Demystifying the Mystery of Pilates: A Lowcountry Perspective

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What is it? One local instructor and studio owner says “it’s like taking WD40 to the joints.”

Story and Photos by Tonya McGue

Stars like Reese Witherspoon, Tiger Woods, LeBron James and Madonna do it. Doctors, retired people and professional athletes do it. People with pain or injuries use it to help them recover.

If you do a Google search on Pilates in the Lowcountry, about 50 places pop up offering some form of Pilates. They include dedicated Pilates studios, big gyms, physical therapy centers, spas and boutique fitness centers. Almost 9 million people in the U.S. participate in Pilates, but if you ask non-participants what they think Pilates is, most don’t know.

Peeking in a Pilates studio, it’s hard to tell what it is. Is it physical therapy? The equipment kind of looks like it. Is it yoga? Many of the participants have lean, muscular bodies and are holding athletic poses. Is it personal training? There’s one or two people working with one trainer.

So, what are they doing? What is Pilates?

In short, Pilates is a low-impact, resistance-based fitness system invented by German Joseph Pilates. He was a bodybuilder who firmly believed in the importance of mind-body connection.? His method is based on a combination of western bodybuilding, gymnastics, eastern yoga, tai chi and meditation. He called it Controlology.

During World War I, Pilates was interned as an enemy alien. He began experimenting with rehabilitation techniques. His system consisted of 500 different exercises, still used today, some performed on a mat and others using special equipment.

He helped bed-ridden patients recover from their arm and leg injuries which resulted in the creation of The Cadillac, Pilates equipment that looks similar to a WWI hospital bed with straps and springs. Other Pilates equipment includes The Reformer (looks somewhat like a rowing machine), the Wunda Chair, the Ladder Barrel and the Wall Tower, all using a spring-based system.

“We really pride ourselves on the equipment we use,” said Dana Romanosky, a certified Pilates instructor at Coastal Body Studio in The Shoppes at Brickyard in Mount Pleasant. “Pilates is all about spinal decompression and balancing the large and small muscles that support our joints. Using the springs on the equipment really differentiates Pilates from other types of exercise.”

Pilates focuses on core strength, posture, balance and flexibility. It emphasizes the connection between body and mind and is for people of all athletic abilities, beginner to advanced.

Lindsay Jackson Ward, owner of Coastal Body, a classical Pilates studio that offers private and semi-private sessions, said, “The number one priority is seeing results safely and quickly. The three main Pilates principles are Stretch, Strength and Control.”

To ensure results, certified Pilates instructors are required to complete intensive instruction which includes personal workouts, lectures, observation and a teaching apprenticeship program. “It took me almost two years while working full-time as a waitress,” Lindsay said. “It was like getting a degree.” Lindsay and Dana completed over 700 hours of training, including advanced teacher instruction.

Lindsay, a former professional dancer, first heard about Pilates from a friend who was a certified instructor. “After hanging up my shoes, I tried Pilates and got hooked right away. It includes movement, strength, balance and flexibility. I felt like I was in the same world.” Within a few months of becoming certified, she bought Coastal Body Studio.

Lindsay said one of the biggest misconceptions about Pilates is that it’s for women. “Actually, almost half my clients are men. Most of them are golfers who want to maintain strength and flexibility so they can keep playing well.”

J.B. Belicka (pictured), one of Lindsay’s clients, said he started doing Pilates about 20 years ago because of pain from a bulging disk in his back. “It helped me almost immediately,” he said. “If I don’t do it consistently, at least two times a week, my back starts acting up again. I can get laid up for weeks if I miss many sessions.”

Dana also discovered Pilates because of pain in her back. “I had a car accident and for 10 years I couldn’t get rid of the pain in my back and hips. Nothing worked,” she said. “I tried Pilates and it helped right away. It fixed my alignment. I don’t know why my doctors and physical therapists didn’t suggest it. The experience was so transformative, I changed careers from an equity marketing manager to a Pilates instructor. Other people need to know about its benefits and I want to share how amazing it is.”

Dana is a big proponent of Pilates being the next step after physical therapy. “It’s the natural next step after PT. Pilates corrects alignment. It’s about raising awareness of movement and breathing. Our goal is for people to take what they learn out the door so that they can live their lives more fully, playing that golf game or being able to pick up their child without pain. It’s music to our ears when we hear a client say she noticed she was slouching and corrected her posture immediately.”

Lindsay said, “It’s awesome to see people feel good, improve their posture and flexibility, get stronger and have more energy. Pilates is like taking WD40 to the joints.”


Infographic Guide to Wellness and Happiness

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Is life bringing you down?
Is work hindering your ability to pursue your dreams and goals?
Do you feel overwhelmed?
Are stress and anxiety a regular part of your life?

