Building strength & balance in body, mind, & spirit
Building strength & balance in body, mind, & spirit
The Pilates Studio in Salida, Colorado started in November of 2003. Steve O’Neill settled in Salida after many years working in corporate positions and non-profit organizations. Steve was enjoying living in a small mountain town with all its benefits. Many other body-workers in the area found out about the experience Steve has with The Pilates Method not only working on himself, but also teaching others. They encouraged Steve to open a studio to support the community and all the other body-workers in the area.
Starting out with a small space on the corner of F Street and Sackett Street, participation from the community allowed The Pilates Studio to grow. An additional instructor began in June of 2004 and another in February 2011. We moved a larger location in September 2005 with additional instructors added to meet the demand of additional clientele. At this time there are four full-time certified Pilates instructors involved with the studio teaching private sessions on both mat and equipment, group classes on mat and equipment, spin bike classes, boot camps and clinical Pilates for rehabilitation clients.
August 2011 brought us to our newest and largest space yet - 300 W Hwy 291. This spacious location allows extra room for three spin bikes as well as larger mat and equipment classes.
Classical Pilates’ movement and its focus on breathing has been proven, for us, to be the best direction in working with our cliental. With its ruling principles of: Concentration; Control; Centering; Fluidity; Precision; Breath; Imagination; Intuition; and Integration; it allows clients to experience the full range of benefits practicing the Pilates Method. We focus on breath to lead every movement performed; the breath leads the muscular engagement, leads the movement.
We at The Pilates Studio feel strongly that a new client should start with private instruction to assure that s/he knows the proper breathing techniques, muscle contraction and release and to make sure the spine, neck, and entire body is maintained in a safe position during each exercise, before moving into a larger class.
At The Pilates Studio, our goal is to help clients incorporate core stability not only in Pilates exercises but also in every aspect of their lives. As they acquire coordinated movements skills under our supervision, they can also learn from us how to safely play a sport or perform a job, how to stand, bend, rotate, lift weight or simply maintain a “neutral pelvis/neutral spine” position. Each principle in itself is a ‘micro-skill’, which when combined with other micro-skills, form a functional ‘macro-skill’.
Through concentrated and creative effort you will reap the myriad benefits this unique method of conditioning has to offer, awakening your body through movement and your mind through conscious thought.
Our Mission: Building strength and balance in body, mind and spirit.
Our Vision: To encourage the understanding in our community of the value of the mind-body connection, and integrating what is learned in The Pilates Studio into their daily life.
In the late 1920’s, Joseph Pilates immigrated to New York City where he opened a physical fitness studio. This was after a childhood filled with asthma, rickets, and rheumatic fever. He turned to physical training to improve his own physique, thus overcoming his childhood ills by using a specific form of breathing, stretching and strength building. This became “The Pilates Method” of exercise, focused on building strength within core muscles, deep controlled breathing and enhanced flexibility. For years, the focus of Pilates was within the area of Ballet, with clientele including George Balanchine, Martha Graham, Ted Shawn, Ruth St. Denis and Ron Fletcher, among others. Today it has branched out into many other areas, with movie stars, professional athletes and everyday people drawn to the conditioning benefits of this form of exercise.
It has also moved into the medical field with many physicians seeing the benefits of using Pilates in their rehabilitation programs. An article titled Pilates gets medical backing in the Denver Post dated 12/27/2004 stated, “Medical science is looking at the workout regimen as a way to heal injured joints and give something even more precious--pain relief. Doctors and therapists are using the movement techniques and the equipment (of Pilates) to help trauma patients and even offer some patients an option that doesn’t involve surgery.”
The central element of Pilates is to create a fusion of mind and body, so that without thinking about it you will move with economy, grace, and balance; using your body to the greatest advantage, making the most of its strengths, counteracting its weaknesses, and correcting its imbalances. The goal is this; to produce an attention-free union of mind and body, the method requires that you constantly pay attention to your body while you are doing the movements. Paying attention is so vital that it is more important than any other single aspect of the movements or the method.
Joseph Pilates believed in circulating the blood so that it could awaken all the cells in the body and carry away the wastes related to fatigue. For the blood to do its work properly, it has to be charged with oxygen and purged of waste gases through proper breathing. Full and thorough inhalation and exhalation are part of every Pilates exercise. Pilates saw forced exhalation as the key to full inhalation. “Squeeze out the lungs as you would wring a wet towel dry,” he is reputed to have said. Breathing, too, should be done with concentration, control, and precision. It should be properly coordinated with movement. Each exercise is accompanied by breathing instructions. Joseph Pilates stated, “Even if you follow no other instructions, learn to breathe correctly”.
As a child, German-born Joseph H. Pilates suffered from a multitude of illnesses resulting in muscular weakness. Determined to overcome his frailties, he dedicated his life to becoming physically stronger. He studied yoga, martial arts, Zen Meditation, and Greek and Roman exercises. He worked with medical professionals, including physicians and his wife Clare, a nurse. His experiences led to the development of his unique method of physical and mental conditioning, which he brought to the United States in 1923. In the early 1930's and 1940's, popular dance instructors and choreographers, such as Martha Graham, George Balanchine, and others, embraced Pilates’ exercise method. As elite performers, dancers often suffered from injuries resulting in a long recovery period and an inability for peak performance. Unique at the time, Pilates’ method allowed and encouraged movement early in the rehabilitation process, by providing needed assistance. It was found that reintroducing movement with nondestructive forces early in rehabilitation hastened the healing process. As a result, it was not long before the dance community at large adopted Pilates’ work. More than 70 years later, Pilates’ techniques began to gain popularity in the rehabilitation setting. In the 1990's, many rehabilitation practitioners were using the method in multiple fields of rehabilitation, including general orthopedic, geriatric, chronic pain, neurologic rehabilitation, and more. Within the rehabilitation setting, most Pilates exercises are performed on several types of apparatus. The apparatus work evolved from Pilates’ original mat work, which was difficult as a result of the relationship of gravity on the body. On the apparatus, springs and gravity are used to assist an injured individual to be able to complete movements successfully, aiding in a safe recovery. Ultimately, by altering the spring tension or increasing the challenge of gravity, an individual may progress toward achieving functional movement.
Pilates-based rehabilitation is broken down into three areas: Assisted Movement, Dynamic Stabilization, and Functional Reeducation. Within each of these areas are many goals that are set to meet the client's needs to reenter the arena of sports or work from which the client comes.
The Pilates Studio has worked for many years within the community helping people understand their bodies and how they move. Our clientele range from individuals focused on improving fitness levels as athletes to those who have rehabilitation or post-surgery issues.
We have proven ourselves with a long list of successes helping people after physical therapy is over. We have become a leader in this area as a “Post Physical Therapy Rehabilitation Center in the Upper Arkansas Valley”.
Our goal is to help clients incorporate core stability in every aspect of their lives: how to stand, bend, rotate, lift weight and perform their jobs safely while maintaining a strong core to protect their spines, knees, ankles and hips.
Post-physical therapy rehabilitation strengthens the stabilizing muscles around the spine, from the tranversus abdominus to the multifidi muscles in the low back to the pelvic floor. Building up a solid cylinder of muscle around the central spine helps protect it from shearing forces applied to the vertebrae, ligaments and discs. Through specific exercises with Pilates equipment, we work to strengthen the ankles, knees, shoulders and hips to allow a strong range of motion during walking, running, skiing and a wide variety of activities.
Our instructors who work in the rehabilitation area are Pilates Rehabilitation Certified.
Check out these websites for further information about Pilates and rehabilitation: