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WARNING: Mindful Movement May be Habit Forming! Our Pilates and mindful movement options: » Give studios fun and effective programs that keep clients coming back. » Offer awesome home workouts that are economical in space and cost.


Felicia Porter BASI Pilates Instructor Los Angeles, CA “It’s a wonderful feeling going through a program like BASI. It does not only benefit your health, but your entire future. Knowing you have the potential to change and impact the lives of so many others is incredible! Now that I have started teaching, I learn something new every single day, and BASI gave me the foundation to do this. It’s extremely gratifying.” Visit to find a teacher training program or continuing education course near you.


features 42

GET A POPPIN’ LOwER BODY Blogilates founder Cassey Ho is YouTube’s number-one female fitness personality. Her sculpting routine for your legs and tush proves why she’s one to watch.


COMING BACk FROM BACk PAIN Think you can’t work out with an achin’ back? PHI Pilates Founder Christine RomaniRuby brings the safest, smartest series for sufferers.



READY, SET, GO! The studio meets the gym in John Garey’s mat workout inspired by traditional fitness moves. It’s divided into three sets so you won’t miss a muscle.

THE BUSY INSTRUCTOR’S wORkOUT whether you’re a studio owner or desk worker, melt away stress while you tone up, with Power Pilates– certified Lindsay Lopez’s quickie Caddy routine.


VICES THAT ARE ACTUALLY VIRTUOUS Addicted to chocolate or checking Facebook? Here’s how to turn those guilty pleasures into healthy habits.


GRAIN FUEL Oats, quinoa, buckwheat and more make an appearance in guilt-free dishes even glutenfree dieters will go crazy for.

in each issue 8









Make time for YOU.






See the faces behind the stories and the pictures.

You love us, you’re mad at us. well, at least you write.

READER PLATFORM Relieve shoulder tension at your desk; The first installment of Project Pilates Style; Lolita’s Pilates Day plans; Two new Pilates studies

The best way to work out with sore muscles; The truth about Pilates for flexibility; Pros and cons of the Nordic Diet; Strategies for quashing hunger pangs

ON THE GO An SUP champion makes waves thanks to Pilates.












CORE Suspension training for Pilates devotees; A trio of rollers that melt away muscle tension; Madeline Black’s new book; Should you sleep or work out?





why you’re not losing weight; Our latest obsessions; The worst restaurant offenders; Your health depends on this

Three summer smoothies, plus the latest add-ins to jazz up your drink.

Go from the studio to the shore with mix-and-match pieces.


LAST LESSONS Get inspired!

No time for a post-Pilates shower? Turn sweaty into positively glowing with these products.



teasers 22

ON THE COVER Cassey Ho is wearing an outfit by POPFLEX. Photographed by Rod Foster at POP Studio LA. Hair and makeup by Tiffany Lee.

Should you cut out dairy? Or does milk do a body good? The experts whey in.

A drunk-driving accident landed one reader in a wheelchair. But thanks to remarkable strides made with Pilates, she’s on her own two feet again.

Fitness trackers are the hottest trend in the world. Read how they just might motivate you to move more.

Four teachers who don’t look like the clichéd image of a typical Pilates teacher—think: young, lithe ex-dancer types—are proof that talented teachers come in all shapes and sizes.

Netherlands native Peter Roël came to the U.S. to pursue a dance career, but ended up with a new one, thanks to lessons from kathy Grant and Romana kryzanowska.

Just in time for pool season, perfect your freestyle stroke with this mini workout.

Pilates Style Vol. 13, No. 3 (ISSN 1549-6937) is a trademark of and is published bimonthly (Jan/Feb, Mar/Apr, May/June, July/Aug, Sept/Oct, Nov/Dec) by McAby Media LLC, 12829 Trinity Street, Stafford, TX 77477. Subscriptions $34.94 per year (6 issues), Canada (price includes GST) $44.94 – U.S. funds only. Foreign prices available upon request. Please visit our web site,, for additional details on pricing and options. Single copies $4.95 plus $3.00 postage and handling, the Annual Resource Guide (Jan/Feb) single copy price is $9.99 plus $3.00 postage and handling. Visa, MasterCard and Discover accepted. Periodicals postage paid at New York, NY, and additional mailing offices. POSTMASTER: send address changes to Pilates Style, P.O. Box 334 Stafford, TX 77497. No material in this issue may be reprinted without written permission of the publisher. Entire contents copyright 2012 by McAby Media, LLC. All rights reserved. McAby Media, LLC assumes no responsibility for the advertisements, nor any representation made herein, nor the quality or deliverability of the products themselves. Opinions of contributing authors do not necessarily reflect those of the publisher. Articles and photographs are welcome, but cannot be considered unless exclusive publishing rights are given, affording the publisher full ownership of content. Publisher assumes no responsibility for accuracy of unsolicited manuscripts and any material accepted is subject to possible revision at the discretion of the publisher. Printed in the U.S.A.


may • june 2016

A-5100R ™/® Trademark or registered trademark of Merrithew Corporation, used under license. All rights reserved.

We inspire careers. With more than 45,000 trained fitness professionals, STOTT PILATES education remains the benchmark for excellence and thoroughness in Pilates training. Our Instructor courses and workshops teach you how to program for weekend warriors trying to avoid injury, elite athletes wanting an extra competitive edge, post-rehab clients who want to return to healthy activity or mature adults who simply want to make getting out of bed easier. ®

Your career starts here.



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Owner/director, winsor Pilates, Los Angeles, CA Not all fitness exercises featured in Pilates Style are suitable for everyone, and these or any other exercise program may result in injury. To reduce the risk of injury in your case, consult your doctor before beginning any exercise program. You should be in good physical condition and be able to participate in the exercises. The instructions and advice presented are in no way intended as a substitute for medical counseling. If you engage in any exercise or exercise program featured therein, you agree that you do so at your own risk, are voluntarily participating in these activities, and assume all risk of injury to yourself. McAby Media, LLC disclaims any liabilities or loss in connection with the exercises and advice herein. All advertising is subject to approval before acceptance. McAby Media, LLC reserves the right to refuse any ad for any reason whatsoever. Actual publication does not constitute any agreement for continued publication in any form. Advertisers warrantand represent that the description of the products or services advertised are true in all respects, and McAby Media, LLC assumes no responsibility for the content of the advertising, promises made, or the quality/reliability of the products or services offered in such advertisements. Information provided by advertisers is provided on an “as is” basis without warranty of any kind, either express or implied, including but not limited to the implied warranties of merchantability and fitness for a particular purpose. McAby Media, LLC expressly disclaims any and all liabilities for any and all direct, indirect and consequential loss or damage, including but not limited to loss or damage to property or for loss of profit, business, revenue, goodwill or anticipated savings resulting or arising from the information contained in the advertisements appearing herein.

We all get c au g h t u p in our Work and our lives, and often forget t o ta k e c a r e o f o u r s e lv e s .

I know I do, so lately, I’ve been focusing on making myself more of a priority. Some days I feel guilty because I need to leave the office early or arrive late due to my Pilates schedule. But what I’ve realized is that, for the past 20 years, I’ve worked really hard to help create and grow our companies, and if I don’t take care of myself, well, everything will eventually suffer. Take this season by the horns and invest in yourself. Where to start? How about with Lindsay Lopez’s Cadillac workout (“The Busy Instructor’s Workout”) on page 64? Even if you’re not a studio or business owner, if your days are spent deskside, it’s just the thing if you feel tight and tired. I know what you’re thinking: But, Bambi, I don’t have access to a Cadillac. If it’s matwork you’re looking for, flip to our cover story (“Get a POPpin’ Lower Body” on page 42). Cassey Ho, who’s amassed more

than 300 million views on YouTube, is known for her uplifting, fun workouts. She brings her positive spirit to our pages, not to mention a killer series that works the legs and glutes, to give you that strong foundation. Want a full workout? John Garey’s fast-paced “Ready, SET, Go” on page 56 was cleverly designed to hit every muscle group. Do the three sets, which incorporate some inexpensive props, three times for a real challenge. And, sorry, the “I can’t work out because my back hurts” is no longer a legit excuse for getting sidelined. The success of Christine RomaniRuby’s YUR BACK repertoire proves that people with back/ spine issues (cleared by their MD) can safely tone up in the studio. Get some of her favorite moves in “Coming Back From Back Pain” on page 50. I’m proof that putting more time into your personal practice translates to your overall wellbeing. Recently, over the weekend, my husband—who by the way, has finally taken up Pilates!—and I were working in the backyard, both days. Of course, I was feeling tired come Monday, but I must say, I wasn’t sore and stiff like I usually would be after weeding, ridding rocks from the soil and laying sod. I know I owe it all to Pilates because normally

my hamstrings would be YELLING at me—and I’d be gimping around for at least a day! And not surprisingly, I feel more productive and efficient at work and more energetic throughout the day in general. Guys, Pilates rocks! You owe it to yourself—and your future self—to practice. see ya on the mat,

Bambi Abernathy editor–in–chief

ABOVe: This shoT epiTomizes our shooT wiTh Cassey ho (and more)—fierCe, fabulous and fun! ThaT’s me on The lefT, Then CourTney miller, my sisTer Tiffany allen, Cassey, makeup arTisT Tiffany lee and phoTographer rod fosTer.

1. Kathy Grant and Romana Kryzanowska changed the Pilates exercises to suit the needs of each client. (page 84)

5. The key to a perfect freestyle stroke is keeping the rib cage connected. (page 88)

2. The Reformer, compared to the other apparatus, provides the most support and education for the client. (page 50)

6. If you do Pilates often enough, you’ll be able to do the splits. (page 20)

3. Fitness trackers are the number-one fitness trend in the world, and are now a $5.4 billion industry. (page 76)

7. The average Mexican restaurant meal has more calories than one from an Italian joint. (page 26)

4. Full-fat yogurt is bad for weight loss. (page 34)

8. Hanging on the Cadillac creates space in the spine. (page 64)

8 may • june 2016


So True—or So False?

Answers: 1. True; 2. True; 3. false; 4. false; 5. True; 6. false; 7. false; 8. True

editor’s letter

don’t forget about



Pilates instructors do so much more than fix form. They help people build strength in everything they do. With MINDBODY Pilates studio software, they’re free to focus on helping their students see results that go beyond class. Life, in balance.

E XPLORE THE SOF T WARE AT M I N D B O D Y O N L I N E . C O M | 8 7 7. 7 5 5 . 4 2 7 9




the mat routine in “Get a POPpin’ Lower Body” on page 42

W R OTe:

W R OTe:

“Ready, SET, Go!” on

page 56

YO U S h O U ld d O mY

STOTT PILATES® instructor since 2000; now a Master Trainer for Merrithew™ as well as a PMA-CPT. Also studied with Elizabeth Larkam and Rael Isacowitz in the ’90s.


YO U S h O U ld d O mY WO R kO UT

It’ll make you happy.


P I l aT e S P e d I g R e e :

Balanced Body–certified in Reformer and mat by Spencer Pilates

The B IggeST B eNefIT I geT f R O m P I l aT e S I S :

My insanely

P I l aT e S P e d I g e e :

I want to inspire you to love movement as much as I do, and to learn to play again.

strong core!

The B IggeST B eNefIT I

Th e SeCR eT TO mY SUCCe SS I S:

TO d e -STR e SS:

g e T f R O m P I l aT e S I S : a deep connection with and an understanding of how my body moves and works.

Go dancing!

Th e SeCR eT TO mY SUCCe SS I S:

l I f e I S a B O U T:

I do what I love and what I am passionate about, and I never, ever give up.

My passion. f a v O R I T e W aY

Making cool things happen with the people you love.

fav O R I Te W aY T O d e -

I love to walk my dogs and to laugh out loud.


CHRISTINE ROMANI-RUBY “Coming Back from Back Pain” on page 50 P I l aT e S P e d I g R e e : PhysicalMind Institute W R OTe:


YO U S h O U ld d O mY WO R kO UT

Ninety percent of adults will have back pain at some point in their life. The YUR BACK program addresses evidence-based movement issues that are directly correlated with a high risk of back pain.


The B IggeST B eNefIT I geT

“The Busy Instructor’s Workout” on page 64 P I l aT e S P e d I g e e : Power Pilates W R OTe:

The B IggeST B eNefIT I geT

the freedom of movement. Without Pilates, my back hurts, my hips get tight. Pilates keeps me moving, groovin’ and feeling amazing.

f R O m P I l aT e S I S :

Physically, I get centering and healthy movement patterns for all of my activities; mentally, I get focus and selfconfidence.

YO U S h O U ld d O mY WO R kO UT

Th e SeCR eT TO mY SUCCe SS I S:

Th e SeCR eT TO mY SUCCe SS I S:

Born with club feet and spending years in braces for walking, I know what it takes to help someone learn a new movement pattern.

Hard work and the belief that anything is possible.

f R O m P I l aT e S I S :

f a v O R I T e W aY TO d e -STR e SS:

A good hard workout followed by an hour of quiet time with a good book. 10

may • june 2016

It will make you feel like a million bucks!


fav O R I Te W aY T O d e STReSS:

I love cooking (seriously, that chopping is very meditative) and taking a big ole bubble bath.

Essential movement


WE WANT TO KNOW: What’s the single greatest thing that Pilates has done for you? Not surprisingly, most of you couldn’t just name one thing! Here are a few of our favorite responses. “I have three prolapsing discs in my lumbar spine. After practicing Pilates, I became pain and medicine free. I became an instructor to share with others the true miracle of Pilates healing.” —Bogna Sarosiek “[I] returned to life!” —Amy Krazizky “Flexibility! I’m a long-distance runner, which makes for tight hamstrings, but I also just have tight hamstrings genetically. My dad can’t even touch his toes, not even close. So I love the flexibility I’ve gained.”—Maryam Moore “[It’s] given me the inner strength to believe in myself!” —Delia Buckmaster “It helped me reconnect my mind with my body after several years of dealing with a serve eating disorder. Pilates literally saved my life, as I used it as a tool to maintain my heart beating, blood flowing and keep just enough muscles to prevent not totally collapsing as I was hospitalized! Today, 25 years later, I hold two international Pilates certifications.” —Marie Nielsen


“Pilates stopped me from having spinal surgery for my scoliosis, and inspired me to become an instructor.” —Lauren Fois

The complete Pilates package

“Was already a Pilates instructor when I had a stroke while having surgery, leaving me paralyzed on left side. Pilates was my rehabilitation, allowing me to regain my strength, move my limbs, improve my strength, regain my balance and feel like I was whole again.” —Patricia Massey Welter

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“[It] gave me my confidence back after injury and illness.” —Steely Lass “Balance! Dizziness from inner ear damage and migraine triggers hindered twisting, turning and balancing on one leg my whole life. [It’s been] 15 years [of] practicing Pilates with no problem.” —Debora Jo Mason Batz

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GO, (COVER) GIRL! Thanks for the love! “I’m a Pilates instructor as well as an amateur artist. Now I live in Hawaii, but I’m originally from Japan. I subscribe to Pilates Style not only to learn about Pilates, but also to make my English better. It’s been working well for me so far in both ways. I enjoy reading articles and also [looking at] the photos of many different Pilates instructors. Every picture on the cover is so fascinating. I really enjoyed drawing this picture from the latest issue.” —Saori Teraoka Young “Anyone love this as much as me?” —Trendy Rita "Like us" on Facebook at Tweet us at Follow us on Instagram (@pilatestylemag), and share your pics!

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may • june 2016


hen you know the answers to the whys, you can really

put people in the safest position. – Nicole Frederic-Lindo PMA®-CPT POLESTAR PILATES Graduate ®

POLESTAR PILATES® offers an unprecedented body of knowledge that will not only enhance your training, but also improve your quality of life.

Learn the whys at a Teachers’ Training near you: or call (305) 666-0037 follow us @PolestarPilates:

reader platform

The Pilates Style Project, Take 1 In the Nov/Dec 2015 issue, we filled you in on the Pilates Style Project, our mission to help support causes supported through Pilates. We’re proud to introduce our first installment, Pilates Has Heart. W H a t I t I S : A cause started by Washington Ave Pilates in Houston, TX, to raise awareness and money for women’s issues “with heart.” This past Valentine’s Day, the studio held a special mat class and breakfast at Silver Street Studios. WAP plans to make this an annual fund-raiser. W H Y I t ’ S a B I G d e a l : “On July 1, 2014, we lost Terri Dome,” recalls the studio’s owner and director Hilary Opheim. “She came to Washington Ave Pilates in March 2009, just after her heart transplant that February. She was a tiny little blonde with a true zest for life, a wonderfully quick wit and very quirky sense of humor. She soon won everyone’s heart at the studio, not only instructors, but clients as well. Terri would plan her schedule around her Pilates sessions, and after her session, she would sit in the lounge area chatting with other clients, visiting with instructors and just hanging out. “I knew I wanted to do something to honor her memory and continue her zest for life, her compassion for others, and her work with heart issues and cancer. She would go to the hospital, and sit and talk with young kids dealing with cancer, as she had been in their place as a child. She was the 2011 poster patient for Texas Heart Institute and did anything she could to help others going through what she had.” e V e N t H I G H l I G H t S : The attendance of Terri’s husband Steve—Terri had tried convincing him to do Pilates for years!—made the event all the more special. “He gave a beautiful speech giving insight on Terri and who she was. He talked about how Terri found her footing after so many years of health struggles at Washington Ave Pilates, and it was instrumental in helping her regain her confidence and ability to move forward after her heart transplant. He decided for Terri that he would participate in the mat class,” says Opheim. “We knew this would have made Terri smile and laugh. We had many that had never done Pilates before, but came to support the cause, and others who had known Terri and wanted to be there for her.” f o r m o r e I N f o r m atI o N o r to d o N ate : TOP: STEVE DOME, TERRI’S HUSbAND, AND HILARY OPHEIM (CENTER) POSE FOR A PHOTO WITH WAP INSTRUCTORS SHERI WINKLEMANN AND SCOTT MINARD. BOTTOm: KERI KIMLER, SPECIAL ASSISTANT AT THE TEXAS HEART INSTITUTE AND FRIEND OF TERRI DOME, PARTICIPATES IN THE MAT CLASS.


may • june 2016

HAPPY PILATES DAY! The first Saturday every May is Pilates Day, a celebration of the method, meant to increase awareness and appreciation for the exercises that have touched the lives of so many. Lolita San Miguel will be taking a group to a memorial service at Ferncliff Cemetery in Hartsdale, NY, which houses the urns of Joseph and Clara Pilates. The group will be celebrating the life of Joe all weekend at various events around NYC, including a wine-and-cheese party and luncheon. How will you be honoring Joe? For a chance to be featured in our upcoming issue, send your event photos to!

THE SCIENCE OF PILATES Two new studies abroad are proving that the method can work wonders when it comes to women’s issues. for urINarY INcoNtINeNce

Seventy-three women suffering from incontinence participated in a three-year pilot study funded by the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR). Led by Samantha Head, a physiotherapist at a U.K.based hospital, all of the participants did pelvic floor exercises but half also attended modified Pilates classes—emphasizing controlled movements—for a six-week period. Those with moderate issues in the Pilates group experienced the most benefits, but the overall findings were so promising that a larger clinical trial is underway. f o r p o S tpa r tu m fatI G u e

Eighty Iranian women were divided into two groups: one did 30 minutes of Pilates five times per week for eight weeks at home, starting 72 hours after delivery; the other group was the control. After the eight weeks, reports the study in the Singapore Medical Journal, the moms who practiced Pilates experienced a significant decrease in both physical and mental fatigue.


Q. I sit at a desk all day, and as a result, carry a

lot of tension in my shoulders. How can I be more mindful of the problem while I work? Are there any exercises I should focus on in my practice that might help counter the tightness?

Lolita’s Lolita’s Corner Corner by Lolita by Lolita SanSan Miguel, Miguel, First First Generation Generation Teacher Teacher I will I will start start a new a new Pilates Pilates Master Master Mentor Mentor Program Program group group in Palm in Palm Beach Beach Gardens, Gardens, FL FL on on July July 29,29, 2016. 2016. If you If you areare interested interested in ain a unique unique recognition recognition of excellence, of excellence, secure secure your your place place by by filling filling outout thethe application application at at as as I accept I accept a maximum a maximum of 12 of 12 persons persons perper group. group.

Comments Comments from from graduates graduates ofof my my Mentor Mentor Program: Program: “The “The PMMP PMMP made made meme change change mymy business business for for thethe better better andand as as a Legacy a Legacy Educator Educator I now I now have have another another income income stream.” stream.” —Joakim —Joakim Valsinger, Valsinger, Australian Australian Army Army Green Green Beret, Beret, now now in Perth in Perth Scotland Scotland “An“An unforgettable, unforgettable, deep deep learning learning experience…what experience…what I I didn’t didn’t expect expect was was to have to have a new a new family family thethe world world over!” over!” —Laura —Laura Cordle, Cordle, Cleveland, Cleveland, Ohio Ohio “Lolita’s “Lolita’s work work joins joins history—her history—her mentor mentor was was thethe father father of the of the Method—and Method—and thethe future. future. She She hashas a loving a loving heart, heart, wisdom, wisdom, a rich a rich lifelife experience, experience, and and passion passion forfor Pilates. Pilates. With With herher as as your your mentor mentor youyou areare in reliable in reliable hands hands and and your your teaching teaching success success is guaranteed.” is guaranteed.” —Kateryna —Kateryna Smirnova, Smirnova, Kiev, Kiev, Ukraine Ukraine Amy CADy, mFA, PmA-CPT, A BEsT-sELLINg AUTHOR, INTERNATIONAL sPEAkER, PILATEs mAsTER TRAINER AND THE

Sitting at a desk all day takes a toll on your body, especially when it comes to your posture. At some point, gravity will take over and cause us to slouch the upper body, protrude the belly and jut the head forward or tilt it to one side while looking at the computer, or down at a smartphone or tablet. The stress at work alone can cause the shoulders to elevate toward the ears, and add tightness to the area. Check your posture at least two to three times throughout the day to keep the tension and pain out of your shoulders and neck. A great way to do this is what I call “stacking the spine”: Make sure the ears are stacked over the shoulders, the shoulders over the ribs and the ribs over the hips. Stand up and check that the hips are over the knees and the knees are over the ankles. Stacking works with gravity to take the pressure and stress off the body. For your Pilates practice, the Abdominal Series on the mat with your head on a pillow is a great way to align your posture and get in some great core work to help support your spine while sitting. Practice supine exercises (lying on your back) on the Reformer to work the stacking principle, since gravity works with you and takes the load off the spine and tension off the shoulders. Some examples are Leg and Footwork, Supine Arm Work or Feet in Straps. So start stacking— and get cracking on less tension in your shoulders.


