Pilates: Creating Balanced Strength & Flexibility from the Inside Out

oct-14-spot2by Patty Jo Sawvel

The Mindful Bodi Movement Center is Kernersville’s premier and fully equipped Pilates studio.  Offering everything from equipment to mat only classes, private or group sessions, and beginner or advanced lessons, students of all ages and abilities build strength, flexibility, and control—from the inside out.

“We are not prone to good posture in our society.  Most people do not know how to breathe correctly and how to relax.  Once we learn how to breathe correctly we can begin to find the connection between the breath and the movement,” said Claire Vogt, owner of The Mindful Bodi Movement Center, who has been passionate about Pilates for nearly a decade.

Everyone interested in working on the equipment must begin the Mindful Bodi experience with a private session.  (For mat work only, private sessions are optional.)  This allows Claire to modify each exercise so that it creates an optimal experience for each individual.  For instance, students with multiple sclerosis or Parkinson’s disease will do some of the same movements as professional athletes, but due to modifications, the movements might look very different.  The results are the same though.  Each individual will notice a shift in energy and in time, a reshaping of his or her body.

In fact, this is what caused Claire to pursue Pilates in the first place.  Her energy was low after giving birth to two sons via C-section two years apart.  She felt fatigued, disconnected, and overwhelmed.  Believing that exercise was the answer, she joined a gym.  That only made her body tired.  Then she tried Pilates.

“Once I learned to breathe and to allow my body to stretch and strengthen in the same movement, I felt amazing.  My mind and my body both craved more.  That is when I decided to go deeper into the study of Pilates and become a comprehensively certified Balanced Body instructor,” explained Claire.

Suddenly, Claire found it easier to keep up with her duo and husband, while maintaining plenty of strength, balance, and control enabling her to offer the Mindful Bodi experience to others.

Students at the Mindful Bodi have one goal.  They want to get better at the things they love to do.  They want to become better golfers, gardeners, musicians, swimmers, dancers, runners, athletes, spouses, parents, grandparents, or participants in life.

For some, neurological diseases take a heavy toll on the students’ strength, balance, and ability to process movement.  Properly supported Pilates allows these students to make marked progress and gives them a chance to regroup, reboot, and reset during their sessions.  Because this is such an underserved population and the clients are so dedicated, Claire Vogt will be attending a specialized training workshop in Washington, DC to become certified as a Pilates for MS (multiple sclerosis) specialist.

Additionally, people with injuries or incontinence often find that Pilates gives them an alternative to surgery.

“The body is a natural self-healer.  It may take three or four months, but I have seen Pilates reverse incontinence, reduce or eliminate back pain, and allow people to regain full range of motion in their joints when it looked like surgery was the only option,” Claire said confidently.

The secret to this success is hidden in the six original principles framed by the namesake originator, Joseph Pilates in the 1930’s.  These principles are concentration, control, center, flow, precision, and breathing.  They are learned by consistently performing a series of movements on mats or with the aid of equipment, such as the Reformer.  To do the movements well, students must learn to focus their minds.  The net result is a mind/body experience that changes the way people move through life.

“The reason I chose the name The Mindful Bodi Movement Center is because this studio is all about intelligent movement.  Sometimes we get so busy or stressed that we are moving through life without really knowing where we are headed.  This studio gives people a space to pull their mind and body together for an optimal life experience and to feel as energized and amazing as possible,” Claire said.

In the words of Joseph Pilates, “A body free from nervous tension and fatigue is the ideal shelter provided by nature for housing a well-balanced mind, fully capable of successfully meeting all the complex problems of modern living.”


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