5:30am- Alarm goes off, I head to the kitchen where the coffee maker is already on a timer. Our cat Jack will most likely trip me on the way as a reminder that he needs breakfast first. I check emails and do a quick list for the day. One of my ballet teachers Mary Margaret Holt insisted we be up two hours before class and the habit has stuck with me ever since.
6:45am- Teeth brushed, sunscreen on, wearing a favorite pair of my Carbon 38 pants I walk to work. When I first started teaching 12 years ago there was no such thing as athleisure so I am so thankful to have built up a collection of workout clothes that I love. Some pieces I've had for years. They stand up to daily abuse I put them through. I just can't say enough. Click HERE to get a discount on your first Carbon 38 Purchase.
7am- Clients! I lucked out to have such a fun group of hardworking clients. I love teaching privates because I can see all the progress that they make week after week. Just seeing how my clients can change their bodies is a great daily reminder of how effective Pilates really is.
Noon- Speaking of how effective Pilates really is... it's time for me to get my workout in. On the days I have rehearsals I'll workshop about 30 minutes of Pilates to get inspired for sessions and warm me up for dance. Starr Pilates has Cadillac, Wunda Chair and Reformers so the possibilities are endless. Changing up the routine and using all the different equipment really keeps Pilates fun and challenging. I love a midday workout it helps re-energize me and clear my mind. If I have a lighter day I'll take a reformer class for myself. No matter if you're a beginner or an expert it always helps to have an outside perspective.
2 pm- Meetings, emails and a banana-date cacao smoothie. I found that if I don't restrict or diet and focus on eating whole, fresh foods my body feels better. If my day is crazy I'll pack some almonds or hardboiled eggs to eat on the go. I'm pretty boring during the week, hummus and vegetables is a go-to snack if I need something before dinner. Planning ahead always helps because if I get too hungry all bets are off. A couple times a week I'll stream an online yoga class if I haven't gotten a workout in yet. Usually in my living room. With the cat.
4pm- I grab a cup of green tea and off to teach clients. Starr Pilates is convenient to downtown so a lot of clients stop through after work to break up the commute and shake of the day. The energy of the afternoon and evening clients is so different from the mornings. I love it. If I don't have afternoon clients I'll head to a networking event or catch up on administrative work.
7pm- Walk home. Ever since we got back from Europe I've really been trying to get those extra steps in. There's a lot of small businesses in the area so it's fun to see them in full swing. I'll have a hot bath, a quick dinner (if I'm organized I've prepped something like No-Noodle Pad Thai from the Minimalist Baker).
10pm- Bed! I'm pretty good sleeper, I take a Magnesium Supplement every night to help relax my muscles. Getting plenty of rest helps me stay present and injury-free during the day. I also know I have fewer junk food cravings when I sleep well!
Now that you've seen what a day in the life of a Pilates teacher is like check out the video above for a glimpse into the Pilates studio. Come by and say hi and CLICK HERE to book you next appointment. Looking forward to seeing you in the studio!
It's understandable that investing in Private Pilates sessions can seem a little overwhelming or even indulgent. However, neglecting your health can be pretty costly in the long run as well. Starr Pilates client, actress Lila Claghorn is a perfect illustration of how Pilates really does deliver a great value.
Lila came to Starr Pilates in March of 2017. She'd been a lifelong hockey player and had an incredibly hard work ethic, however she wasn't seeing results from workouts and had developed some muscle imbalances. Initial Pilates sessions focused on opening her shoulders and training her deep abdominal muscles. Little did she know that she had two herniated discs that had calcified as a result of having disclocated her pelvis years ago in a hockey game. While she was traveling over the holidays a fragment of one of the discs broke off pressing on a nerve in her back sending debilitating pain all the way down her left leg and causing "dropfoot" in her left foot (meaning she could not lift or move her foot). She said that the abdominal strength from regular Pilates sessions helped alleviate the pain of getting around while seeing doctors and getting an MRI. "As I walked across the street to the ER that morning it took a full 30 minutes...to cross the street and every time that I truly engaged my core for even a second I found relief from the consistent pain."
Back in Los Angeles, Pilates was doctor recommended and the only workout Lila could safely do while waiting for a prognosis from her surgeon. Two months later after bi-weekly Pilates sessions totalling approximately $1280, the nerve pain had subsided. Most importantly her foot was strong enough that her neurosurgeon cleared her from having to undergo a procedure that would have cost anywhere from $10,000-$50,000- not including lost wages during recovery time and additional stress. Her doctor's orders: "keep doing Pilates."
Lila credits the challenging yet careful instruction at Starr Pilates with keeping her fit and healthy. Lila describes her sessions with Elaine, "You love her and hate her at the same time... Which is exactly how you should feel about a Pilates instructor!" She also works out with Nabila, who passes what Lila calls the "Shampoo Test...as in my arms are too sore to shampoo my hair the next day!"... not to worry she does anyway.
Here at Starr Pilates we'd like to believe that you CAN have it all. Investing in your health pays off in the long run. Book your appointment today to start feeling and looking your best. See you in the studio!
