How are your Resolutions Going?

So it’s February…how are your New Year’s Resolutions going?  Now is a good time to reevaluate them.  How consistent have you been?  Are you meeting your goals?  And maybe, most of all, are you set up to succeed?

If you’re not preparing your New Years Resolutions around your Tendency, you might be setting yourself up for failure.  Some people will resist internally a resolution, so it’s actually better not to have one at all.

Gretchen Rubins new book, The Four Tendencies, has been a major help in our home and lives to help us meet any goal, not just health and fitness goals.  I strongly recommend it, especially if you’re not doing well committing to your New Years Resolutions.

You can take this short online quiz to discover your tendency.  Once you know your tendency, then you can set yourself up for success so that you can meet your goal.  For example, I’m an Upholder.  That means I’m intrinsically and extrinsically motivated.  I love goals, challenges, and charts.  I give myself a gold star when I do my Pilates workout each day.  Watching the gold stars increase and grow makes me happy.  I want to workout so I can see the list of gold stars grow bigger.  I do Pilates every day (even holidays and vacations).  That’s my rule. I set up the rule so I can succeed (it has no specified amount of time, so 10 minutes counts).  That way I can meet my goal, my success pattern increases, which helps me keep doing Pilates.

That rule would not work, however, for my son, who is a Rebel.  He is the opposite of me - he is neither intrinsically or extrinsically motivated.  My husband and I are trying to encourage him to practice piano.  However, the more we encourage him, the more he resists us.  Stickers don’t work.  He needs to feel like he has the freedom to choose to practice.  So, he now chooses when he practices.  He still needs to practice each day, he just gets to choose when. That little bit of flexibility helps him to feel like he has some control over his goal, and when Rebels decide they want to do something, they can be very successful. 

So for Rebels, resolutions sometimes just don’t work.  If you’re a Rebel, like my son, they have the opposite effect.  Maybe that’s why you can’t meet your goals.  It’s not an internal fault that lies within you.  It’s better to try to match your resolution to your Tendency. 

This is the perfect book to read before you give up on your New Years Resolutions.  It’s full of great ideas how to motivate yourself or the people in your life to make healthy changes.  It’s helped all of us in my home relate to each other better.  Now I know when my son is trying to negotiate a rule, it’s just his tendency.  He’s more likely to follow the rule if I give him some control.  As an Upholder, that’s hard for me.  In my head, a rule is a rule.  But now I’ve learned that a little bit of flexibility on my part can give him some control, and then the task will be accomplished.  More peace insures, more practicing happens.  

How about you?  Do you know your tendency?  What tricks have helped you to know yourself better so you can motivate yourself to meet your goals?  And don’t forget, you can always have a Non New Years Resolution.


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Mat Vs. Equipment Pilates - Which is Better?

People often ask me which is better - mat or equipment Pilates.  Or people will tell me, "I hate mat" or "I only do mat."  So which is better?  Well, let's start by looking at what makes each unique.  As I say to my children when they complain that someone got a bigger piece of something or a longer whatever, "You are not equal, you're unique."

Some things that make mat unique:

1.  It's portable.  You can do it just about anywhere with very little equipment.  See Keeping Up Your Workout While Traveling.

2.  It's affordable.  You'll probably pay $10-15 for a mat class, while equipment classes will run you about $25-60, depending on how many people are in a class.

3.  It's what Joseph created first.  It's the beginning of the work.  It connects you to the largest equipment available - the earth.  It's is the foundation to everything.

4.  It's done using your own body for stability and is more open-chain (exercises where the hand or foot is free to move).  This means that you will have to work in your core a lot to hold your body still or mobilize it during an exercise. 

5.  Mat has more flow.  Since you're not getting up to move a box, change a spring, or attach a bar, you can just keep moving from one exercise into the next.

So how is Equipment Unique?

1.  It uses more resistance.  Most equipment (outside of the barrels) have springs.  These springs give resistance in both directions to every exercise.  So, if you're looking to strength train and up your metabolism, the equipment will help.

2.  If you need more support and alignment cues, equipment has the edge as well.  On reformer alone, you have a head rest, shoulder blocks, and a foot bar so your teacher can easily see exactly how your body is moving.  I call my Reformer the diagnostic piece of equipment.

3.  There are more exercises on equipment.  There's about 50 mat exercises, and on reformer 250, chair even more than that.  So it's great to help keep variety in your Pilates routine.

So which is better?  It's important to understand that Pilates is best as a system.  If you've always done the hundred on the mat, imagine pumping your arms with resistance (that's Reformer).  If you've always done Short Spine with springs to help you, imagine doing it without them and you'll really build up your Powerhouse and train it how to lift your pelvis while performing the Roll Over on the mat.

I've seen it time and time again, clients who only like one or the other, and they don't progress as much as clients who perform the entire system.  What you learn on one informs your body on the other.  You'll build newer connections faster and deeper if you do both.

And sadly, whichever one you "don't like" is probably the one you have to do.  Sometimes tighter people don't like mat - it's a lot of sitting or straight legs extended in the air if your hamstrings are tight.  But guess how you help lengthen your hamstrings?  By performing mat.  People who don't like equipment because it's too much stopping and starting probably have a hard time connecting their mind and body without distraction.  But guess what helps with that?  Unlocking the rhythm sections on Reformer.

