“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!!
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!!
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 email@example.com or call us at 319.665.2499 to sign up.
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:
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!
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:
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!
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.
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.
What do you love about teaching Pilates?
Watching my clients walk in with the stress of the day and walk out rejuvenated is super rewarding. We all live such busy lives and its difficult to find time to take care of ourselves. I love being part of the one hour a day someone is dedicating to themselves.
What’s your favorite part about your pilates group classes at RCP?
We have fun! I always look forward to seeing my regulars and introducing new clients to my style of teaching. There is growth in every class – whether its improving on something we’ve done over and over or its trying a new exercise or modification.
Give us two words that you think your students would use to describe your classes!
As one of my regulars so kindly said – “Evil. Awesome. Good.”
How old were you when you decided to take the pilates teacher training and why did you decide to take it?
I was 26 when I decided to enter my Pilates teacher training program. I had discovered Pilates just a year earlier and found it to be the perfect balance for my body. I felt Pilates heal my decade long back injuries and I wanted to share that magic with others. I also love that I can teach Pilates anywhere – that level of flexibility is one of the reasons I was so easily able to move from NYC to Iowa in 2015.
Getting started is always the hardest part of starting anything new! Life is busy and it’s a pain to have to set up an appointment, put stuff into your already packed schedule and have to walk into a new place where you don’t know anyone. We understand and we are always trying to do our best to make getting started at Rivercity Pilates as easy as possible because we know the benefits you are going to experience in your body and life are going to be amazing!
Have questions about a particular class on the schedule and if it might be good for you? Just ask your instructor, call us or send us an email and we would love to guide you!
When did you start Pilates and what inspired you to start?
I started taking Pilates classes about 3 years ago. I was having a lot of back pain and was encouraged by Shelley Mockler to give Rivercity Pilates a try. She promised me I didn’t have to be an athlete to feel comfortable going there (and she was right!)
What would you say to someone who is thinking about doing Pilates?
Give it a try for a few months and don’t be intimidated. It’s fun and feels good! I would also encourage everyone to take some private or semi-private classes if possible to learn some of the core principles that will let you get more out of the group classes.
Have you ever wished you were a morning person? Maybe you wished that you could get up early and get your workouts in before the busy-ness of the day distracts you? Have you ever entertained the idea that you could become a morning person if you wanted to?
I’m a morning person…or at least that’s what I tell myself! I’ve found that my life just works better when I’m a morning person. I get more accomplished, I’m able to spend more time with my family and I actually get my workouts in. I don’t necessarily think I’m any different from non morning people other than I decided to be a morning person. When I look closely at my morning routines I’ve discovered that I do a lot of little things without even thinking about them anymore (because they are habit) that help me enjoy my mornings and make the most of them.
Want to try out being a morning person? Join me on:
Tuesdays for a 6:30 am Sunrise Pilates Equipment Class or on
Thursdays for my 5:30 am Beginner Friendly Foam Roller Pilates Mat Classes.
Both these classes are designed to get your body moving gently and safely first thing in the morning and will definitely leave you feeling energized and accomplished (because your workout is done) for the rest of your day! Register now!
Yoga for Happy Hips and Back!
Thursdays at 6 pm!
Taught by Kim Blackwell, Licensed Physical Therapist and Yoga Instructor!
This slower paced, gentle yoga flow is perfect for both beginner and intermediate yogis looking to stretch, breathe, relax, and add meditation to their practice. We’ll focus on yoga basics and breath work to release muscle tension in the hips and back and improve flexibility, balance, and movement. Click to Register!
Not everyone loves to exercise….we understand! At Rivercity Pilates we tailor our individual sessions and group classes to the “everyday” person (you know…the average person who just wants to exercise so they can feel better in their body, avoid injuries and keep up with life’s activities). Our goal is to create an environment that you love so much, you almost forget you are exercising!! If you’ve never practiced mindful movement like Pilates or Yoga before…we would love nothing more than to be the place you start! Our trained instructors will teach you how to individualize exercises to your unique body, you’ll be educated on how movement can be a health tool in your life and most importantly your time at the studio will help your body feel amazing and ready to take on whatever life throws your way!
Here’s just a few things we do to make your time at the studio amazing:
Empower your Body ~ Inspire your Life. …. that’s our tagline and it’s our passion! Our Rivercity Pilates staff really believes that mindful movement can teach you to empower your body, inspiring you to live your best healthiest life!
Rivercity Pilates offers sessions and classes utilizing the Pilates Equipment, Pilates Mat Classes, Yoga classes, Barre classes, classes specializing in self care methods like rolling and other specialty mind body exercise classes. We also have a beautiful massage room where you can book a relaxing Massage!
