The Amazing Pilates Reformer

February 18, 2016

inner thigh work through standing side splits on the Reformer

the kneeling arm series challenges shoulder stability and core control

100's on the Reformer

abdominal work using the box and the magic circle on the Reformer

one of the many variations of planking on the Reformer

footwork on the Reformer

stretching...the best part

All Images
Jennifer Hagler Photography

By Buffy York

In the coming weeks and months I have invited several experts to be guest bloggers on The Style Gathering.  I am excited to bring you these informative posts and they are less the “Style” component and more on the “Gathering” end of my blog.  All of the topics I will be pulling together for you through these guest bloggers are things I am very interested in and quite possibly obsess over.  Since you are reading this blog you might be a little bit like me so I think these are topics you want to know about!  By using true experts I can bring you solid information.  I know my limits.  I think it is important to tell you that no one is getting paid here and I am not receiving any products or services in return for these posts.  Consider this yet another PSA. 

I told you earlier this year I had a few new obsessions and Club Pilates is one of them.  I have loved Reformer Pilates for years, but traditionally it has just not been affordable.  Club Pilates in Cahaba Heights has recently opened making Pilates available for everyone with reasonable monthly packages and I am in love with the place.  So much so that I am working at the front desk a few mornings a week.  I talk about it often and many of my friends have no clue what Pilates is (it’s not yoga), much less a Reformer.  I have asked the instructors at Club Pilates to start a monthly “Pilates Tip” column and today’s is a basic introduction to the Reformer.

The Amazing Pilates Reformer
Amy Liscomb, RDN, LD
Certified Yoga and Pilates Instructor

The Pilates Reformer is a fabulously diverse piece of equipment that challenges clients to build strength, flexibility, coordination and balance. The machine consists of a rolling carriage, straps for the hands and feet, a foot bar, shoulder blocks and a headrest. A box can also be added for various exercises as well as a jump board for cardio.

Powerhouse muscles of the core are always part of the exercises but smaller stability muscles are also targeted which promote better balance. “Think local not global” is a phrase I often use to help clients understand the importance of accessing all muscles and not just the larger muscles groups. Exercises can be done lying, standing, kneeling and/or sitting as the body pushes and pulls against spring resistance. The Reformer encourages full range of motion which invites the body to sustain length….the beautiful aspect of strength through length!

Instructors use a variety of visuals to help clients fire different muscles and draw awareness to their movement. This is a “take it with you” class, meaning throughout the day and during your other activities you become more aware of your posture and alignment leading to more graceful and efficient movement and for many relief from pain associated with physical imbalances. It is an excellent tool for rehabilitation and reversing the “forward slump” that many of our day jobs encourage. Life gets us all out of whack and Pilates helps re-establish symmetry of the body.

Club Pilates…Do Pilates Do Life

Free Demo Classes Every Thursday, Saturday and Sunday
full schedule here
Club Pilates Cahaba Heights
3169 Green Valley Road
Birmingham, AL 35243

Stay tuned for Monday’s guest post from Dr.Warren Seiler of Seiler Skin on
“The Artistry of Botox”

Nobody Cares

February 17, 2016

All Images
Jennifer Hagler Photography

By Buffy York

Seriously, no one is paying attention to what we look like.  Case in point, I got 4 (maybe 5) inches cut off of my hair two weeks ago and hardly anyone has noticed.  That is a lot of hair.  I mean 4 inches is almost 5 inches and that is half way to Locks of Love.  That was an anxiety inducing chop and you would think I’ve been walking around with this “long bob” for years.  Like I said, no one cares what we look like.

So when I get myself all in a tizzy about my gray hair popping up in my part I should remember this.  But I won’t because I CARE!  It also seems that the more products I find to bridge the gap from one salon trip to the next, the more gray hairs I have.  Over Christmas I was shopping in Atlanta and I found the Rita Hazan Root Concealer.  Since it cost less than, and contained twice as much as the Oribe I usually use, I decided to purchase.  I really like the delivery system because it covered the bling in my part really well, and since it was 2 ounces verses Oribe’s .75 ounces, I don’t feel like I am going to constantly run out.

I had officially made the switch when I was cruising through Target one day and noticed a L’Oreal Root Cover-Up that was clearly trying to knock off the Rita Hazan.  The similar size containers, same packaging color scheme, same delivery system and the $10 price tag sucked me in.  I was certain, like my St. Tropez Self Tanning Mousse knock-off, I had found a much less expensive option to the designer brand.  I was right, they are exactly the same except for one small HUGE detail.  The L’Oreal Root Cover-up NEVER dries!!!!  If you are like me and touching your hair all day this is a problem.  I noticed this after one “fluffing of the hair with my fingers” session.  Clearly I had touched my forehead afterwards and I looked as though Ash Wednesday or a recent Botox session had gone really really bad.  Maybe if you are using a different shade (Rita Hazan comes in 5 shades and the L’Oreal comes in 6 shades) or you don’t touch your hair you can go with the cheaper option, but for me…I’m all in at $25.

Sometimes better is better!

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