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Dance Fever

Pilates Style: July/August 2010

Her doctors thought she’d stay paralyzed. But pilates gave dancer shari berkowitz the strength to get back onstage — and try some bold new moves

More than one doctor has told me that I’m one in a million for having survived the accident, much less for having made a complete recovery. Today, stronger than ever, I’m grateful that it’s all a distant memory and that I have a phenomenal story to share. Though great doctors and physical therapists got me through the initial healing, it was Pilates that strengthened me and turned my world upside down and right side up. Life would never be the same, but lucky for me, it got better.


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The New Rules of Spinal Extension

Pilates Style Magazine: November/December 2019

Prepare to have your mind blown — and your body on its way to a truly elastic, strong spine and torso.

Oh, I thought I knew what spinal extension was. I even thought I was good at it. In Pilates, I was praised for how far I could press up in my Swan Preparation on the mat, or how far I could bend back in Swan on the Ladder Barrel. In dance, I could practically kick the back of my head with my foot in what often was referred to as the “Shari Flick!” However, the more I educated myself on the human body, the more I realized that I wasn’t doing spinal extension at all...and that nearly no one else was (or is), either.


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Special Populations

Pilates Style: January/February 2013

Four “regular" people reminisce about life as clients at the Pilates’ original studio.

Many Pilates devotees often wonder what it would have been like to meet Joseph and Clara Pilates and take lessons at their iconic studio on Eighth Avenue in New York City. While many of us have heard stories from the first-generation teachers of the Pilates community, I also find it intriguing to hear anecdotes from “regular” people who trained with the Pilates but never became pros. For this story, I talked to four of Joe and Clara’s former students — my client and friend, John Steel; my colleague Jill Shapiro’s clients, Ilana Adler and Diane Cohen; and Adler’s sister Aviva Rahmani — about their days working with Joe and Clara.


Equipment TLC

Pilates Style: January/February 2012

We asked apparatus manufacturers what they wish you knew about caring for your Pilates equipment.

You’ve spent a lot of money on the equipment in your studio, so it makes sense to take care of it in order to extend its life and keep it in the best possible working order...it turns out there are many different opinions among equipment manufacturers when it comes to the best methods for maintaining, cleaning and caring for equipment. I asked them to weigh in on the most frequently asked questions.


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Working with New Moms

Pilates Style: September/October 2011

Postnatal clients can be very rewarding, but it’s important to know their specific challenges and limitations. We asked experienced Pilates educators for their advice on safely and effectively working with them.

Though there are few things in life as exciting as becoming a mother, it also comes with many challenges for the new mom, not the least of which is regaining their physical strength and form...As teachers, we must guide them with a program tailored specifically for them...But it’s not always clear when it’s safe for postpartum clients to return to the studio. For advice on guiding our postnatal clients safely, we reached out to Pilates teachers with special expertise in dealing with this special population. 


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Waiting for Baby: Pre-Natal Pilates

Prozone: July/August 2011

Pilates can be very beneficial for pregnant clients, but it’s important to know their limitations. We talked to some of the most experienced prenatal Pilates educators for their advice on safely and effectively working with expecting moms.

Many of our clients want to continue their practice throughout their pregnancies. And they’re wise to do so: Strong abdominals and backs help reduce their chances of discomfort and pain and help them keep their balance even as their center of gravity shifts on a daily basis. Working the upper-back muscles will help balance the weight of enlarging breasts. Well-exercised abdominals and pelvic floors lead to easier labor and recoveries. And in general, staying active helps women have a better outlook mentally about pregnancy, labor and motherhood!

I reached out to several Pilates teachers who focus their energies on teaching pre-natal clients to bring you useful information on what to do and what not to do when teaching your clients. 


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Special Populations

Prozone: May/June 2011

Teaching obese clients, children and older people brings special challenges — but incredible rewards.

For the Pilates pro, even a “normal” client has many issues we need to deal with — chronic aches and pains, diseases, traumatic injuries. “Special-population” clients, by which here I mean obese, young and older clients (I’ll cover pre- and post-natal clients in the next issue), require a completely different mind-set — and specialized knowledge — than other students. It is vital to know what is going on with their bodies and minds in order to create a personalized Pilates program that is a positive experience for them.

And, by reaching out to nontraditional clients, you will make your teaching experience much more fulfilling, personally, professionally and financially.

We talked to Pilates teachers and teacher trainers who work with these various groups for their tips on making the method a safe, beneficial and happy experience for everyone. 


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Advancing Clients: A Work in Progress

Prozone: March/April 2011

One of Pilates instructors’ most difficult tasks is helping clients advance their practice at a suitable rate — quickly enough to see results and fight boredom, but not so fast that they become injured or frustrated. Here, several experienced educators share their advice.

While each Pilates session has a beginning, middle and ending, the Pilates experience is a conscious progression from one exercise to another and one session to another designed by the progress from exercise to exercise and session to session.


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The Teacher’s Workout

Prozone: January/February 2011

It’s a not-so-funny paradox that many Pilates teachers rarely can find the time to work out. After closing her studio, this pro had to learn some new tricks for making sure she got her Pilates sessions in. Her discoveries can help you, too.

You teach Pilates. You love it, but it’s the ultimate irony that you rarely find time to work out any more. You want to exercise while you’re at the studio, but there’s always a distraction — maybe it’s a billing question, scheduling concern or any of the thousand other interruptions that happen every day at the studio. Maybe you run out of time because you need to run out the door to do errands, pick up the kids or do an out-call.

But it’s possible to do Pilates three to five times a week. 


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Marketing to Men

Pilates Style: November/December 2010

You know that men would benefit from doing pilates, I know it, and yet most studios are overwhelmingly female. How can we educate guys about the method — and then get them into our studios? 

Statistically speaking, if you’re reading this article, you’re probably a female Pilates practitioner or an instructor with a primarily female clientele. So where are all the men? If men comprise approximately 50 percent of the population, then why aren’t they 50 percent of your business? Wouldn’t they benefit from Pilates, too? And wouldn’t you benefit by adding the viable male market to your studio revenues? Men need Pilates to get fit and stay fit. You need men in your studio to keep your studio doors open. It’s a win-win situation. 


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The Great Wall of Pilates

Pilates Style: October 2009

One of Pilates instructors' most difficult tasks is helping clients advance their practice at a suitable rate-quickly enough to see results and fight boredom, but not so fast that they become injured or frustrated. Here, several experienced educators share their advice.