Thursday, December 1, 2011

Client of the Month- December 2011

This month, my “client of the month” is an entire football team!  In case you haven’t heard, the Cathedral Football team recently became (for the second year in a row) State (4A) Champions in football!  This is good news for Indianapolis, but also for me personally because I have had the privilege of training the football team for the last 2 seasons.  I still vividly remember my first day training them—imagine 75 teenage boys on an open football field in August and me teaching them Pilates and yoga moves.  I am telling you they had their doubts for sure.  When I simply told them, if their mothers could do it, so could they, they realized they should buckle down.   But one of my proudest moments about training these boys is the fact that even though there were a number of them that sort of snickered in the beginning, by the time this season was in full swing, they were going to their coach, Rick Streiff, and asking him to get back to it (we had scheduling difficulties in the beginning of their season this year, but got back into the swing of things at the end of this season).  The fact that these young men were specifically requesting to do Pilates is a great testimony for its benefits!

Coach Streiff initially contacted me about starting Pilates because he was looking for a good recovery workout after games.  Last year, Cathedral had a lot of Friday night games, so I trained them on most Saturday mornings.  Before starting Pilates, they had been doing some weight training and light running for their recovery and the Coach felt they were not recovering as well as he wanted.  He had heard about Pilates and then talked to someone at the University of Florida’s football program and heard they were using it in their workouts.  That’s when he decided if it was good enough for them; it would be good for his high school players too.
He has realized that not only did he find a good recovery workout, but that it has evolved into a really good flexibility and core strength workout.  He has mentioned how much he likes that it really stretches out these young men’s muscles in ways that traditional workouts (like weights and cardio) do not.  In fact, Coach Streiff has confessed that they have worked a lot of the moves they have learned from me into all of their post practice workouts.  Of course I love training them myself, but it is my mission to teach people how to incorporate exercise into their life as much as possible, so I am just as happy to hear they are doing things they learned from me even when I am not around!  I am also happy to hear that since they have started incorporating Pilates and even a little yoga into their post-practice and post-game workouts, that their injury rate is lower and they are recovering from games much faster with a lot less soreness and stiffness.
So, because of their work ethic and dedication, and of course, because of winning the State Championship for 2 years in a row, I would like to congratulate the Cathedral Football team for being December’s client of the month! Go Irish!

Friday, November 4, 2011

Client of the Month--November 2011

I am totally excited to announce our second ever client of the month for November: Anita J.!  After discussing it with the other instructors, we all agreed that Anita has impressed us not just with her dedication to her exercise program but also because of her inspiring ability to make a fitness/health goal and meet it!
At the beginning of the year, Anita was looking to meet a couple of different goals.  First, she wanted to find an exercise program that could help tone and strengthen her core and she wanted to lose 15 pounds (and still be able to enjoy food, wine and beer which are part of her livelihood).  What was the thing that set her over the edge to make this goal a reality?  Her pants were too tight.  She realized when her clothes were becoming uncomfortable, that she was becoming uncomfortable.  She didn’t want to buy bigger pants; she wanted to fit into her pants better.  So she set up a personal program for herself which included healthier eating, spin classes several times a week, and 2 Pilates sessions a week at Indianapolis Pilates by 15 to Fit.  She does one advanced reformer group class and one private training session per week.  One of my favorite quotes from Anita when I asked her how she met her goals is that she looks at fitness as “a gift to herself.”  I think that is a great personal attitude and extremely empowering.
Anita told me some of her favorite things about working out with us here at 15 to Fit (besides for some of the friends she has made in class) which of course I want to share with you as well!  Anita loves to work out very early in the morning and enjoys the fact that we have very early morning classes (she is here at 6:30 on the days she works out).  She also told me that she appreciates the fact that all our instructors are so well trained.  We pride ourselves on our training and are continually working to improve ourselves.  (We can’t exactly ask you to do it and not do it ourselves right?) In fact, I am excited about some new training that our instructor Carmen is embarking on right now—but more on that later.  Anita also specifically mentioned the personal attention that she gets here at the studio.  Even in a class setting, she said she always feels like her personal fitness needs are attended to and she is constantly improving her form.
Anita is 50 years old and has worked hard to meet her goals this year.  She told me, at a certain age, “you gotta move to move.”  Love that mantra. She has also been a dedicated client for a year and a half and rarely misses a session.  She has had back issues in the past and feels like Pilates has been the thing to make her more limber.  So, you are probably wondering, did she get herself back into her pants? Yep! Did she lose the 15 pounds?  Yep!  And we couldn’t be more proud of her.   And for all those reasons, and just because she is so much fun to train, congratulations to Anita for being Indianapolis Pilates by 15 to Fit’s November Client of the Month!

