variations of hanging from the bars, the attached trapeze bar/swing and the hanging straps.  These variations are definitely great exercises that are worth exploring in your Pilates practice, but the versatility of the Tower system gives you plenty of exercises that can be used to accomplish the same movement goals as some of these Cadillac only exercises.

Curious about the Cadillac?  Check out this video highlighting some exercises  on the Cadillac!  Want to play and try some of these exercises out?  Schedule a private session and be sure to ask your teacher if you can play on the Cadillac!!  Call 319-665-2499 and schedule a Cadillac session today!


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in Motivation and Inspiration, Pilates Equipment

Inspiration of the Month Natalie Suiter

Natalie Suiter IOM
Inspiration of the Month

Natalie Suiter

When did you start Pilates and what inspired you to start?
Two months ago, I hurt my knee while doing Plyometric exercises. It was so bad, that I couldn’t straighten my leg fully.  I was very frustrated because of the new physical limitations I had, so I started researching what I could do to heal my knee and continue to be active.  At the same time, a friend referred me to a free month of Pilates at RCP.  This was awesome since I had been reading a lot about the positive outcomes of a regular Pilates practice. I spoke with my physical therapist and he said Pilates would be a great addition to my physical therapy exercises.  I signed up and got started right away; excited to heal my knee and continue to be active.
How often do you practice Pilates and what type of sessions or classes have you been doing?  
I have been taking 2-4 classes per week.  My goal is to take a variety of classes with a variety of instructors.  I enjoy the different teaching styles and personalities of the instructors.  It’s fun and challenging when the instructors incorporate different equipment in class, for example, one of my favorites, the foam roller. I have learned a lot and I hope to continue to learn as I attend classes at Rivercity Pilates.
What benefits or improvements have you noticed in your body and life from doing Pilates? 
In just 2 months of practicing Pilates regularly, the functioning of my knee has improved enough for me to start incorporating activities I did prior to my injury.  I’ve also noticed improved posture, increased body awareness, confidence, strength and a slimmer figure.
Do you have a favorite exercise or piece of equipment (or both)?    
My favorite exercise is the windmill on a foam roller.  My favorite Pilates classes at RCP are Tower and Foam Roller Mat.
What would you say to someone who is thinking about doing Pilates?
I think it is hard with all of the health and fitness information available to decide what kind of exercise will get the best results.  Many people want to be thinner, healthier and in better physical shape. However, a lot of the exercise plans or regimens out there just leave people overwhelmed, frustrated and injured; not Pilates. I would consider Pilates to be foundational to a balanced, healthy body! Pilates is fun, challenging and your body will never be the same once you commit to a regular Pilates regimen.

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in Inspiration of the Month

Pilates Travel Workout

Here’s a quick and effective Pilates Workout for you with a theraband!


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in Mini Workout

Meet the Instructor: Amy

Tell us about yourself / your family.  I have been married for 17 years and have 4 kids (shockingly all teenagers)!  Yes, you can sympathize with me now.  🙂

Describe yourself in 5 words.   Prepare, practical, no nonsense (this counts as two words), Seeker

Tell us about your first Pilates experience.  When/Why did you start practicing Pilates?  2 years ago at Rivercity.  To increase the strength of my core and reduce my lower back pain.

Favorite food / or favorite restaurant – Bacon (EXTRA crispy), Bluebird gets it perfect (most of the time :-))

If money were no object, what would you do all day?  Golf, hang out with my kids

Why did you become a Pilates teacher?   I’m actually a Zumba teacher, but I love Pilates!  It makes my body feel so good, I would get on the reformer everyday if I had one!

Describe why you love Pilates.  I have old gymnastics injuries in my spine and Pilates gives me tools that empower me to take control of my body when I’m experiencing pain and get rid of the pain.

Would you rather hike or bike?  Hike

My kids on the first day of school 2017.

If you could live anywhere in the world — where would you want to live?  Switzerland

What are your favorite ways to incorporate movement into your life in addition to Pilates?  Zumba and yoga

Who would you want with you if you were stranded on a deserted island?  The hubs

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?  Vacation, hands down – MEMORIES!

Would you rather enjoy a houseboat or a speed boat?  Houseboat

Do you have a guilty pleasure?     Chips n salsa

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



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in Rivercity Pilates Instructors, Zumba

Am I physically ready to become a Pilates teacher?

Our 2015 Pilates Teacher Trainees!

