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  • 06/25/2024 0 Comments
    Summer Balance Challenge – Stand Up Paddle Boarding aka SUP

    Stand Up Paddle Boarding is one of my favorite summer activities. It is just wonderful because anyone can do it and have a full body workout. It is also good to know that you can sit on your board and kayak. This is a great option if you get tired or scared, just have seat paddle yourself home. The first thing I learned on a SUP board was how to change levels from kneeling on the board to standing and I know my Pilates training definitely helped. Balance is key and having good squat training really helps.

    Now the fear of being on a body of water standing on board is a totally other thing to manage. That’s why it’s important to gear up. SUP is an amazing experience, especially when wearing my PFD aka life jacket. Definitely make sure to have your Personal Flotation Device (PFD), Dry bag for snacks and one for your smart phone, a safety whistle, board ankle strap. The board ankle strap really comes in handy because if you fall in it will definitely keep your board near you.

    Also, if your balance is feeling good try combining the core engagement of paddling with the controlled movements of Pilates to create a unique workout in an incredibly scenic place. Either way enjoy the ride! Take photos because gliding effortlessly across a calm lake, surrounded by breathtaking scenery is just the best part of a beautiful summer day.




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  • 06/20/2024 0 Comments
    Summer Fun – Pilates and Kayaking

    Now that the temperature is getting into the 80’s it is time here in NY to explore all the cool outdoor water sports. One of my favorites is Kayaking especially on a lake or ocean inlet. Kayaking challenges your core, back, shoulders, and arms.  Although the paddling primarily targets the upper body your legs are working to help you balance and weight bear evenly in the kayak. Note, the latissimus dorsi (lats) are the heavy hitters in the the paddling choreography, they are the primary back muscles that origin at the upper arm bones (humeri) helping to distribute power from your back to your arms and lower body.

    Pilates is great for kayakers because it helps build core strength, flexibility, posture, balance and injury prevention. So, the next time you head out for a kayaking adventure, consider incorporating Pilates into your training routine. You'll be amazed at how this mind-body exercise can help you paddle farther, faster, and with more enjoyment.

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  • 05/28/2024 0 Comments
    The Body Symphony: A Collaborative Approach to Healing Through Movement

    Our bodies are incredible instruments. They allow us to move, interact, and experience the world around us. But just like any instrument, they can become out of tune. Pain, stiffness, and limitations can hold us back from living our fullest lives. This is where the concept of a holistic healing team comes in.


    Imagine a team of experts, each with a unique skillset, working together to create a symphony of healing for your body. This team could include:

    • Pilates instructor: A Pilates instructor focuses on controlled movements that strengthen your core, improve flexibility, and enhance body awareness.
    • Somatic wellness practitioner: Somatic practitioners use gentle movement and mindfulness to help you reconnect with your body and release tension.
    • Physical therapist: A physical therapist can assess your injuries, create a personalized rehabilitation plan, and guide you towards pain-free movement.
    • Massage therapist: Massage therapists use various techniques to relieve muscle tension, improve circulation, and promote relaxation.

    And this just a short list of what your team may include. There are so many resources available because not everyone connects with the same support. For instance, acupuncture, Rolfing, chiropractic healing, cranial sacral therapy and visceral manipulation are all options to try depending on your injury or trauma. Noting many practitioners are trained in multiple disciplines.


    Why a Team Approach?


    While each of these practices offers significant benefits on its own, the true magic happens when they work together. Here's how:

    • A comprehensive approach: The team can address various aspects of your physical health, from strength and flexibility to injury rehabilitation and stress management.
    • Personalized plan: Each team member provides their expertise to create a program tailored to your specific needs and goals.
    • Improved communication: Open communication between team members ensures they are all on the same page, leading to a more cohesive treatment plan.
    • Faster results: By combining different modalities, you may experience faster progress in achieving your healing goals.

    Finding Your Healing Symphony


    If you're interested in exploring this collaborative approach to healing, here are some tips:

    • Research practitioners: Look for certified professionals with experience working in a team setting.
    • Schedule a session: Try at least two to three sessions to get a feel for each practitioner's approach.
    • Ask about team collaboration: Ensure the practitioners you choose are comfortable working together and communicating openly.

    By creating a personalized healing team, you can embark on a journey towards a stronger, more resilient, and pain-free you. Remember, your body is a symphony waiting to be played. Let these skilled practitioners be the conductors, guiding you towards a life filled with movement and joy.

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  • 05/28/2024 0 Comments
    Fun and Fitness for All: Pilates for the Whole Family

    Pilates is a fantastic way to improve your core strength, flexibility, and posture. But did you know it's also a great activity for the whole family?


    Pilates is a perfect family fitness choice:

    • Adaptable for All Ages and Fitness Levels: Pilates exercises can be modified to suit any age or ability level. Whether you have young children, teenagers, or even grandparents, everyone can participate in a Pilates workout together.
    • Builds Strong Bodies: Pilates strengthens core muscles, which are essential for good posture and stability. This can help prevent injuries and improve overall fitness for everyone in the family.
    • Improves Flexibility: Pilates stretches and lengthens muscles, which can help improve flexibility for all ages. This is especially important for children as they grow and develop.
    • Boosts Coordination and Balance: Pilates exercises often challenge your coordination and balance. This is a fun way to improve these skills for the whole family.
    • Creates Quality Time Together: Working out together as a family is a great way to bond and have fun. Pilates provides a shared activity that everyone can enjoy.

