What is Pilates?
Pilates is a systematically-designed form of whole body conditioning created over 80 years ago by Joseph H. Pilates, fitness pioneer. Pilates’ method combined his studies of eastern and western philosophies of health: boxing, yoga, Tai Chi, Zen meditation, martial arts, gymnastics, diving, and body building. He designed over 500 exercises that strive to build strength and flexibility, restore muscular balance, improve body alignment and posture, and release tension. Every action is initiated and sustained from one’s “powerhouse.” The “powerhouse” or “core” includes the abdominals, gluteals, hips, inner thighs, and lower back muscles. Engaging and working from one’s center with every action, in addition to working with control, concentration, breath, precision, and flow are what Joseph Pilates called his “principles” for practicing Pilates. Joseph Pilates would often say, “One rep done well is better than several reps performed poorly.”
Why practice Pilates?
Pilates is the perfect complement to your current exercise program. Do you strength train? Swim? Spin? Run? Yoga? Pilates mat? Golf? Tennis? Even if you are not currently active and are new to fitness, Pilates is a great method to get you going on the right track as it is total body conditioning that is low impact and works with keeping the body aligned. Pilates is for anyone, from competitive athletes to people who need to rehabilitate their bodies in a safe format. As Joseph Pilates said, “Anybody can do it. You can be young and athletic or old and crippled. It doesn’t matter.”
Pilates Class Descriptions
Pilates 101 for Beginners
This class allows a beginner to learn the basics of the 6 principles of Pilates in the ease of a small group setting.
BEYOND THE BARRE
Beyond The Barre fuses the best of ballet, strength, yoga and Pilates. This new Barre class will lift your buns, tone your abdominals - challenging your whole body. This class will challenges and sculpts the body without the risk of overuse injuries by allowing you to work within your own range of motion. By using the barre/wall and challenging the body with center floor core moves, Beyond The Barre sculpts like no other program while only utilizing a small playground ball and light hand weights. This workout is intense, but we encourage you to join us no matter your skill or fitness level.
A full body Reformer workout that will leave you feeling energized for the day or rejuvenated when you feel that mid-afternoon slump!
Pilates & Plunge
A class that incorporates Pilates and swimming into one workout! We will start with a half hour Pilates mat class on the pool deck, then we will jump in for a half hour of swimming that focuses on core and balance.
Create a Class
Are you a skier getting ready for the slopes, a new mom recuperating from childbirth, an athlete rehabilitating your bad shoulder? Come as a 3-person group with a specific agenda, and we’ll build a program tailored to your special needs!
The Pilates Studio at the Northgate location allows members the ability to train with Gratz, the original manufacturer of Pilates equipment. Based out of New York City, Gratz has been crafting Joseph Pilates’ unique design since 1929. Members will have the opportunity to experience the Universal Reformer, Wunda chair, Cadillac and the Spine Corrector.
Meet Our Pilates Instructors
The Pilates Instructors
Our certified Pilates instructors have completed rigorous 600+ hour comprehensive training to attain the highest credentials in the industry. Collectively we are trained in the Classical Pilates method style.
Pilates Director - (Certified Pilates Instructor)
Susan holds a B.A. in Theater Arts and is trained in Ballroom Dance and instruction. She originally came to Pilates working with Lisa Graham, founder and owner of Agile Monkey Pilates in Santa Cruz, California. Pilates taught Susan to work with, rather than against, many of her postural issues, with which she constantly struggled in her performing arts career. She studied for several years with Jeannette Palmer who inspired and encouraged her to pursue teaching. Susan received her training with Pilates Academy International, with Pilates on Fifth in New York City. She welcomes those of all fitness levels and incorporates modifications appropriate for each individual to ensure that each person is working optimally and safely for their own body, skill level, and background.
Susan creates a comfortable, encouraging, and exciting environment in which the practitioner feels confident, motivated and challenged. The focus is on sculpting the body and increasing flexibility while strengthening the core and maximizing the mobility and comfort of the spinal column. Susan has experience working with all ages, body types, fitness levels, and those with injuries and special physical conditions.
