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Nicole Howard
August 2, 2017


copd-inhale-breath-400x400   “I've got to keep breathing. It’ll be my worst business mistake if I don’t!”
-Steve Martin 

Not to sound too morbid, but if you are not breathing you’re not living—literally.

Now, please take a moment to inhale. Breathe in through the noise. Fill the lungs. Softly exhale through the mouth. Notice that when you inhale your ribs expand. The chest lifts and the muscles in the upper torso are stretched. As you exhale the ribs gently fall and your abdominals engage, bringing you back to your core.

Do you feel lighter, hopefully a little calmer and more aware of your body? With the constant go-go-go mentality these days and the rat race pace we all try and keep up with, most people don’t adequately breathe. Sadly, this starves the body of valuable oxygen. Not taking time to fully breathe can put major stress on the body and contribute to undesired health issues. The simple act of noticing your breath at any point in time can do wonders for your wellbeing

 As humans, our respiratory system separates us from all of the other animals on Earth. We are the only species that can control our breathing independent of our body’s action. This simple fact allows us to be sprinters, long distant runners and swimmers.

For example, a cheetah’s leg muscles are attached to its diaphragm. When it runs faster the lungs pump harder, delivering more oxygen when needed.  Our leg muscles are not attached to our diaphragm or lungs. This gives us the power to hold our breath or breathe faster when needed. Our respiratory system contains both voluntary muscles, like the external and internal intercostal muscles of the ribs and the diaphragm, as well as many involuntary muscles—such as the lungs. All of this means you can consciously control your breathing to point of manipulating it.

Or you can go all through life never think about it and some how still be alive.

 With the complexity of breathing, the pace of life, the stress of our society and the impact it all has on our bodies, learning how to breathe is another tool or secret weapon you can gain to provide yourself a better quality of health and living. Studies have shown stress to be the number one cause of disease, including depression, hypertension and much more. Learning few different ways to breathe can be priceless.

Within all of the various yoga and Pilates practices there are numerous techniques to help you realize the potential of breathing. At ALIGN we know that a good quality Pilates and yoga sessions will get you breathing differently.

Here’s what happens when you take five minutes out of your day and do a few breathing exercises:

  • Your muscles relax—you’ll find it’s difficult to maintain a lot of physical tension when you are breathing properly.
  • Oxygen delivery improves—fresh oxygen is then able to pour into every cell of the body, increasing the functionality of every system in the body.
  • Blood pressure lowers. As your muscles let go of tension your blood vessels dilate and your blood pressure can return to a normal level.
  • Endorphins are released helping with feelings of well-being, as well as providing pain relief.
  • Detoxification improves—good breathing habits help the lymphatic system function properly, encouraging the release of harmful toxins, cleansing the body, giving it power to direct its energy to more productive functions.
  • Most of our clients at ALIGN notice that after a breathing session they look ten times younger with more vitality and sparkle in their eyes. 
  • You will also notice improved mental concentration and physical stamina.
Come breathe at ALIGN Pilates and yoga today. Breathe! Reap the benefits and feel alive!

Nicole Howard
July 18, 2017

When Glutes and Abs are Happily Married…

When the glutes and abs work harmoniously together the body will live happily ever after. In the last few
years the abs have been getting a great deal of credit for a healthy back. But the glutes (a.k.a. your bum) are just as important when it comes to proper posture and back health.  And when the core and glutes coordinate and connect with one another magic truly happens!

The buttock area consists of muscles called the Gluteus Maximus, Gluteus Medius and Gluteus Minimus, as well as a group of six smaller but very important deeper hip muscles. Together they are known as the glutes and they have a number of import roles in the body. Gluteus Maximus, the largest, has a primary role to extend your leg backwards as your walk, run, climb stairs and get up from sitting. The Glutius Medius and Minimus work to stabilize the pelvis and femur, and aid in rotation of the leg.

