the blog

News, Views & Information
from BASI Pilates & The
Pilates Community

Rising Star of BASI Pilates

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                Meet The Rising Stars of BASI Pilates®. The Rising Stars are the amazing Pilates professionals that make it possible for us to spread the power of the Pilates Method worldwide. Rael Iscowitz founded BASI to provide accessible professional Pilates education with a deep commitment to nurturing the […]

Should Athletes Do Pilates?

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Samantha Wood is a licensed physical therapist since 1997, PMA Certified Pilates Instructor, Yoga Alliance certified teacher, and an international educator and Associate Faculty member for BASI Pilates®.  She has an MBA from USC and is the owner of The Cypress Center in Pacific Palisades, CA where Pilates is integrated with physical therapy for people of […]

STAYING GROUNDED AS A PILATES INSTRUCTOR: AVOID BURN OUT

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“A body free from nervous tension and fatigue is the ideal shelter provided by nature for housing a well-balanced mind, fully capable of successfully meeting all the complex problems of modern living.” ~Joseph Pilates~ As a Pilates Instructor, I understand the challenges we face as far as living a healthy lifestyle. After all, we are […]

Tips from a Pilates home studio owner

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Sheri Long is a BASI Pilates Senior Faculty member who has traveled the world teaching the BASI teacher training programs as well as her workshop, Pilates for the Mature Client. When she’s not traveling, she can be found teaching at her home studio in El Segundo, CA. We sat down with Sheri for a special […]

Ask Rael Q & A: 25th issue

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What three things should a first-time student take away from their first lesson? This is highly individual and subjective, with many factors involved. It is dependent on the movement and life experience of the student, the approach to Pilates and to teaching of the teacher and how they interact: the chemistry between them. The first […]

Ask Rael Isacowitz Pilates Q & A: 24th Issue

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PS: Can you learn Pilates from just doing Pilates workout DVDs?  Rael: This is a great question and one I have struggled with many times. For years, I resisted producing DVDs, training manuals, and later online software (Pilates Interactive), which is a repository of hundreds of video clips. I felt strongly that Pilates was an […]

Ask Rael Q & A: 23rd Issue

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I’ve taken the same Pilates class for months, and it’s starting to feel routine. How can I increase my challenge? First, I thank you for not using the word bored, but rather routine. I get frustrated when I hear people say they are bored, as this says to me that they have completely missed the […]

Building Healthy Confidence with Pilates

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Imagine experiencing life with little to no confidence. Think of how much it would hold you back from being the successful person you were created to be. Consider the prospect of staying in an unfulfilling profession for a lifetime because you didn’t think you were capable of anything greater. Lack of self-assurance can trap you […]

BASI Systems has arrived!

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It’s finally here! The new BASI Systems Pilates equipment has arrived and we couldn’t be happier. Pilates Bodies in Motion (a BASI Pilates studio) ordered all new equipment last year. For starters, our studio space runs sixteen total units in an area of two thousand square feet, so though changing out a studio that size […]

Ask Rael Q & A: 22nd Issue

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I’m a righty but when working out, my stronger, more dominant side is clearly my left. What gives? Handedness or side dominance is very interesting and not fully understood. We do know that the majority of the people in the world (90-92%) are right side dominant, which is controlled by the left hemisphere of the […]

Pilates For The College Student

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Youngstown State University (Youngstown Ohio) added Pilates Mat to the course catalogue in 2009. Since that time over 750 students have taken this course for college credit and the class continues to fill up each semester. I was lucky enough to be asked by the Human Performance and Exercise Science department to teach this class. […]

Brett Howard: My Learn From The Leaders Experience

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The 2013 Learn From the Leaders conference was quite the unique experience for me, filled with excitement and and adventure. Starting my journey to Newport Beach, CA for the conference, I was faced with bad weather and missed my connecting flight to then arrive late to the first day of the of workshops. Next time, I will […]

Ask Rael Q & A: 21st issue

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When you first meet a client, how do you assess them? What do you do first? I am so pleased you asked this question, as I believe this point goes to the heart of my approach to teaching Pilates and that of BASI as well. All too often, teachers start a session without adequate assessment […]

