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Pacific Coast Pilates, It’s a way of life!
Pilates (pi-LAH-teez) is a form of body conditioning developed by Joseph H. Pilates in the early 20th century.
The method encompasses more than 500 exercises that simultaneously stretch and strengthen muscles. Pilates is based on the principle that before working the peripheral parts of the body, the core needs to be strong and stable. In fact, stabilization is the first of six Principles of Pilates that also include control, concentration, flow, breath and precision.
With these principles in mind, Pilates focuses primarily on the ‘Powerhouse,’ or deepest abdominal muscles, and works the rest of the body from this core connection. Through regular sessions on both the mat and specialized Pilates apparatus, clients seek to develop an equal balance between abdominal and lower back musculature to improve strength, stretch, stamina and stability. Over time, this approach creates a strong foundation from which one can achieve new heights of physical fitness and control, as well as emotional well-being and balance. In this way, the Promise of Pilates can become your reality.
The Promise of Pilates
Pilates is intelligent, functional exercise for optimal, lifelong well-being. With a strong commitment and consistent practice two to three times a week, you may find Pilates to be the anti-aging ‘drug’ you’ve been looking for. If you open yourself to becoming a true student of the technique, the promise of Pilates can become your reality.
The Pilates Body
- The Four S’s – Strength, Stretch, Stamina & Stability
- Improved posture and flexibility
- A leaner, more toned body
- Stronger, longer muscles without bulk
- Abdominal muscles that draw in and up, rather than protrude
- Greater energy and vigor
- Better balance and coordination
- Riddance of compensatory weaknesses that contribute to chronic injuries
The Pilates Mind
- Enhanced self-awareness and self-confidence
- An invigoration of mind and elevation of spirit
- A feeling of being more ‘centered’
- A sense of rejuvenation
- Improved concentration and focus
- Increased mind/body awareness and connection
Pilates is based on the principle that before working the peripheral parts of the body, the core needs to be strong and stable. Pilates seeks to develop an equal balance of abdominal and lower back musculature in order to build strength, agility and muscle tone in a balanced way. Each Pilates exercise is a lesson in opposition. Movement in one direction is lengthened and controlled into the next, while oppositional muscles stabilize. This allows Pilates to lengthen and strengthen muscles simultaneously, helping to create an energized, pain-free, flexible and strong body.
Mental focus and concentration during Pilates is as important as the physical discipline. When clients learn to fully concentrate while executing each exercise with precision and control, the body will improve dramatically. Pilates is as much for the mind as it is for the body.
More About Pilates
The primary pieces of Pilates apparatus are:
- Cadillac (i.e. Trap Table)
- Wall Unit (i.e. Tower)
- High Chair
- Wunda Chair
- Small Barrel
- Spine Corrector
- Ladder Barrel
- Magic Circle
The origins of the Pilates apparatus can be traced back to England during WWI when Joseph Pilates was rehabilitating wounded soldiers. He began experimenting with springs attached to hospital beds and the first piece of Pilates apparatus – today known as the Cadillac – was born. Patients were able to perform resistance exercises while still bed-ridden and Pilates discovered that this speeded their recovery.
Later on Joe worked as a circus artist where he got his initial idea for the Wunda Chair, which he later went on to develop into a true home Reformer. He was apparently very resourceful in finding his building material; it is said that he constructed his first Barrel from half a beer keg, with the steel hoops of the keg becoming the original Magic Circle.
After moving to the U.S., Joe established a little workshop underneath his original New York studio on 8th Avenue at 56th Street. Here he enthusiastically worked on creating additional Pilates apparatus. Throughout his lifetime, he and his brother Fred continued to develop and create new pieces of exercise apparatus, as well as fine-tune their inventions.
The power of utilizing the Pilates apparatus lies in its ability to provide mechanical advantage. Imagine, if you will, putting a screw into a wall using just your fingers. Now imagine putting that same screw into a wall using a screwdriver. This is mechanical advantage. The assistance or resistance that the Pilates apparatus provides allows us to work the body in a range of motion that we otherwise could not effectively or safely maintain. A Pilates workout utilizing all the apparatus is the path that leads to the greatest results.