“Through “Through Lolita’s Lolita’s mentor mentor program, program, notnot only only do do have have I better I better knowledge knowledge of Joe of Joe andand thethe Method, Method, I receive I receive recognition recognition from from Pilates Pilates instructors instructors worldwide.” worldwide.” —Alyson —Alyson Limehouse, Limehouse, Palm Palm Beach, Beach, Florida Florida

MyMy PMMP PMMP graduates, graduates, Lolita’s Lolita’s Disciples™, Disciples™, who who own own studios studios areare encouraging encouraging their their teachers teachers to take to take Lolita’s Lolita’s Legacy™ Legacy™ Teacher Teacher Training Training Program Program (LLTTP) (LLTTP) because because they they feelfeel it isit the is the best best comprehensive comprehensive program. program. Training Training programs programs starting starting in the in the USUS are: are: Atlanta, Atlanta, GAGA • Chicago, • Chicago, IL •ILRaleigh, • Raleigh, NCNC • San • San Diego, Diego, CACA • Spokane, • Spokane, WAWA • Jupiter • Jupiter & Palm & Palm Beach Beach Gardens, Gardens, FL FL Internationally Internationally in: in: Asuncíon, Asuncíon, Paraguay Paraguay • Fribourg, • Fribourg, Switzerland Switzerland • • Strasbourg, Strasbourg, France France • Istanbul, • Istanbul, Turkey Turkey • Kiev, • Kiev, Ukraine Ukraine • • Brasilia, Brasilia, Brazil Brazil • Piacenza, • Piacenza, Italy Italy • Perth, • Perth, Scotland Scotland


Q&A ask the experts

Ask the ExpErts dealing with DOMS • when phantom hunger pangs attack • let’s talk flexibility • the latest diet craze by Rael Isacowitz and Leslie Dantchik, MS Nutrition expert Leslie Dantchik,

Rael Isacowitz, MA, has been

MS, is the author of the health blog

practicing Pilates for more than 30 The longtime

years and is recognized internationally

Pilates and exercise enthusiast has

as an expert in the field. In 1989, Rael

a master’s in applied physiology and

founded BASI Pilates®, a comprehensive

nutrition from Teachers College,

Pilates education organization

Columbia University.

represented throughout the world.


I went running for the first time in a while, and my inner thighs were pretty sore the next day. Is it okay to work them—or any sore muscle, for that matter—at my Pilates session the next day?


The soreness you’re experiencing is referred to as Delayed Onset Muscle soreness (DOMs). It’s quite common after either partaking in a new activity or one you haven’t partaken in for some time, or after upping the intensity of your exercise routine. The soreness we experience is a result of microscopic tearing of the muscle— it’s the natural process of the muscle adapting to a new environment. It’s actually an essential phase in the muscle becoming better equipped to deal with the demands in the future. Unless you’re experiencing severe pain (in which case, the load you placed on your muscles was far in


may • june 2016

excess of what it should’ve been), I highly recommend working the muscles at a lower intensity the next day. In fact, a Pilates session is probably the very best form of activity for you. Pilates is not a high-intensity exercise regimen. Although it can certainly be extremely demanding, it typically involves large ranges of motion, stretching and low-load exercises. In addition, Pilates is a mind/body system, and as such, we work in a way that is void of tension and emphasizes flowing movement. Certainly the DOMS you’re experiencing should be considered when tailoring your Pilates session, but I’m confident in saying

that this mode of work will help in overcoming the soreness you’re experiencing. Personally, I always try and fit in a good, solid Pilates session when I’m experiencing DOMS. I have done so for almost four decades, and it has served me well, even when the DOMS is a result of Pilates itself, like after one of my recent two-hour Marathon Mat ® classes in Italy. As I rolled out of bed the next day, I winced and thought, I feel like I’ve been hit by a freight train. Nothing more was needed than a good, slow, light Pilates session to get me right back on track. Don’t forgo your session— you’ll be thankful for it. —R.I.

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What are phantom hunger pangs? How should I deal with them?


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It’s been a few hours since you ate, and your stomach start to grumble. Those pangs you feel are actually contractions of the stomach or intestines alerting your body that it needs food. The emptier your stomach, the louder the growls. Hunger can be elicited by both biological and psychological influences. For example, low blood sugar, or the aroma, sight or even thought of food play an active role in triggering the brain to release the hunger hormones (ghrelin, leptin) that work in harmony with blood sugar to help regulate how much and what you eat, and when you’ve had enough. In a perfect world, the levels of these hormones stabilize during digestion, and you feel satiated enough until your next meal or snack. But if you still feel those hunger pangs afterward, they may not necessarily be a sign of hunger, but could simply be as a result of the food you ate, or even a side effect of a possible or existing medical condition. Diets higher in refined carbohydrates, especially empty-calorie foods (soda, candy, sugar, processed foods and artificial sweeteners), can wreak havoc on your system by throwing blood sugar levels and hormones off track and not allow your body to recognize when it’s full. And even seemingly healthy foods such as granola and commercially produced smoothies, which are often high in sugar, can leave you wanting more. Maintain harmony by consuming a balanced diet of three meals a day, plus one to two smaller snacks in between, comprised of high-quality, fiberrich carbohydrates that take longer to digest and also keep blood sugars and those hunger hormones in check. try whole-grain breads, cereal, oatmeal, leafy green vegetables (kale, spinach) and fruits (apples, pears, berries), as well as lean protein (wild salmon, chicken, turkey, low-fat yogurt) and healthy fats (olive oil, avocado, nuts). eating too fast may also trigger post-meal hunger pangs. Wait at least 10 to 20 minutes for your brain to receive the proper signals that you’re full before picking up your fork again. Sometimes, dieting can have an adverse effect if you’re restricting more calories than your body actually needs. Make sure your diet is the appropriate calorie level for your body type and activity level. Certain medications, as well as, diabetes, ulcers, thyroid issues and even pregnancy can affect appetite as well. Listen to your body. try using the hunger scale of one (weak and lightheaded) to 10 (stuffed) as your guide. Avoid the extremes, and recognize how it feels to be between four and six as the optimal range (slightly hungry to satisfied). Additionally, a detailed food diary may help you figure out your pitfalls and where to make changes. If eating past the point of fullness to alleviate those pangs happens more often than not, overtime, it can lead to weight gain and other health issues, so it’s a good idea to consult your doctor and/or nutritionist. —L.D.

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I’ve never been a “flexible” person, but Pilates has helped loosen my muscles quite a bit. But will it ever help me be able to touch my toes or do the splits?

I’m often asked this question, and I always need to be truthful. I’d have to say that it depends. Although flexibility is one of the components of fitness that can be significantly improved, it’s also highly dependent on genetics. There are many different types of stretching and philosophies about the most effective strategies. In fact, one of my very talented colleagues, BASI Pilates Director for Advanced Education, Anthony Lett, offers a certificate course called Innovations in Pilates and has a book by the same title. Much of the work is about achieving improved flexibility and range of motion utilizing the Pilates apparatus and repertoire. Having experienced it myself, I can say that it’s highly effective. Yet whether you’ll touch your toes or not will be determined by several factors. It depends on how close you’ve come to the physiological and genetic threshold of your muscles. It also depends on your body proportions. For instance, I’ve never found touching my toes to be difficult. Although I’m relatively flexible for a man, I also have very long arms relative to my legs. You may be built with the opposite proportions, having long


may • june 2016

legs and relatively short arms. So you see, it’s not only flexibility that dictates whether you can or will be able to touch your toes. Although I’m the first to encourage setting goals and achieving those goals, I urge you to view healthy range of motion as being able to perform all your daily activities, including athletic and recreational pursuits, unencumbered and unrestricted. This will also translate to helping prevent injury. Although I had a successful career as a dancer, practiced yoga since my early teens and have been a Pilates professional for 38 years, doing the splits has eluded me my entire life. I have partaken in many athletic activities, from swimming and gymnastics to windsurfing and snowboarding to mountain biking and paragliding, and been relatively injury free. It’s not only flexibility that’s important, but rather, a good balance of flexibility and strength. Next time you see a beautiful ballerina assume a split position in full flight, remember that her extreme mobility comes with its own challenges. The grass is not always greener on the other side, so keep looking at your toes, and enjoy the journey toward reaching them. —R.I.


Should I try the Nordic Diet? Will it help me lose weight?


The sheer number of diets on the market these days can be daunting. They range from sensible plans like Weight Watchers, low-carb and low-fat, to eating like a caveman or a French woman, the downright Gettothe absurd Twinkie Diet. (Are they magazine serious?!) But the latest craze delivered suggests eating like ourtofriends from home!in 2004, Scandinavia.your Developed the Nordic Diet focuses on foods found and traditionally eaten in Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway and sweden, and stresses a diet comprised strictly of whole foods, instead of counting calories, for weight loss and better health. Similar to the principles of the heart-healthy Mediterranean diet, the Nordic Diet includes a variety of lean protein, whole grains, healthy fats, low-fat dairy and eggs while eliminating processed, refined foods, additives and sweets. It also emphasizes local, seasonal and sustainable foods. Although primarily plant based, omega-3-rich fish (wild salmon, mackerel, herring), as well as poultry, should be eaten at least two to three times a week. Red meat is discouraged, with the exception of lean wild game meats (elk, venison), which should be eaten sparingly. Other staples include: cereal, crackers and breads made from rye, oats and barley, all excellent sources of B vitamins, selenium and fiber; antioxidant-rich fruits (blueberries, strawberries, apples, pears); root and cruciferous vegetables high in fiber and vitamins C and A (potatoes, Frog

F2 System, direction 7; short yellow spring strengthens the inner thighs and hamstrings Lie on your back in a neutral spine position, with your feet in the straps, heels together, hips externally rotated and knees bent at about 90 degrees. Grab hold of the sides of the pedal for support, making sure your arms are straight.


1. Exhale, straightening your legs, toes pointed.

PurPoSe: SetuP:

The revolutionary BASI F2 System will change the way you do Pilates—and help you reach your next “aha moment.”

2. Inhale, returning to the starting position. Do 6–8 reps. Initiate the movement using your hamstrings and inner thighs. Press your heels together throughout, and move them along a horizontal line.


SetuP & SteP 1

Shoulder Bridge PreP

Workout by Shayne Smith Edited by Amanda Altman

F2 System, direction 7; short yellow spring promotes hamstring strength, pelvic-lumbar stabilization and hip disassociation S e t u P : Lie on your back, with your spine neutral, knees bent and feet in the straps, hip-width apart on the floor. Grab hold of the sides of the pedal, with your arms straight, and press up into a Pelvic Curl.



SetuP & SteP 1

1. Exhale, lifting your left leg, toes pointed, maintaining a consistent angle of your leg. 2. Inhale, bringing your toes to the floor. Do 6–8 reps on both sides. Avoid splaying your legs while focusing on keeping them at 90 degrees while you lower and lift. Maintain hip extension by grounding through your supporting leg.


platform for their larger muscle groups to develop more strength and suppleness,” says Smith. Although the exercises call for moderately heavy resistance, Smith says, the F2 system allows you to adjust the resistance with ease.


We all have at least one Pilates exercise that, for whatever reason, is difficult to master. (Teaser, anyone?) Eventually, though, that “aha moment” comes, and things just click. For Shayne Smith, a BASI Pilates faculty member based in Australia, it took a new piece of equipment to turn on that figurative light bulb. “I could not perform the Bridging exercises well for quite some time. Utilizing the BASI F2 System changed this quickly and proficiently!” “Short for Form and Function, the F2 spring system helped keep my arms and shoulders in alignment and firing, while the spring resistance to my feet/ankles created a higher load on my legs and trunk to provide a stable base. This all allowed for my stabilizers to stabilize, prime movers to move, large muscles to create power and small muscles to direct force,” Smith explains. “The changes in muscle sequencing—for Bridge and countless other exercises—have translated to mat class, for both myself and my clients, who have worked with me on the F2 System.” This challenging series focuses on the inner thighs, hamstrings, back, shoulders and spinal articulation. “The workout is something that will help both males and females feel as though they are able to connect core musculature and create a solid

“For the shoot, due to the flooring, a weighted bag was placed in the F2 to ensure there was no slippage,” adds Smith, who says that in his carpeted studio, he safely uses just a sticky mat. Get ready to consider that bridge crossed! PS

SteP 2

Shoulder Bridge

F2 System, direction 7; short yellow spring develops strength in the hamstrings and back; works on hamstring and hip flexor control while providing a stretch S e t u P : Same as Shoulder Bridge Prep, but extend your right leg toward the ceiling, toes pointed. Setting:


2. Inhale, bringing your leg toward your chest with a flexed foot. Do 6–8 reps on both sides. Concentrate on stretching the back of your straight leg during the lift phase, and the front during the lowering phase. Maintain a consistent height between your pelvis and the floor throughout.

62 january • february 2016


Discover newfound connections—and get longer and leaner— with this resistance tool that provides hands-on feedback to beginners and advanced students alike. Eze-y does it! By Kimberly Dye • Modeled by Tatiana Trivellato • Edited by Amanda Altman

44 november • december 2015

I found that I was more effective as a teacher when providing tactile cueing and had previous success with several suspension stretch props I designed as a movement therapist. So I wrapped springy resistance fabric around my students’ backs and feet to help recreate hands-on feedback for grounding and support. As they gently “met the resistance,” while pressing through their feet and widening through their chest and arms, the “light” went on in their eyes! Newfound connections were made as they created counter-tensional pulls for multidirectional movement. With just the right amount of support to relax their hip flexors and shoulders, they could access the more subtle transverse and multifidi core muscles. It was thrilling to watch. After five years

of development through teaching, and trial and error with finding the right fabric, the Stretch-eze was born. In the following mat sequence, I have chosen to share some of my favorite Stretch-eze wraps that can be done in just 10 minutes. You will be inspired by the way you feel during matwork—and especially the day after. You will walk with more spring, feel more connected through your feet and have more energy throughout your day. The Stretch-eze is a great tool to give to your clients for homework, or for your mixed-level mat classes, since the beginner receives well-appointed support and the more advanced student can refine their technique even more. Either way, it's the key to your next “aha moment,” something that will change your practice forever. PS


SteP 2

Back knee Wrap

Sit with your knees bent and feet flat on the floor. Place the folded fabric around your back, and loop the ends over your knees and shins, making sure the fabric is smooth and even on both legs. Extend your arms forward at shoulder height, palms in.

InSIde reInS

Lie on your back, with your feet inside the loop at opposite edges, legs extended toward the ceiling.Grab the middle of the fabric with an underhand grasp, creating a firm counter-resistance between your feet and hands.

Back pack Wrap

2 Ways to Read: 63


Meet the

brings you the latest workouts for a longer, leaner you, plus nutrition advice and wellness tips!

SetuP & SteP 1

1. Exhale, lower your right leg, keeping your toes pointed.


Using springy resistance was one of Joseph Pilates’ critical prepatory methods for building core strength and body control. While teaching Pilates matwork in health club “no pain, no gain” settings, I often saw people misinterpreting the concept of stability: They would create rigid muscular-holding patterns, instead of achieving dynamic core strength or a “tensegrity of forces,” where the pelvis and rib cage are part of a moveable, breathing body of strength. Many students thought performing the Hundred was a feat to accomplish in any way whatsoever, even if that meant poor form due to weak muscles. Tense shoulders, overused hip flexors and general discomfort predominated. But I had an idea…

carrots, turnips, beets, cabbage, cauliflower, broccoli); and legumes (beans and peas), which are high in potassium, iron and magnesium. The Nordic Diet also incorporates foods commonly found in the various countrysides, like wild mushrooms and fiddleheads. One difference between the Nordic and Mediterranean diets is the inclusion of rapeseed (canola) instead of olive oil. Also high in healthy mono- and polyunsaturated fats and very low in saturated fats, canola oil is excellent for cooking, thanks to its very high smoke point and neutral flavor. Although more research is needed, recent studies have shown that including these foods in your diet may not only be heart protective, lower blood pressure and cholesterol levels and reduce the risk of diabetes, but also be beneficial for weight loss. On the downside, some foods may be a bit exotic to people not from these countries, more expensive or not easily accessible. However, you can check your local farmers’ market or food co-op, both of which often carry items that larger supermarket chains may not. And always opt for grass-fed and freerange options when available. In general, following the principles of the Nordic Diet can be a win-win Theforlatest Pilatesbut situation not only your health, the environment, too. Just keep in Style downloaded mind that adhering to any nutritious, to your tablet and balanced diet that fits your lifestyle, phone! accompanied with regular exercise and plenty of sleep, is really the key to long-term success. —L.D.

Pilates Style magazine

Assume the Shoulder Foot Wrap, and bring your arms down and out of the hammock position, so the shoulder cape is in place. Flip to your stomach, keeping your feet in the fabric, using your arms and hands to assist. Find the arm hammock position; feel free to use a small ball or towel to rest your forehead on the floor.

Here’s how to position your body in the band throughout the exercises. The arrows will guide you toward multidirectional movement.

Shoulder Foot Wrap

Lie on your back, with the fabric wrapped completely over your shoulders like a cape, feet placed in the center of the fabric. Press your arms out slightly, imagining that they are enveloped in a hammock.

Back Foot X-Wrap

Sit tall on your sit bones, with your legs extended hipwidth apart. Wrap the fabric around your low and midback, making sure it’s smooth, not twisted. Cross the fabric, and place your feet in the center. (Make an extra cross if you need more resistance.)


Call toll free 866-368-2952 or visit to order!

hand Foot Wrap

From Back Pack Wrap, bend your knees to 90 degrees. Release your arms from the hammock position, and slide your hands, hooking your thumbs along the edge of fabric, until the fabric comes off your shoulders. Plant your elbows on the floor in front of your head. 45

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$23.99 Omega-3-rich fish should be eaten at least two to three times a week.

teaser on the go




Seychelle Hattingh’s Pilates habit paid off when she broke the world’s record in stand-up paddleboarding.

How did Seychelle Hattingh get the strength and stamina to propel a stand-up paddleboard for 24 hours straight— including throughout the night—breaking the world’s record in the process? From Pilates, of course! “My goal when I first started Pilates was to strengthen my core,” says Hattingh, 28, who paddled the record-breaking 110 miles around a course on a lake in Sarasota, FL, in December. “I have since learned that Pilates is great for so many other reasons, including proper alignment, activating every muscle in my body, and moving and working from the core.” And she needed it for the incredible physical challenge she faced. “The last three to four hours were the worst,” she recalls. “I was completely exhausted and everything in my body ached, but I never thought about quitting. By the last lap, though, I had 10 to 15 other paddlers in the water, cheering me to the finish. I crossed the 24-hour line at a full sprint.” Hattingh, a native of the Florida Keys, is also a yoga, SUP and yoga-on-a-SUP teacher. She first tried SUP in 2010 and started competing four years later. Although she had taken some Pilates mat classes years before at a local gym, she started doing it seriously this past year, training with Norma-jean Nolan of Pilates in Paradise in

Marathon, FL. Twice a week, Nolan, a Level 5 Romana’s Pilates teacher, takes Hattingh through a routine on the Reformer, Barrel, Electric and Wunda Chairs and the Foot Corrector. Hattingh also does a mat routine on her own at home once a week. “My favorites are the leg-strength-building moves we do on the Electric Chair like the standing presses and Mountain Climbing,” she says. “I also love the Pull-Ups and Push-Ups on the Wunda Chair. It takes moves that I thought I had been doing all my life and makes them so much harder, when done the way Joseph Pilates designed them. I also find the stretching more effective than in a yoga class—and this is coming from a yoga instructor! I always leave feeling great, balanced and aligned.” “Having a strong foundation is what allows me to paddle for miles and miles without fatigue,” says Hattingh, who also won the 11 Cities Tour, known as the “Tour de France of SUP,” a five-day race in Holland covering more than 120 miles this past September. “I have an old hip injury, which causes my pelvis to lose alignment. Pilates trains my body to hold that alignment and gives me ways to challenge my body that I have never experienced before, even with a lifetime of athleticism.” PS



may • june 2016

photos by John littlefield

by Anne Marie O’Connor

YOU ARE YOUR MOST POWERFUL ADVOCATE. MORE THAN EVER, COLORECTAL CANCER IS A PERSONAL MATTER. Today, colorectal cancer (CRC) is the second leading cause of cancer death in the United States,* but that may be changing. Research shows that knowing the genetic and molecular makeup of your colorectal tumor may lead to safer, more effective treatment, just for you. Make it personal. It’s your tumor. Talk to your doctor about testing your tumor. Speak up. Ask questions.

Go to to learn more.

Greg Kinnear, SU2C Ambassador

Stand Up To Cancer is a program of the Entertainment Industry Foundation, a 501(c)(3) charitable organization. *According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), colorectal cancer is the second leading cause of cancer death in the United States when men and women are combined.



Hanging in the Balance Katherine and Kimberly Corp are the owners of Pilates on Fifth, one of the largest studios in New York City with a diverse clientele. They also offer an equally diverse range of classes, which is continually evolving; they’re not afraid to try something new. So when we heard about their SilkSuspension™ equipment and class, inspired by men’s gymnastics ring training, we knew it was time to get suspended. “We both love suspension-based exercises for the increases in strength and stability, but grappled with the absence of fluidity and flow to the workouts,” say the sisters (pictured at right) of their impetus to create a new apparatus. “We also tried aerial silks, but the combination of the uncertain upper-body strength (meaning you never knew when your arms would give out!) and the fear of being off the ground prevented us from feeling a true sense of accomplishment.” Enter SilkSuspension, which features two independently moving suspension points (instead of just one) to force the entire body to stabilize dynamically in 360 degrees. The silks each come with three handles—one for upper body, one for lower body and another for core work—along with a sling (or small “hammock”) for more abdominal exercises and inversions. The system features 300-plus functional movements, including those inspired by suspension work, aerial silks and of course, Pilates, to catapult strength, stability and flexibility into overdrive.

