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In This Issue

New Ways to Say “I Do” to Pilates
Work Out in Minutes!
Expert Q&A with Rael Isacowitz
Close-Up: Quadruped on Box
Smoothie Bowled Over
Calendar of Events

New Ways to Say “I Do” to Pilates

Sure, you’ve heard of getting-ready-for-the-wedding Pilates boot camps. But the method can do more than help brides look their best. It can also help them remain calm, look poised—and have more fun with their guests, too. Discover the ways these new pre-wedding Pilates classes and packages can make your big day even better.

Ceremony Preparation
Weddings shine a spotlight on the bride and groom. There’s the walking down the aisle, saying of vows and dancing to the first song. “It’s normal for brides to experience performance anxiety,” says Leslie MacDonald, a Pilates instructor at Nu Mvmt in Rochester, NY. In her wedding-prep sessions, she teaches stretches and exercises to help brides stay collected in front of hundreds of guests. “For example, we work on how to breathe and speak when your heart’s pounding,” she says.

Bachelorette Fun
A growing number of brides are eschewing traditional parties for fitness classes. “For bachelorette weekends, we often offer a variety of classes, such as Pilates and barre,” says Heather Farquhar, a Pilates and barre instructor at Nu Mvmt. One fun twist: She teaches a Dancing in Heels class.

Guest Icebreaker
A Pilates mat class is a fun way to have wedding guests or the bridal party get to know one another. “I’ll incorporate partner stretches,” says MacDonald. “It’s great for group bonding.”

Roller Relaxation Session
A foam rolling session can help brides relieve some stress. “It releases muscles and increases blood flow,” says Colleen Aull, the owner and director of Aull Pilates and Movement Studio in Middletown, RI. She offers sessions catered to brides, couples and bridal parties.

Before-the-Aisle Centering
Pilates can help couples de-stress on the day of their wedding. Aull tailors her sessions, often including stretches, breathing and myofascial release, to do just that. “It allows the bride and groom to take some time for themselves,” says Aull. “And Pilates’ mind/body connection allows them to stay collected on such a hectic day.”

Work Out in Minutes!

Now you have no excuse for skipping a workout: Research shows that even a few minutes of exercise can boost your mood and improve your fitness level. Here, Pilates instructors share routines that you can do in just five or 10 minutes.

If you have five minutes…
This routine from Emily Bench-Lahrssen, founder of Pilathon Pilates and Health Center in Miami, strengthens your core while getting your heart pumping.

High Plank: Hold for 30 seconds; rest for 20. Repeat twice.

Mountain Climbers: Go for 30 seconds; rest for 20. Repeat twice.

Emily Bench-Larssen.

Mountain Climbers with Rotation: Go for 30 seconds on each side; rest for 20. Repeat twice.

Low Side-Plank: Hold for 30 seconds on each side.

Low Side-Plank Crunch: Hold for 30 seconds on each side.

If you have 10 minutes…
These six exercises focuses on core stabilization. Spend 45 seconds on each, with 15 seconds of rest, says Heather Farquhar, a Pilates and barre instructor at Nu Mvmt in Rochester, NY.

Shoulder Bridge: Start with the Pelvic Curl. Option to add leg extension, lower and raise; repeat on your other side.

Leg Pull Front: Get in Plank, extend your leg back, and lift and lower.

Push-Up: Do two reps, then walk your hands back to your feet; walk your hands back to Plank.

Side-Bend: From seated, lift into Side Plank. Option to reach your top arm long. Repeat on your other side.

Side-Kick Kneeling: Option to bring your leg forward, then back to your side. Repeat on your other side.

Cat/Cow Stretch to finish.

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Expert Q&A with Rael Isacowitz

Q: I take Pilates duet classes with a friend, who is progressing faster than me. How can I keep from feeling discouraged?

A: Pilates is not a competition. This is a vitally important point to stress. It’s completely against the underlying philosophy of the method to compare your performance with someone else’s. There are many factors that affect the pace of your progression.

I have long been a believer that each individual should work according to his or her level, skill set, ability, experience and health history. Each person has such different needs. This is one of the reasons I created the BASI Block System teaching methodology. It lets the teacher teach two or more individuals at the same time while allowing each to work to her maximum capacity without being compared to or influenced by anyone else.

When a teacher decides to offer duets or group classes, where the levels of the participants are similar, the pace can be the same for all. But if they’re different, someone is going to feel either left behind or slowed down. In your case, the first thing I’d say is, don’t feel discouraged. I know that is easier said than done, but it’s of paramount importance that it doesn’t become a competition. If need be, I’d advise speaking to your teacher about how you’re not progressing as fast as your friend. Your teacher can address this in different ways. One possibility is that you have one or two private sessions every so often. This will allow your teacher to hone your skills and illuminate fundamentals that you may be missing. Often, once the gaps are filled in, you’ll find that you can progress much quicker.

A final word: Pilates isn’t about how fast you progress. If this is going to be a lifelong practice, there is no rush. It’s the process that’s important, not the destination. I know people that can perform advanced work, yet in my view, aren’t practicing Pilates and haven’t assimilated the principles of the method. There are others who may not perform the work at the highest level, yet truly embody the essence of Pilates—well-being for body, mind and spirit.