The number 1 most common question I get from people as they are considering becoming a Pilates teacher is:  Am I physically ready to go through the program?   This may be code for, “Do I need to lose weight to become a Pilates teacher?”

My answer to this question usually starts with some more questions for them. Do you enjoy doing Pilates? Are you willing to put the time in it takes to continue learning Pilates in your own body?

The beautiful thing about our teacher training program is that you are required to have a Pilates practice in your own body.  You are required to log in hours of personal practice, private lessons with professional Pilates teachers, and group classes.  It honestly doesn’t matter where you are starting in your own body and it doesn’t matter if you have some things going on in your body that affect your movements.  If you commit to going through the program, by the time you are done you will have a consistent Pilates practice in your life and you will learn the knowledge and skills you need to help others create a practice in their own life.

So much more important than your starting place of your own Pilates practice, is your willingness to commit to getting all the program hours completed.

Are you thinking about becoming a Pilates teacher?  Does the idea of creating a regular Pilates practice in your life excite you?  Do you want to be able to help others create a Pilates practice in their life?  We would love to talk to you in more detail about our upcoming Pilates Mat Training program starting this September!!  Contact us today to set up a time to talk to Carey about the program details.

Register early for the program and take as many Pilates Mat classes as you like from now until the start of the program!! (up to $250 Value!!)

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in Motivation and Inspiration, Pilates in Your Life, Teacher Training

Meet the Instructor: Dominque

Dominque teaches hatha yoga at 8am on Saturdays!  

Tell us about yourself / your family. 
I am the oldest of three, the only girl. Grew up playing sports and going on lots of camping trips. I grew up in the Northwest, so I am used to the rain, pine trees, and people who commute to work by bicycle. I love the ocean, not the white sandy beaches most people imagine, but the rocky cliffs of the Oregon coast, full of tide pools, sea lion coves and often shadowed by overcast weather. I broke a lot of bones as a kid, some were the fault of my younger brother (I’m terribly competitive) and others were the fault of my own wildness. Dad taught me to be tough, I remember walking home from the park near my house after a spill, and then being in a foot cast the next day. My mother and I look the same, especially when I’m home for the holidays and raid her closet. I moved away from home rather young because of ballet, but we’ve always been a close family. We have a lot of matching pajama sets, its our traditional Christmas eve gift. Last years theme was polar bears, the year before that I think was red and green plaid- makes for a very organized Christmas morning family photo. 

Describe yourself in 5 words.
Confident. Self-critical. Passionate. Adventurous. Artistic.

When/Why did you start practicing Yoga?
I began my yoga journey my first year at Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre’s professional training program, as we had yoga classes bi-weekly as cross training. My first year in the program I had issues with a reoccurring injury and self-confidence, but I was lucky enough to have a phenomenal yoga teacher who recognized my struggle and nurtured me. I began to take yoga daily and it provided the balance I needed in my life.

Favorite restaurant:
Barley & Rye, it’s a farm to table restaurant in the quad cities

If money were no object, what would you do all day?

Why did you become a Yoga teacher?
I wanted to share something that I know works with others

Describe why you love Yoga in three words.
It feels good.  

Would you rather hike or bike?  

If you could live anywhere in the world — where would you want to live?
New Zealand

What are your favorite ways to incorporate movement into your life in addition to Yoga?
Dancing! Also, anything outside, I often take my yoga mat to the park, I love biking, hiking, I recently went kayaking for the first time in the Adirondacks, that was pretty neat

Do you have a guilty pleasure?    Something that is generally looked upon as wrong — but you keep doing it?
I eat peanut butter straight from the jar!



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in Motivation and Inspiration, Rivercity Pilates Instructors, Yoga at Rivercity Pilates

Rivercity Pilates truly is “Couch Potato” Friendly

Has it been awhile since you’ve taken an exercise class or worked out?  Would you consider yourself a “couch potato”? Does the thought of starting back to exercise scare you?  Do you worry about making a fool of yourself in class or feeling out of place?  One of the most common things we hear from new clients is,” I don’t know why I didn’t try this sooner!”.  And so if you are one of those people who has been contemplating coming in, but just hasn’t made the leap…this blog is for you!!

We understand there are a lot of “roadblocks” that keep people from scheduling that first session or class and so we made up a quick list of our top 5 reasons why we would consider Rivercity Pilates Couch Potato friendly(ie debunking those excuses you are telling yourself about why you haven’t come in yet!) .