The combination of both strong glutes and abs is what gives them their power. It also plays an enormous role in joint health. If the glutes and abs are not strong and working correctly with one another, other muscles in the body will take over whenever you walk, run or pick up something heavy. Muscles at the front of the leg, like the quadriceps and your psoas, which runs from the spine to top of the femur, may compensate and overwork. In turn this creates compression and tightness in your lower back. Your hamstrings may try to assist and shorten. The surface muscles along your spine may also try to pull the leg back to propel you forward, as this is not their primary job, these back muscles will tighten and fatigue. Leading to many problems within the ankles, shins, knees and spine. But when working together, these muscles produce a powerhouse body that is stable and strong.

The Pilates and yoga method have a firm understanding of the glutes and abs, with exercises and poses designed specifically to strengthen them. Unite your glutes and abs today at Align and experience this loving relationship.


Nicole Howard
June 9, 2017

The Power of Meditation

images_copy   In the medical and science field, research is finding the act of meditating contains a multitude of health benefits. These studies are discovering that the many forms of meditation drastically offset the effects of stress and aging at a cellular level. So much so that some doctors and scientist are proclaiming meditation could be the future of medicine.

For example, a study published in the journal Circulation: Cardiovascular Quality and Outcomes, looked at 201 people with coronary heart disease and asked them to either take a health education class promoting better diet and exercise or one on Transcendental Meditation. Researchers followed up with participants for the next five years and found that those who took the meditation class had a 48 percent reduction in their overall risk of heart attack, stroke, and death.

Another landmark study led by Harvard University and Massachusetts General Hospital found in as little as eight weeks of meditation people experience decreased anxiety and greater feelings of calm; it also produced growth in the areas of the brain associated with memory, empathy, sense of self and stress regulation.

Many more studies like these are being conducted and continue to prove the benefits of meditation. The best part is that mediation is easy! Anyone can do it. Any preconceived ideas about meditation should be forgotten. Meditation is a practice that helps us take a break from the hectic pace of everyday life. It doesn’t require a specific spiritual belief, even a few minutes of meditation helps, and you don’t even have to be sitting in an awkward lotus position to start soaking in the positive vibes.

There are many different forms of mediation backed by doctors and scientists, including Mindful Meditation and Transcendental Meditation. These same doctors and scientists also recognize mindful movement like tai chi, Pilates and yoga as meditation. In the end, all types of mediation result in taking us beyond the noisy chatter of the mind into a place of stillness and silence. It is here where the brain and the body can begin to heal and create a better quality of life. Come and combat aging, release stress and mediate with us at Align Pilates and Yoga Center.

Nicole Howard
February 6, 2017

Self Love

yogaheart_copy        “You yourself, as much as anybody in the entire universe, deserves your love and affection”
― Sharon Salzberg

A great way to connect inwards to the emotional and spiritual self, the highest self, is to start first with the physical self — the body. As your vessel, your physical body carries the rest of you around each day. Your thoughts, your feelings, your desires, your experiences, your pain, and your joy, are all housed in your tissues and cells.  

It makes sense then that caring for your body would be of utmost priority. Yet often it is not. Our bodies, by the most incredible design, can operate at high levels with minimal care for long periods of time. We are able to sustain energy, produce results, and meet the needs of those around us while offering ourselves very little. Eventually though, without attention and restoration we become depleted. Things start to break and become painful, disease sets in, we feel run down and weak, and our ability to care for others diminish.

The solution is self love through the form of self care; to fill up so we can offer more of ourselves to ourselves, and to the world. Caring for the physical body allows for the cultivation of strength, endurance, energy within, and offers us access to forgiveness, gratitude, confidence and love for others.

A practice like Pilates or yoga, which connects body, mind, and spirit, is not only a beautiful way to experience growth it is a powerful way! Movement to breath, done skillfully with purposeful placement of the muscles and skeletal system, creates a unique experience in the body, and offers benefits unlike those found in other forms of movement. And on a more practical level, it’s one of the most efficient ways to care for your self. In just an hour, the entire body is nourished, strengthened, and expressed.

Start loving your self with your foundation — the body. Caring for your body is essential, and loving yourself first, is most essential to a healthy and happy life. So, this Valentine’s Day take care of you, give yourself a little love, and join us at Align Pilates and Yoga Center.

Nicole Howard
January 3, 2017

A Healthy Successful New Year…


“Always bear in mind that your own resolution to succeed is more important than any other.”

