Sunday, 17th of February 2019
Sunday, 17th of February 2019
"mat" — 11 posts
I have had many requests for a teen pilates class. What I decided to do, is a 60 minute posture class. When I was a teen I had rather bad posture, like many teens I see today. I grew very tall very fast ( I am over 6 feet), and was self conscious, but you don't have to be tall to have bad posture.

The format of the class is a one time 1 hour "posture" class, with an option to continue with weekly Pilates mat classes especially tailored to the teens attending. The posture class will include, analysis of students, gait analysis and stretching and strengthening exercises to improve posture. This will give the student a base upon which to build, I cannot fix a bad posture in one hour. The students will learn several fundamental principles, and how to work on these. After the class it is up to the student to set these principals in action, and continue to do the exercises at home.
If there is enough interest I will keep a weekly class going, containing classical Pilates mat exercises and other Pilates related modalities.

Contact me if you are interested Smile
At my private home studio on Mercer Island, I have all the Pilates equipment, and more!

I run mat classes wednesdays and fridays 9.30am, they are currently full, but please let me know and
I will put you on the waitlist. There may be new classes scheduled, let me know when you want to train.

The privare sessions are $60 /hour.
Mat classes (1 hour ) are:
$20 for once a week
$30 for 2 classes in one week

Let me know if you want to take Pilates, just send me an email:

NEWS! Kathi Ross-Nash Visits San Francisco March 8th, 2009

Master Mat Class 8:30-9:30 March 8th, 2009 @ODC Dance Commons 351 Shotwell St, San Francisco --$25

Continuing Education Seminar March 8th 1:30-4:30    The Pilates Center of San Francisco 351 Shotwell St. San Francisco-$250 (included Mat Class)

For those of you know Kathi and her work, she is a true testament to what Pilates can do for a body and how the work should look when it's done properly. For those who don't know Kathy, you should come see her in action and witness for yourself first hand.

A Master of the classical work, Kathi has years of training under Romana. She comes from a dance background (Ballet Hispanico),  she has a black belt in Tae Kwon Do and she is also an AFTA fitness trainer. Kathi was guest teacher at the Big Bear Conference and is featured in Romana's videos.

Call 415 294-3505 for more info

Two days in a row of Pilates has left its slight ouches.
I had a private session on Tuesday morning with my excellent teacher Lucero at PilatesWorks in SF. A superb reformer hour, including almost everything. My knee stretches is getting ALOT better I have to say. I can do my 10/10/15 without wanting to die!
On Wednesdays I sometimes workout in a duet at my other favorite studio Golden Gate Pilates. We did some reformer exercises on the mat. If you haven't tried it, it is a hellish way of doing the footwork, lying down working the legs out on a diagonal in the air. Very, very efficient for the upper abs. Then of course the chair.....
I love Pilates!!
Starting position:
Upper body in the folded up position (like in the 100's). Right leg bent and left out straight on a diagonal. Fingers interlaced behind your neck, elbows out to the sides.
criss cross

Inhale (through nose please) sending the air to the sides of your ribs to set up the breath.

Exhale and turn your upper body to the right, strive towards the right knee with your left shoulder, NOT with the elbow. Really rotate your spine and don't pull with your hands. Look back toward the back elbow and make sure you don't loose your wide arm position.
Exhale again as you switch legs and turn the other direction. Inhale and turn again, and inhale turn again.
The speed is pretty fast, turn for 6-8 reps. (4 in/exhales is 1 rep).

Variation: do the exercise slower, exhaling at each turn and holding that position for a few seconds.
Try to get up a little higher than the picture shows. Inhaling on returning to a neutral position with upper body folded up and both knees bent. 6-8 turns.

Think about:
Keeping your arms and shoulder in a static position and let the movement come from the power house. Really try to get the shoulderblade that you are turning away from, to come up off the floor.

Lift up with a LONG rotating spine so you don't compress it and bend up.
Make sure the stretched out leg is really reaching in a diagonal, holding it on a height level that feels good for you. You can pinch you butt to control the leg.
Also, don't rock body from side to side when you are criss crossing the fast version, make sure that the power house is working to keep you stabil.

by Alycea Ungaro

This is another fantastic Pilates Mat book.
Alycea writes so well, and I love the way she has sectioned the chapters into perfect levels of introductory, basic, intermediate and advanced. With great explanations and how to do the exercises correctly and warnings of the common mistakes.

The book is very easy to use and it has beautiful color pictures. If you are a beginner you can really follow this book and use it continuously as you progress. I would say that if you are an instructor you may very well want to invest in this book and use it in your reference library.

Just klick on pic to go to amazon and buy it.

