Berkeley Parents Network >
Classes & Lessons >
Pilates for out of shape men
I've tried Pilates and liked it, but I was always the only man in the group
classes. Also, at 60, I was usually the oldest participant. I felt like a
silver-backed ape in a room full of sylphs. Any recommendations for a Pilates
program in Oakland or Berkeley that would be more diverse?
determined to get back in shape
You most definitely should try Julia Hollis' Pilates classes located in Oakland. Her
phone is 415-490-7371. She is a dancer and a Pilates expert. Even in a class she sees
each student and gives exacting instructions to each movement. I am not very flexible
and still felt totally at ease in her class. Mid-age Moving Momma
I see plenty of men at Star Pilates in Moraga. I know you said you were looking
for Oakland/Berkeley, but I thought if you lived in the hills or near 24, Moraga
might not be too much of a haul. Anyway, Star has an older clientele, for the
most part which is one of things I love about it. It offers mat classes, as well
as instruction on the reformer.
I'm not sure about real Pilates classes, but I have the PERFECT yoga class for you, and
it has a lot of the same athleticism of an average Pilates class. Try Scotty's class at
1216 Solano Avenue, through the Albany YMCA on Saturdays at 11:15 and Sundays at 11:00.
It's a $14 fee per class for non-members.
- Can't reach my toes without bending my knees
I think you would like the Pilates classes at The Works Exercise and Dance
Studio on Telegraph Ave. in Berkeley. The students are a lovely group of mature
men and women that are very focused on being healthy and enjoying movement while
continuing to challenge themselves to be fit. Check out their website:
The two Pilates classes I'm thinking of are Monday and Thursday mornings. Sarah
Cohen the studio manager can help you with any questions. Best of luck!
Happy with The Works
Pilates near Glenview/Montclair
Hi all - I am located in Glenview/Montclair and am looking
for Pilates studio recommendations, fairly close to me.
Specifically, I'm interested in hearing about results in
terms of regaining a flat stomach and waist (my problem, a
nightmare) and core strength, and reasonable cost. I've
never done Pilates, but sounds like it's what I need.
Optimum Pilates on Piedmont Ave is a great pilates studio. I have worked
with a couple good teachers- Caitlin and Carie
and both are really knowledgeable and give a really great
workout. Also, the nice thing about this studio is that they
offer a lot of small group classes or 5 or less on the
equipment. This has been great for doing pilates but keeping
the cost down. I feel that this has been a really quality
experience compared to huge gym classes- i have really seen
results in the abs and generally, my body is slimmer and
I've got just the instructor for you! Nicole Hanshaw is warm and
humorous and you'll feel immediately comfortable with her. She has very
reasonably priced small group and private sessions in her pretty
Montclair home. Should you be interested, she also teaches reformer at
The Hills Swim and Tennis Club where you needn't be a member to train
Contact her at 510/681-6656 or email@example.com to discuss your
Great Pilates teacher/class in Berkeley?
I'm looking for a great Pilates teacher and class,
preferably in Berkeley. I'm pretty flexible with times/days,
just looking for a high-quality class and teacher with good
energy and passion for Pilates. C
Jennifer Moulton who co-own Studio Pilates 74 is a great teacher.
Her studio is in Emeryville and the studio offers private and
semi-private lessons as well as group mat classes and small group
mat/springboard and reformer classes. You can check her website at
You should check out Karen Casino's classes at her home
studio in Berkeley, set behind her house in her lovely
garden. I started taking her postpartum class several years
ago after I had my first baby (great way to get in shape
after childbirth!)and now do the tri-level class. Karen's
website is: http:www.karencasino.com. The classes are small
enough that you will get individualized attention and Karen
really knows her stuff. She also does private classes.
There is a great Pilates class at the El Cerrito Community Center
on Monday and Wednesday evenings from 6 to 7. Most of the
attendees have been part of the class for some time and we all
love the class. It is a mat class and can be for beginners to
intermediate or beyond as the movements can be adapted to any
level. The teacher Alena Gonzalez is welcoming and fun.
Contact the Community Center and join us!
For a really good Pilates teacher, I encourage you to get in touch
with Rosie Liebe. She is a body worker and Pilates instructor -
and extremely good at what she does. I get bodywork regularly from
Rosie's website is http://www.thebodypraxis.com/. You can call her
at 510.828.3441 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
I have gone to Karen Casino for five years. She is very
knowledgeable, eager to explain, very attentive to her students'
form, funny, easy to be with. She's excellent and I recommend her
highly. Look at www. karencasino.com for a schedule of her classes.
Pilates in Oakland and Alameda area?
I am looking for a pilates studio and/or instructor in the
Oakland and/or Alameda area. I am looking for both private
instructors and group classes. Any recommendations? Jocelyn
ProBalance on Park St in Alameda is a great Pilates studio.
Easy, free parking. Extremely knowledgeable staff. Overall
delightful place. The owner, Ada, is a Polestar certified
instructor and is also a physical therapist with lots of
experience. You can do privates, duets, circuit classes,
group mat classes, etc. Ada will set you up for what your
current needs are with the best instructor for you. This
place is an Alameda must! http://www.probalancept.com
Try Angie Specter at Mindbody Connections in Emeryville.
I've taken group and private classes from her, and she's
great. She's been teaching pilates as well as gyrotonics
for a couple of decades, and she knows a lot. Best,
Pilates 2 the people is a great organization, especially
instructor Kendal Au. She makes the classes fun,
affordable, and really has an amazing understanding of
anatomy. She teaches in several locations around oakland,
berkeley and does private sessions too.
far and away the best pilates studio in the bar area is with
Angie Spector at MindBody Connection in Emeryville. In
private classes she really watches/feels what you are doing
to make sure it is correct. She is also a teacher/trainer
and has students for lower-fee private/semi-private classes.
Lots of different classes/techniques too. My favorite is the
gyrotonics, makes me feel graceful instead of like an
I highly recommend Sophia Thorsen.
http://www.sophiathorsenpilates.com/. Sophia is highly
trained in classical pilates and has a beautiful, fully
equipped studio in North Oakland (Telegraph and 51st
Street). She has mat classes (and also does private
sessions with the machines) which are small and reasonably
priced. I take her mat class and appreciate that she lets
you work at your own pace, paying special attention to
injuries, and working with each individual's body and
abilities. She is also very grounded and calming, which I
Core Cat Pilates Studio in Oakland, near the Embarcadero
Cove and Coast Guard Island (convenient to both Oakland and
Alameda) is a lovely studio for parents to take a respite
and get a good work out. Pilates is taught from the more
classical perspective, but the owner does mix it up with
some interesting theme and stretch classes. Four reformers
limits the size of the classes, and lots of props allows for
a variety of exercise options. The students and teachers are
very welcoming. Susan
Pilates Classes/Instructors in Berkeley/Albany?
Any recommendations on pilates (machine and mat) classes
and/or private instructors in Berkeley or Albany? I'm
interested in strengthening my core (it's been almost 2
years post-partum but still...)and improving my posture.
Center Strength on Solano at Ventura is great! They don't
have classes, only private instructors, but they are all
really wonderful and most have taught there for a long time.
510-526-3757. Dallas is the owner and she can help you pick
an instructor if you don't train with her! anon
I highly recommend Sandy Endo, www.sandyendo.com or 510-
I did Pilates for about 2 years with a number of different
instructors, then recently picked it up again after a 3-
year hiatus. It's now been about 6 months since I started
working with Sandy and she is without doubt the best
instructor I have ever had. Not only am I seeing real
results, but I am having a lot of fun.
