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February Newsletter: Show yourself some LOVE

"When you arise in the morning, think of what a precious privilege it is to be alive - to breathe, to think, to enjoy, to love." - Marcus Aurelius

Happy February!

This month I encourage you to be intentional and set aside a little time each day for YOU.



The beauty of Pilates is that each movement can have an element of stretch AND strength which is what leads to longer leaner muscles and leaves you you feeling taller, and lighter after a class. While Pilates is definitely so much more than stretching, it is a large part of what makes pilates (and our bodies) feel so AMAZING...if you've experienced "mermaid" or "feet in straps", then you know what I mean ;-) Last month we highlighted the core and how to layer movement to add challenge. You can find it HERE if you'd like revisit it. This month, I'm highlighting some stretches that can be done any time of day, as many times as you'd like! You can also, scroll down to find a guided gentle release foam roller video.

I recommend moving through each stretch 3-5 times.

- Standing hamstring stretch: try to keep a straight back, and hinge from your hips. - Hip flexor/psoas stretch: breath into your belly to increase the stretch - Inner thigh stretch: try to keep a straight back and glide the hips back and forth - Supine Twist: try to keep your shoulders on the floor and legs glued together - Figure 4 Hip stretch: can be done with foot against a wall; try to keep your tailbone anchored to the floor - Mermaid: Can be done sitting in a chair to modify for knee discomfort - Swan: lift out of your arms by pushing the hands into the floor; try widening your hands to decrease range of motion if your feeling discomfort in your low back - Childs pose: play with walking hands side to side

Try a few or all of these stretches throughout your day to keep your body feeling good, especially if you spend a lot of time sitting!

RECIPE: Chocolate Chia Avocado Pudding

I'm a sucker for anything chocolate... and my son also has the same sweet tooth! So when I'm looking to make a special treat for us, I pull out this chocolate chia pudding recipe, from one of my favorite cookbooks, the Laura Lea Balanced Cookbook. It feels indulgent, but is loaded with protein, fiber, healthy fats and sweetened with maple syrup. Best part, it can double as breakfast, snack or desert! Its quick to throw together, but does require time to thicken in the fridge, so plan ahead!

Chocolate Chia Avocado Pudding

1 cup canned full fat coconut milk

1 cup water or almond milk

1/4 cup chia seeds

1/4 to 1/2 cup maple syrup depending on taste

1 cup mashed avocado (approx. 2 small or 1.5 medium)

1/4 cup nut butter (get creative and use what you have)

1/2 cup cocoa powder

2 tsp vanilla extract

1/2 tsp cinnamon

Place all ingredients in a high speed blender or food processor. Puree until smooth. Empty into one large container, or a few smaller jars for individual servings and refrigerate at least 4 hours, best if overnight. Will keep for up to 5 days in the fridge.

Top with fresh fruit, granola, coconut flakes, or anything else you can think of! I hope you enjoy this as much as we do!

See you in the Studio!

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