The Benefits of Pilates for Beginners

As the national battle against obesity in the US continues to gather momentum, so does the fight in the UK. Hardly a week goes by without a new brand or food item being placed under the microscope. This week it was soft drinks giant Coca-Cola’s turn in the UK media spotlight, with their controversial plans to fund a £20 million anti-obesity fitness drive in 70 of the country’s regional parks. This is despite the fact that soft drinks such as Coke are considered to be key contributors to the rise of obesity in the UK.

While the debate surrounding unhealthy food and drink items continues to rage, there is ample opportunity for individuals to make informed decisions about their fitness and nutrition, developing a more active lifestyle. Exercises methods such as Pilates offer a relevant case in point, as they can be easily learned and practiced from the comfort of your own home.

UK Retailers such as Fitness Warehouse carry the specific items of equipment you will need to start your home exercise program.

Consider the following benefits of pilates for beginners.

Improve your Posture and Alignment

While the majority of us exercise to lose excess weight or improve our strength and conditioning, there are other benefits of enjoying regular physical activity. One of the greatest benefits of Pilates is that it helps to improve your posture, by aligning and balancing your skeleton so that each individual muscle is held at its ideal length.

Should you live the majority of your life with your body out of alignment, there is a significant risk that you will place undo strain on your ligaments, joints, and spine. This can cause significant pain when you are older, so it is important to consider this from an early age.

Enhance Movement and Flexibility

If you are an avid weight trainer, you may already be on the way to developing a strong and well-conditioned body. However, it is important to develop a balance between strength and flexibility when exercising. Pilates offers an ideal opportunity to focus on this balance.

Pilates will help to loosen your muscles and improve mobility as the strengthen, which in turn minimizes pain and assists you in developing greater levels of stamina. This will also help you to negate the physical impact of aging.

Improve Levels of Physical and Mental Endurance

On the issue of endurance, Pilates is an excellent way of improving your levels of physical stamina and mental performance. After all, endurance is often drawn from your reserves of mental strength, and by consistently practicing Pilates you will develop greater levels of focus and enhance your capacity to complete a range of physical activities.

Pilates therefore enables you to operate from a foundation of strength.

(in collaboration with Fitness Warehouse)

Marketing 101 for Trainers, Part 2 – where Lynda Lippin will teach you how to attract, expand, and maintain your high-end client base.

The easiest way to earn a living doing any form of personal training is to have high income, high paying clients. The more you earn per hour, the fewer hours you need to work to make a comfortable living and the more you can have a life outside of the gym or studio.

But as I talk to my colleagues, I realize that so many trainers are scared to ask for more. So I asked myself,

“What skill sets must trainers have in order to be comfortable and happy asking for high fees and delivering the service and results that justify those fees?”

You know, I didn’t always have all of these skills. I learned by trial and error (mostly by error).

But you don’t have to struggle! You can learn from my mistakes.

I now train clients less than 35 hours per week. 32 of those hours are filled with recurring, standing appointments so I am able to actually do financial projections and budgets. Whether they are Real Pilates clients or my own privates, these clients pay well over $100 per hour for my time and are happy to have the opportunity. When someone lets go of a recurring time, it is typically filled within 48 hours.

Did I mention that I no longer work weekends? That I travel very little between studios? That I teach only one class, and that is for fun because I have people who would snag that as a recurring private in a second? And I only work three evenings (T, W, Th) per week?

Most importantly, I love my work and my clients again!

In this 90 minute Marketing 101 for Trainers workshop at Real Pilates in Tribeca, we will explore how to set yourself up to attract, expand, and/or maintain your very own high-end client base.

Episode 2 - Expanding and Maintaining Your High End Client Base
Wednesday, May 28, 3:00 – 4:30pm $45
What do you as a trainer need to know about attracting great clients? In this workshop Lynda will share her secrets that keep her steadily busy in a city full of trainers who cost a lot less. Learn which skills are crucial, how to do more with less, and be adaptable while maintaining strong personal integrity.

Real Pilates, 177 Duane Street, New York, NY 10013, (212) 625-0777

If this is your first time visiting Real Pilates, use code LLGIFT at checkout, and you will receive a lovely welcome gift when you check in!

Sign up for Marketing 101 for Trainers Part 2 – Expanding and Maintaining Your High-End Client Base.

Pilates for Triathletes

As most of you know, Pilates has gained massive popularity over the past couple of decades and now has a mass of dedicated followers who swear that it has changed their lives in one way or another. But what exactly is Pilates good for? We all know the generics – that it helps with balance and strength – but what does that mean in the real world? And can Pilates contribute and even improve existing training regimens?