    Here are some tips for getting started with Pilates as a family:

    • Find a Family-Friendly Pilates Class: Many Pilates studios offer classes specifically designed for families. These classes will typically incorporate modifications and playful elements to keep everyone engaged.
    • Start at Home: If you can't find a family Pilates class, you can easily do Pilates exercises at home. Custom virtual classes just for you, your family and friends might be the perfection option. There are many online resources for live virtual training and DVDs available that offer family-friendly Pilates routines.
    • Keep it Fun: Make sure your Pilates workouts are enjoyable for everyone. Use fun props, simple choreography and focus on positive reinforcement.
    • Focus on Form over Difficulty: Proper form is essential to get the most out of Pilates and avoid injury. It's better to do a few exercises correctly than many exercises incorrectly.
    • Listen to Your Bodies: Pay attention to your bodies and take breaks when needed. Don't push yourselves too hard, especially if you're new to Pilates.

    With a little creativity and planning, Pilates can be a fun and rewarding activity for the whole family. So why not give it a try today?

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  • 05/09/2024 0 Comments
    Pilates Mat Quickies Keeps You Active When Life Gets Hectic

    We all know the feeling. The to-do list keeps growing, the hours seem to shrink, and fitting in exercise feels like a distant dream. But what if I told you there are workouts that are efficient, effective, and perfect for squeezing into your busy schedule? Pilates Mat exercises are the perfect go to for quick exercises that can help you find that consistent exercise routine you been craving in your busy day.

    Pilates for the Time-Crunched

    Pilates offers a unique blend of low-impact exercises that target your entire body. Pilates workouts can be as short as 10-30 minutes, making them ideal for busy individuals. Here's why Pilates is your secret weapon for staying active:

    • Maximum Benefit, Minimum Time: Pilates exercises focus on controlled movements and core engagement, ensuring you get a full-body workout in a short amount of time.
    • Home is Your Gym: Many Pilates exercises require minimal equipment, or none at all! You can find short virtual classes, free online routines, or follow along with Pilates apps, turning your living room into your personal studio.
    • Multitasking Marvel: Short on time? Consider incorporating mini-Pilates sessions throughout your day. Take a few minutes during your lunch break to stretch and fire up your core or do some quick leg lifts while waiting for your coffee to brew.
    • Pilates Props: Exercise props are great way to assist and challenge your Pilates home routines. Check out my Pinterest board Tracie’s Favorite Pilates Props.

    Beyond the Workout

    The benefits of Pilates extend far beyond just physical fitness. Here's how Pilates can help you conquer your busy days:

    • Improved Energy Levels:Regular Pilates practice can boost your energy levels and leave you feeling more focused throughout the day.
    • Stress Reduction: The controlled movements and focus on breathwork in Pilates can help you unwind and de-stress after a long day.
    • Better Posture: Strong core muscles, a key focus in Pilates, can lead to improved posture, reducing back pain and discomfort often associated with long hours sitting.

    Getting Started with Pilates

    Ready to give Pilates a try? Here are some tips:

    Find your fit: There are different styles of Pilates, so explore online resources or studios to find a class that suits your needs and preferences.
    Listen to your body: Start slow with a private lesson or level one class and gradually increase intensity as you get stronger.
    Make it a habit: Schedule your workouts just like you would any other appointment. Consistency is key to seeing results.

    Pilates is a wonderful tool for staying active and healthy, even with a hectic schedule. So, ditch the excuses, roll out your mat, and create the Pilates home practice that works for you!

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  • 05/02/2024 0 Comments
    Finding Calm in the Core: How Pilates Can Help Manage Anxiety

    Anxiety, apprehension, unease, nervousness, worry, fear too often overwhelm ones sense of well-being. But what if there was a way to manage those feelings, not just mask them, but truly find moments of calm amidst the chaos? Exercise is an excellent resource, especially Pilates.


    Pilates is often seen as a physical exercise, a way to sculpt and strengthen the body. However, its benefits extend far beyond the physical. Pilates can be a powerful tool for managing anxiety, offering a unique blend of movement, mindfulness, and breathwork. When you are doing Pilates, you cannot do anything else your mind and body are fully engaged and present.


    Here's how Pilates helps manage anxiety:

    • Mind-Body Connection: Pilates emphasizes the connection between your body and mind. As you move with intention, your focus shifts from the worries swirling in your head to the sensations in your muscles and the rhythm of your breath. This mindful awareness helps break the cycle of anxious thoughts.
    • Breathwork: Pilates places a strong emphasis on controlled breathing. Deep, diaphragmatic breaths activate the parasympathetic nervous system, which promotes relaxation and counters the fight-or-flight response triggered by anxiety.
    • Stress Release: Pilates exercises often target areas where we tend to hold tension, like the shoulders and neck. As you move and stretch these muscles, you release built-up stress and promote a sense of physical and emotional calm.
    • Improved Body Awareness: Pilates teaches you to move with precision and control. This heightened awareness of your body empowers you to identify and release tension, giving you a sense of control over your physical and emotional state.
    • Sense of Accomplishment: Completing a Pilates routine, even a simple one, can be incredibly rewarding. This sense of accomplishment boosts your mood and confidence, which can have a positive impact on anxiety levels.

