Fitness tends to boom at the beginning of the year as people scramble to make and keep their resolutions. As the year progresses, people fall off for one reason or another and then rejoin in the months leading up to summer. If you are one of these bandwagoners, perhaps it’s because you haven’t found the right fit and are still on the hunt for a regimen that will help you reach your goals. If this is the case, perhaps it’s time to try Pilates.
We spoke with 44-year-old wife, and mother of four, Kirsten Wright, and 39-year-old, mother of two, Tara McAnarney, both owners and instructors at Pilates Studio of Springfield.
The studio, located on West Wabash, has been around for 12 years and was purchased by Kirsten and her husband Bruce four-and-a-half years ago.
What is Pilates Studio of Springfield?
A full-service Pilates studio offering private and group instruction. We are an equipment-based studio working with Reformers, Trapeze table, Exo and Wunda chairs, wall units and barrels. We also offer other core-focused classes including Barre and kettle bell.
What is the main purpose of Pilates?
Pilates was designed to make a difference in your health without taking a toll on your body. It’s a mind-body workout that emphasizes proper breathing, correct spinal and pelvic alignment and concentration on smooth, flowing movement that helps you become acutely in tune with your body.
Why did you decide to go into Pilates?
Kirsten: I saw results in my own body from Pilates practice that I hadn’t with any other type of fitness training. As an instructor, I love that Pilates is so adaptable to people of all ages and fitness levels, and that it gives me the opportunity to work closely with clients to help them see results as well.
Tara: I started taking Pilates classes about 11 years ago after a couple knee surgeries limited my ability to play sports. I was looking for a workout that was a physical challenge, but no impact on my knee. Pilates was the perfect answer. I felt stronger and more balanced than I ever had before. Four years ago, I decided to become an instructor to help other people realize the difference it can make in their bodies.
Is this your first studio or did you have another location or work for another company prior to opening your studio in Springfield?
Kirsten: I have been a professional fitness instructor for over 25 years, working with many different training philosophies and methods. I studied health education at the University of Illinois, and have devoted my career to helping people reach their fitness and wellness goals. I began teaching Pilates 14 years ago at the Springfield Racquet and Fitness Center and also worked with another local Pilates studio before opening the Pilates Studio of Springfield.
When did you start Pilates?
Kirsten: I read about Pilates in professional literature and it seemed to fit the things that I had found crucial to my own fitness: core strength and stabilization, a mix of strength and endurance, and an emphasis on the mind-body connection. I began taking Pilates mat classes in the early 2000s and loved the results I saw. I have been practicing ever since.
Would you say you have a typical type of clientele?
The great thing about Pilates is that we don’t have a typical clientele. Pilates is a form of exercise that can be tailored to fit almost anyone. Our clients range in age from 14 to 74, professional athletes to retired grandmothers. We work with clients with rheumatoid arthritis, scoliosis, osteoporosis, spinal fusions, knee replacements, back injuries, and those just looking for a fun and challenging workout.
Why do you believe that people should practice Pilates?
People should practice Pilates for core strength, toning, balance, flexibility and coordination. It’s for anyone wanting to feel long, lean, and strong.
How many times a week do you think a person should practice Pilates?
Joseph Pilates said “In 10 sessions you feel better, 20 sessions you look better, 30 sessions you have a completely new body.” It is up to each client how quickly he or she wants to achieve and maintain his or her goals.
Are there any common misconceptions that you would like to address?
I think one of the most common misconceptions about Pilates is people often think it’s the same thing as yoga. While Pilates and yoga both emphasize breathing and flexibility, they are two very different forms of exercise. Pilates is a form of strength training that focuses on the core muscles in the body -- what Joseph Pilates called the ‘powerhouse’. Pilates training utilizes apparatus to concentrate on specific muscles. These machines allow the instructor to provide a challenging workout to people of all fitness levels.
The second most common misconception is most men think it is just for women. But thanks to professional athletes like Jake Arrieta and Rory Mcilroy crediting Pilates with their success, that misconception is fading. Once men try it, they are hooked and love the strength and control they gain from it.
Why should those interested in Pilates choose your studio over another?
The Pilates Studio of Springfield instructors bring years of experience and offer a welcoming, positive and laid back experience for everyone. The newly remodeled studio is an airy, bright and open space with six new reformers and a new private/semi-private room. You can even buy all your workout clothes here. We sell the latest lines from Rese, Onzie and ALO.
See for yourself how Pilates Studio of Springfield can help you strengthen your core and meet your fitness goals.