Category Archives: Fitness

BODYPeace Movement – Love Yourself

The BODYPeace Movement teaches self-love, spirituality, and honesty. Be at peace with your body!

If I learned anything in the past few years, it is the importance of self-love and honesty in my relationship with myself. Seriously! I lie to myself all the time.

Don’t we all?

I tell myself things are fine when they are not. I tell myself that I will be in control and then I am not. Hell, many times I hate myself over these lies and the discomfort they bring.

I started working through some of these issues in my MindMap coaching training (more on this later, as I am still waiting for my final paper grade). And then, in the middle of those coaching loops, I met BODYpeace founders Heather Waxman and Kasey Arena via Fitfluential.

BodyPeace - Your Thoughts

Heather is a spirituality and meditation guru, while Kasey is a personal trainer and maker of Power Cakes. They have both been through times where they hated their bodies and tried to control things with disordered eating and crazy exercise. Between the two of them, they know quite a bit about the body, mind, and spirit.

BODYPeace stems from the premise that our bodies are not the problem, it is our thoughts about our bodies that are the problem. We attach negative emotions and ideas to our body that cause us harm.

BODYPeace is a 30-day inspirational journey that will help you shed shame and guilt and find lasting peace with your body. Through personal stories, meditations and transformational exercises, you will gain all the tools you need to break free from food jail and body prison.

bodypeace

Once you purchase the BODYPeace book, you have access to the awesome extras – downloadable meditations, EFT (Tapping) videos, and exercise videos. There is also a private Facebook Group which offers more support and a place to share and vent.

This is a 30 day journey that involves guided meditation, journaling, joyful movement, and good food. The BODYPeace journey is not easy, and will have you really facing some difficult stuff, but offers the support to help you through.

I encourage you to try this program. We all know deep inside that “the thing is not the thing” (thanks Dax Moy). When we heal our relationship with ourselves, then working with our bodies becomes a joy instead of a burden. In the end, everything changes!

bodypeace

Sunwarrior Plant-based Protein and Supplements Review

Sunwarrior Plant-based Protein and Supplements are a high-quality addition to any nutritional program.

A few weeks ago I was approached by Sunwarrior with an offer to try a few of their Sunwarrior Vegan Protein and Plant-based Supplements to review. I had been hearing consistently good things about their protein powders and activated barley, so I signed up.

A couple of weeks later I received a Sunwarrior Starter Pack, which contained a shaker bottle (the good kind with a metal swirly belnder instead of a plastic shape) full of supplements. I received:

  • Warrior Blend Protein (Chocolate and Vanilla)
  • Classic Protein (Chocolate and Vanilla)
  • Supergreens (Natural and Peppermint)
  • Liquid Light
  • Immune Shield
  • Activated Barley

The greens drink was fine. I put the natural flavor packet in my morning smoothie and didn’t even notice a difference in taste. I mixed the peppermint flavor in water and it was pretty gross – sweetened with stevia, which reminds me of saccharine. If you like sweet mint and stevia, then you will probably love the flavor.

The Liquid Light and Immune Shield are packets of clear liquid. I don’t know if they have a flavor (once again it went into the blender) but they had no smell. These products are at base “a raw, plant-based fulvic acid and liquid mineral complex” extracted from the earth using cold water.

Now, I really think that in order to see and feel benefits from these products you need to use them more than once or twice, so I didn’t really expect any drastic changes and I didn’t get any drastic changes.

My favorite product is the Sunwarrior Activated Barley, which is a slow burning carbohydrate with benefits (fiber and enzymes). I found that when added (surprise!) to my smoothie it lent a little creaminess and kept me full and energetic for a few hours longer than usual. I would recommend this to anyone who needs sustained energy.

I really wanted to like the protein powders, but again the sweetener is stevia, and they just leave me with this cloying sweetness that lingers in a very yucky way. They were certainly among the best tasting protein powders I have sampled. My favorite was the Warrior Blend Protein in Chocolate, but even this left me extra thirsty and looking for another strong flavor to get the stevia sweetness out. Note that I generally use unsweetened egg white powder.

That said, the ingredients are impeccable. All natural, no fillers, nothing artificial. I highly recommend Sunwarrior Vegan Protein and Plant-based Supplements!

Have you tried Sunwarrior products?

 

 

Be More Human – Reebok

Reebok’s Be More Human campaign

(FYI – This is a compensated post. Yes, I am getting paid on this one.)

Be More Human

Be More Human. That’s the simple message in Reebok’s new brand campaign that launched on January 28th. I took the Human Score test on Reebok’s Be More Human website, which asked questions about what kind of people I would rather talk to at a party and what exercise I preferred, and handed me a score of 80.

That makes me “Brain Buff.” Shocking, right?

Hey Brain Buff, you make for a pretty great human specimen. Brain Buffs do more than keep their bodies fit – they actively work to keep their minds sharp. With their curious nature and insatiable hunger for knowledge, they’re always on the go.

