I am excited to officially announce that after all the studying, testing, researching, presenting, analyzing, workshopping, and writing that I have successfully graduated from Lolita San Miguel's Pilates Master Mentor Program with certified distinction as a recognized 2nd Generation Pilates Teacher and a Lolita San Miguel Pilates Master. Next week I embark on the next phase of this journey, Lolitas Legacy, the wonderful teacher training program that I am excited to bring back to Glendora in order to train the next wave of Pilates Teachers in the study of Pilates excellence, authentic and quality Pilates education, and the ever important 4 Ps: Passion, Patience, Perseverance, and Practice. I celebrate this moment and the joy in knowing that the journey has only just begun!
#3 in Joseph Pilates 34 Classic Mat Exercises is the Rollover. This exercise is A beautiful challenge to and development of spinal articulation, spinal flexors (abdominals) and co contracting hip extensors (hamstrings, glutes). I couldn't resist the addition of Long Spine at the end of this video as it is a nice switch of focus from spinal and hip flexors to the hip and spine extensors and it balances the end of this exercise nicely (but only if you warmed up!!!). *note: If you are using the Rollover in the order in which it was originally intended -the 3rd exercise of the day- you would not likely be ready for the Long Spine variation. 😝
*press down with the back of the shoulders and upper arm (triceps) in order to encourage the action of the abdominals and hip flexors.
*Think of rolling your pubic bone "in" not "up". The idea is not to "lift" your legs up but rather to roll and ultimately "fold" yourself into a curved half of yourself. So you are not rolling straight up like an elevator you are instead a long roll of ribbon being rolled into itself. Focus of curling the pelvis "in" rather then the lifting legs "over".
*Reach through your legs in both directions. Keep the back of the legs energized.
*Engage your pelvic floor, inner thighs and glutes. They create a "trampoline" of buoyant energy from which to spring off of and rest into. :)
The Roll Up is the second exercise in Joseph Pilates Classic 34 Mat Exercises and it is a wonderful way to wake up the abdominals while stretching the lower back and hip flexors while also engaging the hamstrings. This exercises builds an awareness of the importance and necessity of engaging co-contracting abdominals (spinal flexors) and hamstrings (hip extensors) in order to successfully roll up.
*Sometimes people feel "stuck" when they roll up. Part of that can be due to tight hip flexors and/or lower back extensors. In that case take your time and bend your knees if necessary when first learning the Roll Up. You can even place your feet under a strap or a couch in order to put more emphasis on the abdominals. Just don't rely on this modification too long or it will back fire and actually cause you to build even more reliance on the hip flexors for your roll up.
*The timing of the breath is very important as well. Inhale during the chest lift (the first part of the roll up) and Exhale as the ribs leave the mat. The Exhale will give you an extra burst of power to help you cross the finish line!
*Also, don't forget the importance of pressing down with the latissimus dorsi muscles (the muscles underneath your arm pit) as you start to roll up. Think of your arms like butter knives (the armpits are the handle and your hands are the serated edge of your knife) and "slice "through space with energy and intention. Its a funny image but it works! :)
*Advance this exercise by adding leg lifts or arm lifts or by incorporating a Teasar or rotation.
***And don't forget to have fun!!!!! :)
The Hundred is an excellent warm up exercise and the first in Joseph Pilates's Classic 34 Mat Exercises. It involves considerable focus on breath and incorporates the global muscles of the body including the abdominals, glutes, hamstrings, inner thighs, quadriceps, latissimus dorsi, and triceps. It is primarily a warm up and breathing exercise and the ways to advance and modify this exercise are endless. Have fun and enjoy the journey towards making the challenging Hundred one of your favorite exercises!
Studio Owner Christine Ivy shares why she is so excited to start sharing a regular video tutorial of the Classic Mat Work as well as much of the repertoire on the various apparatus.
