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Wandajune Bishop-Towle

Andover, MA

I practiced yoga for seven years before being introduced to Pilates on the Reformer. I was amazed by how quickly I gained a new level of core strength . Of greatest benefit for me is how Pilates has decreased my scoliosis. I’ve developed balanced strength on both sides of my back and reduced the rotation in my rib cage significantly. I've had scoliosis since childhood, so I don’t expect that it could be completely reversed at this point (age 50). But it appears that Pilates has stopped it in its tracks.

Pilates has helped me develop a much more even musculature overall. I can now hold standing yoga poses longer and with better alignment than before, further enhancing my core strength. Pilates and yoga complement each other beautifully. Pilates exercises focus on very specific muscles, especially in the core, which receives less emphasis in most yoga classes. I have begun using Pilates-based body awareness cues during my yoga classes, and encouraging students to explore Pilates if they haven’t already.

I think everyone contemplating Pilates should try a couple of one-on-one sessions before moving to a group class, because it really helps get the details down—the immediate feedback enables the student to develop muscle memory of alignment principles. Pilates has improved my shoulder stabilization (beyond what I had achieved with yoga), helped me hone my pelvic alignment, and given me awareness of where my legs are in relation to each other (I had never realized one of my legs was slightly turned out!).

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