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Pilates4Fitness Blog: “The Scoop”

Pilates4Fitness, #SingleLegStretch
March 17, 2015

OMG The Magic of March

....among a few other sweet experiences and inspirations.  And its only March 17th.  I hope you are following along with the chatter on social media as the spring air lights us all up!
February 15, 2015

My Over-Sensitive Nose

This is not a story about Pilates, fitness or exercise.  It is a  story of the quick and speedy response of the fireman of Hudson county, my over-sensitive nose and a comedy of errors in my Pilates studio one early Monday morning in February.  Sometimes #IAmSuchAnIdiot
Pilates4Fitness TRX Balance Control
February 3, 2015

Two Challenging & Favorite Moves

Jack Knife and Control Balance are two very challenging Pilates Mat Intermediate/Advanced exercises that we love to hate. Doing them on the mat is tough stuff and a huge challenge mentally and physicially for most of us. So why is it, doing these same challenging moves - with the TRX - are two of the studio's "hands down" favorite moves?
January 24, 2015

Proud Progress: A Few Shout Outs

I am so very proud of the hard work, continuous effort and full progress of so many people in the past month, I  have to give a little shout out to a few of them for showing up regularly and showing how to get the work done.  
Practicing Teaser
January 18, 2015

Resist to Lighten and Lift

It's Sunday morning, 9:31am and I have finished a hard-driving run, stretched and sweated and glistened through an hour alone, enjoyed my oatmeal breakfast, giggled at a few friends posts, commented on a colleague's blog and on this rainy, cold mid-January morning, I am thinking about all the new faces, minds and bodies that have come into the studio in the past two weeks to learn to "resist to lighten and lift."
December 28, 2014

Back to the Beginning

Ran 6 miles at 730am because I couldn't sleep anymore. Took a salt bath with the plan and intention of  getting my butt kicked in Juan's Tower class at noon.   While running, which I still do on Kangoo Jump shoes, I ruminated about the fact that all my old, original remedies of my yesteryear have returned to full use in the past year. It's really a "back to beginning & basics" regimen. I mean really?
Cowl - my rendition
December 15, 2014

I Am Woman

Feeling very powerful this morning waking with the realization that I was thrown from my bicycle and nearly missed a concussion just three months ago; completed the re-construction, design and personal hand-painting of the studio two month's ago and in the "in-between" time have started knitting a full length sweater coat simultaneously with an intricate cowl. Feel so, Helen Reddy-ish.  ee-he, can you hear me roar!
Wonderful art angles
November 9, 2014

Surprise Sundays

New for the fall!  Surprise Sunday.  For today was filled with complete and unadulterated gleeful, "only in New York does this work out this way" joy and surprise.  Follow along with the images and I will tell you a story of surprises unfolding, if you are open to simply look.
Pilates Fitness Studio
November 2, 2014

New & Different, Yet Undeniably the Same

Yes, I know it has been a while since I have had something to say or share.  I have been so caught up in the realities of getting older and losing friends, getting thrown off bicycles, healing bruised body parts and egos and all the while building a new studio space.
TRX Super Bridge
September 12, 2014

Real People – Doing Really Amazing Work

Real people do amazing work on themselves every day.  Sometimes because they are pushed by me to find the depth of their own strength - from the inside out.  Sometimes because they are self-motivated to go deeper within themselves and for themselves.
Pilates4Fitness Blog Image
July 2, 2014

Pilates Over 50: Beautiful Changes in Living Color

I started writing this three-part story on Friday, June 13th; a unique day. There was a full moon. Mercury was in retrograde for its second week and all hell had broken loose across the planet.  It was the first of such a day in many years and the last of such a day until 2049. I probably won't be around the next time the moon is full on a Friday the 13th. Jesh! Or maybe I might be? For this is a story about how Pilates has changed the health, life and movement of my life and that of three other women over the age of 50.
Pilates Fitness TRX Workout
July 2, 2014

Pilates Over 50: From Pilates Mat to TRX Suspension

I wrote about Vernell and Alina two years ago when they began training with me as Beginner Pilates students.  They maintained their Pilates Mat regimen, twice a week, for two years and Alina started training with TRX while Vernell started to run. Vernell admitted she wasn't the most coordinated person and consciously and deliberately chose to stay out of the gym. She became intrigued, although with a little trepidation, by the TRX suspension straps that Alina, her life partner, was using and raving about.
Pilates Fitness Workout
July 2, 2014