    It's important to note that Pilates is not a cure for anxiety disorders. However, it can be a powerful tool in your anxiety management toolbox. Here are some additional tips:

    • Start slow and find a qualified instructor: Listen to your body and choose exercises that feel comfortable. A good instructor can tailor a program to your needs and guide you through movements safely and effectively.
    • Be consistent: Regular practice is key to reaping the long-term benefits of Pilates for anxiety management. Aim for establishing a weekly routine.
    • Combine with other self-care practices: Pilates can be a powerful tool alongside therapy, meditation, and spending time in nature.

    Remember, managing anxiety is a journey, not a destination. Pilates can be a valuable companion on that path, offering a safe space to move your body, quiet your mind, and find moments of much-needed calm. So, unroll your mat, take a deep breath, and let Pilates guide you towards a calmer, more centered you.


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  • 04/10/2024 0 Comments
    Pilates and the Skeletal System

    Pilates is a popular exercise method known for its focus on core strength, flexibility, and posture. But what many people might not realize is that Pilates exercises also have a positive impact on the human skeletal system.

    Pilates has an innate focus on aligning ones bones to find healthy supportive muscle toning and engagement. In Pilates once you get your bones in alignment it allows for your muscles to work most efficiently. The training of your muscle support and bone alignment allows for improved stability in neutral pelvis and neutral spine. Although sustaining neutral in different posture can be challenging especially if you are injured it is part of the work. Once your body finds it’s neutral alignment and support it can be life changing, improving one’s posture, balance, and even bone density.


    The Pilates-Skeletal Connection

    Our bones provide structure and support for our bodies. Pilates exercises target the muscles surrounding these bones, strengthening them and improving their ability to support the skeleton. This can lead to several benefits:

    • Improved Posture: Poor posture can put undue stress on certain joints and bones. Pilates exercises emphasize proper alignment, which helps straighten the spine and reduce strain on areas like the lower back and neck.
    • Enhanced Balance: Many Pilates exercises challenge your balance, which strengthens the core muscles that work with the skeletal system to keep you upright. This can help prevent falls, a major risk factor for bone fractures, especially for older adults.
    • Increased Bone Density: While Pilates may not directly increase bone density, the weight-bearing nature of many exercises can help maintain it. This is particularly important for preventing osteoporosis, a condition that weakens bones and increases fracture risk.

    Skeletal Support Throughout the Body

    In brief Pilates targets different parts of the skeletal system:

    • Spine: Pilates exercises focus on lengthening and strengthening the spinal muscles, promoting proper spinal curvature and reducing back pain.
    • Pelvis: Core strengthening exercises in Pilates stabilize the pelvis, which can improve alignment and reduce pressure on the lower back.
    • Hips and Knees: Pilates movements often involve controlled leg movements, which strengthen the muscles surrounding these joints and improve their stability.

    Listen to Your Body

    It's important to note that Pilates should be practiced with proper form and guidance, especially for those with pre-existing skeletal conditions. A qualified Pilates instructor can modify exercises to suit your individual needs and ensure you perform them safely and effectively.


    Building a Strong Foundation

    Pilates offers a holistic approach to exercise, and its benefits extend far beyond just looking good. By strengthening the muscles that support your skeleton, Pilates can help you maintain strong, healthy bones for years to come. So, the next time you're looking for a workout that strengthens your core and supports your skeletal system, consider giving Pilates a try!

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  • 12/29/2023 0 Comments
    Pilates and the Psoas: A Powerful Partnership

    Pilates is a low-impact exercise that focuses on core strength, flexibility, and balance. It is an excellent way to strengthen and activate the psoas muscle while improving posture, alignment, which supports the psoas and reduce the risk of injury.

    Anatomically the psoas is a deep core muscle that connects the lumbar spine in the back of our bodies runs diagonally forward through the viscera to attach to the thigh bone (femur). It is responsible for hip flexion and rotation, as well as stabilizing the pelvis and spine. 

    If you are new to Pilates, it is important to start with basic exercises and gradually work your way up to more challenging ones. It is also important to find a qualified Pilates instructor who can teach you proper form and technique.

    Here are some Pilates exercises that are specifically beneficial for the psoas:


    Thigh Lift:  lie on your back with your legs bent and your feet flat. Lift one leg up keeping it bent at the knee. Draw your knee towards your chest till it is at a 90-degree angle to the hip. Hold for a few seconds, then slowly lower your leg back down. Repeat with the other leg.

    Roll-up:  lie on your back with your legs bent and your feet flat on the floor. Engage your core muscles and slowly roll up one vertebra at a time until you are sitting upright. Hold for a few seconds, then slowly roll back down one vertebra at a time. Note some people really struggle with roll ups, if this is a challenge for you, place your hands around your thighs for arm support and maybe a small hand towel under your sacrum.

    Plank: in quadruped position (cat position) extend your legs out behind you making sure to line up your ears, shoulders, ribs, hips, knees and ankles. Inhale and exhale to engage your core muscles and hold the position for ten seconds or as long as you can. Note you can do it on your forearms if it bothers your wrists.
    Pilates is a safe and effective way to strengthen and activate the psoas muscle. It is also a great way to improve overall fitness, flexibility, and balance. If you are looking for a way to improve your health and well-being, Pilates is a great option. 

    Please check with a doctor before starting any exercise program.

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  • 12/10/2023 0 Comments
    Pilates Is Great for All Foot Types: Flat Feet, High Arches, and Normal Feet

    As a Pilates Instructor my appreciation of my feet completely changed with my training. Most of us don’t think about our feet unless we stub a toe or experience pain for some reason. Foot pain can be caused just by the structure of the foot, but they can also find relief with the right exercises. Pilates is a low-impact exercise method that can be beneficial for people of all foot types. It can help to strengthen the muscles in the feet and ankles, improve flexibility, and reduce pain.


