New York

Summer Vacation from Pilates


My summer vacation is short but sweet.

Every summer since we moved back to New York has been quiet on the Pilates front. Seriously, my business is typically half or less of what it is during the rest of the year.

Not this year!

This year I have been steadily busy, never going under 15 hours. While great for my bank account (especially since I planned to be slow), it has meant less time off.

This year we have number of activities we both want and need to do. One is renewing our driver's licenses in our home state of PA, so we can then exchange them for NY licenses. This requires taking our photo cards to PA.

We would also love to check out upstate New York, particularly the Adirondacks, where I spent very little time growing up. And we want to visit Governors Island one more time.

And we only have 5 days to accomplish all of this!

Here is the itinerary so far:

First morning we drive to the Poconos for a night on a lake in the mountains. While there, we pop over to PennDOT in Mount Pocono and get the license photos done.

We return to NYC, and take the ferry over to Governors Island the next day.

And then, we drive up to the Adirondacks that night for two nights in the mountains.

Which still gives us a solid afternoon to chill before going back to work.

Where to stay?

I was talking to a few friends and clients about where to stay, and some recommended Camp Chateaugay. Camp Chateaugay is located in the Adirondacks and has become an annual tradition for many families in the NY area.

For this trip, we don't want family. We want adults only.

Have you been to the Adirondacks? Have a great, romantic hotel to share with me?

Let me know!

Magic Circle Workshop at Real Pilates


SusanRingJoin Lynda Lippin for a Fun Magic Circle Workshop at Real Pilates on Wednesday August 14, 2013 from 5-6:30pm, only $40

OK, is there anybody who doesn't love the Magic Circle (aka Pilates Ring, Spring Circle, Resistance Ring, Toning Ring)? So simple, really. Just some steel bands and wooden blocks (or today, lightweight but strong PVC plastic, coated with rubber, with padded contoured foam pads). This little ring of fire can tone your butt, inner thighs, and triceps like nothing else, while at the same time helping you deepen your connection to your core.

In this 90 minute workshop I will present two sections of exercises, starting with where we can use the magic circle to create variations of the classic Pilates mat exercises. In the second half, we will explore the dedicated Magic Circle repertoire, including standing exercises and neck exercises.

Pilates aficionados of any level will take away a slew of new ways to use the portable Magic Circle at home and on the road to keep their practice fresh. Pilates teachers and apprentices will learn new ways to use the Magic Circle themselves and with clients, including some archival exercises they may not have discovered yet.

Suitable for all levels, but you must be familiar with the Pilates mat exercises!

  • When: Wednesday August 14, 2013 5-6:30pm
  • Where: Real Pilates, 177 Duane Street, New York, NY 10013
  • Cost: $40
  • Space is limited, so register early!
  • How: Click here to register on line (If you are new to Real Pilates, use code "LLGIFT" at checkout and you will receive a gift at the front desk.)
  • Or call (212) 625-0777.

See you at the studio!


Shooting Is Cathartic


Shooting Is Cathartic and Fun - Who Knew?

A little while ago I received a message from the folks at via the contact page on this very blog, offering me $25 towards any booking off their site. Vimbly is a New York City activity booking website, where you can find discounts on interesting classes, workshops, and other city events.

I chose an uncharacteristic activity, a rifle shooting lesson, including a gun safety class, 90 minutes of range time, and 50 rounds of .22 caliber ammunition. The two hour event at the venerable Westside Rifle Range in Chelsea, was $65 ($40 with my discount) and required a criminal records background check.

Note that I have never shot a gun, not even a fake gun, or a BB gun, in my life. Plus, I tend to be anti-gun by default. But since being back in the US I feel like knowing how to use a gun and shoot one well are skills that I should have. And now that I have them, I do feel better. More equipped, shall we say? sent me the links to the background check, called the range to confirm my appointment, and sent me a reminder email the day before class. There were only four people in my class, and after a good introduction to the rifle we learned how to fill a magazine, filled our ten magazines with five rounds per, put on our ear protection, and started shooting.

I shot about 20 rounds at 25 feet:


20 at 35 feet:


and 60 rounds at 50 feet (the longest distance possible at this indoor range):


Yes, I was having so much fun that I bought an extra 50 rounds of ammo.

My core strength, breath control, and focus from Pilates really helped my shooting, and I enjoyed the whole experience much more than I expected. It helped that I was good at shooting - note how close most of my shots are to center mass, even at 50 feet and with very used guns with imperfect sights.

And shooting a gun is, indeed, cathartic. It requires such concentration, control, and exactitude to put the bullet where you want it to go, and when you combine that with the knowledge of the power of that shot.... Let's just say, it's a good time in a controlled environment ;).

I had so much fun with the rifle range experience, that I would use Vimbly again for several other New York activities that I want to try.

  • Archery
  • Fencing
  • Comedy Improv
  • Chess

Now I feel confident in my ability to join and add value to the Zombie Killing Stoners after any Zompoc! As my former Israeli military friend Emily said, "If that was the enemy, you definitely killed him!" And seriously, the Zombie Killing Stoners is a great read!