Pilates Over 50: Perfectly Executed

Carolyn is one of my absolute favorite people to work with.  She claims she "hates to exercise" but she approaches every activity she has pursued with me through the  years, with full attention and absolutely perfect execution.  She  is one of the strongest, most beautifully women I know. She is also one of the feistiest women I have ever had the pleasure of laughing and working with as a teacher. 
Pilates Fitness Mat Class Workout
May 18, 2014

Two Mothers Have Been Transformed with Pilates

I asked two of my regular students, who happen to be new mothers,  to share their respective thoughts and experiences with Pilates after they both came giddily back to the studio reporting the loss of more than 20+ pounds each!
Pilates Fitness Workout
April 23, 2014

Heels on Wheels!

That's the mantra that has been causing quite a bit of a stir with more than a few hamstrings and butts lately.  I keep getting text messages, emails or comments - usually two days after students had  a class that uses the Pilates4Fitness FootWheels - that scream, yell and holler about what they are feeling.  What do I do?  Happy Dance!! 
Pilates Fitness Mat Class Workout
April 18, 2014

The Moves to Use

One of my long-term students brought this article to my attention, as she recognized all of the exercises and moves featured in the article. I love it for a couple of reasons and am sharing to support everyone's continued use of the perfect form of Pilates in your home and all of the studio workouts.
March 31, 2014

It’s All About The Angles

It is always about the angles. The angles, twists, turns, curves and lines we find and create with our bodies. How much mobility, length, strength and flexibility do you have in the angles of your body?
March 22, 2014

The Pilates Baby “Three-Peat”

Anya's daugther, the third Pilates baby in the Scheflan family, was born February 24, 2014. I had the pleasure of visiting Anya and the proud Pilates-Baby-Daddy, Eran, on a recent sunny afternoon and am proud to share a few of the lovely images of Ayla Iris Scheflan along with a few blast from the past memories of the other two....just so they won't be left out!
Ab Series
February 28, 2014

Five Good Moves to Practice…After You Leave the Studio

I teach Pilates and I consider myself to be pretty fit for an "old lady." An old lady with half a century under her belt and a little more than ten of it teaching others to mindfully move and maintain their own level of fitness.
January 25, 2014

Changing and Holding Onto It

It's January 25, 2014.   I have not had a glass of wine for 24 days!   This is a particularly amazing fact, when I tell you that I had fallen into the bad habit of drinking 2 glasses of wine (sometimes 3) at night which often resulted in 3-4 bottles of white wine consumed a week.  That was prior to January 1st when I kicked the habit after drinking all the champagne.
Pilate4Fitness Image
December 27, 2013

Three Good Reasons You Should Practice Pilates

I ran into an old friend, an avid cyclist, rock climber and personal strength trainer. To the average person, he looks like a world-class athlete. You know the form, rock hard abs, legs and arms many drool over, not to mention the energy and heart of a child at eternal play.  He knew I had a Pilates studio and thought it would be a great idea for me to allow him to bring his kettle-bells into my studio to “help my students build muscle.” “Oh, well, isn't the purpose of Pilates & Yoga to build muscle and bone density?” he asked in response to my very quick but courteous response, “No, we don't do kettle-bells in Pilates studios.”
December 5, 2013

One Down, Two to Go

One down, two more to go. Two more Pilates babies that is! Ariadne made her way "down and out" to greet the world and her proud parents.   Two more studio mom's are still scooping "in and up" as they stretch and strengthen; awaiting the arrival of their precious bundles.
Pilates4Fitness Workout
November 25, 2013

Reform, Renew and Refine

Recommit yourself to repeating the things that feel good in your body and your life.  Pilates exercises, and the open fluid movement that the method fosters, is a perfect way to rejuvenate, reform, renew and refine yourself.  Recommit yourself to finding new space, new openings and change in your body. Become allergic to can't and addicted to healthy movement.
Plank Pilates
November 22, 2013

