Winter Weather Policy

As we head into winter we wanted you to know how we deal with bad weather at the studio! Here’s what you need to know:

  • If the weather is “iffy” and we are still having classes and sessions we WILL NOT charge you if you feel unsafe to drive in! Just email or call us and let us know!
  • If we cancel a class or session you are signed up for we will do everything we can (call you, email you) to let you know ASAP that it is cancelled.
  • We will also post announcements of classes being cancelled on our Facebook page.

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in Pilates in Your Life

All month long your friends and family can attend any class with you for FREE!

As we head into the holiday seasons, we believe that one of the most important things is spending times with loved ones! And we would love nothing more than to be able to give you the gift of getting some healthy movement time in with your loved ones!

All month long in November and December your friends and family can attend any class with you for FREE!

There are no restrictions on how many times they can come as long as we have space in class! You can always email or call us and we can help you sign up your friend or family member for class or they can use the online scheduling system and we will put the free class or classes on their account. You should be able to sign up for any class on our schedule as unpaid, so no need to purchase anything to schedule.

P.S. Have a friend who wants to take a complimentary semi-private with you before starting classes? Just email or call us and we’ll help you set it up!!

P.S.S. we consider friends and family anyone in your life who isn’t already a regular client of Rivercity Pilates who you want to hang out with…they can be out of town guests or just a local friend or family member who you know would enjoy the experience of taking a class with you!

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in Getting Started

Inspiration of the Month Christy Novak

When did you start Pilates and what inspired you to start? I started Pilates about 20 years ago through the UI Dance Department’s Saturday and Evening class program.  I took Pilates Mat classes for a number of years across a variety of instructors and one of these introduced me to the Reformer, which I loved!  I took private lessons with her for a year before moving to Pennsylvania, then had only intermittent Reformer classes during summers when I traveled to Prague for work.  I was thrilled to find Rivercity Pilates when I moved back to this area.

How often do you practice Pilates and what type of sessions or classes have you been doing? I take 3-5 equipment classes each week in addition to 4-5 other classes including Yoga, Barre and sometimes Zumba.  

What benefits or improvements have you noticed in your body and life from doing Pilates? My goal was to see how much I could push my hip, after being treated for bursitis almost continuously for 2 years.  It kept stiffening up and I was getting really frustrated about not being able to sleep or resume normal activity.  I am delighted with the outcomes – I not only can move again but I’ve met wonderful people along the way!  My new goals are to make it through Shaina’s Reformer Jumpboard class and Shelley M.’s Reformer Flow Class!

Do you have a favorite exercise or piece of equipment (or both)?  I like all of the equipment, though I think the Reformer is still my favorite.  The Oov has been a pleasant surprise – I didn’t think I’d be able to stay on it, and I find that my back loves it.

What would you say to someone who is thinking about doing Pilates?Don’t think about it!  You gain a new appreciation for your body and how it works. Enjoy the journey – we all have different challenges and a sense of humor does wonders!


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in Motivation and Inspiration

Serena’s gift for you..

I have said this many times and I will say it again. I do believe as a Pilates teacher I am always learning just as much from my clients as they are learning for me.  This couldn’t be more true of Serena.  Serena is turning 80 this year and I really wanted to get her something for her birthday because she holds a very special place in my heart. Serena has been coming to see me for Pilates for almost 8 years and is so dedicated to her Pilates practice.   But what do you get the woman who pretty much has anything that she wants and really doesn’t need a whole lot?

One of the things I know about Serena is that instead of getting birthday presents, one of her favorite things is to give someone else a gift in honor of her birthday. So I thought my gift this year to Serena would be sharing with you some of the many things I’ve learned from her over the years! 

Here are just a few of my favorite things I’ve learned from Serena:

  1. Go with the flow   Can you imagine walking in to take a private Pilates session for your first time at a new studio, with a new instructor and having some stranger say to you, “Do you mind if I watch this session and take some pictures for the local newspaper?”   The first session makes people pretty nervous usually and as a studio owner and teacher I know this and would never let this happen to any client on their first day at the studio! But that is exactly what happened the very first time I met Serena. I had just relocated to  a new space and she came in for her complimentary first session.  As we were getting started, a newspaper reporter who was doing an article on the studio moving locations popped in and asked me (in front of her) if he could take pictures during the session.   She immediately said sure I don’t mind!   She was so sweet about the whole situation and even though she had just met me was more than happy to help me and my business out by being in the pictures.      It didn’t take me long to realize that Serena was definitely one of those people who would have a lot of impact on my life. She is so good at just going with the flow and making the best of things.It’s definitely made an impression on me to encourage me to do the same.
  2. Keep Moving.   Like most people as they age, Serena has had a variety of things she’s had to deal with when it comes to her health.  Yet never since I’ve met her has she questioned if she was going to continue with her Pilates practice.  If she has an ache or pain, an illness or even something like getting her hip replaced…her attitude has always been one of  resting if she needed to and doing what she could when she had a chance.  So many people quit moving altogether when they experience a health distraction and are nervous to get back exercise.  I really believe that continuing to practice Pilates and her dedication to keep moving has kept her so active and healthy over the years.  
  3. Adding little bits of dedicated movement into your life will make a big difference.  I don’t ever worry too much about Serena losing strength and mobility if she hasn’t been to the studio due to travel or life. I know how great she is about adding small bits of exercise and movement time into her life. She makes a habit of doing a variety of stretches and movements in her bed each morning before she gets up!  She also does things like practice balancing on one leg when she puts something into the microwave!  Her dedication to keep moving not just at the Pilates studio but also in her daily life is such a great example of how to age strong and gracefully that we all should follow!
  4. Mindset is everything.   Most recently, I remember one day when I was asking about how her day had been. Serena mentioned how she got a lot of great walking in when she was walking the halls of the hospital as she helped her husband to various doctors appointments! She does such a great job of taking situations many of us would complain about and finding a positive in them.  
  5. Give people genuine compliments.  Whether it’s to me, one of our Rivercity Pilates staff or a client she meets in the lobby…Serena is so great about giving genuine compliments that leave the receiver feeling fabulous.  It is always a reminder for me of how much a simple compliment can change someone’s mood so simply!

    Serena showing off a studio award she got for her consistent Pilates attendance!!! 

  6. Giving is better than receiving.  Serena is always making a point to give others thoughtful things that are truly treasured  by the receiver.  It always reminds me of that tried and trued saying, “it’s the thought that counts” and reminds me that giving to others no matter what it is a such a great way to brighten someones day and show them you care. 
  7. Self Care is not selfish.  Since I’ve met her Serena has made a point to always make time for her Pilates sessions and regular massages. She really appreciates how these 2 things help to keep her healthy and happy and she knows that taking care of herself is needed so that she can be of service to others.  She’s always great about asking me when I last had a massage or took time for myself, and it’s a great reminder of how important it is to take time for some self care.
  8. Men sweat, Women glisten.   This one always makes me laugh and the conversation we had about it was so long ago that I don’t even remember exactly how it went…but I love the idea and will always remember Serena telling me this!


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in Motivation and Inspiration

Get to know Denise — our Zumba Gold & Ballet for Fitness instructor!

Tell us about yourself / your family.  
I’m an Iowa girl. I grew up in Des Moines, moved to Manchester, where my husband Scott grew up, raised our 5 kids there, & just moved to Cedar Rapids.

I have 3 daughters & 2 sons. My oldest, Jessica, is an ASL interpreter fit the Cedar Rapids Schools. My daughter Amanda lives in Tampa, Florida, where she is s branch manager for one of the libraries. My daughter Meghan is a graphic designer who has duel citizenship in Israel & the U.S. She lives in Rishon Letzion Israel with her husband Shay & our grandson Rahmi. My two boys, Jordan & Cameron Live in Chicago. Jordan is a manager at a restaurant, Cam’s day job is in claims, but he is in a band that has been together for many years. They are getting ready to release their 5th cd.

Describe yourself in 5 words.  
Creative, caring, open minded, loyal

Tell us about your first Zumba experience.    
I started Zumba when the DVD’s came out years ago. Loved it! I’m a dancer/dance instructor, so the format just spoke to me

When/Why did you start practicing Zumba?  
As I mentioned above, I love to dance! I like that it’s based on Latin rythms, with a bit of hip hop, oldies, & world music in the mix.   I started with dvds, then live classes.

Favorite food / or favorite restaurant
Oh my gosh, I love lots of different foods & restaurants. I like trying new cuisines.   I love recipes passed down from my grandmas, so Mexican & Jewish food.

If money were no object, what would you do all day?  
Well, I’d still teach group fitness. I’d also teach dance classes for free/non profit for those who can’t afford class.    Then I’d travel!!