  1. A Complimentary private session.  We know that starting a new exercise method and even just walking into the doors of a new “exercise” place can be scary! This is the number one reason we offer a complimentary private session for new clients.  We really believe that movement is for everyone and we find the best way to get started at a new place is with some time talking and working with a teacher who is focused on your individual needs.  If you’ve never worked one on one with a professional movement instructor you are in for a treat!  You’ll leave this session feeling welcome at the studio, having a better understanding of what the studio offers, have a better understanding of your own body and excited about the possibilities of movement in your life!
  2. A positive, encouraging atmosphere. Are you looking for people to connect with who want to lift you up, support you and help you reach your health goals without feeling like you are out of place or don’t belong?   At Rivercity Pilates it’s our mission to make everyone feel welcome and create an environment where you can be yourself, enjoy your movement time and walk out of our doors feeling better than when you walked in!
  3. Beginners don’t feel like beginners….really!!   You’ll never feel out of place or like a failure because you can’t do an exercise a teacher is instructing.  Our teachers automatically give variations and modifications to all exercises for where ever you are in your body.
  4. We work around injuries, aches and pains and even hip and knee replacements.  Have a chronic sore back, knees that ache or maybe a hip replacement?  Great!! We love to show our clients that you can still do safe, effective movement even when you have “stuff” going on in your body!  And I guarantee if you are in a group class you won’t feel singled out or weird because of it!
  5. Variety.  When you are trying to create a regular movement practice in your life we think it’s nice to be able try lots of different things to see what you enjoy the most!  We have a wide variety of Pilates, Yoga, Barre and Zumba on our schedule that gives you the chance to create a custom schedule based on your favorite classes.

Ready to take the leap?  We would love to help you schedule your first complimentary private session or class!  Have a question before you come in?  Simply email or call us and we would love to answer it!


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in Getting Started, Motivation and Inspiration

Zumba and Pilates? Why do we offer Zumba at Rivercity Pilates?

Picture of people doing zumba at Rivercity PilatesHave you heard of Zumba?  Zumba totes itself as “Pretty much the most awesome workout ever. Dance to great music, with great people, and burn a ton of calories without even realizing it”.   It’s a total workout, combining all elements of fitness – cardio, muscle conditioning, balance and flexibility.

As a Pilates and Yoga studio we focus on being a place where our clients can come in and have a great movement experience that leaves them walking out of our doors feeling better in their bodies then when they came in.  So when we were looking to grow our offerings and offer some cardio based classes in our studio… Zumba seemed like the perfect fit! Here’s our top 5 reasons why we love ZUMBA and are hoping you do too!!

  1. It’s Beginner Friendly! Never been to Zumba before? Don’t worry! Zumba is taught for the beginner in mind and it doesn’t matter if this is your 1st or 100th Zumba class.
  2. It’s never boring!  We all know that cardio can be boring some days.  Even though we know how good it is for our bodies and minds…It’s hard to motivate yourself to get that walk or jog in, it’s a challenge to jump on your bike or even toss in a DVD to do a workout.  The great thing about Zumba class is that it’s fun and before you know it you’ve been moving and dancing for 50 minutes, burning lots of calories and having fun at the same time!
  3. The Music!   The heart pumping Latin music will leave you feeling energized!!  It’s been proven that music can change your mood and make you feel better in your body and we agree!!
  4. It does not have to be perfect!  If you are someone who feels uncoordinated in a step class or always get those dance steps mixed up….it doesn’t matter.  You’ll find with Zumba that you can easily follow along even if dancing isn’t your best skill!  You’ll be encouraged to move at your own pace, do what you can and just keep moving to the music!
  5. The People!   Exercise with other people who are learning Zumba and getting their cardio in at Rivercity Pilates.   We laugh, we sweat, and most of all – we get healthier!

Are you looking for some fun cardio to spice up your workout routine? Then Zumba is just for you!

Check out our Zumba class schedule and click here to sign up for a class today!

  • Mondays at at 11:00 am
  • Wednesdays at 9 :00 am
  • Fridays at 8:00 am
  • Sundays at 9 am



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in Motivation and Inspiration, Zumba

Breath inspired Mat Mini Pilates Workout

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in Instructional Video, Mini Workout

Why do you always start with my feet?

One of my newer private clients asked me the other day ago,” Why do you always have me do these exercises with my feet at the beginning of our session?”  The exercises I was having her do can be seen in the video below and use a small ball to roll your feet out.  She liked the exercises and was even doing them at home, and more than anything was curious about why I always had her do them.