    People with flat feet often experience pain in their feet, ankles, and knees. This is because the lack of arch in their feet can cause them to overpronate, their feet roll inwards when they walk or run. Pilates can help to strengthen the muscles that support the arches of the feet, which can help to reduce pain and improve alignment.


    People with high arches often experience pain in their feet, ankles, and calves. This is because the high arches in their feet can cause them to supinate, which means that their feet roll outwards when they walk or run. Pilates can help to stretch the muscles that support the arches of the feet, which can help to reduce pain and improve flexibility.


    People with normal feet can also benefit from Pilates. Pilates can help to strengthen and stretch the muscles in the feet, ankles, and legs, which can help to improve overall foot health and prevent pain.


    Here are some specific Pilates exercises that can be beneficial for people with flat feet, high arches, and normal feet:


    For Flat Feet:

    • Foot doming: helps to strengthen the muscles that support the arches of the feet. To do this exercise, sit on a chair with your feet flat on the ground. Curl your toes under and dome the arches of your feet. Hold for a few seconds and then relax. Repeat 10-15 times.


    For High Arches:

    • Towel scrunches: helps to strengthen the muscles that support the arches of the feet. To do this exercise, sit on a chair or do in standing with your feet flat on the ground. Place a towel under your toes and scrunch the towel towards you with your toes. Hold for a few seconds and then relax. Repeat 10-15 times.


    For Normal Feet:

    • Single-leg toe raises, helps to strengthen the muscles in the feet, ankles, and legs. To do this exercise, in standing place a TheraBand under your foot from heel to toes. Hold the other end of the Theraband in your hands and gently tug on it and lift your toes up feeling the support of the TheraBand under your toes. Hold for a few seconds and then lower back down. Repeat 10-15 times on each leg.


    For All Foot Types:

    • Footwork on the Pilates Reformer, the spring load design with the footwork choreography helps challenge your muscles, improve alignment, and increase flexibility.


    It is always a good idea to talk to your doctor before starting a new exercise program, especially if you have any foot pain or conditions.


    Pilates is a safe and effective exercise method that can be beneficial for people of all foot types. With regular practice, you can improve your foot health, reduce pain, and improve your overall well-being.

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  • 11/22/2023 0 Comments
    Joint Health and Pilates

    In our bodies joints are the points where two or more bones meet. They allow us to move and bend in different ways. There are three main types of joints in the human body:

    • Synovial joints are the most common type of joint and are characterized by a capsule that surrounds the joint and contains synovial fluid, which helps to lubricate and protect the joint. Think of your hips, knees, hands, elbows…
    • Cartilaginous joints are found in the spine and pelvis and are characterized by a piece of cartilage that cushions the bones and allows them to glide over each other. Think of your vertebrae and SI joint.
    • Fibrous joints are found in the skull and between the teeth and jawbone and are characterized by a dense band of connective tissue that holds the bones together.
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  • 11/22/2023 0 Comments
    Pilates planks: A core strength powerhouse

    Pilates Plank aka Control Front is a foundational exercise that targets all the core muscles, including the rectus abdominis (abs), transverse abdominis (deep core), obliques, and erector spinae (back muscles). It is also a great exercise for strengthening the arms, shoulders, and legs because it is full body connecting core and shoulder stability with hip extension.

    To do a Pilates plank, start in a push-up position with your hands or forearms on the ground and your body forming a straight line from your head to your heels. Engage your core muscles by pulling your belly button in towards your spine and keeping your back straight. Hold the position for as long as you can, maintaining good form. Pay attention to your bone alignment of your ears, shoulders, ribs, hips, knees and ankles.

    If you are new to the Pilates plank, you can start by holding it for 10-15 seconds and gradually increase the time as you get stronger. You can also modify the exercise by doing it on your knees instead of your toes. It is also nice to place a pillow under your knees for extra cushioning.

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    11/15/2023 0 Comments
    Pilates for Sciatica: Find Relief and Improve Mobility

    Sciatica is a pain that radiates along the sciatic nerve, which runs from the lower back through the buttocks and down the back of each leg. It can be caused by a number of factors, including herniated discs, spinal stenosis, and muscle spasms.

    Pilates is a low-impact exercise that focuses on core strength, flexibility, and balance. It can be a helpful way to manage sciatica pain and improve mobility.

    Pilates can benefit people with sciatica in a number of ways, including:

    Strengthening the core muscles: The core muscles help to support the spine and pelvis, which can take some of the pressure off the sciatic nerve.
    Improving flexibility: Pilates exercises can help to improve flexibility in the hamstrings, quadriceps, and other muscles around the spine and pelvis. This can help to reduce pressure on the sciatic nerve and improve range of motion.
    Promoting balance and coordination: Pilates exercises can help to improve balance and coordination, which can help to prevent falls and other accidents that could aggravate sciatica pain.
    Pilates exercises for Sciatica

    There are a number of Pilates exercises that can be beneficial for people with sciatica. Some examples include:

    Pelvic tilts: This exercise helps to strengthen the core muscles and improve flexibility in the lower back and hips.

    Knee to chest: This exercise helps to stretch the hamstrings and lower back muscles.

    Bridge: This exercise helps to strengthen the core muscles and glutes.