Why did you become a Zumba/fitness teacher?   
Because I love dance fitness, &  love to work with others to get/stay fit.

Describe why you love Zumba ( or dance) in three words.    
Fun, Fitness, Positivity

What are your favorite ways to incorporate movement into your life in addition to dance/fitness?    
I love working with free weights. Since I teach lots of cardio, I do weight training workouts whenever possible.



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in Rivercity Pilates Instructors

Have you taken a class with Rachel?

We have some new teachers in the studio, and we thought you might like to get  to know them better!    

Tell us about yourself / your family.  I absolutely love to read and I’m a total nerd, in general.  I love Star Wars, Harry Potter, and Science. I now love to nerd out over Pilates…

I met my husband, James, just after I turned 19!  We’ve always let each be who we are and we always have the best time together, even if we are just sitting around doing nothing.  We have a son who is autistic and he is our pride and joy.  He continues to make us better parents and people.  He’ll turn 7 this June.  We have two miniature schnauzers, who are totally nuts.  We love our family. My mom comes out almost every week (to do Pilates 🙂 ) and my in laws live around the corner, so we see them almost every day.

Describe yourself in 5 words.   Honest, awkward, creative, loyal, helpful

Tell us about your first Pilates experience.    When/Why did you start practicing Pilates?  I was hurting a lot. Physically and mentally. I wasn’t sure if I would ever be able to get back into shape or be strong, again.  I went to my complimentary session with a lot of anxiety, but I ended up feeling so good about what I’d been able to do that I knew I had to go back.  I fell in love with Pilates so fast!  

I love how Pilates allows you to start at your own working level, which can change based on how your body is feeling that day.  I love how it allows you to feel results quickly, and it helps you gain control and strength. 

Favorite food / or favorite restaurant   I love pizza. And chocolate covered almonds from Trader Joe’s.

If money were no object, what would you do all day?  My husband said I would do Pilates and read and play with dogs.  He’s right, but I’d also make time for him and my kiddo 🙂   I also love volunteering and community work.

Why did you become a Pilates teacher?   I’ve always loved learning and teaching/training. 

One of my original interests in the teacher training program stemmed from my hope of helping correct my son’s posture and stance.  He tends to walk on his toes and hunches his shoulders quite a bit.   So far he has been very open to “doing some Pilates” and some days is very excited to “do some new moves”.  

I also had hopes that I could help others feel good about what they can do with their bodies using the Pilates method.

Describe why you love Pilates in three words.    For Every Body

Would you rather hike or bike?  I don’t do the outdoors. If someone made me choose, I would choose hiking because there would be shade. I would probably complain about the bugs, though. 

If you could live anywhere in the world — where would you want to live?  Somewhere with some cloud cover, minimal wind, and a temperature that only fluctuates between 65-70deg.

What are your favorite ways to incorporate movement into your life in addition to Pilates?    I’m sort of a busy body at the house – I’m always running around doing something.

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in Rivercity Pilates Instructors

Pilates Inspiration of the Month Kris Smith

When did you start Pilates and what inspired you to start?
I started Pilates in late April 2019.  My co-worker, Teena  invited me to a 6:00 am Friday morning mat class.  I was hooked after that session. 

How often do you practice Pilates and what type of sessions or classes have you been doing?     
I practice about two times per week and enjoy a variety of equipment and mat classes.   

What benefits or improvements have you noticed in your body and life from doing Pilates? 
Shortly after starting Pilates I was diagnosed with chronic rotator cuff/pulled muscle/frozen shoulder issues that I had been having for about two years. I emailed my concerns to Carey and she set to work devising a modified Pilates regimen that works in conjunction with my physical therapy.  She also suggested sessions with Sara Sea, who worked miracles with Neural Reset Therapy. I am impressed with how instructors at Rivercity Pilates are helpful and willing to truly “work at your level” for each class. 

My greatest physical improvements are my core strength and posture, (shoulders engaged!). My range of motion for all joints has improved as well. Pilates has helped my shoulder and back issues immensely, something I don’t think physical therapy alone would have been able to do.  Life/mental improvements are noted as better sleep and less anxiety, as I find myself taking “deep Pilates breaths” throughout the day. 

Do you have a favorite exercise or piece of equipment (or both)?   
Pilates Tower, Pilates Equipment and Foam Roller are my favorite classes.  All exercises are my favorite—well maybe not Teaser.  Ha!

