STAYING IN TOUCH.
Most major Pilates organizations, studios and instructors offer periodic e-newsletters direction to inboxes. They keep you informed about upcoming conferences and workshops, new DVDs, innovations in equipment - all things new and noteworthy in the world of Pilates. The Pilates Style monthly e-newsletter provides exercises, interviews, recipes and a comprehensive calendar of what's going on in the Pilates universe.
If you’re a Pilates pro and are looking for a way to communicate with you clients, join a newsletter distribution service like Constant Contact (constantcontact.com). For about $30 a month, such services provide newsletter templates, making it easy to send out professional-looking communications and build your brand.
Then there’s Twitter, the latest stay-in-touch tool for text and email fans. Huggins and Caban use Twitter to provide updates on classes and workshops as well as motivational messages to clients.
Blogs, unlike newsletters, are embedded on websites, so they’re viewed only by people who visit. DiCarlo advises hiring a professional web developer to set up your blog, but you can also go to blogger.com or wordpress.com to set one up for free. Blogs allow you to write and post pictures, videos and links about whatever topics interest you. They're a quick way publish your thoughts, and they can help you build your reputation by sharing your knowledge.
Sometimes blogs become communities unto themselves, with regular readers posting comments and fostering discussion. Chantal Donnelly, a physical therapist and Pilates instructor who maintains a blog through her website, bodyinsight101.com, sees blogs as business builders. “My blog adds new content to my website with key terms that are search-engine-friendly,” she says. “This brings people to my website.”
Liz Koch, creator of Core Awareness and author of the Psoas Book (Guinea Pig Publications, 1997) agrees. “People become psoas savvy from my blogs, then share their knowledge with others,” she notes. “This helps me create a virtual community.” Virtual communities are what keep digital businesses alive.
Other notable blogs include Tracey Mallett's teammallett.com, which contains posts on diet, fitness and healthy lifestyles; Sarah Picot’s anythingpilates.com, which provides how to improve your Pilates techniques hints; and the Pilate Blog, pilatesblog.com, with fresh news from Pilates devoted celebs to sports specific tips.
“Pilates World University starts offering streaming, downloadable content on our website this year at bodycontrolpilates.com,” says Lynne Robinson, queen of the UK Pilates scene. “We don’t believe in a catchall approach, so content for teachers and enthusiasts will differ.” For pros there’s the interactive DVD-ROM Pilates for Anatomy, which links anatomy to classical Pilates exercises.
No Internet access? Load a favourite Pilates instructional DVD and hit the mat. Prefer reading to watching? Try amazon.com’s much-hyped electronic book, the Kindle, which allows you to download and read book, newspapers and magazines digitally. Even within the Pilates community there’s new media that doesn't require a web connection. For example, Aderra Systems records events onto USB wristbands, which are ready for distribution at the end of an event. The bands plug in to any computer USB port, allowing you to download and watch the event. How’s that for being able to take it with you?
Tannis Kobrinsky owns Health Habitravels, www.healthabitravels.com
THE SECOND ANNUAL PILATES STYLE DVD AWARDS
You've written to us with the same questions time and time again - even more so now with budgets tighter than ever: with so many DVDs on the market, how do you choose the right one for your needs? Which vid will motivate you and keep you coming back for more? How do you know the truly great from the total duds?
There is no simple answer, owing to so many factors to consider: your fitness level, preferred teaching style, lifestyle and whether you’re looking for mat, prop or apparatus-based work, to name just a few. The good news: while the endless choices may seem daunting, the variety means that there's something for everyone. Lucky for you, we’ve done the legwork and watched the newest DVDs out there. With full admission of subjectivity, we proudly present round two of the Pilates Style DVD Awards.
ULTIMATE MIX MASTER
The studio by Ellen Barrett: Fat Burning Fusion
Sculpt your physique with this fast-paced, fat-burning workout that combines Pilates, aerobics, ballet, qigong and calisthenics in six segments that build upon one another.
46 minutes ($15)
Buff Girl Fitness
Find it: ellenbarrett.com
MOST PROPER + PRINCIPLED
The Mari Windsor Pilates for Pink Workout
Winsor employs a resistance band to strengthen your core, arms and legs in one of her best vids to date. $1 from each sale benefits breast cancer research.
50 minutes ($14.98)
Find it: amazon.com
Element: Pilates Weight Loss for Beginners
Siler guides and motivates newbies through a mat workout that offers ample modifications and is focused on maximum calorie burning.
50/36 minutes ($14.98)
Dragonfly Productions, Starz Home Entertainment
Find it: amazon.com
Pilates for Men
Men and women will gain strength and flexibility (and enhance their cross-training skills) with this intense total-body workout.
84 minutes ($14.95)
Find it: merrithew.com
COOLEST USE OF APPARATUS
MVe™ Latin Dance Fusion Chair Workout
Spice up your workout - and rev your heart - with fun Latin dance moves and challenging Chair exercises that even uncoordinated types can handle.
51 minutes ($19.99)
Find it: peakpilates.com
BEST TARGETED TONER
Grace Lazenby's All the Right Moves: Amazing Legs Workout
Get long, toned games with challenging Pilates, yoga and dance conditioning-based moves. But be forewarned: you will be sore the next day
33 minutes ($12.95)
Find it: itrain.com
Total Body Calorie Blast
Break your workout down with seven six-minute segments that include hard-core cardio and aerobics moves, Pilates and yoga, and some straight-up core conditioning.
66 minutes ($14.99)
Razor Digital Entertainment
Find it: traceymallett.com
The Breast Cancer Survivor’s Guide to Physical Restoration
Learn a therapeutic exercise routine catering to your condition, gain understanding of your muscles and movement patterns, and get valuable strategies and tips for managing and improving your health.
108 minutes ($20.95)
Pilates Therapeutics, LLC.
Find it: pialtestherapeutics.com
10-Minute Solution: Pilates Perfect Body
Short yet intense mat-based segments keep your body lean, targeting the belly, buns and thighs, arms and general silhouette.
55 minutes ($14.98)
Anchor Bay Entertainment
Find it: amazon.com
Attitude: Ballet & Pilates Fusion (Beyond 50 and Fabulous)
Derive inspiration and beat boredom with a multi-prop workout performed by a cast of 50-somethings.
78 minutes ($19.99)
Just B Method
Find it: shop.justbmethod.com
KEEPSAKE OF THE YEAR
Pilates Wunda Chair Double Feature
Venture out into the world of apparatus – and get a whole-body butt kicking - with a true Pilates master. Also included: an advanced workout, live and uncut, performed by Rael Isacowitz himself.
31/33 minutes ($29.95)
Body Arts and Science International
Find it: basipilates.com
Think your vid is worthy of an award? Send it to us? ‘Pilates Style,’ 250 W. 57th St., Ste. 728, NYC 10107