Professional Performance From Balanced Body

About Our Balanced Body Equipment

Balanced Body founder Ken Endelman kept saying no to custom equipment requests right up until he became the world’s largest supplier of Pilates equipment. The story about the California native, who grew up just outside of Los Angeles and now lives in Sacramento, credits a life-long interest in working with his hands for the company’s current success.

From Waterbeds to Reformers

Endelman was building frames for a waterbed company in the mid-‘70s that was on its way down when a customer first asked him to create a Pilates reformer for her personal practice. He agreed, without giving it much thought.

After finally taking a look at the apparatus he’d agreed to reproduce, which he’d put off as long as he could, he saw plenty of room for improvement, and the enterprise that began as a series of one-at-a-time orders for custom equipment today sits leads the pack of manufacturers of professional Pilates machines.

Built to Last A Lifetime

Balanced Body equipment reflects the founder’s reputation as a builder of fine furniture, from the doweled joinery of the reformer to the rock maple, one of the hardest woods available, used for the frame. The glued dowel joinery keeps the frames perfectly aligned for a lifetime of hard, everyday use.

Watch How Balanced Body Reformers Come To Life

Attention to detail and nearly indestructible construction are the hallmarks of Balanced Body’s professional line of Pilates apparatus.

In the nearly five decades the company’s been in business, Engelman has accumulated 28 separate patents for Balanced Body Pilates equipment, including the Revo Springbar reformer adjuster that maintains constant spring tension for the carriage in various seating configurations. This is why when you work out at Your Pilates Lifestyle, you’re working out on the best equipment available.

Contrology – The Heart of Pilates

Pilates balance chart

Getting the Most Out of Your Pilates Practice

Joseph Pilates developed his breakthrough Contrology fitness concepts nearly a century ago. To explain his revolutionary exercise workouts he diagramed the importance of a physical and mental practice that, when followed, results in superior conditioning.

At YPL, the Classic Practice focuses on achieving the rhythmic harmony that naturally occurs when mental clarity and physical conditioning are in synch. The feeling you experience after powering through a challenging workout is one of accomplishment, control, and exhilaration.

Join me for a class or session and discover how Contrology can dramatically improve your workout experience and level of fitness.

What Is Pilates Controlology?

Advanced Moves Performed On The Reformer

When we talk about Controlology, we’re referring to the connection between the mind and the body. That connection is important whenever we’re performing our Pilates movements, and it’s essential when practicing the advanced moves on our apparatus.

Whether you’re a Pilates professional or a first time beginner, this video from Munich’s Bluebird Pilates Studio is a perfect demonstration of what that connection means and why it’s so critical in our practice. And before anyone asks, no, I don’t teach these exercises at Your Pilates Lifestyle!

I’ve included this clip just for inspiration for your own Pilates practice (but definitely not for comparison purposes!). Whatever level you work at the principles are the same -concentration and control (mind/body connection) being an integral part. Deepen the work by being fully present in each exercise you perform and make it the best that YOU can make it!

 

Farewell to Romana

A Living Legend Lost

Romana_and_DariOn August 30, 2013, the Pilates community lost Romana Kryzanowska (1923 – 2013), one of its brightest and most passionate stars.

As a young dancer, Romana suffered a bone chip in her ankle. After becoming disillusioned with her doctors prognosis, she discovered Joseph Pilates.

Following her successful rehabilitation she became his life-long and most famous disciple, and it is through her efforts and others like her that the practice flourishes today.


This 2005 Pilates conference in Paris celebrates Romana and her path to Pilates.

Although I never had the honor of meeting her in person, I have studied under and followed the teachings of others who were either directly or indirectly influenced by this passionate woman. This short video reflects the dedication, exhuberance and zest for life that was Romana.

What Is Pilates?

what is Pilates?

What Is Pilates?