What would you say to someone who is thinking about doing Pilates?
Just do it and keep doing it.  Pilates movements do not come naturally, they take time and practice.  Take advantage of the complimentary sessions and new client private sessions, they are a great basis for starting Pilates.   


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in Inspiration of the Month, Motivation and Inspiration

Have you ever pulled a weed out that knocked you over?

I have to tell you about something someone told me this week!

My client says to me at the beginning of her session:      I was out pulling weeds and we had some really tall weeds, that were probably this high(she held her hand as high as her shoulder!) So I got down low and grabbed on and pulled and pulled and pulled(she was demonstrating as she told me) and then pulled some more and then finally it came out!  And do you know what happened? 

My answer, “… Oh no… did you fall backwards?”

Her answer:  NO, I  didn’t! And I absolutely think in the past I would have! I think all that practice on the balance board really helped me!! 

How amazing is that?  I love to hear client stories about how they are doing life better and avoiding injuries because of their Pilates time!! 

If you are looking to add more movement time into your life that helps you navigate whatever you are doing in life better… we’d love to help! Sign up for a complimentary session where we’ll get to know you, introduce you to some Pilates movements tailored to your body and help you figure out how to best get started!! 

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in Motivation and Inspiration, What’s so great about Pilates?

Inspiration of the Month Shelley Waldron September 2019

When did you start Pilates and what inspired you to start?
I started doing Pilates about a year ago.  When my oldest daughter moved back to college for her Sophomore year she told me that I needed to start trying to do more things for myself that I like:). I had done Pilates a few times at Carey’s old studio and would still get the newsletters.  

Every time I saw the newsletter I thought about taking classes, so when Annah said this I realized that she was right. I really needed to find something for myself that I loved to do.  Once I had kids my time just naturally filled up with all of their activities and I kind of put myself on the back burner. I decided to purchase the one-month beginners package and commit to going to as many classes as I could and see how I felt at the end of the month. I think I went to around 17 classes that month, loved the classes and the instructors, and have been pretty consistent ever since.

How often do you practice Pilates and what type of sessions or classes have you been doing?    
I usually try to do 3-4 classes per week.  I really like to do a variety of classes.  I do both mat and equipment classes and I also like to do yoga.

What benefits or improvements have you noticed in your body and life from doing Pilates?
I have had a lot of lower back and hip problems since my son was born almost 18 years ago.  Pilates has really helped strengthen my lower back and my hip is not stiff and sore like it used to be.  I can really tell in the morning when I get out of bed, I feel so much better!

Do you have a favorite exercise or piece of equipment (or both)?
Right now I think my favorite thing is the Oov.  You don’t realize how hard your body is working during class and my back always feels so good after class.  Kimberly makes this class so fun, we always seem to have a lot of laughs during class.

What would you say to someone who is thinking about doing Pilates?
If someone is thinking about trying Pilates I would tell them to go for it.  It can be a little scary to go into a new studio and try some new classes but everyone at Rivercity is so nice and welcoming.  Not just the instructors, but the other students in class as well!  It is so much fun and such a great workout!

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in Motivation and Inspiration

Your Guide to New Fall Classes!

We have so many new classes on our schedule this fall and we’re so excited for you to try them!  As you look over our fall schedule you might be wondering if one of these new classes might be a good fit for you. So we decided to make a quick guide giving you a description of each class so you can see what resonates with you! 

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in Motivation and Inspiration

Inspiration of the Month Janet Coester

When did you start Pilates and what inspired you to start?  
I began Pilates after injuring my shoulder. I believed Pilates would help me regain full range of motion.

How often do you practice Pilates and what type of sessions or classes have you been doing?    
I started out doing private lessons once a week on the Tower. Then at some point I moved to a Reformer class once a week. My practice primarily involves class once a week when I am in Iowa. In everyday life I incorporate breathing and remembering to engage core and other muscles as well as to keep my shoulders down. This is one of the reasons that I was able to shovel snow for three hours last winter without injury.

What benefits or improvements have you noticed in your body and life from doing Pilates? 
I have full range of motion in my shoulders. I can do almost anything I want to do with proper engagement.

Do you have a favorite exercise or piece of equipment (or both)?    
I love the Tower and the pelvic stability and core engagement work with the leg springs.

What would you say to someone who is thinking about doing Pilates? 
 Go for it! You will be glad you did. Listen to your instructor. Listen to your body. Modify exercise as needed until you reach your goal. Be patient with yourself. And remember to breathe! I am so grateful for Carey’s caring instruction. Thank you Shelley for your welcomes and scheduling support.

