Wednesday, July 17, 2019

Why Pilates? Why Polestar Pilates?

Check out this  post from Polestar Pilates hi-lighting Amy Dixon!

Why Pilates? Why Polestar Pilates? 9 Inspiring Examples

by Polestar Pilates
I'm often asked how I ended up where I many others in the fitness world, I've had personal injuries that have led my interest in specific trainings to find healing. On my path, I was l led to Polestar Pilates. I was drawn to them because of their mission to create life changing movement experiences. Polestar Pilates' philosophy has been an integral part of my work for several years. - Amy Dixon PMA-CPT
God made us so marvelously complex and yet so simple at the same time!  Moving the body as it was designed brings strength and healing.
Positive movement experiences are always the mission!  We focus on how the body moves and functions to be in the best shape in order to live life to your fullest potential. Helping you find your inner strength is truly our goal. I've been so blessed to be a part of many others journey on their path to wellness.  Over the past 23 years I have seen clients overcome various obstacles.
Here are 9 inspiring examples of client success with Pilates:
  • Clients that have been able to reduce or eliminate medications
  • Pro athletes adding Pilates to balance out their training programs
  • Chronic pain clients that are so fearful to move when they begin, then realizing freedom of movement when function is restored
  • Post operative and post rehab clients that learn how Pilates can bridge the gap to wellness during recovery
  • An 87 year old great-great grandmother who is as spunky today as she was 17 years ago when we began working together
  • Spinal cord injury client that has gained range of motion
  • Clients that have seen an increase in bone density to the effect that they've been removed from the label of osteoporosis
  • Clients with MS that have been able to maintain independence and movement even through flares of their condition
  • Clients suffered from strokes using Pilates for functional rehabilitation
Pilates changes lives. To some it is simply another form of exercise to add variety to ones routine, to others it is a groundbreaking revelation that blows their mind!
What client successes can you add to the list? Share in the comment section!
Amy Dixon is a Polestar Pilates educator in Winston Salem North Carolina. Discover her studio Inner Strength Pilates here.
Become a Pilates instructor with Amy Dixon and Polestar Pilates!

New post on Polestar Pilates International

Sunday, December 30, 2018

Blueberry Pomegranate Smoothie

With all the indulgences over the holidays a healthy smoothie is great to add into the daily routine.  Try this winter smoothie to brighten your morning.  Pomegranate seeds are available till February so you have some time to get these at your grocery store.  Try this recipe:

Blueberry Pomegranate Smoothie

1 cup pomegranate seeds
1 cup frozen blueberries
1 cup plain Greek Yogurt
1 tablespoon honey or agave nectar
2 cubes of ice

Blend the above ingredients till well blended.  Let us know what you think!

Friday, August 24, 2018

What is L.E.T.?

Lymphatic enhancement therapy (L.E.T.) is designed to detoxify the soft tissue, bolster immune system function by accelerating lymphatic flow, and reduce stress in the body.  It helps reduce swelling and congestion in the tissues, which is often a contributing factor to long term discomfort. The results are cumulative, and a series of sessions is the most effective way to achieve the best results.  

The treatments are done in a massage setting, but this is not a massage.  You will need to disrobe, but are covered during the session. There is delicate manual work that targets specific lymphatic structures, but most of the session is done by a very gentle modality using a Arcturus Star device.  This device uses different types of vibrational energy that are recognized by the body to encourage healing. The machine works in two ways:
* Electrostatic Current - A safe, highly regulated electrostatic field.  This is an electric current at extremely low amperage.  This current activates the parasympathetic nervous system (turns off "fight or flight" response) and puts the body into a deeply relaxed state, allowing lymph vessels to relax and dilate. This current also ionizes the tissue, which causes waste that is collected and sitting in the soft tissue to break apart and move into the lymph system to be flushed out of the body. 
* Sound WavesFrequencies (between 0 and 1,000 hz), as well as their harmonics are also emitted from device.  These sound waves oscillate through the whole spectrum of frequencies and harmonics to resonate in the body with specific organs and tissues, helping to restore them to a balanced state.   These sound waves also have a mechanical effect on the waste in the tissue, causing it to break it up.

