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Client of the Month for September 2020

Julie Barker has been coming to Highway 54 Pilates for 18 months. She originally came into the studio because she had plateaued with her own workout routine at the gym. She has participated in private and group classes in Pilates and is now a student instructor.

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Our Muscles Obey our Minds

I was teaching footwork to a client this morning on the reformer. I asked her to stop for a second and just pay attention to how her body and her backside felt on the reformer carriage. I then requested she put weight into her left hip and left rib cage and just notice the balance between the two sides. She did what I asked, found a balanced place, and then we started the footwork sequence again

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Do you know your Pilates Instructor well enough to say this?

As a Pilates instructor one thing I love about teaching is getting to know my clients and getting to be part of their health journey. So many of my clients have been with me for years and I think that is so amazing! As an instructor, I can tell you that like any relationship the instructor/student relationship definitely evolves and matures as clients get to know me, I get to know them and as they progress in their Pilates practice.

One of the funny things that happens as clients get to know me better is that sometimes they say the things that are going through their head during their session or class. You know, that stuff you've been thinking since your first session but just finally feel comfortable saying! Here's just a few of my favorites.

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Have you been cheating in Virtual Pilates?

Is Pilates too easy when you do it at home? Maybe that's not Pilates, maybe it's about the effort you're putting into it!

Often when I correct a client on a particular exercise (at home or in the studio) they will respond afterwards with a, “Oh, so I was cheating.” I don’t really love the word cheating when it comes to movement because I feel like it’s such a negative word.

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August 2020 Client of the Month

Donna DiTrani has been coming to Highway 54 Pilates for 4 years now. She originally started Pilates because she and her wife purchased several Pilates packages at charity auctions that Highway 54 Pilates had donated. They both felt the other one could benefit because of their aches & pains. And they are still loving their Pilates at Highway 54 Pilates all these years later. I guess they were both right.

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The Questions People ask about our Teacher Training Program.

Have you ever wondered if you could be a Pilates teacher? And if so, why haven't you pursued it?

The number one question I get from people as they are considering becoming a Pilates teacher is: Am I physically ready to go through the program? This may be code for, "Do I need to lose weight or be better at Pilates to become a Pilates teacher?" There are absolutely no rules about where you need to be in your body and life when you start the teacher training program! If you are waiting to be at the "perfect weight and shape of your life", it probably will not happen!

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How Pilates can help your Heart

It turns out some of the most common causes of heart disease including lack of exercise, being overweight, high blood pressure and stress are things a regular Pilates practice can help you with!

Long before heart disease was a common household term Joseph Pilates was talking about the benefits of his method of exercise (which he called contrology) in terms of heart and whole body health.  In his book Return to Life, Joseph Pilates states,"Contrology exercises purify the blood in the bloodstream and whip it into instant action so the organs of the body receive the benefit of clean fresh blood carried to them by the rejuvenated bloodstream." He also stated," you should exercise every muscle in your body to improve the circulation of the blood so that the bloodstream can and will carry more and better blood to feed every fiber and tissue of your body. These exercises induce the heart to pump strong and steady."

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It’s OK to feel awkward for your first few Pilates sessions!

Many clients come into a session and expect to do everything we teach them perfectly on the first try, then beat themselves up when they can't do it! It doesn't matter if you danced for 20 years, are an elite athlete, run marathons, lift weights, did Yoga, or if you are in the best shape of your life! If you are brand new to Pilates, you are brand new to Pilates and it will take some time to learn!

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Your neck should never hurt during Pilates!

One of the first things I tell new clients when they are starting Pilates is, "Pilates should not hurt!" If something hurts then we need to adjust the exercise in your body in a way that it can be effective and help you create balance and strength so you can continue to progress without pain.

One of the most common places people find their neck hurting is while doing an upper ab curl. This movement specifically involves lifting your head off the mat and curling toward your body as you roll to approximately the tips of your shoulder blades. This movement is fundamental in many traditional Pilates exercises, although it can be modified as needed for individual bodies.

