We have made the Best of List in 2016, 2017, 2018, and now 2019 thanks again to all of you that supported and voted for us!
There is a reason why stretching into a pilates lunge always make you sigh “ahhh” with relief. Thanks to our overly sedentary work life, our hips and backs are feeling tighter than ever.
In the U.S. we spend 10 hours a day seated on average, 80 percent of us will experience lower-back pain being desk, car or sofa bound. This is sometimes referred to as, long-term parking, which causes lower-back pain by upsetting the normal, healthy function of a few major muscle groups.
The main problem is poor posture.
We tend to slouch while we sit, and cashew-curling our upper body strains back, neck and shoulder muscles.
Here are Po/P’s 3- must-dos’ to get you back on track:
Photo Credit: Kira auf der Heide on Upsplash
Get Up, Stand Up
Every little bit helps – just once every half hour is enough to prevent muscles-wasting spinal disk compression and other harmful effects of being stuck in one spot. While you’re up and walking, take big, strong strides to relieve the pressure that sitting causes.
Exercise with Intent
If you are already achy, or have had issues in the past, first get the green light from your medical professional. Then start conservatively, with basic core-building exercises. Think squats, planks, bridges and wall-sits. Pay attention to technique, really pays off to ensure that your back never takes on more than it can handle.
With origins in the Middle East, garbanzo beans have become a global food – the most popular of all legumes, according to the University of Arizona.
Whether you toss them into salads, process them into hummus, or roast them as snacks, garbanzo beans (chickpeas) make a smart addition to your diet no matter what your age, They are great for kids lunches too!
For vegetarians and those trying to eat less meat, garbanzo beans supply lean protein, including the essential amino acids needed for muscle building and maintenance.
These hearty beans provide a wealth of nutrients that support good health.
Try P/oP’s favorite recipe below for
Garbanzo Bean ‘Tuna Salad’ style
Vegan Garbanzo Bean Salad, Tuna Salad style
What you’ll need:
Garbanzo beans, 1 -24oz can or 2 -14oz cans, rinsed and drained
2 Celery stalks, diced
3 Persian Cucumbers, diced
2 Green Onions, chopped
2 Cups Cherry Tomatoes, sliced in half
1tsp Dill weed, dried or fresh, add more to taste as needed
4 Tbsp Vegan Mayo or regular mayo
3 Tbsp Mustard, regular, Dijon or Brown (your choice or mix & match)
2 tsp Rice Vinegar
In a large bowl add the drained garbanzo beans and mash with a fork leaving the mixture slightly chunky to resemble tuna chunks. Add all the remaining ingredients and stir well to incorporate ingredients.
Add salt & pepper to taste as needed. Serve with Pita bread, sandwich style or scoop over a bed of chopped kale or mixed greens. We love adding avocado chunks too.
Follow us on Instagram@PilatesofPasadena
for more information: email@example.comRead more
Add the Mermaid to your workout!
The obliques aid in compressing the abdomen and in forward-bending. They are also the hard workers that help us in side-bending and twisting our torso.
Here is where the mermaid comes in…
The big reason to include oblique work in your workouts is to make sure you have tone and good function in any muscle group—you want the full benefits that muscle group has to offer.
In this case, it's the side bending and twisting ability along with abdominal compression and forward bending. But let's be honest, many people want to make extra sure they get their oblique workouts in because toned obliques make for a nice waistline.
Keep in mind that the obliques work in concert with your other abdominal muscles and really all the muscles of your Pilates powerhouse—abs, back, hips, pelvic floor. It is not recommended to focus just on obliques, but rather obliques in the context of a full-body workout. We want form and function along with a waistline. Making bending and twisting exercises effective and safe to get that oblique workout.
One of the best ways to get your oblique workouts is in a balanced Pilates workout which will always feature twisting and bending exercises.
Schedule a Pilates session with our experienced instructors to help you balance your workout here and at home.
Go to: firstname.lastname@example.org or log on to Acuity Scheduling
If you missed our 4th of July Mat Class with Mirko here is another opportunity NOT to be missed.
With plenty of summer still ahead of us let’s keep the fitness momentum going.
Mirko will lead another challenging 60-minute Pilates Mat class.
Space is limited - reserve your space ASAP and grab your **mat!
Sunday July 21, 2019
**Bring a mat if you have one. If you do not have a mat, we have plenty to go around.
RSVP to email@example.com or log on to Acuity Scheduling or,
Call or Text 626-765-6500 to reserve a spot.
follow us on Instagram @pilatesofpasadena and Mirko @mirkofitfoodie
July marks the mid-year point that causes us to pause and reevaluate our workout commitments.
Are you where you want to be?
Here are some tips to help you stay motivated to rethink and make it through your workouts.
Think back on why you started in the first place and the results you wanted
Ask yourself if you really want to start all over again because you slacked off on your workouts.
Ask yourself if you’ll regret in any way not working out. Feeling good about what you do is important.