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in Inspiration of the Month

Do Pilates. Do Spelunking???? Who knew that Pilates would allow me to have priceless moments with my son?

On my belly, army crawling in complete darkness other than the lone beam of light coming from my head and I hear Tyler say, “Mom I think I found gold!”  Lots of thoughts were going through my head at that moment…like:

Can I really fit through there?  What if the cave collapses?  I hope I don’t smash my phone that is in my front jean pocket.  I wonder if anyone every gets stuck? I wonder how many spiders are around me that I can’t see.. I bet I’m going to have a lot of random bruises tomorrow… How do I keep moving forward without smashing my head on the cave ceiling…I hope the batteries don’t die in this headlamp…I wonder what I’m actually grabbing as I pull myself forward?…good thing I have gloves on…

I was trying to ignore all the things going through my head and just asked,” so you were able to sit up eventually?”  Ty answers with an excited “yes there’s lots of room back here!”  So I keep going and eventually come to a small opening where I could sit up.  I wouldn’t have said there was lots of room, but there was enough room for 3 of us to sit and shine our lights on the intricate cave walls that had some beautiful gold color in them.  We chatted about how amazingly cool it was and how great it felt to just sit for a moment. Tyler was beaming and so excited…this was his idea of a perfect day…cave exploring with his mom and dad! If you are a parent you know…moments like these are priceless. 

The way out of that first cave (we explored 13 different caves that day!) was just as challenging as going in, maybe a little more so because I had crawled out head first and then had to figure out how to maneuver my body near the entrance so that my feet could lead me out. There was a 3 or4 foot climb to get back to solid ground still and of course there were some people standing there watching at the entrance.  I found myself saying in my head so many times…it’s a good thing I do Pilates!! As we spent the day hiking and splelunking there were so many moments when I knew that my body was able to do the things it did, I was able to have the moments with my son…because of my Pilates practice!

I lightened this photo so you could get an idea of what the cave looked like from the inside.

All this cave exploring had me reflecting on how grateful I am that I found Pilates as a way to train my body for life! In my younger years I worked out because I liked a challenge, because I was part of a team, because I wanted to fit into a certain size or shape, or because I wanted to lose weight. These days I workout simply because I want to have energy, strength, flexibility and mobility in my body that allows me to live my life to the fullest. I want to enjoy doing things with my kids, I want  to get outside and enjoy things like hiking and exploring and I want to feel good in my body no matter what I’m doing!

Here’s just a few ways that Pilates has prepared me for spelunking and anything else my body wants to do:

  • Pilates has taught me how to engage muscles and move my body in ways that keep me safe and I don’t get injured.  Things like simply knowing how to engage my core muscles, keeping good alignment throughout various movements and coordinating breath to help me move better..all come in handy when you are doing new movements in life or even in situations where you could potentially hurt yourself if you weren’t paying attention to how you moved.  
  • Pilates gives me confidence that my body has the flexibility, mobility and strength to do things in life…like crawl through caves! Pilates exercises move your body in a variety of ways (side bending, twisting, arching, etc.) and since I know my body can do that stuff when I’m practicing Pilates I am confident that I can put myself in a different environment (like crawling through a cave!) and safely do those same movements! 
  • Pilates has taught me how to pay attention to my body and do things “my way”.  I know that that different bodies move in different ways and instead of trying to do an exercise so I look like someone else, the best thing to do is to do it in a way that is appropriate for my body. It has taught me how to create my own movement strategies! When I was cave exploring this gave me the confidence to trust my body and climb and move in a way that felt right for my body and not just look at my 13 year old son and copy what he was doing (because his strategies might not have been the best for my body!)

Looking for an exercise practice that helps you live life better and helps you prepare for whatever fun adventures you want to take? We would love to introduce you to Pilates! Contact us today to learn more about scheduling a complimentary private Pilates session to see if Pilates is a good fit for your life! 


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in Motivation and Inspiration

Want to try Yoga, but not sure where to start?

Increased flexibility, decreased stress, strength, and a workout you enjoy…

If you’ve heard about Yoga you might be thinking it could just what you need in your life….we agree!!  We also know that sometimes it can be really intimidating to start something new, so we’re writing this blog to help you feel more comfortable before you walk into the studio and so you’ll have a better idea of where the best place might be to start. Here’s a few answers to our most frequently asked Yoga questions and a guide to the best way to get started!  