 -Abraham Lincoln

Many people at the beginning of the year have great intentions of getting in shape. But sadly, by mid February so many of them fall way. At Align we want that to change, we want you to succeed. We want to help you achieve your goals and instill a long lasting  love for movement, that will serve you the rest of your life.

Below you will find five reasons why you need Pilates and yoga in your life. These reasons go beyond losing weight to look good in your jeans. These are real reasons why you need to be moving every day. Plus, a few tips to help you stay true to your intentions.

  1. You will be smarter: Not only is your brain getting more energy and oxygen when doing mindful movement, but many studies show that it boost your memory and helps you learn better
  2. You will have better posture: Deviations in one’s posture is a cause for a large number of health issues today. Both Pilates and yoga directly address posture for the better and the result can create less pain in the body.
  3. More confident: Exercise can also help you feel more accomplished and give you the power to overcome obstacles. When the workout gets tough, just like life, you know you can get through it.
  4. Relieve Stress: It has been proven that mindful movement helps minimize stress and brings the mind into a state of calm.
  5.  Live longer/better: It's no secret that healthy living will keep you alive longer, but you might be surprised at how much longer. One study found that exercise improves life expectancy as much as quitting smoking. And with proper strength, aging will be easy.  

To keep yourself honest and committed, don’t overestimate your ability. Take small steps to your goals and add more as you go. Understand that it takes at least 90 days to see true change within the body. Nothing happens overnight. Plus, no one is perfect! Setbacks will happen and it’s okay because at Align Pilates and Yoga will always be here for you. Cheers to a healthier 2017!

Nicole Howard
September 6, 2016

Teen Core

Event-Teen    Nearly half of Americans ages 12 to 21 years are not vigorously active enough. The Center for Disease Control and Prevention found that participation in all types of physical activity declines strikingly as age and grade in school increases. According to their study, inactivity is more common among females than males, and worse among black adolescent females compared to white females.

As physical activity is cut from school budgets and fingertip technology takes the place of actually getting outside and playing, it’s more important than ever to promote exercise for the youth. This is the inspiration behind Align’s Teen Core program. The American Heart Association recommends that children ages two to 18 should participate in at least 60 minutes moderate to intense physical activity every day. It should be developmentally appropriate, varied and enjoyable. A majority of American kids are exposed to mainstream sports such as soccer, basketball and baseball, which is great, but mindful types of movement like Pilates and yoga have been proven to create an even more positive impact on a child’s wellbeing.

The main principles of Pilates and yoga go beyond just moving. They provide teenagers with effective, life-changing tools that set them up for a highly successful and healthy life. Both methods of movement promote balance, control, concentration, breath, precision, awareness and harmony of the “mind and the body.” These attributes are what make Pilates and yoga such amazing activities. By simply adding Pilates or yoga twice a week to your child’s schedule has proven to help provide them with the tools to combat the negative effects of inactivity. Benefits include reducing the risk of heart disease and diabetes, better stress management, correction of postural deviations and much more.

At Align we believe in using the Pilates and yoga methodology as the heart of our Teen Core program. Our goal is to help guide teenagers to use mindful movement to establish quality, lasting habits that promote a positive physical experience. Along with health benefits, psychological wellbeing is also a huge piece of the puzzle, and mindful exercise in teens establishes more self-confidence and higher self-esteem. Pilates and yoga is a win-win for the youth of today, look for new Teen Core classes this fall at Align.

Nicole Howard
June 23, 2016

Sitting- The New Smoking!

images            Health professionals are finding that sitting for long periods of time, day in - day out is surprisingly more harmful then smoking. The combination of commuting to work, sitting at a computer, and coming home to watch TV, the average person is spending way too much time on their bums. It‘s this sedentary lifestyle that is contributing to today’s chronic health issues and is slowly killing more people than smoking.

Dr. James Levine, director of the Mayo Clinic-Arizona State University of Obesity Solutions states -

“Sitting is more dangerous than smoking, kills more people then HIV and is more treacherous than parachuting. We are sitting ourselves to death”. 
He also is credited with coining that mantra “sitting is the new smoking”. He’s not the only one who believes it. Researchers have found major supporting evidence that a sedentary lifestyle puts one at a much high risk for developing cancer, heart disease, type two diabetes, muscular and joint problems, LPL enzyme disruption, and depression.

