The Healing Power of Pilates



Our bodies are amazing machines, enabling us to climb mountains, swim, carry our children and hold onto our loved ones. When injury strikes or the aging process slows us down, we can find ourselves in uncharted territory. Perhaps a torn meniscus puts an abrupt end to the marathon you were training for, a new baby has rendered your body unrecognizable or age-related arthritis requires you to tweak your daily workouts so they are easier on the bones and joints. While these limitations may seem devastating for active adults, there is a safe way to help our bodies, minds and spirit return to balance. Pilates offers exercise and strength training for healing and rehabilitation that is suitable for all ages and abilities.

Pilates for rehabilitation

“Pilates is a great workout for those in top shape but can also be a wonderful rehabilitative workout,” explains Sarah Gevinski, who, along with Heather Rhyu, owns Club Pilates, in Ardsley, Mount Kisco and Scarsdale. “Many physical therapists and doctors recommend our studios to their clients as a way to build their core strength and get back into an exercise program without reinjuring themselves.”

Carol Dodge Baker, who owns Equipose, A State of Balance Pilates and Wellness Studio, with fellow Pilates Instructor Vandy Lipman, says, “We have guided people through joint replacement surgeries, disc issues, arthritis, frozen shoulders and knee surgeries, to name a few. Pilates reduces pain through increased strength, circulation and flexibility. The method can accommodate any underlying issue or condition one might have through carefully guided sessions with one of Equipose’s knowledgeable certified instructors.”

Elaine Ewing, owner of Rhinebeck PilatesPractice for Life

Injuries, surgeries and the changes that come with age are often the catalysts that bring newcomers to Pilates. After they experience how effective the modality can be, they end up becoming long term practitioners. Elaine Ewing, owner of Rhineback Pilates, has witnessed this phenomenon. “Pilates can reduce pain from many issues such as arthritis, back pain, stiffness and ‘text neck.’ Many people begin Pilates due to these physical issues and imbalances and, once corrected, practicing the method becomes a lifelong habit.”

It starts with the core

“Your powerhouse—or core—is the most essential part of your body,” explains Baker. “It is what affects every other part of your body, posture and alignment. You have to keep that strong for longevity and optimum health.”

Gevinski agrees, saying, “If you strengthen your core, you can do anything. Not only can you move your larger muscles more freely, but you can help to stabilize and balance your entire body. A stronger core makes your day-to-day living easier.”

Joseph Pilates, founder of Pilates, said, “Physical fitness is the first requisite of happiness.” This principle is at the core (no pun intended) of the Pilates method. Ewing witnesses this principle in action in her studio on a regular basis. “Time and time again I hear students of Pilates say how the method has improved their ability to perform the physical activities they love to do,” she muses.

Age is only a number

Joseph Pilates often said, “The number of years we’ve been on this planet is not what makes us young or old, but it is the fitness, flexibility and strength of our bodies that determine our youth and vitality (or lack thereof).” Unlike many exercise programs we find in our local gym, Pilates does not exclude anyone. It can be modified and practiced by students of all fitness levels and ages. As individuals build strength, they tap into that vitality and are able to live a fuller life, doing the things that they love.

Ewing notes, “Joseph Pilates described his method as ‘complete coordination of the mind, body and spirit.’ It is this coordination that sets Pilates apart from all other methods of core training and is the reason why it is so beneficial for health and vibrancy at any stage of life.”

Everybody, every body

Inclusivity is the hallmark of Pilates. All genders, ages and fitness levels reap benefits from the practice, whether they are in search of healing after a surgery or injury, trying to build strength or seeking an overall improvement in the quality of their life.

“Pilates is for every body,” states Ewing. “I teach Pilates to men and women of all ages who come to the studio for all types of reasons. No matter what the reason for starting Pilates, everyone sticks with it—most people for a lifetime—because the practice of coordinating the mind, body and spirit is so powerful and effective.”

Sources: Heather Rhyu, Club Pilates Ardsley, 875 Saw Mill River Rd., Ardsley, NY, 914.292.1292, ClubPilates.com and Club Pilates Scarsdale, 365 Central Park Ave., Scarsdale, NY, 914.449.4411, Club- Pilates.com; Club Pilates Mt. Kisco, Sarah Gevinski, 30 E. Main St., Mt. Kisco, NY, 914.362.8414, ClubPilates.com; Carol Dodge Baker and Vandy Lipman, Equipose, A State of Balance Pilates and Wellness Studio, Bailey Court, 334 Rte. 202, Somers, NY, 914.276.2056, EquipoisePilatesAndWellness.com; Elaine Ewing, Rhinebeck Pilates, 6400 Montgomery St., Rhinebeck, NY, 845.876.5686 or RhinebeckPilates.com.

