Personalized Pilates on the Wunda

Seated Mermaid on the Wunda ChairI was speaking with a client the other day, who had just finished a Beginning /Continuing Wunda Chair class, complimenting her on excellent form. “Thanks – it helps to have someone correct me with my form. Plus I’m loving the anti-gravity results!” she enthused, patting her glutes. I laughed, but  later I thought, here I am being a little “in my head” about Pilates benefits and what it often comes down to is that most of us, regardless of our age, want results quickly.  We strive to accomplish a lot in our workouts and yet most of us don’t have two or three hours a day to exercise. We are busy! We are likely sitting far too much in front of the computer and we’re trying to perk up suddenly sagging, soft areas!

Now it is also true that when the same client mentioned that she noticed how great her arms looked in a sleeveless dress, she followed it up with, “And I just FEEL stronger. Have never had upper body strength before. That’s what I like about the Wunda Chair work, besides the small class size, I feel stronger and look more defined.”

That was satisfying for me to hear, because when I designed the Chair classes in 2011, no one else in the Tucson area was offering these kind of specific progressive Chair classes. I started out with custom-designed classes based on progressions at four different levels and we’ve stuck with that model. When I talked to long-time clients about what they wanted from an equipment class, I heard two things repeatedly:

  1. We want to see results as quickly as possible and we want to exercise without risk of injury.
  2. We are much more likely to show up regularly to a small class with personal attention than a big class where someone just calls out moves from the front.
As a result, that is the Pilates class I created and this is what we offer:

Multiple Pilates Chair Quartet classes at different levels, incorporating Reformer,  Magic Circle, and Pilates Mat work.

My studio is private and maintains small classes, which appeals to those seeking  such. When our clients walk in, they don’t see rows of Wunda chairs.

My studio, because of the personal attention we’re able to provide, teaches a range of students both in age and fitness level. We have clients who have never taken a Pilates class before. We also have classes where colleagues and fellow Pilates instructors come to challenge themselves and practice advanced techniques. The level of strenuousness for each workout is decided by the client (and of course, by fitness level).

So if you are looking for a private setting, small classes, personal attention and the ability to choose to work at an easy or strenuous level and everywhere in-between, call us (520-299-6541)!

Geneviève sign off avatar



Taking it to the next level: The Wundas of Pilates Chair

So first things first: I am not an exercise fanatic. You will not find me at the local gym 5x a week, churning out cardio, lifting a multitude of weights or pushing the squats (as much as I fantasize about regaining my 30-year old backside, reality is…). That said, I’m “into” the Pilates Chair; specifically, the Pilates Chair Quartet class I’ve been taking at Body Fundamentals here in Tucson.

It started with exploring an alternative to the monotony of guilting myself into a gym workout a couple of times each week with limited results. I’m a marketing writer, which means a lot of sitting in front of a computer. Not conducive to fitness or flexibility. I’d done some Pilates in Seattle several years before and knew I’d enjoyed the variety and the class camaraderie. Over coffee one day, Geneviève Nedder suggested I try the Beginning class she’d recently developed and launched at the studio.

After only a few sessions, I remembered why I’d enjoyed Pilates so much. I felt so good after each session. Because there are only 4 of us in the class, Stevie (the instructor) could easily correct our form or suggest alternative moves to accommodate a bad knee or ankle, back injury or the like. Within weeks, I could see the definition in my arms, my hips were narrowing (!) and I was feeling more optimistic about anti-gravity effects than I had in years!

I’ve since moved to the Beginning / Continuing class for more challenging, faster paced work on the Wunda Chair (Intermediate is really fast and more suitable for those who are teacher level). I’m challenged in each class because every workout is different. Each movement and progression hits different areas, so you can’t “zone out” but need to remain very “in the moment” to complete successfully. That’s a great benefit of Pilates too, it makes me slow down and focus. I can’t think about what’s next on my to-do list or project deadlines. I have to breathe and pay attention in order to move properly.

I’ve committed to a weekly Beginning / Continuing Pilates Chair Quartet class and recently added a semi-private Pilates session to the mix. The visible results include a narrowing waist, more defined arms, and tighter glutes. Plus, I’m more flexible and have better posture. My most exciting achievement to-date? The Pike! I think of it as kind of an inverted push up. Very challenging, I feel really strong each time the bar rises a little higher.

Yes, I still (try) to work in straight-up cardio a few times a week with either a round on the elliptical, a walk or a bike ride, too, but Pilates has become my gift to myself, my health… and my anti-gravity efforts!

nora haileNora Haile runs her own marketing writing and communications support firm, nhaile communications, providing writing and online marketing support services to small to mid-sized businesses in Arizona and the Pacific Northwest.

A Hundred Modifications- Pilates matwork

smallpicOne of the things I love about the Pilates work is that you never outgrow it. Once you’ve diligently worked on an exercise and it is perfected, it can almost always be modified to be more advanced and challenging. On the flip side, if an area of your body is tight or troublesome, an exercise can be modified down to be more comfortable. I always think of the Pilates Hundred and its many modifications. Sometimes I keep my knees bent at 90/90, some days I feel very strong and I lower my legs out towards the floor. On days where my neck is tight, I put one arm behind my head.
I love that about Pilates. I never get bored and am always challenged!
– Hilary


Previously Published October 2011