O u R T A k E : SilkSuspension is as fun as it is resultsdriven. It was nice not having to “think” so much, since, as the Corps explained, the equipment helps the body learn proper movement patterns on a neuromuscular level. And it was surprising to learn—and feel—how SilkSuspension is really accommodating to all levels, not just aerial artists (and people who still can’t do a proper cartwheel, like me!). The Pilates exercises challenged me on a deeper level—you have no choice but to use every ounce of strength—and it was freeing to be able to hang and swing in the hammock. I’m still feeling the high! For more information, including upcoming instructor trainings or to purchase the equipment or manuals, visit —Amanda Altman

Roller Roller Rehab Rehab Although challenging stability and balance is a good thing, sometimes you just need to work on releasing tension and stress throughout the body. Get out the essential oil and candles, and take these new therapy-oriented rollers for a spin. While the Balanced Body Softie Roller can function as a postureperfecting, total-body-strengthening device, the soft foam roller, which measures 36 inches in length, is also delicate enough for myofascial release and self-massage ($39, including instructional poster; The MERRITHEW™ Massage Point Foam Roller Two-in-One doubles as a core-challenging prop and a trigger-point massage tool, thanks to its spiky exterior. Made from lightweight, nonslip foam, the roller can be broken down into two parts—each 12 inches long—to help you access smaller areas on a deeper level ($69.99, including a bonus exercise guide; The brainchild of Pilates teacher and fascia expert Lauren Roxburgh, the LoRox Aligned RollerTM is made from moderate-density EVA foam and features circular bumps. Roxburgh’s exercises on the therapeutic roller—in her book Taller, Slimmer, Younger: 21 Days to a Foam Roller Physique (Ballantine Books, 2016)—help hydrate fascia to boost circulation and release tension. Available in two sizes: the standard 36-inch length and a 12-incher, for when you’re on the go ($49.95 and $14.95, respectively, or purchase with the book for $55.95; —A.A. 24

may • june 2016


No More excuses!

Pick up these new reads, one for pros and another for beginners. CENTERED: ORGANIZING THE BODY THROUGH KINESIOLOGY, MOVEMENT THERAPY, AND PILATES TECHNIQUES Although the book says it’s aimed at Pilates instructors who want to become movement practitioners, those with a basic understanding of Pilates or other type of movement art or therapy can benefit. We think it’s for anyone who can appreciate the dynamics of movement—and wants to move well. E Q u I P M E N T mat, small balls (for feet), medium and large balls, Reformer, Wunda Chair, Cadillac, small Barrel, small box or table, Magic Circle W H O Author Madeline Black, PMA-CPT, teaches at Studio M in Sonoma, CA, as well as all over the world. W H A T An expertly written book about what it means to be an integrative movement practitioner. Each chapter is devoted to a part of the body, starting with the feet and working upward, focusing on how to eliminate imbalances and develop an intuitive sense of healthy movement. T A R G E T Serious movement practitioners looking to improve their “body IQ.” This is not a quick-fix guide, but rather an intelligent and technically precise instructional template on how to explore the inner workings of the body. B u Y T H I S B E C A u S E The knowledge and wisdom imparted on these pages will elevate any practice. S P E C I A L F E A T u R E S With purchase, Black will autograph the book and include a free gift of Posture Pencils©, an online workshop with 32 videos that complements the book and can enable students to earn three PMA CECs. LEVEL

341 pages, $49.95 • Handspring Publishing Limited •

SCULPT AND SHAPE: THE PILATES WAY beginner mat W H O Yasmin Karachiwala is the owner of Body Image in Mumbai, India; Zeena Dhalla is the founder of Vertical Pilates in Ladera Ranch, CA. W H A T A reader-friendly guide to Pilates basics, with instructions on 24 exercises framed by a heartfelt story of how two women, both on opposite ends of the world, formed an unlikely partnership because of Pilates. T A R G E T Anyone who is considering or starting a Pilates practice. This how-to book also offers solid information on the discipline’s history, the equipment used, a little physiology and the benefits behind the moves. B u Y T H I S B E C A u S E It contains an enlightening section on breathing techniques that improve energy, complexion, digestion, allover appearance and immunity, plus insight on how emotions shape you. S P E C I A L F E A T u R E S A color section with apparatus exercises performed by Karachiwala’s students, who are famous Bollywood actresses. LEVEL


198 pages, $10 • Ebury Press, Random House India •

—Heidi Dvorak

SHOULd YOU HIT THE STUdIO—OR THE SACK? If you’re trying to lose or even maintain your weight, choose sleep, argues a new study published in the journal Sleep. The researchers found that sleep deprivation activated the same receptors as the marijuana plant, essentially causing a bout of the munchies, particularly in the late afternoon. Interestingly, the 14 test subjects, all healthy and between the ages of 18 and 30, ended up scarfing almost double the fat and protein (not carbohydrates, as previous studies have suggested) as the control group. The solution: You guessed it—hit the snooze button. —A. A. 25


WHY YOU’RE NOT LOSING WEIGHT Eat a balanced diet all week, but fall prey to too many “cheat” meals on weekends?

es , Fi rst, Pilat be ay an d th en m ! es t t pie an d la

You just might be undoing all your hard work, says new research published in Molecular Nutrition and Food Research. Although the study examined rats, not humans, scientists from the University of New South Wales found that just three days a week of junky eating was enough to disrupt the gut microbiota—the cells that play a role in metabolism, nutrition and immune function—in the same way that a consistent diet of emptycalorie-rich foods does. O u R A d v i c E : Instead of sitting in front of the TV with a pint of Ben and Jerry’s, make the most of your Sunday Funday by doing something to truly recharge, like treating yourself to a Pilates session or catching up with a friend over coffee (hold the scone!). —Amanda Altman



Sure, you know to ditch the drive-through if you’re trying to drop pounds, but new research out of Tufts University says you might want to give up dining out altogether. The study, published in the Journal of the American Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, found that 92 percent of 364 restaurant meals— from both large-chain and non-chain restaurants alike—exceeded the recommended calories for a single meal. The worst offenders? The American, Chinese and Italian eateries, with calorie counts averaging 1,495 per meal. 26

may • june 2016


ChEw On This

Eighty-five percent of American adults have gum disease, doubling their risk for developing heart disease, the number-one killer in the country. Symptoms like bad breath or bleeding when flossing are easy to overlook, so don’t skip the dentist chair, no matter how tempting it might be. Bring your earphones and beats—and that calming breathing you learned during Pilates class. Source: American Academy of Periodontology

On Our radar Here’s the scoop on our latest obsessions.

Horatio Moves! FarMbox Direct A box of seasonal, locally sourced produce is shipped directly to your doorstep. Choose between three sizes (small, medium, large) and whether you want to spring for organic ($45.95 for large All Natural box and $61.95 for Only Organic, plus $5.98 handling fee;


W H Y W E L O v E i T : The box is tailor-made to suit your taste buds. Choose between a mix of fresh fruit and veggies, or just one or the other. Once you place your order, you’ll receive an email that lets you make up to five changes (e.g., nix the kiwi if you’re over it!). There’s no commitment, so you can cancel or place your box on hold whenever.

An inspiring children’s book about Horatio, a Lhasa-poo rescued by a Pilates teacher, who helps him find a greater purpose through movement. Written by Fletcher Pilates–certifed Jenna Zaffino, PMA-CPT, with illustrations by Daniel Warren Johnson, Horatio Moves! ($14.95; is based on her true story, of bringing a new dog into her life—and into the studio. “From the start, Horatio served as inspiration as well as comic relief to the studio community. We would look at the effortlessness of his stretches, the bounce in his step and his overall positive attitude, and tried to emanate those things in our Pilates movements,” recalls Zaffino, now involved in the PMA’s Pilates 4 Youth Initiative.


W H Y W E L O v E i T : “Horatio Moves! started as a message to my potential children to inspire them to explore their movement and their life to find the thing that makes their heart sing,” says Zaffino who decided to write the book after a diagnosis of infertility. “This small message has since grown into a wonderful, global invitation for children to explore creative movement.” And Zaffino has since grown into her role as mommy to 23-month-old Jaxon. JuST BE AWARE:

Pilates lessons!

Your kids might start begging for

Though Farmbox free-ships to 48 states, if your zip code is out of range, you’ll be charged an additional shipping fee.


Yarok Literally translating to “green” in Hebrew, it’s a line of sustainably sourced hair care that will give you a glowing mane from the inside out. Twelve products, ranging from serums to shampoos to styling aids, target the scalp and strands with smart combinations of organic essential oils (and food-grade preservatives) that nourish, restore and protect (


W H Y W E L O v E i T : It’s not easy to find hair products made with organic ingredients that actually work! Also, 3 percent of the profits are donated to The Pachamama Alliance to protect the Amazon Rainforest. Just in time for summer, try Feed Your Sunshine, which doubles as a protectant you can apply before the pool or beach and an after-sun nourisher, thanks to a blend of jojoba, black currant, aloe and tea tree oils ($28.60 for 1 ounce).

The price point is on the high end, but the product is mighty—a little goes a long way. —A.A.



Smooth Operator Beat the heat with these icy-cool concoctions from Tess Masters’ The Blender Girl Smoothies that bring the nutrition—not the sugar crash!—needed to power through your on-the-go day. Each serves two, so bring one for your workout buddy. Plus, shake things up even more with the latest add-ins. by Amanda Altman Reprinted with permission from The Blender

Apricot Ammunition Vitamins A and C, potassium and flavonoids in apricots are potent health promoters that combat macular degeneration, and regulate heart rate and blood pressure. Apricots alleviate menstrual cramps, and their lycopenes promote prostate health. Take this blend from simple to spectacular by adding 1 ⁄8 teaspoon ground cardamom and/or 1 tablespoon vanilla protein powder. Throw 1½ cups coconut water or water + 4 medium pitted and chopped apricots + 1 teaspoon coconut nectar or pure maple syrup + 2 cups frozen peaches into your blender and blast on high for 30–60 seconds, until smooth and creamy. Tweak sweetener to taste. Per serving: 104 calories; 0g fat; 25g carbs; 2g protein

Girl Smoothies, by Tess Masters, copyright © 2014, 2015, published by Ten Speed Press, an imprint of Penguin Random House LLC.


Aside from sneaking in the usual suspects—greens, Greek yogurt, nut butter, protein powder, veggie purées—give these nutrient-dense blends a whirl.

Coromega Be Bright Superfood Oil Blend contains chia, coconut, avocado, hemp and black cumin cold-pressed, non-GMO oils in one convenient package ($20 for 10.6 ounces;

Navitas Naturals Superfruit Antioxidant Smoothie is berry good for you, thanks to organic, free radical–fighting goji, acai and pomegranate powders ($29.99 for 8 ounces;

Carrington Farms Organic Flax Chia Paks combine organic milled flax and fiber-rich chia to bring the omega-3s. As a bonus, no need to refrigerate these single-serving packets ($7.99 for 12;

Per 2 teaspoons: 40 calories; 3g fat; 3g carbs; 0g protein

Per teaspoon: 20 calories; .5g fat; 3g carbs; 0g protein

Per packet: 60 calories; 4.5g fat; 4g carbs; 2g protein


may • june 2016

Happy Hydration So simple and so delicious, this low-fat, high-fiber cleansing quencher screams vitamin C! A host of phytonutrients makes it a anti-inflammatory, hearthealthy superstar. The lycopene in watermelon, phenolic compounds in raspberries and flavonoids in basil protect cells against oxygen damage, maintain healthy bones and regulate cholesterol. Throw 3½ cups chopped seedless watermelon + 2 cups frozen raspberries + ¼ cup loosely packed basil + natural sweetener to taste (optional) into your blender and blast on high for about 1 minute, until smooth and creamy. Tweak sweetener to taste. Per serving: 336 calories; 3g fat; 81g carbs; 7g protein

Avo and Cuke Cooler This blend is a satisfying meal replacement—the incredible explosion of flavors tastes like liquid guacamole! Avocados are a complete protein, rich in alkalizing vitamins and minerals, heart-healthy fats and glutathione, the magical antioxidant that repairs cell and tissue damage, calms inflammation and regulates metabolism. Throw 1½ cups each water, avocado flesh and ice cubes + ½ medium peeled and chopped cucumber + ¼ cup each firmly packed arugula and finely chopped cilantro + 1 tablespoon each freshly squeezed lime juice and extra-virgin olive oil + 1 teaspoon finely chopped red onion + 2 cloves garlic + ¼ teaspoon finely chopped serrano chile + ½ teaspoon natural salt into your blender, and blast on high for 30–60 seconds, until smooth and creamy. Tweak flavors to taste. (You may like more lime juice, chile or salt.) Per serving: 637 calories; 58g fat; 34g carbs; 8g protein

Amazing Grass Green Superfood Alkalize & Detox aims to help restore pH and remove toxins with the brand’s signature mix of wheat and barley grasses and alfalfa, not to mention spirulina, kale, broccoli, beet root, parsley, turmeric and probiotics for absorption ($21.99 for 15 packets;

Philosophie Cacao Magic, an allorganic combo of cacao powder and nibs, reishi mushrooms, mesquite, maca, chia seeds, hemp protein and vanilla, seamlessly adds 10 times the antioxidants of a cup of tea plus magnesium and calcium ($7.99 for 16 ounces;

Into the whole smoothie bowl trend? Elemental Superfood Crumble toppings, made with raw, mostly organic, GMO-free ingredients, will take your shake to the next level. Available in four flavors like Cranberry, Almond + Lucuma ($11.95 for 8 ounces;

Per packet: 25 calories; 0g fat; 5g carbs; 2g protein

Per ½ ounce 55 calories; 1g fat; 3g carbs; 10g protein

Per 1.8 ounces: 220 calories; 15g fat; 16g carbs; 6g protein 29

teaser Beauty


poSt-workout Grooming Tough session? No worries. Your après-Pilates routine will be a cinch with these gym bag essentials. by Nicole Grippo Ruotolo Most days, we don’t even have time for a speedy shower after a session, before we have to run back to the office, pick up the kids or meet up with friends. To the rescue: solutions for all your hair, skin and makeup challenges, so you can do a quick reboot post-workout. Add them to your Pilates glow, and no one will be the wiser.

Shower SubStitute Can’t shower? Extra-large Life Elements Action Wipes remove sweat, dirt and odor without water. Free of chemicals and alcohol, they’re packed with botanical oils that are safe to use from head to toe ($24 for 30 wipes;

oil remover Soak up post-session shine with Beautyblender Blotterazzi. The teardrop-shaped cushion allows you to blot excess oil in small nooks as well as larger areas ($20 for two sponges in a compact;

Spray-on Skin hydrator

Shampoo Stand-in Revive your ‘do for another day or two with ColorProof DrySpell Color Protect Dry Shampoo. The cornstarch, rice and clay formula absorbs sweat and excess oil. Just spray three to five inches from your roots and rub in with your fingertips, then style ($26 for 6.7 fluid ounces; 30

may • june 2016

Spritz your face with ClarityRx Take Your Vitamins Daily Mineral Spray for Thirsty Skin to moisturize and nourish your skin. Its calming, anti-inflammatory ingredients also prevent breakouts ($42 for 4 fluid ounces;

all-natural deodorant Created for men and women, chemical-free Organic Pharmacy Deodorant Spray kills odor-causing bacteria and leaves a delicate scent, thanks to these essential oils: sage, lemon, rosemary, bergamot, neroli and lavender ($35 for 1.7 fluid ounces;

CompaCt blow-dryer We think the Sephora Collection Mini Blast Travel Ionic Blow Dryer has super powers! With 1,200 watts and two speed settings, this tiny tool dries your mane in a flash. As a mega bonus, the negative ion technology seals hair cuticles and reduces frizz ($25;

ponytail alternative Tired of the same old pony? Creating the perfect top knot or low bun is super simple with the flexible Beachwaver Co. The Wrap up. Just glide hair through the slot, pinch together and roll ($12;

mini Flat iron Straighten, curl, flip or just de-frizz strands with the pocket-sized (just six inches!) José Eber Petite Flat Iron from famed Hollywood stylist José Eber. Ceramic plates and negative ionic technology prevent damage to tresses ($50;

Complexion CorreCtor Multitasking products like Algenist Reveal Color Correcting AntiAging Serum Foundation SPF 15 speed up your get-ready routine. The lightweight formula masks uneven tone while providing sun protection ($48 for 1 fluid ounce;

multitaSking makeup Streamline your routine with the multipurpose Smashbox “L.A. Lights” Blendable Lip & Cheek Color. Glide the creamy formula onto your pout and the apples of your cheeks, then buff with the sponge ($29 for .17 fluid ounces;

workout-prooF maSCara

Skin illuminator

Full of healthy ingredients—kale, carrot, lemon and quinoa, plus vitamins A, C and E—Physicians Formula Organic Wear 100% natural Origin Work It! Full! Flared! Fit! Mascara boosts lashes’ hydration and elasticity for a fullerlooking fringe that lasts through your workout—and the rest of the day ($9.95 for .26 fluid ounces;

Keep the glow going with Hard Candy Look Pro! Illuminate & Strobing Mix-In Drops. Add a few drops to your moisturizer or foundation for an overall radiant look, or apply directly to the bridge of your nose, the center of your lips and over the apples of your cheeks for subtle highlights ($8 for .55 fluid ounces; 31

f rom


stut odIO sHORe

V 100% u Tion pRoTEC

odoRR E S i S TA nT

Stay chill with our cool picks you can mix and match to take you from Pilates student to beach bum. by Robin Villalobos

FOR HIM SUNGLASSES Carrera Flat Top Wayfarer Sunglasses; $119, SHIRT Prana Mind/Matter Tee Shirt; $40, TANK Lululemon Athletica T.H.E. Tank; $58, SHORTS International Jock 100% Cotton Yoga Short Charcoal; $39, TRUNKS Orlebar Brown Getty Images Bulldog Swim Short; $360, WATER BOTTLE Embrava Sports Water Bottle; $20, JACKET Le Coq Sportif Gray Jacket; $153, BAG Reebok Yoga Duffle Bag; $52, FITNESS TRACKER Misfit Ray Fitness and Sleep Monitor; $52, SHOES Sperry CVO 2 Shoe; $60, TOWEL Gaiam Thirsty Yoga Mat Towel; $25,

u lT




And EighT lighTw AREnT p S n A R T

MoniTo RS SlEEp

R SupE T RbAn AbSo


may • june 2016

HEADBAND H&M Jersey Headband; $7, EARRINGS Redsister Marble Stud Earring; $15, SPORTS BRA Olympia Activewear Knot StretchJersey Sports Bra; $89; SUNGLASSES NastyGal Quay High Emotion Marble Shades; $55, WATCH Apple Sport, 42mm Rose Gold Aluminum Case with Stone Sport Band; $400, COVER-UP Prana Liana Sweater; $79, MAT No Ka’oi Gummed Yoga Mat; $211; WRISTBAND CUFF Athleta Run With It Cuff; $14, WATER BOTTLE S’Well Water Bottle; $35, PANTS Olympia Activewear Kore StretchJersey Leggings; $107; SWIMSUIT Zimmermann Alchemy Floral-Print Bikini; $295; GYM BAG Adidas by Stella McCartney Oversized Gym Bag; $250, SHOES New Balance NB Studio Skin; $55,

FOR HeR non-S

ghT lighTwEi CoTTon oRgAniC



STRETCh y & SuppoR TiVE

holdS CASh And KEyS

d inKS Col KEEpS dR ouRS foR 24 h

CuShion ing TRACTio n 33


Do you neeD to Ditch

dairy? It’s trendy to tout the benefits of going dairy-free, but is there really any good reason to give milk a miss or say bye-bye to brie? by Joanna Powell

Forget gluten! The new food group being villainized as the root of all nutritional evil is dairy. Celebrities have claimed to drop 10 or more pounds in just weeks by eliminating milk and cheese. On the journalism front, Mark Bittman led the anti-dairy charge with his 2012 editorial in The New York Times titled “Got Milk? You Don’t Need It!” which encouraged laying off milch-animal products. And Mark Hyman, MD, a New York Times best-selling author and wellness expert, recently declared, “Dairy is nature’s perfect food—but only if you’re a calf.” Ouch! “In 2016, it’s hip to be gluten-free, sugarfree and now diary-free,” notes Laura Cipullo, RD, CDE, CEDRD, author of The Women’s Health Body Clock Diet (Rodale Books, 2015). “But in terms of science, there is no evidence to speak of that supports avoiding dairy consumption.” In fact, multiple recent studies underscore the positive effects of milk, cheese and especially fermented dairy like yogurt and kefir, noting that they are effective for disease prevention, nutritional health and are a boon to weight loss. “Why researchers are anti-dairy, I don't know,” says science journalist Nina Teicholz, author of the best-selling The Big Fat Surprise (Simon & Schuster; 2014). “Some people [including most Paleo followers] think that dairy today is different from dairy 100 years ago, which is no doubt true. But that doesn't mean that dairy itself is bad. It just means that we should consume high-quality products that are produced in ways similar to what our ancestors ate.” For the vast majority of Americans who are not lactose intolerant, there’s no reason not to enjoy a shot of milk in your coffee, a sprinkling of Parmesan on your favorite Italian dish, or yogurt and fruit for breakfast. In fact, diary can be a healthy addition to your diet.

whey less

Despite trendy claims that folks who stop eating dairy can drop more pounds, scientific research says differently. Milk products—especially fullfat ones—have actually been linked to smaller waistlines and slimmer physiques in numerous clinical trials. In a 2013 survey in Sweden, a high intake of dairy fat (butter, milk and whipping cream) was associated with a lower risk of obesity—especially around the abdominal area—over a 12-year period. According to a study published in the International Journal of Obesity in 2012, dieters who ate more dairy reduced more fat mass while actually adding 1.3 pounds of muscle mass, which burns more calories than fat. A 2015 study published in the European Journal of Nutrition found that women who consumed four daily servings of dairy actually lost more weight than women who had only two servings.