Sandy is very focused on learning your goals and helping you
achieve them. My goals were to lose about 10 pounds and get
stronger. She has helped me in both areas - I've lost the
weight and am developing a lot of muscle tone. My core is
much stronger, and I can actually imagine having a firm
Sandy's sessions are always planned in advance so that no
two sessions are the same. I am never bored, but always
challenged. Sandy's knowledge of Pilates and the human body
is impressive, as is her dedication to making sure that you
are getting what you wanted from your sessions.
Sandy works one-on-one with clients at her home studio near
Solano Avenue or at a studio she shares with other trainers
on San Pablo. She also teaches a group Pilates class on
Fridays at 1:30 at the Albany YMCA.
Call her - you won't regret it!
Pilates - Joanna Arhon - Yoga Kula in Berkeley - Shattuck @
Virginia. Here is her website:www.jopilates.net. I have been
taking Reformer classes with Joanna for over a year now. I
have tried several other teachers, both at Y.K. and other
places and I can say Joanna is by far the best. She is
extremely knowledgeable about both Pilates and anatomy in
general. She gears the class to who is in it and offers
modifications for the specific needs of each person. She is
a pleasure to be around and the classes are great. She has
helped me get a long standing back issue into remission. She
also teaches mat classes, reformer and private lessons
elsewhere - private studios, at UC Berkeley and will do
privates at your home. I really can't speak highly enough of
her. Also, Yoga Kula runs periodic specials when you can buy
a package of classes at a reduced rate. Tracey
Pilates classes in Berkeley/Albany
I am looking for a pilates class in the Berkeley, Albany area (preferably) but am
willing to be flexible and travel. I am looking for someone who can help me
strengthen my core & work with my chronic condition so rehab experience
would be a plus. I don't have a lot of extra money so a sliding scale class or
instructor would best fit my needs.
You could try going to Ellie Herman Pilates studio in
Oakland. Look at www.elliehermanpilates.com or you can call
them at 510-594-8507. They have some rehab people there.
They also have discounts for the month of May, I think.
Some of the rehab people are expensive but they have some
student and apprentice trainers that work at a lower rates.
I have been taking regular Pilates classes from Joanna Arhon
at Yoga Kula on Shattuck and Virginia for some time now. I
have tried several other Pilates instructors and Joanna
works for me. I like her style, body and Pilates knowledge
and approach. She teaches Reformer classes five mornings
(M-Th and Sat) at YogaKula and mat classes somewhere else. I
sign up for classes online - max 4/class. You can call Yoga
Kula and ask for her contact info if you want to find out
where she teaches mat class. Also, individual group reformer
classes at Yoga Kula are pricey but they do run periodic
specials bringing class price down a considerable amount. I
started with a back injury and Pilates has definitely helped
get me going again.
Sornam Joanna Sahadevan is a fantastic pilates teacher. She teaches classes both
at the RSF on campus and at her private studio (Reform Your Body on University).
She is incredibly knowledgeable and has herself used pilates to rehab her way
back from a bad acccident. She doesn't offer a sliding scale, but the RSF classes
are cheap and the trio classes at her studio would be the most affordable.
Ernie Adams offers Pilates classes in Kensington and in
Albany. The classes in Kensington are through the
Kensington Community Council, a nonprofit that provides
chilren's and adults' recreational programs. He has a
devoted following for his Tuesday and Wednesday evening
classes. For more info, please go to www.bodyinaction.com
or call 510-619-9223.
Optimum Pilates in the Piedmont Yoga building has great reasonably priced
classes. They also have a physical therapist on staff who teaches pilates and I
have heard great things about her. I have personally worked with Carie Lee and
Caitlin and have found both of them to be excellent, knowledgeable and
compassionate teachers. The studio has a great vibe- I highly recommend it.
Looking for a fitness/pilates instructor
After years of child-rearing, and unfortunately not putting in the
time to take care of myself, I am looking for a fitness (maybe
pilates?) instructor to help me get back in shape. I'm not afraid of
hard work but wouldn't mind a gentle reintroduction to regular
exercise. I live in Albany so somewhere close by would be best. I've
already looked in on classes at the Y but feel a little overwhelmed by
the large number of students in the classes. Any recommendations
would be greatly appreciated.
A year ago I started working out with Sandy Endo. She lives in Albany and she is
comes to my house and teaches me pilates skills combined with other exercises
(strength training, yoga
stretches, etc). She is great about tailoring the workout to my personal needs,
pushing me to challenge
myself while listening to my limitations. My friend (another Albany mom) attends
classes with me and
shares the cost- very reasonable. Sandy is also seeing clients in a studio
setting. She is
knowledgeable and fun. I feel better and I always look forward to our classes.
Her e-mail address is
email@example.com, but if you would like to know more, you can send me an e-mail
Try Mind-Body Connection in Emeryville.(5855 Doyle St, #106. 510 420-0444)
Angi Spector runs the studio and is absolutely incredible. If you see her for a
personal session, she'll create a program that's specific to your body's needs.
Unlike other programs I've tried, Angi believes in building strength from the
inside out. You'll be working WITH your body, not against it. It's a great way
to get and stay in shape.
If you do a group class, you'll still get great individual attention. I can't
say enough about her!
Good luck & congratulations on getting back to your body.
I've had pilates classes with two great instructors, one in Oakland--Grace
Walcott of shapeshifter pilates who is at 459 0346 and the other, Liliane Fahr
in Richmond (who I think also teaches at the Pilates place on Solano). Her
number is 214 6673. Both were very nice, new their business and love their work.
Well, she's not all that close, but I can speak very highly of Sophia Thorsen
Pilates, on Telegraph near 51st in Oakland. I've been taking Pilates from
Sophie for a couple years now, and it's done amazing things for my
flexibility, coordination, and of course, my core. And her rates are very
reasonable. She's got a website, if you google her.
Sandy Endo works in Albany and is great,I highly recommend her. She has a
website, I believe.
Many options are available for you.
If you are in Albany, Synergy Fitness Pilates Studio is nearby on Solano
Avenue, between Kains and Stannage. I'm a trainer there(along with 2 other
full trainers plus the owner of the studio) and would be happy to talk to you.
There are also 3 ''trainees'', newly graduated from from the training program
and working with clients to complete a 200 hour internship.
At the studio there are private one on one sessions (recommended for at least
a few times till you get the hang of it),semi-privates..if you have a friend
yo'd like to train with, or sometimes we put 2 people together who want semi-
privatese, plus several mat classes per week. The mat classes can be anywhere
from 1-8 or 9 people (space is limited)so even w/ 9 people each person gets
fair attention from the instructor (as opposed to a class w/ 30+ people).
You can get a great work out w/ a pair of hand held weights and an exercise
ball. When I come to your home we talk about your goals, limitations, etc.
I put you thru a work out that is reasonable and doable for your level. I
leave you with drawings and explanations so you can do it all on your own
till next we meet.
I would highly recommend Sarah Kotzamani (292-1441) and Roya Arasteh (558-8044)
who are both wonderful instructors. They respect your own pace, but push that
necessary bit more with support, expertise, and warmth.