Friday, October 7, 2011

Client Of The Month- October 2011

I am really excited about a new thing I am starting at the studio—Client of the Month!  I am always so amazed at the effort and persistence of so many of my clients.  So often, you guys are MY inspiration.  Anyway, I wanted to come up with a little way to celebrate those who are inspiring me each month.
My inaugural choice for client of the month is Marlene P.!  She isn’t a long term client (yet) but in the months she has been coming (she started in May) I have been amazed by her persistence, enthusiasm and progress!  One of the things that makes Marlene’s story so interesting and impressive is that she came to Indianapolis Pilates by 15 to Fit after about 2 ½ years of inactivity.  Marlene had been recuperating from a serious illness and it took that long for her to recover. She felt like after such a long period of not exercising, that her muscles had really started to atrophy.  She knew it was time to start some sort of exercise program, but she also knew she needed something that could safely get her body healthy again.  She had been through a lot and she didn’t want to overdo it.  She also knew her core was where she wanted to focus.
She found our studio through one of the promotions running at that time, and told me she instantly felt welcomed.  She felt like we all made sure to take her personal situation into account and make sure that the program she started was in her best interest.  She started out slow, but is now doing 2 group reformer classes every week.  I am proud to say that she says one of her favorite things about our studio is the personal attention she gets, even in the group classes.  She says she feels the instructors really care about what they are doing and it makes her more enthusiastic because of our enthusiasm.    She also said she appreciates that we are very careful with her (there are times when I have had to tell her to wait, that she wasn’t ready for a particular exercise), but that we all still push her to the extent of her ability—but in a safe and healthy way.  To me, that is one of the greatest accomplishments—for clients to feel our dedication and enthusiasm in the work we do. That, and seeing the amazing progress in clients like Marlene.
I asked Marlene what her goals were when she started and she said, she wanted to strengthen her core and body, but she also just wanted to “feel better.”  And now she tells me that she feels absolutely wonderful.  She feels that we have met and exceeded her goals.  I am so proud of her and so proud of my instructors too.  Hopefully reading Marlene’s story gets you motivated to start or expand your exercise repertoire.  I know she inspires me every time I train her.  And if you want some of the personalized attention that Marlene has gotten, check out our online schedule or call us at 317/281-6762. 
Congratulations Marlene!

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Student Turns Instructor!

Meet Margaret!
So I was so excited when one of my own clients, Margaret, started hinting around that she was interested in becoming a certified Pilates instructor.  One of the reasons I am so excited about it is because Margaret started training here at Indianapolis Pilates by 15 to Fit just a little over a year ago  and is one of those people who always thought she hated to exercise (I have several clients like that—you know who you are!).  How cool is that that she found us, decided to give Pilates a try, and now wants to train to become an instructor herself because she loves it so much?
Because she was turning 50, Margaret decided she needed to find something to keep her body moving that she actually didn’t hate.  She has told me that she has tried lots of other types of exercise—the usual stuff, running, joining gyms, and just never felt the support and encouragement that she finds working out here.  She also loves the fact that Pilates gives you an all-over entire body (and mind) work out and is a great exercise for everyone, no matter what your body size or type.  It is this passion that has inspired her to want to pay that new found love of exercise forward.  So once she had thought about doing it, she and I chatted and I told her about a great studio in Cincinnati, Body Mind Balance, that trains instructors in Power Pilates.  Anyone can become some sort of Pilates trainer, but Power Pilates is a very thorough training in classic Pilates with innovation and is a place where even I, and several of my other trainers, have continued our Pilates education.  I am excited to say that recently Margaret had her first instructor training session in Power Pilates Beginning Mat and passed!  I couldn’t be more proud.  Even when she had her doubts about it throughout the weekend session, she and I sent text messages back and forth and I reassured her.  I knew she could do it and she did!

