which type of workout is the best? HINT: it might not be pilates...

I feel like the title is BLASPHEMOUS. My fellow instructors are over here gasping for air. What do you mean, Pilates isn't the best workout ever? The thing that I've spent hours (and hours and hours and hours and days and months) learning how to teach...might not be the best thing ever? Um, then why bother? My clients are reading this going GIRL WHAT. 

Give me a second to explain. 

I think Pilates is great. I think Pilates is the bomb. In fact, I have studies and articles and anecdotes about how Pilates has kept people safe, mobile, and active for years. When I do Pilates, I feel better. When I miss my sessions for a week (or two...#dontjudgeme) I can tell that my body misses Pilates. I'm a believer in the method. 

That being said, nothing is for absolutely everyone. 

Nothing!

Have you ever heard the DIta Von Teese quote? The one about peaches? "You could be the ripest, juiciest peach in the world, and there's still going to be somebody who hates peaches". 

Pilates, my friend, is a peach. 

Do I think Pilates is good for most people? ABSOLUTELY. Do I think most people would benefit from Pilates? ABSOLUTELY. Do I want everyone to try Pilates at least once? 

 

ABSOLUTELY.

 

However, I had to write this because I am constantly asked about "the best exercise". Right, fellow trainers? Every week there's a new article about how spin class is the be all, end all - no wait, this just in, kettlebells are the secret to fitness and oh, shoot, never mind, it's totally hot yoga that's going to cure everything for you.

The best exercise is the one that :

1. keeps you safe

and 

2. keeps you coming

That's it! I'm serious. Bonus points if you find a few different types of exercise that you rotate between! Some people love group classes. Other people love personal training. Weights might be your jam. You might love martial arts. If you've got a smart, sensible trainer who keeps you safe and the method/studio/trainer keeps you motivated enough to continue - bam! You've found your best workout. 

Now, go out there and try a new class, a different trainer, or maybe dust off those rollerblades (and the matching helmet - safety first!). Who knows? It might be your perfect fitness match. 

Of course, if you want to try Pilates - you know where to find me!

 

Xoxo,

Leah

THREE ways that pilates can promote body positivity

if you peruse social media as much as i do (or at all, really) you've probably heard the phrase "body positivity". if you're new to the body positive movement, here's the quick rundown: it promotes being loving, kind, and, you know...positive (!!) to your body. now, it might not sound like a revolutionary concept, but once you start realizing how negative we can be about (and TO) our bodies every single day, a seemingly simple idea can start to change your whole mindset. at least, it did for me! i've tried to reframe everyday negative thoughts and change them into positive, or at least less hurtful, thoughts and feelings. a good mantra for me to remember has been - would i say this to a friend or family member? if the answer is NO, then why would i say it to myself? 

at first glance, it might seem like the idea of fitness and being "body positive" are at odds, but that's the furthest thing from the truth! while it's true that many fitness centers, gyms, and studios prey on insecurities and negative feelings, there are so many places in the fitness world that take a positive and uplifting approach to health and wellness. i've had several great experiences with different pilates, yoga, and barre studios that have helped me see that you can work out because you value your body, not because you hate it! here are three ways that pilates can promote body positivity:

focus on feelings, not numbers: while it's true that seeing the number on the scale drop can indicate the results of hard work, that's not the only place you can see results. more importantly, pilates is about SO MUCH MORE than weight loss! more often than not, focusing on weight can create tunnel vision and you'll ignore other signs of progress: more muscle tone, better definition, a stronger core, less back pain, more shoulder mobility - you name it! there are so many benefits to pilates - don't get too caught up in one number.

same exercises, big changes: on that note, the beauty of pilates is that, while there are countless ways to change up the exercises, there are some basic tried-and-true movements that you'll continue to do session after session. i've had clients who had a very difficult time getting their feet into the straps during their first session. weeks later, they have no trouble at all. that alone shows how much mobility and strength that they've gained! by remaining consistent with the same exercises, you'll be able to notice how you've improved over time. 

permission to modify: granted! one of the reasons that i fell in love with pilates is that it is never a "one size fits all" style of movement. if you come in with an injury or are new to exercise, there are always ways to customize your workout for your individual goals. your workout should meet you where you're at - pilates does this every time. maybe your core strength isn't where you'd like it to be, or you're frustrated that you don't have a strong upper body - that's okay! by having a personalized pilates session, you're working on it safely, and without stressing about keeping up with the person next to you. 

it's absolutely normal to have things we'd like to change about ourselves - we all do! but so often, we focus on our physical attributes in the most negative way possible. by lifting ourselves (and others!) up, we can contribute to a healthy body AND mind. we can work out because we love our bodies and want to keep them fit and healthy, we can eat good food because we care about what goes into our bodies, and we can say and think positive thoughts because mental health is just as important as physical wellness. see you at the studio!

xoxo,

leah

my favorite things

you might want to get to know me a little better (or, get to know me at all!) so here are a few of my favorite things - Q and A style!

favorite place to be? london. i studied abroad during college and it was such an amazing place. the people were friendly and the sights were incredible! i think i went to two museums a week!

favorite movie of all time? white christmas. i'm a sucker for a good musical. 

favorite book of all time? is it too cliche to say harry potter? i do love the girl with the dragon tattoo series, the little prince, and the geography of bliss. 

favorite skill? well, speaking of reading, i am a good speed reader and that's come in handy plenty of times. other than that, public speaking. thankfully, i'm not too nervous in front of a crowd!

favorite literary character? jo from little women, or mrs. weasley from hp.

favorite person? charlie, of course!

favorite animal? well, i obviously love dogs seeing as i have two, but if we're going with non-domesticated animals i'd have to say otters. they're so much fun to watch!

favorite board game? i love board games. my family and i play "tellustrations" which is like pictionary mixed with telephone and it's a blast.

favorite subject? history, by far. i have minors in history and political science -  and i got the history minor by accident! i realized late in my junior year that i had taken so many history electives that i only needed two more to get a minor in it. total nerd. 

favorite holiday? i love christmas. i actually really like winter and snow, and i think that seeing christmas lights all around makes it all the better!

favorite food? my great grandma treva's chicken dumplings, without question. 

favorite tv show? rupaul's drag race, ultimate ninja warrior, or the old staple - FRIENDS!

favorite drink? iced tea.

favorite quote? "you can be the ripest, juiciest peach in the world, and there's still going to be someone who hates peaches" - dita von teese