Machines and a mat are foundations of Pilates
EveryBODY Pilates studio is true to its name. Owner and teacher Lacie Delgado-Elia is passionate about her conviction that everyone can do Pilates, a system of exercises designed using apparatus and mat practice to improve physical strength, flexibility, posture and mental awareness. Her approach to this exercise is based on the teachings of Joseph Pilates, the designer of the program.
Originally, Pilates called the exercise “Contrology.” He believed that bad posture and inefficient breathing were the roots of poor health, and with control of the body, people could achieve overall health and wellness. After moving from Germany to Great Britain during WWI, he was interned in a camp for Germans and decided to refine his exercise with the minimal equipment available. When released, he applied it to soldiers who were bedridden with war injuries. When he immigrated to the United States, he brought with him the practice that is popular today.
Delgado-Elia began Pilates in her early 20s. “I wanted to be a professional dancer,” she said. “But by the time I was 17, I had cervical spine and knee injuries. I had to quit, and I was devastated.” She started with yoga, because it reminded her of dancing and it made her feel better. After having two of her three children, her spinal injuries worsened and she knew she needed another type of activity. “I tried my first Pilates class,” she said, laughing. “And I hated it.” Not until she met her mentor and fellow instructor, Traci Black, did she find that Pilates was going to help her heal. And it did. Now, she uses her experience to help students of all ages heal.
Most Pilates classes incorporate machines – the best-known is called the Reformer – and a mat. Emphasis is placed on the core and the spine, and the deep, inner abdominal muscles. Delgado- Elia teaches students the three factors that Joseph Pilates taught: mind, body and breath. They work together to move the body properly. “I teach a feeling,” she said. “I want people to understand their bodies, why they do what they do and how to improve.” She works with everyone, from golfers to fulltime moms to entrepreneurs. The goal of Pilates is to understand the most natural movements of the human body, and to perfect them.
Delgado-Elia wants people to understand that Pilates is more than exercise. “It truly is a way of life.”
EveryBODY Pilates & Yoga is located at 9122 Bonita Beach Road, in Sunshine Plaza. To attend a class or for more information, call 239-221-3116.
Written By: Heather Thomson