What do I wear to Yoga?  Wear clothes that you can move comfortably in!  This could be leggings and a t-shirt, shorts or whatever you feel most comfortable in! There are absolutely no rules to what you should wear other than you want clothing that allows your body to move in a variety of ways comfortably!

Should I take a class to get started or a private session?   The choice is entirely up to you!!  At Rivercity Pilates we know that everyone has different learning styles and we offer either a complimentary private session or a complimentary class to get started so that you can start with the option that you are most comfortable with.  We have a variety of classes on our schedule that are truly beginner friendly and our teachers are fabulous about giving variations of exercises so that everyone in class feels comfortable.  If you are brand new to Yoga and want to start with a class here is a list of our favorite first time to Yoga Beginner Friendly classes:   Yoga for Life w/ Nil  Tuesdays at 8:30 am, Fridays at 12 pm or Sundays at 9 am, Yoga for Happy Hips and Back w/ Kim Thursdays at 6pm.     

Are you one of those people who really doesn’t enjoy not knowing how to do things(especially in a group setting?) or maybe you have something going on in your body that might effect your movement time and how you do exercises?  Taking a complimentary private session before jumping into a class might be the best option for you!  A private session gives you time to chat individually with a Yoga teacher and ask all the questions that you might be a little nervous to ask in a group class!  It also allows your teacher to teach you the exercise in a way that is completely individualized to your body.  If this sounds like you click here to schedule a complimentary private Yoga session or simply call us at 319.665.2499.

Can I talk during class? I think there are a lot of misconceptions about the atmosphere in a Yoga class.  Every teacher is different when it comes to the music they play and the atmosphere they create in their class so I can’t speak for everyone, but I can tell you about our teachers at Rivercity Pilates.  Our teachers are super passionate about making Yoga accessible to ANY BODY and they are all really great at creating an atmosphere where everyone who comes to the class is comfortable!  It’s pretty common in our group classes to hear moments of laughter and casual conversations during class!  Of course everyone is super respectful of each other and no one is loud and obnoxious…but no one is overly strict about someone asking a question or talking during class.  In fact most of our teachers encourage their students to ask a question in class if you have one, because they know if you have a question someone else has probably thought the same thing!  

Do I need my own mat?  We have Yoga mats at Rivercity Pilates so you don’t need a mat.  If you want to bring your own mat you can though! 

Have more questions?  We would love to answer them for you!  Email us at or call us at 319.665.2499!  



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in Motivation and Inspiration

Could you actually feel results after only one Pilates session?

One of the most common questions I hear on a client’s second visit, goes something like this:

“I felt really great after our session. I felt taller and my posture was better. My ______________(fill in the blank with an achy body part like low back, shoulder, neck, foot, etc.) seems to be feeling better . . . could that really have been just from that one session?”
My simple answer: YES!

Here’s why:

The exercises you did in your first session were taught in a way unique to your body.  Your teacher took time to learn what was going on in your body at the beginning of your session by going through your health intake form and asking you questions about your movement time in your life.  After learning about you, your teacher taught a session that was designed to help your body stretch the muscles that were tight and strengthen the muscles that were weak or underdeveloped.  Doing these exercises tailored to your body resulted in your body practicing great alignment and had your body working in a really balanced way.  When you do this…your body appreciates it and you’ll know it because you actually feel better…even after just one session!! 

Wondering if that feeling better in your body after your first session will continue? It absolutely will!  Every time you practice Pilates you will be repeating this process of strengthening your underdeveloped muscles, stretching your tight muscles and bring your body closer and closer to your ideal, balanced alignment and posture! 

Like anything though…the more you practice Pilates the more you may take for granted how much it is helping you and not be so aware of it after each session.  Many of our clients comment to us that they forget how much their Pilates practice helps them feel better in their body until something happens in their life that they end up taking a few weeks off.  Clients comment that they can just feel a difference in their body, even after just a week or two.  Luckily, as soon as they get back to their movement time the “feel better” results come right back!

Ready to try an exercise method that gives you results every time you practice it?  Click here to read more about our complimentary first session or click here to set up a time for your first session!  



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in Motivation and Inspiration

Inspiration of the Month July 2019 Shuva Rahim

Inspiration of the Month
July 2019
Shuva Rahim

When did you start Pilates and what inspired you to start?
I started Pilates about 10 years ago when I first met Carey. We were both growing our businesses at the time and I thought I’d see what it was about. So, my inspiration started more as a curiosity.