Joseph Pilates was born in a small town near Dusseldorf, Germany in 1880, he was a small and sickly child. Joe was given an anatomy book by a family physician and began his study of the human body at an early age. Using movement of his own body to learn and memorize every page of the book, by 14 he was modeling for anatomy books himself. The son of a gymnast father and naturopath mother, Joe later became a skilled boxer, gymnast, circus performer, skier and diver; he also practiced yoga and Zen meditation. Through his own physical transformation, Joe came to realize the simple truth and Power Pilates motto: Movement heals. While in England when WWI broke out, Joe was interned in a camp for German nationals. This is where he began to develop his system of original exercises that he later called 'Contrology.' He taught wrestling and self-defense to other interns, and also worked with the incarcerated and the diseased. Creating exercise and rehabilitation apparatus to provide resistance training, the men Joe worked with were the strongest and healthiest in the camp. Returning to Germany after the war ended, Joe trained military police and worked with personal clients. Unhappy with the political direction of Germany, in 1925 he left for the U.S. En route to New York City, he met his wife, Clara, and they opened a gym upon arrival in 1926, side by side with several dance studios and rehearsal spaces. 'Contrology' – today known simply as Pilates – soon became a staple for dancers, used to strengthen, balance and rehabilitate them. Clara and Uncle Joe, as he lovingly came to be known, continued their training of both dancers and pedestrians for decades. After Joe passed away at the age of 87, Clara continued to teach and run the studio until her death 10 years later.
Joseph Pilates was born in a small town near Dusseldorf, Germany in 1880, he was a small and sickly child. Joe was given an anatomy book by a family physician and began his study of the human body at an early age. Using movement of his own body to learn and memorize every page of the book, by 14 he was modeling for anatomy books himself. The son of a gymnast father and naturopath mother, Joe later became a skilled boxer, gymnast, circus performer, skier and diver; he also practiced yoga and Zen meditation. Through his own physical transformation, Joe came to realize the simple truth and Power Pilates motto: Movement heals.
While in England when WWI broke out, Joe was interned in a camp for German nationals. This is where he began to develop his system of original exercises that he later called 'Contrology.' He taught wrestling and self-defense to other interns, and also worked with the incarcerated and the diseased. Creating exercise and rehabilitation apparatus to provide resistance training, the men Joe worked with were the strongest and healthiest in the camp.
Returning to Germany after the war ended, Joe trained military police and worked with personal clients. Unhappy with the political direction of Germany, in 1925 he left for the U.S. En route to New York City, he met his wife, Clara, and they opened a gym upon arrival in 1926, side by side with several dance studios and rehearsal spaces. 'Contrology' – today known simply as Pilates – soon became a staple for dancers, used to strengthen, balance and rehabilitate them. Clara and Uncle Joe, as he lovingly came to be known, continued their training of both dancers and pedestrians for decades. After Joe passed away at the age of 87, Clara continued to teach and run the studio until her death 10 years later.
The Ten Principles Awareness Breath Balance Concentration Control Center Efficiency Flow Precision Harmony
From a BASI perspective, the ten principles of Pilates are the most essential qualities of the method. You will understand these principles not by learning them intellectually, but by actualizing them physically. To understand control, for example, you will learn how to stabilize your torso through opposition paying full attention to all details in positioning and sequencing. And to understand flow, you will learn how one exercise flows seamlessly into the next. In this way, Pilates is not just something you do -- it is something you study.
The primary goal of Pilates is to stabilize the pelvis in a neutral position. Initiating movement from a stable source (i.e. the pelvis) will increase the body's strength and efficiency, and restore it to its natural balance.
For a Pilates beginner, the only wrong breath is no breath. Over time, you will gain a deeper understanding of how exhalation stimulates breathing, facilitates core support and intensifies movement. In the end, breath equals life.
In Pilates always remember to achieve balance between the body and mind for effective results
The mind controls the body. Therefore, executing each exercise with the correct mindful intent and focusing on a deepening awareness of the movement makes concentration an integral part of the technique in Pilates.
In Pilates the best results will come through controlling each movement and paying full attention to all details in positioning and sequencing.
The “power house” core or center is the central part of the body where strength is derived for full body control in Pilates
In Pilates moving with grace and flow is an important component. When we are not in line with gravity then we are not efficient.
Pilates is best when done in a flowing style marked by continuous movement and engagement. A workout which has flow – both within each exercise and between exercises – maximizes the time, efforts and results of every session.
Pilates is rich with details. Executing each exercise with correct technique and precision will provide more dramatic results; it's all in the details.
In Pilates this is where the body and mind are brought together to create maximum efficiency.
The Ten Principles
Certified as a Body Arts and Science International (BASI) Pilates instructor, Lisa has more than 15 years of teaching experience. In addition she is also certified as a Pre/Post-Natal Pilates Specialist (by Carolyne Anthony – The Center for Women’s Fitness) and has a BA degree from SDSU in Communications. She found Pilates through dance where she fell in love with the specialized workout using the different apparatuses and exercises. She started teaching as an instructor in 2004 and became a Pilates studio owner in 2009. Lisa enjoys sharing her passion for Pilates with her clients helping them see the benefits and positive results in their lives.