    Leg circles: This exercise helps to improve flexibility in the hamstrings, quadriceps, and calves.

    Cat-cow: This exercise helps to improve flexibility in the spine and neck.

    If you have sciatica, Pilates can be a helpful way to manage your pain and improve your mobility. However, it is important to talk to your doctor or physical therapist before starting Pilates to make sure that it is safe for you.

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  • 10/07/2023 0 Comments
    Bursitis and Pilates

    Bursitis is inflammation of a bursa, which is a fluid-filled sac that reduces friction and provides cushioning between bones, tendons, and muscles. There are many different types of bursitis, each named after the bursa that is inflamed. Some of the most common causes of bursitis are overuse, injury, and arthritis.


    Here are some Pilates exercises that are beneficial for different types of bursitis:

    Wrist circles:  start with your arms extended in front of you with your palms facing down. Slowly make small circles with your wrists, gradually increasing the size of the circles. Continue circling your wrists for 10-15 seconds in each direction.
    Triceps extensions:  stand with your feet shoulder-width apart and your arms behind your head, with your elbows bent at a 90-degree angle. Inhale and exhale to engage your core muscles and extend your arms straight back. Hold for a few seconds, then slowly lower your arms back down.
    Hip bursitis:

    Side leg lifts:  stand with your feet shoulder-width apart. Slowly lift one leg out to the side, keeping your leg straight. Hold for a few seconds, then slowly lower your leg back down. Repeat with the other leg.

    Hamstring stretch: This exercise helps to improve flexibility in the hamstrings, which support the knee joint. To do the hamstring stretch, sit on the ground with your legs extended in front of you. Bend forward at the waist, reaching your toes with your hands. Hold for a few seconds, then slowly relax.
    Calf stretch: This exercise helps to improve flexibility in the calf muscles, which support the knee joint. To do the calf stretch, stand facing a wall with your hands on the wall at shoulder height. Place one foot in front of the other, keeping your back heel on the ground. Lean forward until you feel a stretch in the calf of your back leg. Hold for a few seconds, then slowly relax.

    If you are new to Pilates, it is important to find a qualified Pilates instructor who can teach you proper form and technique. This will help you to avoid injury and get the most out of your Pilates workouts.

    Please check with a doctor before starting any exercise program.

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  • 09/29/2023 0 Comments
    Pilates and Mindfulness Eye Exercises: A Healthy Combination for Your Vision

    Most of us do not think about our eye anatomy until our eyes are tired or we need to get new glasses. The eye is a complex organ that is made up of many different parts. The main parts of the eye include the cornea, the lens, the retina, and the optic nerve. The cornea is the clear covering at the front of the eye. The lens is a clear structure that helps to focus light onto the retina. The retina is a layer of light-sensitive cells at the back of the eye. The optic nerve carries signals from the retina to the brain. The point is the eye is an organ and muscle and can be exercised.

    When combined, Pilates and eye exercises can help to improve your vision in a number of ways. Pilates can help to strengthen the muscles that support your eyes, which can reduce eye strain and fatigue. Eye exercises can help to improve your eye coordination and focus, which can be helpful for people who work on computers or who suffer from eye conditions such as nearsightedness or farsightedness.


    Here are some specific Pilates exercises that can be beneficial for your eyes:

    Shoulder shrugs: This exercise helps to strengthen the muscles in your neck and shoulders, which can help to reduce eye strain.
    Bird dog: This exercise helps to improve your core strength and balance, which can also help to reduce eye strain.
    Cobra pose: This exercise helps to stretch the muscles in your back and neck, which can also help to reduce eye strain.


    There are many different Mindfulness Eye Exercises, but some of the most common include:

    Palming: Close your eyes and place your palms over them, leaving a small opening between your fingers. Breathe deeply and slowly for 5-10 minutes.
    Eye rolling: Gently roll your eyes clockwise for 10 seconds, then counterclockwise for 10 seconds.
    Eye blinking: Blink your eyes rapidly for 10 seconds, then slowly for 10 seconds.
    Eye gazing: Focus your gaze on a single object for 30 seconds.

    Please check with a doctor before starting any exercise program.

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  • 09/07/2023 0 Comments
    The Achilles Tendon

    The Achilles tendon is the largest and strongest tendon in the body. It connects the calf muscles to the heel bone. This tendon allows us to walk, run, jump, and stand on our toes.

    Achilles tendon injuries are common in athletes, especially runners. They can also occur in people who participate in other activities that require repetitive use of the calf muscles, such as basketball, soccer, and tennis.


    There are two main types of Achilles tendon injuries:

    Achilles tendinitis: This is an inflammation of the Achilles tendon. It is caused by overuse or repetitive strain. Symptoms of Achilles tendinitis include pain, stiffness, and swelling in the back of the ankle.
    Achilles tendon rupture: This is a tear in the Achilles tendon. It is caused by a sudden, forceful contraction of the calf muscles. Symptoms of an Achilles tendon rupture include severe pain, swelling, and bruising in the back of the ankle.
    If you think you have injured your Achilles tendon, it is important to see a doctor right away. Treatment for Achilles tendon injuries depends on the severity of the injury.


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  • 08/31/2023 0 Comments
    The Shoulder Rotator Cuff

    Shoulder rotator cuff injuries are so common, I see them all the time with my clients.There are four rotator muscles:

    Supraspinatus - abduction of the arm that is lifting the arm out to the side.

    Infraspinatus - externally rotates the arm that is rotating the arm away from the body.