Pilates in Berkeley or Emeryville
I am looking for a place to do Pilates close to Emeryville. I
would like to do private or group classes. Or maybe there is
someone who could come to my home once a week.
fire in the belly
Grace Walcott is a fantastic pilates instructor, she holds private
reformer classes in North Oakland or will go to your home to work with
you. Call her at 510-459-0346 or email her at
June 2009: Need recommendation for a fitness place
I am looking for a postnatal exercise expert (for exercise after c-section surgery)
and a fitness place near albany berkeley area. I actually had a miscarriage and am
really looking for someone who is really good because I am now overly cautious and
want to learn about exercises that will help in toning back my body and will not
affect my body in a negative way for future pregnancy. Any help will be greatly
Pilates, Pilates, Pilates....I can highly recommend Synergy Fitness
Pilates studio on Solano Avenue in Albany (next to the Foam Shop)
between Kern and STannage.
PIlates is the best way to safely get back into shape after a
The trainers at Synergy Fitness are really knowledgable and will
work with you one on one to develope a program specifically for your
body and your needs.
Many people go there for various kinds of rehab, including post
partum moms (and pregnant moms to be).
Rebecca is the owner of the studio. She's a MASTER...she's really
incredible. The 3 really great trainers are Christina, Anna and
June. There are also new trainees...not as experienced, but getting
there and less money to work with a trainee.
Give them a call. You won't be sorry
Studio number is 527-9005.
Pilates changed my life (and body).
I'm looking for a current
pilates instructor/studio recommendation. I'm turning 40 in
September and I'd like to somewhat resemble myself in an earlier
time (or be even better truthfully). My sister was transformed
by it in a few short months. I want to try it out and have no
idea how to find a good instructor/classes and also an idea of
general pricing in the area. Does anyone have any stories to
share, people to recommend or advice? If it makes any
difference, I'm in Crocker Highlands. Thanks!
Alameda Yoga Station (www.alamedayogastation.com) is offering a 5-week
Introduction to Pilates/Yoga - Sundays, May 31-June 28, 5:00-6:30 pm
hoping it works for me as well
I suggest you check out Sophia Thorsen Pilates in the Temscal area of
Oakland. She offers everything from private lessons to mat classes.
If you are looking for private instruction, I highly recommend Minoo
Hamzavi. She's New York Guild certified and works out of her home on
Caldecott Lane. She's especially good working with injuries and chronic
issues (for me, neck and shoulder tightness). She is a keen observer of
your body mechanics and tailors your workout to address your individual
needs. She is gentle and thorough with her instruction, but she will
also challenge you to work as rigorously as your body allows. An added
plus: she's got a great sense of humor. She can be reached at
I have a friend who got into pilates after work related injuries had
really set her back. She loves it and became an instructor. She has a
small studio at her home. Her website is www.laurieleiber.com. She's
been positively reviewed on Yelp. She's older than you are and in
GREAT shape. Personally I hate exercise and she is about the only
person I'm willing to try ANYTHING with.
I heartily recommend Ayse Berkes. She has a lighthearted attitude that
makes the workouts go by quickly and with laughter. Ayse is very well
versed in the mechanics of the body so she was really able to help me
with the post-partum issues like knees and feet affected by relaxin.
She's a wonderful blend of supportive and challenging. She's creative
so each time the workout is different, allowing my whole body to
benefit and keeping me from getting bored. I had a C section and wasn't
able to sit up from a lying position when I first went started and I
credit Pilates with regaining my strength. She was honest about, and
it is also my experience, that in order to both change your shape and
lose weight one also has to do cardio (there are machines at both of
her locations). She works with members of Club One and at her own
studio at Equilibrio Wellness at 1729 Telegraph#2(between 17th and
18th, right near the newly renovated Fox theatre), Club One is on 12th
at Clay, both in Oakland. She can be reached 510-334-8038 as well as
Pilates--Oakland or Berkeley
I'm looking for a good pilates studio to get back into shape after numerous
miscarriages. I need to build my strength back up after the physical and
emotional strain. I'm looking for a nice studio, preferably in north oakland,
that would help me get back into shape. thanks
I am devoted to Pilates 580 on Santa Clara Ave., not far from
Piedmont Ave. Laura the owner is wonderful, the studio is small but
brand new, clean, and filled with natural light. I invested in
private lessons for a time, to get a sense of my level and goals,
before switching to (less expensive) duets and classes. Laura is
supportive and skilled at finding just the right balance of
challege and confidence. Give her a call! (510) 868-8122.
I recommend Optimum Pilates on Piedmont Ave. Andrea is very
knowledgable about the body/rehab has had 2 children and
taught/done pilates during and after pregnancies. Caitlin is
certifying as a doula. I believe the website lists postpartum
classes as 'coming soon.' I think you'll find what you're after
The Center in Oakland, on Grand Avenue, is a nice, intimate studio.
I went in my last trimester of a difficult pregnancy, during which
I had not been able to exercise at all. The instructor, Nicole, is
a mom of two and very knowledgeable about all things
pregnancy-related, including m/c, and how to begin to heal, in all
ways. The largest the class would be is 5 people, but I was
usually the only one, so it was like a private class for not the
private price! Thus, it was trained specifically to my needs! I
also went post-natally, too. www.thecenteroakland.com
I have found Pilates to be the most efficient type of exercise for
my bad back. I get a good workout in a relatively short amount of
time. Having had a back injury, I am extremely careful of not
overdoing it and getting worse, and learning the exercises properly
was key for me. I took a couple of months of private classes with
Sandi Underwood at Studio74 pilates in Emeryville to learn the
proper techniques. Now I can take a group class with confidence,
and even try a Pilates video without too much worry about injury.
Sandi is great, very detailed and precise in her explanations.
Also, she's not a jock or a dancer, so she has real sympathy and
understanding of people who struggle to be fit, and who would
actually rather be curling up with a bood. They have some 3 person
classes starting in early Sept, so your timing is good!
http://www.studio74pilates.com/instructors.html The studio is very
serene and clean, by the way. There's parking and it's pretty
convenient to North Oakl!
Have to admit it's getting better
Pilates 580 is incredible. Laura is an amazing instructor and has
whipped me back into shape and helped my lower back pain. The
studio is right off of 580 and really convenient.
170 Santa Clara Ave, Oakland
510 868 8122
You may want to give Caitlin Smith a try- she is both a pilates
instructor and a doula. she is terrific energetic teacher and very
knowledgeable to boot. She also teaches pre and post natal
workshops, etc. She has really helped me get my body back- my
stomach is flat and I am standing up straight. I can't say enough
positive about her- she's great. Call her at 385-4433 or call the
Good pilates instructors
I've been taking Pilates for about 2 years now, and love it. Unfortunately,
the days/times at the studio I currently go to aren't very convenient, and the
prices also keep rising...
Do any of you have Pilates instructors or studios you would highly recommend?
I'm looking for someone who can teach private lessons or in a group (even a
good mat class would be great!), and who is fairly aware of body use in
students (watches, for example, that students aren't developing lots of neck
tension, *are* using good form, etc...)
Also, what are average rates charged by your favorite instructor/studio?
Thanks in advance for any advice/recommendations!
Loving Pilates, Need New Instructor
The Downtown Berkeley YMCA has seven different Pilates classes
plus a Pilates/Yoga class. You can see the entire schedule at
Please look into Pilates 580 on Santa Clara Ave. I can recommend
it highly - I have been working out with Laura (the owner) for
over 2 years now, and love the results and her! As a former
dancer and certified instructor, she has excellent body awareness
and subtle adjustment directions. The prices are competitive, and
there is a range of options - private, duet, and group classes.
