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Carolyn Ferris

Carolyn Ferris

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.

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Please leave a comment: What do you like best about your favorite exercise?

Whatever you woke up this morning wishing for more of-health, money, friendship, travel?  It helps to schedule it in, build it into your schedule and get support to stick to it.  Don’t ignore those little nigglings that are pulling at your heart.

We offer six classes a week with a variety of times-

Monday’s 6:00-7:00 pm Open Studio

Tuesday 7:00 a.m.- 7:50 Express Pilates Mat

Tuesday 10:00 a.m.-11:00 Pilates Mat Fundamentals

Wednesday 2:30-3:45 Open Studio

Thursday 7:00 a.m.-7:50 Express Pilates Mat

Friday 8:15 a.m.-9:15 Pilates Mat

We also offer private Pilates sessions and Duo sessions.  This month we are offering 5 Individual Pilates sessions for $350.00.  Regularly $415.00!  Please call  to schedule or if you have questions.

 

 

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Joseph Pilates’ exercise method is much more than a collection of physical exercises. Based on a strong philosophical foundation and observation, Pilates formed a core set of principles upon which the Method is built. Understanding and working with these principles will help you make the most of your Pilates practice.

  1. Centering: Pilates originates all movements from the center, or core, of your body encompassing your abdomen, lower and upper back, hips, buttocks, and inner thighs—also known as the “powerhouse” of the body. Pilates movements begin in the center and move outward to the limbs. Large muscle groups, our spine, and organs are all supported from this powerhouse.
  2. Concentration: In order to maintain control (the next principle), it’s important to maintain concentration and remain fully aware of your body during each movement. How you perform an exercise is as important as the exercise itself.
  3. Control: Pilates movement is not about intensity but control, and controlled exercise yields the greatest benefits while protecting muscles from injury. In fact, control was so important to Pilates that he called his method “Contrology.” At first, you may find it difficult to control every aspect of your movements, but as your skill level increases through practice, you will enjoy increased control.
  4. Precision: Each exercise has a specific procedure and quality that it’s important to followed precisely. As you practice concentration and gain control, you will enjoy the increased awareness and precision with which you are able to practice each movement. You will gain more benefits from a few precise movements, than more movement done sloppily.
  5. Breath: It’s important when practicing Pilates movement to breath fully and purposefully, inhaling through the nose and exhaling through the mouth. Breathing is our link between the inside and outside of the body, as well as the mind-body connection. And, while breathing is normally something we do automatically without thinking, focusing on your breathing promotes awareness and helps you deliver the optimum amount of oxygen to the muscles being used.
  6. Flowing/Efficient Movement: You may be used to exercising rapidly, using jerky movements (think jazzercise and step). In contrast, Pilates, like disciplined dance forms, focuses on quality of movement rather than quantity or intensity. Quality is about tone, balance, and flow rather than repetition. By concentrating on precise and controlled movement, you will achieve movement efficiency, with a balance between muscle contraction and relaxation.
  7. Alignment: Correct alignment, stabilizing the pelvis, is an important aspect of Pilates practice, as faulty alignment negative affects your abilities to concentrate, center, breath properly, maintain correct posture, and achieve balanced, efficient, movement.

Achieve your physical best while practicing Pilates under the careful guidance of a knowledgeable instructor. Check out our class schedule providing focused, individual attention.

I welcome your comments. What do you struggle with? What would you like to learn to do better? What are your health challenges and accomplishment?

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Image Credit: Toni Busch

Archer's Pilates
497 Walnut St., Suite E, Napa, CA 94558
707.337.5802

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