After reading about the many mental, physical and emotional benefits of restorative exercise like Pilates, Suzie Price realized that she needed to do more of this to help with stress, to build her core strength and straighten out her posture.
We asked Suzie about her experiences at the center and how she is doing on her goals of stress reduction, core strength and improved posture.
1. What do you like best about the center?
I like the different options on the training schedule – from private lessons, semi-private, group and TRX. I have a home office and a home gym, but I like getting out and going to the center for classes. The location is great as I can often schedule business meetings before or after my training sessions there.
I like the focused and energized coaching I’ve gotten from each Instructor I’ve worked with. I also appreciate that Arlene is always so thoughtful and kind. I love that the center has opened my mind and body to a new type of wellness and fitness. I always leave the center feeling refreshed and strong.
2. What did it feel like when you first started Pilates?
I’ve been “into” fitness my entire adult life, doing everything from teaching aerobics, taking outdoor boot camp classes, doing Spin cardio classes and using weight lifting and cardio video workouts in my home gym. One area of fitness I use to always ‘skip over’ was stretching. (I didn’t think it mattered and I thought I didn’t have the time.)
I didn’t know how important stretching was until I listened to a podcast by the author, William Broad, of the book: The Science of Yoga. In it he talked about the MANY mental, physical and emotional benefits of stretching and restorative exercise like Pilates. I realized that I needed to do more of this to help with stress, to build my core strength and straighten out my posture.
When I started lessons with the center (May 2013) I was surprised that I felt so awkward. The moves were not natural to me and I felt like a klutz, even though I’d been “doing fitness” for almost 30 years! I am not always graceful, but I do always feel restored and refreshed after every workout.
3. What is pilates like now?
After 6 months of Pilates lessons, two days a week, I am less of a klutz and can even look a little graceful when doing “Hawk” on the Reformer. My core is stronger and I am leaner. I find that I now pay more attention to my posture, as I’m more conscious of how I am sitting and standing throughout the day. Pilates is teaching my body good healthy natural body alignment which carries over into my work as a Facilitator and Presenter. I’m also using better form when doing my other fitness workouts. I know this sounds crazy – but I feel actually TALLER because I am standing and walking better.
4. What would you tell someone who was thinking about trying Pilates but wasn’t quite sure?
Embrace the awkwardness, sign up for classes in advance so that you take enough classes to get comfortable and gain confidence with the different postures and machines. Realize that Pilates will help you feel more balanced mentally and physically, it’s a restorative exercise that is important to health and a sense of well-being.
A former college soccer player, Charles Hodges took up distance running, triathlons and long distance cycling as an adult. While the years of training and competition provided memorable experiences, they also created muscle imbalances, misalignments and disk disease. As a result, Charles had back surgery in late 2012.
Charles headed back to the roads and the pool shortly after surgery. Unfortunately he reinjured himself, and his back pain quickly returned. Not only was he unable to return to training, but the injury impacted his profession as a landscape architect. Facing a second surgery, Charles came to the center on the advice of his wife, Rosemarie, who is a client.
“When I first started I had no feeling in my left leg. I couldn’t stand on my left foot and I was in constant back pain,” says Charles. “Lauri set up a program for me to address some weakness and imbalances in my muscles. My goal was to get strong enough to be able to do the group classes. After the first private pilates lesson I was able to stand on my left foot. After the first week the back pain started to dissipate. After six weeks of twice weekly private lessons, I was ready for group classes.”
Charles now attends Mat Pilates, TRX and yoga classes. “The best thing about the center is the staff. They are very conscientious, well educated and they understand and care about individual client’s needs.”
Charles gets to the studio three to four days a week and his injury is “about 90% recovered and getting stronger every day.” He is part of our growing “men’s group” on evenings and weekends. “TRX, yoga and Pilates are a perfect combination for guys who want to avoid injuries, improve flexibility and increase strength,” says Charles. He’s brought several friends with him who have become believers.