No live website yet, but you can call (510) 868.8122 to reach the
Also a Pilates Fan
I think very highly of Karen Emery's classes, at Ashkenaz. I
know she teaches private lessons, as well as classes at other
locations, but here's her schedule from the Ashkenaz WEB site:
with Karen Emery
Wednesday: 5:30 - 6:30 pm (levels 2-3)
Thursday: 10:30 - 11:30 am (level 1)
Thursday: 12:00 - 1:00 pm (levels 3-4)
Saturday: 9:00 - 10:00 am (levels 2-3)
Karen has an eagle eye for corrections, and she's great at
handling people of all different backgrounds and ability levels
in a single class.
Optimum Pilates on Piedmont Ave (optimum.pilates.com, in the
same building as Piedmont Yoga Studio) provides reformer
classes and private sessions. The trainers come from rehab,
dance, and yoga backgrounds. I've really enjoyed learning
from them and benefited from their body wisdom. I highly
recommend optimum pilates.
Dec 2007: Need a Great, Local Pilates Studio!
Help! I need to kick-start my New Year's Resolution but I don't know
where to go. I am looking for a great Pilates Studio that offers both
private training and group classes. It needs to be close (I live in
Oakland, very close to the Grand Lake Theater, and I work in Berkeley,
close to the Rockridge BART station), calm, and not too big (I stopped
going to Pilates at Club One years ago because it was too crowded/noisy).
Does anyone know of a gem they are willing to share?
My Core Needs More
Try Ellie Herman Studios. It is on Grand just up from the theater. I went
to her studio in the city and then the one here. She converted a old house
or apartment to create the studio and it has a nice homey feel. The
trainer I worked out with is no longer there. I would recommend trying a
few until you find one you really like. They also have small classes. Good
Used to do pilates...
Ellie Herman is the place to go on Grand Avenue. I've never been, but I
have friends who rave about it. Spendy, I hear. Michelle Cordero teaches a
great yoga class at Namaste in Rockridge, walking distance from the BART
station. Its not pilates, but she incorporates a ton of core strength
movements and does not feel like a traditional yoga class. You might also
try the Dailey Method on Piedmont Ave. At $18 a class its a lot less than
1:1 pilates and is an amazing workout - completely focused on core
strength. I'm addicted. Good luck - lots of great options out there.
I go to a great Pilates and Gyrotonic studio on College Avenue, called
Pilates Plus. The instructors are very nice and extremely knowledgeable.
The studio itself is very clean and is a large open space. They offer
both group classes (with or without equipment) and excellent private
training - which I personally recommend. The prices are comparable to all
of the other studios in the area that I checked out. However, after doing
a lot of research, I found this studio to be far superior because of the
trainers and the lovely modern studio with all of the Pilates equipment
and more! I highly recommend it to anyone looking for excellent Pilates
or Gyrotonic training in the East Bay.
5255 College Avenue
Optimum Pilates in Montclair is great. they have really great teachers
and also group classes. i have been really happy with all the teachers i
have worked with there but i would like to recommend Chrissy MacDonald and
Andrea Kennerley in particular- they are really fun and while they both
give great detailed workouts (and are great at gentle rehab) they are also
good at kicking your ass. they really give you one of those workouts where
you feel you have done something and you feel great when you leave. Andrea
also teaches pilates for children. they are at www.optimumpilates.com
Sept 2007: Inexpensive Pilates class
My daughter is interested in taking a Pilates class. She has limited
funds for this. Does anyone have any recommendations for an inexpensive
class for her?
I am not sure if it inexpensive, but the quality is great: Sophia Thorsen
teaches classes for all levels at Pilates Plus on College. A mat class
is, I think $ 15 ($ 12 if you buy a block of 10). It is in a nice clean
studio, with street parking nearby.
My favorite pilates classes are with Karen Emery, at Ashkenaz. She
charges 5 for 6 classes, and the classes you pay for don't expire, so you
can use them up as quickly or as slowly as you like. She teaches several
times a week at Ashkenaz (check their WEB site) and may teach other
places, too. I don't know of anything less expensive than that.
She might try looking at Albany Community Center
(http://www.albanyca.org/dept/pdf/Fall07_Guide2007.pdf). I haven't taken
the pilates class there yet, but the price seems reasonable.
The pilates studio i go to offers a variety of pilates
classes: both mat ($15-12) and reformer classes($30-$25). I
strongly reccomend the reformer classes if you want a full
body workout- mat classes are only abs, but the equipment is
a much more fun, dynamic workout- get legs and butt (my
obsession). the reformer classes are also limited to only 5
people. Their website is www.optimumpilates.com. the owner
Andrea is very friendly and she has been known to do trades
occasionally and some sliding scale. They are supposedly
going to be offering online scheduling soon- which will be
really nice as it is sometimes hard to find out if a class
later that same day has room. i reccomend it highly and have
found all their teachers to be really excellent.
happy with my pilates classes
March 2007: Pilates Personal Trainer at Home
We are in need of a personal Pilates trainer who will come to
our home. My husband and I would like to do mat work in the
original Pilates tradition. Have you had a personal experience
with anyone? We would greatly appreciate your recommendations
along with the trainer's phone numnber or e-mail address.
The woman I have worked with for the last 3 years has been
fantastic. Her name is Patty Lyons and her number is 715-7839
email address is firstname.lastname@example.org. She has always come
to my home but recently opened a small studio on Grand Ave. She
might be willing to do some home visits...especially since there
are 2 of you. I started with her when I was diagnosed with
fibromyalgia and she worked with me slowly at first and we built
up at my pace. I have always been pretty active and can easily
say I am in better shape now than ever. Patty is extremely
knowledgeable and professional. Give her a call...
Oct 2006: Pilates instructor in Alameda
I have been suffering from right sided rib cage and thoracic pain, especially with
deep breathing, for about 5 months now (since my baby was 7 months old). After
much evaluation (it is not a pulmonary problem), I am believe it is at least in part
related to a diastasis recti and practically nil abdominal strength (thanks to 2 c-
sections, 10 pound baby etc). I am wondering if any one has had similar problems,
and if so, what helped? Also, I'm looking for an excellent pilates instructor in
Alameda (or possibly Oakland) who would be knowledgable about diastasis and
postpartum pain problems. Thanks
Mariner Square out at Harbor Bay, says an Alameda resident with
many years' experience with back issues.
You should give Suzanne Martin a call. Her office is in Alameda.
She's also got a WEB site: www.totalbodydevelopment.com.
Suzanne is very knowledgeable. I know her from classes she does
for dancers at Shawl-Anderson in Oakland.
I am a plastic and hand surgeon in Berkeley and have cared for
alot of repetitive stress injury patients. I start my response
this way because I have worked with patients who have chronic
areas of pain (like your right rib pain) which does not get
permanently better with standard exercise and physical therapy.
I have also had a severe musculofascial back injury myself and
was not able to work in the operating room for more than 4 hours
and remain painfree until I started working with a practitioner
of Muscle Activation Technique or MAT for short. This technique
rebalances muscles that are overstretched and not functioning
properly such as those pulled out past legnth by large babies,
which may be causing your chronic pain. The theory of MAT is
that chronically painful, tight areas actually represent a
compensation for a muscle or group of muscles that are not
working properly. If those nonfunctioning muscles are turned
back on, the compensation relaxes and the pain stops. This can
often be accomplished in one session, although it may take
several sessions until the muscle retraining ''sticks''.
You can then strengthen and maintain with Pilates, but I highly
recommend starting here.
The person I work with is Paul Ciske. His phone number is 510
832-5725. He is a certified practitioner of MAT in addition to
having a PhD in physiology. Elizabeth
April 2006: Best Pilates in Berkeley
Hi, I live in N. Berkeley and am looking for a really great, challenging
pilates class. Near my home works best. I have gone to a few pilates classes
at the Berkeley YMCA and found them a little too ''gentle'' to the point where
I didn't feel I got a work out.