If someone is brand new to Pilates, and they jump into a large group class without any specific training on how to do this movement properly in their body, they end up feeling like they are straining their neck and not feeling the work of the movement throughout the rest of the body.

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Don’t Forget to Hydrate

Love this article from on why water is so important to our bodies! 

Your body is composed of roughly 60% water1. That means when we are dehydrated – and most of us spend our days constantly dehydrated to some degree – we are affecting the performance of the majority of our body. Nearly all of our systems do not function as well without the proper water intake.

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Why Pilates is the Perfect Exercise for Scoliosis

If you are one of the many people with scoliosis, you know that not all exercises are equal when it comes to strengthening, stretching, and balancing your body. Depending on the severity of your scoliosis you figured out at an early age that many traditional exercises and sports do not feel good in your body.

If no one ever explained to you why this is, you may have even learned to dislike exercise and movement because of your bad experiences. Movement and exercise are supposed to help you feel better, stronger and move easier. Unfortunately for those with scoliosis this is not always the case. Your curve and twist in your spine can make certain movements painful and even impossible. Many movements can create more imbalance in your body and cause pain.

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Memorial Day (Week) Schedule

Join us for this COVID-19 Special Memorial Day Pilates Workout Compilation.

Memorial Day

Start Virtually

8:00 am Burn at the BARRE – Online Class from the West Studio

Get Reformed

9:15 am Reformer Plus At the West Studio

Spring Out

10:30 am Spring Board At the West Studio

Tuesday May 26th

9:00 am – Virtual – Happy Shoulders – Bring TheraBand & Foam Roller

10:00 am – West Studio – Reformer Plus

1 pm – Virtual – Abs & Buns – Magic Circle

5 pm – East Studio – Reformer Plus

6:15 pm – Virtual & In East Studio – Burn at the BARRE

Wednesday May 27th

9:30 am – Virtual & In West Studio – GYROKINESIS® – Bring Chair/Stool & Mat

12:30 pm – Virtual – Pilates Grounding & Fundamentals

5:30 pm – West Studio – Spring Board

Thursday May 28th

10 am – West Studio – Reformer Plus

1 pm – Virtual – Happy Feet – Bring a Stick, TheraBand, Tennis Ball & Highway 54 Pilates wrist bands or hair ties

5 pm – East Studio – Reformer Plus

6 pm – Virtual – Happy Shoulders – Bring TheraBand & Foam Roller

Friday May 29th

9:30 am – Virtual – Magic Circle Fun

10:30 am – West Studio – Spring Board

5:30 pm – Virtual – GYROTONIC® Homework Series & Upper Body Openings – Bring Chair & Mat – Followed by Social Hour

Saturday May 30th

9 am – Virtual and In West Studio – Burn at the BARRE

10:30 am – Virtual – Shoulders & Legs – Bring TheraBand & Ball

2:00 pm – Virtual & in East Studio – Celebration / Donation GYROKINESIS® Class

Why Husbands Should Buy Pilates Sessions for their Wife!

It's that time of year again and if you are like many men you are trying to think of a unique, thoughtful gift for your wife that she won't want to return! What about purchasing her a package of private Pilates sessions? I know what you are thinking ... If I buy my wife fitness classes she's going to think I think she needs to lose weight or get into better shape and that could get me in trouble!

Let me put some of your fears at ease and give you some of my top reasons why private Pilates sessions makes a perfect gift and why it may be the best present you've ever gotten her!

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It’s ok to be a beginner!

I am amazed at how many clients come into a session, expect to do everything perfectly on the first try, and then beat themselves up when they can't do it. It doesn't matter if you danced for twenty years, are an elite athlete, run marathons, lift weights, did Yoga, or if you are in the best shape of your life. If you are brand new to Pilates, you are brand new to Pilates, and it will take some time to learn!

I hear a clients say, "but you just did that exercise perfectly." My response is usually something like: "Let me tell you how many times over the last fifteen years I have done that exercise…(hundreds…even thousands) and I'm still working on it too!"

