Category Archives: Pilates

captain kirk i presume?

i have this thing that i do when i teach, where i talk about star trek because almost everyone on earth has seen something regarding original star trek. sort of like how i haven’t seen logan’s run but i know the punch line because it’s referenced in tons of popular culture. anyway, i have this habit of saying things like:

“okay so your pelvic floor is captain kirk and your hamstrings all the way into your arches are mister spock and your quads are the red shirted ensign that everyone knows is going to die before the first commercial break!” Continue Reading

and i say pardon?

lately i have been returning from a period of being remiss with my own workouts; this happens on occasion and doesn’t worry my overly much as long as the breaks aren’t too long. in this case the return after the holidays just wasn’t quite happening and it turns out that this particular break was amazing.

i got inspired, randomly, one saturday morning when my last client had unexpectedly cancelled; so i worked out by myself. it was delicious, i did a pile of my old homework and some simple and yet deeply satisfying things like footwork on the reformer…. Continue Reading

pilates goals

It’s not too late to get back to your News Years resolution about improving your health. In fact the majority of people have put off their resolutions or never got them started or kind of started but then stopped. Welcome to mid-February. It’s a month so ugly spelling it is difficult and requires a day of love and family to get through. I didn’t bother making resolutions in January. Never do. Because it’s the worst time to seek change. The holidays and their after effects will get in the way.

Our first pilates class of 2011…brutal. The first Monday in January no less! We even joked about how if this had been someone’s beginner pilates class based on a resolution they would have really struggled. Maybe even given up. Our small group, including instructor Angela Barsotti, moaned and groaned through our routines…. Continue Reading

self love

i teach a lot of women (a lot of men too, in fact my numbers are about fifty fifty which is very rare in this business and comes, i believe, from my extensive sports background; i speak jock rather than dancer) who hate themselves. in fact i have very few female clients who can look in a mirror and be happy with what they see.

for me this is totally baffling because i have never actually met an ugly woman. i’ve met women who were ugly on the inside but very few who were ugly on the outside and in the case of my clients i’ve never actually seen one who wasn’t deeply attractive in her own way…. Continue Reading


inspire: verb (without object)

to give inspiration.

to inhale.

it means a lot of things but that’s the meat of it.

i love that the word for breath (inspiration and expiration or inhalation and exhalation as you wish) and the word for illumination are the same word. one meaning involves divine inspiration and has a religious connotation to it but that is certainly not the only one or the most important to me…. Continue Reading

pilates on horseback?

i went with a client to watch her ride her horse the other day. now, just to be clear, everything i know about riding i learned from black beauty, black stallion (every book) and a zillion historical romance novels (i know, i know) or my clients who ride. and when i say ride? i don’t mean once a year on a trail ride, i mean ride and jump and show and train with trainers and things. heck, they wear HAIRNETS! you take your stuff seriously if you wear one of those!

so, in other words, a riding instructor i am not. what i am is a teacher of movement with a keen eye and a deep fascination for anatomy and body mechanics…. Continue Reading

sugar sugar

i always have some variation of the following list in my home: dark chocolate, raw almonds, eggs, granola, toastable bread, candy, homemade soup/stew, and popsicles. mostly this stuff is there for me to be able to have quick snacks between clients if i’m having a crazy day or the like. a couple dozen almonds and a few squares of dark chocolate feels like lunch and makes you happy. it’s protein and a little sugar and food that makes you feel good.

do you have it for lunch EVERY day? um no, but it sure is nice when you have thirty seconds, three more clients and low blood sugar…. Continue Reading

"ugly duckling pilates because sex matters"

as originally posted on matt mernagh’s blog but it bears reposting: [incidentally matt is a marijuana activist who has found cannabis to be the only useful pain reliever for his fibromyalgia. i believe it also makes it easier for him to move at all but i’m not a doctor and my opinion is just that, an opinion]

The best Christmas gift I received last year was an Ugly Duckling Pilates session. With my Rosedale pilates instructor Angela Barsotti’s assistance I’m feeling mostly fantastic. Sans fibromyalgia flare ups, scoliolsis pain and recovered shattered shoulder grief. Tonight (Thursday, Dec. 2) on Sex Matters, Angela will be discussing Sex, Breath and the Pelvic Floor. A topic she recently taught at Come As You Are…. Continue Reading

picking teachers

several years ago i convinced my sister, who was then suffering some pretty serious repetitive strain issues in her neck/shoulders, to try pilates. since she was living in another city she found a local studio and off she went. this teacher started her off with the hundreds and the roll up, she walked out in more pain than she walked in and eventually found an amazing yoga teacher who helped her immeasurably. she found her by looking for someone who talked about the work the way i did rather than concentrating on their “method.”… Continue Reading

Marie-Jose Blom

Ugly Duckling Pilates is delighted to present Marie Jose Blom for two workshops over three days (friday april 22nd to sunday april 24) in lovely downtown Toronto, Canada. Workshops: The Essential Role of the Shoulder Girdle and Thorax in Taking the Weight From the Shoulders (sunday – 8 hours) Embrace the Curves and Unravel the… Continue Reading