How Sitting Can Kill You

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It’s a fact, sitting can be detrimental to your health. A recent medical journal study showed that people who sit for most of their day are 54% more likely to die of a heart attack. Scary! To make matters worse, sitting may not just be bad for your heart but also for your posture. Sit all day typing away on your computer? You’re inviting muscle stiffness, poor balance and mobility, and lower-back, neck, and hip pain. Ouch! Bottom line- we weren’t designed to sit for hours on end and we’re paying the price for it. Sitting is this generation’s cigarette.

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So, what’s the big deal about parking your butt in a chair for hours a day? You belong to a gym, you workout. Well, it turns out that even if you still manage to squeeze in five 45 min workouts, but sit for 5 hours or more… you’re still just an exercising couch potato. Get this- new evidence suggests that the more you sit, the greater the likelihood of dying an early death NO MATTER how much you exercise or how lean you are. Yikes!

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Now we know how our heart suffers when we’re desk-bound what’s up with the rest of our bod? To fully understand, go with me on this quick anatomy tour. Let me introduce you to your fascia. Fascia is the connective tissue that plays an integral role in supporting your form. This dense connective tissue covers all of our muscles, bones, nerves, arteries, and veins, as well as all of our internal organs. Grab your 3D glasses to get a in depth view of how it supports your organs and joints from your head to your perfectly pedicured toenails. In it’s natural state, fascia is elastic and pliable, but it can become constricted due to traumas, accidents, repetitive motions, or poor postural habits (like sitting in front of your computer all day). So while fascia is a go-with-the-flow kinda guy, it tends to “set” in the position our muscles are most in. Shoulders hunched forward, neck craning forward, knees bent, hips tightening, booty muscles weakening. Click. Your fascia is taking this as a photo of where it should be living. NOT. GOOD. Not to mention painful. So, what’s a office bound creature to do?

 First step is to make sure you are getting that regular exercise when you’re not at the office or traveling on the plane. That’s first and foremost. Secondly, think in terms of movement. You MUST get moving throughout your day! Take the stairs instead of the elevator, stand up when you’re talking on the phone, walk around the office, consider even getting a standing desk. Anything that gets you off your arse and up and at em. Your body will thank you.

Now’s your chance to get active and live longer as a result! We know that Pilates is both an investment in time and money- and want you to have the most out of your sessions. This is why we offer an introductory special to all first time clients at our studio. This customized approach allows our instructors to specialize a Pilates program just for you.  Build your foundation solidly. 

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Why Your Business Could Be In Danger

Think you have the next big business idea? Want to own your own business so you can make a lot of money? Maybe you have a business already and although you’re struggling to make ends meet, you don’t want to give up on your dream. In the video below I will give you three steps to make sure you’re headed in the right direction and making the most of what you offer:

Here are the steps to getting your business out of danger:

Get Clear It’s SO important to know what you want in your business. How many hours do you see yourself working? How much money do you want to make? You get the picture. Plus, it’s even MORE important to know what you want in your life. If you want family to be numero uno, having a big Pilates empire might not be the best fit for you. Doing this Painted Picture exercise will help you know where you want to be.

Find Your Ideal Client Knowing who you’re trying to reach with your business is one of THE most important exercises you can do! Start with the clients or customers you LOVE. What do they have in common? Then create a customer of your dreams. Figure out where he/she lives. How much money do they make? What do they like to eat, read, listen to, watch? Get as specific as possible. Then, delve deeper and figure out what their fears are and how your product or service can help solve their problems.

Do Research Once you have that ideal client in mind, go out and find them! They might already be patronizing your business, or you may have to head out to where they hang to find them. Once they’re in your sights…start asking the questions. What would they LOVE your product or service to do for them? What would they pay for that? What are their greatest struggles, hopes, dreams, desires? This is valuable info you can use in your marketing, website copy, and offerings.

SO…if you like this video, like it! Share it with your friends and on FB, Twitter, and the like. Leave a comment below and let us know any mistakes you might have made when starting your business- it could really help someone else not do the same thing.

Need more help getting clear and growing your business? Book your FREE half hour session with me today!

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An Interview With A Pilates Instructor: Christine Baltes

This new series, is the first of many posts of interviews with my peers, mentors, and Pilates greats. For it’s maiden voyage, it’s an honor for me to be interviewing one of my very first true dance teachers, Christine Baltes. Chris taught me the beauty and discipline of jazz dance and quickly became one of my favorite teachers. Years later, Christine’s daughter, Nicole (who also happens to be a Dancer. Guess it runs in the family) and I met in my studio in NYC. We became fast friends and soon after I was reconnected with her Mom, who (you guessed it) is also now teaching Pilates. This truly is a small world. So, now that we’re reunited and it feels SO good, we are planning to use our super powers for only good….

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We’re super excited to host Christine at our Union Square studio, FORM Pilates in March! She will be teaching a Master Class March 28th as well as being available for Private, Duet, and Semi-Private sessions March 28th, 30th, & 31st. Register for the Master Class here and email us to book a session with this master. THIS IS NOT TO BE MISSED! Onto the interview:

Tell us a little bit about yourself (including where you teach)….

The first thing that comes to mind when asked what am I all about is, passion.  Sometimes, I could just burst with all the love & passion I have inside of me.  I am a dancer, an artist, a choreographer, a teacher, a mother, a wife, and a sister. I am sarcastic, funny, disciplined, ethical, caring, silly, business minded, dedicated, nurturing, and yes, shy at times.  I am the oldest of seven children and the only one in my family who pursued dance.  I put myself through dance classes and at the age of 18 years was making a living with a dance career. I have always been lucky enough to have a career that I love.