Be well hydrated before and after your visit. In order to be properly hydrated for a session you should drink, AT MINIMUM, half of your weight in ounces of water the day prior to the therapy, and continue to do so the day of and after therapy. No lotion or cream on the skin, or deodorant.  Eating a light meal is ok beforehand, but not a large one.
The treatment itself feels very gentle and delicate, however, the work encourages detoxification of tissue that may have many years of waste and toxins built up.  Most people will feel a little current and some fluid movement in the neck. Possible sensations could include post nasal drainage, mild nausea, slight headache, slight dizziness, feeling tired, and others.

A few conditions L.E.T. will help:
Cold / Flu
Nasal and Sinus Congestion
Under eye puffiness
Swollen Lymph nodes in neck
Swelling at the clavicle area
Breast Tenderness / Swelling / infection
Joint stiffness
Digestive Issues
Reproductive Issues (fibroids, cysts, scars)
Orthopedic Problems

As long as there are no contraindications, anyone can be helped with L.E.T..  However, peoples' sensitivity levels need to be considered, and are assessed early on. Talk to a L.E.T. practitioner for further details on this therapy.

Wednesday, April 11, 2018

Try a Smoothie this Spring

Making a smoothie is a great addition to your daily routine.  Here are a few advantages to pulling out that blender and making your own smoothie:
- easy & fast
- get your fruits and veggies in your diet
- improve digestion
- meal flexibility
- reduce cravings
- gives you energy

A great smoothie to try this Spring...

1 cup coconut water
1 large handful of raw spinach
1/2 banana
1/2 cup raw beets
1/2 avocado
1 cup frozen blueberries
1 scoop Chocolate Complete by Juice Plus+ Shake Mix

Mix the above in a blender and enjoy.

Tuesday, February 6, 2018

Confessions of a Pilates Instructor

We work out everyday.  FALSE

We only eat healthy food.  FALSE

We can do all the exercises we teach, and we have perfect form.  FALSE

We only wear workout clothes.  SOMETIMES TRUE

I think we have the goal of working out frequently during the week, but life happens... sickness, kids, family, vacation, holidays.  We have different seasons of life and different seasons of exercise.
From our instructors:
"I never exercise on vacations, but generally do workout a little each day."
"I struggle with consistency in my own workouts."
"I try and workout 4 times a week."

Not all Pilates instructors are health food addicts.  We have to reward ourselves sometimes.
From our instructors:
"I love sweets!"
"I like to know where my food comes from, however, on occasion, I do love a spicy chicken sandwich from Chick Fil A."
"I love chocolate. A lot!"
"I put a lot of sugar in my coffee, and I love baked goods."

Like our clients, we are always learning and trying to better ourselves.  We would love to be able to do all the exercises perfect every time, but honestly, there are some very challenging Pilates exercises.  We, too, have to practice these exercises.
From our instructors:
"I can do exercises with modifications sometimes."
"Sometimes I can only do one really good teaser."
"Perfect every time... Heavens No!"

We do like wearing workout clothes.  Aren't they more comfortable?
From our instructors:
"I wear 'normal' clothes 2 days a week."
"I own one pair of jeans.  Everything else is athletic wear."
"I have more athletic pants hanging in my closet than any other kind of pants."

So, there's a little bit of honesty from us.  We have goals of being healthy but life tends to get in the way sometimes... even for Pilates instructors.  We break the rules and allow ourselves to have a chocolate cookie.  It's all about finding balance in your life... A little good and a little bad.

Saturday, January 6, 2018

My Pilates Journey

I LOVE PILATES and teaching it! I love what it has done for my body and my health! I love imparting that knowledge and helping others to find their health through Pilates. 

