“Physical fitness is the first requisite of happiness.”
My journey with Pilates started three years ago when I had severe sciatic nerve pain. I tried everything from new bed, new walking shoes, new chair at work. I took over the counter and prescribed pain relievers, had two epidurals in my back, had a nerve test and MRI, and went to two different physical therapists. The second physical therapist helped me a lot. I went from barely able to walk to walking for 15 minutes at a time. But other health conditions emerged from all the medication I was on. I searched the internet for solutions. I was willing to try anything. I was in a lot of pain all the time and so frustrated that nothing was helping. I had saved an article from The Billings Gazette on an interview Michelle had done about helping people with back issues. So, I thought I’d give Pilates a try.
At the time I had no idea what Pilates was. I even pronounced it 'Pilots'. I thought it was a form of Yoga. I think back at how naïve I was. I signed up for private lessons with my husband to try. After the first session, I didn’t have any pain for the next couple of hours, that's when I knew I was on to something,. It was such a relief for just that amount of time. I did privates with Michelle for a couple of months to get strong enough to start attending classes. At the same time I was doing Pilates, I started aromatherapy massage. I could feel the pain finally decreasing with the combination of physical therapy exercises, massage, Rx of gabapentin, and Pilates. I gradually took myself off of prescription medication, stopped the physical therapy exercises, and the aromatherapy massage but continued to take Pilate's classes three times a week. I got better and better at losing the pain and gaining strength in my core. There were days at the beginning that I was in so much pain that I didn’t want to go to class, but I knew if I did I would have less pain.
Three years later, I still attend class three times a week to keep the pain from coming back. The classes are small so that the instructors Michelle, Mary Lou, and Lindsay can work with you and correct your form. They explain why you are doing certain exercise and where I should be feeling it in my body. After I had my MRI, the doctor told me no back extension exercises. Michelle worked with me to modify what is taught in class so that I could do a different exercise. I love the social interaction with the instructor and my classmates. We laugh a lot during class and have fun. The hour goes by really fast. The instructors teach at the level the class is at. If there are new people, we do lower lever exercises. If we are all at a more advanced level, the instructors make it a little tougher. No class is ever the same old boring routine. I am amazed at the age level that attend class from high school age to 70’s. Pilates is for everyone and it save my life!
~Janet H. March 2017
I was a gifted athlete and played multiple sports growing up. I am not a naturally flexible person; even as a young athlete I had to consistently work on flexibility to avoid injury and improve performance. As I aged (I'm 53) and spent a career behind a desk with high heels on, my flexibility suffered tremendously. I continued to run, lift weights and do aerobic workouts all of which can and did contribute to the "tightness" of my muscles. I had so much Achilles pain due to flexibility problems that I finally quit playing competitive basketball and volleyball but I wanted to continue skiing, hiking, playing golf and chasing my grandchildren around.
I found Pure Pilates purely by accident. I was considering enrolling in a hot yoga class as I thought that would help my flexibility. I drove by Pure Pilates in my search for the hot yoga studio so I walked in and inquired about classes. I was instantly impressed by Michelle's passion for Pilates and her confidence in the positive physical changes it could mean for me. Many of the workouts I had done over the years contained Pilates type exercises but I had never been exposed to the philosophy behind it or the actual benefits of true Pilates training. What a difference Pilates has made in my physical health. My flexibility is the best its EVER been and all of my flexibility related problems have disappeared. Pilates truly does lengthen and strengthen! My body is not only much stronger now but also better balanced; I no longer have to overcompensate with my lower body for a weak upper body. Better core strength has contributed to less back strain when I'm playing golf and a better turn when swinging the club. I average over 10 miles a day on my Fitbit, can ski all day without fatigue and hike right up the mountain. Its all good!
The Pure Pilates staff is fantastic! I had foot surgery a year ago and only missed a week of Pilates. I was only able to do that because the staff was capable of coaching me in full Pilates routines that accounted for no weight bearing for 6 weeks and limited weight bearing for months. The staff is experienced, caring and supportive of each individual who comes in whether in a private session or a class. They can quickly assess ability and tailor each exercise so you get the most benefit with the least risk of injury. Lastly, Pilates is a life skill. Given proper coaching, you can do it at any age and in any physical condition. I recommend Pure Pilates for anyone that wants to live an active, healthy life!
~ Julie F. October 2016
Pilates has been a life-changer for me, and that's the truth. I'm a 31 year old male, but up until this summer I swear I felt on the rougher side of 51. The long and the short of why starts with the fact that I'm an 8 1/2 year military veteran with deployments to both Iraq and Afghanistan. I've also rode a few broncs in my day and have been bucked off quite a few too! Bronc riding and ranch life as a whole can be pretty rough on your body, but honestly my last deployment to Afghanistan was the roughest experience I've ever dealt with and left me in pretty rough shape. I've had a heck of a time getting back to feeling like my old self these past 5 years.
I have felt very limited by severe sciatic pain, poor flexibility, a weak core, limited mobility along with stiff and achy joints. I tried just about everything to "fix" myself: spent a small fortune on chiropractic care and massage therapy, tried stretching routines, various workouts, yoga, pain killers, an inversion table. None of it ever seemed to fully remediate my situation. So, in my desperate state, I decided to finally try Pilates after having heard good things about it.
It only took a couple sessions for me to start to realize the benefits, which proved VERY exciting. Now that I'm a few more workouts in, I feel amazing now. The staff at Pure Pilates has been extremely knowledgeable, patient, persistent, accommodating, and even compassionate in tailoring my workouts to suit my needs and help me get better. I still have a little ways to go, but I definitely feel like a new man; I'm stronger, walkin taller, I've lost a few unnecessary pounds, have a much improved attitude and I've only completed 18 sessions thus far. I'm pretty sold on Pilates, and I can't stress enough how big of a difference it's made for me. If you're at all curious about it, I urge you to give Pilates a try... If you're not curious, call 'em up anyway, and you can thank me later."
~ Wace M. July 2016