Try a variety of workouts to achieve results and avoid boredom.
Take Group fitness classes to keep motivated. Look forward to seeing the other participants and instructor. The energy of the group can keep you going in the moments that you want to quit.
Tell us how do you stay motivated to exercise and how do you make it through tough workouts?
Release the child within you so you can sing, laugh, and play.
List the things that you do best, and give yourself a hug.
Plan to fulfill a secret wish.
And above all, remember you are loved.
- Jacqueline Schiff
From A Daybook of Positive Thinking, Blue Mountain Arts Collection
Memorial Day is often seen as the start of summer.
People make plans for barbecues, picnics and perhaps head to the beach.
In our varied communities people still honor the true meaning behind the holiday.
Memorial Day is a day to honor the men and women who died while serving in the U.S. military. According to the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, Memorial Day started out in 1868 as “Decoration Day” and was observed on May 30. It is believed that date was chosen because flowers would be in bloom all over the country,” according to the website, VA.gov
Flowers are an important symbol of Memorial Day.
Many people leave flowers on the graves of fallen veterans. And one flower, in particular, has come to represent the somber holiday.
The poppy is officially recognized as a symbol of remembrance.
The Memorial Day we celebrate today was merged with the wearing of poppies in 1915 after the publication of the poem, In Flander’s Field, by Lt. Colonel John McCrae, following the second battle of Ypres.
Pilates of Pasadena staff thank all of our military personnel and veterans for their service to our country.
A copy of the poem can be found at the end of this blog.
In Flander’s Field
By Lt. Col. John McCrae, 1915
In Flanders fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses, row on row
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly,
Scarce heard amid the guns below.
We are the dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow.,
Loved, and were loved, and now we lie
In Flanders fields
Take up our quarrel with the foe
To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders fields
No matter how uncoordinated you might think you are, or how insecure about your age and body…All of that is about to change with Pilates.
Doing Pilates properly is about awareness of the tempo and flow of the routine and how one movement blends into the next.
How badly do you want to do this?
You’ll be developing and strengthening your “powerhouse” abdominal core to support everything you do.
You will be keenly aware of the parts of your body that are weak and need to become more flexible.
You will also notice a vast improvement in your overall sense of well-being.
You’ll feel rejuvenated after only your first workout.
The more you want to do Pilates, the greater and more satisfying your experience will be.
Let’s do it!
Drop-in Group Reformer Classes
Mondays, Wednesdays & Thursdays 6 & 7pm
Did you know…..
By walking more that 4,000 steps a day, adults aged 60 and older can improve both attention and mental skills, according to a study in the Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease (2017; doi:10.3233/JAD-170586)
IDEA Fitness Journal, April 2018Brain Fitness
Pilates Exercise Tips for Strong and Healthy Shoulders
Have you ever injured your arms and shoulders?
Do carry stress and tension in your neck, upper back?
Do you ever notice your shoulders hiked up around your ears?
It’s not surprising that so many people these days experience one, or all of these shoulder issues. To maintain our erect human posture we have two options – good core support, or overuse of our arms and shoulders to try and hold us up!
Think of it this way… You are either like a coat on a hook (shoulders up), or a circus tent with a tall pole up the center and the edges sloping down (core support & shoulders down). Being like a coat on a hook means lots of neck and shoulder tension. You might experience more headaches, or be prone to shoulder injuries and rotator cuff problems. The good news, things can change quickly with the right body awareness, exercises, and improving your posture.
So the first important tip for strong healthy shoulders is to strengthen your core.
The stronger your abs and back are to help keep you sitting and standing with tall posture (like a circus tent) the more your shoulders can relax.
But just relaxing your shoulders may not be enough. Some active work to pull them down away from your ears may be necessary. One of my favorite cues for strengthening the lower trapezius muscles (the muscles that help to pull the shoulders down) is “Diamond Down.”
muscle is a broad diamond shaped muscle that has fibers running in three different directions. The upper fibers elevate the shoulders. Middle fibers assist in pulling the shoulder blades together, and the lower fibers draw the shoulder blades down.
Generally speaking, the weakest and most important action for shoulder support and stability is the downward action of the Trapezius, thus my cue of “Diamond Down” when preparing to do any exercise that involves using the shoulders and arms.
Benefits of Strengthening the Lower Trapezius Muscle with “Diamond Down”
It places the shoulder joint in a more optimal place for movement of the shoulder and arm during exercise. Better movement improves strength and flexibility and reduces risk of injury.
It provides the counter-leverage necessary to lengthen and open joint space for the upper thoracic spine, neck and head, which means improved posture and upper spine mobility.
Tips for Practicing “Diamond Down”
Start Standing with good posture and core support. The upper spine should be slightly curved in its natural position so that the shoulder blades can lay flat on the back. Just let the arms hang by your sides.
Inhale breathing into the back to lift the ribcage and lengthen the spine, Exhale and from the bottom tips of the shoulder blades and draw the “Diamond Down” gently pulling the shoulder blades down towards the back of your waist.