Our family is growing and so we are making room! This week we added a 5th Reformer the the Main Room in order to accommodate our growing clientele family. The response has been wonderful and in fact the new room arrangement feels even better then before (which I didn't actually think was possible :) ). We are also intently on the search for a new instructor to come on board in order to allow us to offer even more classes during peak class times. The hunt is on and I will keep you posted as we work towards locating the right quality staff to service our clients with a unique perspective but shared vision ~instructors who will challenge your limits but who will also support you. Because we always flourish to our highest potential when we take care of the WHOLE person- body, mind, and spirit. So lets keep growing together!
We have been offering Group Reformer Classes now for 2 months already (Can you believe it?!?!) and I am so grateful for all the wonderful clients who have been showing up to work hard, push themselves, and challenge their bodies and minds. You guys have been showing up as early as 6am all the way to 8pm to take goals to task and I'm so astounded by your commitment to make it happen! Clients have been forging ahead on new goals and several of you have been dusting off old ones with reinvigorated focus and determination. I feel blessed to witness this transformational process and to be part of the journey for all of these lovely friends, some new and some whom I've known for quite a while. In my book you are all rock stars!
It is my passion to continue to find ways to challenge the Balance & Grace Pilates' client family with reimagined workouts, continued education, and creative offerings at the studio. I am grateful today for this shared space and for a shared love of fitness, wellness, and personal growth. I can't wait to see whats next as we press ahead. Thank you!
Its been exactly two weeks since I signed the lease for our new home studio. In exactly one week's time we (with the help of some VERY amazing friends and family including David Hermann, Don Dumaul, Tom Ivy, Eddie Garcia, Gloria Ivy) installed track lighting, curtain rods, and approximately 15 4x6 mirrors. We moved in 6 Reformers, 2 Cadillacs, and 1 Combo Chair. We also started to organize all the props and nick nacks and all the little extra things that start making a "house" feel like a home.
During week two we continued to outfit the space with bookshelves, cubbies, tables, more shelving units and my favorite personal touch, our very own studio coffee bar setup (which I can't wait to further develop to the point that Starbucks is jealous :)). Its a simple arrangement for now but the intention is to welcome clients to relax and feel at home in the space...to know that when you are here you are family and that you are safe, you are appreciated, and you are recognized for the special individual you are.
Tomorrow we launch our Group Reformer Class Schedule and I am beyond thrilled to marry convenience and affordability within our package options at the studio. At the same time we are beginning the search for the right instructor team who will share in the vision of Balance & Grace Pilates.
So much has happened and is happening in such a small amount of time!
And by the way, the studio space feels really good... when I walk into the space it feels welcoming, alive with possibility, and rich with intention and vibrancy. When I find myself at my studio desk time just flies by as I work towards sharing this bliss with all of you.
In January of 2015 Balance & Grace initially opened its doors and we started this journey with 1 Reformer/Tower, a Combo Chair, a Barrel, and a Springboard. Four months later we are now gearing up to take a huge step and are getting ready to move from our current space into the studio next door. By the grace of God the unit next door became available and as organically as our first beginnings came about so this next opportunity presented itself as well. So although we are only four months old at the end of April we will be moving Balance & Grace Pilates Studio into a a new home with over 1500 dedicated square feet!!!!
With 1 main room dedicated to Group Reformer Classes and Group Fitness, 2 rooms devoted to private and semi-private training, and a fourth room designed for Mat/Tower work this new studio home will provide us more then enough room to support a full regular Group Reformer Class Schedule, simultaneous personal private and semi-private training, and special guest workshops and unique classes. The possibilities are endless.
Just this weekend I picked up (with the help of my amazing dad and fiancé ) 4 beautiful Reformers, a Cadillac, and a Barrel that will be living in the Main Room and one of our new private training rooms. More equipment is coming and I am beyond excited at the possibilities. I am so grateful for this opportunity to bring more women and men into the Balance & Grace family and to provide the community with a safe place to grow, re-charge and re-connect.
I will continue to keep you all updated as we approach our launch date of May 4th when we plan to roll our new Group Reformer Class Schedule. Thank you all for your support and stay tuned for much more news to come!
CHRISTINE IVY, Author
"We are not alone. We are in this together. Who we are is more important than titles or labels. Life is a journey and its best when it's shared. Here we encourage a lifestyle of balance and grace by celebrating, supporting, and challenging each other. So jump right in and join us!"