Ever since junior high school, fitness has been a passion of mine. It started out with classes at the YMCA and my exploration of movement and various fitness ideas blossomed from there. I love movement. I love feeling great. From Taekwondo to Tae Bo, Yoga to Waltzing, Ballet, Tap, Jazz, Hip-hop, Karate, Capoeira…you name it!…I studied it all when I was a theater major at NYU.  And I LOVED it all! During the summer of my senior year, I joined CRUNCH Gym to continue my workouts, without having to suffer through the heat and humidity outside. I took my very first mat Pilates class there, and instantly fell in love. The feeling I had after leaving that hour-long class was something I had never experienced before in any of the other movement/exercise classes I had ever taken before. It is difficult to describe other than that it made me feel warm, stretched and strengthened from the inside out, starting with the deep muscles of my “core”.

When I moved home to LA after college, I decided to pursue my love for Pilates and became a Certified instructor. And so it began…

SO, here is the thing about Pilates: it is something that EVERYONE can do and EVERYONE can benefit from! Whether you are a fitness guru or a complete novice, the workout will be challenging and will leave you feeling fabulous – totally refreshed and filled with energy but still exhausted from a completely satisfying workout. If you suffer from any sort of chronic pain, have had a hip replacement, or your knees are shot, Pilates is still for YOU! It is the best way to nourish your spine and keep it from the aches and pains that come with age. And if you are someone who suffers from chronic back pain, Pilates will change your life!

The other great thing about it is the mental challenge of it. It is invigorating for not just your body but also for your mind. Pilates is an art like many other practices in that you can always go deeper with the work and make new discoveries. I think that is what I love most about it. Other benefits include-greater stamina, less stress, more flexibility, proper spinal alignment, healthier muscles and joints – just to name a few. I have had the joy of witnessing clients with debilitating back pain become absolutely pain-free.   So no matter your size, age, or physical condition, I highly recommend you give it a shot.

These days there are many ways to get Pilates that do not require a lot of money. From DVDs to use at home (I highly recommend the Power Pilates videos but also like the Mari Windsor ones as well) to local mat classes at your YMCA or gym (even some yoga studios now have them!) Pilates can be done inexpensively. If you do have the means to try a Private, Semi-Private (usually two people) or group class on the reformer and other pieces of apparatus, that is the ideal way to experience Pilates. Classes can usually range anywhere from $20 to $100 depending on what you try. If you are in a larger city, these days the Pilates studios are plentiful and I highly recommend you find a classical studio with classically trained instructors. Like yoga, as Pilates has become more and more popular, it has taken on many different shapes and forms. There are a lot of teachers and studios out there that have majorly digressed from what Joseph Pilates – the creator of it all – intended for his students.  So, do a little research, find the best option for you and watch your body and mind make an incredible change for the better!

In ten sessions you will feel the difference, in twenty sessions you will see the difference and in thirty sessions you will have a whole new body” – Joseph Pilates

Picture of my home studio, House Pilates. Courtesy of my fabulous photographer sister, Larissa Underwood Block

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