How often do you practice Pilates and what type of sessions or classes have you been doing?    
Currently, I practice Pilates once a week and am a regular in Sunday’s Reformer Jump Board class with Shaina. I started coming to this class last year and have really enjoyed it.

What benefits or improvements have you noticed in your body and life from doing Pilates? 
I’m a runner – currently training for a marathon – and have used Pilates to help strengthen my core. This helps me especially when training or racing on uphill terrains.

Do you have a favorite exercise or piece of equipment (or both)?  
The Reformer Jump Board class is super fun. When I first show friends a video of it online, their first reaction is, “It looks like a torture machine!” Well, yes it does, but it’s definitely not. I think because you’re horizontal through class, it doesn’t look intense. But during and after class, you definitely feel like you got in a workout.

What would you say to someone who is thinking about doing Pilates?
Try one class, and then try some others. Rivercity Pilates has a variety of offerings, and there’s definitely something for everyone. 


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in Inspiration of the Month

3 Great Reasons To Try Small Group Classes in a Studio Setting

RCP-511.  Your instructors get to know you and your body.  In a small group setting an instructor can really get to know you, where you need to work, what motivates you and how to help you get the most out of your workouts(aka results).  This makes for a very efficient workout(Let’s face it we are all crazy busy these days and want to maximize our time!)

2. The most effective workout is the one you doMaking yourself accountable to a class, an instructor and classmates is a great way to keep you on track!

3. Safety….  A trained instructor can make sure they are challenging you but also making exercises safe for your body.  One size does not fit all when it comes to movement and it’s important to have instructors who recognize and implement this!  If you injury yourself you will be less likely to stick with your program.

So what are you waiting for?  Try one of our small group classes for free or schedule a complimentary private session to get started!!



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in Getting Started, Group Classes, Motivation and Inspiration

What to Expect in Your First Private Pilates Training Session

Many people have never worked one on one with a movement or exercise  instructor and have some misconceived ideas about what a one on one Pilates session will be like.  Let me put to rest some of your fears!  If you’ve been watching the Biggest Loser we may have some work to do:) Or maybe you’ve heard horror stories of people doing personal training and being so sore they can’t even walk the next day or lift their arm to brush their teeth?  That is something you will not experience after a session at Rivercity Pilates!

Today I’m going to walk you through your first Pilates private session at Rivercity Pilates. (P.S.- this session is free so definitely take advantage of it!)

  1. When you arrive at the studio we’ll give you a tour of our space.  We’ll show you where you can put your coat, shoes, and gear, point out the restrooms, show you our massage room and our two spacious studio rooms that we use for private sessions and small group classes.
  2. If you haven’t already filled out our new client paperwork we’ll have you fill out our health intake and other preliminary forms.  The health intake form in particular is very important to us.  Your instructor will start your session by sitting with you and going over your health history and discussing how it effects your exercise program.  As instructors we want to help you create a Pilates practice that meets your goals and is safe for your body!
  3. After we’ve learned a little bit more about you, your instructor will start by sharing a little more in depth about the history of Pilates and what and how we teach the Pilates Method at Rivercity Pilates.  We find that learning Pilates is a process and teaching the “why” behind the method is important when helping others create a Pilates practice in their life.
  4. Whether you have been practicing Pilates for years or a brand new beginner we will start the movement portion of your session by teaching the Pilates fundamentals in your body.  The Pilates fundamentals are the building blocks of every exercise and movement we do in Pilates and it’s important to us that you understand them as they are used over and over again in your Pilates practice.  These fundamentals include the concepts of breathe, engaging your deep abdominal muscles, how to stabilize your hips and shoulders and more.  We’ll tailor the exercises we use to teach these ideas to your body and move at a level appropriate for you.
  5. After we teach you the fundamentals and have had some time to work with you and see how your body moves we’ll introduce you to some Pilates exercises that are appropriate for your body.  We often like to let you experience exercises that are considered Mat work (just using your own body for resistence) as well as letting you experience exercises on some of the traditional Pilates equipment such as the Univeral Reformer, the Cadillac or the Pilates Wunda Chair.
  6. We’ll wrap up your session with some time to talk about what we did and give you an opportunity to ask questions.  Your instructor can help to explain the different ways you can learn and practice Pilates and give suggestions as to what might be best for your body.

