Category Archives: Health

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.

Review – Buddha’s Herbs Herbal Tea Sampler

Buddha’s Herbs Herbal Tea Sampler is a wonderful selection of quality, organic herbal tea blends.

5 out of 5 Stars!

If you have been reading this blog for a while, you know that I am a huge fan of Buddha’s Herbs. They are a locally owned NYC company that really cares about quality.

They recently sent me a holiday gift box of their Buddha’s Herbs Premium Tea Signature Herbal Tea Sampler – 6 Flavor Tea Gift Set – 60 Count Tea Bags, which includes both caffeinated and purely herbal blends, suitable for any time of day. It was a surprise gift that I am happy to have received, since I had not tried their teas.

The box includes Buddha’s Herbs three most popular herbal blends, Green Tea with Herbs, Wings Green Tea and St. John’s Wort Teas, as well as some of my favorites – Harmony of Sunset (rowan, honey bush, vanilla, and soothing lemon balm with rooibos), Buddha’s Nomination, and Lagoon Breeze.

All ingredients in this tea gift box meet the EU Pharmacpoeia (Ph Eur) quality requirements – Certified for GMP, ISO 22000 and HACCP. And the packaging is completely eco-friendly.

I have been home sick for 4 days, and these teas have been a comfort. The Wings blend of green tea with ginger and cardamom helps soothe my throat from all the coughing, and Harmony of Sunset helps me get to sleep at night.

As usual, well done Buddha’s Herbs! Now I am hooked on another product. Buddha’s Herbs Premium Tea Signature Herbal Tea Sampler – 6 Flavor Tea Gift Set – 60 Count Tea Bags.

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!

Some Winter Solstice Gifts for You

It’s the Winter Solstice and I have some great gifts for you!

50% off Pilates Audios

How about some portable Pilates classes for less than $5 each?

Take 50% off any or all of my Pilates Audios – approximately 30 minute workouts.

Basic Pilates Mat, Pilates for Neck Pain, Pilates for Back Pain, or Pilates with Ring & Roller.

Use code solstice2014 now thru 12/26/14.

$120 Pilates Privates (25% off – save up to $200)

From now thru 12/26/14 you can buy up to 5 privates with me at $120 each, saving $40 per session! Sessions can include kettlebells, TRX, and/or reiki in addition to pilates.

Offer is good for past, new, and current clients for in studio (Tribeca, Soho, Bryant Park) or Skype sessions. Sessions are 55 minutes and must be canceled within 24 hours to avoid full charge.

When you purchase I will receive an email from PayPal. I will contact you within 48 hours to schedule. Please leave a message in the customer comment box with best days, times, and which studio (or Skype) you prefer.

$20 off Soma Water

Soma Water filters are WQF certifed and made from sustainable materials. The carafe is beautiful. And they give back. Take $20 off your Soma order with code lynda20.

I Liked the Epson PS-500 Fitness Tracker – Until the Rash

Epson’s entry into the fitness tracking market, the Epson PS-500 Fitness Tracker, seems to have the same problem as the recalled Fitbit Force – it gave me a rash that required a doctor visit and steroid cream!

I was so effing excited the day that I saw the Epson PS-500 fitness tracker in my Amazon Vine review queue. The hubs was even surprised, when on a daily basis I would say, “I hope the fitness tracking device comes today!”

When it finally arrived (just a few days later, but a girl gets antsy), I immediately unpacked and charged it so I could start wearing it asap.

You see, I love quantifiable data. And I really wanted to track my heart rate, steps, calories, and sleep patterns so I could continue to improve them – without a chest strap. Plus I wanted a functional watch and calendar.

The PS-500 promised all of this, along with an easy to sync iOS and Android app, or syncing via PC and micro usb, for $199.99 retail (as  a Vine Voice I received it free to review).

Epson PS-500
The Epson PS-500 – pretty large but looks OK.

I am somewhat forgiving since there is so much technology packed in, but the PS-500 is huge, especially on a my small wrist. It is approximately 3/8″ thick, which means it gets in the way of anything with elastic at the wrist (like most jackets and some gloves). The strap is easy to adjust and comfortable.

Now, you can only set the watch time and settings by syncing it, and it took me few days of research to realize that I couldn’t sync to any of my laptops (Macbooks), tablets (Kindle Fires), or phones (Blackberries). I had to borrow a phone to do that. I did contact the Pulsense Product Manager for Epson, Randy Bergstedt, who replied quickly but could not give me any timeline for MacOS software or any Fire or Blackberry apps (you can sideload and work around, but that isn’t easy and breaks any warranties).

Once it was synced, I wore the device 4-6 days a week, except when in the shower. It wasn’t so comfortable for sleep, since the face is thick, so I only wore it all night once or twice a week. I synced on my friend Regina’s Samsung, since there are no apps for Kindle Fire, Blackberry, or Mac (they since changed the website sales page description to state that only Windows is supported).

