Body Image and Pilates

Body Image and Pilates


body image

It’s hard being a woman these days. Maybe it has always been hard, but it seems to me that things are getting a lot more difficult. Despite many of the advances made by the feminist movement and by a better educated collective group of women, the pressure to look a certain way is stronger than ever. Thanks to photo shop, cosmetic surgery, injections and weight loss diets, women feel an even greater need to look –well- – perfect. Having a destructive body image with an ever growing desire to look better and thinner is a side effect of this pressure. Some women have the confidence to ignore the images while others become victims of it. Which one are you?

Everyone knows that sex sells and using beautiful women to sell a product or service has been around forever. That may never change. Yet how do we deal with the negative feelings that occur because of this high bar and because so many women cannot possibly look that good? Recently I posted the following on Facebook “You will never look like the girl in the magazine. The girl in the magazine doesn’t even look like the girl in the magazine”!! Is it possible to keep this in mind?

A friend of mine who is also a Pilates teacher once told me that she suffered for many years with a body image problem. “Everyone told me I was ugly and that if I didn’t do something about it I’d never have a boyfriend or get married” she confided in me. “Yet when I discovered Pilates and then became a teacher,” she continued, “I felt so good about my body that I completely forgot about what people used to say. “I found her words to be very informative on many levels. First of all, how did Pilates help her come to terms with these issues and how can I help others to overcome similar issues?

Women have to ask themselves questions regarding the pressure to look a certain way. Should they buy into all the hype of using the right skin cream or shampoo? Should they spend several month’s income on plastic surgery? Or, should they look to Pilates as one way to improve on their body image?  My vote is for Pilates.

Pilates is so much more than a series of exercises that gives one a bikini ready body or flat abs. It can do that too, but the benefits of Pilates go much deeper than 6-pack abs. Pilates is what we call ‘intelligent’ exercise in that it is not fast moving, sloppy out of control movement. Yes, it can be fast moving but always with control. I always tell my clients ‘you’ are in control of the exercise the exercise is not in control of you. Pilates is helping you to create a conscious awareness of your body. Body & mind unite. This is empowerment!

It takes a little while to understand the method, but once you do it changes everything. What you learn in your Pilates class you take with you to your day to day life. Not only does one feel more energized after a Pilates class, but with a consistent practice posture improves, gait is more graceful, nagging back pain disappears and the body just feels so good that it’s impossible to not like yourself. Pilates changes everything for the better.

The ads, the pressure, the endless beauty products may never go away. Yet if women can learn to embrace their beauty by learning to move better and to feel better, we can finally say we’ve made progress in this constant battle. Now that’s truly beautiful.

We have a choice:  Let the endless media pressure to look a certain way affect us or, find a method like Pilates to not only make us look better, but to also give us the confidence to ignore all the noise.  What would you choose?


This article was a joint effort between Devra Swiger of Ab~Solutely Pilates  and myself as we both feel passionately about this topic.

A Good Feeling Body

How would you like a good-feeling body? Of course you would!

The idea of “success,” for most people, revolves around money or the acquisition of property or other possessions, but we consider a state of joy as the greatest achievement of success. And while the attainment of money and wonderful possessions certainly can enhance your state of joy, the achievement of a good-feeling physical body is by far the greatest factor for maintaining a continuing state of joy and Well-Being. And so, there are few things of greater value than the achievement of a good-feeling body.


For me and for many that I teach Pilates to, it is more than an exercise method – it is a way of life. We take the ‘body awareness’ we learn in our practice and apply it to our daily lives.  We become more aware of some of the simplest of daily activities.  How we bend down, reach up, how we sit, and stand. Our good feeling body matters and we want to keep it that way.

Do you feel you’re too old to try Pilates? Don’t let your age stop you. No matter who you are, your age or what shape you are in Pilates can make a difference, it will help you achieve a good-feeling body.

Pilates Body NYC is the Upper West Side Pilates studio that comes to you. We make Pilates convenient. Give us a call today and start your journey. I would love to share my passion of Pilates with you.

Roll Out Your Pilates Mat

OK I know I have a prejudice for Pilates mat work after all it’s what I teach, but I can list very sound reasons for you to at least give it a try! So let’s roll out your Pilates mat and get started.


