The struggle is real: Here's help for the busy and the "time challenged".

Today I want to share with you my personal struggle with making time to exercise.  Because, honestly, everyone knows that exercising is good for us and if it were easy than everyone would be doing it already.  Many people think that because I teach exercise and I’m in the studio, and I’m surrounded by the exercise equipment, that I must do exercise all day long by magic or absorb it by osmosis.  This is simply not the case!

The reality is that when I’m not teaching, I’m glued to my laptop--blogging, managing, promoting and upkeeping my business to keep my instructors busy and my clients happy.  If any of you own a business, you know what I mean!  The tiniest glitch in a website or taxes or leaky roof (or whatever!) can eat up the whole day. 

In the year I have owned a Pilates business, it’s more difficult than ever to put myself first and make time to exercise consistently.  I’m lucky to work out 3 days a week, and sometimes it's less.  But truthfully, I'm not doing enough movement for me to feel that sense of lightness and stress relief I crave.  I have been longing to start walking.  Not running, that’s a huge goal for me, but just a simple 30 minute walk.  Easy right?  Wrong.

First, I had to go thru the contemplation stage where I thought about this goal for at least 6 months. This where many people are stuck mentally when they call us on the phone.  I knew I wanted something but I didn't have a plan.  Then I took some action—I planned my walks.  But guess what? I failed.  It rained, my mother in law had a stroke and needed me, my instructor went on vacation and I had to fill in.  Life just happened.

This could have been the end of it, but I didn’t totally give up.  I actually had a major breakthrough when I took one little step that made all the difference.  I arranged to take one morning off and work evenings instead.  I explained to my clients that I needed more time for myself to be the best version of myself.  This seems easy but it wasn't.  I had to stand up for my own needs, which is really hard for me to do because I'm a "pleaser" and I hate to say no..  But once I had cleared the space, tah-dah!  It finally happened for me.  This morning proved  particularly stressful when my landlord announced he would be installing a new roof in 3 days with no prior warning.  I got up from my laptop, put on my shoes--teeth and hair unbrushed, dishes piling up--slapped on my tennis shoes and drove to the trail.  I walked for just 30 minutes and guess what? My head cleared, I felt more ready than ever to tackle my day, I had fresh ideas, and of course I had to write it all down to share with you.

If you struggle to make time for exercise, you are not alone.  I tell my clients to just get it on the schedule, it’s half the battle.  Then arrive—your makeup and hairdo aren’t impressing anyone so don’t add to your to-do list.  Just get there.  We will do the rest because YOUR workout is an appointment I NEVER miss.

For more help and insider tricks of the trade, click below to get your free guide: 


Get these simple yet powerful tips from the pros to get the ball rolling.  You will be empowered to reclaim your “me time” and finally start getting the results you want.

Unedited photo of me at the trail this morning doing my 30 minute walk.

Unedited photo of me at the trail this morning doing my 30 minute walk.

About the author: Stephanie Evans is a time-challenged but dedicated Pilates instructor who wants to help you be the healthiest version of  yourself that you can possibly be.
Contact: 817.888.0379
855 Davis Blvd. Southlake, TX

5 Tips to Rock Your Pilates Class

It takes some effort and a bit of planning to make it to a pilates class.  So when you get there, why slack?  A few pro tips, and some focus, are all you need to be a smashing success.

1.       Be on time:

Ok, this seems obvious, but honestly, who can focus when they’re in a rush?  You need a few minutes to breathe and to tap into how your body feels today.  Pilates is a mind-body exercise—you have to focus on the muscles worked to get the benefits.  And while you’re at it, turn off that cell phone and leave outside distractions behind.


2.       Communicate your needs to your teacher.

A great pilates class is highly customized.  A certified teacher is perfectly capable of giving you a modification for that bum knee or achy neck.  These simple changes will keep you comfortable and cared for.  You’re worth it!


3.       Listen to cues to breathe

Breathing greatly enhances the exercise by getting your deep abdominal muscles to work for you, especially on the exhale.  Find breathing a bit confusing?  Don’t give up!  It takes time to coordinate breath with movement, even with the most experienced exercisers, but it is worth the effort.


4.        Less can be more:

Pilates is all about technique, not how many springs you can load onto the machine at once.  "Beginners can be spotted a mile away", says senior instructor Amy Hinkel, because they tend to muscle through the exercise rather than slowing down to perfect their form.  “When I was a beginner, I was totally guilty of this” she says.  But don’t worry: As you begin to feel the right way to do the exercises, the exercises actually get harder.  That’s when people fall in love with Pilates. 


5.       Share your newfound love of Pilates with a friend.

Friends (and spouses) who plan their classes together are twice as likely to stick to a routine long term and report much greater satisfaction, both in terms of fitness levels and fun.  You’ll stick to something you enjoy, and for many people, pilates is that ultimate thing.  Ask how you can bring a friend into the mix—both duet sessions and introductory specials are available to get them started.

Written by Stephanie Evans, studio owner and lover of all things Pilates.

Prenatal Pilates at Purely Pilates Center

“My favorite thing about Pilates is how energized and relaxed I feel after finishing a workout. I also love to see how Pilates has helped me progress and advance in other fitness activities,” said Amanda. “Pilates has significantly helped my posture and helped my body feel more balanced throughout the day. Before Pilates, I would often sleep unsettled and wake with pains in my neck and back. I've noticed huge improvements since my journey with Pilates has begun.”