Pilates Instructor - (Pilates Mat Certified)
Lynn grew up dancing in Southeast Michigan, where she gained a love for the art of body movement. It wasn't until college, when she pursued a degree in Dance, that she found the benefit of Pilates. The balance of muscle groups, focus on alignment, priority of lengthening, while strengthening, the muscles, and neural-muscular connection that Pilates provides helped strengthen Lynn's dance technique in amazing ways. Since becoming a certified Level One STOTT Pilates Instructor just this year, after teaching for more than two years, she has already learned so much about how Pilates benefits not just dancers, but everyone. She has a passion for meeting individuals’ personal needs and goals when it comes to their bodies, and is continuing her education always through practice and research.
Classical Pilates Instructor
Maren believes that Pilates can be life-changing. Once devoted to cardio and weight training only, she discovered that Pilates posed new challenges both physically and mentally and the combination of the three created an optimum wellness plan. Maren has been practicing and teaching ever since.
Private Pilates Training
Private Pilates Training
As a member, you will enjoy competitive pricing and excellent service. Our instructors are available by appointment only. For more information on beginning Pilates instruction, please contact the Pilates Director, Susan Foley at 206.522.9400 ext. 281.
- Private Sessions
55 minute - $50
A one-on-one 55-minute class with a certified instructor focused on building an individualized program utilizing any of the spring-loaded equipment, taking into consideration your abilities, goals, limitations, and if any, injuries.
- Semi-Private Sessions
55 minute - $31 per person
A class of 2 members who are at or near the same level in experience and goals.
- Trio/Quad Sessions
55 minute - $25 per person
A class of 3-4 members who have similar goals and skills.
Useful Information for Pilates Practitioners
Useful Information For Both Current and New Pilates Practitioners
Center is where you work from. Each and every exercise in Pilates initiates from your core; the center and foundation of your body. Joseph Pilates often called this area the "powerhouse," and it includes the abdominals, lower back muscles, and buttocks. The periphery of the body is simply an extension of your "powerhouse." Work from your center and you will tone and firm the periphery of your body.
Concentration is the key to maximize your workout; you must be completely present during your session. It is your mind that connects your body to the movements. Pay attention to all of your movements as you are performing them and concentrate on improving your form by focusing on every detail of the exercises. The more focus and mindful attention that you bring to your workout, the more effective and stronger you will become.
In Pilates, slow and steady wins the race. Control, rather than intensity or repetition, is key to performing the exercises correctly. All movements should be performed with precision - to gain the maximum benefits.
Precision is essential because every exercise in the Pilates method has a purpose and a goal. Joseph Pilates used to say "honor every movement." Most of the exercises in Pilates are low repetition, thus you must focus on doing a few precise repetitions rather than many with poor control and form. One exercise executed the right way is better than doing several exercises performed poorly!
Breath is essential to the Pilates method. Proper breathing oxygenates your blood, increases your circulation, allows greater flexibility, deepens the work of your abdominals, and brings a sense of ease to your movement. Always breathe deeply and fully, inhaling through your nose and exhaling through your mouth.
Flow or the fluidity of motion, is something that really sets Pilates apart from other forms of exercise. There are no static, jerky, or fragmented movements in the Pilates method. Each exercise should have a smooth, graceful, effortless quality. In the beginning, flow is not expected, as it is more important to learn proper technique. However, as you progress and become stronger, flow will keep the exercises integrated with your center as you perform each individual exercise and transition from one exercise to the next. Seamless and fluid transitions thread the exercises together so that your body is constantly working, even in between the exercises.
How to get started?
All private and group training sessions are by appointment. All sessions are 55 minutes in length unless otherwise noted. All cancellations require 24 hours notice and must be directly given to your instructor via email or phone messages. All appointments cancelled with less than 24 hours notice will be charged for the full session.
Be sure to:
- Wear comfortable clothes, not baggy
- Bare feet or clean socks
To schedule a session, please contact Pilates Director, Susan Foley at 206.522.9400 ext. 281.