At present time, I teach at a community college, professional dance studio, and in my pilates and Gyrotonic studio in Southern California. Most recently, I created choreographic sequences and have been giving Gyrotonic for Dancer group classes at two of Gyrotonic master trainers facilities.  I love what I do.  

How did you come to Pilates and Gyrotonic?

I came to Pilates after I blew out my knee in Nov 1991.  During my first pilates session, the instructor was poking & prodding my ribs, abs, hips, etc. and I said to myself, ‘I love this’, ‘this is exactly what I do to my dance students’, and it made me work on myself. I have been a practionier ever since.  It wasn’t until 2001 that I actually decided I had the time to get certified.  

I can’t exactly recall my first introduction to Gyrotonic, but I do recall that I sought out Marie Jose Blom at Long Beach Dance Conditioning to work on myself through her teachings of pilates. It was through her that I eventually tried out the White Cloud, now known as the Gyrotonic Pulley Tower. That lead me to seek out Gyrotonic Master Trainer, Donna Place, mainly working on rehabbing areas that needed attention.  I instantly loved the complexity and ‘real’ life movement patterns that the Pulley Tower & Gyrotonic program offered. I felt like it had similarities of taking a dance class.  The Gyrotonic method really is how people move, let alone the dancer, thus my gravitation to this program.  

 What was your inspiration in blending Pilates and Gyrotonics?

Well, I don’t necessarily blend the two, but rather pull the concepts of movement from the Gyrotonic method and apply it towards all movement- whether it’s pilates, dance, yoga, etc.   Human movement isn’t linear, it’s anything but; twisting, leaning, turning, spiraling, bending, and circling.  I have gained so much knowledge working with the amazing people that I have.  I love to really study an individual and figure out what they are doing by breaking down the movement so they can improve their quality of life and enhance their movement. I am also very grateful to learn a great deal of technique from one of the greats of American jazz dance, Gus Giordano.  He shaped me at a young age and it’s because of him that I have such a strong technical dance background.  

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Today, there are so many fusion of pilates styles. Classical, east coast, west coast, contemporary, combinations such as cardio-pilates, yogalates, barre pilates- you name it, it probably exists. Bottom line, its all movement.  I stay true to having proper technique and the importance of a sound foundation. No matter what combination of pilates, or any other program, clients will flourish with a great foundation/technique.

In working with clients in my studio, I have access to not only pilates equipment, but Gyrotonic as well.  Sometimes, I will give a client an entire pilates session, sometimes, Gyrotonic and sometimes the combination of the two.  I pull from every source of training and knowledge that I have gained throughout my many years of moving. This is what helps define my teachings.

What is your favorite Pilates exercise and why?

Wow, what an interesting question.  I don’t think anyone has ever asked me that.  Without really going through the entire repertoire of Pilates, I simply must say, it’s the entire package.  It is complete when you practice a range of exercises that work on your entire body.  I will say though, that the fundamentals are what I typically focus on mostly.  Too many people really don’t know or understand the simple basic things.  Without the understanding of this, your workout, is being cheated.  I often get asked, “What is your Core?”  People to this day, still don’t know where that is nor how to truly use it.

Do you have a motto, a favorite quote, or mission statement?

There are so many wonderful quotes that are inspirational to me, but can’t think of one at the moment.  This is silly, but this question is like asking me to tell a joke.  I never can remember any.  Awhile back, the phrase Freedom in Form came to me.  So, I registered various domain variations of this, so maybe that is a statement in itself.   

 What do you like to do when you’re not teaching?

Sunday is my only day off, and I treasure spending time with my husband.  Doing anything but work related stuff.  I love going to the beach & enjoying the sunshine and ocean.  I realize one could consider this work related, but I love to take class; dance, pilates or Gyrotonic, but I won’t do that on my only day off, rather setting time aside for me to workout, between working with clients or teaching dance.   If the weather is nice, (and it is most of the time in Southern California) I enjoy being outdoors. I get excited to see my favorite tv shows as well as see concert dance performance.  I guess if I had to pick one thing, and if my children lived near me, it would be to spend family time.  I not only love my family, but love to spending time with them. 

Christine Baltes Is a master teacher, specializing in jazz dance technique and recognized as a teacher who “teaches”. Originally from Chicago, IL, Christine was trained in ballet, modern, tap & ethnic dance forms with specialized study in jazz dance with Gus Giordano, one of the fathers of American Jazz Dance.  Ms. Baltes possesses a California Teaching credential in dance and a certification in Pilates. (classically trained with sessions from Ron Fletcher, Rael Isacowitz (BASI), Marie Jose Blom (Long Beach Dance Conditioning) She is a Gyrokinesis® pre-trainer, and certified in the Pulley Tower, Leg Extension Unit, Jump Stretch Board and Archway of the GYROTONIC® EXPANSION SYSTEM. Christine’s teaching career spans over 40 years and she has held faculty positions that include the University of California, Irvine, Chapman University, California State University, Long Beach, Orange Coast College, Orange County High School for the Arts, and more. She has taught for studios that are leading the industry for professional dancers such as DeFore Dance Center (Orange County), Debbie Reynolds Dance Center (L.A.), Elevation Studios (Long Beach), Lou Conte Dance Center (Chicago & home for Hubbard Street Dance Company), Gus Giordano Dance Center (Chicago & home for Giordano Jazz Dance Chicago Dance Company), to mention a few. She has trained many dancers who have received scholarships into the Ailey School, Lines Training program, Ballet Hispanico, Julliard, Hubbard Street summer program, Giordano, and the Graham School. Others are working in the entertainment industry with resumes that include Usher, Britney Spears, Pink, George Michael, National Tours of King & I, Wicked, Cats, Cabaret, Miss Saigon, Fosse, 42nd Street, Arthur, Fiddler on the Roof, Rent movie, Vegas shows and the list goes on & on.

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