Faces of Women Led Businesses: Julie Erickson

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Julie and Endurance Pilates and Yoga were recently featured in Boston Magazine’s Inaugural “Faces of Women Led Businesses” section in their October 2017 edition! Although our section was only a few questions, we wanted to give you a deeper peek into the life of Julie Erickson – busy mom, master Pilates instructor, working professional and business owner, marathon runner and more!

Q. What is something you’re passionate about outside of your work?

A: Running

Q. Describe yourself in one word.

A: Driven

Q. What is your morning routine like?

A: On Mondays and Fridays, I am up at 1:30 AM to leave my house by 2 AM. I shower, make coffee and drive the 4 hours to New York City. On Tuesdays through Thursdays, I am up at 5 AM to get my son to school. We leave the house every day by 6:15 AM. I get to sleep in on Saturday (5:30 AM or 6:30 AM) depending on what time I start at the studio. On Sundays I am usually up by 6:30 AM either going for a run or taking my son to a baseball game.  I just read that there is a gene that allows people to function on less hours of sleep than others – I truly think I have this!

Q. What is the best advice you have ever been given?

A: Don’t ever make yourself small or stay content for the comfort of somebody else.

Q. What item in your closet do you wear the most?

A: One of my hundreds of pairs of Lululemon black pants

Q. What is your greatest indulgence

A: Eyelash extensions – best money I’ve ever spent.

Q. What is on your perennial to-do list?

A: Blog posts

Q. What is your spirit animal?

A: Cat

Q. What are you currently reading?

Before I opened a studio, I used to run 70 miles a week and read at least one book a week – I only get to read on vacation or on the treadmill right now!  Working Mother magazine last night on treadmill!

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A Bridal Ready Journey With Christie Wang, PMA-CPT/ Part III: Build a Better Butt At Home

 

I’m Christie Wang, Principal Pilates instructor (PMA-CPT) at Endurance Pilates and Yoga. I teach classical NY style Pilates at Endurance Pilates and Yoga. My wedding is less than 35 days away (yes we’ve converted to days!). This is my third post where I’ve been sharing my journey to feeling and looking my best; including healthy wedding prep nutrition, exercise and self-care routines. With the popularity of fitted slip and mermaid style dresses, I wanted to feature the best at home Pilates exercises to build a better butt!

If you’re at home and are looking for a quick Pilates-inspired workout to target the glutes and hamstrings- you’re in the right place! Repeat these three exercises three times each, and you have an easy 15 minute toning workout on your hands!

1. Ball Behind the Knee

Stand at the barre. Legs together and parallel. Bend the knee of the leg closest to the
mirror and keep looking at alignment. Lift the heel toward the buttocks by bending the
knee and NOT by lifting the thigh. Knees should stay together. Reach back and place
the ball behind the thigh without letting the hip flexor and quad reach the knee forward.
Draw the belly in by using the lower portion of the rectus abdominus. Be sure to look at
the position of the pelvis, the position should be neutral (for a woman ASIS is slightly
lower that the PSIS…for a man, these two points are even). The pubic bone and
tailbone should be in line with each other. DO NOT allow the knee to come forward, the start position is the thighs together and level- the working thigh DOES NOT come forward of the standing leg. The focus is on keeping the the lumbar spine still and not using the back muscles, thus the hamstring will be held in constant engagement. Students must achieve this leg muscle connection during most of the leg actions in a typical barre or Pilates class. Be sure to keep the following muscular connections- lower belly in and up- one hand at the belly, be sure to pull in and not allow the belly to pooch. Stable lower back- one hand at the lower back to ensure the muscles there are stabilizing and not gripping to move the thigh. Knee to knee. Thighs touching.

For most women, just standing in this start position is hip extension. Hold the ball and
attempt to press back in small little pulses 10x and then pull the heel closer to the butt 10x. Repeat 3x through.

2. Shoulder Bridges (2 and 1 legged)

Pressing into back of arms firmly (you should feel upper back and triceps pushing down hard into the mat), keeping the head totally still (no sliding), place you feet on top of a squishy playground ball. Stabilize the feet by squeezing inner thighs and glutes (thighs should be touching and butt should be active) and pulling in lower belly and ribs. Begin to tilt pelvis up the ceiling, lifting first the hips, then the low back then the mid back up into a shoulder bridge position.

Firstly roll the spine up and down a few times. Then, hold the shoulder bridge and pull the heels closer towards your butt in tiny pulses 10x and roll the hips down. Repeat 3x.

For an added challenge, roll hips up, pull heels in 10x then extend each leg up to the ceiling (making sure to keep those inner thighs together and abs active). Pull each leg in 10x each. After you’ve done one on each side, place both feet onto the ball, squeezing the inner thighs and pull the heels in 10x. Repeat all of this 3x.