Then I went to visit a friend in Southern California and went with her to this
great class that was really challenging, they used the big ball some of the
time, and there was a lot of one on one adjustment. The teacher was great and
really experienced. So basically I am looking for a smallish adv/intermediate
pilates class with a great teacher. I am also open to one on one pilates, but
can't afford something really expensive. Does anybody know of a class in or
around North Berkeley or downtown berkeley like what I am describing? I have
seen pilates places on Solano, one on Oxford near campus, and I know they do
pilates at Yoga Kula on Shattuck. Can anyone recommend one of these places.
I have been going to The Works Exercise & Dance Studio at 2566 D
Telegraph Avenue and working with Jennifer Durning who is fantastic
pilates instructor. She offers classes 4 days a week and sometimes uses
exertubes, bands, therabands and balls. Highly recommend her
classes. www.works-exercise.com or 510-841-1373. When she is away
she has incredible subs as well.
I can recommend Barbara Van Winkle as a great pilates teacher but
I think she only does one-on-one training, at a beautiful back
garden studio in north berkeley, near BART. She is also a
talented and affordable masseuse.
Her # is 510-412-2251
I think you have to take Pilates slowly and carefully, like any exercise program.
learned the basics at Physical Therapy Innovations in El Cerrito. Now I can
classes at the Y or whereever. The PT Innovations the have a dedicated Pilates
who is also a PT as well. Its a great way to start if you can get a doctor's
March 2006: Pilates mat classes in Alameda
Can anyone recommend a good beginning pilates class in
Alameda? I'm interested in the simpler mat classes, not the
individual instruction on the machines. Thanks!
I go to Abra Rudisill's Friday morning mat class at the Alameda Ballet Academy (it
meets at 9:30 am). Abra is a former ballerina and teaches Pilates in addition to kid
(and adult) ballet classes. I find her instruction/guidance to be extremely
sophisticated and attentive. I started going to her with terrible lower back pain from
too many years of carrying kids on my hip, and she was able to help me figure out
what to work on. I am pretty much pain free these days. Class is $15 dollars drop
in--but you can also pay by the month. The class meets in the Academy's studio on
Park Street near Central. Here's a phone number: 337-1929
Ada Shedlock teaches yoga at the Alameda Yoga Station -
www.alamedayogastation.com. She often incorporates her pilates
background in her yoga classes. They also offer a gentle yoga
class, intro. to yoga classes and many great ongoing classes as
well as special workshops.
Jan 2006: Pilates for neck/hip pain
I'm looking for a pilates instructor to help me with neck and hip
pain that I developed a few months ago...I've been to my doctor
and a physical therapist but they haven't helped.
I highly recommend Minoo Hamzavi for private pilates instruction. She is certified and extremely
conscientious about safety, and she genuinely cares for and supports her clients. I first met her when
she taught a mat class at the downtown Berkeley YMCA. When she quit teaching there, I began private
sessions with her and have been with her for a number of years. Sometimes we work exclusively on my
trouble spots (neck and shoulder) and other times when I'm healthier we work on overall strenghtening.
She practices out of her home at the Caldecott Apartments. Her phone number is 510-848-4133.
My daughter does ballet, and periodically stresses hip, shoulder, what have you. A couple of times it's
been an emergency, like a painful hip right before Nutcracker. We've had body work done at Mind/Body
Connection in Emeryville, and it's been a big help. We've always worked with Angie, but what I've seen of
the other people there looks good too.
They do individual work, but also have classes. I think there's a website.
My friend Deena Levy is a physical therapist who also does
pilates. I've not been her patient but friends who have sing her
praises. 510-540-7816 or email@example.com.
May 2005: Weekend/afternoon Pilates class in Berkeley
I'm looking for a weekend afternoon Pilates class in Berkeley or
Albany. Two big babies have left me with diastasis recti
(abdominal muscles that pulled apart, leaving a gap in the
middle), which makes my tummy bulge even though I'm more or less
back to my normal weight. I'm hoping that a good Pilates
instructor could help me rebuild my abdominal muscles.
Helene Byrne would be great, but her classes are on weekdays (I
work) and are not conveniently located for me (I'm in N.
Berkeley). I tried a few classes at Yoga Kula, which is
conveniently situated in central Berkeley and has weekend classes
both Saturday and Sunday afternoons, but the instructors there
(though they are not bad in general) haven't heard of diastasis
recti and don't know which exercises I should or shouldn't do
(some exercises, such as crunches, make it worse). I also called
No Sweat on Solano, but they don't have any afternoon weekend
Bulging in Berkeley
If you are willing to spring for a private lesson (roughly $60
for an hour), there are many good instructors at Synergy Fitness
on Solano near San Pablo and Center Strength on Solano near
Colusa. I've had good instruction at both studios.
You might want to give Karen Casino's ''Tri-Level Fitness''
classes a try. She offers pilates-ish classes specifically for
post-partum (and believe me, she HAS heard of diastasis ;-)) but
they might be only on week days. However, I know she also has
general classes that are on Saturdays, at her back-yard studio
Hi I teach a 12:15 Pilates mat class on Saturdays. This class is not specifically for
new mothers, although I do teach a New Mother's Workout and I know all about
diastasis recti. The classes are small allowing me to provide each individual with as
much personal attention as they need. Please check out my websites at
dragonflyvillage.com/trilevelfitness and also karencasino.com. I also have a website
for my New Mother's workout. The URL for this is dragonflyvillage.com/karencasino.
I hope this proves helpful to you.
I would recommend trying a few private pilates sessions before joining any group
mat classes. As a certified Pilates instructor with a master of science degree in
Kinesiology I know this problem and the best results I have seen with clients is to
first work with them alone as to assess their specific needs and then when a strong
foundation is established and moreover that the muscles have healed as well then
further progress can be made in a group setting. Also with privates you can
schedule around your work days. At our studio we offer 3 privates for $150 as a one
time introductory offer, we are located in Emeryville. Our weekend mat class is at
9:00 on Saturday morning. However I would strongly advise to get some good
personal attention before joining a group led by an inexperienced instructor. Feel
free to call for more info: 510-450 0878 or check our website:
I used a great personal trainer that came to my house and went
through the Pilates exercises with me on my own schedule. She is
a mom of 2 young kids herself...so I am sure she would know
about abdominal muscles that have pulled apart.
She was great with the ''after baby'' stomach exercises,laid back
and knew her stuff.
Her name is Kim Frank.
You might try getting private instruction for a few sessions to
learn what exercises will/won't work for you. For that I recommend
Minoo Hamzavi. She's a certified Pilates instructor and I first
met her at the Berkeley YMCA where she taught a mat class. Now she
teaches out of her home near Caldecott Tunnel. I've been taking
monthly private sessions with her for some years, which I use as a
''tune-up''. She's very observant, knowledgeable, careful, and
caring. Her phone number is 510-848-4133. I'm happy to talk with
you if you want to email me.
Ada Shedlock teaches a challenging yoga on the ball class Sunday
afternoons at 1:00 at the Berkeley Yoga Center. Ada has done
wonders for my abdomen after two babies and I had the same split
you're talking about. She has a dance, iyengar, pilates
background and really knows her anatomy/physiology. I have a
lot of abdominal strength and tone now and look much better but
my waistline just will never be what it used to be!