Experts agree that cheese and other dairy products are high in protein, which staves off hunger. “The combination of micronutrients in dairy makes you feel full,” says Cipullo. Dairy products are also packed with calcium, which besides building strong bones, is a critical factor in how the body handles Approximately 25 percent of calories. In the case of Americans have a reduced ability fermented products to digest lactose, the sugar in dairy like yogurt and kefir, products, in adulthood. The good their probiotic content news is that many people who are makes for a healthier lactose intolerant can eat or drink gut, which plays a some amount of lactose without having crucial role in boosting digestive symptoms; both the National metabolism, regulating Medical Association and a National hunger hormones Institutes of Health expert panel and promoting recommend that those who are lactose detoxification. intolerant try to keep some dairy foods So why all the talk in their diet. “Individuals with lactose about dairy making us intolerance can typically produce fat? “Like all elimination enough lactase [the enzyme required diets, when you restrict to digest milk] to allow for one-half cup a food group, you can of dairy or eat lower-lactose products easily drop pounds, such as hard cheese or Greek yogurt,” as it limits your caloric says Laura Cipullo, RD. “Fat-free dairy intake,” says Cipullo, is more likely to cause upset because owner of Laura Cipullo the fat is removed, leaving more Whole Nutrition in New lactose—the form of sugar in milk.” York City. Much of the Instead, opt for these products, dairy consumption in which may be easier to digest: America is extremely buttermilk; cheese (it contains less high in calories— lactose than milk); fermented milk think deep-fried products, such as yogurt; goat's milk; mozzarella sticks, pizza sheep's milk; and lactose-free milk and with cheese-stuffed milk products. crusts, cheese fries, cheeseburgers and ice cream. “It’s easy to see how the average person can lose weight by avoiding those foods,” Cipullo says. There may also be a psychological factor at play. “I call it the foodcebo effect,” says Drew Ramsey, MD, an expert on food and brain health and assistant clinical professor of psychiatry at Columbia University. “If you give someone a core set of beliefs, invite them into a group and ask them to follow a set of food rules, often times there’s a beneficial result. People like having structure and rules around eating. It’s one of the reasons Weight Watchers is so effective.”

lactose intolerance

the full-fat advantage

For years, health officials have pushed skim milk as a way to trim calories while still getting dairy’s powerhouse benefits of protein, 35

cheese, please They’re all delicious! But no two types of cheese are exactly alike: Texture, calorie count, age and flavor all differ widely. Turns out, each type packs a unique health punch, too.


Sluggish? Lethargic? Can’t lose weight? Could be you’re lacking in iodine, an essential mineral that’s vital to the proper functioning of the thyroid. According to Drew Ramsey, MD, 37 percent of women don’t get enough iodine in their diet. So boost your iodine levels with a chunk of cheddar—one ounce provides 12 micrograms of iodine and 113 calories.


This Danish delicacy has 101 creamy calories an ounce and is an excellent source of probiotics; its low acidity and high fat content preserve and nurture the microorganisms in the digestive system.


The world is a happier place thanks to this melty mouth pleaser. Lucky for us, 1.5 ounces has 333 milligrams of calcium—the highest of all types of cheese. Beyond building healthy bones, calcium has been shown to protect against cancer, diabetes and high blood pressure. Plus mozz contains only 78 calories an ounce.


This aged ace is the protein hero of the cheese world, with a whopping 10 grams per ounce. (Most other cheeses contain an average of six to seven grams of protein per ounce.) The payoff? It steadies blood sugar levels, makes you feel fuller, crushes cravings, stokes metabolism and builds lean muscle. It contains 22 calories per tablespoon and 122 per ounce.


Aged cheeses like gruyere are rich in butyrate, a fatty acid important for your microbiome. A 2015 study in Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry showed that butyrate is effective in warding off obesity and reducing the risk of type 2 diabetes—all for 116 calories an ounce. 36 may • june 2016

calcium and vitamin D. So we dutifully sip skinny lattes and demand fat-free yogurt. But new data suggests there’s no evidence that low-fat dairy is healthier. “There’s been a shift in our thinking about dietary fats and cholesterol,” says Ramsey, author of Eat Complete: The 21 Nutrients That Fuel Brain Power, Boost Weight Loss, and Transform Your Health (Harper Wave, 2016). “These used to be such evil words and the science really hasn’t supported such concern.” At the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in Seattle, scientists reviewed numerous studies that pointed to lower body weights, less weight gain and a lower risk for obesity among full-fat dairy eaters. “In terms of obesity, we found no support for the notion that low-fat dairy is healthier,” said Mario Kratz, PhD, first author of the 2012 review. This could be “because when one consumes too much protein without fat, it can stimulate insulin production and lead to a rising number on a scale,” says Teicholz. “The diets that are shown to produce weight loss most successfully are those higher in fat, which argues for having full-fat dairy.” As Neal Barnard, MD, president of the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine, has pointed out, “About 55 percent of skim milk’s calories are sugar—in the form of lactose—giving it ounce for ounce the same calorie load as soda.”

dairy helps prevent chronic illnesses

One of the major dairy-downer arguments out there is that milk causes inflammation and increased risk for diseases. Again, evidence comes down overwhelmingly on the side of diary, with many studies showing it prevents illnesses such as diabetes and cardiovascular disease and even contributes to longevity. Besides building strong bones and preventing osteoporosis, milk does a body good in numerous other ways. In February, a meta-analysis by Dutch researchers in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that dairy, especially yogurt and cheese, may lower the risk for type 2 diabetes up to 23 percent, confirming a finding from a 2014 study from Lund University in Sweden: It found that people who ate more dairy products with a high fat content ran a 23 percent lower risk of developing type 2 diabetes than those who ate less dairy in general. The news for heart health is equally good. Teicholz points to a large randomized controlled clinical trial in Denmark that “showed that people who ate full-fat dairy had better cardiovascular outcomes than those who skipped it,” she says. There is even new research suggesting that the saturated fat in dairy (excluding that of

butter) does not negatively affect cholesterol levels, notes Cipullo.

go with your gut

Greek yogurt is the current darling of the dairy world—and for good reason. It contains four times the protein and fewer carbs and sugar than the regular stuff. “Greek yogurt is nature’s new perfect food,” declares Cipullo. “It has a balance of carbohydrates, proteins and fat, is a concentrated source of calcium and vitamin D, plus it has an additional bonus—probiotics.” Key word? Probiotics. Those good gut bugs, which adjust the microflora in the GI tract and improve everything from digestion to the immune system, have become the holy grail of robust health. One of the best food sources of probiotics is fermented dairy, achieved by adding microorganisms such as bacteria and yeast to milk to produce yogurt, kefir, cheese or sour cream. “Fermented dairy products like yogurt and kefir are vital to helping the health of the microbiome, which are all those bacteria in your gut that are so important,” says Ramsey. But beware of “fake” yogurt, which is loaded with sugary add-ins. “A lot of the anti-dairy messaging has come in the age of highly processed, low-fat, very sugar-laden dairy and yogurts, like fat-free key lime pie yogurt,” notes Ramsey. Control sugar content by adding your own honey, nuts or fresh berries to plain yogurt.

the fromage factor

Dairy has always been a major player in the Mediterranean diet, generally regarded as one of the world’s healthiest. Even though it has always been about 30 percent fat, the Mediterranean diet was hailed in a massive 2013 study for dramatically reducing the risk of heart disease and other chronic ailments. Experts are still stumped by the “French Paradox,” the term used to describe the disconnect of how a nation that eats loads of cream, butter and cheese can have a lower incidence of heart disease, longer lifespans and trimmer tummies than cultures who eat less saturated fat. The explanation may lie in the anti-inflammatory compound butyrate, which can improve metabolism and prevent the development of obesity, according to a 2009 American Diabetes Association study. And in a recent Danish study, cheese eaters were found to have a significantly different combination of bacteria in their guts— including a higher concentration of butyrate.

grass-fed goodness

To optimize dairy’s health assets—and to be kind to the earth!—it’s preferable to opt for grass-fed and organic dairy as often as possible. “It’s really a very different product

To optimize dairy’s health assets– and to be kind to the earth!–it’s preferable to opt for grass-fed and organic dairy as often as possible. biochemically,” says Ramsey. “It contains a different, healthier mix of fats—including more omega-3s and conjugated linoeic acid [CLA].” For one thing, in 2013, Washington State University researchers found that organic dairy contains 62 percent more healthy omega-3 fatty acids than conventional milk. And that’s no small matter. Wonderworking omega-3s can rev serotonin, lower triglyceride levels and heal inflammation. Meanwhile, CLA, which is more abundant in grass-fed animal products, has been shown to be a potent cancer fighter as well as an ab slimmer. “When you think about the difference between milk coming out of an organic cow that has only eaten grass versus a cow that has had a miserable existence being pumped full of grains and antibiotics its whole life, it’s a different type of food system,” says Ramsey. “By choosing local, grass-fed products, you’re supporting cows having a wonderful life while humans get a number of nutritional benefits and farmers are sustained. More farms, happy animals, happy farmers, healthy people!” What’s not to like? PS 37


Road to


one awful moment 30 years ago changed Jo anne Sylva’s life completely, and, it seemed, forever. then pilates changed it again. By Jo Anne Sylva, as told to Beth Johnson

the first time i ever entered a pilates studio was 16 years ago, when i was in a wheelchair. i had a paralyzed right leg, a dropped right foot and a wrecked body. at my first lesson, my teacher, barbara hoon of Six degrees pilates in boonton, nJ, had to help me from my wheelchair onto the reformer. but after that first lesson, i couldn’t wait to come back and do pilates again. week after week, month after month, we practiced moving my legs back and forth. over and over again, two to three times a week, barbara worked with me despite all my limitations. i thought the reformer was the most genius of inventions because i could work out while lying down! it’s no wonder my husband and children were so thrilled to see me take to pilates. for more than a decade, they had seen me devastated by pain, anger and depression.


in 1986, i was on a wonderful family vacation in rhode island with my husband and three children—my sons were teens and my daughter was in graduate school. we were driving home from a birthday dinner for my husband when a drunk driver turned in front of us, and we smashed into him. a small piece of plastic broke underneath one side of my seat, causing the seat to break loose from the car. i flew forward, strapped in, as the seat twisted. thank God, everyone else in the car was basically okay, but i broke my back (i had compression fractures of the lumbar vertebrae), herniated several cervical discs in my neck, broke a number of ribs and suffered an abdominal ileus (a blockage of the intestines).


i ended up being in a full-body brace for almost a year. i missed my older son’s college graduation. i had to give up the job i loved, teaching freshman and sophomore english and heading the english as a Second language program at caldwell college in new Jersey. and then i spent years in and out of the hospital, having surgeries and enduring terrible pain while trying to find a way to move forward, both literally and figuratively.


AT RIGHT: Sylva Spent more than a decade in a wheelchair after the car accident. OPPOSITE PAGE: Guided by her teacher, barbara hoon, Sylva doeS Short box on the ladder barrel.

38 may • june 2016

i had three lower spinal surgeries. my neck was fused with cadaver bones. i developed a life-threatening staph infection. i had numerous blood transfusions because i was so weak. and then i developed central nervous system lupus, which made everything worse. Sometimes my brain would quickly swell, and i’d faint. my knees or ankles would balloon and be hot to the touch. my blood count became so low that i had to have a hysterectomy. at the suggestion of my physiatrist [a doctor who specializes in rehabilitation], henry wroblewski, md, at the pain institute in livingston, nJ, in 1990, i went to the nearby

It was a long, slow process to build myself back up, but there is no question in my mind that years of

Pilates made it possible for me to walk again. 39

ABOVE, CLOCKWISE FROM TOP LEFT: Sylva earned a black belt in tae kwon do while in a wheelchair; pilateS allowed her to hold her GranddauGhter, antonia; Sylva doeS StandinG cheSt expanSion on the cadillac with barbara hoon.

kessler institute to learn how to use double-arm crutches. the crutches gave me carpal tunnel (more surgery) and shoulder problems, and four years later, i ended up in a wheelchair. whenever i had a period of feeling better, i was able to do a bit of english tutoring at home, but then i’d have a lupus flare-up and have to stay in bed for two weeks. i had to have help with almost everything, from getting dressed to getting downstairs. each medical problem led to another. i must have been put on 100 different drugs over the years as doctors tried to treat me. it’s hard to explain what it’s like to feel pain, all day, every day. i was also seeing a psychologist for ptSd because i was angry at everyone. i was angry at the man who hit us. i was angry that my seat broke. i was angry we lost our lawsuit against the car company. i was angry i had lost my dream job.


but no matter how low and angry i felt, something in me kept pushing forward. one day, when i was doing physical therapy at kessler, a doctor walked up to me and said, “you seem smart and strong—do you want to join our tae kwon do program?” i think i surprised myself by saying, “okay.” i had never done any sports— growing up in northeastern new Jersey, i was a reading and knitting kind of girl. and now i was going to do martial arts in a wheelchair! tae kwon do ended up being a really good way to get out my aggravation and aggression. and clearly i had a lot of it, because in 1998, i earned a black belt. it also gave me a focus, a purpose and a strong 40 may • june 2016

upper body. i fought against standing black belts and realized that i wasn’t just a 100-pound weak little thing in a wheelchair. tae kwon do empowered me to be physical, but it did not teach me to walk, which was my ultimate goal. despite the black belt, i was no closer to getting out of the wheelchair, and i was very frustrated. my acupuncturist, who had spent a year treating my cervical neck pain, was the first to recommend pilates to me. She suggested i get in touch with barbara hoon, a pilates teacher who was a Juilliard-trained dancer and had been in twyla tharp’s dance company. my physiatrist was encouraging as well and felt that because of my complex physical ailments, pilates was my best shot at bypassing some of the nerve pain i was experiencing.


Still, as much as i wanted to walk, i was also really scared. i was still getting counseling for my ptSd, because the accident had turned me into a fearful person. i thought maybe i should just stay in the wheelchair forever. what if barbara couldn’t help me, and i’d just be disappointed again? what if she didn’t want to deal with someone in my condition? but despite those negative thoughts, in 2000, i called barbara and soon after found myself at her studio. i remember at the first session, barbara discussed the importance of working from my core; i couldn’t imagine how i would do that. but there i was, day one, on the reformer. barbara helped me move my legs back and forth, back and forth, trying to teach me to engage my lower abs. the change in me was solely mental at first, because i felt so disconnected from the lower half of my body. it was useless. i still had to put a strap on my right foot to keep it from dragging. So there were definitely days when my depression, or my anger, took over. but barbara helped me stay focused no matter my mood or condition, and she never ever made me feel ashamed. as the months went by, i could feel my abs getting stronger, the first step in helping me move my legs. i started to believe more and more that one day i would walk. and as i worked toward that goal, i felt like pilates was pulling me out of a long nightmare. my dark moods were lifting, and i was able to start tutoring a bit more again. my husband was so thrilled to see how much happier i was since starting pilates, that in between working full time and doing all the household chores, he built me a gorgeous,

wooden reformer. So a year into pilates, i was able to start doing it every single day, either at home or with barbara. once i started on it daily, i even noticed my lupus flare-ups were happening a bit less frequently and weren’t lasting for quite so long.


after a year of seated reformer work, barbara thought i was ready to start “gait training,” which focused on exercises specifically designed to help me get ready to walk. at that point, not only could i not walk, i didn’t know how to walk anymore! with my dropped foot, i couldn’t place my heel down, and i didn’t know how to put my weight on my feet. Just as she had with the reformer, she helped me onto the wunda chair, where we did movements with the pedal. i’d push down with my toes, and then with my heels, over and over again. i got a chair for home, too, and added that to my daily routine. i’d also do footwork on the foot corrector seated in my wheelchair. on the reformer, we started working on Short and long Spine, because that kind of flexing was fantastic for alleviating my back pain.


after three years of pilates, barbara started nudging me to begin walking again with double-arm crutches. i’ll admit that i was initially terrified of falling or tripping and ending up in worse shape—it felt safe to be in a wheelchair. So i started by lifting myself out of the wheelchair and holding onto the arms. then i progressed to standing, holding onto the cadillac while working on the foot corrector. after another couple of years of using the crutches, barbara said, “let’s move you to a cane.” by that point, my core strength, leg mobility and balance had progressed to the point that that was all i needed to walk. my progress was literally step by step, encouraged all the way by barbara. it was a long, slow process to build myself back up, but there is no question in my mind that years of pilates made it possible for me to walk again. and four years ago, i was strong enough to start on the cadillac. now i love putting my legs in the springs, and doing the circles. it makes me feel that i’m flying like peter pan! my body is still not perfect. i have only partial feeling in my right leg, and so i’m extra cautious and nervous when going up and down stairs. my right arm will always be much weaker than my left. i still have shoulder problems. i’ll never be pain-free because of all the scar tissue. when i do teaser, my right foot goes all over the place. and i’ll never drive a car again because i'm still so traumatized by the accident; even when i'm a passenger, i flinch when i see a car coming from the same direction as the one in the crash. i would never want to hurt anyone else in the same way i was.


the courage i gained from pilates extended well beyond the studio. in 2003, i went back to graduate school—in a wheelchair—and by the time i earned my doctorate in literature in 2006 from drew university, i was walking with a cane. eight years ago, i started teaching again, as an adjunct professor at a small liberal arts college in northern new Jersey. i can now walk around manhattan with only a cane for security. my lupus is in remission, and even if it can’t be proven medically, i know that pilates cured me of it. i can stand in front of my classroom without any assistance. i honestly believe i am a better and happier person since having the accident, and that’s because of pilates. plus, i now have 10 grandchildren and can enjoy spending time with them. when we go to the beach together, i can stroll on the boardwalk.

I honestly believe I am a better and happier person since having the accident, and that’s because of Pilates. EXPLORING THE WORLD AGAIN

pilates has also given me back my love of travel. before the crash, we traveled as much as school schedules and finances would allow. we spent my daughter’s 16th birthday in paris. we took the family to italy—my late father’s birthplace—twice. i was always thinking about the next trip. but after the accident, that became almost impossible. the one time i attempted it was about five years after my accident. my older son was studying to be a roman catholic priest in belgium, and our family flew over to see him. (he couldn’t leave the seminary for the first two years there.) that trip was just hell. in order to get me on one of the planes, they had to put me in a basket and hoist me up. i was mortified and completely, completely humiliated. and then i ended up in the hospital because of an awful lupus flare-up. after that, i never, ever wanted to travel again.


fast-forward to today, and thank God that i learned to walk, because my son works at the vatican! we went to europe three times last year to see him and explore. i’ve learned italian, and i’m fairly fluent. this year, i’ve already been to portugal, and in august, we’re going to Scotland and then back to rome in november! i've done more since i started pilates than in my previous life. it amazes me—i was so afraid of being out in the world, and now i can’t wait for the next adventure. that’s what pilates has given me. PS 41


’ n i p P O P a Get y d o B r L owe

Blogilates founder Cassey Ho’s equipment-free workout will sculpt your legs and glutes while making you feel beautiful. What more could you want? By Amanda Altman • Workout by Cassey Ho

Cassey Ho is YouTube’s number-one female fitness personality, with 3 million subscribers and 300 million views. She rules the Instaverse when it comes to Pilates, thanks to her 1.2 million followers. It’s easy to see why—she’s real. And her method-inspired mat workouts, done to bubble gum beats, are really addictive. “I exercise because of how it makes me feel, not how it makes me look,” says Ho, a decade-long mat and Reformer teacher and a group fitness instructor, who was inspired to try Pilates after seeing a Winsor Pilates infomercial at the age of 16. “Vanity-driven goals are short lived and lack a sense of soul. When you make your goal to get stronger instead of to get skinnier, the fire within you has a purpose, and it’s really hard to blow out that blazing flame.” Speaking of catching fire, since she started Blogilates in 2009, Ho has been going all Katniss Everdeen on social media, creating a community of “POPsters” from all over the globe, who eagerly await her peppy, down-to-earth personality, heartfelt confessions and of course, effective workouts. She spreads her passion for Pilates and an equally important message—about treating your body right—with every vlog she posts, many of which have skyrocketed to viral status. Case in point: Ho’s response to online bullying of her appearance in The “Perfect”

Body, which depicts her photoshopping her body to meet unrealistic ideals. The video made an appearance on a show you might have heard of…Good Morning America. Ho’s Meetups draw lines around the block in major cities, from NYC to Sydney. She has two DVDs, a book, an instructor certification, not to mention a new clothing line and POP Pilates class at every 24 Hour Fitness in the country. Ho is unstoppable. “When you live to serve and bring value to people’s lives from a genuine place in your heart, the universe rewards you with magical things,” says Ho of her success. “I am so grateful for my POPsters every single day. I know I would not be where I am without them rooting for me along this journey!” Just in time for summer, we’re bringing some of the POP Pilates magic to our pages, with Ho’s routine for your lower half. “I wanted to create a workout that will not only strengthen your legs and glutes, but also challenge your balance and total-body stability,” she says. “This routine is composed of POP Pilates exercises that will make you feel graceful and beautiful. Many of you may have never seen them before, and many of them will make you feel like a dancer!” As with most of her workouts, this one is for all levels and can be done anywhere, anytime. “All you need is your body weight and a mat to get a killer workout in!” says Ho. Do the exercises 3–4 times per week, exhaling on the exertion throughout. Another must: Have some T Swift on standby. PS

SinGLe-LeGGed Squat and Lift strengthens the glutes and quads while challenging balance S E T u P : Stand with your feet hipwidth apart, knees soft and arms extended to your sides at shoulder height, palms down.

PhotograPhy by rod Foster; hair and makeuP by tiFFany lee; Clothes by PoPFleX.


1. Keeping your chest open and back flat, lift your left leg behind you, pointing your toes, while bringing your torso toward the floor. Lift your leg to torso height. 2. Bend your right knee, coming into a squat position, with your left leg straight behind you. 3. Slowly, with control, return to the one-legged stance and lift leg. Do 12 reps on each side.

StePS 1 & 2

T i P S : Keep your abdominals engaged to support your lower back and prevent your upper body from rounding.

Limit the range of motion of your squat until you gain balance.

M O d i f i C aTi O n : 43

Squat CirCLeS works the quads, glutes and inner/outer thighs; promotes balance Stand with your feet together and hands on your hips.


1. Bend your knees to lower into a squat, then lift your right leg a few inches off the floor, keeping your knee bent and toes pointed. 2. While balancing on your left leg, draw a large circle with your right leg, extending it all the way behind you before returning to the starting position. Do 15 reps on each side. T i P S : Keep your chest “proud” and shoulders away from your ears. Stay low in your narrow squat. M O d i f i C aTi O n :

Limit the range of motion of your squat.

“i exercise because of how it makes me feel, not how it makes me look.”

SteP 1

See it in aCtiOn! Watch Cassey demonstrate this move at

SteP 2

44 may • june 2016

SteP 2.1

SteP 2. 2

SteP 3.1

SteP 3. 2

aLternatinG HeeL LiftS increases strength in the calves, quads, inner thighs and glutes S E T u P : Get into a wide pliĂŠ, bringing your legs out much wider than shoulder width, feet turned out. Stretch your arms to your sides at shoulder height, palms down and fingers soft. PuRPOSE:

3. Lower your right heel, then your left. 4. Do 20 reps of the entire sequence. Keep your shoulders away from your ears and abdominals engaged.


1. Bend your knees, lowering into a pliĂŠ.

M O d i f i C aTi O n :

2. Lift your right heel, then keep it lifted while you raise your left heel.

adVan CE d :

Limit the range of motion of your squat.