    Teres minor - also externally rotates the arm.

    Subscapularis - internally rotates the arm - rotating the arm towards the body. Note we cannot actually touch the subscapularis muscle because it is on the underside of the scapular gliding along the ribcage in movement.

    One of my favorite rotator cuff exercises is elbows to ribs at a 90 degree angle and open the arms apart like opening a book. Once comfortable with the choreography add a theraband or a 1lb weight. Remember these are small muscles so don’t push and if anything hurts stop immediately.


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  • 02/02/2021 - Tracie Matthews 0 Comments
    Breathe, Masks, and Exercise

    What is breathing? Simple question, right? Well, breathing is perhaps our most basic biological function keeping us alive. It is what sparks the flow of energy in our bodies, which in some Eastern and holistic practices is referred to as Chi, Qi, Xi, Ki, Prana, Spirit, or Life Force.


    Biologically, breath is the taking in and letting out of air. During inhalation the air comes in consisting mostly of nitrogen and some oxygen. Our bodies resource the oxygen to sustain and nourish our cells, while during exhalation the air exits, mostly releasing carbon dioxide. These processes lead to a slew of other biological functions that occur instantaneously, including: the lungs filling up and emptying out, the ribs expanding and contracting, and the red blood cells being filled with oxygen to start their journey through the heart and arteries to distribute all that vital oxygen to every single cell in our bodies (referred to as arterial blood flow). Once the blood is depleted of oxygen it flows back to the heart through the veins and is referred to as venous blood flow and the cycle repeats. Without breath we would not exist; breathing allows us not only to nurture our cells but also our minds as it is the first inroad to meditation.


    Why wear a mask? Before the COVID-19 pandemic, I suppose like many readers, I generally associated masks with Halloween, scary movies (Jason or Michael Myers, anyone?), historical art, and winter sports. I didn’t really think about medical masks because I am not a surgeon. So shifting our focus toward the medical purpose of masks it seems obvious that it is a barrier to prevent the spreading and receiving of germs. Unfortunately they are a barrier needed by everyone during these times.


    Does exercising with a mask restrict one’s breathing? The answer is it depends on the mask and the person. The first time I tried walking or running outside with an N-95 was truly difficult. Many people have found the security of N-95 masks worth the discomfort but for me it felt like wearing an oven on my face.  Luckily, there are many options and I kept experimenting. Next, I tried doing Pilates with a cloth mask with a carbon filter in it. This option was okay but again if it was hot and humid weather my face would quickly get sweaty in uncomfortable ways. Then I tried paper masks which, for me turned out to be the most comfortable for exercising even when I double them as Dr. Fauci suggests.


    While wearing a paper mask, my breath doesn’t feel as limited and after a few exercise sequences I even forget I am wearing one unless the mask starts to drift down my face and I need to reposition it. The really good news is I have seen so many people exercising with N-95s, K-95s, buffs, cloth, and paper masks—so embrace that individual choice! The key is test out what works for you and protect yourself and others while continuing to exercise.


    Finding a comfortable breath while wearing a mask and exercise has been an adjustment for many, but it is possible. Stay safe and test out the masks with the exercise regimen you enjoy. Stay fit and keep moving. Consider meditating to encourage the natural mind body balance found from focused calm breathing with or without a mask.


    Bottom line: even when you wear a mask, you can uncover meaning through personal fitness.

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  • 01/11/2021 - Tracie Matthews 0 Comments
    Smile with Your Eyes

    Embody what you want, and you can change how your body feels. 2020 has been a year of missing everyone’s smiles behind their masks but are we really missing our smiling connections? Smiling is felt everywhere in our bodies, and although my Smile series was inspired by a client with Parkinson’s disease to help her exercise her fascial muscles and connect energetically outwardly; it immediately became much more because we are all living behind masks these days. This everyday safety precaution has changed our lives and made me miss seeing everyone’s smile throughout my day. From the cashier at my local café to greeting my clients, smiling while wearing a mask needs more attention. Our current normal has allowed me to think about how we do connect and feel a smile in our bodies. Smiling energy can be found in any part of our bodies, so I created a Somatic series to help us all connect to our smiles and each other. Like anything else worthwhile, it’s worth practicing!

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  • 02/12/2020 - Tracie Matthews 0 Comments
    To Roll or Not to Roll?

    To roll or not to roll IT Bands, that is the question. Everyone seems to use a foam roller and, like me, learned to roll out their IT Bands

    (illiotibial bands; i.e., the sides of your legs). Well, news flash: opinions are changing! Apparently, although rolling out the IT Bands feels good it’s no longer considered the end all be all of Myofascial release techniques.

    The illiotibial band is a long fibrous buttressing of connective tissue that supports walking. When rolling them, we are actually rolling the adjacent muscles, which, unlike IT Bands, have the ability to change length. To find relief it is better to get a ball designed for body rolling and focus on releasing your Tensor Fascia Lata referred to as the TFL. The multifunctional TFL is the muscle alongside the front of your hip above the IT band that in abduction assists internal rotation of the hip and hip flexion. It can have trigger point knots that feel tender or rope-like and you will get more relief through your IT Band after you’ve release the knots in your TFL.

