I had never been a someone who liked the gym and was turned onto Pilates after my son was born. I was hoping for a routine that could work into my hectic schedule and provide me the motivation to get my body back! I found all of the instructors at Pilates in the Grove to be very experienced, helpful, and patient, especially given that I was a beginner. The classes are intimate so I continue to feel that I am getting focused attention. Within weeks of starting, I noticed a positive change in body, and shortly thereafter, my friends were asking what I was doing. Since then, I feel healthier, flexible and stronger. My body is more toned and defined in the places that I’ve always wanted, and I even feel improvements in my posture. I am thrilled to have a workout that I enjoy and look forward to week after week. Thank you Pilates in the Grove!
In April of 2010, at the age of 54, a rare form of heart disease struck and my life dramatically changed. With chest pain several times a day, I have been daunted by a limited activity level. After several months of cardiac rehabilitation, it has been troubling that I am still unable to mount a treadmill or perform other aerobic activities without the plague of chest pain or angina pectoris as it is called. Before my illness, I was an active ballroom dancer, busy ophthalmologist and researcher, and directed medical student teaching at the Bascom Palmer Eye Institute. All of that came to an abrupt halt. I had to deconstruct my old self and reinvent a life within the confines of significant physical limitations. Slowly, I began to explore safe avenues to carry me to a new balance in my life, and my cardiologist recommended pilates.
I discovered that Christa Gurka—a physical therapist who had helped me to recover from my third ankle operation back in 2004—had opened a pilates studio not far from my home. That operation was for a condition called avascular necrosis of both ankles, also a problem of circulation. It was a blessing because I trusted Christa implicitly and knew that she carried the expertise to safely ease me into this new physical endeavor. And that she did. At first during private sessions to get me accustomed to the technique, Christa helped me to modify the weights and positions that were safe for my heart and ankles. With reformer pilates, I have been able to adjust the weights to levels that are not overly taxing. Although I still get angina at times in any given class, I now know my limits, and can take it at my own pace, resting frequently as needed.
Pilates has been an important piece in my physical balance. It was disheartening to be limited in the activities that I had relied on for fun and stress reduction like dancing, traveling, and certain aerobic exercises like climbing and lifting. While I am unable to do many of those things I once enjoyed, pilates has been an integral part of my healing along with meditation and prayer.
Pilates in the Grove has restored my ability to function. I had physical therapy with Alexandra Terpos years earlier, and was impressed with her skill at locating and treating the cause of my pain. I got lucky and found her again, now practicing and teaching at Pilates in the Grove. I started weekly physical therapy. Soon, Alix encouraged me to start Pilates classes to build the strength and flexibility needed to overcome my problems. I had tried in the past to do the prescribed exercises at home but never felt that I was achieving the desired results.
New to Pilates, I began with a weekly one on one session with physical therapist Sabine Gembel and then added two weekly group reformer classes taught by Alix and Sabine. With classes led by physical therapists, I felt very comfortable that I would not add to my injuries. Classes are challenging and fun and everyone gets personal attention.
Through the work and support of this team, I have made great progress and look forward to returning to work. I have a much better awareness of my body and how to stay in shape, and, I am trimmer and stronger than I have been in years. I really enjoy the classes and the results achieved by this method are remarkable.
Thanks Christa, Alix, Sabine and team!
As a breast cancer survivor I am always focused on staying healthy and Pilates in the Grove has been the perfect fit for keeping strong and fit. With my different surgeries I thought that Pilates might be too much, but it has been just what I have needed to gain my strength and energy back. The instructors are amazing and they make the classes fun. This is the strongest I have felt in years! The classes are full of people of all ages and it’s not intimidating. I actually look forward to working out!
I’ve been working with Christa on a weekly basis for several years. She has helped me significantly reduce my chronic lower back pain by improving my flexibility, core strength, posture and balance. As a guy in pretty good shape, I¹ve also been amazed by how much Pilates has improved my overall fitness. I highly recommend Christa and Alix, they are amazing instructors.