My Learn From The Leaders Experience

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About 19 years ago I was sitting at a birthday lunch. I was at the stage in my life where my eldest daughter, Chelsea-Ann was going off to play school in the mornings and being home in the afternoons. My son Stuie, was soon to follow suit. I was teaching ballet at the local ballet […]

Ask Rael Q & A: 20th Issue

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How often should you change your Pilates routine? I find people rely too much on changing their routine. On the other hand, I have never done two workouts that were exactly the same. Let me explain this further. I view a Pilates session as a form of meditation in motion. The movement enables us to […]

My BASI Life: Efi Mavrogianni

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BASI: Tell us about yourself? EFI: I come from Greece and was born on the island of Crete, but I moved to Athens in 1999. I teach at NYSY studios and Swaha. I love practicing Pilates, walking, hiking, spending time in nature. BASI: How did you find out about BASI Pilates and when did you become […]

Ask Rael Q & A: 20th Issue

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After a cardio session, does it matter if you stretch the upper or lower body first? In my opinion it does not matter whether you stretch the upper or lower body first. Certainly, after a cardio session the entire body and musculature are warm and primed for stretching. How to stretch is another matter, as […]

Letter from Emilee Garfield

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When I signed up to be a part of the ‘BASI’ family years ago, I had no idea that I would gain an entire family world wide. I always wanted a big family, but this family is like no other. This past year has been the biggest struggle of my life. Being diagnosed with Stage […]

Letter from Rael – November 2015

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As December approaches and with it the holiday season, many exciting things are happening in BASI-land. First we always run the Master and Master Reunion Programs in December. This is a wonderful and worthy tradition that we will surely keep going for years to come. The Mentor Programs are scheduled for earlier in the year […]

Ask Rael Q & A: 19th Issue

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I’m interested in adding some winter sports (skiing, skating, snowboarding) to my cardio routine. What Pilates exercises would best prepare my body for these activities?    I am an avid skier and snowboarder myself and have been enjoying an epic season up on Mt. Hood, Oregon. Undoubtedly, all Pilates exercises are good for general conditioning […]

Q & A with Karen Clippinger – Pilates For Dancers

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AL: Thanks for joining me. I want to ask you a few questions to give potential students some insight into your course Pilates for Dancers. Before we start, can you tell us briefly about your  unique history and how you used this to create your course? KC: My masters in Exercise Science, training as a […]

BASI Foundation: Pilates Gives Back Follow-up

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On Saturday, September 19th the Pilates community celebrated Pilates Gives Back Day. The one-day event invites our community to unify and devote our talents and efforts to fundraising and giving back to those less fortunate. This year, Pilates studios across the globe focused their fundraising efforts on supporting the BASI Foundation. The BASI Foundation mission […]

Ask Rael Q & A: 18th Issue

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I get distracted by other students during my mat class. How I can I turn my focus inwards? I am a strong believer in the power of the mind and the importance of being mindful of each movement in your Pilates practice. Being present mentally in your mat class is so important- I cannot stress […]

Comprehensive Apparatus Program: Modules 5 & 6

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  I am proud to say that this past Sunday I completed my Comprehensive Apparatus Program in Davis, California, and what an eye opening, fascinating, enjoyable ride it has been. I consider myself very fortunate, not only was I blessed with world class teachers in Sheri Long and Ofie Dates, but I found myself surrounded […]

Pilates for Injuries & Pathologies

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We all know that the success of Pilates is partially due to the positive effect we make on individuals who come to us seeking improvement of minor aches/pains/injuries. Sometimes we are able to determine their problems are postural or due to poor alignment. However, it is a fact that Pilates Studios are seeing more and […]

Ask Rael Q & A: 17th Issue

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I’m starting to take strength-classes. Sometimes I’m really sore the day afterwards, when I have a Pilates private scheduled. Should I postpone, or is it fine to work through the ache?  I will start by saying that the reason for the soreness felt following strength training, called Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness (DOMS) is not conclusive […]