Feb 2005: Pilates for beginners
can anyone recommend a pilates class/instructor in a studio/gym
for beginners in the oakland area? i need evening or weekend
I have taken pilates classes from Sally McClanahan at the
Glenview Performing Arts center (M and W, not weekends)and
really enjoyed them. Her info is:
Scoop Postural Reconditioning Classes in Glenview
1318 Glenfield Avenue, Studio B
Semi private lessons on Saturdays are 75 minutes long and
postural assessment. Classes are grouped by postural type.
8:30 emphasis on back and shoulders
10:15 emphasis on low back and abdominals
For more information contact
mccwest AT earthlink.net
I know of a wonderful Pilates instructor. Her name is Lisa
Mitchell and she is in Lafayette. Her phone number is (925)284-
5880. She does individual and group.
June 2004: Pilates with baby
Does anyone know of a Pilates class that will allow me to
bring my 5-month-old? I'd like to start toning post-
pregnancy, but I don't have regular childcare. Thanks!
Helene Byrne does a postpartum class which uses a lot of
pilates. When I did it the woman next to me in class always
brought her 5 month old. there were people to help with fussy
children as well walking around the class and it was very
helpful for getting back in shape.
I'm looking for a post-natal (ie, can bring baby) pilates class
in the Berkeley/Oakland area. I have the feeling this went by on
the list recently and I'm sorry I didn't take notes then, and I
don't see anything on the website. Any suggestions? I've never
done pilates, but after this 2nd pregnancy I really need to work
on my core, which is what I hear pilates is great for. Thanks!
There is a great post-natal aerobics class taught by Lisa
Fernadez at the Works on Telegragh Fridays 12 - 1. Its not
Pilates but she does a lot of core strengthening work as well as
low impact aerobics, the later with the baby in a front carrier.
Talk about a workout! Its a lot of fun and the babies love it!
Helene Byrne gives a great postnatal workout class using pilates
in Montclair. I took it with my baby last winter. Unfortunately
I don't have her contact info but you should be able to find it.
I got a lot out of Helene Byrne's class, which draws a lot from
Any recommendations for pilates classes in the Oakland area?
Preferably one that has a pre-natal class and/or is open to pregnant
people (not pregnant right now but may be in the future). Also, do
people recommend doing pilates while pregnant (as opposed to yoga or
other forms of exercise)?
Mind-Body Connection on the top of Collega Ave. has a good
reputation. They used to have pre, or maybe post, natal classes
but I'm not sure if they are still going on.
I have a great Pilates instructor, Skye, who teaches in
Oakland/Berkeley. I know for a fact that she's great with
pregnancy and post pregnancy because she just had a baby. She
practiced and taught full classes and privates while she was
pregnant and resumed teaching right away. She's awesome and
highly highly recommended. I know she does privates in N.
Berkeley but also teaches at Gold's in Oakland. She teaches at
Golds on Mon 10am, Fri 12 and Sat 11am. I like the Mon. and
Sat. classes but come early cause they get filled up. I know
Skye teaches other places, but I don't know exactly where. She
has all the pilates equipment in her studio in N. Berkeley,
it's a lot of fun too. Skye's phone number is 510-883-0124.
Pilates is great for those who are pregnant, wanting to be
pregnant, or the recently pregnant!
That said, there are some precautions that should be followed
by the pregnant woman, especially related to abdominal work,
but also in stretching. Until you become pregnant, a regular
Pilates class should be fine, but once you are pregnant, I
think a prenatal class is better.
Fortunately, there are plenty of resources around the East Bay
for Pilates classes. I teach in Emeryville (classes almost
daily) and Alameda (one evening a week), and will be putting
together a daytime prenatal class in Emeryville shortly.
Another good place for classes is the Ellie Herman Studio, on
Grand, but I do not believe they offer prenatal.
If you would like to contact me for more information, feel
free. And good luck!
I've just started taking Pilates in hopes of improving my
posture. I took one class in the home studio of instructor. It
was fine, but I feel like for the amount Im paying ($55/hr) I
should be working with someone I really love. The price of
lessons also makes it hard to just drop in on classes in
hopes of finding the perfect match
How have others found the right class? I know a
connection is subjective, but are there any instructors that
stand out? Is $55-$60 the going rate or are there more
affordable options for getting started? Once Im familiar with
the equipment are there places that offer cheap group
classes? Are there instructures that care as much about
breating as alignment (like in yoga)?
Also if anyone has any posture success stories I'd be
grateful for the encouragement.
Thanks for taking the time to answer my questions.
I can recommend Junko Sodeyama for pilates- she is
fabulous. She is so precise and notices everything
posture-wise. She emphasizes breathing and technique
and has helped me immensely with my posture and
alignment. She is also a master trainer and teaches
certifications in pilates- definitely way better than your usual
pilates teacher. She works out of a home studio (by the
way it is a very nice large space with skylights) but the prices
are a bit less than most - 50 if you do a package of 5 private
training sessions on the equipment, which is what I do. I
have found her to be a very pleasant person to work with as
well as very knowledgeable. You can reach her at
510-508-1408 or check out the website
For great private Pilates instruction try Kim Frank. I've taken
private lessons in my home from Kim for two years and
have dropped 35 pounds, but it looks like 50! Kim's
workouts are deep and based on a solid grounding in
Joseph Pilates' philosophy and original intention as she is
a dancer and world class choreographer. Kim is
knowledgeable, personable and FUN! You can reach her at
(510) 526-4619 or leanmatwork AT yahoo.com Signed: Liz
I've looked through the past recommendations but would like more
updated advice on pilate studios around Berkeley. I'm aware of
two studios nearby, one on College and another on Solano. I
would like some feedback on the studios as well as on any
instructors. Additionally, has anyone tried both apparatus and
mat-based training and could offer their experience comparing
the two? I have a bit of modern dance training which I am
looking to supplement with pilates. I'm looking for a way to
approach this in a time and cost effective way.
I go to Center Stregth on Solano avenue and I love it. I did
mat classes for about 4 months before working on the equiptment
with a trainer. Though it is not cheap it has done wonders for
my back, posture and core strength and I love it. I think
almost all the trainers that I worked with at Center Strength
have been great but I do have some favorites. You can email me
if you are interested. Overall I think the equiptment workout
is far superior to mat classes also because of the personalized
aspect. But if you just want an introduction to see if it is
for you than mat classes are much more cost effective and give
you longer to test out how happy you are with that type of
I have only done Pilates in mat classes, so I can't speak to
how mat classes and the traditional ''apparatus'' compare.
However, I highly recommend my Pilates instructor Karen
Emery. She teaches private lessons; classes at No Sweat
on Solano and also teaches classes at Ashkenas on San
Pablo at Gilman. I don't know the times she teaches at No
Sweat, but her 1 hour classes at Ashkenas are Saturdays 9
am, Wednesdays 5:30 pm (I think) and Thursdays at 10
am. You can reach her direct ly at 236-5113. She's
I have used Ellie Herman Studios on Grand Avenue in Oakland.
They have both mat classes and private instruction. You can
focus on rehabilitation for injury or fitness. The number is
Pilates work on the reformer is substantially different and much,
much, more effective than the floor work. Other apparatus, like
the chair and cadillac are good, though not absolutely necessary
for the avarage user. Those devises can are particularly effective
for professional level dancers and athletes who can then mimic
their specific movements while working out, thereby increasing
their expertise at their sport. Many fitness/dance people beleive
that the orginal floor work is outdated and does not reflect
current thinking on exercise physiology. Pilates training at a
studio is never going to be cheap. There are some good video
tapes/DVD's that you could do at home in conjunction with a once
or twice workout a week with a private Pilates sesssion. Look for
the line ''Stott Pilates'', by far the best on the market. As with
any type of class or personal training, the expertise of the
instructor is the key to your potential level of success.