Three Keys of Relaxing into Exercise

Pilates Fitness TRX Workout
November 8, 2013

The 6:00am TRX Flow Workout Revisited

There are a lot of cool things about these two women and after you read this post and watch the composite video of the things they have done in the studio, you might find a few extra things that I left out.
Screen shot 2013-10-22 at 4.04.36 PM
October 24, 2013

Boundless Variety in Movement

An amazing amount of work has taken place to date inside the studio.  The magnitude of that was made apparent to me this weekend with my preparation for the Galaxy Holiday Bazaar, an annual event that takes place within the mall.  I created a composite video loop to provide visitors with a sample of the wide array of pilates, fitness and bodywork going on inside the Movement Space.  
September 17, 2013

Celebrating Year Four

September is a favorite month for me. It marks the beginning of my favorite season, the month of the lion share of my friends and family's birth (including my own) and it marks the start and opening of the Pilates4Fitness Studio. Can you color me peaceful, grateful and elated in one stroke? Yes, and it would be gold!
Pilates4Fitness FootWheels
August 26, 2013

Pilates FootWheels: Fluid Movement on Wheels

"OMG! This feels so good!! I love them!" That is what everyone says - men and women alike - after just the FIRST occasion using the Pilates4Fitness FootWheels. They were designed as a compact tool to provide fluid movement while challenging the core and balance. As one observing teacher commented jokingly, "Pilates was too easy, so you just had to kick it up a notch!?"
Building a solid core foundation
July 29, 2013

Witnessing a New Form Take Shape

One reason I enjoy taking photos of students as they work in the studio is the visual evidence and feedback the image provides to the viewer. Not only for the student, but for next person that seeks a "virtual" experience to affirm and embrace the potential for themselves. Of course, the story of the individual is equally powerful and universal. For as we all know, there is nothing new under the sun. We are all mirrors of each other's experience.
Pilates Fitness Workout
July 24, 2013

Marathoners Fall in Love with Pilates & TRX

I love this image of Chris Schick and EJ Minor! She is glowing from ear to ear because this is the end of another successful state marathon in Missoula, MT.  It was Chris' 10th and EJ's 14th state full marathon. This awesome couple have set a goal of traveling to each state in the country to complete 26-mile marathons before he is 50 years old. They have nine years left on the countdown.  EJ pulled Chris into the marathons and she pulled him into TRX Flow workouts and I pulled them both into Pilates Mat classes.  
July 19, 2013

New Toy in the Studio: Pilates Orbit!

I have a new toy, uh, I mean tool in the studio. The most exhilerating playful toy, uhmm, tool that combines the resistance of the reformer, the challenge of the TRX and the rotation of a gyrotonic.
May 28, 2013

Almond Apple Delite

I don't get "kitchen-creative" often, however, since I purchased my VitaMix food processor, I have been experimenting and thoroughly enjoying the results.  Truly, I must say so myself, this is an absolute killer for the taste buds!  I completely doctored a VitaMix recipe to make it even healthier and better, if you think that is possible. The almond meal (my replacement for flour) gives it an absolutely scrumptious, soft, "melt-in- your-mouth" pure goodness.  Alas, every person that has tasted it agrees!
TRX Forearm Pike
May 18, 2013

Mindfully Changing the Way We Move

Mindfulness in movement is why I love and use Pilates in everything. Mindful attention to the details, to the origin of the movement, the source of the energy and the power of the core center to facilitate the completion of every movement changes the way we move. By changing our mindful focus to center of our body, to control and concentrate the movement from that space, all of our movements are changed completely - no matter where they are performed, no matter what equipment is being used, no matter how many repetitions are being performed. My coaching for most students, to encourage a more pronounced shift to mindful movements, is simply this: a) slow down, b) work thru the center, c) control it, d) breathe. In a nutshell, a few of the basic principles of Pilates. Sure, in the beginning, most of us here the words yet miss their value. Occasionally, there will be an "aha" moment from someone in a group class, "you have to really think to do this work!" When that is acknowledged, appreciated and practiced repeatedly, then the fun can begin.
Screen shot 2013-04-12 at 7.39.17 PM
April 13, 2013