  1. New to Pilates or are you a beginner? Pilates fundamentals can be learned more easily on the mat. All the basics can be found in the mat work.
  2. You learn to use your own inner springs. It’s your body and the mat.
  3. Mat skills will be very helpful to you if you decide you want to work out on the equipment.
  4.  Looking for a challenge. Pilates on the mat is just that!
  5. It is easy to apply the Pilates principals to your mat work. Centering, concentration, control, breadth, precision and flow.
  6. Mat classes are more affordable than equipment classes and you will still get all the wonderful benefits that Pilates has to offer.
  7. Pilates mat work goes where you go. No excuses. No matter where you go in the world your Pilates mat practice goes with you.
  8. Pilates on the mat is more than exercise it’s a practice of self-awareness that you take with you from the mat to your everyday life.


Ready to give Pilates on the mat a try? Pilates Body NYC makes it simple and convenient. We are the NYC Upper West Side Pilates studio that comes to you. In-Home Pilates on the Pilates mat, Personal, Private, Focused & Effective. Let’s roll out your Pilates mat and get started! I look forward to sharing my passion of Pilates with you.

Pilates Conscious Awareness

Pilates ‘Conscious Awareness’ of  your body will make a difference in the daily activities of your life.

When you pay attention to what the body is doing consciously, you have the opportunity to improve your movement and improve your habits. Create new healthy body habits.

According to Wikipedia Consciousness is the quality or state of awareness, or, of being aware of an external object or something within oneself.[1] It has been defined as: sentience, awareness, subjectivity, the ability to experience or to feel, wakefulness, having a sense of selfhood, and the executive control system of the mind.

Pilates is not just about learning exercises it stretches well beyond that. When practiced correctly with conscious awareness, it can transform the way you breathe, sit, move, and use your muscles in your everyday life


  • A stronger core
  • Makes you more flexible
  • Easy on your joints  
  • Improves your posture
  • Helps alleviate back pain 
  • Helps to prevent and rehabilitate injuries 
  • Complements & enhances sports
  • Energizes
  • Relaxes your mind and helps rid you of anxiety


Pilates is full body exercise for full body living. Enjoy the benefits of Pilates in your daily life.  With a Pilates conscious awareness of your body you will change your habits and become a fit new you.

Pilates Body NYC on the Upper West Side offers Private Pilates Instruction all around NYC. We put the ‘personal’ in your Pilates practice.

Make Pilates a Part of Your Life

Make Pilates a part of your life as it will be a decision that your body will thank you for!

I’m going to tell you why making Pilates a part of your life is a good choice. Practicing Pilates on a regular basis will not only tone your whole body, build stronger core muscles but will also keep your body better aligned.

Why is alignment important? If your body is out of alignment you are putting pressure on your joints, muscles and ligaments which can then lead to strain and discomfort of your body. Are you suffering from lower back or neck pain? Being out of alignment is probably the reason or certainly a strong contributing factor. As you age being out of alignment can lead to degenerative issues and perhaps even arthritis. I’m sure we all agree that living in pain is no fun.

So why not do something about it?

Pilates will give you better body awareness. With this awareness comes the ability to take better care of your body in the way that it needs. Strengthen what needs strengthening and stretching what needs more flexibility. With this awareness also comes the ability to bring more balance to your body.

Pilates Body NYC specializes in Private training. The sessions are for you, all about you and what your body needs. No two bodies are the same so no two sessions are the same.

Please read the most recent review on the work that we do.

Susan is an outstanding teacher and coach. She gets our strengths and weaknesses and works tirelessly to strengthen, stretch and tone muscles I never knew I had. My body has definitely changed for the better since I started working with Susan. My posture is better, I’m taller and toner overall. Susan is gentle, kind, caring, and demanding. She quickly assed muscles I need to strengthen and stretch and tailored her coaching appropriately. Susan is a knowledgeable coach who will transform your body in partnership with you. ~ Michelle Burger (Google Review)

Pilates Body NYC makes Pilates convenient! We come to you wherever you are.

Call today and see why making Pilates a part of your life is a very good choice.

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