My answer: Your feet, and the tissues and muscles in your feet have a direct effect on how the rest of your body moves! By starting with the feet we are giving the rest of your body the best possible prep to move it’s best and get the most out of your session.  As an example I had her do the ball exercises on one foot first.  Then she did a slow standing roll down to check in with how the backs of her legs felt.  She was amazed at how just by rolling out her foot, her muscles in the back of her leg on that side felt looser and less stiff!  If you haven’t tried this yet…go do it now!!

If you’ve never really thought about your feet in terms of how they impact how the rest of your body feels….it’s worth a little examination!  Join me for my Healthy Feet Workshop On Saturday, August 26th at 10:30 a.m. and learn why you should pay attention to your feet and walk away with lots of simple exercises and movements you can use to keep your feet healthy and happy!!


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in Motivation and Inspiration, Pilates in Your Life

Healthy Feet Workshop with Carey Sadler August 26

Our feet influence all of our body movements and can have a direct impact on our back, our hips and our knees! You’ll learn some easy, effective exercises designed to keep your feet pain free and happy as well as the rest of your body!!

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!!

$20 Sign up using our online scheduling system to reserve your spot. Space is Limited!!

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in Upcoming Workshops

Have you thought about becoming a Pilates Teacher?

Pilates Teacher Training starts this fall!
Fall 2017 Pilates Mat Teacher Training Workshop dates:
  • September 10, 2017
  • October 1, 2017
  • October 22, 2017
  • November 12th, 2017
  • December 3rd, 2017

Check out our website for details or contact us to set up a time to come in and talk about program details with Carey!!

Learn more about the details of the program by clicking here.

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in Teacher Training

Free Community Zumba Class Sunday August 13

 Life Inspired: Zumba Let it Move You! 

Free Class   with Amy Boelk
Sunday, August 13       6 pm to 7:30 pm
Beginners Welcome

Life Inspired is a free monthly event that we host for us to connect, learn something new, and have fun! Join Amy for a free Zumba class and stay after for wine and chocolate!

Are you looking for some fun cardio to spice up your workout routine?  Then Zumba is just for you!  Come dance and shake your booty to some heart pumping Latin music.  Never been to Zumba before?  Don’t worry!  Zumba is taught for the beginner in mind and it doesn’t matter if this is your 1st or 100th Zumba class.

Sign up for FREE Life Inspired Event:

Click Here!

Zumba classes will begin August 21st at Rivercity Pilates!

Mondays at 11 am,

Wednesdays at 9 am,

Fridays at 8 am and

Sundays at 9 am

Join us for what could be your most fun workout all week!  Sign up for Zumba classes:

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in Cardio, Motivation and Inspiration

New Yoga Specialty Class with Samantha Kollasch

Power & Restore Yoga
with Samantha Kollasch
4:00 to 5:30 p.m. August 13, Sept. 10, 
Oct. 22, Nov.12
This 90 minute specialty class is the perfect combo for any yogi looking to challenge and deepen their practice. The first 60 minutes of class will be dedicated to a Power Vinyasa flow intended to build strength, balance and to develop mental and physical stamina. The final 30 minutes of class will be a Restorative approach to yoga where the practice will slow down, include deeper stretching, and to have an opportunity for a longer meditative final relaxation.   Use a class card or monthly membership  to attend!  Drop ins welcome!
Sign up: Click Here!

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in Yoga at Rivercity Pilates

The absolute secret to Pilates success!

I’ve been teaching Pilates for a long time and in that time I have gotten to observe a lot of different people and different bodies who come to Pilates and give it a try.  On a daily basis I get to hear from clients about how their Pilates practice has changed their life,made them stronger, helped them get rid of pain and allows them to move better in their daily life so that they can live the life they dream of.  Many talk about how Pilates makes them happier and keeps their body feeling happier.  I also see lots of people who are super excited to try it, enjoy it and can really see how it could benefit their life and then give it up.  So what’s the key to being a Pilates success?  How can you get what those happy people have, those people are feeling amazing in their body? It might be simpler than you think.  The secret is patience and persistence.

Joseph Pilates said,” Patience and persistence are vital qualities in the ultimate successful accomplishment of any worthwhile endeavor.”