    Now, all this doesn’t mean that rolling doesn’t feel good! But I’d recommend going with a softer roller because roller density does matter. If you are working out at a gym, those popular dense black rollers are probably too hard for the job. Rather, look for the original white rollers introduced by Moshe Feldenkrais to the Somatic movement community in the 1920’s. There are still plenty of usages for the familiar foam rollers of all different densities, so if you already own one here is an option. One of my favorite things to do on a three-foot foam roller is to lay on it head to tail and work on balancing. Once my center settles and my breathing easily engaging my core on the exhale I will add the challenge of lifting one leg at a time, then progress to single arms and, if I feel really stable, while lifting one leg I will add the opposite arm creating a cross-lateral challenge to the core.

    For body rolling, use various soft- to hard-density rollers for more muscularly dense areas such as your quads, hamstrings, calves, and back. Experiment with the different rollers to figure out which density you prefer to use where on your body. For example, I love the white Feldenkrais roller for my back and I prefer the medium white and blue/green marble-colored rollers for my quads and hamstrings. As they say these days, "you do you!"

    While to roll or not to roll remains a perennial Pilates question, please always check with your physician before beginning any exercise program.

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  • Pregnant woman sitting
    06/11/2019 - Tracie Matthews 0 Comments
    Pilates Pre and Post Natal

    Let me answer the most pressing questions first: Yes, Pilates can help with back pain, sciatica, and diastasis recti. In fact, it’s a great solution for overall wellbeing while pregnant. Learning to move through the Pilates exercises is equally challenging and supportive as your body changes and prepares for childbirth.

    One of the most important things I teach my expecting Mom’s is how to gain support for their changing body by connecting to their transverse abdominals. Knowing how to find, feel and cue abdominal engagement intrinsically helps soothe lower back pain with the added benefit of helping to prepare for delivery. The transverse abdominals start in your back connecting from the inside surface of the seven lowest ribs, all your lumbar vertebrae, and wraps horizontally around to the front body. When the transverse abdominals are engage and connect with all the core muscles they create a natural weave of muscle layers to help support your back, improve stability and assist with pushing the baby out when the time comes. To experience the engagement of the transverse abdominals in a safe, spacious room, walk backwards and then run a little backwards; the transverse abdominals should instinctually turn on to slow you down and protect you from moving too quickly. This instinct kicks in to protect you from falling or banging into something because you can’t see where you are going.

    Play with finding your transverse abdominals and share your experience in the comment section. In my movement training we improve by learning from our shared experiences,, which includes being present and attuned to Mom’s wellbeing as well her growing baby’s.

    Nowadays, there are so many kids out in the world that unconsciously smile when they hear my voice because I was their Mom’s Pilates Instructor during her pregnancy. Pre and Postnatal Pilates is a wonderful experience, and I look forward to bringing my experience to help support many more healthy pregnancies.

    Check back soon for more Pilates Pregnancy blogs addressing, connecting one’s Pelvic Floor, movement tools for managing Sciatica, and the realities of diastasis recti.

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  • 02/26/2019 - intuitivemotionpilates 0 Comments
    Conquer Your Pilates Fears

    Pilates can be as much an emotional experience as a physical one. The most common fear I have encountered amongst my Pilates clients is the fear of falling. Imagine you are taking a group class or a private lesson and the instructor cues you to stand on the reformer and move or hold a bar while leaning back in space. This could rattle the bravest and most physically confident of any of us.

    This fear is an anxious feeling one gets from the possibility of falling and hurting oneself. My client Emily colorfully explains her fear as, "Anything that involves the potential of my face hitting equipment or the floor is a fear of mine. This usually involves moves where I feel I am not strong enough in my core or arms to keep myself upright." When Emily first began training with me over a year ago, her fears were intuitive and warranted. Her core was much weaker and disconnected when we began training together, and her arms had been injured and needed physical therapy to heal. Today, however, Emily has done the work! She is ready for new challenges and conquering her fear of falling is one of them. In fact, it is through consistency, patience, and discovering how to trust the work and her body that she will continue to work through her fears and persevere in her Pilates practice.

    There are many Pilates exercises that challenge one’s sense of feeling safe and secure but that does not mean you should avoid these movements. I asked Emily what has helped her the most to conquer her Pilates fears? She said, "When we discuss in detail what I need to do with my body, it helps me mentally prepare for the move. The tiny adjustments we make to shift my focus or weight and the experience I go through realizing that it is possible." Her response inspires me to continue cheering Emily on through her most challenging Pilates exercises. All successes deserve celebration, especially those moments when your body shows up efficiently and proves to your mind what is now capable. 

    I find the best strategy for conquering your Pilates Fears is patience with yourself and your body while working through modified exercises to build up to the more advance choreography. Check back in the future for Pilatesgrl blogs on other common Pilates challenges, such as fear of inversions and seniors’ fears of falling.

    It is important to know that there are inherent risks of injury with any exercise program without proper guidance and supervision. Please consult with your physician before attempting any exercise routines offered by Intuitive Motion Pilates.

    Client names are changed to protect their privacy.  

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  • 11/13/2018 - intuitivemotionpilates 0 Comments
    Nemesis Exercise – Pilates Roll Up

    After so many years teaching Pilates, one of my favorite beginner mat exercises is still the Pilates Roll Up. For many people, though, the Roll Up is their "nemesis" exercise—the one that they dread the most.

    People tend to assume the Roll Up is only an abdominal exercise because it is so challenging to your abdominal strength and coordination, but if you deconstruct it, it is really about spinal articulation and hip flexion. My client Patty, for example, struggles with the Roll Up, popping her feet or thrusting herself forward to find her balance on her sitz bones. She is overusing leverage and momentum to come up, instead of curving her spine with her breath and abdominal control. Here is my basic Roll Up:

    • Lay down on your back, knees bent.
    • Lift your arms up, reaching forward like an active zombie.
    • Lift your head up, while breathing, and curl up through your spine to sitting.