3. Prep for Single Leg Kick 

Lay on your back with palm over palm underneath your forehead. Your two front hip bones (ASIS) and pelvis are pushing down into the mat while your abs are lifting up and away from the mat. Legs start long and parallel. Squeeze a magic circle (or even a playground ball) between the back of thigh and ankle. Keeping inner thighs squeezing and glutes engaged in both legs, pull the heel in towards the butt 10x. Relax slightly and repeat 3x. Switch sides. Repeat all 3x through

OPTIONAL: If in studio, frogs/leg circles with leg springs

If you have the luxury to be in the studio, work on that back of leg connection by using the Gratz Cadillac leg springs to practice frogs, leg circles and more. Under the supervision of an experienced instruction, you’ll feel your upper back, abs, butt, and inner thighs!

Want more information about Endurance’s Bridal Package? They combine Mat classes & Reformer training on the highest quality Gratz equipment. Sign up today to begin your wedding prep!

This post is written by Christie Wang, an instructor at Endurance Pilates and Yoga. It does not represent the beliefs, opinions or advice of Endurance Pilates and Yoga.

Prenatal and Postnatal Pilates Q&A with Instructor Danielle

Danielle Lamy, a Senior Pilates Instructor, is a mom, outdoor enthusiast and Pilates lover. She instantly fell in love with Pilates when she was looking to get in shape for a friend’s wedding. After 3 months of Pilates, her chronic knee pain subsided and was able to ski, hike and bike pain-free! Danielle continues to share her experiences as a mom and Pilates instructor with students at Endurance Pilates and Yoga.

In today’s blog post, Danielle shares her insight on Pilates for pregnant women and moms from her personal experience and experience as a Pilates Instructor.

Is it safe for mothers-to-be to do pilates? Are there common misconceptions around this?

Pilates is absolutely safe for a healthy mom carrying a healthy baby. I wouldn’t suggest a person to begin Pilates when they are pregnant but this can certainly be done carefully through private sessions. Many women believe that they can’t use their abs during pregnancy but in reality, if you have been doing Pilates all along, you should absolutely continue. Pilates helps to strengthen the inner most abdominals (transverse abdominals) which can be a preventative strategy for Rectus Diastisis, pelvic floor issues, back pain, hip pain, etc.

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During my pregnancy, despite being sick for 7 months, I continued my Pilates practice and had no pain of any kind and no pelvic floor issues. I carried high and had Rectus Diastisis (1 finger split) that my doctor said would have easily been a 3 finger wide split had I not continued with Pilates.

Another myth is that you cannot lie on your back. It’s all in how the mother feels. I lied on my back until the very end and had no issues. But, I’ve had other students who required modifications for lying reformer work or who needed to alternate more between sitting and lying exercises. Any well educated Pilates Instructor can modify for this type of work.

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If you are already a mom and are experiencing Rectus Diastasis, feel free to sign up for our “Strong Abs for Moms” workshop where master instructor Julie Erickson will give you at home tips from Pilates to help heal your abs and strengthen them post birth. Regardless of how long ago you’ve had your child, this workshop will be beneficial for you.

 

 

Are there any everyday ‘stressors’ that mothers experience that can be corrected through Pilates?

For me and many of my students our Pilates practice is our “me” time! Pilates requires so much concentration that you literally can’t think of anything else other than your practice or your instructor saying “abs in” and “squeeze your butt” over and over again.  It’s a one hour break from reality.  It also helps correct spinal misalignments that can occur form hunching over to feed, pick up, change, or walk with your little one. It’ll prevent the shoulders from rolling forwards. Pilates helped when I experienced hip flexor pain from sitting for 3 months because my little one was constantly breastfeeding which lead me to constantly be sitting.

What are some of your favorite moves to teach mothers to be?

My favorite exercises for mothers to be, who can lie down, is all of the footwork on the reformer.  The use of foot movements throughout the entire foot, the engagement of all of your muscles while your back is properly supported by Gratz reformers, and the length you can feel in your spine when done correctly are exactly what a pregnant mom needs. For those moms who cannot lie down, I love using the baby chair to work into the deep abdominals, lengthen the spine, and get the shoulders to live where they belong.

How does exercising differ while a woman is pregnant and after she delivers? 

Exercise differs only as much as you need it to. Your ability to exercise also depends on your doctor’s suggestion. I highly suggest that active moms find a doctor who understands how important exercise is to active mamas and who can be realistic with expectations and goals during and after pregnancy. My doctor understood this need for me and was shocked when I closed my diastisis within 2 weeks of beginning to exercise again through the use of Pilates principals. After pregnancy it all depends on what giving birth did to your body! Moms who have uncomplicated births can return to Pilates very quickly. Moms who have had C-Sections, pelvic floor issues, or other complications can greatly benefit from private sessions to directly rehab those areas.

If you’re interested in hearing more about our Prenatal or Postnatal services, please contact us at christie@endurancepilates.com! We offer a Baby & Caregiver Pilates Mat Class at 10:15 AM on Tuesday mornings and prenatal/postnatal focused private Pilates sessions by appointment.