Change Happens and it Feels Like Magic

OMGoodness! April 12th has been filled with magic!  The morning started with a small group TRX Flow class at 6:00am followed by three more invigorating private client sessions and then an email notice that a blog entry of my "life changer's" story was posted to thousands of Pilates Teachers around the world and ends with me pouring a glass of Reisling and receiving a text message that caps the day full circle.  April 12, 2013 - you have been an utterly magical day.
Screen shot 2013-07-27 at 9.46.04 PM
February 25, 2013

Working the Angles with TRX Movement

I have been a little re-miss in keeping this blog updated with news and encouragement in the past few weeks. The studio has been busy and the results are showing in all who regularly workout within the Movement Space. While Pilates Mat and Reformer sessions are regularly attended, capturing video images as I teach these classes is next to impossible. However, the core strength, focus, balance and control developed in these classes is evidenced in the work and fun we all have working the angles of the body with TRX, which I can and love to capture, edit and share.
December 28, 2012

2012: The Year in Review

Reflections, memories and many thanks to all who have given me permission to participate in deeply touching their lives, mind, body parts and in some instances their soul.   Many more thanks to those that have touched mine as well.  We all know who we are. All are perfect.  As we are now and as we will be in the path chosen ahead.
Build Strength Without Weights
December 18, 2012

Hey Guys!! Heavy Weights Not Necessary

Yes, I can throw heavy weights around quite easily.  I have, on occasion, loaded the leg press with 2X my body weight and comfortably worked my legs.  I also work my body diligently with Pilates on a regular basis.  I call it functional, cross-training and I've been doing it for about twelve years as a health and lifestyle approach to fitness.  I am a Pilates studio owner/teacher and certified personal trainer so now, with my new found love of TRX Suspension, there will be no need for weights anymore.
Couscous With Chickpeas, Spinach and Mint
December 3, 2012

Delicious & Spicy Vegetarian Surprises

I could easily become a vegetarian with these two dishes! Delicious. Delightfully spicy. Clean and healthy.  Hands down winners for warming the mind, body and soul. The warming comes from the carminative, Indian spices that I enjoy the most and used a little extra to make the difference.  The first was a plain (but very good) Butternut Squash Apple soup that I doctored - adding many more pinches of flavor and spice than what was called for in the original Simply Recipes Food & Cooking Blog preparation - making it a hearty, wholesome and "mmmhmm good-er" than Campbells and ten times better than any SoupMan recipe.  The second was prepared exactly as Martha Schulman, NYT, Recipes for Health Editor, designed.  It was the most satisifying meal I think I have ever had, or at least made in my own kitchen.  Every spoonful was worth every second of preparation required.  I enjoyed the first bowl watching Mitt Romney go down in flames on Election night 2012.  I ate the second bowl of Spicy Butternut Squash soup for lunch and Martha's recipe for dinner, the next day, thereby being inspired to share the story and these two recipes, albeit a little late at this post writing.
Screen shot 2013-08-10 at 2.40.40 PM
November 29, 2012

TRX Partner Sessions: Body Weight Resistance Training Reveals Something New

The idea of bringing partners, lovers and friends together in a joint-workout session evolved as a brainstorm idea following a few comments from one student's hubby.  Matt Dougan, Katheryn's husband, remarked after seeing a blog post about her that he "didn't know what the heck you are doing" or "what the hell the instructor was talking about" and really couldn't understand why she "jumped up at 5:30am twice a week to go to a class doing TRX."  So, in appreciation of the need to "see, do and believe," a TRX Partner Session workout was envisioned and set up for a future date to give the partners a true taste of what is possible with body-weight resistance training. Six couples jumped (actually, the guys were dragged - many of them kicking and screaming) at the chance to workout together. Game on! Suffice to say, none of the partners realized what they were really getting into. The word is they all tried creatively to scramble for ways to get out of the session. Yet, in the end of the day, all emerged as new believers in the strength of their partners and the value of body-weight training with the use of the TRX.
Alina Chaban (l) Me (c) Vernell Young (r)
October 22, 2012