For example, just one of many studies published in the American Journal of Epidemiology, found men and women who sat more than six hours a day died, earlier than their counterparts who only sat 3 hours or less. The study surveyed 53,440 men and 69,776 women who were healthy at the start and after a 14-year follow-up they saw a higher rate of mortality among the longer sitters. These associations of mortality were mostly due to cardiovascular disease. YIKES!

Sitting like smoking is clearly bad for our health. Luckily, we can minimize the risk by simply limiting the time spent on our butts each day, standing more and being active. That’s right, the simple action of standing has been found in many studies to offset the effects of sitting. So, a standing desk could be a simple solution for the work environment. But more importantly living an active lifestyle should be the priority, just like brushing your teeth twice a day.

To create a successful active lifestyle, at Align we highly suggest choosing activities that you find fulfilling, enjoyable and want to do daily, like Pilates and yoga. Begin today by saying no to sitting and start moving for a better quality of life!

Nicole Howard
May 31, 2016

Know Your Body Inside Out- 5 reasons to get the My Body Stat Scan

Screen Shot 2016-05-19 at 6.20.42 AM   

1. Body Indexing- The scan helps you understand what your body is made out of. By providing a service that accurately and safely measures your body composition. From the amount of water weight, and muscle you have to the distribution of your fat in each part of your body. Allowing you to see how that contributes to your overall weight, and health.  

Segmental Comparison
The scan evaluates whether the muscles are adequately developed in the body, showing how much lean muscle mass is in each segment of the body, from the trunk including the chest, abdomen, back, lower back, and right to left side of limbs.

3. Muscle to Fat Mass Comparison- The scan will also tell you your Skeletal Muscle Mass (also known as SMM), which is the mount of muscle attached to the bones. Plus it will tell you what your Body Fat Mass is. Body Fat Mass is the sum of Subcutaneous Fat, Visceral Fat, and fat surrounding the muscles. The Subcutaneous Fat is fat found beneath the skin, and Visceral Fat is fat found surrounding the internal organs in the abdomen. The purpose of the scan is to compare the Skeletal Muscle Mass with Body Fat Mass to get a true maker of strength and health.

4. Real Numbers- My Body Stats uses the most technologically advanced, medical grade Bioelectrical Analysis product, Inbody 570. This patented technology is the only one of its kind to accurately measure your limbs and torso composition without the risk of radiation exposure or the inconvenience of holding your breath underwater.  My Body Stats provides you with the safest and quickest way to know everything. No more estimation or assumptions only real accurate numbers.

5. Meet Your Health Goals- With the detailed information, you and/or a health care professional can provide a tailored plan to meet your specific goals and achieve a healthy state. If you have been working out? Find out if your fitness program is efficient. If you have been sedentary, and are ready to make a change? Find out your baseline, and start your metamorphosis today.

My Body Stat Scan will be at Align Pilates Center  
Saturday, June 4th from 9am to 3pm- $45.  
Schedule your appointment Here.
For even more details  on the scan Click Here.

Nicole Howard
May 10, 2016

Say No To The Six-Pack

This isn’t about a six-pack of beer from the store, this is about saying no to six-pack abs. Today’s media has led us to believe that a strong, healthy, and in shape person must have a stomach like an old-fashion washboard, a.k.a. a six-pack. The idea of this being the poster child for strength, health and beauty is scary and misleading. And in most cases the images seen have been digitally enhanced to make the abdominals appear chiseled. To truly achieve this look is unrealistic to the average person, and is definitely not a marker of health. 
Having a strong, stable core is definitely necessary to supporting the body, but it doesn’t have to be visible. The actual muscles of the six-pack are called the rectus abdominis, and are a small superficial fraction of all the muscles comprising the stomach and core. For the core to properly support the body it needs every muscle surrounding the spine to be equally balanced in strength and flexibility. Consequently, when the rectus muscles are overly defined it is a sure sign of muscle imbalance and week core. The training involved to achieve a six-pack is at the expense of overall core strength and leads to back and neck pain, rounded shoulders, bad posture, and pelvic misalignment.

