“The Pilates method of body conditioning develops the body uniformly, corrects posture, restores vitality, invigorates the mind, and elevates the spirit"
- Joseph Pilates
“I had been doing Pilates mat classes several years ago; they were always helpful and fun, but it was my private sessions with Julia that I fully experienced the transformative power of Pilates.
I started seeing Julia when I was at a low point. I was suffering from fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue syndrome. An earlier injury had led to my shoulder being frozen for 2 full years with extreme loss of flexibility and chronic, acute pain. I pretty much had to hold my left arm across my belly and could only lift it out a few inches before experiencing sharp pain. Exercise was difficult.
Sessions with Julia was my lifeline. Julia has a depth of knowledge about body mechanics and exercise modification, and she was able to tailor exercises to me and give me specific exercises that would help me obtain a better balance in my body.
When I started seeing her I thought my main problem was my shoulder. However, by continuing to check in with me at the beginning of each session (“How is your body doing today?”) she identified and corrected an imbalance in my pelvis causing low back pain. I’d had this pain in my hip for years that osteopaths, chiropractors, physical therapists, and massage therapists couldn’t explain or diminish. Julia figured out the imbalance, coached me through exercises to correct it, and the pain vanished for the first time in years. I had also been suffering from chronic foot pain for over 5 years, so Julia gave me footwork each session to strengthen my feet. Over several months, I saw a significant decline in my foot pain.
I developed a much stronger sense of my core and pelvic region. Once I got to work with Julia one-on-one and got her feedback, I REALLY understood how to keep my pelvis stable during exercise. She could sense every tremble or shift, allowing me to develop more precision in my own movements. The resulting strength in my core was awesome. My chiropractic adjustments began to hold better and much of my fibromyalgia pain decreased. As I consistently went to sessions with Julia and Pilates mat classes “my energy increased, as well.
And my shoulder! Over the months I saw Julia she skillfully gave me exercises that progressed right at the edge of my ability. She could tell from how I was holding my shoulder blade if I was ready for more reps of an exercise or not, or even which exercises I was ready for. Through my time with Julia my shoulder strength, flexibility, rotation, and positioning improved significantly and my pain diminished.
My private sessions with Julia were absolutely worth every penny. I’d sought out numerous therapies before her, but none had the tangible results of lessening my pain, increasing my flexibility and energy, and allowing me to move in ways my body was resistant to. I am tremendously grateful to Julia and so grateful for her expertise and highly personalized level of service. I highly recommend her!”
“Pilates once a week gave me my core strength back. After a traumatic C-section, I was in pain for months; I had a very difficult time getting back into regular exercise. My core was very weak and my self esteem was even weaker. One of the most important things that helped me feel like my self again was doing private Pilates sessions once a week at Pilates Bodies. I am not a fan of exercise in general, but I enjoy going to my weekly appointments. Julia is compassionate, encouraging, and she has a sense of humor. With her help, I increased my physical strength and now I feel much more capable and confident. My core strength came back and even exceeded what it was years before I ever had a baby.
I continued doing Pilates during my second pregnancy all the way through week 33. I had less back pain during this pregnancy and was even physically able to replace the flooring in my house with help! When I had a repeat C-section, my OB told me that my abdominal muscles were in great shape, more developed than what he usually sees, and reflects the work that I’ve put in. As I recover from my latest pregnancy, I am looking forward to going right back to Pilates Bodies!”
“I am a lifelong fan of Pilates Bodies!
After meeting and working out with Julia in both private sessions and BodyPump, I told her I was signed up 'for life'! I have had on-going private sessions with Julia for over two years and my long-term commitment has made a huge difference in every activity I pursue! “Pilates will change your body for the better” is a true statement! The sessions are motivating and inspiring, as well as informative. I always leave feeling recharged physically as well as mentally – Julia is SO positive! I have learned important ways to protect my body as I age and how to stay strong and flexible outside of the classes I take. Even with worries about the aging process and occasional injuries, I have been able to stay healthy and fit, thanks to the many options of classes and private sessions at Pilates Bodies!
I highly recommend taking private sessions in addition to mat Pilates classes for flexibility and core strength. Both Julia and Liesl guide you through the moves and ensure you of the right alignment. BodyPump, another class offered at Pilates Bodies, is a fantastic way to stay strong and also enjoy a fun group setting.
I love outdoor activities! Skiing in winter, hiking in spring, summer and fall, biking, surfing, paddle boarding and working with young children are all more enjoyable when you feel good – I am so thankful for core strength, flexibility and endurance! Pilates Bodies has been a fantastic way to keep strong and fit so that I also get the most out of my fun time outdoors! Thanks to Julia, Liesl and the other instructors at Pilates Bodies for helping me stay fit and motivated for life!”
“When I started going to Pilates Bodies about 10 months ago, I had many health reasons to suit up and show up. Health care providers from several different disciplines encouraged me to try Pilates. But what finally got me to Pilates Bodies was a comment by a friend who said, “I go to other exercise classes with some resistance, but I am always excited about going to a Pilates class at Pilates Bodies.” That did it! I soon found myself at Pilates Bodies and have never looked back!