She is certified in the Classical style of Pilates from the Pilates Technique Certification Program with Jill Cassady. She teaches with enthusiasm, passion and specializes in modified workouts accommodating clients pre-existing injuries and health conditions. Brittany has taken specialized classes using the Pilates chair and reformer. In addition she has participated in workshops on lower body injuries, Pilates mat and the power of touch. She discovered Pilates as a way to combine her interests in attention to detail, aesthetics of the human form and positive philosophy. She believes that fitness is a natural part of life and an expression of self. She enjoys helping clients achieve their fitness goals by strengthening and stretching muscles using various Pilates techniques. Her warm and caring personality shines though during every session she teaches.
Amelia’s training and teaching methods draw from her years of experience using a variety of mind body movements. She started by becoming a Certified Yoga Instructor, Personal Trainer and continued with her training in Stott Pilates. She has a speciality in Reformer Intensive and Chair/Cadillac/Ladder Barrel Intensives at John Garey Fitness and Pilates in Long Beach. She regularly teaches private, duos and group classes in the following formats: PiYo (Pilates/Yoga fusion), Yoga Flow, Mat Pilates, Reformer, Strength Training and Gentle Yoga. In addition she has taken workshops on Athletic Conditioning on the Reformer and Yin Yoga. Amelia seeks to create workouts that are fun, challenging and pain-free for all clients, regardless of age or physical abilities. Her first experience with Pilates was training in Classical Mat Pilates back in 2005 while enrolled at Smith College. She immediately noticed the change in her physical strength and alignment, eliminating years of back and neck pain. Originally from the East Coast, Amelia relocated to Los Angeles to teach Pilates and Yoga full-time. She believes daily movement practices is essential for mind-body health and well-being.
PILATES & PERSONAL TRAINER
Agie was born and raised in Riga, Latvia before immigrating to Los Angeles in 2002. Upon arrival, Agie quickly learned English, earned a Bachelor Degree from UC Northridge, completed a Master degree in Special Education, and worked in the public school system for several years. After practicing Barre for many years, Agie was introduced to Pilates in 2012 and noticed immediate improvement in her chronic scoliosis related back pain. Ever since that first Pilates experience, Agie has been a devout student and regards the method as a life changing miracle. Her nurturing character ultimately drove her to change careers and leverage her passion of Pilates to help others by becoming an Instructor. Agie is a graduate of BASI (Body Arts and Science International) Pilates Program and continues to further her knowledge through workshops and teaching. In addition to Pilates, Agie enjoys cycling around Santa Monica, snowboarding, cooking, and traveling with her significant other who also practices Pilates regularly. Agie became a proud US Citizen in November of 2016, though she deeply cherishes her Latvian heritage.
Zoe Irene Gannon is a lifetime student of health and fitness. She was first introduced to Pilates while taking modern dance classes in college at SFSU. After receiving her Bachelor of Arts in Liberal Studies, Irene moved to LA to pursue a career in the visual arts. She worked with many visual artists and studios, but ultimately found it unfulfilling. A sports injury led Irene to rediscover Pilates. Finding Pilates helped her gain her strength, and range of motion back with the added benefits of improved posture, flexibility, awareness and confidence. She realized she wanted to focus her efforts on providing the same benefits for others. She received her Pilates certification from a 2nd generation Master Pilates Instructor at Sheppard Method Pilates. Irene believes that as an instructor, she has the opportunity to guide people toward better health through the Pilates practice; to participate in the pure joy of movement and link Pilates to everyday life. Her career in Pilates aligns well with her other interest, such as dance, yoga, snowboarding and hiking.
Pricing & Packages
Number of Sessions Private Sessions Semi-Private Sessions Reformer Classes
3 Private Sessions for only $199!
Our Introductory Package is designed to give you a feel for the Pilates method, help you discover your comfortable exercise schedule and budget, and get to know Pacific Coast Pilates.
Number of Sessions
All sessions are 55 minutes in length, Gift Certificates Available
After you complete your Introductory Package, you will most likely continue by taking private sessions until you’ve reached a level of strength, technical proficiency and awareness that will allow you to safely participate in a semi-private session. In a semi-private, which consist of two clients with one instructor, we will take you further into the basics of the technique and the principles of Pilates, as well as teach you specific exercises to address your individual needs.
Addressing these needs will expand your vocabulary of exercises, increase your strength and deepen your awareness. With this progression, we are able to maintain our high quality of instruction while lowering your session cost. This will provide you with the opportunity to practice Pilates the way it was intended: two to three times a week. In following this time-tested, proven approach, our clients avoid the faddish, infomercial hype of Pilates founded on false promises – and instead enjoy the ‘Oh my Gosh, what are you doing?’ results that only come with excellent instruction and consistent practice.
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1515 Palisades Drive, Suite M
Pacific Palisades, CA 90272