Rivercity Pilates is also a Pilates teacher training studio. We offer a comprehensive classical Pilates teacher training program and a Pilates mat teacher training program.
I recently surveyed a group of people I was going to be speaking with to get a feel for where they were at in their life with movement and exercise. One of the questions I asked is: What are your biggest obstacles when it comes to exercise?
The 3 most common answers I got were: age, time, and different physical problems going on in the body. Maybe you’ve had these obstacles in your life? (most of us have..). Want to know the secret in overcoming these obstacles and still staying healthy with exercise and movement? It might be simpler than you think….simply change how you think about your obstacle!!
Ready to add some more movement and exercise time into you life but not sure where to start? Talking to an exercise professional is a great way to get some new ideas on what might work best for your body and your life! Schedule a complimentary session to learn more about exercise options at Rivercity Pilates and let us help you explore how you can add more movement time into your life!!
Yes I guess Pilates is expensive, I kind of forgot…. I forgot how when I started Pilates the cost was a factor in my planning my Pilates classes and sessions. These days I don’t think twice about what I pay for Pilates sessions. What I do think about is how I feel if I haven’t been to the studio in a week due to travel or life (tight, creaky and missing my Pilates time…) For me Pilates has become part of my health plan in my life and I wouldn’t consider not doing it (and since Mike and I spend part of our year traveling — I still do Pilates private sessions via Facetime when we travel.)
I don’t think about the cost of Pilates any more than I don’t think about the cost of my favorite Starbucks coffee drink or any more than I don’t think twice about how expensive my favorite cowboy boots were (because I love them and they are so comfortable and and so they are worth every penny). So when my friend brought up the money thing when I mentioned she try Pilates I wasn’t quite prepared with an answer that might convince her to try an exercise method that could possibly change her life… and her quality of life.
As I think about it more I would remind her that you usually get what you pay for in life and Pilates is no exception. A trained Pilates teacher spends a minimum 450 hours just to get their initial training and most of them spend years studying the Pilates method, anatomy, the body and movement in general. Their training and expertise really shines through when you are looking for someone to help guide you through an exercise program for your life that is built upon the idea of learning to move properly, efficiently and without getting injured. A Pilates teacher doesn’t spend their training just learning choreography. Back in the day, I taught choreographed fitness, and I even taught a Pilates specialty class. I cringe when I think about that now, because I was teaching after learning the method on a DVD, nothing like what the Pilates student teachers do at the studio I go to.
Here’s a quick list of the things I treasure about my Pilates classes that I could never put a price on:
If the cost of Pilates is holding you back from trying it…I do understand but would encourage you to take the plunge and try it. There is a reason that Pilates is more expensive than a membership to a gym and I think you’ll find that once you try it you’ll be hooked by the amazing changes in your body and life.
At the very least, if you live within driving distance of Rivercity Pilates — try out a complimentary private session at Rivercity Pilates so that you have a better idea of what it could do for you. The Rivercity Pilates staff is amazing and you will enjoy being able to try the Pilates method in your body without any pressure to purchase or make a quick decision about whether Pilates is for you. What do you have to lose?
Do you have a treadmill that just sits and collects dust or maybe functions as a clothes hanger? We’ve all bought some home fitness equipment thinking we would use it only have it sit collecting dust. My favorite home fitness equipment are things that are inexpensive, don’t take up a lot of room and can easily be used in lots of different ways! One of my absolute favorite pieces of at home fitness equipment was created by Pilates creator Joseph Pilates ( we think some time around 1950?). This inexpensive prop can usually be purchased for $20-$40 and can easily be used to help you build and maintain strength and fine tune your Pilates practice! It also fits nicely in your suitcase when you travel! Here’s how it works:
Want to do strengthening and toning exercises at home but don’t want to have a bunch a free weights around and fitness equipment around? The magic circle can be used to strengthen and tone arms, shoulders, inner thighs, outer thighs with some very simple exercises. Check out the videos below for some ideas on how to use your Magic Circle!!
Are you surprised to know that many of the people that take our Pilates teacher training programs are in their 40’s, 50’s and 60’s? There of course are absolutely no age “rules” about how old you should be to teach Pilates. I would guess that the average age demographic that most people start to add Pilates into their life is usually between 40 – 60, so I think it’s pretty fabulous to be able to train teachers who are in this same age demographic. If you’ve thought about the possibility of teaching Pilates but ruled it out because you thought you were too old…think again!
We believe that teaching movement is truly a way to change lives… both yours and the lives of your students! Want to explore the possibility of becoming a Pilates teacher and sharing the power of a Pilates practice to change peoples lives for the better? Contact us today and we’ll send you details about our teacher training programs so you can learn more!
We’ll be starting a new training program session in early 2019!!