Posts Tagged ‘ Movement ’

Donation-Based Pilates for a Good Cause

March 19, 2014

March MATness is here!

Here’s another Mat Opportunity: donation-based Pilates for a good cause. If you are in NYC, my friend Christen Sindelar-Long’s class is raising funds for her niece, Kelly, who has Tuberus Sclerosis Complex and Infantile Spasm Complex. Read more about Kelly’s story here. You can get your body moving AND help out a precious kid–that’s an hour well spent, my friends!



When: Thursdays, 9am until the end of April

Where: Pilates on Fifth (you must arrive early to fill out a form and bring socks!)

Who: You! Me! Everyone! (Taught by the amazing and lovely Christen Sindelar-Long)

How Much: $20 minimum donation

Why: Sweet Kelly

Peace out, Pilates People.

Olympic Fitness/Pilates for Athletes

February 12, 2014

Sochi Olympic Fitness

Most days of the year, I consider myself an athlete. And THEN I watch the Olympics…Wow!

Pilates can be key in Olympic fitness. There are many athletes who have said they practice Pilates and any injured athlete who has been to physical therapy (likely all Olympians) has probably done Pilates exercises. Read about Julia Manusco here who does Pilates in her ski boots. She won a bronze yesterday in Alpine Skiing Ladies’ Super Combined – Slalom.

While I get inspired watching these athletes, I have to adjust my thinking about the body’s movement and form. All the sudden I’m seeing knees that never straighten, tons of lumbar extension, high impact landings and shoulders up to ears. This is not Pilates! But, this is how these sports are performed. The teacher in me gets ideas about how to help them find balance in their bodies after using them in such a demanding way.

I bring to you: Olympic Fitness/Pilates for Athletes, a series of posts about Pilates and fitness training for Olympian athletes. (Go here for the one I did in 2012.)

Note: Think of these as creative posts about the movement of an extraordinary athletes as it pertains to Pilates, not prescriptions for success. I am NOT an expert in these sports and have not met these people. I am not a physical therapist. I’m simply someone experienced in movement who can’t turn it off when watching the games.


Mr. Bones wants you to do Pilates!

October 12, 2013

I love this time of year! Cooler weather, boots, football, Halloween, Mr. Bones!

Happy Halloween! Mr. Bones is my #2 man, second only to my husband.


So, its a good time to remind you of how Pilates can keep your bones healthy and why Pilates is recommended for those with bone loss (osteoporosis or osteopenia).

Every cell in your body is living and changing–even your bones! So it’s easy to forget that working out affects not only our muscle/fat makeup, but also our bone development. Those who exercise early in life reach a higher peak bone mass before they begin to lose it. (1)

For those already losing bone density, Pilates can be a huge help, when practiced correctly. Doctors suggest weight-bearing exercise for people with osteopenia and osteoporosis. This includes any exercise that works against gravity like weight training or walking (not swimming, for example).

Pilates can help in the following ways:

  • increasing muscle strength, which supports your bones
  • improving balance to prevent you from falling
  • improving alignment/posture to keep joints working smoothly and prevent injury
  • improving all around flexibility and well-being

Pilates students with bone loss should work less with flexion and rotation exercises as this can causes compression and increase the chance of fractures. (2)

Be sure to consult a doctor before beginning an exercise program. For more in-depth information on Pilates and bone health, click the links below.



Oklahoma Rising

June 21, 2013

I am so thrilled to help my friends in Oklahoma recover from the tornados in recent days. As a student at Oklahoma City University, I spent four of my most formative years there.

Even if you can’t come see this wonderful performance, you can help by buying raffle tickets. You could win….Private Pilates Sessions with Moi!

Check out the website and the poster!

OK Rising Poster Small


June 18, 2013

There’s a first for everything and last week I did my first podcast with the wonderful Joel B. New on his podcast, Something New. We discussed what it’s like to be a singing, dancing, acting, Pilates instructor and then sang one of Joel’s songs.

Download here (Episode 13) or enjoy below.


Schedule Changes

June 1, 2013

Hello all!

Please note that my schedule has changed slightly. I now have a Sunday CoreAlign class at Pilates on Fifth. I’ll be teaching pretty steady through September with a few days off in August.

I’m talking about:




See Video for more:


Olympian Sessions: Just for fun!

August 1, 2012


So, I’m obsessed with the Olympics. It would be a huge challenge and dream come true to train or even work out with athletes of that calibre. Though I’m no sports expert, here’s what I would work on with these inspired athletes to ensure that their training keeps them balanced and functional in life. Click on the links to see videos!


