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“Dear Diary…” Isis Pilates. Week 4.

March 10, 2010

Isis Pilates

1615 Foothill Dr. Suite C. Salt Lake City, Utah


Isis was an Egyptian goddess of magic and the giver of life.  She was a friend to all and worked with her people to build a strong community.  Isis Pilates is a neighborhood studio.  We strive to enhance the health and well-being of our community.

At Isis Pilates, every client begins with 3 one-on-one sessions where an initial kinetic assessment is performed.  We address any injuries, weaknesses, chronic pain or tightness and any aesthetic improvements you may desire.  We offer private and group sessions.  Whether you decide to continue with private sessions or choose to go into a group setting, you will still receive personal attention as our groups range from 3-5 people.

Isis Pilates will give you the workout that’s best for you now, and will increase the intensity as your body progresses and improves. Try It!-Cher Jolley-Parkes

Jesse:  “Dear Diary…”

December 28, 2009

Today I was able to focus on the very basic moves that I have been learning over my experience with Isis and have repeated each session.  One move that I really love and feel like I can do well is the Elephant stretch.  The most flexible part of my body is probably my hamstrings (bending down and flat palming the floor while keeping my legs straight? No big deal.)  The Elephant stretch requires you to grip the foot bar with both hands and place your heels flat on the reformer with the back of your feet up against the shoulder rests.  While keeping your upper body in place, you then push the reformer away from you and then slowly bring it in.  By doing this, the body is able to actively stretch the muscles.  In other words, you can gain a greater stretch because you are warming up the muscle, focusing on your breathing, and pushing yourself deeper each time you bring the reformer back in.

Cher handed me a stretchy band to wrap around my ankles.  She then told me to walk sideways up and down the room; all while paying attention to my spine.  This band worked my hip flexors and iliotibial band (I.T. band) more than I ever thought possible.

Another cool move I love on the reformer is the front lunge stretch.  You place one foot on the foot bar and the other up against the shoulder rest.  You then proceed to push back on the reformer into the deepest lunge possible.  I would imagine that Pilates experts just go straight into the splits.  Since I was able to gradually warm up my muscle with gentle movements, I was able to go into the stretch rather easily. I loved doing this move.

December 30, 2009

The first time I attended Pilates, Cher told me that Isis is a member of the Pilates Method Alliance (PMA).  If you ever go looking for a legitimate Pilates studio make sure that it is a member of the PMA.  From their website I learned, “The Pilates Method Alliance (PMA) is the international not-for-profit professional association for the Pilates method. The PMA’s mission is to protect the public by establishing certification and continuing education standards for Pilates professionals.  The PMA made history in 2005 by launching the first industry wide certification exam for the Pilates method in the United States.  The PMA has established recommended industry performance parameters guiding the practice of all PMA Certified and non-certified Pilates teachers. The PMA has established these standards to further bring professionalism to Pilates.”  So, what this means is if you go to a studio where the instructors are PMA certified, you know you are experiencing qualified instructors and appropriate Pilates techniques.

January 8, 2010

After I attended my last class with Cher I decided that I wanted to sum up the benefits of my entire experience.  I found this quote from the man who started it all:

“I must be right. Never an aspirin. Never injured a day in my life. The whole country, the whole world, should be doing my exercises. They’d be happier.” -Joseph Hubertus Pilates, in 1965, age 86.

The following is what I have gained and learned from my experience with Isis Pilates:

-greater body awareness by training the mind and body to build symmetry and control;

-working core muscles which so often get neglected in everyday life.  One Pilates expert said, “Think of a tree. Does it have all its strength in its limbs? No. The tree is only as strong as its trunk and roots. Without a strong trunk, the tree would topple over.” (Said much better than I ever could);

-greater flexibility throughout the entire body;

-increased range of motion;

-strengthens stabilizer muscles;

-can prevent future injuries;

-safe and effective exercise for elderly people;

-promotes long, lean muscles, much like a ballerina;

-creates a stronger and more flexible spine;

-improves circulation.

For those of you who feel this drive may be out of the way, I encourage you to take the trip to try this out.  I have already recruited a family member to start taking Pilates from Cher.  My family member is very active and has started to experience pain throughout different parts of her body.  I’m excited for her to try Pilates.  I know that it will help reduce the pain she is feeling and help to strengthen core muscles that will help aid in her continued physical activity.  I am so thankful that I experienced Pilates and I am excited to continue my attendance with Isis Pilates.

Noel:  “Dear Diary…”

Back to work.  Getting personally trained by an experienced and knowledgeable fitness guru is tough; no getting away with slacking; “Keep your back broad.  Elongate your neck.  Slowly.  Remember to breath.”

Having Cher teach me Pilates was challenging as well as fascinating.  Pilates was challenging because I was moving with mindful intention.  I had to concentrate on what I was doing to keep proper form, technique, and movement to sync into the best workout using optimum use of my body.  Don’t get me wrong; this wasn’t like a math test but it certainly wasn’t mindless.  Over time I’m confident I’ll be able to master the proper form and movement just like a kung fu student eventually masters the specific form, movement, and technique-“Skidoosh.”

Pilates was fascinating because I was able to discuss and learn from Cher.  She is a wellspring of knowledge.  I’m just learning how important it is to not only do a certain movement, but to do it well.  Cher, on the other hand, seems to have not only known this for years but has practiced it for years.  It may seem like I’m boasting about Cher-well maybe I am-but I’ve never had a personal trainer before who was so competent when it came to proficiently exercising the majestic complexity that is the human body.

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