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 rcpilates1@gmail.com 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

Have you met Rivercity Pilates Instructor, Shaina?

Photo by Nancy Kaff (in background)

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.


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in Rivercity Pilates Instructors

Beginner Guide to Group Classes at Rivercity Pilates

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! Image result for getting started quotes

  1. Schedule a complimentary private Pilates session.  You can use our online appointment finder on our Getting Started page or simply call or us or email us and we can help you schedule this session.  This first session is designed to introduce you to the studio and give you a chance to experience Pilates in your body.  Our trained instructors will go through every thing you need to know as you get started at Rivercity Pilates and you’ll walk away from this session with a customized plan of what sessions and classes might be the best fit for you, your body and your life.  
  2. Try the Pilates equipment (it might just become your new best friend!).   Joseph Pilates created the equipment as a tool to help people figure out the method he was teaching most efficiently( ie get results safer and quicker!). He designed the equipment 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. We suggest starting off with an Introduction to Pilates Equipment Class or Pilates Equipment for Back Health Class. These small beginner friendly classes (5 people max) are geared toward beginner students so you know that you won’t be the only “beginner” in class!  
  3. Start trying out our Beginner Friendly Pilates Mat Classes to find out which classes you enjoy the most.   Our beginner Pilates Mat classes will have a slow deliberate pace and you’ll use props like balls and bands that help you safely learn each exercise. You’ll learn the beginner version of each exercise as well as how you can progress the exercise to challenge yourself as you get stronger. Some of our favorites for true beginners are Beginner Pilates Mat, Pilates Mat Basics, Beginner Friendly Foam Roller, and Mindful Mat Pilates.  
  4. Try our Beginner Yoga Class.  This class can be taken as a 4 week series or you can drop into the classes that work for your schedule.  Even though Pilates and Yoga have some similarities, Yoga is a completely different method of exercise than Pilates and is just as fabulous!  If you are brand new to Yoga or just coming back to your practice our Beginner Yoga Class will get be a perfect way for you to learn Yoga in your body.   
  5. Try our Roll, Release, and Relax class.  Do you sit a lot at work? Do you hold tension in your neck and shoulders? Do you feel stiff and achy in the mornings? Do you have pain or tightness anywhere in your body?  If you answered yes to any of these you need to try this class.  You’ll spend an entire class using specially designed therapy balls to release and relax tight muscles and fascia throughout your body.  You’ll leave feeling amazing and you’ll have a whole new set of tools in your life that you can use at home to feel better in your body.  

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!  


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in Getting Started, Group Classes, Motivation and Inspiration

Inspiration of the Month Kathy Mathews

Inspiration of the Month – September 2018

 Empower Your Body ~ Inspire Your Life

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!)

How often do you practice Pilates and what type of sessions or classes have you been doing?  
I have a full schedule in the rest of my life, so I try to make it to at least one session per week, either a class or semi-private with a friend. I also try to do at least a few mat exercises or Carey’s 20 minute intermediate mat exercise video at home most days. 
What benefits or improvements have you noticed in your body and life from doing Pilates? 
I have a lot less back pain and tend to be more aware of how I hold and move my body.
Do you have a favorite exercise or piece of equipment (or both)?  
I don’t think I have a favorite—I like learning something new and being challenged to do any of the exercises better.  I appreciate the concentration it takes.  

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.  


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in Motivation and Inspiration

Beginner Pilates Mat

Beginner Pilates Mat
Wednesdays at 5pm
4 week series $49 or use any class pricing option
You don’t have to be a first time Pilates student to enjoy this class!! If you are just coming back to your Pilates practice or recovering from an injury this will be a perfect class for you!!
This beginner class will focus on the Pilates basics using only your body and small portable props. You’ll gain strength, flexibility and mobility and learn exercises that you can practice just about anywhere!
Space is limited to 8 people!

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in Beginning Pilates, Getting Started

Free Community Event: Rivercity Pilates Life Inspired – Mother Daughter Barre

Music, dance, movement and lots of laughs….Mom: bring your daughters (recommended for ages 4-10) and enjoy a fun filled Barre class together! This free Life Inspired Class will fill fast so be sure to sign up early as space is limited!! Only Mom needs to sign up!  
Space is limited so please sign up using our online scheduling or call us at 319.665.2499 or email us at rcpilates1@gmail.com to reserve your spot!!
Bring a friend to this free class & after class join us for a fun time!
Beverages and treats provided!
Music, dance, movement and lots of laughs….Mom: bring your daughters (recommended for ages 4-10) and enjoy a fun filled Barre class together! This free Life Inspired Class will fill fast so be sure to sign up early as space is limited!! Only Mom needs to sign up!  
Space is limited so please sign up using our online scheduling or call us at 319.665.2499 or email us at rcpilates1@gmail.com to reserve your spot!!
Bring a friend to this free class & after class join us for a fun time!
Beverages and treats provided!

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in Life Inspired monthly gathering

Maybe you could become a morning person?