I am also proud to say that she has told me that one of the reasons she has continued with her own personal growth in Pilates is because of how welcoming and friendly she has felt our studio is.  She told me how much she immediately liked it because the instructors are always positive (while still giving correction of course).  She has also become friends with other students, and just feels that the Pilates experience at 15 to Fit is so much more encouraging and helpful than many other exercise atmospheres.  She told me when she belonged to a local gym, they only ever told her what she was doing wrong, and that made her dread going in at all.  Look at her now, wanting to share her newly discovered love of Pilates with others.  She was also excited to see that her training sessions in Cincinnati were also very positive and encouraging —even when she had to take what was basically a written anatomy test!  I told you, this is a serious training program!
Margaret told me that if someone had told her a year ago she would be taking any kind of training class in any form of exercise she would have told them, “you are out of your freakin’ mind!”  So just think, if she can come this far in such a short period of time in her desire to exercise, all you need to do is get in here and take a class or two.  The first step is often the hardest, but once you’re here, you never know, I may just turn you into the next Pilates instructor in Indy!  Check out our online schedule or call us at 317/281-6762. 

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Top 5 Reasons to Try OUR Studio!

Top 5

1. Our trainers at Indianapolis Pilates by 15 to Fit are highly trained in various Pilates methods and are constantly seeking to improve their knowledge and experience.  Whenever you try a new Pilates studio, you should ask about the instructors’ training, as many take a very short course before training clients.  I have been a fitness trainer for many years and have a degree in Exercise Science and Fitness from Ball State Universaity.  My other instructors are highly trained as well.  You need a trainer that can work with you, and any limitations you may have, to safely work out and boost your fitness level.  I am excited that one of my current clients has decided to start learning to become a trainer—I will be telling you all about her in an upcoming post.
2. We offer flexible scheduling and many different classes and work hard to make them fit into your schedule.  You can also schedule private, or semi-private sessions that are tailor made for your personal schedule.  We currently offer yoga classes, Piloxing classes, Zumba classes, group equipment classes utilizing the various pieces of equipment in the studio, Ballet barre classes as well as mat Pilates classes.  There is going to be something to fit your mood and your schedule and get yourself into shape!
3. All our classes are limited in size so that you are guaranteed personalized attention from our well-trained instructors.  We do not have huge mat classes that are so big your instructor can barely see you across the room.  Whether you are in a private session or a group equipment class, you will get individualized attention from our trainers.  You are not going to get that at a gym.
4. Our studio is very centrally located in central Indianapolis no matter what part of town you live in.  We are just off Binford Boulevard on 65th Street.  If you live North, and commute downtown, we are right on your way and offer many classes at convenient hours both before and after work hours.  We also have plenty of free parking available right in front of our studio.  We have hours as early as 6 am for certain classes and sessions and many in the evening as well.  We also offer classes on Saturdays.
5. We also have a ton of fun here in the studio.  It will be a rare occasion will you won’t laugh during your session as well.  We love getting to know our clients personally and many of them have become friends with each other as well.  We work hard, but we also have a great time doing it.  It isn’t everywhere that you will find such fun and friendly trainers.
We at Indianapolis Pilates by 15 to Fit would love to meet you and talk about your fitness goals.  We are happy to help figure out what will best fit in with your schedule as well.  Check out our online schedule or call us at 317/281-6762. 