Go lower into the squat while keeping your knees wide and upper body tall. 45

BridGed WindSHieLd WiPerS tones the glutes and inner/outer thighs Lie on your back with your pelvis lifted into Bridge and arms by your sides, palms up. PuRPOSE: SETuP:

1. Extend your left leg to 90 degrees, flexing your foot.

StePS 1 & 2

2. Imagining that your left leg is a windshield wiper, swing it carefully to your left side, reaching it as parallel as possible to the floor. 3. Return to the starting position. Do 12 reps on each side. Keep your hips squared to the ceiling, squeeze your glutes, and try not to wobble your hips.


M O d i f i C aTi O n :

Keep your pelvis grounded throughout.

danCer’S SWeeP works the glutes, lower back and thighs S E T u P : Sit tall with your left knee bent in front of you, foot toward your bottom, and your right ankle crossed over your left knee, foot touching the floor. Bring your arms all the way to your left side. PuRPOSE:


1. Lift your right leg off the floor, then circle it behind you, allowing your arms to follow the movement while bowing your chest forward. 2. Sweep your leg back to the starting position. Do 12 reps on each side.

See it in aCtiOn! Watch Cassey demonstrate this move at

46 may • june 2016

Engage your abs and relax your shoulders to keep your back flat.


Place your arms down in front of you, and move your leg in a pedaling motion from side to back only.

M O d i f i C aTi O n :

SteP 1

rainBOW Butt builds strength in the glutes, hamstrings and shoulders S E T u P : Get into a Downward Dog position, with your hands in front of you, and chest and heels pressing down. PuRPOSE:

1. Tap your left toe to your left side, then lift your leg into the air, drawing a big circle to your right, and then behind you. 2. Return to the starting position. Do 10 reps on each side. Try not to swivel your hips while drawing the circles—keep your abdominals strongly engaged.


“Vanitydriven goals are short lived and lack a sense of soul.”

Do the exercise on all fours, with your palms under your shoulders and knees hip-width apart.

M O d i f i C aTi O n :

SteP 1.1

SteP 1. 2 47

fire Hydrant KiCK targets the glutes and inner/outer thighs S E T u P : Get on all fours, with your hands under your shoulders, and knees together and bent under your hips. PuRPOSE:

1. Keeping your knee bent, lift your right leg out to your side as high as possible while keeping your hips stable. 2. Hold the position, and extend your right leg to your side, pointing your toes. 3. Bend your knee to return to the starting position. Do 15 reps on each leg. TiP:

Keep your back flat and shoulders away from your ears.

SteP 1

SteP 2

48 may • june 2016

“i wanted to create a workout that will not only strengthen your legs and glutes, but also challenge your balance and totalbody stability.”

danCinG animaL strengthens the quads, hamstrings and shoulders S E T u P : Get into Downward Dog, with your hands in front of you, and chest and heels pressing down. Try to flatten your upper back. PuRPOSE:

1. Bend your knees, hovering them above the floor for a breath, then press your legs back to the starting position. Do 10 reps. Keep your tailbone high while in Downward Dog.


Instead of hovering your knees, bring them all the way down to the floor.

M O d i f i C aTi O n :


SteP 1

CaSSey HO is an award-winning Pilates and fitness instructor, entrepreneur and online personality. She is the creator of Blogilates, the number-one female fitness channel on YouTube with more than 300 million video views and 3 million subscribers. In a revolutionary partnership, Ho’s unique format, POP Pilates©, which launched on YouTube in 2009, has become a live class at every 24 Hour Fitness gym in the U.S. She’s the author of the best-selling book, Hot Body Year Round (Harmony, 2015) and is the designer of her own activewear line, POPFLEX. For more information, visit and 49

coming back from

back pain Think back issues mean you need to stop doing Pilates? Not a chance. These Reformer exercises will help keep your spine protected while you get your groove back. By Christine Romani-Ruby • Edited by Amanda Altman I’ve been very successful in progressing my Pilates’ clients with spinal conditions, something I attribute to 25 years of experience as a physical therapist specializing in back and neck pain. My success with this type of client has led to numerous referrals and an overwhelming number of clients with spine conditions at my PHI Pilates Studio over the past three years. As my schedule exploded with private clients, I realized that I needed to teach my other instructors how to work with these clients, and I needed to create a class setting so these clients could work out more frequently with less expense. That’s when I decided to develop the YUR BACK exercise program, YUR being an acronym for “You Under Reconstruction.” I began placing each of my spine clients into a category so that I could create a system for proper exercise. Then, I created movement guidelines and exercises that were 50 may • june 2016

appropriate for each category. This allowed me to group spine clients together into a YUR BACK class, or to guide a YUR BACK Pilates instructor during a private session. The program has been an overwhelming success at my studio—these clients now make up the largest part of our clientele. Many of them have been able to progress from the YUR BACK classes into the regular Pilates program, and they’re telling their friends, family and doctors, which is rapidly building our program. Because of the success of the program from both a client satisfaction and a business standpoint, I felt the need to share it with you, the Pilates community. The YUR BACK program is designed for clients with chronic spine conditions that have completed their physical therapy; it’s most successful when performed three times per week. One of the most important factors for the YUR BACK instructor is being able to differentiate good pain from bad pain, so that

they can properly place and progress the client, or refer them back to their doctor if necessary. For many clients, spine conditions never completely resolve, and this makes it important for the client to learn how to work within their abilities. The purpose of the program is not to relieve spine symptoms—it’s to provide a safe workout that will allow the client to resume activity without an increase in their spine symptoms. If clients are left to their own devices, they will limit their activity because of fear of increasing their spine symptoms, and this will lead to deconditioning and other health problems. We call the program “Fitness Without Fear” because we strive to replace the fear factor with knowledge.

The following Reformer exercises are from one of the five YUR BACK categories that I call stability. These exercises are generally safe for all spine conditions because they hold the spine in a stable position, and the Reformer provides the most support and education for the client. Presently, the program is performed on the mat with props, and on the Reformer/Tower; the Pilates Chair and Trap Table programs are in development. YUR BACK is now a licensed program, educating Pilates instructors throughout the U.S. to provide the repertoire to clients in need. Back away from the recumbent bike—and into the Pilates studio. PS

cr aW Ling W iTH no a rmS 1 spring (very light) none p u r p o S e : promotes flexibility in the latissimus, gluteal and pectoral muscles; challenges the deep abdominal and upper paraspinal muscles; encourages mobility in the hip joint S e t u p : Kneel on the carriage with your knees hip-width apart and feet against the shoulder rests. Place your palms on the footbar wider than your shoulders, and press out so that your arms are straight, spine is neutral and knees are directly under your hips. Setting:

PhotograPhy by alan Cox; makeuP by JessiCa Chynoweth; hair by sara Colley; toP by kira graCe, soCks by shashi, wearing her own bottoms



1. Inhale, slightly extending your hips, keeping your shoulders and spine stable. Exhale, returning to the starting position. Do 8 reps. 2. Keeping your hips at 90 degrees, do lat pulls with your arms. Do 8 reps with your spine neutral. t i p S : Your elbows should point outward and slightly downward as you perform the lat pulls. Keep your neck long throughout. M o d i f i c ati o n : advan ce d :

Increase the spring resistance.

Step 1

Try the exercise with no springs.

For many clients, spine conditions never completely resolve, and this makes it important for the client to learn how to work within their abilities.

Step 2 51

TOW ER CA LF R A ISE Want more back- friendly moves?

S e t t i n g : light arm springs attached to the roll-down bar, just above shoulder height on the Tower P r o P : none P u r P o S e : enhances stability of the powerhouse; strengthens the calves S e t u P : Stand tall, with your hips neutral and feet as wide as your pelvis, back to the Tower and hands on the roll-down bar. Lean out—as if you were performing a wall push-up—until you feel tension on the springs when your arms are extended.

Don’t miss our e-newsletter for a bonus exercise from Dr. Ruby to open the hips. Sign up for free at

1. Keeping your shoulders and spine stable, inhale as you perform a calf raise upward and forward. 2. Exhale, returning to the starting position. Do 8 reps. t i P S : Maintain a neutral wrist, and avoid hyperextension at the elbow. Keep your neck long throughout. The movement of the body should be forward and upward, and the roll-down bar should remain still. M o d i f i c ati o n : advan ce d :

Increase the spring resistance.

Try the exercise while standing on one leg.

Setup & Step 1

STANDING L AT PRESS light arm springs attached to the roll-down bar, at the highest setting on the Tower P r o P : none P u r P o S e : strengthens the latissimus dorsi; increases awareness of lengthening the spine S e t u P : Stand tall facing the Tower end, with your hands on the roll-down bar. Step back until there is slight tension on the springs when your arms are extended. Setting:


1. Keeping your elbows, wrists and spine neutral, inhale, pulling down on the roll-down bar; limit the range of motion to where you can hold the stability in your arms and spine. 2. Exhale, returning to the starting position with control. Do 8 reps. tiP:

Keep your neck long throughout.

M o d i f i c ati o n :

Step 1

52 may • june 2016

advan ce d :

Decrease the spring resistance.

Try the exercise while standing on one leg.

F ROG W ITH BA LL 2 springs (medium-heavy) 9-inch ball, slightly deflated P u r P o S e : improves mobility and awareness of the hip joints; strengthens the gluteus maximus without the use of the iliotibial band S e t u P : Lie on the carriage, with your spine and pelvis neutral, feet in the loops, arms by your sides and palms down. Reach your legs to 45 degrees, draw your heels together, and lift your kneecaps to straighten your legs. Place the ball in the V of your feet, pulling back on the little toe sides—imagine that your feet are planted on a wall. Setting: ProP:

1. Inhale, drawing your knees inward by flexing at your hip joints; maintain the angle of the V at your feet, and keep your knees over your second toes. Only go as far as you can keep your pelvis neutral. 2. Exhale, pressing your legs outward and upward with your heels together to return to the starting position. Do 8 reps. t i P S : Do not hold the ball with your feet—use it as a spacer to maintain the V. Move your legs along a line where the ropes do not rise or fall during the motion.


Step 1 53

GLU T E A L CHA LLENGE 2 springs (medium-heavy) none P u r P o S e : improves stability and mobility in the hip joints; increases strength in the gluteal muscles S e t u P : Stand to the left of the Reformer facing the footbar, and place your left foot on the floor near the footbar. Hold onto the footbar, and place your right foot on the top edge of the shoulder rest. Bend your left knee, and press the carriage back, bringing your torso in line with the floor, with your spine and pelvis in neutral. Setting: ProP:

Step 1

1. Draw your arms back to your sides, then inhale, pushing the carriage out with your right leg while keeping your left leg stable. 2. Exhale, returning the carriage. Do 8 reps on each leg. t i P S : Maintain a neutral spine and pelvis, and avoid extension in the spine. Keep your neck long throughout. M o d i f i c a t i o n : Hold onto the footbar for balance and assistance.

Step 2

Extend your arms by your ears to challenge the gluteal muscles.

advan ce d :

gear guide Balanced Body Allegro 2 Tower of PowerÂŽ and Sitting Box ($4,660 and $225, respectively; OPTP Soft Gym Overball ($9.70;


54 may • june 2016

These exercises are generally safe for all spine conditions because they hold the spine in a stable position, and the Reformer provides the most support and education for the client.


Step 1

LONG SIT ON THE SHORT BOX 1–2 springs (heavy) Box P u r P o S e : boosts hamstring flexibility; improves balance in the iliotibial band; challenges the hip flexors and calves S e t u P : Sit tall on the Short Box with the balls of your feet on the footbar, toes pointed, and fingertips on the front edge of the Box for support. Setting: ProP:

1. Inhale, slightly opening the carriage with your feet flexed. Flex and point your feet, keeping your knees bent and carriage still. Do 8 reps. 2. With your feet flexed, attempt to move the carriage by bending and extending your knees; work through a range of motion where you can maintain a neutral spine and pelvis. Do 8 reps. Keep your knees aligned with your second toes throughout.


M o d i f i c ati o n :

Step 2

Increase the spring resistance.

a d v a n c e d : Try the exercise while holding your arms at shoulder height. 55


Step 1

See it in Action! Watch Chrissy demonstrate this move at

Step 3.1

Step 3.2

E LEPHANT INTO A IRP L ANE 2 springs (medium–heavy) none P u r P o S e : improves flexibility in the hamstring, calf and latissimus dorsi muscles, challenges the hip and upper-back extensors as well as the shoulder flexors; encourages mobility of the hip and shoulder joints with stability of the powerhouse S e t u P : Stand on the carriage with your hands shoulder-width apart on the footbar, feet directly under your hips and hips bent at 90 degrees. Keep your knees and elbows straight, spine neutral and toes lifted. Setting: ProP:

56 may • june 2016

1. Inhale, extending your hips to move the carriage, keeping your shoulders and spine stable. Exhale, returning to the starting position. Do 8 reps. 2. Inhale, pushing with your shoulders to move the carriage, keeping your hips and spine stable. Exhale, returning to the starting position. Do 8 reps. 3. Hold the carriage still, and bring your feet together. Reach your right leg back, foot flexed, while holding your spine in neutral. Tap your leg up and down while keeping your knee

straight. Do 5–8 reps on both legs, breathing naturally throughout. Keep your spine stable, and your elbows and knees straight throughout.


If you have tight hamstrings, widen your stance to the width of the carriage, or add the jumpboard to raise your torso; avoid bending your knees. M o d i f i c ati o n :

In step 3, try reaching your opposite arm over the footbar.

advan ce d :

PRONE SINGLE -A RM CIRCLES 1 spring (medium) Box P u r P o S e : encourages stability in the powerhouse; increases strength in the latissimus dorsi, triceps, erector spinae and gluteal muscles S e t u P : Facing the Tower, lie on the Long Box with your chest extended off the Box, spine and pelvis neutral, hips externally rotated, and legs hip-width apart and actively reaching away from you. Grasp the Reformer ropes above the loops, and extend your arms by your sides with neutral wrists.

2. Inhale, drawing both arms toward your hips, pulling the ropes.

1. Extend your left arm to shoulder height.

advan ce d :

Setting: ProP:

Step 1

3. Exhale, releasing the ropes and bringing your left arm toward the floor and your right arm to your side at shoulder height. Do 8 reps, alternating the movement. t i P S : Maintain a neutral spine and pelvis, and avoid extension in the spine. Keep your neck long throughout. M o d i f i c ati o n :

Decrease the spring resistance.

Increase the spring resistance.

Step 2

Step 3

An internationally renowned teacher with 25 years of experience in clinical practice,

Christine romAni-ruby, Pt, Ded, mPt, AtC, PmA-

CPt, has successfully integrated physical therapy and Pilates to create innovative rehabilitation and wellness programs for conditions such as back pain and sport-specific programs for professional athletes. the founder of Phi Pilates in Pittsburgh, PA, Dr. ruby guides clients in the study of their own movement to improve posture and reduce pain and risk of injury. Dr. ruby holds a master’s of science degree in physical therapy and a doctorate in education. in addition to being an associate professor at California university of Pennsylvania, Dr. ruby is regularly sought after to speak at national and international conferences, and works daily in her clinic with clients, including nFL athletes, ballerinas and clients recovering from injuries or illness. she has published six books and 18 Pilates DVDs. Dr. ruby is known for her yur™ bACK program. For more information, or to find an instructor in your area, visit 57

I’m a self-professed fitness and Pilates addict. I’ve been involved in fitness for as long as I can remember. It started when I was about six or seven years old. My dad, a Marine, would train me every night with body-weight exercises, which he called calisthenics. I would do sit-ups, push-ups, pull-ups and more. He was very particular about proper form—and wouldn’t count a repetition if I didn’t do it correctly. It made for some really long sets, and I loved them. That early influence gave me a passion for fitness that’s with me to this day. In the early ’90s, I found Pilates. The focus on proper form and the uniqueness of the discipline intrigued me. After a short period of learning and practicing Pilates, everything else I 58 may • june 2016

did improved. I was stronger and more flexible. I was hooked. I spent many years studying the Pilates method from some of the greatest teachers. I’ve since become a master trainer and had my own studio for 15 years. I believe that Pilates and traditional fitness training are perfect complements. I enjoy doing them separately, but I also love combining the two disciplines. The mat-based workout here is an example of how I mix some of the principles of Pilates with gym moves. The program is intermediate level, but modifications can be made to make the exercises easier and in some cases, more difficult. There are nine exercises in total, put together in three sets of three exercises, which complement one

another in terms of muscular emphasis and movement patterns. So as you perform one exercise, you’re getting an active recovery from the other two exercises in the set. You can repeat each complete set two or three times for a full workout. I’ve chosen the Magic Circle as a prop for the first set, the resistance band for the second and no props for the third. The props add resistance and help challenge muscles that are otherwise difficult to hit when performing body-weight-only workouts. Not every workout is for every person, but I hope my program will inspire you, challenge you, and most of all, I hope you have fun with it. PS

photography by rod foster; hair and makeup by tiffany lee; john’s own clothes

Ready, SET, Go!

KnEElinG SquaT ThRow Magic Circle promotes full-body strength and mobility; warms the joints s e t u P : Kneel as tall as possible, with your knees hip-width apart, and hips and spine neutral. Hold the Circle in your hands, and reach your arms toward the ceiling, slightly in front of you, with your elbows soft. ProP:

SE T up


1. Exhale, lowering your arms toward the floor and pressing into the pads of the Circle while you round your spine into a C curve, allowing your hips and knees to flex.

S T Ep 1

2. Inhale, reversing the movement, straightening your hips and spine, and then pulling on the pads of the Circle as you extend your upper back. Do 8–10 reps of steps 1–2, then return to the starting position.

S T Ep 2

t i P s : Avoid excessive movement forward and backward with your hips. Allow your elbows to slightly bend when you push and pull against the Circle. Tuck your toes under for more control, and keep your feet long to challenge balance. M o d i f i c ati o n :

Perform the

exercise seated.

BREaSTSTRoKE wiTh CiRClE BETwEEn anKlES Magic Circle works the muscles of the back body; focuses on the legs while toning the inner thighs s e t u P : Lie facedown, and place the Circle between your ankles, then comfortably bend your knees to about 90 degrees. Hover your head and arms above the floor, with a slight extension in your upper back. Bend your elbows at about 90 degrees to your sides. ProP:

advan ce d :

Perform the exercise



1. Exhale, reaching your arms over your head, extending your elbows, as you simultaneously lengthen your knees until the Circle almost touches the ground. 2. Inhale, circling your arms toward your legs, lifting your chest as you simultaneously bend your knees and squeeze the Circle. Do 5–8 reps of steps 1–2, then return to the starting position. t i P s : Avoid lifting your head too much—don’t crease the back of your neck. Keep your abdominals gently engaged throughout to keep your lower spine supported. Focus on the upper-back movement, and avoid extending your lumbar spine (lower back). M o d i f i c ati o n :

Omit the arm movement—keep your hands stacked under

your forehead. S T Ep 2

advan ce d :

Add toning balls. 59

douBlE-lEG STRETCh wiTh FiTnESS CiRClE Magic Circle targets the front body; strengthens the biceps, front delts and pecs s e t u P : Lie on your back holding the Circle, with your legs in tabletop and head, neck and shoulders lifted. Reach the Circle over your legs, and press against the pads. ProP:


1. Exhale, straightening your legs as low as possible while reaching the Circle over your head as much as possible without changing the shape of your spine. Release the tension on the Circle. 2. Inhale, returning to the starting position. Do 8–10 reps.

S E T up & S T Ep 1

Think of hollowing out your abdominals as you reach your arms over your head, to help maintain flat abs throughout. M o d i f i c ati o n :

Keep your gaze focused on the horizon throughout, to help you maintain the proper neck and spine position.

Reach one leg out at a time.


advan ce d :

Do 2–3 sets.

SET 2 Feel free to perform each of these three exercises on one side, before repeating them all on your other side.

KnEElinG SidE-BEnd wiTh RESiSTanCE Band ProP:

medium-strength resistance

band works the side body, particularly the obliques, lats and outer thighs s e t u P : Stretch the band out lengthwise on the floor, and kneel on one end. Hold the long end of the band over your head with your outside arm. Hook your inside thumb on the band, so that your arm is parallel to the floor, and focus your gaze on it. Your spine is in a slight side-bend toward your inside hand. PurPose:

1. Exhale, side-bending toward your outside hand, only going as far as you can while maintaining your pelvic position. 2. Inhale, side-bending all the way to your other side, taking your arms with you and turning your head to face the opposite direction. Do 5–8 reps of steps 1–2, then return to the starting position.

S E T up & S T Ep 1

Stand and hold the band in your hands, to take the resistance out of your obiques and the pressure off your knees.

M o d i f i c ati o n :

3. Repeat the entire sequence on your other side, kneeling on the other end of the band. t i P s : As you side-bend, avoid rotation—the band should stay on the side of your body. Think up and over to help keep the length in your spine and avoid compression.

60 may • june 2016

Once you side-bend to the opposite side, hold the position, then bend and straighten your bottom elbow to work your triceps.

advan ce d :

KnEElinG SidE lEG liFT wiTh RESiSTanCE Band medium-strength resistance band targets the outer thighs while working the side body; strengthens the shoulders and triceps s e t u P : Place the band lengthwise on the floor, and your left knee toward the left end of the band. Place your left hand on the floor, coming into a kneeling Side Plank. Hold the long end of the band in your right hand, and reach your arm over your head. Place your right foot against the band, with your knee extended. ProPs:


1. Exhale, lifting your right leg as high as possible while keeping your top arm still.

S E T up & S T Ep 1

2. Inhale, lowering your right leg, touching your foot back to the floor. Do 8–10 reps on each side.

GEaR GuidE

Make sure that the band is stretched out under your foot so you don’t lose it. Keep your bottom elbow soft. Get your hips as far over your bottom knee as possible. tiPs:

Omit the band, placing your top hand against your forehead.

MERRITHEW™ Fitness Circle Pro, 12 inch, and Flex Band ($65 and $6.99– $10.99, respectively;

M o d i f i c ati o n :

ModiF iC aT ion

SidE-KiCK KnEElinG wiTh RESiSTanCE Band medium-strength resistance band works the muscles around the hips as well as the shoulders and arms; promotes stability in the torso s e t u P : Same as in the previous exercise, but place your top hand by your shoulder, elbow bent, and extend your top leg parallel to the floor. ProP:


S E T up

S T Ep 1

1. Inhale, bringing your top leg forward and top arm backward, straightening your elbow. 2. Exhale, bringing your top leg backward and reaching your top arm forward. Do 8–10 reps on each side. t i P s : Make sure that the band is stretched over your foot to avoid losing it. Keep your bottom elbow soft. Try to keep your top leg parallel to the floor throughout.

Omit the band, placing your top hand against your forehead.