Rina started her weight loss journey at 300 lbs. She underwent bariatric surgery in in August of 2017. After trying a few different Pilates studios she came to Starr Pilates in October 2017. After five months of Pilates three to four times a week she is down 100 pounds with noticeable muscle tone and definition in her arms and legs. She went from wearing a size 22 to down a size 10. She credits the focused instruction and the caring dedicated teachers at Starr Pilates with helping her transform. "Elaine is laser focused on you getting the most out of your work out! You will definitely see results and feel amazing every time you leave your session," Rina says.
Since regular Pilates sessions are now her "zen" Rina works with Starr Pilates instructor Nabila de Raco in addition to Elaine to stay consistent. "I've already had a few sessions with her and I can tell you she is wonderful . She knows what she's doing and really cares about your workout and what works for your body... you will not be disappointed and she is a great addition to the Starr Pilates facility!"
Rina is now picking out swimsuits for a trip to Hawaii in May and planning to go through Pilates teacher training in September. We are so thankful to Rina for sharing her story and being a part of Starr Pilates! Contact us today to start creating YOUR dream body.
When I was dancing with the ballet company we had company class each day. The artistic director gave us a solid technical foundation that I use in my Pilates teaching on a daily basis. Then we had the ballet mistress and the associate artistic directors who would also coach and teach us. Some had years of experience and brought vast knowledge to the table. Others were new to coaching a company but brought fresh knowledge and enthusiasm. Getting the dancers out of our normal routine would be a challenge. Sighs of frustration could be heard across the studio as dancers tried a familiar step with a new approach. Then something magical would happen: movements became more effortless, turns multiplied and limbs lengthened. We came to accept the transition period and began to look forward to fresh insights and information. I think about how I'd like my clients to experience Pilates and I go back to my days dancing with a company. My goal is to instill in clients the knowledge, self-confidence and appreciation for their bodies that allows them to feel free to experiment, change and grow. I am proud to see Starr Pilates grow into a studio that is a collective of well-trained teachers offering a variety of perspectives and styles. I sincerely hope you enjoy it as well.
In my last post I talked about how restrictive dieting can take time and energy away from the things you truly love, friends, family and career goals. If you're sitting at work or in traffic trying to figure out what to have for dinner that won't blow your calorie count that's time taken away from figuring out how to solve that problem with a co-worker or how to plan that dream trip to Europe. And during the holidays it can get really tricky to stay balanced with all the parties and events.
Here's where meal planning comes into the picture. Meal planning is the opposite of dieting. Meal planning is making sure you have healthy, nutrient rich snacks and foods available at crucial times. The more nutrients your body has the less likely you'll want to reach for an extra cookie when you hit that sugar crash. The more stable your blood sugar levels, the better you're able to handle holiday and end of the year stress.
Here's a recipe for Carrot Cake Energy Bites from Running on Real Food. I love it because carrots have tons of nutrients and any vegetable is going to contain antioxidants that will take your stress levels down. Let me know what you think!
This took me a while to write A) because I'm not a nutritionist and B) I don't think I have the perfect body or have the perfect diet. However, as a professional dancer and pilates instructor of ten years I've picked up a few things along the way that helped me and I felt it was important to share. In my personal experience and from what I have seen with my clients, focusing on being healthier and happier actually results in positive physical change. We have all fallen into the trap of thinking that when you reach that certain size all problems will be solved. But being thin doesn't automatically fix relationship problems or money issues or guarantee that you'll never have a bad day again. In fact restrictive diet and compulsive exercise can actually take time and energy away from creating that perfect life. However, when people have a strong support system and know how to problem solve when issues arise they are less likely to overeat which results in weight loss. So I'd like to encourage you to try the next time you start obsessing about food take a moment and think about what would really make you happy. And do that instead. Let me know how it goes.
For another article on the topic of food and emotion I highly recommend this article by Kelsey Miller for Refinery 29 "What to say instead of 'You're Not Fat.'"
Summer is Coming...In the last blog post I wrote about the mental and physical health benefits of Pilates but did you know that Pilates can make you look thinner instantly? Pilates strengthens muscles that create good posture making you appear taller and redistributing weight. In fact a University of Louisiana study asked participants to guess who was thinner- a 105 pound woman who was slouching or a 125 pound woman who was standing straight... And participants chose the 125 pound woman.
People with good posture are also perceived as more confident and and more attractive. Pilates helps with neck and shoulder alignment, which is affected by low back and core muscles. We all know it's not what you wear but how you wear it. So whether its a bikini or a caftan this summer Pilates helps you feel and look your best from the inside out. Click here for a posture exercise you can do at home or contact us for a session!
Sometimes when we are under pressure the last thing on our mind is a Pilates session, but that may be exactly what you need. Exercise releases endorphins and helps us metabolize fight-or-flight stress hormones that are triggered when when we get in a car wreck or are under prolonged stress such as a 14-hour workday.
Anxiety causes our muscles to tense up resulting in headaches, and insomnia. Working core muscles combats headaches and neck tension by dropping our center of gravity and supporting our bodies from the abdomen allowing muscles in the jaw, neck and hips to relax.
People who experience stomach aches and acid reflux benefit greatly from Pilates abdominal exercises which create greater circulation in the digestive system. Pilates exercises such as rollup, rolling like a ball and short spine literally massage the spine and release the area around the adrenal glands which control our stress hormones.
The focus and precision of Pilates movements creates mindfulness while moving the spine relaxes the nervous system for benefits can be felt in both mind and body.