F2 System – An Innovation in Pilates Apparatus

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Recently, I had the pleasure to join Rael’s workshop ‘Introduction to the F2 System – An Innovation in Pilates Apparatus’. For those, who aren’t clear, F2 defined is ‘Form and Function’. I was intrigued by how he described his new equipment. He said that it is a ‘living and a breathing apparatus’. What exactly did […]

Ask Rael Q & A: 16th Issue

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I have a couple of clients who cannot activate their glutes in almost any position and, in turn, never feel like they work them. I have exhausted my angles. Any ideas how to get these muscles to fire?  It is important to work the gluteals, and this becomes increasingly important if you are working with […]

BASI Comprehensive Apparatus Program Modules 3 & 4

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The Comprehensive Apparatus Program continues to inspire a desire to learn and grow. Due to the fact that we are now deep into the Comprehensive program the repertoire is at a higher level, exposing us to numerous exercises at the intermediate/advanced level. I have to express how exciting it is to practice exercises that we […]

Ask Rael Q & A: 15th Issue

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How do you teach a group class that’s filled with mostly intermediate students but also with one or two students who have never done Pilates? This is a problem that every Pilates teacher will encounter at one point or another. It is seldom that a class is completely homogenous, with all the students at the […]

BASI Foundation: Special Event 9.19.15

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Creating a nonprofit organization within BASI Pilates has been a dream of mine for many years. I am very proud to let you know that, with Rael leading the way, it has finally come to fruition. We would like to introduce you to BASI Foundation. The Mission Statement is: To support and financially assist professionals […]

ASK RAEL Q & A: 14TH ISSUE

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Q: I have been told that I have osteoporosis in my hips, and I need to do strength training. Is there a way to incorporate weights into my Pilates routine? I have a Reformer at home, just need some tips. Rael: It is not only possible but also recommended to utilize the Reformer for strength […]

Ask Rael Q & A: 13th Issue

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I recently found out that I’m pregnant. How early do I need to tell my instructor that I’m expecting? Are there any exercises I should or shouldn’t do while pregnant? Congratulations! Tell your instructor immediately. This is something he or she needs to know. Also let your instructor know your history with pregnancies (if you’ve […]

Comprehensive Apparatus Modules 1 & 2

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I would like to begin by painting a picture of my position professionally as well as my situation as a BASI student. I am coming into the Comprehensive Apparatus Program as a BASI Mat teacher, and I recently completed the Foundation Apparatus Program in Davis, California. I feel the need to say that I have […]

Ask Rael Q & A: 12th Issue

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What are your favorite cues for helping students correctly engage their pelvic floor? Also, are there any exercises you recommend for strengthening this area? The pelvic floor, sometimes referred to as the pelvic diaphragm, belongs to a unique and very special group of muscles. I call them mind muscles, as it demands focus and deep […]

Ask Rael Q & A: 11th Issue

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Do I need to warm-up before Pilates? What are the best exercises to do? This is a great question, but one I would reword to: “Why wouldn’t someone do a warm up at the beginning of every Pilates session?” Preparing the body for more challenging work to come is essential to a well-structured session. Perhaps […]

Ask Rael Q & A: 10th Issue

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Can Pilates really help to lengthen your muscles?   There is a great deal of myth related to lengthening muscles. In fact there are bountiful myths when it comes to Pilates in general: giving you a dancers body, giving you a long lean body, increasing body height (having done Pilates for 35 years surely I […]

Ask Rael Q & A: 9th Issue

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Lately I’ve been hearing a lot about “posture assessments.” My instructor never gave me a formal assessment, and I was wondering if I should get one. Would it help? Posture assessment should be an ongoing and integral part of your Pilates training. You use the phrase “formal assessment”. This may be misleading. I do not […]

Ask Rael Q & A: 8th issue

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I want to shape and strengthen my legs, but I can’t bend my knees using resistance because of a sports injury. Any advice? That is a tough question. It is difficult to give advice without having sufficient information, and I NEVER lose sight of the issue of scope of practice. As a Pilates teacher, I […]

Ask Rael Q & A: 7th issue

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What’s your on-the-go workout routine when you’re traveling the world? I am very disciplined about doing workouts when I am on the road. It is the most important time to keep a routine going. Workouts help me get over jet-lag, keep me in touch with the work – so when I teach I feel connected […]

