News and Opinion from Sisters, Oregon

New Pilates program launches

Ivy Castellana was a ballet dancer for 20 years. With her career came injuries and muscular imbalances. She began exploring modalities that could bring healing and strength to her body.

She was introduced to Pilates and found techniques using balance and mind/body practices that brought encouraging results.

“I used Pilates to recover from the abuse of dancing,” she said.

After seeing the positive results of Pilates, she decided to pursue it as a career. She chose the Ron Fletcher Pilates form of study. Ron Fletcher was a student of founder Joseph Pilates.

“Ron was one of the many lineages of Pilates practice,” she said. “Different people took what they learned from Joseph and Clara Pilates and evolved it in different ways. Some have chosen a more classical approach while others have created a contemporary style.”

Pilates was developed by Joseph Pilates in the early 1900s. It was initially called Contrology because Pilates’ emphasis was very focused on the mind/body connection. Some of the main objectives of Pilates are controlling the body, precision in movement, and restoring the body’s mobility and flexibility.

Castellana went through both levels of Ron Fletcher’s program. After completing her studies, she taught Pilates for seven years in a Denver studio. She and her two boys, now 12 and 15 years old, call Sisters home. An employee of Sisters Coffee Co., Castellana never lost her love of teaching Pilates.

“Back in March a Reformer (a Pilates machine)crossed my path and I asked myself why I wasn’t teaching Pilates again. Buying it really solidified my decision and interest to teach,” she said.

The Pilates Reformer is a traditional piece of Pilates equipment that looks like a bed with springs, and has a sliding carriage, ropes, and pulleys. The creation of the Pilates Reformer dates back to the original Pilates studio in New York in the 1920s and was designed by Joseph Pilates.

Castellana opened her Sisters studio in June. The studio has two Reformers, which are used for individual and semi-private sessions.

“When I work with my clients one of the most rewarding aspects is when they have one of those aha! moments,” Castellana said. “I love seeing their excitement when they realize their body had so much strength, or that they have certain muscles they weren’t using. They often remark that they didn’t know they could get that kind of relief. Pilates affects people on so many different levels. You can make it work for every body type.”

A generalist practitioner, even though she has a dance background, she teaches all kinds of clients with a myriad of physical challenges and goals.

“Sometimes I work in conjunction with other practitioners like physical therapists to bring relief, strength, and healing to clients,” she said. “Doing Pilates can also be a great workout. You can get winded when you’re really focused and working on a deeper level than when you’re at the gym.”

Sheryl Lillegard is one of Castellana’s clients. She came to Core Connection Pilates to relieve pain.

“I’m not taking Pilates just to stay toned, but because I have been suffering from hip pain for over a year. The work is helping strengthen my core, correct my posture, and is definitely helping reduce my pain,” said Lillegard during a recent session.

Although Pilates and yoga are very different, Castellana says there are similarities, like focusing on the breath, precise movements, and alignment and balance.

“Learning that deeper acknowledgment and understanding of the body can make it intense. Clients range from people recovering from injuries or older clients who want to keep their bodies moving. I’ve worked with younger clients who just prefer exercising this way. I also teach mat classes with no equipment, just you and your body going through very classic moves created by Joseph Pilates,” said Castellana.

Some of Castellana’s clients prefer doing multiple sessions per week, while others use Pilates as an adjunct to other forms of exercise.

“We’re offering an introductory special of three private sessions for $150. After that I will offer $60 for an individual private lesson or packages of five and 10 sessions at a discounted rate,” said Castellana.

Castellana doesn’t have a website yet, so the best way to reach her is via email: [email protected] Text her at 303-808-4383. Core Connections Pilates is located in a wellness collective at 392 E. Main Ave. Castellana will have information available there as well.


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