M o d i f i c ati o n :

S T Ep 2

ModiF iC aT ion

advan ce d :

Do 2–3 sets. 61

puSh-up To piKE puSh-up none tones the anterior and mid delts as well as the triceps and pecs; challenges the abs, hip flexors and quads; promotes body awareness s e t u P : Get into Plank, with your hands underneath your shoulders and legs together. Keep your spine as neutral as possible. ProP:


1. Inhale, bending your elbows to lower your body as close to the floor as possible. 2. Exhale, extending your elbows to return to Plank. S E T up & S T Ep 1

3. Inhale, piking your hips into an inverted V position. 4. Continue to inhale, bending your elbows to your sides and lowering your torso as one unit, aiming your head toward the floor right between your hands. 5. Exhale, extending your elbows to return to the inverted V position. 6. Inhale, returning to Plank. Do 3–5 reps. t i P s : Spread your hands on the floor, and press into your fingers to help disperse the pressure in your wrists. Only go as low as you can while stabilizing your torso in the push-up. M o d i f i c ati o n : advan ce d :

Perform the exercise on your knees.

Lift one leg throughout.

S T Ep 2

REvERSE planK To TEndon STRETCh none combines Leg Pull on the mat with Tendon Stretch on the Reformer; targets the back extensors, glutes and hamstrings; works the lats, triceps and abs s e t u P : Sit with your torso hinged back, spine as straight as possible, and hands on the floor, fingers facing you, and arms straight. Keep your legs together, knees bent and feet flat on the floor. ProP:


S E T up & S T Ep 1

1. Inhale, lifting your hips. 2. Exhale, pulling your hips back between your arms and rounding your spine. 3. Do 5–8 reps of steps 1–2 before returning to the starting position. S T Ep S 2 & 3

t i P s : Make sure to round your spine so that you can pull your hips through without dragging your bottom on the floor.

Perform the hip lift without the Tendon Stretch.

M o d i f i c ati o n :

When you pull your hips through to the Tendon Stretch, lift your feet off the floor.

advan ce d : S T Ep 4

62 may • june 2016

SidE planK laT pull none focuses on the side body; preps the body for the Side Bend and Twist; strengthens the obliques and outer thighs s e t u P : Get into a Side Plank, with your bottom hand on the floor directly under your shoulder and your top hand resting on your top hip. Stagger your feet on the floor, so that your top foot is forward and bottom is behind. Keep your knees, hips and spine as straight as possible. ProP:


1. Inhale, bending your knees, sending your hips toward your feet. 2. Exhale, pushing with your legs and pulling with your arm to return to the starting position. Do 5–8 reps on each side. Use your legs as much as your arm, and you’ll find that the exercise is a bit easier to perform.


Start with your knees and hips on the floor, and lift your hips and lower them to get stronger.

TunE in To John GaREy Tv! Garey's spirit and love for Pilates and fitness is contagious—it's easy to see why he's often referred to as the Jack LaLanne of our time. Here, he fills us in on his latest undertaking. Our verdict: Run, don't walk, to sign up for the free 14-day trial. W h a t i t i s : “A creative, fun and inspiring online resource for Pilates and fitness instructors and enthusiasts.” W h y i d e c i d e d t o l a u n c h i t : “I believe that it’s time to bring fun back to Pilates and fitness, and I wanted a way to connect with people around the world to share my brand of exercise.”

M o d i f i c ati o n :

s P e c i a l f e a t u r e s : “We offer a variety of content including: Move of the Day (daily exercise demos; use our awesome search function to find the perfect exercise for your next class or workout); Go Deeper (an in-depth look at exercises with everything from the biomechanics to programming tips); Connect the Dots (master classes and workshops with notes you can download and take right into your next class); and The John Garey Show (a fun and energetic talk show specifically for Pilates and fitness enthusiasts, featuring the stars of the industry).” Why you should tune in:

“You’ll learn, laugh and

get inspired.”

SE T up

S T Ep 1

John Garey is the creator of John Garey TV. He is also the founder of John Garey Fitness & Pilates in Long Beach, CA, with an MS in physical education from New York University. He is a master instructor trainer for Merrithew™, specializing in their premiere brand, STOTT PILATES®, as well as CORE™ Athletic Conditioning and Performance Training. Garey is certified by the Pilates Method Alliance, as a personal trainer from the American Council on Exercise and as a strength and conditioning specialist through NSCA. He has starred in hundreds of fitness and Pilates videos, and is an international Pilates and fitness presenter, teaching instructors in more than 14 countries and counting, as well as throughout the U.S. He has contributed to and appeared in many international ModiF iC aT ion

publications. For more information, visit 63

The Busy


WorkouT Feeling tight and tired? This quickie routine is how the pros perk up and melt away stress.

My name is Lindsay, and I’m a recovering Pilates studio owner. I’m joking a little, but really, owning a studio is hard work. The commitment to teaching and running a studio leaves you with pretty much zero time to do your own workout. So when Pilates Style came along, asking me to create a Pilates workout, I was stumped. As a teacher of the method for almost 20 years, it’s not that I was at a loss for sequences or cues. What I’d lost through devoting my time to my business was my best Pilates self! How could I not feel like a fraud when I hadn’t felt the work in my body in… well, suffice it to say, a long time. Running your own show is not for everyone. While you make more per session, and maybe teach less hours, you have to shoulder more responsibility. Unlike traditional Pilates studios, our focus at my studio, FORM, New York City’s first Pilates cooperative, is on allowing an instructor’s business to incubate within ours. So far, it’s worked out for the best. But…the downside is that it can still leave me—the show runner— with little time to work out. Instead of belittling myself for not getting my own workout in between payroll and client sessions, now I plan my sessions with the masters themselves. For this feature, I turned to one of my favorite go-to instructors, Xavier Cha, for inspiration. Classical with a

photography by alan cox; make-up by jessica chynoweth; hair by sara colley; outfit by underarmour

by Lindsay Lopez

modern twist, Xavier puts me through my paces and gives me exactly what a busy studio owner needs. The result is a workout for anyone who sits at a desk all day, hunched over a computer for hours on end. Xavier steers me toward the Cadillac anytime I roll my eyes and say, “I’m tight and tired!” It’s the perfect place to open things up and stretch out. Sitting at a desk and managing a business would leave anyone’s chest tight and shoulders hunched forward. Rolling back returns freedom to the spine with careful articulation. The Chest Expansion, Long Back Stretch and Thigh Stretch

all open the chest, improve lung capacity and stretch the front of the body, and Hanging counteracts the forces of gravity and actually creates space in the spine. Finally, finishing with the Spine Corrector is like eating a big piece of cake. Like the Hanging, the reverse of gravity with the leg work helps to reverse blood flow and create space in the hips, plus the stretch in the lower back feels amazing. These exercises are for all levels of experience, with the exception of the Hanging. You can do this quick sequence anytime you feel yourself squirming to relieve pain. Step away from the keyboard! PS

rolling Back

rolling Back WiTh one arm

promotes articulation and freedom in the spine Sit tall on the mat, with your feet against the vertical poles and legs straight, hands shoulder-width (or wider) apart holding the bar.

stretches and strengthens the side body Same as Rolling Back, but hold onto the center of the bar with your left hand, wrapping right arm your waist.

PurPose: setuP:

1. Inhale and, keeping your knees soft, begin to roll down. 2. Slowly roll all the way down, allowing your head to touch the mat. Exhale. 3. Inhale deeply, then roll up one bone at a time, exhaling at the top. Do 3 reps. t i P s : Don’t forget to roll through your lower back; use your abdominals to tilt your pelvis. Imagine that you’re wearing a button-down shirt backwards, lightly pressing each button into the mat on the way down and resisting them off the mat on the way up. If you have trouble articulating through your lower back, bend your knees.

PurPose: setuP:

1. Roll down onto the mat. 2. Reach your left arm toward the left side of the Cadillac. 3. Then, for an additional stretch, slide your left leg toward your right leg. 4. Return your left leg to the pole and your left arm to your waist, squaring your body off toward the bar. 5. Roll back up. 6. Repeat the entire sequence on your other side, breathing naturally throughout. t i P s : At the bottom of the Roll-Down, soften your chest and ribs into the mat and breathe. Try to keep your body as square as possible to the vertical poles.

setuP–steP 2

setuP & steP 1 65

chesT expansion opens the chest and expands the lungs; strengthens the hamstrings; stretches the front of the hips s e t u P : Come into a kneeling position facing the roll-down bar, legs hip-width apart. Reach your arms in front of your body at shoulder height, and make sure that your fingers just touch the vertical poles. PurPose:

1. Place your hands on the bar shoulder-width apart. Begin to inhale, pulling the bar toward your hips. 2. Holding the inhale, look toward your right, then toward your left.

steP 1

3. Exhale, releasing the bar. 4. Repeat the sequence, but look toward your left first. t i P s : Try to stack your shoulders, ribs and hips over your knees. Lean forward toward the bar, but simultaneously pull your abs back. Try to inhale evenly the entire time you turn your head, instead of holding your breath, to increase lung capacity. AdvAn ce d :

Move farther away from the vertical poles.

gear guide steP 2

Peak Pilates Premier Cadillac and Premier Spine Corrector ($3,695 and $350, respectively;

Thigh sTreTch stretches the front of the thighs; strengthens the hamstrings and abdominals s e t u P : Get into the Chest Expansion position, but move back about 4 inches. PurPose:

1. Place your hands on the bar shoulder-width apart. Gaze down toward the bar.

AdvAn ce d

2. Keeping your body in one long line, hinge back from your knees until you feel a stretch across the front of your thighs. Inhale. 3. Exhale, pressing your hips forward and releasing the tension on the bar to return to the starting position. Do 3 reps. t i P s : Keep your body in one long line from your knees to your shoulders; imagine that you’re a piece of steel as you move. Use the tension on the bar as your safety device— keep the tension as you hinge so that its release helps you return upright.

On your last rep, extend your upper back at the bottom of the stretch. To return to the kneeling position, curl your chin into your chest first, then let the springs help you back up.

AdvAn ce d :

66 may • june 2016

steP 2

long Back arms opens the chest Stay kneeling, but turn around to face away from the roll-down bar. PurPose: setuP:

1. Reach back to grab the bar behind you, hands shoulder-width apart and palms facing either way. 2. Depending on how tight you are in your chest, move closer or farther away from the bar, finding a place where you can comfortably hold it, while keeping your shoulders, ribs and hips over your knees. 3. Pull down on the bar, bringing it toward the back of your knees. 4. Holding the bar there, slowly bend your elbows, bringing the bar up your back.

steP 3

5. Keeping the bar high, extend through your elbows, reaching the bar back behind you. 6. Do 3 reps, then reverse the direction and repeat, breathing naturally throughout. t i P s : Keep your entire body stacked, with your shoulders and ribs over your hips. Find a place you can maintain that alignment and not lean forward or backward when you pull on the bar. Only lift the bar to the point where you can keep the tops of your shoulders (the shrugging muscles) relaxed.

Break it down: Just pull the bar down toward the back of your knees, release it for 3 reps, then hold it against your body, and pull up and extend down on the bar for 3 reps.

M o d i f i c Ati o n :

steP 4

steP 5

xavier steers me toward the cadillac anytime i roll my eyes and say, “i’m tight and tired!” it’s the perfect place to open things up and stretch out. 67

hanging reverses blood flow to promote circulation; creates space in the spine s e t u P : Standing on the mat, measure one forearm’s distance from the end of the overhead bar. Pull the fuzzie straps over to that point. (If you’re taller than 5’6”, you’ll need to shorten the straps to keep your hips off the mat.) PurPose:

stePs 1 & 2

1. Loop your feet in the straps, then press yourself away from the vertical poles, until your arms are straight and your torso is centered on the mat. This is a half hang—take a couple of breaths here. 2. Grab onto the vertical poles, and pull yourself toward the edge of the Cadillac. Once you’re close, switch your grip and “push” yourself over the edge, waiting to let your head go until the very end. 3. Let your arms hang above your head and breathe naturally. 4. To get out of the position, slowly lift your head and grab the vertical poles, pulling yourself onto the mat. Take a moment to let your blood pressure normalize before removing your feet from the fuzzies. Have someone spot you until you’re able to get in and out of the fuzzies yourself.


A full hang is not recommended for anyone who’s pregnant, or has knee/hip problems, or high/low low blood pressure.

M o d i f i c Ati o n :

hanging counteracts the forces of gravity and actually creates space in the spine. 68 may • june 2016

Finally, finishing with the spine corrector is like eating a big piece of cake. leg Work on The spine correcTor reverses blood flow; opens the lower and middle back, shoulders and hips; promotes a connection to the upper abdominals s e t u P : Sit on the apex of the Spine Corrector while holding the handles. Place one foot on the step and extend the other out long. PurPose:

1. Round back toward the mat behind the Barrel (as if you’re doing a Half Roll-Down), keeping your foot on the step to help control the rolling back. You should be on your upper back—not your neck—and able to lift your head off the mat. If you can still do this and feel that the barrel is not close enough to your middle back, lift your hips and use the handles to slide it farther up your back. Bend your knees toward your chest to prepare. 2. Do the leg spring exercises: Leg Circles, Scissors, Walking, Leg Circles, Beats and Bicycle (see Lindsay demonstrate this move at t i P s : These exercises are all about tension and release. Engage your abdominals throughout to protect your lower back, keeping the back of your ribs touching the barrel, and simultaneously allow the release of your front ribs, shoulders and hips. Try to keep your legs no higher than 90 degrees, imagining that you have an invisible wall in front of your body that won’t let you bring your legs closer to your face.

lindsay lopez teaches Pilates in its purest form, improving her clients’ bodies and lives with the classical New York method. Although Lopez holds fast to the historical method of Pilates, her approach is modern,

M o d i f i c Ati o n :

Keep your legs higher if it feels at all like a strain in your

lower spine.

accessible and friendly. Lopez got her start as a professional dancer and actress, working in feature films and commercials and on Broadway.

steP 1

LeG circLes

She now owns and operates FORM Pilates Union Square in the heart of NYC. Inspired by helping instructors make what they deserve and live a life they love, Lopez structured FORM to focus on trainers rather than the clientele. The result was a workspace for teachers who love to teach and clients who love to learn. Her wish is to provide her peers with the business training they so desperately need. As a positive coach and gutsy business mentor, Lopez is changing the Pilates industry for the better. For more information, visit

xavier cha completed more than 900 scissors

B icYcLe

hours of rigorous training at True Pilates New York and received her certification through the internationally accredited Romana’s Pilates. There, she studied directly under Joseph Pilates’ protégé Romana Kryzanowska and her daughter Sari Mejio Santo. Cha has since given private instruction in NYC since 2008, while fostering her continuing Pilates education and personal practice. Cha has experience training a full range of clients, including dancers, athletes, expectant mothers, the elderly, and clients with acute and chronic health conditions. She believes strongly in the empowering abilities of intelligent movement, and confidence in mind and body strength. 69


ThaT are acTually

Virtuous Go ahead and give into temptation—it just might be good for you. by Anne Marie O’Connor

As the old saying goes, “All the things I really like to do are either illegal, immoral or fattening.” But recently, health experts have been rethinking how bad some of these vices really are. And as it turns out, many supposed unhealthy habits—like eating carbs, drinking wine or going out for a night on the town—can actually boost your immune system, fight flab and even prevent chronic diseases. Here, how to have your chocolate and eat it, too.

Vi ce #1:

C ar bs

In the past few years, carbs have replaced fat as public enemy number one. But not only are carbs not bad for you, they’re actually essential for normal physiological functioning. “Our body needs them for energy and for our brain to function optimally,” says Wesley Delbridge, RDN, a Phoenix-based spokesperson for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. When we don’t eat carbs, our bodies break down our muscles to get the fuel they need—and that’s not a good thing, he explains. “You go into a state of ketosis, which makes you feel weird and tired.” Part of the problem is that people say “carbs” when what they really mean are simple sugars and starches like chips, white bread, French fries and cookies. But many healthy foods, including fruits, vegetables, whole grains, even dairy “have naturally occurring carbs,” says Delbridge. “If I get carbs from an apple versus say, a sugar-sweetened cereal, they both still get broken down into glucose. But processed carbs (like the cereal) have little-to-no nutrient content and get absorbed very quickly, causing your blood sugar levels to spike.” Long-term, frequent blood spikes caused by consuming large amounts of highly processed carbs can lead to type 2 diabetes.

expert in stress and health, and the author of the upcoming The Stress-Proof Brain (New Harbinger Publications, 2017). “You’re laughing, bonding and having fun and getting away from your day-to-day chores. When friends are supportive, it helps you put things in perspective and makes you feel less lonely.” In fact, scientists argue that having little social interaction is the equivalent of smoking 15 cigarettes a day or not exercising. The Nurses’ Health Study from the Harvard School of Public Health found that the more friends women had, the healthier they were likely to be as they aged. And according to a large 2010 study from Brigham Young University, people who were more social have higher rates of survival than those who spend more time alone. Make plans to see friends or spend time with family as often as possible. Even talking on the phone or FaceTime will give you the benefits of social interaction. Make th e Vi ce a Vi rtu e :

It’s all about balance, says Delbridge. Pair a food that contains naturally occurring carbs, like an apple or whole-grain bread, with something that contains protein and some fat, e.g., peanut butter, nuts or some low-fat cheese. “Then you’re going to have a balanced snack, and you’re not going to get that blood sugar spike,” he notes.

Make th e Vi ce a Vi rtu e :

Vice #2:

a Night oN the towN

Meeting friends for dinner, happy hour or a concert doesn't have to mean hangover city come morning. “Physiologically we’re wired to be around other people,” says Melanie Greenberg, PhD, a psychologist in Mill Valley, CA, who’s an

Vice #3:

Pe aNut but ter

As the old joke goes, “Man cannot live by bread alone. He must have peanut butter!” Why is peanut butter so irresistible? Part of it has to do with its creamy, nutty richness, and part no doubt is nostalgia for those days when PB&Js were a daily staple. Though it is high in calories, there’s no reason it should be a forbidden food, as it is also a nutritional powerhouse. Two tablespoons contain eight grams of protein, which fill you up and keep you feeling full longer, along with vitamins B6 and E, magnesium, potassium and heart-healthy monounsaturated fat. What’s more, peanut butter might even help prevent weight gain. A 2007 study in the journal Obesity found that people who eat nuts at least twice a week are much less likely to gain weight than those who almost never eat them. But at 180 to 210 calories per two-tablespoon serving, portion control is of the essence. “Most people do not use two tablespoons—they’re loading up a sandwich or putting it in a big cup to dip things in,” says Delbridge, “That’s when you’re taking something that can fit in a healthy diet and overindulging.” 71

H abits You


aB SOLuteLY,

Must Ditch

While many vices are either somewhat healthy or harmless in small quantities, others are extremely damaging—no ifs, ands or buts. Here are four of the worst, according to shirley Archer, wellness coach, Pilates teacher and author of Pilates Fusion: Well-Being for Body, Mind, and Spirit (chronicle Books, 2000).

smokiNg Where to start? There’s nothing good about cigarettes. “There’s the increased risk of heart disease, multiple types of cancer— lung, throat, mouth, etc.,” says Archer. “Nicotine actually constricts arteries, which increases blood pressure, leading to less elasticity and hardening of arteries. Then there’s the bad breath, the stained teeth and the increased facial skin wrinkling.” If you do smoke, see your doctor or visit for information on the best ways to quit.

iNaCtivity Sitting really is the new smoking. “The less you move, the poorer your circulation tends to become,” Archer says. “If you are seated for hours at a time, blood tends to pool in the legs and cause swelling. The body stiffens and loses mobility, joints become more rigid, and muscle mass is lost.” You end up in a downward spiral, losing strength and energy, having less and less desire to move, and with a weaker and weaker body.

DriNkiNg soDa “Sweetened sodas have enormous amounts of sugar”—more than 10 teaspoons in 12 ounces, Archer points out. This causes a big spike in blood sugar, which can lead to an increased risk for type 2 diabetes. “Sugar also deadens your taste buds so you lose your ability to enjoy the natural sweetness of whole foods,” she notes. "Unless you have absolutely no other option, there's no upside to drinking soda.”

skimPiNg oN sleeP

Stick to a two-tablespoon portion, and make it part of a balanced meal by eating it with something else like whole-grain bread and some fruit, he advises. You may also want to switch to natural peanut butter, a healthier choice, since it usually contains just peanuts and salt, says Delbridge. “What people like about the brands we knew growing up, like Skippy and Jif, is that they’re really processed and have a lot of sugar added, which is why they taste good.” It’s fine to eat those if you can’t abide the natural stuff or just have a hankering for a childhood favorite, he says. But if you’d like to make the transition to natural peanut butter, he recommends doing it gradually. “Mix half natural and half Jif or one you like, and start getting used to that flavor,” he says. “Then go three quarters, then one quarter, then finally, you’re eating all natural.” Make th e Vi ce a Vi rtu e :

Vice #4:

sayiNg Cheers

Alcohol is considered so sinful that (theoretically) you have to wait 21 years to try it. But there’s a reason they call it “happy hour”: Science has shown that it has a number of health benefits. Numerous studies have found that moderate drinkers are less likely to develop heart disease compared with those who don’t imbibe. But “a lot of people take the studies about alcohol and blow them out of proportion,” warns Delbridge. “They think, I can have this big glass of wine because it’s good for me.” While studies have shown that the antioxidants in wine may reduce your risk of stroke, diabetes and improve blood flow to areas like the brain, “it’s not a hugely significant [factor]— it’s not like if you don’t drink wine you’re not going to have your source of antioxidants. If you’re eating enough fruits and vegetables, you’re getting plenty.” “Keep your intake moderate, which means one drink a day for women, two drinks a day for men,” he says. You also need to watch portion size, which does not mean filling the largest glass in your kitchen to the brim. The actual portion size, Delbridge explains, is 12 ounces for beer, five ounces for wine and 1.5 ounces for hard liquor. Make th e Vi ce a Vi rtu e :

“Sleep is so essential to good health,” says Archer. “Skin, muscles and other parts of the body repair themselves as we sleep. If we deprive ourselves, our body does not get a chance to repair, and we are essentially accelerating aging. Sleep deprivation also increases our hunger while simultaneously suppressing our sense of fullness or satiety.” So do yourself a favor and get some ZZZs! 72 may • june 2016

If you do have a snack, turn off the screen, and focus on what you’re eating instead of mindlessly munching, he says.

And leave the package i n the kitche n—put a portioned-out serving in a bowl .