Mentor Program 2015 – Inge Pretorius

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I have had this one word stuck in my mind from the first day of the Mentor Program, starting with the meet and great on the Friday morning, and if I’m honest even before that from my private session with Rael the day before. Inspired. Part of the BASI philosophy that has always resonated with […]

My BASI Life – Tara Businski

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BASI Pilates is proud to feature Tara Businski in the July/August 2015 issue of Pilates Style Magazine. She shares her BASI Life in the latest issue and how Pilates has influenced her military career. The former Marine sat down for a special interview to share  her story.   When did you discover BASI Pilates and Pilates […]

Ask Rael Q & A: 6th Issue

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Q: I sometimes catch myself holding my breath during a Pilates session. Do you have any advice on how to breathe properly?   Rael: Let me start by saying, “don’t hold your breath”! There are negative repercussions that arise from holding your breath, and it goes against the premise of the Pilates principles. In my […]

Ask Rael Q & A : 5th Issue

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      How long should you wait to do Pilates after major surgery? It all depends on the type of surgery. For most orthopedic surgeries, for instance knee, hip and shoulder, the goal is to get the joint moving as soon as possible. That is also true of abdominal surgeries, such as C-sections, where […]

Ask Rael Q & A : 4th Issue

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  Where are the “corset” muscles? Any cues for engaging them most effectively? You are probably referring to the muscles of the core. Terms such as “corset muscles”, “core”, and “powerhouse” are all synonymous in my mind, though their interpretation will probably vary slightly from teacher to teacher. In my book Pilates (Human Kinetics), I […]

Ask Rael Q & A: 3rd Issue

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  Q: I am a seasoned practitioner and work out at a prominent studio, which hosts Pilates workshop. Even though I’m not an instructor, could I benefit from continuing education, or would I be wasting my money?   A: Education is never a waste of time or money! You should certainly participate, and I hope the […]

ASK RAEL Q & A : 2nd Issue

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How long does it take for a total newbie to learn Pilates? Rael: The learning process never ends… period. I have been enjoying the benefits and rewards of Pilates for over 30 years and I still regard myself as a novice in the process of mastering the method. And that is what I love about […]

Ask Rael Q & A

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Q: Thanks to Pilates, my legs and powerhouse are getting strong. The only problem is that I still feel weak in my upper body. What are the best Pilates exercises that will help me gain upper-body strength? A: First, great to hear that your powerhouse is getting stronger. It is certainly from here that all […]

Mentor Program Interview with Rael Isacowitz

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Thanks for joining me Rael. I wanted to ask a few questions about the Mentor Program.   AL: First, I must say I love the mentoring concept. As Pilates education has moved to a course structure model, it is nice to see the traditional Mentoring style of teaching being preserved. I think all of the initial […]

BASI Summit 2015

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    Even with the BASI Summit 2015 behind us, there is still a wonderful afterglow that follows such an event. It is without a doubt the high point of a career when you can view your work through the eyes of those you respect. This seemed to be the theme of the Summit as […]

Mentor Program Prep – Inge Pretorious

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My journey to take part in the Mentor Program started almost a year ago in June 2014, when I first contacted BASI about dates for the program in the coming year; it’s hard to believe it is now just two weeks away. I have had the privilege of working at the Cape Town BASI host studio […]

Letter From Rael

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Dear Friends, Although Constance Holder, BASI Pilates Director of Education, and Carrie Smith, BASI Host and Faculty extraordinaire, will be writing about the recent Summit and ProBridge, I cannot restrain myself from writing a few words. My heart is overflowing with excitement and pride. To witness over 60 committed Licensees, Hosts and Faculty converging on […]

The Pilates Power Horse

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My husband and I live a very active lifestyle and our business also keeps us very active. We own a nursery garden centre and spring is our busiest season.  With its physical demands it seems that every spring I’d get some sort of shoulder, back, or neck issue.  I wanted to improve my strength but […]

Letter from Rael Isacowitz – April 2015

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Spring is in the air, excitement abounds and fresh, new beginnings seem like the order of the day. I am spending a few days in Long Beach, CA with my family and enjoying every minute of it. It has taught me an important lesson – there is so much to enjoy in our own backyards, […]

Learning to keep it Simple!