The app works seamlessly. I had no problem with bluetooth connection or syncing, and loved having my data in graphic detail. However, the app is very simple, so you cannot really compare your data, run reports, etc.

I found that the PS-500 keeps good time/date, has a good 2-3 day battery life, and seems to track steps and heart rate well. I did find that the HR would sometimes just stop for no reason, or stop displaying, but a quick restart fixed that. Note that the led lights are really bright, so you may want to turn them off when sleeping (and you have to use the app for that and sync). I had a bad dream one night and woke up to a bright, glowing wrist because my heart rate went up.

Because of its size, I did have some issues wearing the Epson PS-500 fitness tracker during certain exercises. I couldn’t do a kettlebell rack with it on, and it was uncomfortable during certain pilates exercises on the reformer, like the Hundred, where it impeded the handle.

Still, this was a solid 3.5 star item. Until the rash. I came home last Thursday night and this was on my wrist.

Epson PS-500 rash
The rash from the Epson PS-500

After waiting through the weekend without wearing anything on my arm, I went to my doctor Monday. He said that the rash was clearly from the PS-500, that I should stop using it immediately (I already had), and he have me a strong steroid cream – triamcinolone – to use twice a day for a few weeks until it resolves (yes, a few WEEKS).

I emailed the photo to Sensing Manager Randy Bergstedt at Epson. He replied and asked if I had any known allergies (none), and how tightly I wore the watch (4 on a scale where 1 is super loose and 10 cuts off circulation).

Meanwhile, my doctor reminded me about the Fitbit Force recall, due to rashes like mine, which has since progressed into a class-action lawsuit against Fitbit.

Sigh.

According to at least one affected user of the Fitbit Force, Alexandra Lucas,

Reading the comments [on the Fitbit Force user community site] was both illuminating and horrifying. Everyone had the same symptoms, most occurring a few weeks after they started wearing it. The rashes have lasted for weeks and in some cases spread and got infected. Most people are trying to help each other by sharing diagnoses, treatments, and theories about the cause — ranging from a nickel allergy to a chemical burn to a fungal infection. One person suggested it’s all in our minds. Most of the people had to get medical care and use prescription drugs to treat the rash. Nobody has a definitive answer about the cause, which creates anxiety about its duration and potential recurrence (according to the self-appointed experts on the forum, once you pick up a nickel allergy, it never goes away).

So awesome, right?

I will have to give this one star at Amazon, since there isn’t a no star option.

PROS: heart rate monitor on wrist, easy bluetooth syncing with app, functional watch/calendar, good step and sleep monitoring.

CONS: very wide and thick, no connections for music, limited app, limited software compatibility, HR monitor sometimes stops for no apparent reason,  CAN CAUSE A CONTACT DERMATITIS RASH.

I am still waiting on an official response from Epson. When I have one I will let you know!

UPDATE 12/22/14

I spoke with Randy Bergstedt today, and Epson will be reimbursing me for my medical co-pays. Thank you Epson for doing the right thing!

The Practice – Simple Tools for Managing Stress

An Interview with the author of The Practice – Simple Tools for Managing Stress, Finding Inner Peace, and Uncovering Happiness, Barb Schmidt.

I love Barb Schmidt’s The Practice, a small and unassuming handbook that introduces (or reminds us of) basic cross-cultural tools for stress management and greater happiness.

This work is built around three pillars – waking up, being present, and letting go – all of which are present in the judeo-christian and muslim traditions, as well as eastern thought. Through the use of mantras, meditations, and other easy to follow and accepted techniques, Schmidt teaches her readers truly simple solutions to help with handling our complex and stressful lives.

Barb Schmidt is the founder of Peaceful Mind Peaceful World, a community outreach program through Florida Atlantic University (FAU) designed to promote dialogue in the greater community on the topic of inner peace by incorporating workshops and weekly teachings with Barb and many of her esteemed mentors, including His Holiness the Dalai Lama, Dr. Jane Goodall, Dr. Andrew Weil, and many others.

Barb is also the founder of Peaceful Mind Peaceful Life, a non-profit organization through which she teaches The Practice, a three-part guide to practical spirituality in the modern world and her tool for spreading her belief that “outer peace begins with inner peace.” Peaceful Mind Peaceful Life has rapidly expanded to include an online community via Facebook (with posts reaching over 10 million people), through their daily inspirational emails and weekly blogs. In 2014, Barb’s extensive achievements in fostering positive change earned her an invitation to the White House State Dinner.

Join her for a live chat Tuesday November 11, 2014 at 4pm ET.