Starting position:

Lie on your back with your legs bent and pressing together, and feet on the floor. Arms straight on the floor behind your head. Don't let the shoulders come up to your ears, really draw shoulderblades and shoulders down.

Photo Credit: Janne Danielsson


Inhale, lift your arms and head up from the floor, float your shoulderblades up as well on the inhale. When you run out of lung room, and the upward movement is getting exceedingly harder, start the exhale and PULL your belly in, and continue to roll up . When you are about 2/3s up you can straighten your legs and finish the rollup stretched over your legs. DO NOT let the legs lift up off the floor, you must press them down (or pretend they are really heavy and can't be moved). Hang over your legs and stretch for one breath. You are not done yet, here's the roll down part of the roll up. Roll down with legs straight, using one breath if you can, go fairly slow and really work that sccop. Place your spine down bone by bon, lenghtening it down on the mat. Advanced/full version; do the roll up with straight legs throughout, a little faster but with full control. Repeat 6-8 times.

Think about:

You must draw your belly in the entire time, and if you see your belly pushing out you are not doing it right!. Therefore keep your eyes on your belly and pull that sucker in. Roll up in an even, but not too slow, motion. If you have to snatch yourself up, you are doing it WRONG. Better then to grab a hold of your legs for a little help and focus on that scoop. You will be able to do it w/o hands and with legs straight, eventually, I have seen it in many clients. Don't forget to press your legs together, drawing shoulderblades down and exhaling at the hardest part, all details will really aid and shape your roll up to true form.

He is back. My dear husband went to Seattle for a shoulder surgery last week, and he got back yesterday, one day early. This is the reason why I have not blogged at all since he been gone, and not done much Pilates either.

I will go and have a private session on friday, with one of my favorite teachers in SF.

I did do the nasty five a few times. Do you know what the nasty five is? Apperently Romana calls; the 100's, single leg stretch, double leg strech, single straight leg stretch and the criss cross, the Nasty Five. Or is it not those exact 5? I suddenly can't remember if the Double straight leg is in there and the 100's not. Has anybody else heard of Romana's Nasty five?

Of course when I get started I have to do the Roll up, and then naturally some extension stuff, usually single and double leg kicks plus swimming. By then I have really gotten going and I have to do some of the side kick series, which is my favorite mat exercises and suddenly I have soon done a whole mini mat class. Adding the teaser at the end and sometimes the Push up. I love mat work!!!!

attending The Mind Body Spirit Conference in Santa Clara.

I had classes with the following well renowned teachers; Lolita San Miguel, Peter Fiasca, Alycea Ungaro, Kathy Corey, Michael Fritzke, Ton Voogt and others.

I was expecially happy to get to experience Lolita, since she is one of the Pilates Elders. She says she doesn't mind the title Elder, since in Native American it is a title of reverance and used with most respect. She is the youngest of the Elder group and very much engaged in the Pilates community, more now that a few years ago. She ran a Ballet Company and was very busy with that, but is now spending more time on Pilates Workshops and such. The class I took with her was a matclass, with a lecture introduction and it was great. The style was very classic, and she herself demonstrated the exercises, super impressive, she is strong!!!

Check back for more entries about the other classes.


I took a "Pilates" class in Mexico last week, when we were on spring break in Puerto Vallarta. The hotel, The Marriott Casamagna, offers a spa with a small gym and some group classes. twice a week they have a Pilates class. Of course I had to try it.

I was hoping it would be great, and I missed my classes in San Francisco, I really wanted the Pilates to be "real". I was soo disapointed to realize this was not Pilates at all. I suspect the instructor hadn't actually taken a course, the 4! pilates exercises she did, during this 1 hour class, were all done in a very "different" way (like she had read one (bad) book maybe). AND no 100's, in my opinion there is no Pilates matclass without the 100s.

No extension (but one cat stretch at the end of the class) or twisting, just all flexion stuff, lots of yoga type excersises and stretches. Seems like she was making it up as she went, there was absolutely no flow.

It makes me mad actually.

Anyway, I am off to my reliable mat class at Simply Balanced studio in half an hour. It is always good and I love that the instructor is incredible knowledgable, she is great, Susan Powers. If you can, I really recommend that you try her class.

I often go to Simply Balanced ( on California St in SF for Pilates classes.

My favorite teacher is Susan Powers, she is incredibly knowledgeable and funny. In addition to Pilates she is also trained in The Franklin Method (, which is a great approach to anatomy and very interesting to apply to Pilates.

I take private sessions with Susan and I try to attend the mat class, which is scheduled daily except sunday.. This is one of the best mat classes you can take, in San Francisco. Susan is very "hawk-eyed", she sees everything, lets you get away with some, and she knows her stuff.