So, yes, I love my two children equally.  Does one get on my nerves sometimes?  Do I feel more connected to another at points in my life?  Certainly.  But that doesn't mean I stop loving one or the other.  So challenge yourself to explore new exercises on the mat, or try an equipment class.  You may just find that it helps push your body in a new way help you go deeper into the work.




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You Are More than Your Body

I was reading this blog today and this line really struck a chord with me:

"Stress trumps all.   Even when the diet and movement are right, you can be undermined by a mind that's bearing a heavy load." 

Isn't that true?  Every time I've had a major injury, it's been during a very stressful period in my life.  I've taken to preemptively doing energy work before a stressful event because my body manifests stress so strongly physically.  When I last sprained my ankle, I was a Graduate Teaching Assitant, was completing my Masters, was teaching full time, and completing the highest level of Pilates certification.  So was it the movement in the ballet class that injured me?  No, it was the heavy load I was carrying in my brain and in my heart.

So, how are you planning on taking care of your mind this year?  How can we lessen the load for each other? 

This may be my New Years Non Resolution .

Recharge Your Body with Food and Pilates!


How yummy does that food look?  Wouldn't it be easy to feed yourself well if only you had a personal chef?  Like some lucky movie star?

Well, why not treat yourself to our Summer Starter Cleanse Package?  It's three days of support, love, Pilates, and deliciousness!

Here's what I'm planning with Tia Murry of Ruffiage

3 Hour-long Pilates Mat Classes (May 23rd at 6am; May 24th at 2pm; May 25th at 2pm) 

Half-hour Q&A, Support, and Guidance by myself and Tia after each class

2 Days of Email Support Before and After the Cleanse (personalized workout guidance, preparing your body for the Cleanse) 

Yum Yum Yummy Food to Nourish Your Body: 

9 Fresh made, Organic Juices

2 Fresh made, Organic Smoothies

2 Smoothie Recipes

3 Cleansing Meals

The details: 

$225 for the Cleanse

$199 Early Bird Special if you enroll by May 10th

Please use a credit card to reserve your spot, payment due in full on the 23rd (cash or check preferred for the Cleanse, if possible)

$100 is nonrefundable to cover the cost of food if not notified by the 18th of May that you cannot commit to the cleanse

Call or email today to reserve your spot!  I'll be doing it with you every step of the way! or Tia at

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Why We Should Workout Like a Child

So check out this video of my 2 year-old playing at my studio on the foot corrector.

What does this teach us about the way we move? 

Well, first of all, Joseph Pilates did study babies' spines and thought we needed to regain the flexibility we had at birth.  I think we've all marveled at a child's ability to squat, jump, and move with relative ease.  But did you notice how much your child moves throughout the entire day?  As I write this, my 5 year-old son is drawing, but as I typed this sentence, he squatted to pick up some markers, walked over to me to ask a question, and is standing up to draw.  I've only been sitting since I've started this post.  We need to incorporate more movement into our everyday lives.

My daughter used her intuition to explore the Foot Corrector.  I didn't tell her how to place her foot, but she placed it squarely under her hip.  I didn't tell her to bounce, but the spring gave her that motion and she went with it.  She barely bends her knees to bounce - just enough to get the motion going, and then she controls the movement from her center.  Her shoulders don't hike as she holds the Cadillac in front of her.  We need to listen to our bodes to help us inform how to move.  What I love about Pilates is how I feel when I leave - I always feel better.  Therefore, do more Pilates.  Is your run hurting your knees?  Change how you run.  It's a short movement poem with one line:  Listen.

Kids naturally do interval training.  My son at the park will run there, climb, then take a break and do some imagination play, then grab his scooter, take a break and collect some leaves for "spider stew."  Nobody told him about the latest HIIT research.  His body just knows about taking a rest so he has the energy for quick bursts when he needs it.  This is something else I  Iove about Pilates.  I actually think there is a lot of Interval training built in.  Work the tempo on your Footwork and Hundred, then slow down a bit for Short Spine to really get a stretch.  How about slow, thoughtful Roll Backs followed with high energy, accented Single Leg Circles to really scoop?  Push and pull your tempo, just like you push and pull your springs.

It's been said before, but are we teaching our children or are they teaching us?

And, um, yes, and if you must know, that is mud all over her pants from playing at the park, and now that she's two, she dresses herself, so yes, her shirt is on backwards.  But that's the way she likes it, thank you very much.




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What If?


What if what scares you becomes the best thing ever?

So my son came home the other day and told me that the monkey bars are "dumb."  In five-year-old kid speak, that translates as "hard."  So I've been encouraging him, when we're at the park, to try them different ways -- with me spotting him, supporting his body, pointing out the finder details of other kids' technique...

Ah, the joys of having a parent that studies movement...

And here's what I've learned - the monkey bars are hard.  Really hard.  And a total core workout.  And kinda, um, scary.

I could see fear thoughts when they would drift into my son's brain because it changed how he moved -- more cautious, less sure. So finally, I asked him, "What are you scared of"


"Ok, so do it."


"Let go."

So my son let go after he hung for awhile, and he landed on two feet, looked up at me, smiled, and said, "That was fun!  I'm going to do that again!  I'm going to be an expert faller!"

So what is the scariest thing for you right now?  Snake on Reformer?  Candlestick on Cadillac?  Signing up for an Introductory Series?  Registering for a Pilates training? 

It may be just the thing that you are best at, the most fun you'll ever have.

Just. Let. Go.

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