I have been going to Center Strength on Solano Avenue for about
a year now. For the past 6 months, Sara has been my
instructor. She is great. Although it is expensive, nothing
beats the personal attention of one-on-one apparatus class.
Many months ago, I went to the mat class at the YMCA, and it was
a waste of time. Way too many people, most with little Pilates
experience, so they were doing the poses wrong. Instructor
didn't correct positions. I highly recommend Center Strength.
The # is 526-3757.
Try Christina Pepper in Albany at 223-1024. She's wonderful and
everyone I've recommended has been very happy.
Does anyone know of a good pilates class/instructor? I have
seen previous recs and would like something more recent.
Anywhere in Berkeley would be great. Also if anyone has been
to ''No Sweat'' recently and has an instructor to recommend.
I'd like to find someone really experienced in pilates who
knows what they are doing.
Karen Emery teaches the Pilates Mat class at No Sweat on
Thursdays at noon and is an excellent instructor. I've been
attending her classes there for two years and have also
enjoyed classes taught by Skye. Both Karen and Skye teach
at other locations in the area (Karen at Ashkenaz on Weds.
5:30 pm and Sat. at 9 am, Skye teaches at the Albany Y).
These mat-based classes are very reasonable compared to
what private Pilates training costs and (I think)equally
effective. You can try a drop-in class or take just a few
classes at any of these locations and see if it's a good
fit for you.
Roxanne Moultry teaches at the 'Y' and at Danspace (Hudson
and Miles) in Oakland mw 7:30 pm. Her classes are 10$ to
drop in and 5 for 45$. I've never taken pilates before, but
w/ my background in yoga, find her instruction to be clear
and the exercises to be effective and safe. It's pilates
mat and pilates bar instruction. My friend who has done
pilates previously visited the class and was impressed.
Call Kim Frank in Albany. She's an excellent Pilates
instructor and she comes to you. Call her at 510-526-4619,
and prepare your deep abdominals to work!
I know of a good pilates studio/instructor out in Walnut
Creek. The studio is called Turning Point and the
instructor that I used was named Nora (one of the
founders). Naomi is the other founder, I believe. Both
instructors worked at the pilates Dancemedicine clinic
associated with the Center for Sports Medicine before
starting their own studio. I ended up using the
Dancemedicine clinic because I had an injury, and pilates
rehab was covered there by my insurance. If you decide to
go to Turning Point and call directory assistance, make
sure you say ''the pilates studio.'' There is another
Turning Point in WC that is a therapy practice or something.
we just moved to El Cerrito from oakland and I would like to find a yoga
and/or pilates class in our area. suggestions???
Editor note: see also Yoga Classes
No Sweat, on Solano Ave. in Berkeley offers two pilates
classes a week, on Tuesday and Thursday at 12:00 pm.
The drop in fee is $10 or you can buy class cards. Also
Synergy on Solano Ave. in Albany has a variety of mat
and equipment classes, though I have not experienced
them personally. The Albany YMCA has a mat class on
Mondays at 12:15 with a drop in fee of $12. I would
also love to hear about other classes in the area!
Hope this helps.
I like the pilates class at the Richmond YMCA... they
also have yoga classes which I haven't tried yet. The
facility looks beautiful and the people who work there
are very kind and professional. It takes me only ten
minutes to get there from Arlington/Barrett in El Cerrito.
Can anyone recommend a good pilates class or trainer? I've
tried the one at the Berkeley Y and wasn't completely
convinced - any other recommendations? (I'm trying to
strengthen a weak back).
I've worked with two Pilates trainers who work out of a studio on
Camellia Street, near Urban Ore. I believe Jennifer Morris is still there
and she is the last person I trained with. You can either give her a try,
or talk to Nanci Pecker who runs the place, and she can recommend
someone else. I've known Nanci for a long time and she is very
trustworthy when it comes to recommendations. Nanci Pecker, 528-0707.
I'm trying to lose the baby weight/spare tire and shelf after a
c section. I've lost the weight but the flabby skin is still
there. (Baby is only 10 weeks old, but the same thing happened
and never really got better after the first.) I've heard
wonderful things about pilates, but I wonder if its really
worth it? Its SO expensive. I would be willing to do it if it
really helps but it's not a cheap thing to try. Also, how often
do you have to do it? Is once a week okay or not good enough?
Finally, is there a cheap(er) pilates place around? they are
all so crazy expensive. Thanks.
Pilates is great. IT'll strengthen you like nothing else.
Yes, it's really expensive. I dont' know of any inexpensive
studios. You need to do it two times per week one on one to
start. AFter you learn the equipment and your routine you can
do ''independants''...work out by yourself. It's way cheaper.
Also after a few sessions you can do mat classes which are also
cheaper. I wouldn't do mat classes as a beginner. You can hurt
yourself if you dont' know the proper positioning of your
spine, breathing, etc.
With your trainer you will learn basic exercises that you can
do at home, so you can actually do it every day to add to your
Bottom line....if you are not eating properly and drinking lots
of water you will not lose weight with Pilates or anything else.
It's also important to do some cardio during the week. EVen a
brisk walk (w/ babe?) is adequate.
Pilates has changed my life and body. Worth it.
I recommend Synergy FItness(The D'Amour Method) at the bottom
of Solano in Albany. Good luck.
Yes, Pilates is a great postpartum workout and will help with
pelvic floor, finding your deep abdominals, postural issues, etc. These
are all of the
things that a new Mom should be addressing as you get back into exercise
start working on your body again.
I teach a Pilates for Moms class for $25.00 in Alameda and do duets with
Moms for $35.00 so that Moms on a budget can still benefit from Pilates.
You can call the studio at 510-523-1900 or email me at
I would check out the Dailey Method on Piedmont Ave.
http://thedaileymethod.com/ They have a new client special,
$100 for the first month, unlimited. It's a great way to
kickstart the toning. I buy their biggest package now and
classes are only $16; more affordable than pilates and more
effective than yoga. I've been doing it for almost year now,
can't really afford it, but would not be willing to give up the
changes in my body.
Daily Method Devotee
I had a c-section many years ago and just discovered pilates.
I don't think it's going to take away the extra weight, but it
will really help you prevent low back injuries because the need
to rebuild your pelvic wall after a c-section is so very
important. The spare tire you refer to is going to come off
through diet and exercise, but even then, I exercise a lot and
there is some loose skin above the scar. If you join the Y,
you can take all the pilates classes free with your
membership. There is financial assistance available. Good
Hi spare tire,
I've done various exercise programs over the years, including
about six months of floor and reformer pilates; I tend to get
bored with things after a time and try something new. In my
opinion virtually all pilates programs are overpriced; I also
think that many of the claims maid by pilates marketers are
either overstated or just plain bs (i.e. it will make you
taller/make your muscles longer, you won't need to do cardio
because pilates will rev up your metabolism automatically,
For general body fitness I've gotten just as good results from
cross training, tai chi, or yoga. Pilates does work some deep
torso muscles that are difficult to target, but a good hatha
yoga program does this too and most yoga classes are much
I have nothing agains Pilates; lots of people get good results
with it and thats fine. In any case if you do pilates I'd
reccomend some cardio as well.