Repeat this three times, lifting the spine higher, and deepening the “Diamond Down” contraction. Then release. Repeat your “Diamond Down” exercise 3-5 times as a warm-up exercise before any other Pilates or gym exercises. Or do it as a stand-alone exercise a couple of times throughout your day to remind you to keep your shoulders away from your ears!
What to Watch For
Be sure as the shoulder blades only pull down, that they don’t pinch together, but stay flat on the ribcage.
Watch your posture, allow the blades to move, and keep the rest of the body still.
Make sure the lower abdominals are lifting for core support and remain lifted while you draw your “Diamond” down.
Get More Core
Good Pilates exercise techniques makes a healthy body. If you have a weak core, chances are your shoulders like to be hiked up around your ears. With a strong center it’s much easier to improve shoulder mechanics, reduce joint pain, and maximize your Pilates workouts. Doing the right exercises to strengthen your abdominals and back, along with practicing your “Diamond” down shoulder blade cue and you’ll be off to a great start for developing strong and healthy arms and shoulders with any and all of the exercises you do.
© MMVIII-MMXIII, Aliesa George and Centerworks©. Used by Permission. Originally posted on Centerworks.com.
The other basic principles are breathing, control, centering, flowing movement, and precision. Because the exercises are so controlled they are very safe and the technique is perfect for any age.
Pilates is the technique that allows you to get to know your own body.
As you work through the exercises with your instructor your posture improves, your muscles become more toned, and joints more mobile, and your body shape will become more balanced.
Best of all, your Pilates body will spill over into your everyday life, so even the most route of activities – sitting, waking, or standing – will become infused with balance and grace.
Char has worked in the fitness industry for 18 years, and has experience in many different areas of exercise including spinning/ indoor cycling, boot camp, TRX, basic functional training, and Pilates.
Charletha has traveled and taught Pilates in the Pacific Northwest region and in Utah. From 2004 through 2007 she was a Master Pilates instructor teaching and certifying individuals in the Pilates method.
Her personal training allowed her the opportunity to enter bodybuilding competitions from 2007 to 2009, winning first place in both heavyweight and middleweight divisions of the International Federation of Bodybuilding and Fitness (IFBB), the governing board of the sport of bodybuilding and fitness.
Her interests include reading, writing and the opera.
Call (626)765-6500 or email us to schedule an appointment with Charletha today!
You’ll be glad you did.
Celebrating Cinco De Mayo is certainly festive especially when we are faced with so many great choices of various Mexican foods to choose from.
I love sharing my favorite recipe. It is easy to prepare and absolutely delicious and it an be in a taco or a burrito. I enjoy a good taco!
Maria’s Sweet Potato & Cauliflower Tacos
2 pounds sweet potatoes (3 to 4 medium sweet potatoes), peeled and sliced into 1-inch chunks
1 medium cauliflower cut into small flowerets
1 or 2 bell peppers (red or green) sliced in strips
1 small yellow or white onion, finely chopped
3 tablespoons olive oil
3 teaspoons ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon chili powder
1 cup water
3 chopped tomatoes or 1 can tomato sauce
Freshly ground black pepper and salt to taste
1-2 lime wedges
Warm the olive oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add the onions and a sprinkle of salt. Add the sliced bell peppers. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the onions and peppers have softened and are turning translucent, about 5 to 8 minutes. Add the sweet potato and cauliflower, stir with onions & peppers. Add the cumin and chili powder and cook for about 30 seconds while stirring. Add the chopped tomatoes or tomato sauce and the water. Stir, cover and reduce heat to medium and maintain a gentle simmer, stir occasionally until the vegetables have softened, about 25-30 minutes.
To assemble the tacos, warm tortillas, using a large skillet over medium heat. Spread the sweet potato/cauliflower mixture down the middle of each tortilla and then top with chopped lettuce, tomatoes, salsa and guacamole. Garnish with lime wedges, cheese, green/red onions, pepitas, and anything else that strikes your fancy. Repeat with remaining tortillas and serve.
of our life can be the beginning of great things."
- Joseph Pilates
Throughout the years we've heard people tell us how the benefits of Pilates have changed their lives - sometimes dramatically. We think you should hear them, too…
D. Parks: Pasadena, CA
I’ve seen a wonderful change in how my body moves since I started Pilates. Over the years my workouts consisted of walking and my yoga practice but I have never been athletically inclined. But now I’ve seen a major increase in the coordination of my body – Pilates has improved my posture and basically changed my muscle structure.
When people ask me why I do Pilates I tell them that it’s a great way to build toned muscles with little to no impact on your body. You can even get some cardio exercise with no joint impact. In addition, I’ve never had a dull class. There are so many exercise and so much variations – its just always fun. And, I love how I feel after a class! Thanks Maria!
How has Pilates changed your life? Share your success story…We’d love to hear from you on our comment section or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.