I learned about Pilates, about 17 years ago, when I was going to a small, local gym to workout. This older woman, laid down on the floor and started pumping her arms up and down while her feet were in the air. As most of you know, I can talk to anybody and as my husband, frequently tells me, “You have never met a stranger!”; of course, I had to ask her what she was doing. She told me Pilates. I decided to check out a, now defunct, studio and started taking classes. I loved it! Even then, the thought went through my head that I would like to teach Pilates. However, having two young daughters at home and a husband with a demanding job, traveling to NYC or California was not a possibility. Eventually, I stopped doing Pilates and moved on to kick boxing, gym memberships, etc. and started getting injured. The YMCA opened near us and I knew I had to do something for me; so I joined and they had mat Pilates! Yes! I had a wonderful instructor and started talking to her about going through the training. She told me about a studio in Charlotte that was a STOTT studio, I researched it and asked my husband for Pilates training that Christmas, 6 years ago.

I began my training in Mat in Charlotte and did not realize the journey I had begun! (I had earned my degree in Nursing at the University of Vermont and thought, ehhh, anatomy, okay, I’ve done this before. WELL, eye opener! I had to re-learn my anatomy and learned more than I had needed for nursing school! Muscles, bones, origin, insertion, action, muscle direction.... ) I tested out and became certified in Mat through STOTT Pilates. I started teaching at my Y and reached out, by accident, to Inner Strength Pilates. That was a God led moment because He took me to right studio for me. I began teaching mat and soon realized I wanted to train on the equipment as well. So, my patient family supported me as I traveled back and forth to Charlotte to train on the equipment. That studio had to change affiliations and became a Pilates Academy International training facility, went through more changes and finally, there was no place to go to finish my training and certification process.  Amy had just started offering Polestar Pilates training at the studio and after talking with her, watching her work with clients and learning more about the physical therapy emphasis of Polestar, which, for me, fit with my nursing background; I decided to take Polestar’s Comprehensive Training through their Bridge Program.

Becoming a certified Pilates instructor is hard work. You have your actual training, then you have to have several hundred, combined, hours of observing instructors, teaching, and physical review-practicing the exercises yourself before you can sit for the exam, along with12 fitness screenings and developing beginner, intermediate and advanced programming for those clients (mine were family and friends). You have to know the exercise, the correct name, the springs, modifications for clients with scoliosis, osteoporosis, spinal fusions, hip replacements, knee replacements, pregnancy, etc.  My Polestar Pilates exam was two days. It consisted of a multiple choice test of Polestar Principles, Pilates history-ask me about Joe sometime; exercises, proper modifications; then a case study from which I had to develop a beginner, intermediate and advanced program, I had to do a fitness screening on two different “body’s”,  real people, and from that screening develop a beginning and advanced program, teach and afterwards write down what I had taught, then I had to demonstrate 4 intermediate and advanced exercises on each piece of equipment plus mat. You think an hour is long...try two hours, non stop! Exhausting physically and mentally.

Every time I have taken a new training or a continuing education class, I have learned and layered my knowledge to create a toolbox to help you, our clients, practice Pilates safely and without injury. Polestar Pilates deepened my knowledge base allowing me to create a safe and efficient workout for you, to see you, to meet you where you are at and to try and progress you on your Pilates journey. #iampolestarpilates #itisajourney

Remember that older woman at the beginning?....she was doing the 100!

By Lisa Crozier

Sunday, December 3, 2017

Keeping Up With the Holiday Workouts

Ready or not... the holidays are here!  With all the to-do-lists we have to get ready for the holidays, it's hard to squeeze in that workout.  Here are a few tips to keep you on track with your fitness goals.

1 - Put it on the calendar - Take a few minutes to plan out your week with workouts you are going to do, and write them on your calendar.

2 - Get it done! - Workout first thing in the morning.  Our will power is stronger in the morning so we are less likely to let other things step in the way of our workout.

3 - Grab a buddy - Find a friend to workout with and check in with them daily.  You are less likely to skip a workout if you have to be accountable to someone else.

4 - Plan for travel - If you have to travel get your workout in before you leave.  Find a place to workout at your destination or pack weights, bands, and athletic shoes in your luggage to do a quick workout while you are away.

5 - A little is better than nothing - Get some sort of exercise in.  30 minutes of walking is better than nothing.  Run up the stairs in the hotel instead of walking or taking the elevator.

With all the feasting, shopping, party-going, family obligations, and year end budgeting exercise can be hard to fit it.  Make it a priority and stay motivated.  Good luck!