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Carolyn Ferris, Echo Community Manager for New Tech Network—an organization that supports schools like Napa’s New Technology High School—has been practicing Pilates with Archer for nearly three years. She became interested in Pilates because of its reputation as an effective, gentle, and low-impact form of exercise and began working out using Pilates exercise videos. Wanting the motivation and discipline of a class, she tried Synergy’s Pilates classes, but felt that the gym was too far away and she wasn’t getting the personalized instruction she wanted. Then, she realized that Archer’s studio was only a little over a block away from her home.
“I’m one of those people who don’t like exercise, and I probably wouldn’t do it if I didn’t go to the studio,” she says. But according to Carolyn, Pilates is a perfect fit for her, especially as she’s getting older, because it helps her to maintain flexibility and muscle tone, developing all parts of the body. “Archer is aware of which parts of your body are having trouble and works with you. A year ago, I had foot surgery, and when I came back, she worked really hard with me to direct the exercises so I could strengthen my foot and toes.”
One of the greatest benefits of her Pilates practice has been an increased awareness of her body. “I have a tendency to slouch and have rounded shoulders,” she says. “Now I have greater physical awareness whether I’m walking or sitting.”
In addition to attending Archer’s Pilates sessions twice weekly, Carolyn walks to work, one and a half miles each way, four days per week. Practicing Pilates has strengthened her core so she can carry her backpack without slouching.
When asked what she would say to someone considering Pilates for the first time, Carolyn replies:
Because it’s low impact, anyone can do it. Archer’s careful to build up your strength so you can accomplish the advanced techniques. When I do a mat class, it’s a whole-body workout. Without using any equipment, you stretch and tone every muscle in your body.
She likes the social aspects of the classes, too.
Please leave a comment: What do you like best about your favorite exercise?
July’s client in the spotlight is Julie Henry, a blacksmith and mother of three young boys (including twins). Yes, you read that right—a blacksmith (and twins!). Currently a stay-at-home mom, at least until her boys are in school, Julie designs and creates lighting systems for residential and commercial buildings, including restaurants. You can view some of her work at Hurley’s in Yountville, Buckhorn here in Napa, and the Cheesecake Factory restaurants.
Julie began practicing Pilates seven years ago, a year before her first pregnancy, when she joined Archer’s mat class. “As a blacksmith, I knew I could be using my body better. Archer taught me how to use my core, which helped in my work because of all the hammering and lifting. Also, I used to ride my bike everywhere. My quads were overdeveloped and very tight. Archer helped me learn how to stretch and help the muscles let go. Now, I’m more flexible.”
From the mat classes, Julie eventually graduated to using the Pilates machines. “Pilates was a great help throughout both pregnancies,” Julie says. “Great for staying toned while pregnant and for getting my body back afterwards.” Currently, Julie attends one mat class a week, but plans on going twice a week when she has more free time.
When asked what advice she would give to Pilates newbies, Julie says:
It takes a long time to teach your body how to do Pilates, because there’s a lot of body memory involved, but it’s worth the reward because you can maximize your workout in a short amount of time. You can get a good workout in 45 minutes.
Do you have questions about Archer’s Pilates Studio and/or Pilates in general? She would love to hear from you, so please leave a comment below.
As a working esthetician, Lori Barolo suffered from back pain due to poor posture and incorrect body mechanics. Over a period of four or five years, her pain increased, and she visited a series of chiropractors and doctors without results. So, in January, when Kristina Jetton recommended taking Pilates with Archer, Lori gave Archer a call. (Ironically, Lori had met Archer at a previous spa where she worked and had originally referred Kristina Jetton to her.) After a complimentary assessment, Lori started private Pilates lessons and added mat classes soon after. She and Kristina then teamed up to create a duo Pilates session to save money while still receiving personal attention.
“Archer is amazing,” Lori says. “She gears the class toward each individual’s problems. She’s perceptive, intuitive, and aware. My pain has gone down by 70%, and the pain in the rest of my body has gone away completely. Pilates has ‘fixed’ me enough so that the pain I do have is isolated.”
Now semi-retired, Lori works part-time at Innovations and part-time at Wintun Pre-School working with autistic children. The work is rewarding, she says, and a balance to her other work.
“Take Pilates from Archer! I’ve tried the gym—when you take a class with too many people, you don’t know if you’re doing it right. Archer makes sure your form is correct so you get the most benefit from the exercise. You need one-on-one attention until you have [Pilates] down. Archer always says, ‘I’d rather have one perfect repetition that ten sloppy ones.'”
Kristina Jetton has been practicing Pilates at Archer’s since last fall, after Lori referred her. Like Lori, Kristina also suffered from chronic back pain. As the Vice President of Human Resources for the PlumpJack Group, Kristina spends a lot of time in her car, which, as she puts it, “causes a lot of back problems.” In a family of body workers (her mother does Feldenkrais and her grandfather was a physical and massage therapist), Pilates seems a natural fit for Kristina.
“Archer is definitely an incredible healer,” she says. “I have no more back problems!” She’s benefitted from her practice in other ways, too. “I can tell the difference in terms of general well being. This class is truly the only exercise class I’ve looked forward to and never skip if I can help it.”
Kristina’s advice for those considering Pilates?
“You need to find a Pilates studio or class that is small, where the teacher can pay attention to the movements and how your body works. If you’re lost in a class of thirty people, you won’t get the intricacies of what Pilates is all about.”
Do you have questions about Archer’s Pilates Studio and/or Pilates in general? I would love to hear from you, so please leave a comment below.