Would you like to be really strong? Improve your posture? Do you have back pain? Or are you recovering from an injury? Maybe you’d like to be able to run, row, swim, or perform another sport more effectively and have more fun with it?
If you answered yes to any of these questions, and you’re between 15 and 95, the Pilates Method can help you.
Pilates is one of the most popular, successful, and time-proven exercise systems today. Focusing on the core muscles, Pilates exercises not only increase strength, but also flexibility, balance, concentration, and coordination. With over 300 movements to choose from, every session can be tailor-made for your specific needs. At Pilates in the Berkshires, we carefully assess your physical condition and goals and design the perfect program for you.
“When we approach Pilates with a spirit of exploration, and discovery , it becomes a very engaging and fun form of exercise. ” – Wyn Hayes, our new teacher at Pilates in the Berkshires. Read her story on the instructors page.
Update Mat Classes: mat classes are Mondays and Fridays at 12.15pm.
Please contact me in advance to confirm a space: 413-329 3514. Thank you!
Kim Conley has been subbing for me and will continue to work at Pilates in the Berkshires. I am very happy to be able to draw on her experience, sensitivity and care.
What are you feeling?
One of the principles of the Pilates method is “focus”. Joseph Pilates intended the mind to be engaged in each exercise as much as possible (he was, after all, very influenced by Eastern philosophy and Yoga).
One way I work with this principle is ask people in class what they are feeling or noticing during an exercise.
Almost always, the answer is “it’s fine”, or “nothing, no problem”, meaning that nothing hurts – which is, of course, a good thing!
But it made me ponder about how we relate to our bodies: we usually don’t feel and notice them and are happy about that, going about our activities and using their wondrous abilities – seeing, hearing, walking, reaching, without much further thought. Until, you guessed it, something is not right. Then we become aware of our bodies in an instant. Even if it’s not real pain yet, we sense a soft alarm and pay attention.
Yet there is a different way of relating what is most precious to us, which is putting this relationship to our bodies, and really the relationship to ourselves, back from its head onto its feet.
How about, for example when walking along, we let ourselves experience, from the inside, as it were, the amazing feat of walking – moving through space with relative ease and fluidity. Unless there is strong pain of course, is it possible to pay attention to the pleasure of that movement, of muscles and joints creating this symphony of being alive?
Or how about just lying in bed or sitting still? We can place our attention on the sensation inside our hands, our legs, our chest. On our heart-beat – that steady bum-bum that accompanies us day in, day out. Can you feel that there is a lot going on ‘in there’, warmth, tingling maybe, a slight pressure, a rhythm, some sensation we call “being alive”.
Just noticing this sensation of LIFE has always been a source of joy for me. A joy that is free, always available and keeps deepening even and especially as more of the parts are revealing their wear and tear. I am focusing on that as often as I am reminded. And I am quite sure that this joy has an effect on our bodies. Brain science is beginning to track this, but just in my own experience and those of clients, paying attention to our bodies, the life or liveliness we inhabit, is deeply rewarding. If you try it, I’d love to hear about your experience.
Summer is here! The mat class time on Mondays is now noon, 12 pm. The Friday class at 1pm stays the same. Currently we have a wait-list for all private classes. If you are interested in privates please e-mail us. Thank you!
Have a look at the new Instructor page! I am thrilled to be welcoming back to the studio for the summer months Traci Peters and now also Cynthia Khoury, who is in the process of moving to the Berkshires from New York City. Between the three of us we share a wide range of experience and approaches and are looking forward to helping you enjoy your summer in the Berkshires.
Mat classes are now scheduled for Mondays and Fridays at 1pm. Please call or e-mail before coming, as room is very limited. These classes are at the intermediate to advanced level. If you are new to Pilates, please call or e-mail. Thank you!
Also, the Duets are proving very popular, if you are interested in working with a partner using the equipment, please get in touch!
Spring WILL be here, and in the meantime, we’ll keep getting stronger inside!
You know, one of the mat class participants said the other day – I used to have this ongoing lower back ache and just the other day I realized that it seems to be gone, I have not felt it in months. Another woman said that her Sacroiliac joint too had felt stable and strong since starting regular classes when it used to go out on a regular basis. I love these stories of course and keep marveling at how – with so little time and effort – we can help our spines stay strong and resilient.
Please note: New class schedule:
Please call ahead if you would like to join any class.
During November and December, Traci Peters and Eileen Duane will be offering privates, group classes and personal training in the studio. Uli will be in Germany and Arizona and back in January. You can still contact her for all questions and bookings!
September 19, 2012
With summer guests leaving and the ‘locals’ coming back from their summer work or adventures, we are going back to 3 mat classes a week:
Monday at 1pm, Wednesdays at 1pm and Fridays at 4.30.
Since the classes have only room for 6 people, please call in advance if you do not have a regular spot!
And feel free to make your interest known in any other times!
Looking forward to an energizing fall!
April 10, 2012
March 28, 2012
For the past two month a young yoga teacher has been participating in group classes. After about a month she blew me away at the end of a class, saying: “Pilates and the core strength it cultivates is the perfect foundation for a strong and balanced yoga practice. As a new yoga practitioner, I had a strong pilates practice and I found yoga to be relatively effortless. As I became more committed to yoga I gave up the Pilates, and lost my core strength. I ended up with several injuries I believe could have been prevented if I’d maintained Pilates. Moving from the core is essential; since practicing both I’ve never felt more balanced.” Tosca, Yoga Instructor, Lenox, MA
Pilates and Men
Word is slowly getting around: Pilates is NOT just for willowy, dancer-type girls or mature women. Many of my male clients feel a little humbled when they try the exercises and see how hard they have to work and how unaccustomed they are to using their core in the right way. And increasingly, men appreciate the deep strength and core stability that can support their golf, road biking or any other sport. Let alone the ways in which Pilates can speed recovery from injury or surgery – which is how my husband eventually became a fan! It would be great to start a mat group class just for men! We only need four of you to start. E-Mail me or call 413.329.3514.
New Workshop: Pilates and You
In 2 ½ focused hours with plenty of individual attention, you will
- Practice the exercises that are most important for you
- Discover what ‘the right way’ feels like in your body
- Learn how to work out more effectively and safely – and not just in Pilates class
Date by request, please contact me.
Saturdays, from 2pm – 4.30pm,
100 Columbia St, Lee,
If you would like to become more independent in your Pilates practice – to either practice more confidently at home or to understand more clearly how to look after your own needs in a group class, this workshop is what you have been looking for!
- Space is limited to 6 people. Please register in advance by replying to this mail.
- Bring or refer a friend and participate in a mat class for free!
- This video inspired me today – a powerful example that it’s never too late, something I have observed in many of my clients too!
- New Tuesday night class starting now, please e-mail or call for more information!
Happy New Year everyone!
An inspiring visit
1/6/2012 Yesterday I saw an inspiring local physical therapist, Jennifer Dort, who was working with a friend of mine, who has Parkinson’s disease. In explaining the physical challenges she was presenting my friend with, Jennifer confirmed many of the principles of Pilates (which was thrilling!) For instance the way in which Pilates exercises keep challenging the brain, by encouraging people to assume positions and move in ways, which we usually give up as we age (or develop conditions like Parkinson’s): being upside down, twisting and bending, i.e. moving in all three dimensions, moving backwards etc. These exercises do more than just keep the body flexible. The literally invigorate and energize by engaging more of the brain. Thanks Jenn!