Tough Triathlons

Triathletes tend to be endurance focused, with much of their training being tailored to developing muscular endurance, which can easily be trained for using Pilates equipment, alongside various cardiovascular endurance training regimens, such as HIIT training. Of course, developing core strength to protect the body from the impact of a triathlon is of equal importance, and this is where Pilates definitely has a positive impact. In addition, Pilates offers a quieter and more reflective practice than other elements of the triathlons training and can help to balance body, spirit and mind.

Fancy trying your skills in a triathlon? Best get your game face on as these are tough events with places filled by highly competitive individuals. Get an edge by making sure you have the right gear to successfully switch from wet to dry by visiting specialist stores like the UK’s High Octane Action Sports and others.

Here are some other sports where Pilates is helpful:

Bats, Rackets, and Sticks

Any sport where one arm is used more than the other to hit or strike something is inevitably going to lead to having one arm stronger than the other. However, sports scientists have shown that having the body more in balance and more aligned is actually much better for performance. Pilates can help sports players to be more aware of their imbalances. Athletes can then work on more closely aligning how they function, providing better speed and power and upping their game overall.

Boards, Skis and Skates

Individual sports such as inline skating, snowboarding, surfing and skiing all rely on participants having strong core muscles, enabling them to stand firm and strong on slippery or uneven surfaces. Pilates can aid athletes in developing better balance by increasing their awareness of how to turn on their internal core. Activating these core muscles protects participants from the twists and turns of the ramps, slopes or bars meaning that the sport becomes safer with much fewer accidents, incidents and injuries.

For more information on how pilates can strengthen your game, please contact me.

(in collaboration with High Octane)

I am looking for a Pilates and Fitness teacher to fill a position at an A-List private island in Turks and Caicos.

I am very excited to announce that I am searching for a fully certified Pilates and Fitness teacher to replace the current teacher at the COMO Shambhala Spa at Parrot Cay Resort in Turks and Caicos.

This was my job 2007-2011, where I won the SpaFinder Magazine Reader’s Choice Award for Best Pilates, so I have some insight into what it takes to succeed on the island.

This position will start in August or September of 2014.

The minimum requirements for a successful candidate are:

  • Comprehensive Pilates Certification (mat and all pilates apparatus)
  • Recognized Personal Trainer Certification
  • At least 5 years of teaching experience, including rehab-style work (not including apprentice teaching)
  • Some sales and management background
  • Ability to work well with others and be ok alone
  • Some experience with higher end clientele
  • Program creation for guest goals – weight loss, toning, pain reduction

What would be great to bring to the table:

  • Kettlebell training (already on island and guests love to learn these in privates)
  • TRX® Suspension Training (again, already there and guests love to take privates)
  • Alternative Pilates Programming – balls, bands, magic circles, etc.

What you will receive:

  • Salary, commission, tips, shared gratuity, and no US taxes (Foreign earned income exemption) – not sure about other countries tax laws
  • Shared Staff Housing, food, benefits (health insurance, paid vacation, accrued public holidays), and swimming, snorkeling, and gorgeous beach
  • A connection to A-list celebrities, business leaders, and politicians that you will never have outside
  • The space to solidify your skills as a teacher in a supportive environment

A few more specifics:

  • Initial contract will be 2 years
  • Work week is 6 days, with 1-2 group classes each day plus privates
  • You will be working holidays, since that is when people go on vacation
  • You will be signing a confidentiality agreement.

If this sounds like something you have been waiting for, send me your CV and let’s start the ball rolling! This job can position you for the rest of your career.

Four Things To Know About Ashtanga Yoga

What is ashtanga yoga? First popularized by fitness guru and natural living expert K. Pattabhi Jois, ashtanga is a kind of classic “Indian” yoga that focuses on spirituality just as much as strength and health. If you’re thinking about signing up for a class, here are four things to know before you roll out your mat.

1: It’s All About Breathing

Ashtanga yoga transitions between poses in the space of a single breath. For example, you might ease from a stretch into a Downward Dog during an exhale, then settle yourself into the Lotus Position during an inhale.

2: Throat Muscles Are Key

Instead of breathing quietly through your nose, ashtanga encourages its practitioners to make noise as air travels through the throat. This is known as “free breathing with sound.” The point is to ground your body in the present while aligning your movements with your oxygen intake.

3: You’ll Need To Practice Your Bandha

If you’re unsteady in the locked positions of general bandha, you may want to take a few rounds of strength training at your local gym before attempting ashtanga yoga. You’ll be expected to hold strong as your muscles contract and blood rushes through your body.

