pilates video

Pilates Plank on Real Alignment Mat


Pilates plank on Real Alignment Mat is a fabulous, full-body, core strengthening exercise.

I posted a little while ago about Pilates being a full body system that includes all of the usual exercise suspects, including lots of planks.

My colleague Alycea Ungaro has developed a mat that is beautiful and shows where to place your body parts for optimal alignment when doing any exercises.

Now, you can do this pilates plank anywhere, but it is interesting to see how Tori is able to maintain such good alignment due to the layout of the mat.

Try it!


Pilates Double Leg Kick


Pilates double leg kick will help stretch your quads, open your chest, and strengthen the posterior chain (back of the body).

I am always giving my clients homework of exercises that strengthen the backs of their bodies.

We tend to always focus front, since that is what we can see easily. Unfortunately, it is the muscles in our backs that really help hold us up.

The pilates double leg kick works to strengthen those back, butt, and hamstring muscles while helping to open the hips and shoulders. As always in Pilates, the abs work to support the spine.

Here is my colleague Mikiko Baba demonstrating the Pilates double leg kick.

This is a beginning exercise, so anyone can do!


Pilates Side-lying Front Kicks


Pilates Side-lying Front Kicks are a great beginner exercise for hip stability and abdominal, hip flexor, and side body strength.

The other day I posted the advanced pilates kneeling side kicks. They are great, but very difficult to do.

Here is my colleague Bridget Casey-Insana demonstrating a more beginner-friendly version of the side-lying kicks.

This is a wonderful exercise for hip stability!


Pilates and Reiki After Abdominal Surgery

Curso de Instructor de Pilates I have been doing Pilates and Reiki since 1986 and teaching Pilates since 1989 (Reiki teaching came later). In the decade from 1986-1996 I was diagnosed with migraine headaches, severe endometriosis, and pelvic pain, undergoing five separate laparoscopic surgeries and many hormonal and pain therapies before finally undergoing a total abdominal hysterectomy at the age of 30. The two things that carried me through that difficult decade - which also included earning a graduate degree in Philosophy, getting married, becoming a parent, and opening my first Pilates studio - were Pilates and Reiki.

As an undergraduate at Purchase College, I originally started doing Pilates to see what the studio was spending money on. You see, I was the Finance Director of student government, which in the '80s was funding the Pilates studio. But once I started Pilates, I was hooked! The exercises were the only ones I had ever encountered that targeted my abdominals and pelvic floor in such a clear and effective way. My hypermobile joints felt better and stronger. Most important for me, the pain I had each month from the endometriosis, which manifested in severe abdominal cramps, nausea, and lower back pain, would go away for a little while after my Pilates class.

My first experiences with Therapeutic Touch and then Reiki came from the Physical Therapist I hired at my first Pilates studio in PA. Susan not only gave me treatments, but also taught me how to do treatments on myself and others, even teaching my husband how to work on me to help me prepare for and recover from the major surgery, since I could only rest well after a treatment. I was the first patient ever at Temple University hospital to have Reiki practitioners in pre-op and recovery with me (I insisted and my surgeon approved), and lost so little blood and healed so quickly that everyone was shocked.

I was back in the Pilates studio four weeks post-op, and while it wasn't easy getting back (in fact, I was so impatient and frustrated that I was a tough client), I can tell you today that my abs and pelvic floor work perfectly from regular Pilates. Plus, thanks to my daily Reiki practice I have no more daily chronic pain, I sleep well, and the migraines are gone.

So if you hear yourself, or anyone you know saying, “I had abdominal surgery [or cesarean]. They cut me, so I can't really use my abs anymore,” know that there is hope. With Pilates, your abs will work again! Mine do.


  • 5 Myths about Pilates that p@@s me off..(melcollie.com)

  • Cyclist with Broken Hip Loves Pilates(pilatesandreikiinparadise.com)