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Where Should I be Feeling This?

As a Pilates instructor I often get the question," Where should I be feeling this?".

It seems like a simple enough question but often the answer can be complicated. I find then when people ask me this they want to know if they are doing the exercise correctly and if they are "feeling it" in the correct place. Or maybe something is hurting during the exercise.

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Our Zoom Client of The Month April 2020

Christina Schraeder has been coming to Highway 54 Pilates for two years. She originally came into the studio because she really wanted to blow the dust of off the reformer, she had purchased 10 years ago and would only use as a clothes horse or for some exercise occasionally. Christina noticed that her other exercise courses were beginning to hurt her body and she was walking around feeling pain rather than feeling strong. From the moment she walked into Highway 54 Pilates and its vivaciously inspiring instructor, Amie Ross, she has walked taller and felt stronger in her core than at any other time in her life.

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Special Class April 11

For anyone who wants to try a Virtual Class, you can attend and pay nothing, or you can make a donation. Bring a friend to try it out as well. This class is for anyone who needs some stress relief, anyone who’s interested in trying a barre class, and for all my Highway 54 Pilates clients.

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Our Coronavirus Response & Mitigation

As you are probably already aware, the COVID-19 Coronavirus strain is making its way around the world! At Highway 54 Pilates, we take your personal health and safety very seriously. So, we want to put your mind at ease with the steps we are taking in the studio to keep our students and staff safe and healthy. We know how beneficial mindful movement can be when life gets a little stressful and chaotic and it's our goal to create a safe, healthy environment where you can get some much needed "you time"! If you are immune compromised or feeling unsafe coming to public areas we also want to give you some options to get your movement time in without coming to the studio!

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3 Great Reasons to Try a Small Group Class at Highway 54 Pilates

Your instructors get to know you and your body. 

In a small group setting our Highway 54 Pilates instructor gets to know you. We will work to understand where you need work, what motivates you to exercise, and how we can help you get results. Let’s face it, we are all busy and want to maximize your time in class.

The most effective workout is the one you do.

Making yourself accountable to a class, an instructor, and classmates is a great way to keep you on track!


A PMA Certified instructors will challenge you, but also keep things safe for your fitness level. When it comes body mechanics, one exercise does not work the same for all body types. That’s why Highway 54 Pilates has certified instructors who recognize your body type and tailor a program for you.

So what are you waiting for?

Are you an “exercise introvert”?

I don't know about you, but the thought of having to go to an event or business or even a new dentist or doctor for the first time is on the bottom of my list of favorite things.  I would definitely call myself an introvert and it takes some effort on my part to get out of my shell and talk to new people and get out of my comfort zone. I'm also crazy busy with a business and kids and just the thought of setting up something new seems like such a big task that I avoid it if I can.

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March 2020 Client of the Month

Barbara Adams has been coming to Highway 54 Pilates for six months. She originally came into the studio because of lower back pain. She has participated in Private and Group Classes in Pilates and continues to inspire us with her progress! Here are her answers to our questions.

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Have You Hit a Plateau?

At Highway 54 Pilates we are super passionate about movement and the amazing benefits movement brings to your life. We find that our clients can be categorized into those who are private clients--those who generally only take one on one sessions with their instructor--and class clients--those who only take group classes. 

We think both options are great, and we love to encourage people to do what works best in their schedule and their budget. 

Our small group classes are an affordable way to get individualized workouts in on a regular basis and are the best option for most people. If you are a person who regularly takes classes, we want to encourage you to think about doing an occasional private session to take your own movement practice to a whole new level. 

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Ten Reasons I will go to Pilates Today

I'm a Pilates student and I have a zillion excuses about how much work I have to do. So this top 10 list, is helping me focus for one hour a day on ME!

1.  I always feel better when I'm finished!

2. My health is important and Pilates is part of my health care plan.

3. Stress relief. When life is crazy and stressful it's easy to skip the things we need most...all the more reason to make it to the studio.

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