I highly recommend Kathleen and her team at PilateSpa! Due to arthritis and other joint problems, I am limited to the type of exercise and movement my body can tolerate. At the age of 67, I found Pilates! Through Kathleen’s knowledge of anatomy and compassion for my situation, my flexibility, strength and muscle tone have greatly improved. My body feels better than it has in years. I respond to the mind/body aspect of Kathleen’s teaching. Her ability to communicate muscle control through analogies and mental pictures help to reinforce proper technique. I love the studio’s atmosphere and positive energy. It’s always welcoming to any age and shape. Joseph Pilate’s quote that “you are young as your spine is flexible” is so true. There is a wide variety of floor and apparatus classes that will keep your spine flexible. I’ve just started on my journey to improved health with Pilates … it’s never too late.
On March 6, Chari had a knee replaced:
Eleven (11) days after knees surgery she was sitting in studio swinging her legs free.11 DAYS. Her surgeon is astounded. This is movement to be expected at 4 weeks.
She is painfree and smiling. She is walking and swinging. She has attributes this quickness to having studied and practiced pilates and other intelligent movement to prepare for surgery. Rehab and recovery are almost non-existent requirements, and also feel GOOD!
“My body has been wanting this”, she said in a half hour re-entry session.
Arthritis is in my genetic family background, so I wasn’t too surprised to note slight changes in my left hip mobility by the time I turned 50. These changes were probably exasperated when I tore my right ACL at age 52. Whatever the causes, I was favoring my left side, had a limp and couldn’t bend to put on socks and shoes by age 60. However, I told myself I could still “get along” and I did make do for two more years in which time my walking ability was compromised enough that while walking the dog I would have to repeatedly stop, reorient my joint and relax my much abused psoas muscle which I relied on to move my left leg. I finally acknowledged that an operation was necessary.
In the summer of 2014, I finally scheduled a hip replacement operation for February 2015. (My physical training background: I have always walked a dog, gardened extensively and been active doing carpentry and other larger scale projects but I never had a consistent exercise regime. I never played competitive sports, was part of a team or had formal training in any sports.) I did join the Y in January 2014 and was able to use an elliptical machine, although getting on and off was difficult and I did some strength training, although strictly limited to upper body work–screaming in pain being frowned on in the gym! However, I knew my work at the Y was only a stopgap. I wanted and needed to prepare for the operation and to retrain my body for strength and efficient movement with the hip replacement and so, I wondered about pilates.
For a small town woman, pilates has some elitist connotations to it, rightly or wrongly, but enough infomercials proved core training is vital and my analytical side was intrigued by how one develops a core–it couldn’t all be sit-ups. I was oh-so-lucky to choose PilateSpa and Kathleen Conklin for my pursuit of strength as she has the methodology and knowledge to intrigue my indolent physical side and inspire me to work hard to develop the essential muscle coordination. She’s just a darn good teacher and each successive lesson led in a thoughtfully logical way to activating each muscle and educating me on how to make them work together.
I took approximately 20 one hour lessons in the six months leading up to my operation and I was able to develop my core muscles so that in February the nurses commented on my strength on using the overhead grab bar above my recovery bed. This physical strength helped me mentally also as I felt strong enough to deal with my very quick recovery. I was balanced and using one elbow crutch within seven days based on physical ability and not cockiness! The operation, swelling and recovery does make getting into and out of bed and on and off a toilet uncomfortable and somewhat difficult but I truly felt able to pull my core muscles together to safely and securely accomplish these tasks. I know it helped me a lot.
And it still does. I have continued my work with Kathleen and other instructors at PilateSpa not only to continue developing my core but to stretch and strengthen all the muscles that were effected for years by my diminishing capacity. I realized that an operation repairs a problem but it doesn’t return everything to immediate normal function. There is a lot of muscle retraining that is needed and this retraining can really only be done with a professional. My ability to walk and walk well was quickly restored but there are still big inconsistencies between muscle strength and articulation from my left to right leg that almost two years after my operation I am still addressing. I need help to accomplish this and I receive thoughtful, plentiful and inspirational help at PilateSpa. And I, who detest most sports and exercise that involves being yelled at, have had and continue to have fun challenging myself! Thanks Kathleen.
Since I can’t be in class again until next Tuesday, I want to pass along some of the fantastic things my pt said about you yesterday. This was my first visit to actually do a number of tests, where we were sure my issue would turn out to be a vestibular one (it definitely wasn’t). However, I was way above my age group (78) on all the tests and the pt kept remarking on my posture, my stance, my center of gravity, etc. as she jiggled the world around me, but what absolutely amazed her was that I am the first person she’s ever worked with whose “core” was consistently spot on in the center of the box on the chart. I assured her it was all because of you and she just couldn’t say enough – and I probably told her more than she wanted to know about my experience with you. Of course, she still doesn’t have a clue why my balance is off, but in a perverse sort of way, I rather think this is a compliment.
