Story last updated at 9/4/2013 - 6:58 pm
Since Julia Carver opened her downtown Juneau studio “Pilates Bodies” in May, she’s worked with triathletes, dancers, a woman with two back surgeries, and someone with a “frozen shoulder” that she is helping return to a range of motion.
Through Pilates, Carver helps clients use specialized machines (and sometimes mats – like yoga) for different exercises.
Carver first became familiar with Pilates in 1998, when she went to California for a fitness conference. At the time, she was two years into a career as a personal trainer. “I’d heard about Pilates, but didn’t exactly know what it entailed,” she said. “I tried it, and I was really, really impressed. The more I researched Pilates, and did Pilates, I was more and more impressed with the foundation… it’s working the deep core muscles, the deep endurance muscles, from the inside out.”
Before opening her studio, Carver completed two years worth of training in Seattle.
When someone comes in, she does a personal assessment based on a posture analysis from several angles and designs a Pilates program just for them. Different people benefit more from different exercises, she said. Dancers, for example, tend to overextend their backs.
“I can’t tell you how many people have something going on,” she said.
There’s lots of room for personalization — between the “reformer,” the “Cadillac,” (two specialized Pilates machines) and the mat, Pilates has more than 700 exercises.
On a personal level, since she started doing Pilates, Carver said her posture has improved (it’s impressive). She also said she has no nagging aches and pains, she’s stronger, she has increased endurance, and she’s more positive and agile.
“It helps correct muscular and skeletal imbalances,” she said. “It really can enhance not only your life — but your sports, your athletic ability. It’s great stuff for your everyday life.”
That doesn’t mean it’s easy, though.
“I always tell people, ‘If it’s easy, you’re doing it wrong,’” she said, laughing.
Carver’s “Pilates Bodies” is Juneau’s first Pilates studio, and offers individual sessions, semi-private sessions (two clients) and group mat sessions. Find it online at www.pilatesbodiesjuneau.com.
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