The Practice

1.              What brought you to meditation?

When I got out of the treatment center for my bulimia, the 11th step of AA sent me on a serious search of an inward, deep connection with God. I read The Road Less Traveled and started becoming interested in meditation and Eastern religions.

2.            How did The Practice/A Path help you overcome your greatest challenge?

When I started a path of self-discovery, and deep connection with God, little by little in meditation I started to get to know me – all of the good and all of the not so good things that happened in my life.  I believe that my spiritual path has helped me accept me, all of me, and has helped me feel complete; helped me be open and receptive to life; vulnerable. Through this acceptance of my life I have overcome my fear of not being good enough, not being lovable, not feeling complete or whole.

3.         What prompted you to found The Practice?

I have a deep desire to help all beings realize their magnificence; realize that peace is within; you just have to sit with yourself; get to know yourself; accept yourself fully and you can and will live your greatest life! I want outer peace in the world and this begins with finding inner peace; and The Practice can help do just that.

4.        When was the first time you meditated?

I grew up Catholic so I have always had the tradition of praying before bed; praying before meals. But I actually first started meditating in 1984.

5.            What was your inspiration in writing this book?

I want to change the world- I want to change people’s lives- I want all beings to realize their greatest lives- I want outer peace and love in the world and I know deeply that this first starts with inner peace. So The Practice is a toolkit for bringing inner peace into life. Being a recovering addict myself, I have a strong passion for helping people overcome addiction and live the great life they can live.

6.            There are so many self- help books out there what makes yours stand out?

I feel that I’ve taken thoughtful deep practices, like meditation and explained them as an easy to understand and follow guide for life. I have given many personal examples as well as used many quotes from so many of our greatest teachers. I’m hoping that as people read this book they say to themselves “I can do this- I want to do this- I want to live my most magnificent life!”

7.            What is your mission for PMPL?

Peaceful Mind Peaceful Life is a movement to peace, and wholeness. It’s a vision I have of changing the world through inner peace. The Practice is a path; method for living a self-empowered life, managing the stresses of life, and uncovering the happiness and greatness that we all have within. We have become such an external society of beings and we must start living our lives from “the inside out”. We cannot live the life we wish to live at the mercy of the external world. When we take the time to go within each day, ground ourselves, we can take on the challenges of the world; our lives with strength, security and patience. Having patience, managing our stress, living with peace and love is changing the world; fulfilling the mission of Peaceful Mind Peaceful Life.

8.        What do you like to do in your free time?

I love to read, spend time with friends and family, walk and play with my dog Ellie, yoga, pilates, walking, skiing, watch football and basketball.

9.        What would you like for people to take away from your book/message?

We all have everything we need within us to live the greatest life. We have all the security, strength, courage we need without needing anything from the outside. We can have complete control over what we do and say and how we let life affect us- we can manage our stress, we can learn patience and we can live the life we wish to live.

11.        What spiritual teacher has influenced you the most?

There are so many it’s hard to pick one! I am such a firm believer that we are all meant to be our own teachers and it’s our job to get there. If I had to name a few I would say, the Dalai Lama, Tenzin Palmo, James Finley, Scott Peck, St. Francis of Assisi, Sri Ramakrishna, Gandhi; see I can’t just name one!

12.        What is one simple thing everyone can adapt into his or her lives?

We can all stop, breathe, smile and spend a minute just being!

Reiki I Class – NYC Nov 15, 2014

Join Lynda Lippin for a Reiki I Class on Saturday, November 15 11am-2pm in NYC’s Upper West Side

I love to teach Reiki!

In the Usui Reiki I class you will learn the history of Reiki, receive a traditional attunement to Reiki, and learn to treat yourself and others.

Traditional Usui Reiki begins as a self-practice. The daily self practice, which takes about 20 minutes, will help you stay calm, become more balanced, and move through your life with greater ease.

Usui Reiki can also be done as a treatment for others, using the same principles as the self-practice. Reiki will help others feel better, sleep better, and generally be more balanced. And when you give Reiki, you get Reiki at the same time!

Reiki is great for pain relief, better sleep, greater relaxation, and better focus.

Reiki causes no harm, is non-invasive, and can even be done without touching someone at all in infectious disease scenarios.

Best of all, Reiki is super easy to learn and practice!

In this short but sweet class you will:

  • learn the history of Reiki and definitions
  • receive a Reiki I attunement from Reiki Master Lynda Lippin
  • learn the protocols for Reiki self-practice and treatments on others
  • practice giving and receiving Reiki yourself, one-to-one, and in a group
  • upon completion you will receive a .pdf file of your Reiki I (first degree) certificate

Location – 91st and Broadway, NY, NY

Cost = $150.00

I require a $50 non-refundable deposit via Paypal to hold your spot in the class.

This class is full. If you are interested in future classes, please leave a comment.

The balance of $100 to be paid in cash on the day of class. I look forward to seeing you there!