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June of 2012 started an intense period of learning, of education and branching out of how, what and why I teach Pilates. I was a Kathy Grant Scholarship recipient for the Mentor Program at BASI- I felt so honored to work with and learn from Rael Isacowitz, especially as I was not from a BASI […]

My BASI Life: Ena & Rina Kirima

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In the March/ April issue of Pilates Style Magazine, BASI Pilates is proud to feature Ena and Rina Kirima in the first installment of the My BASI Life campaign. What is My BASI Life? From the life as a BASI student, to the clients who are empowered by the method, BASI Pilates is an experience […]

BASI Community News

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Let me start by introducing myself – My name is Stephanie Locke, a proud BASI graduate and Marketing Manager for BASI Pilates. I live, eat, and breathe (lateral breathing, of course) Pilates. My BASI Life has been a unique and rewarding one, starting as a Kathy Grant Memorial Scholarship recipient to working with the instructors […]

Letter From Rael

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  I love this picture of my friend Cengiz Han and I. Anyone can see this is a picture of two men who share great affection for each other. But there is so much more this picture exemplifies. As the world is tormented by violence and extreme ideologies this picture reflects love, hope and mutual […]

BASI Centralized Testing

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  A number of years ago when we first kicked off a new way of student testing (at the end of our Teacher Training Course) I wrote an article in an attempt to outline a few of the most frequently asked questions about Centralized Testing. After a very successful five years of working with the […]

Never Stop Learning

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    Becoming an affective teacher is simple. You just prepare and prepare until drops of blood appear on your forehead. In the 1920s Charlie Chaplin was the most famous person in the world. Born into poverty, he worked onstage to support himself, and by age seventeen he was a veteran performer. Then at age […]

A Year of Discovery and Change

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2014 will be a year to remember, no doubt. Two epic events dominated this year for BASI Pilates and for me personally. The Voyage of Discovery, an ongoing trip that took me to 8 countries. The Winds of Change, which describes a philosophical and organizational shift in BASI’s educational teacher training lineup.   The Voyage […]

Pilates World Conference with Ena & Rina Kirima

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In early October, we were given the opportunity to attend Pilates World Conference in Tokyo, Japan, as Rael’s assistants. Never in a million years, did we think we would have the chance to travel to our home country, assist the founder of BASI, learn more in depth about Pilates, and be a part of an […]

Host Studio Spotlight: Flow Studios

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BASI Pilates recently sat down with host studio owner and BASI Pilates Faculty member, Cindy Reid as she prepares for the upcoming ProBridge Program to be hosted at Flow Studios in Chicago.   How did you get involved with BASI Pilates, and when? CR: In 2002 I met Rael at a Body Mind Spirit Conference. At […]

My Journey to Become Certified: The Modules

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As a personal trainer and fitness instructor with an affinity for attaining challenging and highly regarded certifications, it’s no wonder why BASI was my choice for my Pilates education. To me, difficult means that the certifying organization is not interested in sheer numbers but those who want to be in that club have to really […]

Letter From Rael – BASI ProBridge

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  As winter in the Northern Hemisphere nears, it is time to hunker down and get serious about some studying. The course presently under the spotlight is ProBridge. I am so happy and proud of the popularity of this program. As many of you know this is primarily a bridging program into BASI for Pilates […]

Regain Functionality after Breast Cancer with Pilates

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We learned so much from Naomi Aaronson and Ann Marie Toro in their BRAND NEW book releasing later this month,  Pilates for Breast Cancer Survivors. Great information for anyone who is, or is training a breast cancer survivor! Pilates Exercises for Healing: Shoulder Stretches and Bridging There are three phases of Pilates for breast cancer survivors. The goal […]

Become a BASI Pilates® Professional

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Build a Pilates Career on the Best Foundation Pilates careers are highly varied. Today, Pilates is integrated in a wide range of applications from the traditional studio through clinical practice to kinesiology and even professional sports training. Yet, even as the application is varied, Pilates must combine the artistry and science of the movement as […]