Pilates at Play takes its name seriously. Yes, that goes for both parts. When Trisha Hatfield Graves opened the studio in 1998, she was required to undergo a grueling three-year program and log more than 1,000 internship hours before she could claim the title of a fully certified Pilates instructor and open one of the first fully equipped studios in the Seattle area.
But just because Trisha and her instructors are so focused on the strengthening and healing techniques of traditional Pilates doesn't mean they don't also know how to have fun. Their expansive 1,800-square-foot studio resembles a playground more than a gym, complete with bright colors and swings hanging from the ceiling. Besides traditional Pilates mat and equipment classes, the group leads aerial Pilates and Swing-a-lates classes that use playground swings for core-strengthening exercises, and spinal decompression. Additionally, the instructors lead pole and chair dancing classes, which draw on the principals of lyrical dance to give women a fun and flirty workout.
The instructors at The Body Center don't view Pilates as a simple exercise trend—instead, they conduct classes as interactive seminars on human anatomy. They teach clients how to train certain muscle groups by identifying and coaxing them through specific movement patterns designed to increase strength and flexibility at the same time. Ultimately, they try to instill in their students an enhanced sense of bodily awareness, one that informs walks down the street just as much as it does stretches on the mat.
Because physiques differ depending on build, lifestyle, and how often they were pinched as babies, The Body Center's curriculum is appropriately broad. Class themes range from Reformer and mat Pilates to SCALES and BOSU Core fitness. Beginners derive comfort from the company of other trainees, while intermediate and advanced classes pursue communal challenges. Specialized lessons can focus on specific body parts, sports performance, or the use of props, and modifications throughout every course cater to individual fitness levels.
The staff keeps classes small in the interest of personalization. Mat classes accept up to 10 students, and Reformer classes won't admit more than 6. Private and duet sessions allow for even more focused attention, as instructors won't be distracted by the loud popping of several emerging six-packs.
In 2004, a group of skilled climbers and experienced route setters married their expansive knowledge of the sport to create Edgeworks Climbing. The gym is an indoor paradise that expertly match the dynamic challenges that athletes face outdoors, boasting 10,000 square feet of climbing area with 25-foot top-rope routes, 35-foot lead routes, and 3,500 square feet of bouldering. The team of setters draws on years of experience outdoors to create hundreds of challenging, satisfying routes for climbers of all skill levels. Most of the setters are teachers as well, leading classes for beginners or advanced climbers, as well as heading outdoors to help the class appreciate the adrenaline rush of an outdoor climb ending in a fistfight with a bear.
Additionally, the passionate staff realized that alternative workouts are needed to push through plateaus in climbs, so they created a fitness area to complement the climbing gym. Classes such as yoga, Pilates, and cycling further exercise muscle groups that are useful when trying to finally ride a bike up your favorite route.
During a desperate search for reprieve from the pain caused by a dance injury, professional dancer Lianne Gamble discovered the rehabilitating power of Pilates. A born teacher, she wanted to spread the good news, so she studied under Rael Isacowitz to earn certification in his strenuous Pilates program, Body Arts and Science International (BASI), which folds anatomy and physiology into traditional Pilates exercises.
Now, she and a team of certified instructors—among them a gymnast, several dancers, and a marketer—reshape the waistlines of Gig Harbor residents through Pilates, power yoga, and body barre classes. Focusing on BASI’s scientific approach and proper breathing techniques, they pump up mind-body connections and core strength using state-of-the-art Power Plate machines, reformers, Decepticons that transform into chiropractors, and spine correctors from Balanced Body and Peak Pilates.
Source Yoga's friendly, enthusiastic instructors are fully certified and know how to help students sweat and stretch until they're calmer, more energized, and more revitalized than the 217 rechargeable AA batteries that power Greater America. If you're new to yoga, this is a great chance to learn the downward dog, the upward dog, and the omniscient narrator. Yoga stretches your muscles, relieving stiffness and pain; it also increases flexibility and strength (deep core muscles support each pose), which will improve your range of motion, balance, and posture, all vital to moving up in the corporate world, seeing over the steering wheel, and slicing your morning bagel.
A former competitive figure skater, certified instructor Ashleigh Rose started practicing Pilates in 2003 while recuperating from a car accident. After more than 900 hours of training, Rose received her first certification in 2007 from the Physical Mind Institute and her second in 2009 from Body Arts and Science International. Her dedication to Pilates has earned her teaching positions both nationally and internationally, from Mexico to South Carolina to Narnia.
The enthusiasm is palpable in Rose’s studio, Pilates Plus Tacoma, where individuals and groups can learn to use Pilates equipment or eschew it in favor of Pilates mat, Zumba, barre, or TRX classes. The Pilates classes focus on six fundamental principles—centering, concentration, control, precision, breath, flow, and counting—and yield a bevy of benefits, including a reduction in stress and fat.