I couldn’t agree more!  So what does it mean to be patient and persistent when it comes to your Pilates practice?  I really think it comes down to showing up and not giving up.  We live in what I like to call a “quick fix” world.  Society has convinced us that you can buy a solution to any problem you have.  We’re spoiled by the convenience of being able to walk into a store or click a button online and have just about anything we want almost instantaneously. But  so many things in life can’t be bought or obtained quickly…our health, our happiness, learning a new sport or discipline in your body, learning new eating habits, friendships and relationships.  The key to success in any of these arenas is consistent positive action taken over time.  And when I say time I don’t mean the “6 weeks to a skinny you program” kind of time…I mean years  (yep…years).

Think of that friend or two in your life who you can’t imagine doing life without.  Did your friendship with them just happen overnight?  How long have you known them? How many life experiences have you shared with them and what do you do on a regular basis to connect with them?  Are you or were you an athlete at some point in your life?  How many practices did you attend? How many games did you win (and lose)?  How long did you play that sport before you were feeling pretty accomplished in it?  Do you have someone in your life who you admire because you feel like they are in great shape and they really take care of their body?  My guess is if you ask them they have made a commitment in their life to make movement part of their life…they probably have a routine that they’ve been following…probably for years!

I can tell you first hand from my own life and from the clients I get to work with on a daily basis…the key to feeling good in your body, to getting results from your Pilates practice (or any movement practice) is consistency over time.  Adding more movement into your life is not a hard thing to do, but as easy as it is to do….it’s just as easy not to do.  Adding 5-10 minutes of Pilates based exercises to your day is pretty doable for everybody and I guarantee that if you did that for 3 months, 6 months, or a year…you would feel an amazing difference in your body and your life.  Taking even just one Pilates class per week over a year would change how your body feels when you look back a year from now.

When I observe those clients who have really embraced movement as part of their life, the ones who feel and see results from their movement practice on a daily basis I see a lot of the same characteristics, traits and habits.

Here’s just a few:

  1. Movement is not an option.  Clients who are committed don’t give themselves the option of not doing it, even on the days when it would be just as easy not to do it.
  2. They come back after being sick, taking a break, etc.  Everyone has stuff in their life and it’s pretty unrealistic to think that you would never miss your workouts or movement time, but the big difference between the successful and unsuccessful is they stick with it.  If you sleep in and miss your workout, you get back to it the next day. Went on vacation and lounged on the beach for 2 weeks.. then you come back and get back into the routine.  Had a few months where you were consumed with taking care of a loved one or maybe even something as tragic as a death of someone you loved…they come back and keep moving.
  3. They create a routine or schedule.  Movement time is in the calendar, it’s as regular as eating lunch or brushing your teeth…again it’s not optional.
  4. They enjoy the process. They know that movement and exercise time for their body is not a quick fix for anything.  They are able to see the big picture of health and happiness.  They realize that their consistent habits will add up over time to things much bigger than fitting into their skinny jeans.. things like living longer, feeling good in their body so they can take amazing vacations or keeping up with their kids or grandkids…
  5. They surround themselves with like-minded people.  Sticking with something is never easy and it’s even harder if all of your friends and family are unsupportive and don’t get what you are doing and why. Having a trusted movement teacher or trainer who is on your side can make a world of difference. Having a workout friend who is on the same path of trying to keep consistent can give you just the support and camaraderie you need.  Having a place and space in your life to workout where you feel supported, loved and actually enjoy makes the process so much more fun and enjoyable and easier to stick with.

At Rivercity Pilates we are passionate about movement and what an amazing health tool it can be in your life.  Our staff is here because they love being “those supportive, like-minded people” in your life!  Our staff is on the same life journey as you. We are on a daily journey to use movement in our life consistently so that we too can live our best life.  Our daily interactions with our amazing clients inspire us in our own movement journey.  The studio is our “happy place” and we really hope it will become yours too.  If you are looking to add movement into your life we would love to meet you and introduce you to the studio, our staff and all of our fabulous inspiring clients!  Click here to schedule a complimentary private session to get started today!!






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in Motivation and Inspiration, Pilates in Your Life

Can Pilates get rid of my stomach?

What can Pilates do for me?  Can it get rid of my stomach, tighten my butt, slim my thighs?

When you are in the movement/fitness/Pilates business these types of questions can always be expected.  So expected that I, like many teachers have some standard responses where I tell potential new students,  “of course it can”, followed by professional explanations of how the exercise method if done regularly can produce just the results they are looking for.  But I have to tell you…the longer I teach the harder it is for me to stomach saying these lines. Not because they are wrong, but because I really don’t believe the value in learning a movement practice like Pilates is in the results they are asking about.