 Perfectly defined abdominal muscles are usually the result of extreme leanness, not increased functionality and strength. A six-pack becomes visible at about 10 to 14 percent body fat for women, and 6 to 12 percent for men. Unless you are an Olympian or professional athlete, these percentages are very hard to reach and sustain. Body fat this low results in issues such as depression, eating disorders, infertility and an interrupted menstrual cycle in women. According to the American Council of Exercise, 17 to 24 percent body fat is a healthy range for men and women.

So let the guilty feeling go for not having picture-perfect defined abs, and feel empowered to know strength and health lie in a balanced body. Choose a fitness program like Pilates and yoga that emphasizes a balance of mind, body and spirit and you may start to feel better…not just look better. Plus, you can still enjoy a beer here and there.     

Nicole Howard
May 5, 2016

10 Heath Benefits from Aerial Yoga

images              Align Aerial Yoga defies gravity and allows you to perform various yoga poses that may be difficult to do on the ground, but easier in mid-air. It’s fun and acrobatic, so for those of you who dreamed of being a trapeze artist as a kid, this can give you a taste of what it is like.

Here are the Top 10 Health Benefits of Aerial Yoga: 
1.   Total body workout: Due to the nature of aerial yoga movements, almost all the body parts are forced to move and stretch. Muscles are toned and redefined, and joints are regenerated and strengthened due to these movements.

2.   Psychologically beneficial: Just like almost any other workout, aerial yoga helps rebuild your emotional system because it clears the mind and relieves stress due to its meditative state. It also helps you combat stress throughout the day and increases your creativity, which leads you to develop your own artistic skills.

3.   Improves flexibility: Aerial yoga helps you to move more freely, with less effort, by counteracting gravity. Suspension in the air releases tension on the bones and muscles, increasing flexibility and deepening your practice. Suspended yoga strengthens core muscles and increases spinal and shoulder flexibility.

4.   Heals back problems: It gives you the chance to hang freely, allowing your spine to lengthen. With less strain on your back while doing the exercises, it eases tension in the spinal cord and hip joint, helping you feel better.

5.   Increases strength: Aerial yoga improves strength and flexibility, which carries over into other daily activities. The core workout is a beneficial cross-training, as it helps runners increase stamina and be able recover faster.

6.   Mood changer: Another key benefit of doing aerial yoga is that it gets your adrenaline going while going against gravity. It also releases “happy” hormones like serotonin, endorphins, oxytocin, dopamine, which boost your mood and help you feel more energetic.

7.   Improves balance: While going against gravity can be exciting, aerial yoga also helps with balance and stability in daily activities. Balance is a key component in daily activities, and aerial yoga helps maintain a good balance both inside and out.

8.    Aids digestion: The different types of stretches and movements help improve the digestive system, thus helping in healing various digestion-related issues, including constipation and indigestion.

9.   Old age and heart disease: Aerial yoga improves the circulation of blood, thus combating aging and its symptoms. Aerial yoga also helps detoxify the circulatory and lymphatic systems, which lowers the onset of various cardiovascular issues.

10.  Improves memory: Aerial yoga fortifies your neural connections, thereby, rendering better memory power. In a way, practicing aerial yoga can make you smarter!

Nicole Howard
April 20, 2016

Plank Power! 5 Reasons to Plank Everyday-

images_copy1 One of the best things you can do to create overall strength, balance and posture is a simple exercise known as a plank. To plank, one holds their torso off the ground via hands, feet or knees depending on fitness level. While holding this position the ultimate goal is to maintain a straight line from head to heal. It’s this simple action that packs a powerful punch of health benefits. Here are five reasons why one should plank on a daily basis:

1.     Easy to Modify- Depending on your fitness level a plank can be adapted to any ability. For example, a beginning variation would be to hold the position on the elbows and knees. More advanced option would be to balance on one leg or arm. This versatility allows anybody to reap the benefits of planking.