Monday, August 8, 2011

Pilates and Football

American Football ballImage via Wikipedia

If you know me, you know how adamant I am that Pilates is not just for women, and is such a great exercise for men as well—but you KNOW I am serious when I tell you about how Pilates can benefit football players!
Not only do we here at Indianapolis Pilates by 15 to Fit train the entire Cathedral High School football players in the art of Pilates, but we have also trained a few other current and former professional athletes, including several former football players.   I recently spoke at the NFL Alumni Association-Indianapolis Chapter and tell a bunch of former players just how this kind of exercise could be beneficial to them and could benefit their quality of life.
Football players often focus only on increasing their brute strength by lifting weights and similar kinds of training.  Pilates, while it may seem foreign to such big guys, is an amazing complementary exercise practice to all that muscle building.  Pilates focuses on the core, as well as all the muscles throughout the body which can add a competitive advantage to a player who has been spending most of their time with heavy weight lifting. That will strengthen those large muscle groups, and Pilates will get to all those deep, often smaller, muscle groups.  And we will surely work your legs, glutes and arms as well to get you faster and more flexible.  More flexibility and paying attention to all those deep connecting muscles will also help you prevent injury and/or stay toned whether you are a current or retired player.
Pilates strengthens the core, an area that many football players may not focus a lot on—and a strong core can help prevent injuries to the back.  Actually, the strengthening and increased flexibility that comes from Pilates is going to help prevent all kinds of injuries.  I have had clients who have started Pilates with things like constant knee pain who now tell me they no longer feel any pain in that area since continuing a consistent Pilates practice.  And check out this USA Today article from a few years ago discussing the benefits of Pilates for all types of athletes, as well as in particular, a football player discussing how Pilates has helped him remain injury free and feeling better in general, both after games and practices. 
Here’s a few of the current athletes using Pilates:
LeBron James
Kobe Bryant
Tiger Woods
Jason Kidd
Chris Simms
DeMarcus Ware
Eddie Cheever
Danny Granger
Curt Schilling
Ruben Brown

And those are just a few of the individual athletes—many teams incorporate Pilates into their workouts routinely now.

So all you football players out there, don’t think Pilates is too girly for you—I have several football player clients (not to mention the whole Cathedral team) who would tell you while Pilates is very different, it certainly kicks your butt too! It is gentler than many form of exercise, but is by no means easy.  And I even have a special machine designed for larger/taller clients which I have utilized extensively in training my athletes.  You ought to come check it out too!  Contact us at Indianapolis Pilates by 15 to Fit and see what it is all about!

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Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Pilates for Brides (and Grooms!)

Getting married?  Instead of doing that whole, “I know I can lose ten pounds before the wedding if I just stop eating chips/bread/carbs/sugar” or whatever, think about starting a series of Pilates classes or sessions before the wedding at Indianapolis Pilates by 15 to Fit.  Going sleeveless? Think of how we can help transform those arms and shoulders!  Especially if you still have a few months, we can help you work on any trouble spots that are bugging you.
Another cool thing about starting a Pilates practice before your wedding?    You can improve so many other things that maybe you aren’t thinking about but that can make your special day even that much more special.  Picture yourself walking down the aisle—you don’t want to be walking down with bad posture!  Pilates can make a real impact on that. I have several clients who have told me that they have been complimented about their good posture after several Pilates sessions.
And if you are engaged now, I am sure you already know about the stress that can come along with the planning and preparation of the wedding—not to mention I am sure there will be a bit of stress and nerves on that special day.  Pilates’ focus on breathing and awareness of our breath and its connection to our bodies and minds will not only help center you during your practice, but can help you on the big day as well.
And if you want to feel “sleek, sexy and powerful,” don’t forget about our awesome Piloxing classes that we have started.  What a great way to bring out all those attributes as well—and hey, they couldn’t hurt for the honeymoon either!
And hey future grooms, you know we want to help you get into shape too! Pilates isn't just for the ladies and we have lots of clients who are men as well. Pilates is for everyone!  And all these same suggestions apply to you as well (ok, well maybe you won't be going sleeveless, but you get my point).
So if you are looking for a way to sculpt those muscles before your wedding day (and possibly drop a few pounds too), and you want to be at your best by feeling great and looking amazing, contact us at Indianapolis Pilates by 15 to Fit to talk to one our certified trainers about what program might work the best for you.  Put this part of your wedding planning into our hands. We will take great care of you and get you ready for that once in a lifetime day!

Check us out at our booth at the Diva Bride Bridal Show on July 24th!

Friday, July 1, 2011

10 Reasons to Try Pilates

1. Lose Inches From Your Body: Pilates is a great way to firm up every part of your body, and lose inches.

2. Improve Your Posture. Remember your parents telling you to stand up straight?  Pilates will help you do this naturally. 

3. Improve Your Flexibility.  This is a key factor as we age, but is important no matter what your age.  I have had very physically active clients who came in tighter than people who never work out at all. Pilates can dramatically improve your flexibility and range of motion.