    Sounds easy enough and if this works well, it will feel effortless and fluid. However, if you are like Patty and it doesn’t come easily, then here are some things to observe:

    • Notice whether you feel a drop point on the way up or down. This typically means you need to strengthen your abdominals to support the choreography.
    • Notice whether your pelvis immediately tilts toward your head.

    Check to see if you are squeezing your butt muscles, sitz bones or gripping in your hip flexors.

    • Notice whether your weight immediately shifts to the bottom of your ribs while coming up. This is typically a result of squeezing your butt muscles, sitz bones and/or gripping in your hips.
    • Notice if you are doing a combination of these or all of the above.

    There are many ways to approach each one of these habits, and if I were working with you in person I’d tailor the exercise to your needs. Instead, I am going to offer my favorite precursor to building your foundation to a Roll Up. It’s called Mini Roll Downs.

    • Sit up on your sitz bones, knees bent, adjusting your feet forward away from your sitz bones so you are balanced and not gripping in your hip flexors and your feet are flat on the floor.
    • Place your hands behind your thighs and gently lean back, curving your lower spine, allowing your arms to extend if needed. DO NOT GO ALL THE WAY DOWN. There will be a moment when you feel your abdominals struggle, and your body will want to fall back into gravity. RESIST. Do not pass that point.
    • Take an inhale and an exhale pull into your abs to come back to the start position.
    • Repeat 4 to 6 times. Try this a few times a week, and when you notice the fall-back position is shifting closer to the floor, then congratulations—you know you are getting stronger.

    Over time, your Roll Up will improve. Just last week, Patty had her first real success with curving her lower back in a Roll Up. We are still working on it, but it was a beautiful moment to see her body embrace the beginnings of spinal flexion. Feel free to write comments to let me know how this is working for you at home. If the Roll Up is your nemesis exercise, please be kind to yourself. It will take consistency and patience to strategize out of your habits.

    If you are injured, please do not attempt any exercises described here without the explicit consent of your doctor.

    It is important to know that there are inherent risks of injury with any exercise program without proper guidance and supervision. Please consult with your physician before attempting any exercise routines offered by Intuitive Motion Pilates.

    Client names are changed to protect their privacy.      

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  • 04/24/2018 - intuitivemotionpilates 0 Comments
    A Surprising Discovery Leads to a Career I Love

    When I first found out about Pilates in the 1990’s, it was one of the best-kept fitness secrets in New York City’s dance community. Prior to hearing about Pilates, I had unwittingly created a home routine based on my favorite mat exercises from various fitness and aerobics classes, and I made a fascinating discovery: all of those exercises were designed by Joseph Pilates. These exercises made sense to my mind and body before I was even aware that the mind-body connection is the foundation of Pilates.

    Before I became a Pilates instructor, I was a stressed-out producer. In the television world, everything needed to be done yesterday. To meet deadlines, I spent most days sitting behind a desktop computer, allowing my head to fall forward into my monitor, or collapsing my ribs to one side while negotiating a deal on a corded phone. My posture was terrible, and my habit was to forget about my body as I plowed through the various tasks of my busy day. By this time, I had lost the disciplined habit of my home exercise routine but the idea of Pilates and how everything connected kept gnawing at me.

    During my first "official" private Pilates lesson, the instructor asked me to touch my toes. I was mortified when my fingertips could not pass my knees. When did I get so tight? I was always the flexible one in workout classes. How could this be where my body was at? Had it been that long since I worked out? My memory of my flexible youth was just that—a memory. The reality was, I spent most of my days at a computer, in front of a television monitor, in an edit suite, or in meetings, sitting, sitting, and more sitting.

    After I learned how to properly stretch my legs with the assistance of the Pilates reformer, my flexibility began to return to my hamstrings. Now I could proudly touch my toes. The Pilates exercises allowed me to find a strength and support for my mobility that I had never experienced in my youth. Pilates became my bridge back to my body, and it led me to a career I love.

    I wrote a little Pilates poem in the acrostic format. Can you identify the exercise I’m describing? Let me know in the comments!

    Plant your feet
    In the straps
    Lift your legs
    Allow your breath and abs
    To connect your core
    Effortlessly through your
    Spine and limbs.​

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  • 11/30/2017 - intuitivemotionpilates 0 Comments
    Intuitive Motion Pilates Site Launch

    Our new website is finally up. We’ve worked hard to get a beautiful new site ready and we’re proud to show it off. Thanks for reading our blog. We have lots of great blog posts in the works. Please check back or contact us now to find out how we can help you.

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(718) 330-9641


109 Luquer Street
Apt C2
Brooklyn , NY 11231

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Cancellation / Rescheduling Policy

You must cancel or reschedule sessions 24 hours in advance of your scheduled appointment. Any session change less than 24 hours in advance will be considered a late cancel and charged at the full cost of the session.

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It is your responsibility to know and abide by the expiration dates of the session packages.

Refund / Transfer Policy

No refunds or extensions are given for any reason. Sessions may be transferred for a $25 administrative fee. The original expiration date remains in effect.


Please contact Intuitive Motion Pilates — we’ll be happy to help you!

109 Luquer Street
Apt C2
Brooklyn , NY 11231

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