4: It’s A Commitment

To get the most out of ashtanga yoga, experts recommend practicing at least six days a week. You can practice less, of course, but to truly master Indian style, you’ll need a certain level of devotion and free time. Serious yogis only take off one day a week and the occasional “moon day” when menstruating.

These are just four things to consider before signing up for an ashtanga yoga class. Between asana, bandha and ujjayi, you’ll certainly have your hands full, so make sure you know what you’re getting into before jumping in with both feet.

(a sponsored post)


As a Traveling Pilates Teacher you must be organized, on time, and ready for anything!

In my workshop on how to handle traveling as a Pilates teacher, it was clear to me how little most Pilates, fitness, and yoga teachers really know about working in other studios, cities, states, and countries.

Yet, demand is growing for teachers willing to travel.

What are some things to consider as a potential Pilates Nomad?

How long is your commitment? Hours, days, years… have everything clear. Maximum hours per day, maximum days per week… it is all important.

Who pays travel costs and expenses? To and from at beginning and end of contract and for annual vacations.

If out of your home country, what paperwork do you need for a work visa? Don’t go into another country as a tourist and then work. You can be arrested, sent home, and banned from any return visits.

What currency will you be paid in? Are local banks safe? You may need to wire your salary home each month, so be ready to ask.

And before you go, make sure you know what the food, accommodation, and social scene will be like so you are not shocked.

If you take care of the basics, you can then just sit back and focus on teaching and on your experience. You will be more present for your sessions and you and your clients will benefit!

I am not a celebrity trainer.

I may be well known, command fees of well over $100 per hour, and train celebrities.

But I would rather be the help.

As many of you know, hubby and I have had several major life changes in the past decade. We sold everything and moved to the Caribbean island of Providenciales in the Turks and Caicos in 2005, then over to the tiny, A-list resort island of Parrot Cay in 2007, and then to the very big island of Manhattan in 2011. Where were we before TCI? On the Main Line of Philadelphia, living a life that we created, but realized that we didn’t want.

IMG00021.jpgI turn 48 in just a few months, and am thinking back to where I thought I would be and what I thought I would be doing at this point in my life.

Generally, I knew I would be teaching something (since I do that well) and hoped to be in a major metropolitan area. Oh, and I was sure to have cats.

Just typing this is funny, because life turns out so differently.

Now I find that while I have general ideas about my likes and dislikes, I have stopped major life planning beyond how much money I would like to earn in order to live well, and where I want to live. And I am always open to changes in these depending on situation. Living well in NYC, for example, costs more than living well at Parrot Cay.

NYBG.jpgIn the course of this move I have had to do lots of introductions and lots of profile changes. Facebook, Twitter, Linked In, professional forums, directories, and bio boxes are everywhere and they all always need updating.

This is causing a small crisis as I attempt to redefine myself.

Who am I?

I am a Pilates teacher, a fitness trainer, a writer, a mom and grandmom; I am a gourmand who loves pizza and Five Guys burgers as much as caviar, and a clean freak who hates to actually clean. I am actively and openly Jewish, I appreciate Buddhism, and I cannot stand religious zealots of any kind (even though I believe in something unidentifiable, I lean towards atheism); and once a philosopher always a philosopher, as I spent over a decade of my life teaching and studying western philosophy.

I love to stay up late and sleep late (which people don’t always know with my current schedule that starts at 7-7:30am), love dogs as much as cats, identify as a liberal, and truly believe that we are witnessing what Plato meant in The Republic when he said that democracy would devolve into rule by the lowest common denominator.

Oh, and I am a Usui Reiki Master teacher who practices and teaches energy channeling even though I am not always sure what it is that I am doing (I do it because Reiki actually works).

So who does this make me?

Titles bother me. I hate the phrase “celebrity trainer” even though I do train plenty of celebrities. I don’t like the phrase “reiki master healer” even though that is the official title on my certificate. Plus people do feel and sleep better with my reiki treatments and my students all successfully practice reiki on themselves and others.

I actually like the phrase “service worker.” I like being the help. I am lucky enough to choose to live my life and earn my living in service to others (and hopefully myself as well). Never denigrate service workers — all of us behind the scenes people who keep people and places going.

You like a clean subway seat? Thank the people cleaning. You like having dinner served on clean plates at a restaurant? Thank the dishwasher before you thank the chef. Had a great workout? Thank the trainer.

When did chefs, personal trainers, and hair stylists become celebrities? If you get paid to provide a service, whether it’s deciding what’s for dinner and cooking food for your customers, cutting and styling someone’s hair, or helping someone look and feel great, you are the help. You are in service.

My name is Lynda Lippin, and I am the help.