Between boot camps, dance beat workouts, wall climbing and ultra fit weight catching contests, Pilates remains as the only widely recognized fitness method to be named after its founder, thus fitting into that uncommon category of both noun and verb.

But what does “doing Pilates” really mean? Kevin A. Bowen is a co-founder of the Pilates Method Alliance. His definition of Pilates, below, is the best I’ve read.

Stretch, Strengthen And Balance

Developed in the early 1900s by German-born Joseph Pilates, the Pilates exercise method is a program of physical movement designed to stretch, strengthen, and balance the body. In 1926 Joseph and his wife Clara introduced their exercise system, originally called “Contrology”, to New York City.

Pilates exercise focuses on postural symmetry, breath control, abdominal strength, spine, pelvis and shoulder stabilization, muscular flexibility, joint mobility and strengthening through the complete range of motion of all joints. Instead of isolating muscle groups, the whole body is trained, integrating the upper and lower extremities with the trunk.

Practice, Practice, Practice

“Contrology is complete coordination of body, mind and spirit. Through Contrology you first purposefully acquire complete control of your own body and then through proper repetition of its exercises you gradually and progressively acquire that natural rhythm and coordination associated with all your mental and subconscious activities.” (Joseph Pilates, 1945)

What I like about Kevin’s definition is that it specifically lists the fully integrated low impact approach to fitness and well-being that separates Pilates from the competition.

Should You Be Sweating?

megaformer workout another version of Pilates

Just Don’t Call It Pilates!

This article in the New York Times titled “A Souped-Up Pilates Workout” made me think about what’s behind the comments people make when it comes to their idea of how they should feel after a workout.

In this case the writer, who admits to being a Pilates novice, says, “In reality, however, the few classes I’ve taken have done nothing to work up a sweat or amp up my heart rate — not the best outcome for an adrenaline-seeking exerciser like me.”

I suspect she’s never tried a Classical Pilates class, one that incorporates flow with breath and mind control. Too often the group classes offered at gyms and clubs fall far short of what Joseph Pilates intended and end up like a lazy day at the beach.

Can You Say Jumpboard?

At Your Pilates Lifestyle, I offer classes for all levels from beginners to professionals, and pay particular attention to those who may be physically challenged yet who will still get plenty of benefit from a toned down Pilates routine.

At the other extreme are my superfit clients, the ones who thrive on an intense Pilates workout. One that includes plenty of non-stop flow that leaves everyone short of breath and dripping with sweat! Cardio? You’d better believe it!

Learn How To Walk Before You Start Running

You may not be working to capacity in the beginning as you are learning the exercises and correct body mechanics. However, as you move into intermediate, advanced or even super advanced exercises you should be working to capacity. If you’re not – it’s on you!!

Joseph Pilates was a genius when it came to the order and flow of his exercises to work the entire body in a demanding and efficient way to achieve total body FUNCTIONAL fitness. When was the last time your daily life required you to bench press a desk to fatigue?

There really is no reason to change Pilates as it was designed unless it’s to periodicially shake things up and challenge the client in a totally different way.

Not All Reformer Work Can Be Called Pilates

The reformer is a brilliant piece of equipment that can be used in many ways. If you’re going to use it to perform gym based exercises, then it should be labeled accordingly.

If the workout strays too far from it’s original intent then it shouldn’t be called Pilates. I will sometimes gear a class to more of a gym based exercise session, but I always specify when an exercise is not “Pilates”.

 

 

HAPPY BIRTHDAY ROMANA

Romana Kryzaowska was a teenager when she was first introduced to Joseph and Clara Pilates by George Balanchine after suffering an ankle injury while dancing at Mr. Balanchine’s School of American Ballet. She began working directly with Mr. Pilates in his New York studio and to this day continues her active participation in the Pilates community and promoting the virtues of the Pilates Method.

Romana turns 89 and she’s still going strong! Happy Birthday Romana – you are an inspiration!

I’ve included a short clip of Romana and Mr. Pilates working together. Enjoy!