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the ELDOA Method

ELDOA: Groundbreaking exercise technique for back pain, disc bulges, and spinal pathologies.

Joseph Pilates once said “Change happens through movement and movement heals”.  Thanks to the contributions of another visionary, Guy Voyer, DO, we now have a better shot at pinpointing the right movement, with the right force, in the right location..........

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Pilates Has Heart


On his way home from work one day in April 2013, Justin Elliott was shot in the head by an unknown assailant, a tragic event that claimed his eyesight and forever changed the course of his life.  Many months of hospitalization and over a dozen surgeries to his facial bones left him considerably weakened.  But today he’s visiting Purely Pilates Center and sitting patiently for an interview, following a tough workout.  Justin tells us, “I was always a strong guy, but (afterwards) I had none of this (points to his core).  I couldn’t do a sit up.”

As fate would have it, Justin’s next door neighbor just happens to be pilates instructor Nicole Lockhart.  Nicole said, “My first thought was ‘he needs pilates’.  Of course!”.  (And we all giggle).

Luckily, Nicole persisted and eventually got Justin into the pilates studio.  Nicole says the process of working with Justin revealed much about her own teaching style.  Since Justin had no idea what pilates was (he researched it after Nicole had already roped him in) he relied on touch in the early stages.  Nicole would perform a movement, and with his dad’s help, Justin would feel the position of her hand on the footbar, foot against the box, and so on. 

In a discussion with Justin and Mike, Justin’s dad, they revealed that traditional physical therapy, while useful in initial stages of injury, gave them a few exercises whereas pilates gave Justin a sense of well-being, overall strength, better mobility and balance.  In spending an hour watching him work, it is clear he is a man on a mission.  He listens with intensity and puts his best effort forward.  As he works up a sweat, Nicole gives a string of verbal cues that would make most folks dizzy.  Justin says that as long has he knows all the steps ahead of time, he feels comfortable to keep moving. And move he does!  This workout is no joke.  Many of the movements would be a challenge to someone with full eyesight.

Nicole says that Justin is actually one of the easiest people to work with because of his keen listening skills and his willingness to trust the process. 

Getting back to his former strength is clearly a high priority.  Justin, who is now a motivational speaker at local colleges, says that his message is simple: you can focus on your limitations, or you can accept what IS and go forward from there.  He’s aware of a common thread, which is that everyone has limitations, it’s what you do with them that counts.

Pilates Springboard for the Tennis Athlete

Sarah, high school athlete, practicing forehand.

Sarah, high school athlete, practicing forehand.

The reason I love working on the springboard with my athletes is because of the flexibility it gives me to adjust the spring height to the appropriate height of my client.  Pictured is Sarah, tennis player, practicing her forehand.  Using the springboard to practice both forehand and backhand shots allows Sarah to simulate swinging her tennis racket while perfecting her footwork, engaging her core muscles and strengthening her swing.  It doesn't matter what sport you play, if you use your arms, legs and core while playing, the springboard is one piece of equipment you want to use on a regular basis. 

Written by Nicole Lockhart, Certified Pilates Instructor. 

3 Important Questions to ask your Pilates Instructor

Nowadays it seems there is a new fitness boutique on every corner.  Unfortunately, the term Pilates in the name of a business is often misleading.  More than a few places that say they offer Pilates actually borrow the phrase for marketing.  Terms like "pilates inspired" indicate that their method has very little to do with the real thing.  Pilates (the real deal) consists of hundreds of unique exercises with very specific names, performed on pilates equipment and/or the floor, executed in a sequence designed to create muscle balance and overall health.  Not that other exercise methods aren't capable of working beautifully, it's just that actual pilates is a method like no other.  And when it's done well, it yields results that are deeply felt in body and mind.  So how can you tell the difference? 

Here's are 3 questions to ask your Instructor:

1. Where did you acquire certification?

A nationally recognized certification requires upwards of 450 hours of coursework, including thorough study of the muscles and their function, and how to modify for injuries.   There is no weekend-long course that provides an education on all the equipment (with 500+ detailed movements); that would be impossible!  And if the answer is "no certification at all", run for the hills!  Would you hire a personal trainer or massage therapist with no credentials?  Probably not.

2. How can you help me reach my goals?

A great instructor will be able to select exercises for you based on your goals, body style, sport, and dozens of other factors.  She (or he) will likely give you a mouthful (and not shut up) if you let them.  We assume anyone who undertakes training with an instructor has a goal in mind, and a skilled trainer will have a road map to meeting that goal.  Pilates is designed to be customized, not "one size fits all".  

3. Who is in your referral network?

A savvy instructor knows where her (or his) skill set ends and when to refer to another professional.  Pilates clients often arrive at pilates when injuries and health conditions leave them unable to do what they love.  Certified instructors have the training to spot an impending back problem, and they know when that achy knee needs a pro opinion.  There is a reason physical therapists and chiropractors refer to pilates studios.  Truly ethical instructors are driven by the love of pilates and the health of their clients, not a paycheck.  And a good business that offers "real pilates" would expect nothing less.

written by Stephanie Evans/ Dec 18, 2015