4. Help prevent Osteoporosis.  Resistance training is great for strengthening the body and preventing osteoporosis.

5. Improve Your Mental Health: With the Pilates' focus on breathing throughout exercise, it helps you focus on the present moment which can help improve your mental health.

6. Minimize Back Pain.  You may have heard before that having a strong core will help your back immensely.  Many people with chronic back pain can be helped with a regular Pilates practice.

7. Pilates is the perfect exercise for everyone.  It is great for men, women, young and old and people of all physical ability.  All exercises can, and will be tailored to your physical fitness.

8. Moms--Fix that Baby Belly.  Many women who have had babies suffer from what is known as diastasis, which is separation of abdominal muscles.  Our Pilates instructors are trained in ways to heal that problem and therefore minimize that "baby belly."

9. Personalized Attention from Trainers:  Pilates is one of the few exercise programs, even with group classes, in which you are constantly getting the attention of highly trained Pilates instructors.  You aren't going to get this at the gym.

10. Improve Your Sporting Activities.  Pilates is great to help improve your other physical activities for all the reasons above.  Check out my posts specifically on Skiing and Golf.  And if you have questions about another sport, please let me know.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Pilates and Golf

A golf ball.Image via Wikipedia
I love the hot weather and summer—seriously it is my favorite time of year.  The heat doesn’t bother me a bit and I love all the outdoor activities you can participate in—tennis, swimming, biking and of course, golf.  I have several clients are big golfers and have seen the real benefit of Pilates on their golf game. 
So there are a couple reasons why Pilates is so great for golf.  First, and the one we always go back to in Pilates, is a strong core, or center (if you want to know more about the core, check out my earlier post here.)  Pilates exercises focus on this core, to strengthen the deep abdominal muscles.  If you core is strong, you will have more force to hit those power shots in golf.
Also, if you think about the game of golf, because everyone who plays always hits the ball from the same side, it can become easy to have little “tweaks” in muscles, and for the body to become imbalanced.  Pilates does an amazing job at getting the spine, and the entire body into alignment.  We always evenly work each side of the body, and it becomes apparent not just to the trainers, but to you yourself, as you continue to work on your Pilates practice, where you are weak, and what side of your body is stronger.  Your personal body awareness increases, and we are able to focus where it is necessary to bring that balance back. 
As I have also discussed before, Pilates is an amazing practice to increase flexibility.  As your muscles and body become more flexible, just think how that will help your golf swing.  If you are stiff in your shoulders or back, that is going to hinder how well you can hit the ball.  If you muscles are flexible and strong, you are going to improve your game immensely.
Finally, because a big part of Pilates practice is mental, Pilates will also help your focus by teaching you to concentrate on your breath in relation to your body.  Having this intense focus will also certainly help your golf swing by allowing you to direct your energy on the swing and not get distracted or lose your concentration.
As a personal note, I have several clients who have told me how much their golf games have improved—they were psyched and I am always happy when my clients can see their progress in other places in their life.  If you are a golfer and would like to know how to direct your Pilates practice toward improving your golf game, be sure and let me know.

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Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Massage! It's a Good Thing

I seriously love massages—if I could only have one every day, I think every day stresses would be so much more bearable!  Of course that isn’t possible, but in an effort to make it that much easier for my clients to relax and find balance, I am happy to say we are now offering massage right here in the studio.  We have set up a separate room with a relaxing massage table and environment and we have a wonderful therapist available to give massages on Tuesdays and Sundays.  Heather Chaney is a licensed massage therapist who is studying to be a physical therapist and makes it one of her personal missions to help work out that tension that we carry with us, or to help loosen up those muscles after a session here at the studio.
If you have ever had a massage, you know the instant benefits of relaxation and calm that can reduce stress and soothe sore muscles—but did you also know, according to a recent Mayo clinic article, as well as an article in Newsweek, massage can help reduce blood pressure, boost immunity, and manage anxiety and depression?  If you are already taking care of your body by exercising with us, why not take the next step and schedule a massage too?  Who couldn’t use a boost in immunity?
Heather can also offer some unique angles to her massages that you won’t often see from other massage therapists.  First, she can utilize a tool called the “fusion therapy tool” which is a small metal tool that Heather uses while massaging that is particularly amazing at targeting larger muscle groups.  This tool is great in helping clients who want to increase mobility and function and is great for people with past injuries, ailments or muscular restrictions.  Heather can also use the Pilates barrel in her practice, which is a great way to simultaneously stretch muscles and get a massage.  Of course, it is completely up to the client whether or not he or she would like to try these techniques, as Heather is always happy to perform a traditional “hands-on” massage as well. 
We welcome our clients, as well as non-clients, to take advantage of Heather’s services.  And if you are like me, and very busy during the week, she offers hours on Sundays, when the studio is very quiet.  You can schedule directly through our webscheduler, or call Patrea at 281-6762 and we’ll find a time that works for you!