2.     Overall Core Strength- The action of having the torso horizontal to gravity creates a co-contraction in the core muscles. Meaning that the spinal muscles and the abdominals have to contract at the same time to achieve the straight line desired when in a plank position. When executed well, this action has been proven in many health studies to reduces back pain and improve overall spinal strength.

3.     Better Posture- Not only the core, but the whole shoulder girdle, hips and legs are working very hard to maintain the position. Resulting in correct “whole- body” alignment; where the ears, shoulders, ribs, hips, knees, and heals all line up when standing.

4.      Increase Flexibility- Planks are a great way to stretch the backside of the body, especially the hamstrings, feet, toes, and muscle groups that are often stiff from prolonged sitting. It’s a simple move that provides the best of both worlds, stretching and strengthening.

5.     Balance- Since planks can be done in so many different ways, makes it’s an excellent option to improve balance.  Such as doing a plank on the physio ball small intrinsic muscles that stabilize joints are triggered to engage and strengthen. In the end overall better balance and stability are established in the body.

Come in to Align Pilates and Yoga Center today to learn, feel and see the power of a plank.

Nicole Howard
February 11, 2016

Fitness is Caring!

Screen Shot 2016-02-11 at 3.48.42 PM    What is the point of exercise? This seems to be a pretty easy answer, but it can get skewed quickly. Especially when the old adage of no-pain, no-gain, go-hard or go–home mentality still thrives. But let’s be honest, is this really the point of exercise? NO!

One of our goals at Align Pilates Center is to shift that way of thinking. Exercise is CARING! Caring for your mind, body and spirit.  Not beating it up, not punishing it, or scolding it for not going fast enough, flexible enough, strong enough, or as thin as you would like it to be. If that’s the approach then exercising quickly becomes a numbers game—a constantly growing list of dissatisfactions.  When does the concept of “no pain, no gain” stop? And what is the real end goal? It is definitely not meant for you to critique and over scrutinize yourself, or even injure yourself striving for some arbitrary goal.  Exercise should feel good. It should give you the tools to take care of yourself for the rest of your life.

Feeling good through movement is at the heart of Align. We strongly believe that exercise is meant to be corrective, not corporal punishment. When guiding principles such as mindfulness, awareness, precision, control, efficiency, balance, breathing and concentration are applied to session, the workout becomes about caring. And ultimately having the intention to create better self, not killing it. In the end the same benefits are gained; strength, flexibility, stress reduction, heart health, and less injuries just to name a few. Don’t worry, you will still get a great workout that includes a little sweat and that feel good burn.

As the nitty gritty of your New Year’s resolutions sets in, consider digging deeper to understand the real the reasons you’re exercising. Are you truly caring for your body? If not consider adding Pilates and yoga to your fitness regime. Both are fun, feel good and are full of substance. They’ll give you ample self-care tools to gain a higher quality of living that will last a lifetime, not just another New Year’s resolution.   

Nicole Howard
December 29, 2015

Happy “Healthy” New Year! 5 Easy Steps to Success...

happy2016      The ushering in of the New Year comes with big hopes and dreams. According to, getting healthy ranks among the most popular New Year’s resolutions. Sadly, there’s only about a six-percent success rate for all resolutions. Maybe that’s because people are approaching it the wrong way. A News Years resolution shouldn’t be something you have to slave over. And when it comes to getting healthier a few good habits go a long way. The key to success in 2016 is creating good habits one small step at a time. Anybody can do it. Here are five simple steps to successfully get you started:
1.      Announce your plan: Make it loud and clear. Throw yourself a New Year’s Resolution party and celebrate the good habits you are starting. Invite those who will be your strongest advocates, because they will help you when it is difficult.

2.      Choose an eating habit: Health comes from the inside out. Consider a “no white food diet” or “no sugar diet.” Start small. Don’t eliminate everything at once (i.e. eliminate one sugar source for a week and then slowly eliminate another and week by week have less sugar).

3.     Choose a mindful exercise: Try a new activity that gets your mind and body working together, such as pilates or yoga. Again, start small, these are habits you’re developing for a lifetime. No need to feel like you need to go everyday, that just adds more stress and pressure. Commit to one class a week, adding more as your habits change.

