My journey to overall health and wellness... Thanks for coming along!


Friday, July 30, 2010


I will be teaching a group mat class at Zen and Yoga in Forest Hills, Queens!

Class is Saturday from 1pm-2pm. The studio is new and absolutely gorgeous! Come and see for yourself...

Thursday, July 29, 2010


Pilates class is no place for your cell phone...

I really thought this was a no brainer, but apparently not, given the amount of cell phone ringing (not to mention cell phone ANSWERING) I have experienced in my classes lately. That goes for texting too. Why on earth would you be reading or sending a text in the middle of side legs?? Pardon my rant... the thing is, it's rude. It's rude to me, rude to the other students, and actually rude to yourself- you can not possibly be getting all you want out of your Pilates workout if you are paying attention to your phone. It's an hour of your life that I would hope you would give your self the gift of being unavailable.

Monday, July 26, 2010


Tomato season to be exact!

Being an Italian, I am naturally tomato obsessed, and I feel like this obsession only gets stronger every year as tomato season rolls around. In fact, this year, Jay and I decided to grow our own! So far the venture has been mildly successful. We are still semi-patiently waiting for the abundance of lycopene deliciousness we fantasized about. However we were able to grab a handful of sun gold tomatoes off the vine......and were inspired to make our favorite tomato-centric recipe: Tomato Basil Bruschetta. We discovered this particular recipe from watching the movie Julie and Julia and basically drooling all over ourselves as she fries up (yes fries up- I know, I know) peasant bread and loads it with all different colors of our beloved tomatoes. Seriously drooling. I am drooling now as I write this... Get the recipe direct from the food stylist on the movie here.
Obviously our small handful was not going to do the trick, so we took a field trip that I have been DYING to take ever since seeing this Martha Stewart Episode. We headed out to the Eagle Street Rooftop Farm in Greenpoint, Brooklyn. Yes, you read the correctly ROOFTOP FARM! It is a real working farm up above it all with a killer view of the Empire State Building, and I have the pics to prove it.

Definitely more impressive than our "Patio Farm in Queens". Baby steps...

The farm has a store that is open every Sunday from 10am- 4pm where they sell whatever popped up that week. Lucky for us they had tomatoes. We stocked up and headed back (the farm is a good 2.5 mile walk from our place, so it makes me feel less guilty about the whole frying in olive oil thing... wink. wink.) to make our bruschetta!

With the farm tomatoes, our tomatoes and not to mention basil from our "garden" it was pure heaven!

Thursday, July 22, 2010


The roll up...
It's one of those exercises that people love to hate. Unfortunately for them it's a very integral part of the classic Pilates workout and is (or should be) found in every class. Since this question of "why can't I..." has come up a lot lately in my classes, I thought I would address it. First things first: Don't beat yourself up! This is not an easy exercise. In fact I find it to be one of the most challenging. There are many factors that contribute to difficulty with the roll up. The most common are 1) weak abdominals and 2) tightness in the hamstrings, lower backs and hips- yes, I am talking to all you desk sitters. So what do we do about it??
First of all, we make sure we are engaging the abdominals. Imagine you are wearing a tight corset around your middle that is pulling all those muscles in toward the center of your body- your belly button pulls in to your spine, your sides move in away from the walls around you, and even your back muscles hug up away from the mat. The truth of it is, you are wearing a corset- your TRANSVERSE ABDOMINALS. This band of muscle wraps around your waist from front to back. Yes, you have abs in your back! As you roll up, keep these muscles engaged and think of sliding your ribs toward your hips. I like to imagine I have springs on the sides of my body and they are shortening as I roll up off the mat.
Second, we MODIFY! Modifications have such an ugly stigma that I would love to get rid of. If you are tight and need to bend your knees... BEND YOUR KNEES, and if that's not enough bring your hands behind your hamstrings, and USE YOUR ARMS to help you roll up with control.
You have to train the right muscles to fire in the right order, which will not happen if you give in to momentum, hurl yourself off the floor and let your feet fly up in the air. Speaking of feet flying up in the air... ENGAGE YOUR GLUTES AND LEGS! If your legs are straight, glue the legs together and down to the mat. If they are bent, press into all four corners of your feet and keep the knees tracking right along with the hips. Engaging the glutes and inner thighs will help keep the feet on the floor. A prop like a yoga block or ball between the thighs (above the knees) can also help keep the legs engaged. If these modifications are still not enough of you are dealing with serious medical issues, stick with the half roll back. For this, start sitting up tall and roll back half way (about the top of your pants) and stop and then roll back up and round over the legs as you would in the full roll up.
Lastly, I've said it before and I will say it again... Patience. One thing that most definitely will NOT help you is frustration. Be patient, and allow your body to get used to the idea of the roll up and it will come. I promise!

image1: bombshell

Tuesday, July 13, 2010


I am a big fan of clapping at the end of my classes. Why do you ask? Well, it's simple, who doesn't like a little round of applause?? I want my students to feel awesome about what they just accomplished for their bodies and minds. It feels good to clap and say "Great work!"
Now obviously, I would be lying if I said I didn't benefit from the applause as well... I feel like I have done a great job when I look out and see my students smiling and clapping their hands. It ends the class on a such positive note.
Not a clapper?? That's ok... it's not required, but next time you take a class, just try it. I bet you feel good.