Wednesday, April 20, 2011


“Sleek. Sexy. Powerful.”  That is the mantra of our newest class here at Indianapolis Pilates by 15 to Fit.  Piloxing” is a new exercise phenomenon in L.A. and is the brain child of Viveca Jensen.  Now, we traded some jokes about what exactly “piloxing” means (is it a cross between pillow fighting and boxing?)  but in reality it is an intense workout combining Pilates and boxing that is done in a group class setting. Celebrities such as Kirsten Dunst, Heather Morris from Glee, and Haley and Hilary Duff are doing it.  Just think, you can be one of the first in Indiana.
Piloxing combines the “power,” agility and strengthening of boxing with the grace, toning and flexibility of Pilates (i.e. the “sleek”).  These moves are done in varying intervals, and are complemented by some fun dance moves to bring out the “sexy.”  The intense boxing intervals will bring your heart rate up and burn calories (you can burn up to between 400 and 800 per hour class) and the Pilates aspect of the workout will bring the heart rate back down a bit and stretch, tone and lengthen those muscles.  The class is done barefoot (so no fancy footwear required) and utilizes lightly weighted gloves that can be purchased at the studio.  We also incorporate a mat workout to cool down and will provide yoga mats for that part of the program (or you can bring your own if you like).
The class is led by one of our lovely instructors, Anne Hasbrook, who is one of only two certified Piloxing instructors in Indiana! And we have her!  Our first class is scheduled for Tuesday May 3rd at 6 p.m. and we expect to continually add more as demand grows.  Contact us to schedule your class.
For more information, check out and these recent articles from Harper's Bazaar, In Touch, Redbook, and People.  And if you would like to see a video of one of Viveca's classes to see what's in store for you, click here.
So now that you know all about "Piloxing" and have scheduled your class, for a giggle, what else can we come up with to combine "Pilates" with?  "Pilooking" (Pilates and Cooking)? "Pilurfing" (Pilates and Surfing)? "Pilopping" (Pilates and Shopping)? "Pilunting" (Pilates and hunting)? "Pilyaking" (Pilates and kayaking)? "Pi-latte" (Pilates and waiting in line at Starbucks?) Please share if you come up with something cute!  You know, laughing is one of the best exercises for your core!

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Zumba with Cesar Acosta!

logo ZumbaImage via Wikipedia
It is an exciting Spring around here at Indianapolis Pilates by 15 to Fit! We have the privilege to be working with several new instructors and to offer several new classes in our recently remodeled group class space.  Starting April 25th, we are proud to begin offering Zumba with Cesar Acosta.  Cesar is a native of Venezuela and has been teaching Zumba since 2006.  He only teaches his lively classes at a few places around Indy, and 15 to Fit is happy to have him.

Zumba is a workout using easy to learn dance movements set to Latin and International dance rhythms.  The rhythms vary fast and slow and combine those moves with toning exercises--so we can burn calories, sculpt muscles and have a really good time listening to fun music while we are doing it. 

Our first class is being offered April 25th, and will be a small group, so if you want to dance with Cesar, you better sign up quick.  You can see the schedule and sign up here.
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Monday, April 4, 2011

Who was Joseph Pilates?