I have worked with Kathleen for years and I am only now realizing that the techniques she teaches can really alter our brains and bodies in significant ways. My story, as it is being written, includes weekly sessions with Kathleen where we breathe, stretch, speak, move, and alter our brains and bodies in ways that, I believe, has “saved” me and given me prolonged breath and life. In 2006, I had pulmonary embolism that resulted in significant damage to the 4 lobes of my lungs. That, coupled with a naturally intense and anxious body, has caused aches and pains of all sorts. In working with Kathleen, I have discovered how to use the remaining capacity of my lungs in significant ways. In addition, she is teaching me how to “use my brain and body to change my brain and body”. Through her teaching of pilates movements and techniques, my very muscles have learned to “relax and be happy” no matter what state I find myself in at the start of each session. I can truly say that I always breathe deeper, feel better, walk slower, and have much less tension after each session. I have been able to carry this state over in my life, work, and view of the world, for the ensuing week. It has always worked. . . . Recently, I have been studying the work of neurobiologists and their understanding of our brains. It was a wonderful discovery for me that the very evidence they have on “using our brain to change our brains” -especially for people with addictions and with mental health issues like anxiety – coincide almost exactly with the techniques that Kathleen has been teaching me. Yes!- breathing, stretching, muscle opposition work, touch, and movement all alter the very nature of our brain and bodies leading to neuronal growth and one-mindful peace. I plan to continue.
But for you it is definitely a compliment! So my wobbly thanks! J
THANK YOU–THANK YOU–THANK YOU———
KATHLEEN, You made my body sing—–Trying to use some of the back muscles and the different exercises concerning my neck and shoulders was absolutely amazing. Walking to the car after the session on Friday I felt so relaxed, light and almost like floating. Today is Monday, I had a tennis drill with only one other person, Richard. My body continued to work as well as the arm, wrist, and hand. By the end of the hour, I could feel my hand and wrist—not painful tho. At home I iced it and relaxed for a while. Thanks again. Looking forward to having the Hujik clan learn more about taking care of their bodies!!!! Dorothy
Two weeks later:
Hi Kathleen, The Hujik clan (40 something daughter, three grand-daughters with Grandma Dorothy, > 70yrs) thought Monday’s session was great. First of all Heidi & Leah were excited to have another class with you. Ruth was very impressed with the session and the lesson with Lucy. Bridgett said it took her a while to get her abs working. All were very complimentary and enjoyed the session. The next morning Ruth had taken a long walk. Upon returning, she did her stretches—I looked in the sun room and she was working her feet on the tennis ball—- yea. Now that all were exposed to different movements and alignment, it’ll be interesting to see what information they will use. They are very active and hopefully they’ll incorporate some of the movements in their stretches. THANKS AGAIN for the wonderful session. Dorothy
As a recreational triathlete, I have found pilates work with Kathleen at PilateSpa™ to provide me two substantial benefits. First, the increased core strength has significantly increased my overall stamina and improved my sport-specific form. Secondly, the intentional practice (of pilates) creates and reinforces for me a deeper awareness of my mechanics while I am swimming, biking, and running. . . . Few people I have worked with understand movement better than Kathleen. She has an extraordinary ability to apply that understanding to a staggering array of situations and abilities. She’s efficient – I always got my hour’s worth and then some. I was typically more than willing to surrender by the end of a session without feeling like there was too much thrown at me. Each individual session was catered to what my needs were and how I was feeling at the time.
All I can say is Thank You Very Much for providing such a serene, body and mind strengthening space. I had been missing it So So much. I’m so happy to be able to come back. My family and co-workers are also pleased, Pilates makes me less crabby for sure! Christie Mulcahy
I am more worried today about expenditures and I keep pilates top of priority because what I believe it does for me – but some days I have to justify. This morning I had no such need – I walked out feeling differently than I have in months. Thanks so much for your attention to my stuck neck and the exercises to unstick and mostly your tugging, pulling, massaging and whatever else you did to give me neck freedom. I intend to do those exercises daily but I might come back for treatment two at some point. Feel so spoiled tonight and so willing to fall asleep like an empty sweater.
I can’t find the words to describe how I feel – bobble-head comes the closest. As I sit here typing I can feel the work coming from my middle back and my head is back. My ribs probably need to move a little toward the left 🙂 And those muscles that are working are warm like they have been well used all morning. Thank you Thank you Thank you – even if it only lasts a day or two, I know those muscles are learning how to behave and someday they’ll know which ones are the boss.
Keep up the good work Kathleen. I am using your intermediate tape here in Florida. Your influence stretches far and wide.
Kathleen, I feel a million times better after our session today. Thank you for all you do. Be of good cheer. See you soon.