847.698.6338 debbie@tripilates.com

My first mat class led me to private lessons (I could NOT do “Tree”)!

Private lessons for many years led me to becoming a teacher.

YOU, our community, our students, our studio,

brought us to TEN YEARS!


That first mat class was packed – 4o people or so – like many yoga classes are these days, all the rage. My yoga practice today spans over 30 years, so at the time I wasn’t even thinking it would be much different. I thought it was called “Pie Lates”, I had no idea that Pilates was the name of a man and that he called his exercises Contrology, or mind/body control.  That mat class was a rude awakening. Yoga had not given me the control over my movements at that time.

When the student is ready, the teacher appears.  I felt strong and could waterski, snow ski, do yoga, haul 4 children around at a break-neck paced schedule, home-care and juggle it all, but suddenly I was immobilized.  I could NOT put one leg in the air from a laying down position and roll up to it!   Clearly I had less control over my movement than I thought.

MAT.  Just. Couldn’t. Do. It.

Fast forward several years – weekly private lessons mostly on the Reformer (last week’s blog touched on WHY DO REFORMER). As if by magic (patience and persistence), my control, strength, and flexibility increased to be able to do challenging exercises – like “Tree” – and cured my resistance to getting back on the mat.  My teacher would thread in mat work during my lesson to increase my body’s ability to walk, work, and play in my daily life. Let me say that again: to ENJOY my life!

There were NO group reformer classes, only group mat.  Coming from a yoga background, the energy of a group is often motivating and inspirational (haven’t you ever glanced at another student in class wondering how you’ll ever be able to do THAT?)  It wasn’t until years later that I even KNEW there was such a thing as private Yoga.  My training includes the entire Pilates Method (all mat & apparatus & props), and Yoga (a Western style, for the modern slumped over tight body.)


WE LOVE COMMUNITY.  TriPilates’ students, our tribe, as we call it, our group mat and apparatus classes of students, who for the most part begin with private lessons ONLY (my experience), have made 10 years possible!  From my basement, where I put my late husband Craig on the reformer the day TriPilates officially got it’s business license from the state of Illinois (Feb 14, 2007),  to our location of 5 years on Touhy, to our beautiful, bright, happy, warm, and quiet space here on Busse Highway, we’ve come a long way!  TriPilates’ brought affordable Pilates to our community (remember, there were no Group Apparatus classes around here 10 years ago). Our classes have catapulted into a new dimension.  We not only teach you how to practice MAT on your own (yes, Pilates can be done every day), but teach you HOW to move, not just what to do.

Do Your Homework

Let me repeat that. Rather than tell you to bring your shoulder down, we try very hard to teach you to FEEL what’s balanced, what’s not, what is aligned, what’s not, what’s moving with your breath, what’s not, etc.  This way, you can walk out the door, confident to bring that thought, that inner presence to your next activity.  Getting in and out of the car, taking a yoga class, going for a run, standing at the kitchen sink, sitting and reading a book, whatever it is.  We teach you what Joe Pilates wanted – to live your life free of tension, full of strength and core awareness, mentally capable of performing our “many daily tasks with zest and pleasure.”

Now if my teacher says, let’s do Tree, I’m ready to climb.  Not only that, I’m ready to climb a mountain to celebrate my 60th this year!  I am so grateful I started my journey in my mid 30s!  Between ages 40-50, life gets super busy for most, with many changes that distract us from self-care. Our Grand Opening for TriPilates was on my 50th Birthday (just kind of worked out that way!) We are planning  our 10 Year STUDIO CELEBRATION later this Spring!

KEEP COMING BACK TO MAT and STAY TUNED for “March Matness” – which is a global Pilates community event where we focus and breakdown one of the 31 Mat exercises for each and every day of March.  It’s all over social media #marchmatness17

Learn it, know it, feel it, grow with it.  

Let’s dig our roots in and grow sturdy and strong like that “Tree.”

We can do it!

Do I love doing Tree?  It’s grown on me!

(being honest)

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