For Brain Buffs, there is pretty much no end to self-improvement. There is always room upstairs to add more theories, ideas and wisdom. They make it a point to regularly challenge themselves to think big thoughts way outside the box. And they are rigorous thinkers inclined to do their own research and ask questions rather than take information at face value. Smarty-pants Brain Buffs use all their intellectual gifts to help reach their fullest human potential.

What are you? Take the HUMAN SCORE test from Reebok and leave me a comment with your score.

Reebok’s mission is to help every individual realize their full potential in the mental, physical and social aspects of their lives, by encouraging a fitness-focused life, and creating the products to perform in the toughest environments and activities.

Check out their Super Bowl ad, Freak Show. And look on social media for the tag #BeMoreHuman

My Definition of Classical Pilates

What is Classical Pilates? How is it different from Contemporary Pilates? Here is my definition of Classical Pilates…

Before I give you my definition, I would like to put out a bit of my history as a Pilates teacher and practitioner. Those of you who have worked with me at varying points in my Pilates teaching career may not have a sense of all that informs my current definition, so here we go.

I started taking Pilates in 1986 at SUNY Purchase (I was VP of finance for Student Government and we were funding the studio) under my colleagues Steve Giordano and Nancy Allison, who were trained by Romana Kryzanowska. Romana would visit on occasion, and Steve trained us to know the order of the exercises and the transitions/flow, so that we could impress her when she came. I would also make trips into the city to take sessions with her and the other full-on classical teachers.

In 1988 I moved to Philadelphia to enter a PhD program in Philosophy at Temple U, with a full graduate assistantship. In 1989 I saw an ad in the City Paper – “PT exercise instructors wanted. Pilates background preferred.” I was the only applicant who had done Pilates! And so I started working alongside Master Teacher Karen H. Carlson, who trained primarily with Pilates elder Mary Bowen.

In 1992 Karen and I both became founding members of the Institute for the Pilates Method (now PhysicalMind), under Pilates elder Eve Gentry (but then informed by all of the living elders). Eve and Michelle Larson certified me to teach in 1993. In 2000 I became a teacher trainer for PhysicalMind.

After owning award-winning studios and  teaching at Parrot Cay in Turks and Caicos, I have come full circle. Thirty years after taking my first Pilates class at Purchase, I am now back in NYC as a Master Teacher and Lead Teacher Trainer at Real Pilates in Tribeca, a leading Classical Pilates studio.

That said, here is my definition of Classical Pilates:

I define classical Pilates as teaching that is closest to the system as created and taught by Joseph Pilates. I teach with a contemporary understanding of biomechanics, but I teach Mr. Pilates’ exercises in the order he prescribed and prefer at this point to teach on Gratz. Do I modify as needed or leave out exercises that may not be appropriate? Indeed I do! Do I teach on Peak, Stott, and Balanced Body? Yes! But still with the goal of offering as close to a good, old school Pilates workout as I can. His work stands up.

So there you go! I would love to hear your definitions and your thoughts.

How to Charge for Pilates – Sessions, Packages, Monthly

How to Charge for Pilates for Teachers and Studios – Sessions, Packages, Monthly? A guide…

Once you decide how much to charge, based on the simple calculations in my Pricing Pilates post, then you need to decide how to charge for pilates.

1. Per session or package.

Historically, Pilates teachers and studios charge either by the session or in a discounted package. If you do this, you must be sure that the package price is what you need to earn.

For example, I charge $160 per session, or $1440 for ten. Most of my clients buy ten, since the savings is significant. Sessions are pre-paid and it easy to charge for late cancels and no shows.

The downside is that if people go away or are less frequent, you will wait longer for the next payment, which can be a budgeting problem.

Some studios and teachers offer 5 session, 10 session, and 20 session packages. I just need to keep things simple for myself.

2. Per month.

I am strongly considering a shift to monthly billing for steadier income. This model can be a bit more complex at the beginning, but I think the benefits can outweigh the extra work.

Under the monthly model I would charge each client monthly for a certain number of sessions. Those sessions will not “roll over” – if they are not used they are gone. Any additional sessions over the minimum will be charge at the end of each month. Paypal, as well as other processors, will handle auto-billing.

So, for my clients who come in 2-3 times per week (8-12 sessions per month), I would charge them monthly for 6 sessions (at my current lowest price that would be $864). At the end of each month charge for any extras.

For a client who comes once per week, I would set up an auto-bill for 3 sessions per month.

My commitment will be to ensure the client gets the minimum sessions in a month, even if some are by video chat.

The down-side to auto-billing is you will pay some processing fees to the bank or service. However, the steady income that comes whether your client is there or not may make the 2-3% loss worth it. I do know some teachers who charge their clients the extra percentage for the convenience of using a card, so that is also an option.