Edit ModuleShow Tags

News Briefs

Holistic Skin Care Studio opens in Fishkill

Holistic Skin Care Studio opens in Fishkill

Offers an alternative to commercial spa services
‘The BloodDetective’ Opens Katonah Office

‘The BloodDetective’ Opens Katonah Office

Grand opening event at the new office will be on October 26, from 3:30 to 8:30 p.m.
Local Group Hosts Alexander Technique Week Events

Local Group Hosts Alexander Technique Week Events

The method teaches awareness of one’s postural habits and how one responds to stimuli, she says, and it enhances mobility, poise and performance while reducing stress and tension.
Tai Chi Studio Now Open in Brewster

Tai Chi Studio Now Open in Brewster

By combining slow, controlled breathing and gentle stretching movements, tai chi creates harmony between the body, mind and spirit.
Bedford Hills Wine and Beer Bar Hosts CBD Talk

Bedford Hills Wine and Beer Bar Hosts CBD Talk

October 9 at 6 p.m.
Lisanne Elkins Introduces ‘Scalp and Sole’ Treatment

Lisanne Elkins Introduces ‘Scalp and Sole’ Treatment

Focuses solely on the feet and head and borrows techniques from Asian disciplines.
Xeno-Estrogens Promote Breast Cancer

Xeno-Estrogens Promote Breast Cancer

According to the National Breast Cancer Foundation, one out of eight American women will get breast cancer in her lifetime.
Stressed? Try Jin Shin Do Acupressure

Stressed? Try Jin Shin Do Acupressure

Jin Shin Do (JSD) is a form of clothes-on bodywork based on the energy system discovered and developed thousands of years ago by Taoist monks in China.
To Break Addiction, Fill the Void

To Break Addiction, Fill the Void

“Addiction has its roots in feeling the need to find balance, to seek peace, comfort or excitement that somehow isn't present in a life."
Putnam Valley Hosts Annual Psychic Fair

Putnam Valley Hosts Annual Psychic Fair

October 27, from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Heart Songs: An Evening Of Chanting and Sacred Music

Heart Songs: An Evening Of Chanting and Sacred Music

October 13, from 7 to 8:30 p.m.
Susan Adler Adds Reflexology to Massage Practice

Susan Adler Adds Reflexology to Massage Practice

“Reflexology is based on the premise that the foot is a map of the whole body, where specific areas on the foot correspond to different organs, glands and body systems.”
‘Medical Medium’ Publishes Liver Rescue

‘Medical Medium’ Publishes Liver Rescue

It provides answers to a number of health conditions, from eczema and acne to diabetes and autoimmune disease.
Heeding the Warning Light

Heeding the Warning Light

Taking a pain reliever doesn’t fix the problem; it just covers it up.
Heritage Applefest in Garrison

Heritage Applefest in Garrison

October 6, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Festival Benefits Families in Medical Crisis

This family-friendly event will include a 10:30 a.m. fun walk (9:30 a.m. registration), hayrides, a pumpkin patch, touch-a-truck and local vendors.
Avoid Toxin Risk with Mercury-Free Dentistry

Avoid Toxin Risk with Mercury-Free Dentistry

Mercury is a dangerous neurotoxin that can produce symptoms identical to those of neurologic and autoimmune disorders, like Alzheimer’s disease and multiple sclerosis.
Alleviating a Different Kind of Stress

Alleviating a Different Kind of Stress

“Geopathic stress” describes the negative energies emanating from the earth that cause discomfort and disease to those living above them.
We Can Regain Lost Balance

We Can Regain Lost Balance

Roffman helps people improve their balance with a progressive, challenging fitness program designed to engage and strengthen the brain and body simultaneously.

Nonprofit Integrates Learning and Nature

The organization operates out of Kitchawan Farm, offering a variety of nature-based programs—including summer workshops, after-school classes and homeschool programs—focused on community service, civics and global environmental issues.
Network Spinal Analysis Presentation in Mount Kisco

Network Spinal Analysis Presentation in Mount Kisco

October 27, from 2 to 4 p.m.
Farm-Raised Heritage Turkeys Available at Harvest Moon

Farm-Raised Heritage Turkeys Available at Harvest Moon

The turkeys are antibiotic and hormone free and pasture raised, spending their entire lives outdoors.
Family-Friendly Fall Farm Fest in Ossining

Family-Friendly Fall Farm Fest in Ossining

September 23, from 10 a.m. until 4 p.m.
Nutritionist Linda Lonergan Hosts Local TV Show

Nutritionist Linda Lonergan Hosts Local TV Show

Wednesday mornings at 8:30 on Comcast public access channel 8.
Melanie Ryan Teaches Shamanic Reiki Training

Melanie Ryan Teaches Shamanic Reiki Training

September 22, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Craniosacral Therapy Workshop Offered in Mount Kisco

Craniosacral Therapy Workshop Offered in Mount Kisco

September 15, from 2 to 4 p.m.
Sarah Montgomery Launches Home Physical Therapy Service

Sarah Montgomery Launches Home Physical Therapy Service

“I’m passionate about helping people experience improved quality of life in whatever form that takes for them."
New Wellness Center Opens in Mamaroneck

New Wellness Center Opens in Mamaroneck

It will feature a series of rooms designed to facilitate meditation, health and healing.