Need more reason to drink the glass in moderation? “Alcohol has a lot of calories and high amounts of sugar, and the body does a really good job of turning that sugar into fat,” Delbridge adds. Another caveat: Don’t forget to drink a glass of water or club soda in between each cocktail to prevent dehydration.

Vice #5:

watChiNg t v

Vegging in front of the boob tube for hours on end is as frowned upon by health experts as it was by your mom. But watching an hour or so of a comedy (other genres don’t have the same effect) like Modern Family or Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt or The Simpsons—whatever tickles your funny bone—can actually be a windfall for your well-being. “Humor can be very helpful psychologically,” says Greenberg. “It can put you in a positive mood, put the brakes on a negative mood and give you a different perspective.” Research backs up the benefits of having a laugh. In a 2012 study, scientists at Yeshiva University found one of the key personality traits centenarians share is a love of laughter. And a 2009 study at the University of Maryland Medical Center discovered that heart disease patients were 40 percent less likely to see the humor in various situations compared to healthy people. The most famous study wasn’t strictly scientific: Journalist Norman Cousins claimed to have cured himself of a crippling disease in the 1960s with a regimen of belly laughter, courtesy of Candid Camera episodes. Don’t let this be an excuse to watch hours of TV. A study in the British Journal of Sports Medicine found that every additional two hours people spent watching television, their risk of developing type 2 and heart disease increased. So get your laughs, then get off the couch.

Make th e Vi ce a Vi rtu e :

Vice #6:

CheCk iNg FaCeb ook

Social media like Facebook have been blamed for everything from lowered self-esteem to shorter attention spans. But here’s something to “like”: A 2012 study in Cyberpsychology, Behavior, and Social Networking showed that spending time on Facebook can boost your mood. “It can be a way to stay more in touch with distant friends and family, and see what’s going on in their lives,” Greenberg says. Just make sure you’re not wasting hours online, obsessively checking your newsfeed, while avoiding important real-life responsibilities. “Don’t start comparing yourself—this one went on a better vacation, this one has a

Make th e Vi ce a Vi rtu e :

better looking kid—and feeling bad about yourself. That’s not healthy,” she says. “Remember, it’s just a little snapshot of someone’s life, it’s not their whole life.”

Vi ce #7:

l ate - Night sNaCk iNg

Munching on chips or savoring ice cream while watching Colbert, Fallon and Kimmel violates one of the die-hard dieting rules: Don’t eat after 6 p.m. But what if you feel ravenous way past the hour on the clock? If you’re hungry at night, you should ask yourself why. “It may mean you’re not getting enough to eat during the day,” suggests Delbridge. Or, he points out, it could be another more common problem: boredom. “A lot of people are engaging in a lot of screen time at night and having a snack is comforting.” If you are really hungry (not just bored), “ask yourself, what did I miss during the day? Did I get enough protein, enough fiber, enough fruits and vegetables? Whatever you missed, eat that.” If you do have a snack, turn off the screen, and focus on what you’re eating instead of mindlessly munching, he says. And leave the package in the kitchen—put a portioned-out serving in a bowl. Make th e Vi ce a Vi rtu e :

Vice #8:

e atiNg Cho Col ate

This dark, delicious treat doesn’t need to be a guilty pleasure. “As a dietitian, it’s frustrating to hear people say, ‘No more chocolate!’” when they want to lose weight, says Delbridge, “And then in three weeks, all they want is chocolate.” Instead of denying yourself, he recommends chocolate lovers fit in a square or two a day. Aside from keeping your diet on track, a little of the dark stuff is actually good for you, he says. “It has been shown to decrease blood pressure and improve cholesterol levels. There are also studies that show that the darker varieties have antioxidants and phytochemicals that can aid in the prevention of heart disease.” “It comes down to having an appropriate portion (a square or two) and really enjoying it,” Delbridge advises. Unfortunately, milk chocolate like M&Ms and Hershey bars don’t make the cut. To get the benefits of chocolate, “it does mean the dark variety,” he says. “I always tell people to make sure cacao, not sugar, is the first ingredient listed [on the label]. If sugar is the first ingredient, you’re not getting a really good dark chocolate.” Ps Make th e Vi ce a Vi rtu e : 73

Grain Fuel

Mixed Leaves with savory GranoLa The savory granola adds a nutritious, nutty crunch to this salad. It’s worth making double the quantity to eat as a snack or perhaps sprinkle over yogurt for breakfast. If serving atop sweet dishes, simply omit the tamari sauce and store any leftover granola in an airtight container. (Serves 4) For the granola:

1 1 2

tablespoon buckWheat groats


tablespoons pumpkin seeds

tablespoon shelled hemp seeds tablespoons sunFloWer seeds

a large handFul oF blanched almonds

1½ 1½

teaspoons tamari or light soy sauce teaspoons honey

For the salad:


ounces mixed salad leaves


nectarines, halved, pitted and sliced


ounces mozzarella, drained and torn into pieces


tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

Freshly squeezed juice oF 1⁄2 lemon sea salt and Freshly ground black pepper to taste

Whole grains have a host of benefits wrapped into a small (cheap!) package. From helping to lower cholesterol and cancer risk to promoting digestion and making you feel full, like study after study have reported, it’s a no-brainer to add them into your repertoire. We did the recipe digging—even for you gluten-free dieters—for dishes that bring the full factor without the bloat. 74

may • june 2016

1. to make the granola, toast the buckwheat and hemp seeds in a large, dry skillet over medium heat for 2–3 minutes, tossing the pan regularly, until they start to smell toasted. transfer to a bowl, and add the sunflower and pumpkin seeds to the pan. toast the seeds, again tossing the pan regularly, for 4–5 minutes, until starting to turn golden, then add to the bowl. Finally, add the almonds to the pan and toast for 5 minutes, turning occasionally, until starting to color. roughly chop the nuts, and add to the bowl with the seeds. 2. add the tamari and honey to the nuts and seeds, stir until combined, then leave to cool. 3. meanwhile, put the salad leaves in a large serving dish or individual bowls, and add the nectarines and mozzarella. drizzle the olive oil and lemon juice over, and season with salt and pepper. gently toss to combine, then sprinkle the granola over before serving.

Fruit and oat MuFFins The texture of oats in a morning muffin feels very hearty. Oat flour is a great alternative to all-purpose flour and works really well as a substitution for other flours in baked goods, as well as providing a boost of energy from power grains. (Makes 12 muffins) For the fruit puree:

⁄3 5 1 ⁄3 2

cup soy milk dried Figs cup pineapple pieces

For the muffins:


Quinoa BurGers with PortoBeLLo MushrooMs Quinoa mixes with sweet potato and black beans to give a meaty consistency. Packed full of protein, iron and potassium, these burgers also give you a boost of antioxidants for energy from the black beans. (Makes 5 burgers)

cup (gluten-Free) rolled oats


cup (gluten-Free)


cup all-purpose



oat Flour Flour (plus 1

⁄2 teaspoon

xanthan gum iF using gluten-Free

For the burgers:


1 2 1 ⁄2 1 1 ⁄2 1 1 ⁄2 1


2 1



tablespoons olive oil, divided onion, Finely chopped cloves garlic, crushed cup canned black beans cup cooked quinoa cup cooked sWeet potato Flesh carrot, grated teaspoon ground cumin teaspoon ground coriander tablespoons Freshly chopped parsley cup gluten-Free breadcrumbs portobello mushrooms

a pinch each oF sea salt and Freshly ground black pepper

To serve:

1 1 1 1 ⁄2

avocado, sliced large tomato, sliced pickle, chopped red onion, sliced

a handFul oF Fresh cilantro


tablespoons Freshly squeezed lime juice

1. preheat the oven to 350°F. 2. heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in saucepan over medium heat. add the onion, and fry for about 3 minutes, until softened. add the garlic and cook for another minute.

then add the beans, stir and cook for a few minutes longer. remove from the heat and transfer to a large mixing bowl. 3. lightly mash the beans with a fork until they’re semicrushed. add the rest of the ingredients, except the mushrooms and remaining olive oil, to the bowl and mix well. if the mixture is too moist, add extra breadcrumbs. if too dry, add some more mashed beans. 4. Form five patties with your hands and place on a baking sheet. bake for 20–25 minutes, checking after about 15 minutes and turning once to ensure even browning. once cooked, remove from the main oven and keep warm. 5. increase the temperature of the oven to 400°F. 6. For the mushroom base, clean the mushrooms with a damp cloth. remove the stems and drizzle with the remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil. season with salt and pepper, and roast for 20 minutes. 7. When ready to serve, place each burger on top of a roasted mushroom and garnish with your choice of burger toppings.

⁄2 1 1


all-purpose Flour) cup broWn sugar teaspoon baking poWder teaspoon baking soda

⁄2 2 1

teaspoon salt

⁄3 1

cup vegetable oil



eggs teaspoon pure vanilla extract cup Fresh or Frozen mixed berries

milk, to serve (optional)

1. begin by making the fruit puree: place all the ingredients, plus 1⁄4 cup warm water, in a food processor and blend to a thick consistency. set aside. 2. preheat the oven to 350°F. mix together the oats, flours, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt in a large bowl. in a separate bowl, mix together the prepared fruit puree, eggs, xanthan gum (if using), vanilla and oil. add the dry mixture into the wet a little at a time before folding in the mixed berries. 3. pour the batter into a muffin pan coated with nonstick spray, and bake for 20 minutes, or until a knife inserted into the middle comes out clean. remove from the oven and set aside to cool before serving with a glass of milk.

These grain-fully delicious recipes were taken from Power Grains, published by Ryland Peters & Small ($16.95;



g n i p e e K

K c a r T

fitness trackers are the hottest trend in the world today, but can they really enhance your pilates practice? Experts weigh in. by Sharon Liao

as a pilates instructor, Julee Jones spends the majority of her day on her feet. “i’m usually in the studio with a student, or teaching barre class,” says Jones, the founder and principal instructor at the pilates place in nashville. But when she bought a fitbit fitness tracker five years ago to log her daily steps, she was shocked at the results. Jones assumed that she easily surpassed the 10,000 steps, or about five miles, recommended by health experts a day. “But i was only averaging 5,000 to 6,000,” she says. “it was a wake-up call! as a culture, we spend so much time sitting in front of a computer and driving from place to place.” Jones began sneaking in walks, such as a quick stroll outside between pilates sessions, into her schedule to help hit her target. “i get a little competitive, and challenge myself to move more than i did the day or week before,” she laughs. today, Jones wears her fitbit two or three days a week to make sure she stays on track. it motivates her to keep as active as possible outside of the studio. “it’s an instrument that helps me make better choices throughout my day,” says Jones, who now averages around 10,000 steps a day. Jones learned that fitness trackers can augment a pilates practice to encourage habits that have a powerful impact on your overall health and well-being.

Trend of The Year

although modern-day fitness trackers have only recently hit the consumer market, the concept dates back as early as the 16th century. leonardo da vinci is credited as the inventor of the pedometer, a device that measures each step you take. over the years, these gadgets have clearly become more innovative. today, most fitness trackers come in clip, wristband or watch form with built-in accelerometers. accelerometers, which are also used to rotate smartphone screens and deploy airbags in cars, register back-and-forth and up-and-down movements to log how many steps you take. many sync with an app or use an algorithm to calculate the distance you’ve walked and the calories you’ve burned. some fitness trackers also feature heart-rate monitors, which measure your pulse in your wrist to determine the

intensity of your workout and calculate your calorie burn. “recently, these trackers have become even more advanced and offer a variety of features,” says michele olson, phd, a professor of kinesiology at auburn university at montgomery in montgomery, al, and a pilates instructor. “some also allow you to input what you eat into a food journal.” and some use the accelerometer to monitor your movements during slumber to create a log of how long you snooze and how much time you spend in deep, or rem, sleep—a vital element for good health. thanks to the growing number of features and dropping price points, fitness trackers have become a booming business. according to a worldwide survey of exercise professionals conducted by the american college of sports medicine (acsm), wearable technology, such as trackers, are the numberone fitness trend for 2016. in fact, consumertech analysts say that fitness trackers are projected to become a $5.4 billion industry by 2019.

Wearable MoTivaTion

But are these devices worth it? “in general, i’m in favor of them,” says olson. “they help us visually see how active or inactive we are throughout the day without any judgment. it’s like the gas gauge or odometer on a car—it tells us how much farther we need to go in a day.” while many experts advise aiming for 10,000 steps a day, the acsm sets a higher goal: 12,000 steps, or the amount associated with maintaining a healthy body weight. the reality is that americans average less than half that number of steps—a mere 5,117 a day. that’s where a fitness tracker comes into play. simply wearing the device can boost your activity by 30 to 40 percent, according to research from the american council on exercise. in fact, a recent study published in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine found that women given a digital fitness tracker increased their physical activity by more than an hour a week compared to those who tracked their steps with a simple pedometer. experts believe that the additional features—the ability to track your pace, distance, intensity

OPPOSITE PAGE: tia schroeder says her apple watch keeps her motivated to move, and helps her run her studio with reminders and notifications. 77


and duration, as well as the goal-setting features—can give people the nudge they need to become more active. “my tracker provides the motivation i need to get moving,” says tia schroeder, owner and pilates manager for love for pilates in los angeles. “it keeps me accountable. i’ll look at it and ask myself, ‘did i do better today than i did on monday?’”

Fitness trackers

The healTh PaYoff

to try



d. b.

a. fiTbiT alTa stylish enough to double as a bracelet, this sleek wristband records your steps, sleep habits and workouts. it also shows the time and sends notifications to remind you to move, answer a telephone call or make an appointment ($129.95; b. UP Move bY JaWbone this clip-on tracker may be small and budget-friendly, but there’s no shortage of features. it tracks your steps and sleep patterns, plus syncs to an app for food journaling, personalized advice and goalsetting. you can also purchase a wristband for an extra $15 ($23.50; 78 may • june 2016

C. GarMin vivosMarT this waterproof bracelet style displays the time, along with your steps, distance traveled and calorie burn. it also buzzes with email, calendar and phone alerts, and when it’s time to stand up ($149.99; d. aPPle WaTCh sPorT like iphones, this watch features a touch-screen that allows you to answer emails and texts and scroll through music. along with these bells and whistles, it comes equipped with a heart-rate monitor and accelerometer to track your activity, calorie burn and workout intensity. there’s also a goalsetting function and alerts to remind you to stand up regularly ($349–$399;

these little changes can really add up. a growing body of science proves that how often you move throughout the day can reduce your risk of a long list of illnesses, such as heart disease and diabetes. “you can still live a sedentary lifestyle, even if you hit the gym or studio,” says olson. in fact, scientists from the national institutes of health showed that people who watched television for seven or more hours a day had a 61 percent greater risk of death during the 8.5-year study than those who sat for an hour or less— even if they exercised seven hours a week. that’s how fitness trackers can complement pilates: even if you have a regular practice, these

A study found that people who wore a fitness tracker while following a slim-down plan dropped twice as many pounds— for a total of 10 percent of their body weight— than those who didn’t.

gadgets can motivate you to stay more active throughout the day. “my apple watch has an alert that tells me to stand up every hour,” says alia staples, owner of the pilates loft in arlington, va. “it’s a nice reminder to have throughout the day, especially when i’m doing paperwork or sitting at the computer.” not only can moving more strengthen the heart and stave off disease, but it can also promote behaviors that set the stage for weight loss. in a study published in the journal Obesity, researchers from wake forest university found that people who wore a fitness tracker while following a slim-down plan dropped twice as many pounds—for a total of 10 percent of their body weight—than those who didn’t.

PairinG iT WiTh PilaTes

while fitness trackers can encourage activity, they do have limitations. although accelerometers measure cardio movements like steps, they don’t register most of the movements done in pilates. “if i pump my fist in the air, the tracker will track that,” says schroeder. “But we all know that a plank is a tough strengthening move that can cause you to break a sweat, and a fitness tracker won’t reflect that effort.” so it’s important to keep that in mind, says schroeder. “it’s a great way to monitor daily activity, but it doesn’t reflect the whole picture of fitness.” (certain trackers, however, allow you to manually input other activities, such as pilates, that they don’t measure automatically.) what’s more, research shows that fitness trackers may not be completely accurate when it comes to estimating daily activity. in a 2015 study, researchers from the university of wisconsin—la crosse tested five popular fitness trackers. while all of them measured the number of steps taken while walking and running on a treadmill or elliptical within 90 percent accuracy, they missed the mark in agility exercises, such as basketball free-throw and ladder drills, by as much as 83 percent. when measuring calorie burn, the researchers also found that the fitness tracker’s estimated numbers were 13 to 60 percent higher or lower than the actual amount. “you have to take these fitness trackers with a grain of salt,” says olson. “instead of trying to follow the numbers closely, it’s best to use them as an educational tool to check how active you are compared to other days.”

brinGinG iT inTo The sTUdio

although accelerometer-based trackers often don’t register pilates movements, some instructors say that those with heart rate monitors are helpful in the studio. fitness trackers provide instant feedback on pilates

moves, which can help make sessions more rigorous. for instance, staples wears her apple watch when crafting workouts for her clients before their sessions. “i’m able to collect data on my heart rate and calorie burn during different exercises,” says staples. “it helps me create workouts targeted to my clients’ fitness goals.” for instance, if one of her students is interested in a calorie-burning routine, staples adjusts the flow to keep the heart rate elevated. “some of my clients will also text me pictures of their calorie burn and heart rate from class, and i’ll make a mental note,” she says. “i might make things a little easier or harder by changing a few exercises.” from a business perspective, schroeder says that her apple watch also helps her run her studios more smoothly. along with the fitness tracker features, it also delivers emails, calls and calendar reminders. “it helps me stay connected without being a distraction,” says schroeder. Because these messages ping directly to her watch, there’s no need to constantly check a phone or computer.

ABOVE: tia staples uses the heart rate readinGs on her clients' fitness trackers to plan their neXt session.

UsinG one The riGhT WaY

interested in trying out a fitness tracker? experts agree that it’s important to have the right attitude when using one. “fitness trackers give you instant feedback that encourages you to move more throughout the day,” says olson. But it’s important not to follow them too closely or obsess over the numbers. “they can be inaccurate and, worse, lead to unhealthy behaviors,” she says. instead, she suggests using a tracker as a way to check that you’re moving as much as possible throughout the day. staples says that her fitness tracker has helped her measure her progress and encourage healthy choices. “i might choose to walk instead of drive somewhere based on how much i’ve moved that day,” she says. “and at the end of the day, it gives me a sense of accomplishment to see that i’ve met my goals.” PS 79

I don’t ProZone

look like a Pilates teacher Though many people conjure an image of a petite, slim, (often) blonde woman, these method instructors have successfully defied the clichés. Clients tend to expect professional instructors to embody the youthful, lean, strong body image thought to be synonymous with the method. But when a teacher doesn’t look like the stereotype—like, say Joseph Pilates himself—misunderstandings can occur. These four teachers prove that talented instructors come in all ages, shapes and sizes; from diverse ethnic and racial backgrounds; and with or without tattoos and piercings. They also exemplify how a more diverse Pilates industry is beneficial for the future of the method.

The woman of color

G et tI n G ce rtI f I e d : Despite never having taken a Pilates class, I signed up for the Power Pilates mat certification program taught by Susan Moran and Juliet Harvey in November 2002. I couldn’t do a Roll-Up or a Teaser, my body was as tight as a drum, and I tried to “muscle” through the moves. Susan flunked me and in that one act, she and Pilates had all my respect. I couldn’t back out because I had already paid for the program, so I started training privately with Juliet, who grounded me with her strong, classical teaching style. I finished the mat certification in 2003 and completed the Power Pilates’ Systems Teaching Certification in 2006.

Gina Jackson, owner and teacher at Pilates4Fitness

car e e r :

Movement Space in Guttenberg, NJ H o w I cam e to P I l ate s : In 2001, I left a position as vice president of a media company after the bubble burst to build a business as a personal fitness trainer. I came to Pilates after winning first place in a bodybuilding competition in 2002, at age 45. I knew throwing weights around would not be sustainable for the long term. I wanted an alternative training method, both for me personally and to complement my personal training business.

80 may • june 2016

by Anne Marie O’Connor

I taught mat classes in a rented space for several years and privates in my apartment. In 2010, I signed a lease for a commercial space. I am extremely proud of the community I have built and that has followed me as I have expanded.

w Hat It ’ s lI ke b e I n G a “ n o n -tr ad ItI o nal”

Students generally come to the studio to learn Pilates, to heal or to strengthen their bodies. They see me as a teacher who happens to be a woman of color with a curvaceous body and curly, frizzy hair. I am not plus-size, but would never be characterized as

teac H e r :

a “string bean.” I have a black woman’s derriere that is atypical of most “traditional” Pilates teachers, but I believe that is just because there are so few women of color in the industry. I teach others with the same curvaceous bottoms how to find a much deeper abdominal scoop and pelvic “tucking under” than may be necessary for the “flat” bottoms in the room. My mat classes always have a giggle or two about the need to “get up and over the boobs” and to “scoop in and scoot under the butts.” one asian-american client even asked, “If I sign up for 10 more sessions, will Pilates Side-kicks help me shape my butt like yours?” I am delighted with the depth of diversity at my studio, which like my community, includes many ethnic groups. I know as a women of color that my presence as a teacher and studio owner may open the door to a wider audience. The people I work with remain open to the differences between each body. That’s the beauty of the Pilates methodology. advI ce f o r otH e r teac H e r s : find a way to align yourself with the best classically trained teachers. I have been blessed to have studied with Brett Howard, alycea Ungaro, Blossom leilani-Crawford, Bob liekens and Susan Moran. If that’s not possible, supplement your work with the videos on Pilates anytime, in particular its Pilates legacy Project, and Pilatesology.

The sTocky Guy wITh TaTToos and PIercInGs James crader, owner and teacher at Evolved Body in Sacramento, CA H o w I cam e to P I l ate s : I was teaching yoga and working as a Thai massage therapist, plus I was bartending to make a living. I kept hearing about this mat Pilates class at a local boxing gym that a lot of my (guy) friends were loving. I checked it out and loved the work.

G et tI n G ce rtI f I e d : I took the Bender Method training in 2006 and enrolled in Balanced Body’s comprehensive training the next year. I’ve also studied with numerous contemporary and classical lineages, and completed lolita San Miguel’s Mentorship Program in 2010.