Variations on Swan: Rowing requires a slightly flexed spine and tons of abs, so I would make sure their thoracic spine gets some good extension as well.

Single Thigh Stretch on Reformer and Extensors on the Chair: These athletes train for hours sitting with their legs out in front of them. It’s important for them to stretch the hip flexors and continue to strengthen the glutes and hamstrings.


Standing Cadillac work, Side Splits on Reformer: Being in the water creates a different pull on the body than when moving through real life with gravity. I would focus on functional movements to increase balance.


Back Rowing: I would take advantage of these athletes’ grace and choreographic strengths. This exercise also mobilizes the spine fluidly, hopefully releasing them from the sometimes rigid lines they must maintain when in the air or balancing.

Mermaid/Side Bends: Though I am sure they have strong obliques, I’ve been watching any and all gymnastic events and am surprised by the lack of true lateral flexion in the spine (side bending). These exercises isolate that direction and sculpt the waist.



Pilates is for YOU! Check out my article…

June 26, 2012

It’s easy to think of women in lulu, drinking Starbucks and flapping their “Hundreds” hands whens someone says “Pilates.” But, Joe Pilates trained boxers, soldiers and dancers. No matter who you are, Pilates will benefit you in some way. Read the article on the subject I wrote for a friend’s eNewsletter here!

Melinda is an excellent health coach and fitness teacher in the city. I can’t recommend her enough! Visit her website for nutritional info, coaching, and holistic health.

Commitment, Clarity, Excitement

June 8, 2012

Teachers might learn a lot from the acting world. The one thing I’ve found to be imperative in both my acting projects and teaching Pilates: Commitment.

I’ve been working really hard (I’m a workaholic)–reading, practicing, teaching, watching others practice, observing and taking class at all kinds of studios. Guess what: I still don’t know everything that’s out there to know in terms of Pilates.

1. The body is complicated.

2. New research on the subject is infinite and always changing.

3. There are so many different opinions and styles of the method.

Still, I know a lot more than the average person does about Pilates. And yet, my classes still seem to be hit or miss.

I recently taught a class of 28 people and was forced to speak loudly, move quickly and take over the room. I said cues like they were FACT and not only  suggestion. Even adding drama on the last few reps seemed to engage people more fully. That same day I taught a class of 6 people that felt messy, clouded and, quite frankly, boring.

I’m learning that I don’t have to have ALL of the answers to be a good teacher. It’s my job firstly, to be safe, and secondly, to tell my students everything I do know so that they can get the best workout possible. Commit to what you do know and joyfully seek out answers for the rest. Speak like you have a class of 50–not 10, be present so you can be clear with your words, get excited and rock these people’s bodies. Commitment and excitement are key in creating solid classes. I can only go up from here!


Pilates Playtime on Vacation

May 25, 2012

Traveling this summer? You can relax, get sun, stay connected and get benefits even from 15 minutes of Pilates a day–requiring no special equipment. In fact, taking a few moments to check in with your body will likely improve your vacation in more ways than one. It is always  best to talk to a trainer to personalize a workout (call me, maybe!), but you can also try these ideas on for size.

I recommend finding five exercises to practice. Each one should move the spine in a different direction (there are four, basically, and I added neutral for stabilization).

1. Flexion: Curving the spine bringing the front of the ribs and front of the hips closer together. (Hundreds, Cat Stretch)

2. Extension: Curving the spine bringing the tail and the head further behind the body (still lengthening out). (Swan, Cow Stretch)

3. Lateral Flexion: Bending the spine to one side bringing the shoulder closer to the hip on that side. (Side Bend, Banana).

4. Rotation: Rotating the shoulders and upper spine one way while keeping the pelvis neutral (wringing out the waist). (Spine Twist, Obliques)

5. Neutral: No movement, but spine stabilizes in the natural position (with abs engaged). (Plank, Watchdog)

Important Note: Bones don’t move themselves! Think about the abs and other core muscles that are creating the movement from within, rather than mindlessly forcing yourself into a shape. It’s only 15 minutes–make it count, body mind and soul!

Make sure you warm up and start with neutral or flexion before moving on to the other directions. If you are feeling ambitious, warm up with a few yoga sun salutations, or go for a brisk walk to get the breath moving!

This short routine will prime both your mind and body for a longer, better, more relaxed vacation day. Encouraging your body to return to your hardcore workout schedule after vacation will also be easier since you kept in touch with your body while away–it’s the only one you have!

Thanks to my friends at Pilates on Fifth for making great Pilates accessible online. I tried to use their videos when possible.