Rael Isacowitz, MA, has been practicing Pilates for more than 35 years and is recognized internationally as an expert in the field. In 1989, Rael founded BASI Pilates®, a comprehensive Pilates education organization represented throughout the world. Rael has authored two books, Pilates and Pilates Anatomy (co-authored with Karen Clippinger) and well as a series of training manuals. He has been featured in a DVD series, created the groundbreaking software, Pilates Interactive, and most recently, designed a line of Pilates equipment, BASI Systems. For more information, visit and

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Close-Up: Rolling Back to Rollover

By Delia Buckmaster

In the July/August issue of Pilates Style, Pilates teacher Delia Buckmaster names her must-have prop: the mini exercise ball. Small and versatile, it can increase the resistance of an exercise, as well as provide resistance. Here, she shares an all-in-one move that strengthens, stabilizes and stretches.

Prop: Mini exercise ball
Purpose: strengthens the abdominals; stabilizes the shoulders and spine; stretches the lower back and hamstrings
Ball Benefit: challenges the inner thighs
Setup: Sit with your knees bent, the ball between your feet and your hands on your shins. Rounding your back, rock back to balance on your sit bones. Inhale to prepare.

1. Exhale, rolling back, extending your arms on the floor and your legs overhead and parallel to the floor.

2. Inhale, bending your knees to 90 degrees.

3. Roll forward, and then return to the starting position. Do 4–8 reps.

Tips: Focus your eyes on your knees, and nod your chin before lifting your head and shoulders to roll forward to the starting position. Move fluidly with your abdominals engaged throughout.
Modification: If this is too much coordination, simply do Rolling Like a Ball with the ball between your feet.
Advanced: Add a Teaser Twist when your return to start postion.

Delia Buckmaster is an international fitness educator, a PMA® certified Pilates teacher and a Booty Barre master trainer. She earned her comprehensive certification through STOTT PILATES® and BASI Pilates. Her studies range from classical to contemporary and everything in between. Delia is the founder and owner of Exhale Pilates+, the first Pilates studio in Whitefish, MO, home to Pilates and fitness education, and most recently, Exhale Wellness. An industry veteran for more than 16 years, her other certifications include TRX, IndoRow and Booty Barre. Delia is also a published fitness and wellness writer and contributor, certified health coach through the Institute of Integrative Nutrition and mother of two. She was voted “Best Fitness Instructor in Whitefish” from 2014–2016. Her most recent accolade and career highlight is being chosen as a finalist for the Pilates Anytime 2016 Next Instructor Competition. For more information, visit

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Smoothie Bowled Over

Smoothies are a delicious way to get your fruits and vegetables. But sipping them sometimes doesn’t satisfy. The solution: Pour one into a bowl, add tasty toppings and spoon it up. Try out this trend with one of these three tasty options.

Green Coconut Bowl
Made with mango and coconut milk, this tropical smoothie is a crowd-pleaser. It also sneaks in a serving of kale, which is loaded with vitamins K, A and C, along with iron, calcium and fiber. (Serves 1)

¼ cup unsweetened coconut milk
½ frozen banana, cut into pieces
⅓ frozen chopped mango
1 cup trimmed kale leaves
2 tablespoons unsweetened shredded or flaked coconut
Ice cubes (optional)

Suggested toppings:
Sliced bananas
Unsweetened shredded or flaked coconut
Chia seeds

1. In a blender, combine the coconut milk, banana, mango, kale and coconut. Secure the lid and blend until smooth. If you want a thicker consistency, add ice, one cube at a time, and blend until smooth.
2. Pour in a bowl and top with any of the suggested toppings.

Complete Breakfast Smoothie Bowl
This breakfast smoothie has it all: protein, carbohydrates, fiber, antioxidants, vitamins and minerals.(Serves 2)

1½ cups plain or vanilla Greek yogurt
1 teaspoon ground flax seeds
½ frozen banana, cut into pieces, if necessary
½ cup sliced peaches

Suggested toppings:
Sliced banana
Unsweetened shredded or flaked coconut
Chia seeds

1. In a blender, combine the yogurt, flax seeds, banana and peaches. Secure the lid and blend until smooth. If you want a thicker consistency, add ice, one cube at a time, and blend until smooth.
2. Pour in a bowl and top with any of the suggested toppings.

Peach Paradise
Peaches are at their peak. Transform the lush fruit into a sweet breakfast or nutritious dessert. If you don’t have fresh on hand, swap in 1½ cups frozen sliced peaches. (Serves 2)

¼ cup milk
1 teaspoon honey
½ frozen banana, cut into pieces, if necessary
2 peaches, sliced
½ cup chopped pineapple
4 ice cubes

Suggested toppings:
Sliced bananas
Sliced peaches
Chopped pineapple
Chopped pecans

1. In a blender, combine the milk, honey, banana, peaches, pineapple and ice. Secure the lid and blend until smooth.
2. Pour in a bowl and top with any of the suggested toppings.

Courtesy of 200 Best Smoothie Bowl Recipes by Alison Lewis © 2016 Reprinted with publisher permission. Available where books are sold.

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Calendar of Events

July 6–August 18
What: Dance Specialization Comprehensive Teacher Training Program
Where: California State University Long Beach, CA

July 8–October 29
What: Comprehensive Teacher Training Program
Where: Evolve Rehabilitation and Pilates, Rancho Palos Verdes, CA

July 14–November 5
What: Comprehensive Teacher Training Program
Where: BASI Studio, Costa Mesa, CA

August 18–20
What: Polestar Comprehensive Pilates Transition Intensive
Where: Part 1, Nashville (Part 2, August 18–20)

July 21–August 27
What: Mat Teacher Training Program
Where: Studio Pilates Sardinia, Nuoro, Italy

July 21–November 12
What: Comprehensive Teacher Training Program
Where: Physio Logic Pilates, Brooklyn, NY

July 21–October 15
What: ProBridge Teacher Training Program
Where: Pilates Time, Baar, Switzerland

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