Our goal during your first session is to start the teaching process and help you decide whether you want to pursue a Pilates practice.  Your session will be a combination of discussion and movement.  Will you be sore the next day?  You might be.  Often when you are learning a new movement and engaging new muscles you’ll feel it the next day- but in a good way!  You’ll know you did something different but no need to worry about being so sore that you can’t function!!

Ready to try a complimentary session?  Click here to find a time that works best in your schedule!  We look forward to meeting you!

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in FAQs, Private Pilates and Yoga Sessions

Commit to an Active Healthy Summer!

Welcome to our 2019 Healthy Summer Challenge! Whether you are starting a new movement practice or maybe you just want to continue to keep consistent this summer with your already established practice we are excited to have you join our free summer challenge. Our challenge to you is to stay committed to keeping movement as important part of your life, no matter where you are or what your summer schedule looks like!   Our summer challenge is not about a 6 pack or focused on losing weight — our summer challenge is about body confidence, energy, strength and happiness!    

Like we’ve done in past years we’ll be giving you a chance to win super cute Rivercity Pilates gear for being consistent and getting regular classes in at the studio. Simply check off on the chart at the studio when you are in to track your classes! Get a minimum of 8 classes in (1 per week) and you’ll win a newly designed Rivercity Pilates love handle (Carey’s favorite accessory for her phone), Get 16 classes in and earn a super cute Rivercity Pilates baseball hat! Get 24 sessions or more in and you’ll earn a Rivercity Pilates shirt from our fall collection!

Out of town but still want to participate? If you have internet access you can take a class virtually! Just email us and we’ll help you set it up!! We’ve been doing this for some of our clients who travel a lot and they love it!! These classes count toward prizes!!

Not able to make it into the studio this summer but still want to participate? Take our 10 minutes a day movement challenge! Click here to get your tracking sheet! Use one of our weekly workout videos or do your own movement practice each morning for 10 minutes. Turn in your completed sheet after the challenge to win a Rivercity Pilates journal (great for tracking fitness, writing down your health goals or just taking notes)!!     

Click here to officially sign up for the challenge!




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in Motivation and Inspiration

Inspiration of the Month June 2019 Cindy Brown

When did you start Pilates and what inspired you to start?
My first private with Carey was in July of 2015. My dear friend, Sara Tack suggested that I give Pilates a try as she had been a regular client at Rivercity for years. I was in need of increased core strength as I had some minor back pain. I quickly signed up and began taking mat classes, eventually adding in Tower and Reformer.

How often do you practice Pilates and what type of sessions or classes
have you been doing?    
 I try to attend 4 classes per week. I attend Mat, Tower and Reformer classes.  When I am not at Rivercity Pilates, I practice Pilates at home.

What benefits or improvements have you noticed in your body and life
from doing Pilates? 
I have increased my core strength significantly. I use the Pilates Principles to keep my back safe while participating in (modified) CrossFit classes and gardening.

Do you have a favorite exercise or piece of equipment (or both)?    
My favorite is the Tower. The feedback/support the Tower system gives is very
encouraging. It has helped me to gain strength, so I am better able to perform exercises in the Mat and Reformer classes.

What would you say to someone who is thinking about doing Pilates?
You will not regret investing in yourself. Pilates is the perfect complement to any other movement practice. Pilates is for everybody!

How has the journey of becoming a Pilates teacher effected your Pilates practice?  
Teacher Training has made me love Pilates even more. I am amazed at how far I have come in (almost) 4 years – I can’t wait to see what the next 4 years bring!

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in Inspiration of the Month, Motivation and Inspiration

Is Mindful Boring?

When you hear the word mindful what image pops into your head?  Silence, solemness, stillness….

Here at Rivercity Pilates we are big believers in the power of mindful movement to create results in your body and life, but we also like to have fun.  Of course we want to stay focused and mindful throughout our movement practice but at the same time we know that if you are enjoying your movement practice you are more likely to keep doing it and hence get even better results!

We have a “No Grimacing Rule” at the studio!  (See the sign we included here.)  We use this rule to remind clients to smile, lighten up and be positive – all of which are conducive to better movement!


If you are looking to find an exercise program you love, consider trying our our small group classes and expect to smile throughout class!   Your first session is complimentary — you can email us or call the studio to schedule  (319-665-2499).

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in FAQs, Group Classes, Motivation and Inspiration, What’s so great about Pilates?

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