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.  

  1. Gratitude is number one on my list on because I think it is probably the most important.  A long time ago I read about practicing gratitude before you even climb out of bed in the morning and I can tell you it’s the habit that helps me the most on those days where I’m exhausted and just want to snuggle in my covers and push snooze. Before I climb out of bed I start running through my mind all of the things I’m grateful for…my family, my dog, my friends, a career I love that fulfills me, fun things to do that day, etc.   It’s kind of amazing how it can instantly get me excited to get out of bed and get going for the day!
  2. Purpose and faith rank right behind gratitude when it comes to my motivation to get up early.  Having a deep awareness or knowing that what I do no matter how little or big it is, makes a difference in the world and to others, always inspires me to take advantage of the time I have.  On those mornings when my bed is sucking me in…I like to remind myself of what a gift each day is and how lucky I am to get to experience whatever life throws at me!
  3. Music.  I usually head into the studio pretty early most mornings and I can tell you if you saw me driving in you would probably see me singing along to my favorite songs on my drive! Usually after I get to the studio I turn them on again as I get set up for my day and sneak a little movement time in.   I always have a playlist of my favorite songs handy and it always puts me in a good mood and starts my day off right when I can listen to them!  
  4. Movement….I don’t always do a full workout first thing in the morning but I do allow myself a little time to “just move”.  For me this is often some gentle stretches, gentle movements through my spine, and anything that gets my body moving.  I always feel a little more energized and ready to go after I start moving! 
  5. Oils…  I realized the other day ago that one of the things I often do in the morning (usually when I’m at the studio as we have a variety of oils) is open a bottle of my favorite scent of essential oil and smell.  Sounds pretty simple but I always love how my favorite  blends of essential oils seem to wake me up a little bit and almost give me energy! 
  6. Happy Space... I think it’s important to have spaces in your life that you love.  My mornings are usually spent at the studio and I’ve come to realize that even though it’s technically work for me…the studio is one of my “happy spaces”.  The atmosphere from when I walk in the door always makes me happy and that makes it so much easier to be excited about spending my mornings there. 
  7. Coffee…I’d be lying if I didn’t include coffee in this list!  I kind of love my morning coffee (flavored with too much flavored coffee creamer!)

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!  




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in Motivation and Inspiration, Pilates in Your Life

We have added a Pilates Equipment Class for Back Health

Pilates Equipment for Back Health
New Class beginning Tuesday, September 11!
with Shaina Boylan
Tuesdays at 7pm
Pilates Equipment for Back Health: This beginner friendly Pilates equipment class will explore using a variety of pieces of the Pilates equipment to help you gain mobility in your back while increasing your core strength and getting a great whole body workout. Both beginners and more experienced students will enjoy this class!
4 classes $89 or use any class pricing option.   Call 319-665-2499 for more information or email us at rcpilates1@gmail.com!   

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in Beginning Pilates, Getting Started, Group Classes

Healthy Feet Workshop October 6 at Rivercity Pilates

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!!    To register click here

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in Upcoming Workshops

New Yoga Class at Rivercity Pilates: Yoga for Happy Hips and Back and our Fall Yoga Schedule!

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


Beginner Yoga 4 Week Series with Kim starts on September 15th!!
Taught by Kim Blackwell, Licensed Physical Therapist and Yoga Instructor! 
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. 
4 week series for $49 – Click here to get started! 
Complete Fall Yoga Schedule

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in Yoga at Rivercity Pilates

What if exercise didn’t seem like EXERCISE…?

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:

  • We get to know you from the start.  We offer a complimentary private session for every new client so we can get to know you, your body and your individual goals.  We continue to tailor your classes and sessions to you as you progress.  We find this helps our clients stay safe and best reach their goals!   
  • All of our teachers are trained not only in the exercise method but in how to adapt exercises to different bodies.  This means you can be sure that the exercises you are being taught are safe no matter what is going on in your body or what level of fitness you are starting at! 
  • Our classes are small.  Most classes range from 4-8 people maximum.  Small classes means your instructor knows you, tailors exercises to you and you don’t get lost in the crowd. Your instructor is always making sure you are doing exercises safely and your instructor is able to give you feedback on how you can make each exercise more effective.
  • We offer a variety of group classes at a variety of times and have instructors available for private training sessions just about any time of day.  This means even with your busy schedule you’ll be able to find times to get to the studio and get your workouts in! 
  • Exercises are functional, safe and progressive.  Our goal is to help you get stronger, more mobile, more flexible and more balanced in your body.  We don’t believe you need to do crazy acrobatic feats to be healthy and in shape for your life.  We want you to learn how to move better and feel better and we do that as simply as possible! 

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. 

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in Motivation and Inspiration

Does your back pain keep you from exercising?

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!!