OppOsite pAge: GINa JaCkSoN, wHo fIRST TURNeD To PIlaTeS To leNGTHeN HeR MUSCleS, DoeS a STReTCH oN THe laDDeR BaRRel. tHis pAge, tOp tO

as soon as I finished training, I started working all over, driving 450 miles a week to various boxing gyms, dance and Pilates studios and even a chiropractic clinic. I opened my own studio in 2010 and have a variety of students. I remember one class when the five students ranged in age from late 20s to early 70s, one of whom had full body and face tattoos. at that moment, I was struck by the idea that “Pilates really is for every body.”

car e e r :

BOttOM: JaMeS CRaDeR’S TaTTooS weRe oNCe PHoToSHoPPeD oUT of aN IMaGe SHoT foR a PIlaTeS MaRkeTING CaMPaIGN; JaCkSoN SayS SHe TeaCHeS ClIeNTS wITH THe SaMe CURvaCeoUS BoTToMS How To Do a DeePeR PelvIC TUCk.

w Hat It ’ s lI ke b e I n G a “ n o n -tr ad ItI o nal”

I’ve heard some funny comments from my peers more so than my clients. I have huge legs, so I’m often asked if I play rugby. (Nope.) or they’ll assume I come from a physical therapy background because I don’t have a dancer’s physique. I guess it’s just hard to place a guy who has never been a professional dancer or physical therapist in the Pilates world. Then add in the tattoos and piercings. I have heard from clients how refreshing it is to have a “real” person teaching a fitness class. I didn’t take it as derogatory, but rather that my students were seeing something familiar in me, which made me and my class more approachable. My favorite story ever is from a number of years ago, when I was hired for a Pilates marketing campaign. But when the pictures came out, they had photoshopped out my arm tattoo, but had put my elbow on backward! The industry has vastly changed since then, though. This past year, the same company had me back for a shoot, along with other tattooed and pierced brothers and sisters. Progress!

teac H e r :

I am delighted with the depth of diversity at my studio, which like my community, includes many ethnic groups. I know as a women of color that my presence as a teacher and studio owner may open the door to a wider audience. 81

ABOVe, LeFt tO RigHt: CRaDeR aPPeaReD IN a PIlaTeS aNyTIMe vIDeo wITH BloSSoM leIlaNI CRawfoRD, wITH wHoM He HaS TakeN CoNTINUING-eDUCaTIoN woRkSHoPS; BaRBaRa PlaCe, wHo STUDIeD wITH RoMaNa kRyzaNowSka, SayS THaT “wHaTeveR My weIGHT, aGe, lookS

we see industry models and celebrities who maybe don’t look like us, and it’s easy to assume other people are noticing the same differences about us. But if you’re true to what you’re doing and take the time to become good at it, your clients really could care less if yesterday you were a man and today you’re a woman. (To be fair, they might notice that.) your clients just want to feel and move better. To the peers who criticize us, that’s cool; we’ll just be over here racking up client hours.

advI ce f o r otH e r teac H e r s :

I offer my clients a realistic, healthy, happy mind-set. our culture is ridiculous with the images and expectations placed on women.

oR SIzeS, I aM THe SaMe w Hat It ’ s lI ke b e I n G a “ n o n -tr ad ItI o nal”

PeRSoN INSIDe.” OppOsite pAge: NaoMI

The curvy woman Barbara Place, owner of Spirit Studios in Sparta, NJ


H o w I cam e to P I l ate s : I was raising my two kids alone and working full time as a general manager of a fitness center. I was managing 60 people and wanted a change. Teaching was my passion—inspiring others and healing pain was my gift. I was determined to make a difference in my life and in others. G et tI n G ce rtI f I e d : I studied under Romana kryzanowska at Drago’s Gym in New york City starting in 1997. I first took the requisite 70 private sessions and then did the teachertraining course. I got certified in 2003.

Being a single mom, I have always worked at least two jobs. after I finished training, I took out an equity loan and purchased all the Gratz apparatus for a home studio, where I teach Pilates and give Reiki and restorative yoga therapy. for 10 years, starting in 2005, I was also the Pilates director at a high-end health club in New Jersey. Today, I also work part time at local studios, including Six Degrees Pilates in Boonton and Bodies in Balance in Madison.

car e e r :

82 may • june 2016

I’ve been focused on body image since I was a little girl. My aunt agnes was a 6’3” spinster. I felt she was frowned upon, and it was an insult to look like her. when I was in my 20s, I was 5’8” and 125 pounds. looking back, I realize I was far from fat. I was fat inside my head, though. at my heaviest, I was 184 pounds. (I just lost 30 pounds for my son’s wedding.) when I worked at a studio in a wealthy area, many of the skinny clients wouldn’t train with me. Maybe they feared I would add girth to their butt by osmosis, or that I didn’t know what I was doing because I was full figured. But age and the scale are just numbers. I have witnessed plenty of skinny-fat people. whatever my weight or size, I am always the same dedicated, caring person inside. I would love if we did not judge others on their looks, especially our elders, veterans and the disabled. kind hearts matter.

teac H e r :

If you don’t think you fit the stereotypical appearance of an instructor, go for it anyway! follow your heart and not the crowd. It’s an extremely rewarding career choice, helping others to feel and look better. I offer my clients a realistic, healthy, happy mind-set. our

advI ce f o r otH e r teac H e r s :

PIlaTeS aNyTIMe PHoTo CoURTeSy of PIlaTeS aNyTIMe


culture is ridiculous with the images and expectations placed on women. I now focus on within, and have started the journey of self-love, self-forgiveness, self-respect and letting go of perfectionism. and learn to love yourself the way you are. I never think I am a “big girl.” I’m really am just big boned, as my family is from Norway—we are vikings, after all! I just want to feel good inside and out.

The older woman naomi rayman, owner of Another Planet Pilates in Kentfield, CA (now retired) H o w I cam e to P I l ate s : I began my career as a Pilates teacher in 2007 at the age of 56. I have a master’s degree in speech-language therapy and worked with stroke patients. as a hobby, I was a competitive ballroom dancer; someone recommended I take Pilates to improve my dancing. Then my Pilates teacher suggested that if I ever tired of my professional work, I might consider getting certified and teaching at her studio.

yourself, you begin to believe it. I got over my own insecurities about not being young enough or athletic enough. as an older teacher, I also had more time; my kids are grown so there’s no little league game or sick child. I had the time to call or email clients after our session or to find out an answer for them. The most negative incident actually happened with one of the elders. I was taking a class of his and when I did a bad Teaser, he said to me “Sweetheart, why don’t you act your age?” That was brutal. Seek, seek, seek. There is no one way. I may get into trouble here, but so many of the Pilates leaders (especially in the past) were like the Jedi Council. Blending mind/body awareness with sound anatomical knowledge makes a competent and accomplished teacher. There is no substitute for watching how the body can respond to a repertoire of exercises that makes perfect sense. also, try to find a mentor. for me, working with wendy leBlanc-arbuckle was comparable to attending graduate school in Pilates. She saw beyond my age and my physical abilities. ps advI ce f o r otH e r teac H e r s :

G et tI n G ce rtI f I e d : I signed up for ellie Herman’s six-week intensive program in San francisco. The class consisted of eight women, aged 20 to 32. at the time, I was 56—my sports bra was older than anyone else in the program. I was also very insecure about my physical abilities, and most of the class were former dancers and one was a stripper (actually, she showed me some great moves to help my developé). To compensate for my lack of confidence, I would denigrate myself and compliment others. at lunch, I ate alone, probably because of my age, but also because of economics—I realize now that most of the others probably couldn’t afford to eat out every day. one friday, ellie told us we should wear a bathing suit so that we could do postural assessments on one another. when I heard this, I almost dropped out of the class! But then I realized these young women needed to see what spider veins and cellulite looked like.

I had a home studio, so I only worked with women, who ranged in age from 19 to 82. I think young women liked having me as a positive aging role model. older women felt that they would be challenged more. But two years ago, I fell off my bike and broke my hip; I never healed properly and had to retire.

car e e r :

w Hat It ’ s lI ke b e I n G a “ n o n -tr ad ItI o nal”

In many ways, it was positive: It was the first time in my life that I experienced people telling me they thought I was agile and energetic. and when you hear that about

teac H e r : 83


DUTCH MASTER Netherlands native Peter Roël, 57, came to the U.S. to be a dancer but stayed for the Pilates. by Anne Marie O'Connor

Pilates Style: Tell us about your childhood. Peter Roël: I grew up in Amstelveen, a town of about 100,000 people in the Netherlands near Amsterdam. I was the youngest of 11 children. I was a competitive gymnast, and did track and field. When I was about eight, I always watched my sisters do ballet, so my mom said to me, “Why don’t you do it?” I said, “I’m not going to carry these girls!” But I was really interested in dance. So when I was 19, a friend and I pulled a Billy Elliot: We signed up for a dance school in Amsterdam. We were 19, while the kids in the class were between eight and nine, and they were all girls. They were much better than we were! But we loved it. After nine months, we auditioned for several conservatories, and I was accepted to one in Arnhem, another town in the Netherlands. It was decided I was too old to become a performer, so I enrolled in a four-year program to become a dance teacher. I studied psychology, pedagogy, anatomy, music theory, dance history, plus we studied a number of dance genres—ballet, Spanish, Russian, Hungarian and all kinds of modern. PS: Did you ever dance professionally? Peter: Yes. After conservatory, I auditioned for companies in the Netherlands, but all of them told me that I was too old. So in 1984, I decided to go to New York for six months. In my mind it was a résumé builder, so I’d have a better chance of getting a teaching job in the Netherlands. In New York, I took

classes and then got a job dancing with Joyce Trisler and a little later with Elisa Monte. I ended up settling in New York and dancing with Elisa through 1992. In the ’80s and ’90s, I performed in Europe and worked with choreographers/directors, including Ulysses Dove, Pieter de Ruiter, Robert Wilson, Susan Stroman, Lucinda Childs and Ronald K. Brown. In 1995, I became a principal with the Martha Graham Dance Company. PS: How did you discover Pilates? Peter: Elisa introduced me to [first-generation teacher] Kathy Grant, who was then teaching at Henri Bendel [a department store then on 57th Street]. My sessions were at eight in the morning, when the store was not yet open. You had to walk through the dark and follow the light to Kathy’s studio on the sixth floor. She worked me through my paces, three times a week for nine years—all to the tune of Lite FM, which she played continually. PS: Did Pilates help your dancing? Peter: Very much so! It allowed me to improve and “open” my technique, helping me develop more awareness and stability so I could move more efficiently. Kathy approached movement with intent. She would tell me to do an exercise, and I would ask, “What exercise is that?” And she would say: “It’s that one,” and she would point to some pictures of Joseph Pilates on the wall. I’d ask, “What’s that called again?” “Well, it’s that one, but for you it’s slightly different.” Then she would explain why you were doing it slightly differently—because you were a knee person or a lower-back person or a neck person—so there were always slightly different protocols for each person. PS: Kathy was known for being very direct. Any funny stories? Peter: One of the first times with her, I was lying facedown on the Cadillac. She “slapped” my butt and said, “Honey…What is a white boy doing with a black butt?”

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What I love about our studio is that people improve physically and in overall well-being. PS: How did you end up becoming a Pilates teacher? Peter: In 1994, I heard [first-generation teacher] Romana Kryzanowska was offering a certification program. I wanted to sign up, but was told it was $2,000. I couldn’t pay that—I was a modern dancer! So Romana said, “Okay, we’ll do it for $1,000.” I said, “I can’t do that, either!” She asked who I had worked with and for how long and then said, “Why don’t you come tomorrow for a private?” I did, and she worked me out like I had never worked before. We had so much fun. Afterward she said, “Why don’t you lie on the floor with the Spine Corrector under your legs.” Then it seems I fell asleep for an hour! After that, I kept training privately with Romana, after which I switched into duets while continuing the teachertraining program.

Because I couldn’t pay, Romana put me to work in the studio. That was a great learning experience because I was there from seven in the morning till seven at night, observing, learning and teaching. In hindsight, it was a classic apprenticeship. Mari Winsor and Alycea Ungaro were also in that class. It was a nice group, very fun, and generous in spirit and sharing. The ability to watch Kathy and Romana teach as well as listen to them was amazing because they didn’t always do what they said they were doing. You can’t put that in a manual. You have to observe it and feel it.


PS: Meaning it wasn't always pure Joe, it was their interpretation for that particular client? Peter: Exactly. I learned from both Kathy and Romana that while they followed the Pilates 85

FIVE MINUTES WITH I like them all, so it’s hard to choose. But I guess I would say the Cadillac. You can do complex patterns, you can support yourself, you can push off against it, you can suspend yourself, you can make it as threedimensional as you want.

FavO R itE a P Pa R atU S :

FavO R itE b R a n d O F P i l atE S

Lululemon—it fits, feels and looks good.

aPPaR El:

F a v O R i t E m a t m O v E : Rolling Like a Ball into Open Leg Rocker into

PETER ROËL Crab into Boomerang. You constantly have to reorganize your body. Change the order and you change your body’s organization. It feels like heaven. But the roads toward it are not easy ones. HaRdESt mOvE tO maStER:

The Squirrel on the Cadillac. It’s so hard because you need to coordinate the arms and legs while you’re suspended between four points. When I first tried it, I felt as if I was going to break in two. I could not pull my rib cage up high enough. I

remember Romana teaching it to me. She took pictures of me doing it—I looked like a piece of laundry! W H O i n S P i R E S yO U a S a P i l atE S t E a c H E R : I have had a lot of great teachers in dance: Juliu Horvath for Gyrotonic, and Kathy Grant and Romana Kryzanowska for Pilates. Kathy was my beginning in Pilates and the teacher I had for the longest. I spent so much time with her. She was very generous—she came to performances and helped support me by giving me work outside the studio, be it painting

taught there in the mornings, and then went to rehearsal at Martha Graham in the afternoon. Phoebe and I had a ball. I learned how to work with multiple clients at the same time while giving them each an individualized workout. That’s how we did it at Kathy’s, but this was the first time I taught that way, and it was a great learning process.

I learned from both Kathy and Romana that while they followed the Pilates method that Joe created, they were not stifled by it. method that Joe created, they were not stifled by it. When a client needed an exercise to be individualized, that is what they did. Pilates is always developing. You grow as a teacher by guiding your clients and observing what they need. PS: What did you do once you got your certification? Peter: One day I met Phoebe Higgins at Romana’s. We knew each other from dance class. She was teaching at Sichel Chiropractic and needed a teacher. Starting in 1996, I 86 may • june 2016

PS: How did you get involved with offering Pilates in Equinox Fitness Clubs? Peter: Lavinia Errico, who was the founder and then owner of Equinox, was a client at Power Pilates. She approached the studio owner, Howard Sichel, about opening a studio at the Equinox at Broadway and 92nd Street. Lavinia asked me to run the studio, which was the first Pilates studio in a health-club setting. People didn’t know what Pilates was then. We needed to educate them about the method and entice them to try it, which was a tough proposition. I got a lot of support from Lavinia and Howard, the business started growing, and Equinox became my full-time job. PS: So what made you decide to open your own studio? Peter: In 2001, four major things happened in my life: My father passed away, I got married, I stopped dancing and 9/11 happened. I felt I needed to do something for myself. So my wife Maxine, a yoga teacher and former dancer, and I decided to open our own studio, Pilates Shop/ Yoga Garage on West 96th Street in Manhattan. Our slogan was, “We are the mind/body mechanics...come in for a tune-up.” Maxine and I were dancers, Pilates, yoga and Gyrotonic practitioners. We felt that even though the intent of the practices were different, they were complementary and would

her apartment, or Joe’s equipment. I renovated for her, and she literally renovated me. I learned from her the application of knowledge, as well as the actual knowledge. You can find everything about the mechanics of the method on the internet. She taught me to focus on the intent of the movement—or what the individual client needs. Her strength was the individualization and humanity of the method. She gave me the clearest correlation between mind/body work, and I have found this correlation again with Deborah.

Romana was an inspiration in terms of her light approach. She would say, “Just do it! There are no boundaries!” mOSt inSPiRing mOmEnt aS

Two come to mind. A couple of months ago, there were five clients in the studio doing Pilates, and I realized we had over 500 years of cumulative age between us. An 86-year-old man, four women who were close to 80, plus the other teacher and myself. Injuries were being mended, and all of them were growing stronger, gaining balance and

a tEacHER:

enable clients to enhance stability, strength and flexibility. What I love about our studio is that people improve physically and in overall well-being. We’ve also created a sense of community. Many clients have standing appointments and have been with us for 15 years. They make friends and share information with each other, be it a great play, parenting advice, a lawyer or just a fabulous new joke. In 2006, we moved to our current location, at 108th and Broadway. PS: Do you still take lessons? Peter: I take one private session a week with Deborah Lessen at Greene Street Studio, to experience her expert eye. I also regularly practice at our studio. Working out regularly informs my teaching and makes me feel like I did when I was 28, invigorated and empowered. PS: How did you first get involved with teacher training? Peter: Howard Sichel asked me to join Phoebe and Susan Moran in their teacher-training program. We further developed it as a team. My education at the conservatory definitely helped, as teacher training requires not just the passing on of exercises and their order, but also the actual method of teaching. Five years ago, I started my own teachertraining program at Pilates Shop/Yoga Garage and subsequently a teacher class, which meets once a week. I teach not only a workout, but also new approaches and applications for the exercises. My program was inspired because while hiring, I encountered a lot of mechanical instruction where teachers know the method, but not the instruction. Terms like, “use your

increasing their range of movement. They inspire me and show me I have 30 more years of Pilates ahead of me. Also, for the past six months, I’ve been working with an 80-year-old man with stenosis and other degenerative spine issues. He walked completely bent over. He only lives four blocks away, but he’d have to stop twice on the way to sit down on a bench to rest. He wasn’t able to pick up his knee or turn on his side without cringing in pain. Now he’s completely straight, he’s mobile and he walks two miles a day. That is inspiring and humbling.

powerhouse,” or “lengthen” mean little if a teacher does not give it context. Pilates is not merely an exercise system, it is a system of thought about movement, which creates function and form. Teaching is about communication. We have to give our clients parameters to experience and explore the exercises. For example, I’ll ask a client to pull their shoulders up to their ears, hold for three counts and then relax them; now they have a physical experience and context to the words, “relax your shoulders.”


PS: How has your dance career influenced your Pilates teaching? Peter: The movement, rhythm, timing, space and dynamic strength of dance is something I always try to teach in Pilates. I like to say, “Move the space with your body.” When you build awareness to use the space, as if you are submersed in water, your body moves as a whole. Your physical and emotional experience becomes completely different.


PS: Tell us about your personal life. Peter: I’ve been married for 15 years to Maxine. We have two girls, Equem, 13, and Zoli, 5, and a son, Remy, who is 12. We live on Manhattan’s Upper West Side, close to Columbia University. Our studio is at 108th and Broadway. I like to joke, “I work on Broadway”—even though I’ve never actually danced on Broadway. PS 87


for the

Freestyle By Kristine Bjornstad Theodore Photos by Angelika Poletaeva The secret to propelling through the water with ease and efficiency—and a flawless freestyle stroke—is a strong core. Whether you swim for leisure or for time, it’s critical to maintain proper postural alignment where the spine is long, the abdominals are engaged and the ribs are connected. These four moves will help you find and feel the position your ribs should be in, while strengthening your powerhouse and increasing your shoulder mobility. Do them two to three times per week to make a real splash. PS


BreAthing on the mAt strengthens the hip extensors; works articulation of the spine; opens the chest and shoulders; develops coordination of breath with movement; increases breath capacity S E T u P : Lie on your back, with your feet flat, knees bent and legs pressing together. Reach your arms overhead, keeping your ribs connected and spine long. PurPOSE:


1. Inhale, lifting your hips and peeling your spine off the mat as you reach your arms up and then down by your sides. Keeping your ribs closed, hold your breath for 3–5 counts. 2. Exhale, rolling and articulating through your spine to return to the starting position. Do 3–5 reps. Use a light set of hand weights—1–3 pounds—to build strength and connect the arms to the back body.

AdVAN cE d :

Single-Arm Arch with Single-leg extenSion opens the shoulders and chest; strengthens the powerhouse; increases stability in the spine and mobility in the limbs S E T u P : Lie on your back, with your legs in tabletop, right hand on your left rib cage and left arm long by your side. Keep the back of your ribs anchored to the mat, your abdominals engaged and your pelvis neutral. PurPOSE:

1. Inhale, raising your left arm straight up and back as you extend your right leg out long; use your right arm to gently guide and draw your left rib cage down. 2. Exhale, returning to the starting position. Do 5–8 reps on both sides. Reach your arm and leg only as far as you can maintain a long spine and closed ribs.


88 may • june 2016



DouBle-leg Pull Bent enhances coordination of the limbs; strengthens the powerhouse; increases breath capacity S E T u P : Lie on your back, lift your head and curl up to the tips of your shoulder blades while gazing at your navel. Draw your knees into your chest, and place your palms on your ankles. PurPOSE:

1. Inhale, stretching your arms and legs away from you, keeping your back against the mat and your abdominals engaged. 2. Exhale, circling your arms around by your sides, then draw your knees back into your chest with your hands. Do 6–10 reps.

riB cAge DoS AnD Don’tS Keeping your rib cage connected is a crucial part of swimming, allowing your every stroke to come from the powerhouse, not the low back. Here’s what your ribs should look like—and what you should avoid.


Hold your breath for 3–5 counts with your arms and legs extended in step 1, and/or add light hand weights.

AdVAN cE d :

STEPS 1 & 2

The rib cage is closed, the spine is long and the abdominals are engaged—and the low back is safely supported.


wAll Arm Arch

When a rib cage “pops” or “flares,” the low back tends to arch, leaving the spine in an unsafe position, vulnerable to strains or injuries.

opens the shoulders and chest; increases stability in the spine S E T u P : Stand against a wall, and walk your feet away from it, until you feel your entire spine resting against it. Position your feet in Pilates stance (heels together, big toes slightly apart), with your arms long by your sides, and abdominals scooping in and up. PurPOSE:

Kristine Bjornstad theodore received her comprehensive Pilates certification through Peak Pilates, completed Kathi RossNash’s Advanced Teacher Training program and has been teaching in the Pilates/fitness industry for 14-plus years. She has appeared

1. Inhale, raising your arms only to the point where you can keep your spine against the wall and ribs closed.

in Pilates Style several times, and on FOX News Chicago and FOX News Charlotte. Her studio, The Pilates Room – Chicago, is fully equipped with the Gratz equipment line, and located in Chicago’s West Loop. Bjornstad

2. Exhale, returning your arms to the starting position, imagining that your collarbones are widening.

Theodore loves teaching to individuals and small groups so each client receives individualized attention. She was inspired to write this story when she started taking private swim lessons

If your shoulders are tight, raise one arm at a time.

M O d i F i c ATi O N :


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