Summer 2021 Level 1 Pilates

This is the SECRET PAGE for Level 1 students in Summer semester 2021; please don’t share the page or the links with other people. I’ll update it each week, after class has occurred.

How to get to the Zoom class (same info for all classes for the entire semester!)

joe and clara
Joe and Clara sitting on a Devana — this was a cover that went over a reformer to make it more of a chaise lounge in your home. The barrel at the end was functional!

Class videos are available for 2 weeks.


Week 5: Changing your Orientation to Gravity

This week, we get into the nitty-gritty on taxing your muscles from different angles, which adds/removes stability points and always makes you stronger using movement patterns that your brain already knows.

Items to have available for this workout: squishy ball OR rolled-up towel; 2lb hand weights or bottles of water or cans of soup; access to a wall or piece of furniture (something stable!)

New Exercises this week:

  • The Collar Bone Zone
  • Standing Saw
  • Standing Leg Circles
  • All-4’s Leg Lifts
  • All-4’s Leg Circles 

CLICK HERE for the Week 5 video

Week 6: Changing your Orientation to Gravity, part 2

This week, we’re focusing on your CRUNCH — the shortening of your upper abdominals as a way to create the Round shape. The back body should stay LONG, while the upper abs create the roundness. We’re taking this CRUNCH into different orientations to gravity

Items to have available for this workout: squishy ball OR rolled-up towel;  2lb hand weights or bottles of water or cans of soup

  • Standing Saw with WIDER legs
  • Seated Saw with WIDER legs
  • Chest Expansion Arm Swivel
  • Abs series using the arms to create the crunch
  • Supine Hug a Tree!
  • Forearm Can-can 

CLICK HERE for the Week 6 video


Did Joe come up with the Book Exercises first…or the version that’s done on his fabulous Wunda Chair? Either way, we use this “candy cane” position again and again!

My sleuth-friend, Elaine Ewing found more archival Pilates pics and articles! The focus of her posts today was using Pilates apparatus to increase vocal endurance and projection. While we were talking about it on Facebook, one of our Pilates teacher friends said, “oh yes, when I was 14 and singing in The Sound of Music, Roberta Peters taught me Mr Herman’s breathing techniques AND Mr Pilates’ breathing techniques.” (for the Opera fans in the house, this is SO cool — Roberta Peters is a legend!)

Click here for some fab articles about famous voice coach William Herman with pics of Pilates equipment

Click here for fab articles about actress Mary Martin with pics of Pilates equipment


My newly organized fridge! Game changer items: lazy susans and stackable glass containers from Rubbermaid that all use the same size lid.

elaine malbin side leg
Internationally acclaimed opera singer Elaine Malbec using leg springs at Joe Pilates’ studio in NYC.
elaine malbin backbend
Elaine Malbin working on Spread Eagle on the Cadillac. Where else do we see this position in Pilates?
elaine malbin reformer
Oh, cool — things we don’t often see in Pilates studios these days! See that fab hand-grab bar that Elaine is using while Joe gets her foot position just right? Who wants to make some of these for my studio???