A little history lesson:
Joseph Pilates was the founder of the Pilates method.  He was born in Germany in 1883.  He was quite a sick child, and apparently decided at a very young age to improve his physical fitness.  He was a gymnast, a body builder, a diver and even a circus performer for a time.  It was actually while being interned in a war camp in England during World War I, that he really developed his method which he originally called “contrology.”  During this time, he developed many of his floor exercises that are still incorporated into many of the mat work exercises we still do today.  As he began to try and help rehabilitate people who had serious injuries, be began working on equipment that ended up being some of the classic Pilates equipment, like the reformer (some of the original equipment was based on hospital beds and bedsprings, which if you look closely at equipment today, you can still see this inspiration.
In 1925 he moved to New York (and met his wife Clara on the boat on the way over). Together, he and his wife started their first studio focusing on contrology. Their method focused a lot on the mind body connection in exercise as well as the intense focus on the core of one’s body to strengthen the body.  Due to the proximity of his studio to several dance and rehearsal studios, they had quickly developed a following of many dancers. 
Joseph Pilates died in New York in 1967 at age 83, and obviously his legend has continued.
For fun, check out this video of Joseph Pilates and one of his famous students training.

Some of my favorite Joseph Pilates quotes:
"Patience and persistence are vital qualities in the ultimate successful accomplishment of any worthwhile endeavor."
“I'm not concerned with body building; I'm just trying to make people normal human beings.”
“Physical fitness is the first requisite of happiness. Our interpretation of physical fitness is the attainment and maintenance of a uniformly developed body with a sound mind fully capable of naturally, easily, and satisfactorily performing our many and varied daily tasks with spontaneous zest and pleasure.”
“A few well-designed movements, properly performed in a balanced sequence, are worth hours of doing sloppy calisthenics or forced contortion.”
“…a body freed from nervous tension and over-fatigue is the ideal shelter provided by nature for housing a well-balanced mind that is always fully capable of successfully meeting all of the complex problems of modern living.”

***Thanks to You Tube, Wikipedia and for so much valuable information!

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Pilates for Older People

I have talked a lot here on my blog about how Pilates can benefit your body in so many ways, but did you know it is an ideal exercise program for older people—people in their 60s, 70s and even 80s? I currently have several clients over 70 who tell me every time they come how much stronger and stable they feel from doing Pilates.

Pam-My 76 year old client
 There are several reasons why Pilates is great for people in this age range.  First of all, the obvious physical benefits for anyone—muscle strengthening, increased balance and coordination and just general overall improvement in well-being.  However, these things can be even more beneficial for older people who often begin to suffer from osteoporosis which can lead to broken bones with very minor falls (you know how you always hear about older ladies and their broken hips!).  Pilates helps in all these areas.  Resistance training is great for preventing osteoporosis and naturally, with better balance and coordination, falls will be less likely to happen.  Posture is also improved through Pilates which can help avoid that weakened back that can cause stooped posture.
Further, by focusing on your breathing, as I discussed in my this recent post, you will do a better job oxygenating your body which will benefit not only your physical being, but your mental health as well.  And it doesn’t matter what your exercise level is when you start Pilates, we have classes at all levels, and can modify nearly every exercise to accommodate varying fitness levels.  Pilates is not like aerobics or classes like that that people may be familiar with—it is ideal for older people who may not want to be performing the same level of high impact exercise.  Don’t get me wrong, we will get your heart rate up, but you won’t feel completely winded from doing Pilates.

Pam Rocks!
The other thing about Pilates training at Indianapolis Pilates by 15 to Fit, is that in all sessions, from group classes to private training sessions, you will have a trainer who is monitoring your exercise program.  It is a bit like having your own personal “spotter” as you work out.  Not many exercise programs are offering that kind of personal assistance.  You certainly aren’t going to get that my joining your local gym.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

I'm in Natural Health Magazine!

I am really excited to tell you all that I was interviewed and featured in a recent article in Natural Health magazine called "Love Your Body."  Of course I love all the quotes they used from me in there, but my first reaction to the article was how much I loved the model they used to demonstrate the exercises discussed. She is not your typical 20 year old bone thin model that you often see in workout magazines. She is maybe in her 50s and while obviously fit, looks like a healthy, normal person (and I love the haircut and the shirt she is wearing.)

I also love that the article expresses my personal philosophy about exercise so well.  That exercise is meant to be a postive, beneficial part of your life, and not something to punish yourself with when you feel like you ate too much, or because the woman on the treadmill next to you is skinnier.  The article discusses setting goals for exercise that are realistic, and not something that is nearly unattainable, like having Tina Turner's legs.