All the instructors and class members welcomed and supported me as I struggled through that first month of classes, but it didn’t take long to feel and see the changes in my body and attitude. With a little hard work and a sense of humor, I now appreciate the many benefits of strengthening my core and surrounding muscles.
My strength now comes more from my core and glutes instead of my lower back. I am no longer considering spinal surgery, my sleep is improved, and I shaved off 2 inches of “spare tire” around my waist. Functional everyday life movements are much easier such as bending, twisting, and going up long flights of stairs (not to mention getting out of the back seat of a small car). The classes are challenging to beginners as well as the advanced participants. And, oh, yeah, like my friend, I now look forward to sweating and moaning my way through another Pilates class at Pilates Bodies!”
Meet Charlene Morrison:
“I’ve been taking mat Pilates classes with Liesl and duo private Pilates sessions with Julia since the studio opened, thanks to a friend trying to get me to be more active. I’ve been very surprised by the impact Pilates has had on my daily life. My posture is better, my core is stronger, and I don’t get sore like I used to doing strenuous things on weekends. My husband and I put in a large flower garden a few years back and we worked 8-10 hours each weekend day. I was hauling heavy rocks and shoveling soil and, to my surprise, did not get sore. My legs and arms felt heavy, but I was able to perform day in and day out on this project pain-free. That impact alone has made me a Pilates participant for life. The sessions are always fun and as challenging as I want to make them. I’d recommend anyone interested in avoiding days where you are too sore for comfort to take regular Pilates sessions.”
Meet Libby McDonough:
“I am just starting my fourth year of being one of the “bodies” at Pilates Bodies – WOW! Being a regular has provided me with a stronger core, a greater awareness of my posture and imbalances (allowing me to self-correct and move with better functionality) and a certain sense of grounding. The improvements gained with practicing Pilates can seem a little subtle, but then they will sneak up on you with random “aha” moments! Sometimes, however, the effects are most noticeable when you take a break and start to feel cattywampus, and that is what keeps me coming back for more.
Pilates Bodies has a variety of offerings with instructors that are welcoming, encouraging, and effective. My friend and I take semi-private Pilates sessions with Julia. Although we perform the exercises simultaneously, Julia is adept at adjusting them and us to fit our individual needs. Between the three of us, we make it fun and just as challenging as it needs to be for any given day. I have also taken some great mat Pilates classes – thanks, Liesl – and look forward to participating in the next Cyclelates series (cycling and Pilates). How can you top that?”
Charlene & Libby
“I’m in my glorious fifties, and very active with biking, hiking, standup paddle boarding, weight lifting, cross country and downhill skiing, and swimming. I was a fan of Pilates for many years in San Diego, and would use it in conjunction with physical therapy every time I got injured. The combination, along with time to heal, would always get me back on the road after a few weeks. Pilates in San Diego was too expensive for me to use as a preventative measure, so I used it only to manage my injuries and minimize my downtime.
When I moved to Juneau at the end of 2014, I was in awe of the athletic seniors I met on the Parks and Rec hikes, and I knew I’d found the right place to live a healthy, active life for the rest of my life. But by September 2015, my body started rebelling, complaining about the inordinate demands I was placing on it. A friend referred me to Julia and so I wrote her. ‘I keep getting injured hiking. I wear orthotics and have great boots, but I keep getting injured. Yesterday was my groin, a few days ago my ankle. When it happens, it’s excruciating, but I’m fine the next day. I think my body is sending warning shots across the bow, and I know I need to pay attention before it’s serious. I know from experience that Pilates will get me back to where I need to be. When can I get in for one-on-one on the reformer?’
Soon after that, I had a session with Julia and one with Liesl and immediately felt better. I was shocked at how much cheaper the sessions were, so I bought a package of 20 (and more since) and have worked out on the reformer with one of them almost every week since then. I think this is the longest period in my entire life that I have ever gone without a strained muscle or joint, and I attribute it completely to Pilates with Julia and Liesl.
As a bonus, I was attempting some endurance standup paddling over the summer and Julia identified the cause of my foot strain, something that several paddling teachers hadn’t been able to identify. She knows body mechanics better than anyone I’ve ever met, aside from my physical therapist. If I could take her on vacation with me, I would.”
“I’ve been active all my life; competitive sports during school, my work, and recreational fun stuff. After several medical calamities and accidents, mostly related to my shoulder, I gave up on almost everything, even the gym, because I kept getting injuries that took forever to heal. I got myself in a funk.
I walked by the studio daily and considered Pilates. I thought if Pilates did nothing else except get me moving again, it would be worth it. So I found a friend to go with me and the results were incredible. I presumed I’d get a stronger core (I’m impressed), but I didn’t imagine I’d get an increased range of movement in my shoulder! I’ve benefitted more from my sessions with Julia and Liesl than all the conventional physical therapy and other rehab I went to. My posture has improved, I stand more symmetrical, my shoulders are stronger, and I’m working out again.
“Initially, I thought I’d attend a few classes to get me on my feet again and move on. It’s been almost two years, and I can’t see myself ever giving it up. Pilates just makes me feel so good.”