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2076 Westwood Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90025

(310) 446-1720

Grow stable roots for a happier, healthier you

 

Blog

I love you, Joseph Pilates (Part 1)

Westwood Pilates

by Joslyn Hitter

When I began practicing Vipassana, or Insight Meditation regularly, I noticed immediately how much I relied on my core to sit upright. My first love was the abdominal series. So when I attended my first long silent Vipassana meditation retreat in 2016, I committed to doing the abdominal series every day while on retreat.

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An Interview with Nathalie Gonthier-Thomas

Westwood Pilates

by Yuuki Yamagiwa

Nathalie Gonthier-Thomas first discovered Classical Pilates after her pregnancy. She decided to become certified to deepen her practice and share the benefits of Pilates with others. She discovered a passion for teaching during her training and was certified through the Pilates Technique Certification Program with Jill Cassady.

Read on to learn more about Nathalie, including what inspires her as both a teacher and practitioner!

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Taking Charge of Your Practice: A Testimonial to Joe's System

Westwood Pilates

by Yuuki Yamagiwa

My body feels different every time I step onto the reformer. There will be days when I feel great. And then there are days when my old rib injury will take over my breathing and take me a few steps back in my twisting motions. Other days, my shoulder injury often creates a crooked imbalance between my right and left sides.

So how do we know what exercises our bodies really should be working on?

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An Interview with Janet Kooba

Westwood Pilates

By Yuuki Yamagiwa

Janet Kooba first became interested in Pilates when she read about how “one could achieve long, lean muscles through this practice” and has now been training for over a decade. In June 2018, she trained with second-generation teacher Samantha Walley and has been teaching ever since. She also completed her Joe’s System Intensive with Pamela Debiase and Daniela Escobar in January 2019!

Read on to learn more about Janet’s Pilates journey, including where she gets some of her Pilates inspiration!

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An Interview with Alison Manheim

Westwood Pilates

By Yuuki Yamagiwa

Alison Manheim is passionate about the benefits of Pilates at any life stage. A former professional writer, Alison discovered that Pilates was an excellent antidote to the neck and shoulder issues that come from working at a desk. In 2013, she became a certified instructor through Jill Cassady, who studied with Romana Kryzanowska in New York City. She has been happily teaching ever since and continues to study under Ken Krech and Dena Drotar, among others.

Read on to learn more about Alison’s background and her favorite thing about being a Pilates instructor!

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The Book of Reformer: Chapter 4

Westwood Pilates

By Mela Debiase

Up until this point we have had our hands attached to the straps a lot, but now we get to switch things up beginning this chapter with our hands on the footbar.  I love how this chapter flows. It’s not filled with complicated movements of the body, it’s pretty simple in and out of the carriage (by simple I don’t mean easy!) that gets your heart rate up.  I was told that Romana Kryzanowska called this section “The Dance of the Thick Pad”. We move the thickpad from the the headrest, to the carriage, then down to the edge of the carriage as we progress through the exercises.  While the thick pad is merely so you don’t slip on the carriage, it’s hardly the hero of the chapter, the name sure did help me remember what came next while I was trying to learn my order!

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Eat Well Edition - Pilates Teachers Favorite Recipes - Tilapia Sensation

Westwood Pilates

Mela’s Tilapia Sensation

By Mela Debiase

I have spent years trying to listen to my body and figure out what foods my body likes best, and which ones don’t make me feel good. I have a sensitive digestive system and have found eating whole foods cooked at home is always best.  This can be hard when you lead a busy lifestyle, so my partner and I always seek out quick and easy cooking options.  This recipe is a big favorite in my household (the cats love it too!),  it’s super quick and easy to throw together and an absolute TASTE SENSATION! 

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An Interview with Ila Singleton

Westwood Pilates

By Erin Naymark

Ila is a lifelong athlete, born and raised here in Los Angeles, California. Sports and exercise have always been second nature. For 10 plus years Ila was an avid gym rat, lifting heavy and not completely understanding the damage she was doing to her body. As a collegiate athlete Ila suffered injuries which brought her to Pilates. In 2012, Ila discovered Pilates and immediately fell in love with the practice. Due to her spinal injury, Ila knew that Pilates would be the only thing that would allow for an active lifestyle with longevity. She said “For the first time I had control over my own body. My back and overall strength had never felt better.”

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An Interview with Ayanna Contreras

Westwood Pilates

By Erin Naymark

Ayanna has dedicated her life to teaching movement arts and fitness with nearly 40 years of experience teaching movement & dance and over 6 years teaching Pilates. Ayanna has also performed in numerous stage concerts, music videos, movies, and television shows. Ayanna is a certified group fitness instructor (ACE), pilates instructor, certified personal trainer, and Level 1-2 Precision Nutrition Consultant.

Ayanna is passionate about teaching Pilates and says, “My experience as a lifelong student has made it possible to help each client work their mind and body together to find their center.”

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The Book of Reformer: Chapter 3

Westwood Pilates

By Mela Debiase

There is something exciting about getting your long box up on your Reformer for the first time!  You have gotten a pretty good warm up so far from Footwork to the end of the Rowing series. You’ve connected your center with your breath, warmed up the lower body and upper body separately and also coordinated them together in the exercise so aptly named: Coordination.  You’ve been lying flat on the Reformer for the warm up or sitting during the rowing series, however now you have to balance on this box. Ooh….. cue music for the cirque troop. Just kidding, there is a lot of box, but “raising things up a notch” challenges you a little more.

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Eat Well Edition - Pilates Teacher's Favorite Recipes - Versatile Ratatouille

Westwood Pilates

Asayo Yi’s Healthy Versatile Ratatouille

By Erin Naymark

It’s mainly to keep my family healthy and introduce healthy eating habits to my child. My daughter is 5 years old and I always want to make sure she is trying different types of food. Most of all, I am working to recreate what my mom did for me as a kid. My mom always cooked no matter how busy she was. This left a big impression on me and I realize how important eating at home with my family is to me.

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Prenatal Pilates: Knowledge is key, Fear is unwarranted

Westwood Pilates

By Daniela Escobar

Right after I was certified in Pilates, one of the first continuing education workshops I took was about how to teach pregnant women. I was terrified of the idea of being a new teacher, which is hard as it is, AND having to teach a pregnant client. One could ask, why? Shouldn’t a client keep the same workout she did prior to getting pregnant? Like when you run, don’t you just keep running?

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The Book of Reformer: Chapter One and Two

Westwood Pilates

By Mela Debiase

Recently in a group class, one of my students was finishing up her Kneeling Thigh stretch on the Reformer and hopped off saying “So next I should set up for Frogs and Circles because I have to do that Corkscrew chapter right?  Corkscrew, Tic Toc, Frogs and Circles….”.  She has not yet learned the Arm Circles, Snake/Twist, and some other exercises on the list, so I said yes.  She then told me how her order is making so much more sense to her now, and that she sees her exercises grouped together in chapters.  Each chapter being a different little story for her body.  Well I tell you I was beaming from ear to ear hearing this!  Yes! Yes! Yes! She gets it, I didn’t even have to tell her, she feels it in her body.

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Eat Well Edition - Pilates Teacher's Favorite Recipes - Beef Stew

Westwood Pilates

 

Regina Santos’ Beef Stew for the Winter Holidays

By Yuuki Yamagiwa

Regina Santos is a professional peak performance coach and corrective exercise specialist whose comprehensive practice is based on the principles and work found in the traditional Pilates system. She is the creator of the lifestyle concept, Running in Heels®, she co-authored the recipe book, Running in Heels: Quick and Smart Snacks and Entrees. We are happy to be presenting one of Regina’s favorite recipes this holiday season! Read on for her easy and delicious Beef Stew recipe and to learn about how she applies Pilates to her cooking practice!  

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Happy Feet = Happy Life

Westwood Pilates

By Mela Debiase

One-quarter of the bones in the human body are in the foot and ankle.  Our foot consists of 26 bones, 33 joints and more than 100 muscles, tendons and ligaments.  As we become older, foot disorders are extremely common and are the cause of much pain, which leads to loss of mobility and thus loss of independence.  Women have about four times as many foot problems as men.  Heels are partly to blame for this. A 2 1/2 inch heel can increase the load of the forefoot by 75%.  Common foot conditions include plantar fasciitis, bunions, hammer toes, claw toes, overlapping toes, flat feet and morton’s neuroma.  While some of these can be hereditary, they can all be avoided and/or treated by exercise and wearing appropriate footwear.

So lets learn to love our feet and take care of them.  I’m not talking about getting pedicures or developing a foot fetish (not that it’s a problem if you do), but giving your feet the exercise and care they deserve.  After all, your feet are the foundation of your body!

Here are 3 quick and easy Pilates exercises you can do at home.

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Simplicity is the Key to Brilliance

Westwood Pilates

By Mela Debiase

Have you ever lost your sunglasses and searched your entire house only to find that they were on top of your head the whole time?

That’s how I have felt studying Pilates with Jay Grimes.  

“Maybe you are searching among the branches for what only appears in the roots” - Rumi

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An Interview with Apprentice Dane Sorensen

Westwood Pilates

by Yuuki Yamagiwa

Dane Sorensen’s first experience with Pilates was at Crunch Fitness in 2007, and he’s been practicing ever since! He previously received his Pilates Mat certification from Equinox and is now a teaching apprentice with the REAL Pilates program at Westwood Pilates.

 Read on about Dane’s teacher training experience, as well as what he would want to hear if he were to sit at the dinner table with Joseph Pilates himself!

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