It may be time to slow down and find balance.? Here are some great ideas, tips and plans to bring wellness, balance and happiness back into your life

Infographic Guide to Wellness and Happiness












Charleston, S.C. Based The New Primal Launches Revolutionary Whole30? Approved Beef Thins at Natural Products Expo West 2018

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Media Release: Charleston, SC – March 5, 2018:? The New Primal, a pioneer of the healthiest, most responsibly sourced, meat snacks on the planet, is thrilled to announce the launch of the Beef Thin, a savory and snackable jerky with a crunch. A first of its kind in meat snacks, officially arriving to Whole Foods nationwide this June, Beef Thins are thinly sliced cuts of 100% grass-fed, grass-finished beef flavored with a list of the simplest ingredients found on any jerky package. The innovative items are Whole30? Approved to boot.

“I’m always looking for on-the-go protein sources made with 100% grass-fed beef and no added sugar for my Whole30 community. The New Primal has knocked it out of the park with the taste, texture, and fun-factor of their new Beef Thins. I shared my first pack with my son and immediately sent their team an email: ‘Send. More. Now.’” – Melissa Hartwig, Whole30? Co-founder.

Give Your Jaw a Break

With a commitment to invite new consumers into the category, The New Primal Beef Thins are much easier to bite, chew and enjoy than traditional jerky. These guilt-free, crispy jerky snacks will be available in two flavors including Sea Salt and BBQ. The Sea Salt flavor touts just FIVE simple ingredients (100% Grass-Fed Beef, Coconut Aminos, Garlic, Onion, Sea Salt). Each pouch contains thirteen grams of protein and only 90 calories.

“Our goal with the Beef Thins is to bring a new type of meat snack to market that not only caters to the particularities of Whole30?, but also appeals to consumers who are put off by the toughness of traditional jerky,” says The New Primal founder Jason Burke. “We created an easier-to-eat jerky, made it Whole30? Approved, and we couldn’t be more excited to share it with our loyal customers and those who may be new to trying beef jerky.”

Beef Thins will be available on e-commerce sites including Amazon and Thrive Market this month. They will be available in Whole Foods Market locations nationwide in June 2018.

Meet the team at Natural Products Expo West

The New Primal Beef Thins will be making their official debut at the Natural Products Expo West Show in California March 9-11, 2018. Visit booth #5162 for tastings, demonstrations, and engaging food chat. For further information on The New Primal products and ingredients, visit

About The New Primal

As the pioneer in grass-fed beef jerky snacks, The New Primal brings a fresh approach to an old favorite. While The New Primal begins with jerky, our core mission extends to an entire way of life that emphasizes simplifying and fueling world adventures wherever they may take you. We are a company founded on honesty, transparency, and integrity. Ultimately, our aim is to inspire everyone who encounters our brand to make better food choices–jerky and beyond.

You are what you eat. Choose Wisely?. Learn more at


Fostering Mental Health and Well-Being: Healthy Habits for Older Adults

By Jason Lewis

Older adults are increasingly aware of the importance of staying physically healthy as they age, but too many neglect their mental well-being. Seniors are at an increased risk of social isolation, which can lead to depression and other mental health consequences. Here are a few healthy habits for older adults that will help you maintain sound mental health throughout your golden years.

Stay Physically Active

Most often, we think of exercise as a way to maintain physical health, but fitness is an important aspect of emotional well-being, too. Exercise can be a coping strategy for managing stress, and it can also improve your mood. Staying physically active helps you maintain balance and strength, which can reduce the odds of developing mobility issues, making it easier for you to remain socially active as you grow older.

Adopt a Furry Friend

Caring for a pet provides a sense of purpose, giving seniors someone to take care of who, in return, provides companionship, a reason to get out of bed in the morning, motivation to take walks and stay active, and much more. Dogs have even been shown to help alleviate the symptoms of depression. When you’re feeling lonely or down, a dog or cat will always be willing to snuggle up beside you and comfort you.

Stay Connected to Friends and Family

Socialization is crucial for the well-being of older adults, yet far too many seniors end up spending most of their time alone, isolated from the outside world. Technology makes it easy to stay in touch with friends and family near and far, but it’s not a substitute for face-to-face interaction with others. Visit a local senior center to learn about the activities offered and find something that interests you, or join a senior fitness group or walking club to meet new people and develop friendships with like-minded older adults.

Say No to Activities That Don’t Bring You Joy

As an older adult, you may be increasingly aware that there’s only so much time in each day. Learn to say no to activities that don’t bring you joy, and find ways to offload mundane tasks that cause stress or frustration. You can hire a housekeeper to clean your home, for instance, if it takes too much of your valuable time to keep up with it or it’s becoming too difficult for you to do physically. If the thought of mowing the lawn makes you cringe, hire a local lawn maintenance company or an independent contractor to do it for you.

Find a Hobby

After carving out time by eliminating the tasks that you don’t enjoy, you’ll have more time to pursue things you’re passionate about. It’s never too late to take up a new hobby or pursue an interest, whether that means going back to school, starting a business, or maintaining a robust garden in your backyard. The sky’s the limit, and there’s no reason to hold yourself back from learning new things or finally using your time to do the things that fuel your soul.

Staying mentally healthy as you age is all about prioritizing your life, making time for the things that matter, and learning to let go of the things that take up your valuable time but offer little reward in return. It’s your life, and you should never feel guilty about prioritizing your mental health and building a life that you enjoy.

Image via Pixabay by emailme3