I’ve been where these women who are asking me these questions have been…looking for the next best thing to help them get into a smaller pair of jeans or look how you think society wants you to look.  I quit obsessing about weight, worrying about what size I am or trying to fit into society’s ideals a long time ago. I do think my career as a movement instructor was instrumental in that process in my life and I’m forever grateful for that.  I have an eight year old daughter and even though I try to be a great positive body image role model for her, I already am finding that I can’t shield her from thinking she needs to be “skinnier”, go on a diet, or even “lose her stomach” (yes she’s 8 and actually mentioned to me she just wanted to lose a little bit of her stomach???!) and it drives me crazy! What I really want more than anything is for her to appreciate the amazing body she has, stay active and healthy by moving in ways she loves and not fall into feeling like she is always trying to “fix herself” to meet other people’s standards.

So when someone asks me one of those questions about losing an inch from their waist….my heart kind of aches because I can tell that they are still in that place of “trying to fix themselves” or get their body to some “ideal place” that doesn’t exist. Here’s what I want to say when someone asks me about losing their stomach, tightening their butt, or slimming their thighs:

The answer of course is yes — any regular movement program combined with healthy eating can accomplish those things…but is that really what you want?  You are beautiful and have a body that lets you live life.  It might not be perfect or what you see as ideal, but the reality is it is amazing! If you make it a priority to take care of it by moving in ways you enjoy you will be happier, healthier, and you’ll learn to love yourself for the wonderful you that you are!  You will feel better in your body and in the days end I think that’s what most people are really looking for.  What if you looked at learning Pilates as a way to do something good for your body, a way to grow yourself as a person as you learn more about how your body moves, and a health tool that helps you feel better in your body and happier in your life?

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in Motivation and Inspiration

Breath is a tool..not a rule

My friend Len was visiting this April and I overheard a conversation he had with a client who was asking about how to breathe on a particular exercise as Len had taught the reverse of what this client was used to.(asking her to inhale when she normally exhaled).  He took some time to explain why he was using that particular breath pattern and somewhere in the conversation he simply said, “Remember breath is a tool, not a rule.”  I love that phrase!

Do you ever find yourself wondering if you are breathing correctly?  Sometimes I find that clients are so worried about if they are inhaling and exhaling at the right moment that they totally miss all the wonderful other components of the exercise.  One of the first things I teach new Pilates students is how to breathe to their fullest capacity as well as informing them of all the wonderful health benefits that come along with learning to breathe properly and how to coordinate breath with their movement.  Then…immediately after that I tell them,”Try not to worry about or overthink the breath as you are first learning Pilates in your body….simply try to remember to breath and try not to hold your breath! Learning Pilates is a process and you are not expected to learn everything all at once!  Using breath to help us move better is something that takes time and practice to do!”

There are so many components to learning a mind body practice like Pilates that it can be overwhelming if you are trying to do everything at once.   For instance….learning the technique or choreographing of the exercises, keeping your newly found abdominal muscles engaged, keeping  your awareness of your whole body, being precise and controlled with the movements, learning  “new ways” to move in your body, coordinating your breath, etc….

If you are finding it hard to figure out the breathing, feeling a little overwhelmed by it,  or maybe feeling like you just aren’t getting it yet, here’s a few tips to think about:

  1.  Be aware of your breath.  How many times during your day or even when you do other exercise do you pay attention to your breath? Don’t worry so much about trying to change your breath but truly just notice it.  Awareness of your breath will give you a connection between your physical movements in an almost meditative way.  You’ll feel calmer and find yourself being able to better control your physical movements. This produces the immediate benefits of reducing feelings of stress and anxiety and helping you get physical results in your body quicker as you’ll be doing the movements using proper muscle engagement.
  2. Aim for bigger, slower breath.  Breathing quicker and shallower breaths is rarely the answer when it comes to using breath in your movement.  I like to practice this bigger slower breath all by itself first.. just lay on a mat and take 10 Pilates breaths seeing how slow and big you can make them.  We live in a pretty fast paced world and it’s rare that we take time to slow down and that includes our breath.  It takes some practice and retraining yourself to breath deeper and slower! The more you practice this bigger, slower breath the more easily you’ll be able to use it and connect it to your physical movements.
  3. Be playful with your breath.  Be ok with not breathing perfectly!  If the breath your teacher is suggesting just doesn’t seem to work- try your own breath pattern. Yep…it’s OK to inhale even though she’s telling you to exhale!! Let yourself explore how your breath can help you move better in your body!

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in Motivation and Inspiration

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