  1.  Age.   Are you feeling your age lately?  Maybe the things that at one time were easy and you didn’t even have to think about now seem like extra effort.  The fact is we are all aging!  Instead of noticing those aging changes and immediately using them as an excuse not to exercise, why not use them as motivation?  Take the time to invest in finding a movement or fitness program that you enjoy so that you can can feel your best as you age!!  One of my favorite sayings is ,”Move it or lose it!”.  By continuing to move your body in safe ways you can gain strength and mobility and actually slow down the feeling of an aging body! 
  2. Time.  It’s easy to say you are too busy to exercise, but the reality of it is we are all busy and most of us could make time if we wanted to  and if we made an effort and planned ahead.  Maybe your schedule doesn’t work for you to do a full hour of exercise at a time.  What about breaking your exercise up into smaller ten minute chunks throughout your day or getting up a little earlier in the morning to sneak in a mini workout?  There are lots of ways to add movement into your life, but you may need to look outside the box to find something that works for you! 
  3. Physical problems.  Low back pain, knee pain, shoulder injury, hip replacement, foot pain….many people immediately decide that they can’t exercise until their body is pain free with no issues.  Unfortunately not moving is rarely the path that gets our body to a place of feeling better.  The most successful people learn to adapt their movement and exercise time to whatever is going on in their body.  Movement and exercises can be used to keep the rest of the body healthy and can even help balance the body to reduce pain and facilitate healing depending on what’s going on.  If you are not comfortable adapting exercises in your body it is definitely worth checking in with an exercise professional to guide you or help set up a program for you.  You might just be surprised at all the things you can still do and how much better you’ll feel in your body if you keep moving! 

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!!  

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in Motivation and Inspiration

Give Pilates a year and you’ll think it is the cheapest health care around!

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:

  • I always feel amazing and better when I’m done!  (I have never really loved to exercise so I can’t believe I am writing that about any type of exercise!).   
  • I have learned so many things about my body that allow me to take care of my body and my health… I finally know what that phrase self care means and I am continually learning ways to do it!   I run my own business, and as in any business — there’s always something to do.   I feel guilty if I take time for myself instead of working on my to do list!   I used to think of self care as an expensive hot stone massage, or a bubble bath.   Now I know that taking time for my Pilates sessions out of my days is an essential part of me being motivated and effective at running my business! 
  • I love that my Pilates teacher knows me and my journey.  My Pilates teacher celebrates with me when I accomplish something in my body, she tailors sessions to my body no matter what is going on and how I’m feeling each day and I always know I’m doing movements that are safe and effective for my body.   

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?  

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in Motivation and Inspiration

Finally.. a piece of fitness equipment you will actually use!!

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:

  • By placing the magic circle between the palms of your hands when your arms are straight you give your upper body something to press into helping the muscles in your arms, shoulders and back activate and engage.  When you keep this engagement throughout an exercise you are strengthening all of those muscles and building endurance in them.  I’ll warn you…this seems simple but when you do it you’ll feel feel your muscles working and tiring to keep the engagement( which is never a bad thing!) In the videos below we show how to do this for a variety of Pilates exercises.  As you could imagine, the possibilities are endless of where you could add this technique into exercises you are already doing.
  • To change the “work” and strengthen some of the opposing muscles in your shoulders,arms and back simply put your hands on the inside of the circle and gently press outward(As if you were trying to turn your circle into an oval!) 
  • Similar to placing the circle between the palms, we can place the magic circle between the lower legs to work on engagement, strength and endurance in the muscles of the legs and hips .
  • Just like we did with the arms we can take our legs inside the circle and press gently out which will take the focus to the muscles that open our legs ( abductors)  giving you a nice balanced strengthening routine!
  • Besides enhancing your Pilates exercises the Magic Circle can also be used for a variety of general strength training exercises (We are pretty sure Suzanne Summer’s Thigh Master got it’s inspiration from the Magic Circle!) 

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!! 



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in Motivation and Inspiration

What’s a good age to become a Pilates teacher?

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! 

  • One of the things that I believe makes a great Pilates teacher is being able to empathize and relate with your students and so many times this is easier when your students have similar life experiences.  If you are 55 and new to Pilates and exercise…would you rather learn from a 20 year old( who may be very knowledgable and a great teacher..)  or would you be more comfortable learning from a 60 year old who knows what it feels like to exercise and move in a body your age?  
  • Does the idea of having to take a training program intimidate you because you feel too old to “go back to school again”?  The Pilates teacher training program is a very hands on type of program and most participants find they actually enjoy the process of learning to teach Pilates no matter what their age.  Unlike the traditional school setting we grew up with this program can be very flexible to work around your schedule and the “training time” is often fun stuff like doing Pilates in your own body or teaching Pilates to others.  No matter your age you will actually find yourself enjoying “school time”! 
  •  The process of becoming a teacher includes keeping yourself healthy through your Pilates practice and learning how to use your experience to help others do the same!   What this means at any age is that becoming a Pilates teacher actually improves your physical and mental health!  (Who doesn’t want that?!) 

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!! 

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in Motivation and Inspiration, Teacher Training

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