Do you use one or more of these methods? Do you have a billing method outside of these examples? I would love to hear about it!

A Pilates Teacher’s Guide to Raising Prices

Here is the Pilates Teacher’s Guide to Raising Prices in 2015.

In the wake of my last two blog posts, which have started some interesting and contentious discussions in the pilates teaching community, several pilates teachers have asked for some guidance in raising their rates in 2015.

Note that I am not suggesting that you have to, or should, raise your prices. But if you feel you need to, here are some ideas.

First, let me back up to my post on pricing. In that post I recommend that you look at some simple math before setting prices. The equation is:

I want to make X amount of money per year and would prefer to work Y number of hours per week, so I will need to make Z amount of money per hour/day/month.

In my example, if you want to make $120,000 per year and only work 20 hours per week, you will need to make $125/hour. Note that I don’t say you should charge that, but that is the math.

It is my view that if we as Pilates teachers are not earning enough to thrive, then it will effect our teaching. We will be worried, possibly resentful at teaching a lot and still struggling, and it will bleed into our client interactions. This has happened to me and to my colleagues, which led to this raising prices discussion.

Now, if you didn’t make that simple math calculation before you set your prices, or you did but it’s been a few years and the numbers are different, you may need to raise your prices.

Do not raise prices without doing the math first! And make sure that your discounted packages cover your costs.

But how can you raise your prices without upsetting and possibly losing your existing people?

1. Raise prices on new clients first.

The first inroad you can make is to raise prices on new pilates clients, while allowing existing clients to stay at their current rate for a limited period. When I raised my rates last year, I started by charging new clients more for a month. So I notified people that new rates were going to be happening on 8/1. The new rates went into effect for new folks on 9/1, but current people had until 10/1. This made my current clients feel loved.

2. Offer a few packages at current prices to current clients.

The next step is to let your current clients know that even though your pilates prices will increase, they can purchase a few packages at the current price. In my practice, I offered current clients the ability to buy up to 30 sessions at current prices. This gave me a little extra cash and I didn’t lose money, because it was not a sale. And my current clients still felt loved!

3. You may lose a few clients, but you will gain others.

I was lucky enough to only lose one client in my increase, but she was going through financial hardship anyway and would have stopped. Note that I did offer her a lower price, and this was her response,

“I will not bargain with you because you are too good and there are plenty of lower-priced teachers that are fine for me now. I feel lucky and spoiled to have had you for as long as I did. You are by far the best Pilates teacher I have ever been to.”

I couldn’t argue with that. I just said Thank You. And she still refers people to me!

[For more on why my clients feel like this, please see my post on serving your niche.]

At the end of the day, costs go up every year for all of us. Insurance, rent, groceries, taxes, and even public transportation go up. We need to pay our bills, have a little fun, save some money for fun and retirement, and thrive as Pilates teachers.

I am able to see some clients at a greatly reduced rate without worry or resentment, because the majority of them pay my full price. And I don’t have to work like a Pilates automaton anymore, so I can have a life outside of the studio.

So take the leap! If you know your prices are too low to meet your needs, raise them! Just make sure your level of service and care matches your price.

Happy new year!

How Big Is Your Pilates Niche?

The size of your Pilates Niche (or Fitness, Yoga, Travel…) is less important than how you serve them.

I woke up this morning to a timely e-mail from one of my marketing gurus, Seth Godin. Today’s post is titled, “Is Your Niche Too Small?

There’s no such thing as a niche that’s too small if the people care enough.

If you think you need a bigger market, you’re actually saying that the market you already have doesn’t need you/depend on you/talk about you enough.

You might not need a bigger niche. You might only need to produce more value for those you already serve.

How does this apply to your business?

Well, I will use myself as an example. My niche is people aged 35-65 who are affluent, lead stressful lives, and experience pain and/or dysfunction. I work with hedge fund managers with back pain and bad posture, women with diastasis after having children, and high powered attorneys with scoliosis who need to be as functional as possible.

Because I charge a lot, my clientele is limited to those who can afford me. And since that means they can afford just about anyone, what kind of value do I offer to my niche that keeps them doing Pilates with me?

  1. I am consistently on time and ready to work with my client.
  2. I maintain focus on my client during the entire session, starting with, “How is your body today? How can I help you today?” and ending with, “Happy to help.”
  3. I watch my clients move all hour, checking and correcting position so that he or she gets the most benefit from the exercises.
  4. I answer questions and explain why I am doing things a certain way, or in a certain order.
  5. I am more than happy to discuss what I am doing with medical professionals, so everyone can be comfortable and on the same page.
  6. I offer consistent and verifiable results! Less pain, better posture, smaller diastasis and hernia.
  7. Simply put, my clients FEEL BETTER and do better in life.

And really, if you can afford to, who wouldn’t pay for that?

Do you serve your Pilates niche this way?

Would you?