Pilates Delivers More Confidence & A Better Fit: One Year Later

Exactly one year ago, three women decided to step up to the challenge of making a difference in their lives and especially in their bodies. They were not absolutely sure of what they were getting themselves into by signing up, but each one individually knew they needed a little help in making it happen. This is the story of Alina & Vernell taking a plunge into the unknown with Pilates Mat and Katheryn diving head first into using TRX Suspension to create difference in the way they moved in and lived with their bodies. Alina and Vernell, 50+ years of age and Katheryn, 37 years old, work in corporate environments and commute regularly to NYC, and manage very active social lives with friends and family. They sought out whole-body movement programs with distinctly different classes, yet the results and experiences they all independently report back, one year later, are virtually identical. Along the way, all three have been transformed. Vernell has decided to do an 9.5 mile obstacle course challenge race. Alina has added a TRX class to her workout regimen, Katheryn has hiked, canoed and skydived and as a group of women, each of them represents the best that can happen with dedication to whole body movement.
Screen shot 2013-08-10 at 2.46.53 PM
September 19, 2012

Lemon-Ginger-Lime Throat & Allergy Soother

Just got off my bike in this cooler September air and wanted warmth with a little kick for my throat.  Many of my studio clients are coughing, sneezing and seem to be suffering terribly with allergies already.  I am not sure if my immune system is super-fortified because of all the fresh juices I have been drinking all year, but fortunately (at least at the moment) I am clear and open yet still wanted a nice warm cup of tea.   Fortunately, I used the following recipe a week ago and created my own Lemon-Ginger-Lime Throat Soother tea.
mat class
September 7, 2012

Pilates Is More Than Just Exercise

The more that new students come to the studio the more frequently I find myself admonishing the use of Pilates in their movement "through life" on a daily basis vs. using the method just as a series of exercises on the mat to strengthen and tone the abdominals.

Of course, regular practictioners recognize the value of the system in training and strengthening the core, yet the true passionate devotee to the method of Pilates understands it is truly more than just exercise but is a way of living within the body, both inside and outside of the studio; on and off the mat.

Absolutely, physical changes clearly occur, flexibility is increased, sex lives are enhanced and improved and I also believe vision, attitude, energy and perspective are all changed and impacted by the use of Pilates.

September 7, 2012

Life Changers thru Pilates

I have expressed these sentiments at every chance I get to these two special people, Juliet Harvey and Susan Moran, and now on the ten-year anniversary of finding, meeting and choosing them as my teachers, mentors and guides as a Pilates Instructor, I am saying it again,

thank you, thank you, thank you for changing the life I had to the life I now own and lead.

You both are my life changers.
5 Step to Lose 20 Pounds
July 30, 2012

Five Steps to Lose 20 Pounds

Ok, so you made the commitment to yourself to lose 20, 25 or 30 pounds. Congratulations! You have started moving forward already by taking that first step of establishing a goal. With that in hand, these five, tried and tested, rules of the road will help you keep your promise to yourself.
Screen shot 2013-08-10 at 3.00.43 PM
July 27, 2012

Review: SLT (Strengthen, Lengthen & Tone) Megaformer Workout

I am absolutely one of the crazies. I get joy from working my body physically. The more intense, the more challenging, the more space I can create from limb to limb, the more delight I experience. Pilates, Yoga, Aerial Yoga, TRX and Rebounding are my "exercise drugs" of choice for movement and endorphin blasts of energy.  So it may not come as a surprise that I didn't hesitate very long but jumped to "go" immediately after reading about SLT (Strengthen, Lengthen & Tone), as defined by the NY studio owner, Amanda Freeman, as "Pilates on crack." Yea, the crack reference got my attention. Catchy marketing and yes, I knew it was something souped up and over the top and being a movement addict, I had to try it.
July 15, 2012


The Pilates Method of Body Conditioning is gaining the mastery...

Times Square Yoga 2012
June 20, 2012

Motivation to Move and Flow

One of my students sent a fabulous email on her way to work this morning. Funny, pointed and good reminder for us all.
"Walking to work minding my business and I run into this! I guess I will be attending class tonight!"
May 17, 2012

Aerial Yoga for Release Therapy

I published a post about three years ago when I first met this amazing artist, performer, dancer, acrobat, and yoga instructor, Michelle Dortignac, having been introduced to another fabulous way to bend, shape, lift and work the body with Aerial Yoga.  Her practice and business has expanded greatly and as I still practice yoga, I remain a student of finding the gentle way to release to the pull of gravity with suspension and aerial yoga.