Check out the article though, there are some great simple exercises that I helped the magazine choose that focus on all the highlights of exercise--cardio, balance, flexibility, and strength. The strength exercise is one of my favorites--a classic push up. Maybe you can only do a few to start, but I bet if you keep it up, your endurance, and love for your body, increases!

"Love Your Body," by Kate Hanley, Natural Health, March 2011.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Pilates and Skiing

Skier traveling past Coleman Creek and Camp Ki...Image by UW Digital Collections via Flickr
I just recently returned from a skiing trip in Colorado and have been thinking a lot about how great Pilates is for skiers.  Think about it, all the things that are central to Pilates—a strong core, great balance and posture, general strength and agility—sounds like the perfect recipe for great skiing to me.  One of the things that skiers typically need to focus on when they are skiing is a great stance, or the way they hold themselves evenly on their skis.  Pilates strengthens the core as well as the rest of your muscular structure, but it also just simply makes you more aware of how your body and its muscles function together—and how it all interacts with your breathing.  Honestly, I can’t think of a better exercise program for skiers.
Think about it, when you are skiing, your arms and legs work independently and your core, or torso area, which needs to stay strong in order to support all of that dynamic movement.  Think about how much pressure is on your feet this entire time too.  By strengthening and adjusting your core muscles as well as all of your leg and arm muscles, you are hitting all the high points you need in skiing.  By getting your balance perfected and your alignment in order, you will not be put an undue amount of stress on those feet (or your back and knees for that matter).
I have clients who are skiers and have told me how quickly their skiing began to improve since starting Pilates (not to mention their stamina).  I would be happy to create a custom program to focus on exercises to strengthen those muscles critical to skiing.  And any of our classes at Indianapolis Pilates by 15 to Fit could go a long way towards improving anyone’s love of skiing.

Me on the slopes!

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Wednesday, January 26, 2011

The Mind/Body Connection of Pilates

The lotus flower, the species of flower said t...Image via Wikipedia
One of the things that makes Pilates practice so different from a lot of traditional exercise methods is the mind-body connection.  In some ways, this connection makes Pilates more similar to yoga than traditional weight training.  Pilates requires very precise movements targeting deep muscles—your mind needs to be in it to make it most effective.  There is also very specific breathing techniques that go along with each exercise to not only focus on your core, but to center your mind as well.
Pilates does not put an emphasis on endless repetitions of exercises, but on fewer, more precise movements and deep breathing that is guided by one of our professionally trained instructors.  Our instructors can guide you not only through the exercises, but the breathing techniques as well.  We are trained to notice exactly how each muscle is moving and to make sure that our clients keep their breathing in sync with the exercises.
I truly believe that working in the moment and focusing on your breath can not only help your physical body, but your mental health as well.  You hear a lot these days about living in the moment, living in the now, what a perfect way to combine your physical exercise regimen with that philosophy.
“The acquirement and enjoyment of physical well-being, mental calm, and spiritual peace are priceless to their possessors if there be any such so fortunate living among us today.  However, it is the ideal to strive for, and in our opinion, it is only through [the Pilates method] that this unique trinity of a balanced body, mind, and spirit can ever be attained.”  -Joseph Pilates (1945).
"The acquirement and enjoyment of physical well-being mental calm, and spiritual peace are priceless to

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Saturday, January 8, 2011

Meet the Ladder Barrel!

I told you all a few weeks ago that I was hoping to get some new equipment (which is a little addiction I have) and recently I purchased a new piece of equipment called the ladder barrel.  This is a wonderful device for deep stretches as well as targeted strengthening and flexibility exercises.  There are rungs in the ladder portion of the equipment that are at different heights that make it easy to accommodate various body heights.

It is great for spinal articulation and stretching hips—you can use the barrel to stretch on your stomach, on your side, or laying across on your back.  It is great to promote not only good flexibility as I said, but also help your posture.  The design of this piece of equipment is great for helping isolate deep core muscles—our favorite muscles to target!

As we age, this kind of spinal articulation is so great for helping to strengthen the bones and muscles that will keep us all upright.  I use the barrel as a compliment to the other pieces of equipment and there is nothing better than great deep stretches on the barrel at the end of a hard workout.  Give us a call and check it out...Your spine will thank you.