There are some pilates moves you do not want to do right
away--anything with a twist or jackknifing movement, too hard on
your healing abs. I would recommend seeing a good post-natal yoga
teacher like Melanie at Berkeley Yoga Center, and get yourself a
good post-natal pilates dvd to do at home. After you feel healed
up, look for a yoga class with a core focus, like Laura's at
Monkey Yoga. I have the Gaia Pilates dvd (Intermediate with Anna
Cabon) and it is really good.
Pilates is all about strengthening your core muscles. This includes your
well as your pelvic floor. So it is ideally suited to help your body
childbirth. Since this is a class rather than a one-on-one training
session the cost is
only $150 to $200 (your choice) for a ten session coupon to be used at
convenience. In addition to being a certified Pilates instructor I have
trained to address the special needs of pregnant women and new mothers.
a wonderful babysitter. During class the babies are in the same room as
exercising mothers so no one needs to feel separation anxiety and at the
end of the
workout we do baby dancing and massage, so they have a good time as
more information please check out my website at, www.karencasino.com.
I have been taking Pilates for 6 months and have seen a huge
difference in my body shape, strength and stamina.
I am 5'1 and played soccer for 13 years. So I was pretty
stocky. The pilates has helped me achieve a leaner more toned
body. I hit a wall in my weight loss and the Pilates helped me
to shed 3 more pounds. Also, it's helped me to maintain my
posture when running.
My balance is better and my stomache has taken shape like I
have always wanted. I only take class once a week to supplement
my other fitness activities.
I own Hipline Belly Dance Studio on College @ Alcatraz.
myhipline.com We offer Pilates as well. We have great
instructors for beginners. Good luck!
I am a big pilates fan, and before I was pregnant did lots of it
and thought it was everything that everyone says about it.
Amazing! But after my first child I tried to go back to a regular
class and it is impossible, I've lost so much muscle tone, I just
need a way more basic work out. So I would worry that you might
not get much out of it right now? How about either shelling out
for a really great post partum pilates teacher - you can find
some local ones by googling, or just get videos to start with?
too weak for pilates!
At ten weeks postpartum, you still have abdominal muscle laxity,
meaning that your muscles are both weak and too long. To rehab
your abs, you need to start by building strength, then functional
control, in your deepest abdominal layer, your Transverse
Abdominis (TvA). After these skills have been (re)established in
your body, then you can progress to more traditional exercises
like crunches, or most of the Pilates mat and reformer work.
Pilates training can be done in a group setting, or ''mat work'' or
on various machines, such as a reformer. Reformer work is mostly
done one on one, or in a small group, and accordingly is much
more expensive. But you definitely get what you pay for. Body
changes happen quickly on the reformer when you're working with a
Mat work classes are variable, with results depending on the size
of the class, level, and instructor ability. It's OK for more
experienced people who have enough of a skill set in the movement
vocabulary. But for beginners, not so good. Most beginners need
one on one guidance in order to work safely in their bodies.
Pilates exercises demand a certain level of strength and control
in the TvA to perform properly, making them unsuitable for most
new moms. Additionally, many Pilates exercises utilize upper body
flexion (the head float position) which tends to increase the
curve in the upper back. Generally after pregnancy, women need to
decrease this curve. Postpartum women should perform lower spine
flexion exercises instead. In these, and other ways, Pilates is
not the ideal exercise modality for women in the initial post
baby rehab phase. If you go the Pilates route, only consider
someone with extensive experience in postnatal reconditioning who
can adapt the exercises to avoid these potential problems.
you should try The Dailey Method. There is one on peidmont ave. It's a
pilates,yoga and barre work in one hour. there is also baby sitting. I
think it's the
most effective exercise I have done and also one of the hardest
teachers are great. You should check out the website.
Pilates is definitely worth it. It's worked for me and there is
a woman at my gym that has had four c-sections and she has the
most sculpted abs I've ever seen on anyone in person. She told me
she had been doing pilates for a long time. If you are on a
budget, you could check out dvd's from the library...sorry I
can't recommend a specific one, but classes are also offered at
Many gyms have affordable Pilates classes, so it doesn't make
sense to spend a lot of money on Pilates. My gym has an ab
work-out class that is better than a Pilates class. And, all
gyms have weight machines that will get your abs toned even
faster than Pilates classes.
There is also a work-out DVD for abs that you can follow at home
to save even more money.
Yes. You should try Pilates, but work with an instructor who
specializes in working with new Moms. I worked with Suzanne
Koval at ProBalance in Alameda. You get a lot out of these
classes and you will feel and see the difference. The Pilates
studio is at 510-523-1900 or you can check out
When I did Pilates in conjunction with giving up my habit of
snacking on sweets, I saw pretty dramatic results in a relatively
short period of time, three or four months. I lost a lot of
abdominal fat that I thought was never going away after having
two kids. And I found it interesting to learn about the core
muscles and how they are activated all the time even for the
simplest of movements or activities. I definitely recommend
Pilates as a great addition to a fitness routine. As far as
frequency, I did one Pilates class per week and if I could I
would do a short 15 minute Pilates routine at home daily. I
didn't always manage that, but doing it often really helps.
For more affordable Pilates classes, I recommend Sophia Thorsen
Pilates. Her web site is http://www.sophiathorsenpilates.com . I
like her style, she is low-key but thorough in the exercises she
takes you through. She has a very nice studio on Telegraph near
51st with free parking available.
for the poster who asked if pilates is really worth it i would like to
give some feedback both as a pilates teacher and mom (yes, i am very
expert in the pre and postnatal field). I absolutely think pilates is
worth it. Generally, it is expensive because you are working on on one
with a trainer- but many studio offer small group classes. Like with
massage therapist not everyone who is a practitioner is good and a lot
of people have recently gone into it.
a couple of guidelines about starting an exercise regime after birth-
give yourself a little time. Your skin needs to shrink back- and
while exercise will tone your muscles- your skin needs time to
shrink. activating your pelvic floor and deep abdominals (transversus
abdominis) is good to condition your body and help your body heal from
the stress of childbirth. Also, good for the sex life! I personally
found that i needed a lot of work to strengthen my back after
pregnancy and breastfeeding- nothing like heavy boobs weighing one
down! so a lot of erector spinae exercises felt really good. But,
beware of one size fits all post natal solutions-not everyone fits the
usual profile of what generally happens to most women during
pregnancy- be sure you are with a pilates teacher who sees you- and i
mean really sees your body.
Now to some thing specific about your post- it sounds like perhaps
loose skin is more your issue than poochy abs? sometimes loose skin
is not something that can be solved without surgery no matter how
toned you are underneath. i have seen a lot of women postpartum and
sometimes when you have a lot of stretch marks and loose skin there is
nothing i can do to help- even when thin and fit. Losing weight is a
whole different issue- a lot of clients i have had over the years have
said that pilates helped them loose weight. I always recommend some
cardio as well or walking. i think the important thing is to do
something you enjoy that makes you feel good about yourself and take
can become a part of your lifestyle.
I am not taking clients myself, but a teacher i respect who
specializes in pre and post partum fitness is Caitlin Smith
(508-1408). She also teaches a lot of affordable small group classes
on the reformer. She is a doula as well, which i think makes for a
nice combination. I think she really gets it! I am happy to answer
question or emails
this page was last updated: Jun 29, 2013
BPN is now a 501(c)(3) non-profit and we are transitioning to a new website during
The opinions and statements expressed on this website
are those of parents who subscribe to the
Berkeley Parents Network.
Disclaimer & Usage for
information about using content on this website.
Copyright © 1996-2015 Berkeley Parents Network