4.    Everyday activity habit: Set ten minuets to move on your own. No gym required. Come up with something you can do first thing when you wake, or during a lunch break, or when needed to reconnect physically. An example would be to create a sit-up challenge, or push-up challenge followed by a few stretches.

5.     Be accountable: When it does get hard, check in with your intentions. Remember you set these goals to make a better you.

 At Align Pilates Center we strongly believe your health and quality of life is a worthwhile endeavor. Take one small step at a time and be consistent, in turn we believe it will be a happier and healthier year.

Nicole Howard
November 24, 2015

Yoga Tune Up®- Learn to Self Massage


Throughout Orange County and across the globe, there’s a buzz in the yoga, fitness, and wellness communities. The excitement is surrounding Yoga Tune Up®, a refreshing movement-based method. Part of the enthusiasm rests on a specialized two and a half inch rubber ball with the sole function of massaging the entire body.
The Yoga Tune Up® therapy balls have been featured on, the Today Show and even better, it’s being embraced by the medical community. Due to the physical and mental benefits, strong emphasis on anatomy and movement-based therapy, the method is revolutionizing the concept of self-care. Through self-guided deep tissue massage, Yoga Tune Up® therapy ball rolling relieves pain, improves posture and enhances body function, leading to a higher quality of life.

Applying the body’s weight against the therapy balls, and using various rolling techniques on the floor or at a wall unearths and unwinds tangled, knotted regions of the body. By rolling the therapy balls over the body’s tissues - from the soles of the feet, to the crown of the head and everywhere in between, the action relieves strain and stress from joints, muscles and connective tissue. Designed to stimulate multiple layers of muscles as they target and unravel tension from high-charged areas like the neck, upper back, lower back, hips, iliotibial band, and feet. In turn, this helps improve muscle strength, flexibility, while preventing injury and bringing the body back into balance. 

Beyond the abundant physical benefits, employing the therapy balls also has a significant tranquilizing effect on the nervous system. They stimulate specialized nerve endings called “Ruffini endings,” which are found in the deepest layers of tissue. This helps to down-regulate the nervous system and create a deep state of relaxation.

Give yourself a massage, tune up the body and feel better. It’s no wonder Yoga Tune Up® is creating such a stir! Promoting health and wellness in an incredible number of ways, the method is great for all walks of life. Classes can be found at various studios like Align Pilates Center. So… get rolling and massage your way into a whole new body, mind and spirit today!   

Nicole Howard
April 14, 2015

Consistency is Key

10sessions_copy        It takes anywhere from 21 to 40 times to turn a new behavior into a persistent habit. In other words, you’re not going to change what you’re doing overnight. When trying to create a change in your overall health, consistency is the key, but that may take some time.

Most of us have the best intentions to exercise, choose the right foods, and make better health decisions. But life happens and it’s hardly easy to maintain the regularity you so desire.
Mornings can be slammed getting kids ready for school and yourself ready for work, and by the end of the day you barely have the energy to drag yourself to the dinner table, let alone workout. Before you know it, your good intentioned health plan is in trouble and your prospects for “sticking to it” are quickly fading.

Fear not. With few simple concepts and a little inspiration from Joseph Pilates you can succeed. First, hold yourself accountable to your new habit. Don’t fall in the trap of instant gratification. Trying something three times and saying it didn’t work is not the answer. For example the founder and visionary of the pilates method, Pilates states in his book Return To Life Through Contrology, “In 10 sessions, you will feel the difference. In 20, you will see the difference. And in 30, you’ll have a whole new you!”

This concept can be applied to anything. If you choose to try a new activity like yoga or a new way of eating, challenge yourself to make it happen 30 times. Don’t pressure yourself that you need to do all 30 session instantly or daily, that will only lead to burn out. Slowly build the habit one week at a time adding more as it gets easier. Overtime you will see the change and will be pleasantly surprised with the results.

“Patience and persistence are vital qualities in the ultimate successful accomplishment of any worthwhile endeavor,” said Pilates.

At Align Pilates Center we strongly believe your health and quality of life is a worthwhile endeavor. Take one small step at a time, be consistent and we are sure you will be successful in finding a new, healthy, happier you.