New Pilates studio open in Silver Creek
May 17, 2006
When Joseph Pilates created a new exercise method during World War I, he did so believing it would revolutionize athletic training and rehabilitation. Now, 80 years later, the rest of the world is finally starting to believe.
Many have taken the Pilates method meant to create balance in the body, and lengthen and strengthen the muscles and applied their own twist. Mari Winsor, widely known for her infomercials, and Yogalates are two of the most popular. With the addition of a new traditional-style studio, Summit County Pilates enthusiasts have another option in addition to going to a gym or just buying a DVD at Wal-Mart and giving it a go on the carpet at home.
The Pilates Studio, opened in April by Kat Jonsson-Vincent, is full of equipment designed by the creator of the method. Jonsson-Vincent says she tries to stay true to the late founder’s philosophies as well.
"His goal was to help people to restore their bodies back to their natural state, like when you’re born," Jonsson-Vincent said. "But it’s not just about the body it’s a mindful workout."
As true as she is to his methods, prices for a lesson might be a little different at The Pilates Studio than when the creator opened his first in New York. A private lesson from Jonsson-Vincent or her partner Andrea Martone costs $70, or $650 for 10 prepaid sessions. There are cheaper options, such as semi-private lessons (two to three people being trained at once), pole classes and mat classes that run from $40 to $15 for a single session.
Mat and pole classes have class sizes ranging from one to six, depending on demand. Jonsson-Vincent said she currently has about 30 regulars, but that summer and winter seasons generally bring an influx of customers.
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Jonsson-Vincent, who is originally from Sweden, came to the United States after living in London for seven years and Sydney for almost two. She came to Utah in 1991 because the University of Utah then offered a track in the exercise and sports science program that focused on becoming a fitness leader.
After graduation, she went to Steamboat, Colo., to pursue a Pilates training certification from the Pilates Center in Boulder, Colo. She trained there for a year under two women who learned the method directly from "the Elders" the six original students of Pilates himself.
"I think that was harder than getting my degree at the U," she said.
Learning directly from third-generation students of the creator gave Jonsson-Vincent an appreciation of the unadulterated method. Although the equipment at the studio resembles a mix between hospital beds and torture devices, she is a firm believer in the physical and mental workout their proper use provides.
"Everyone who has tried it, with the exception of one, has been hooked."
With that confidence, Jonsson-Vincent gives all newcomers, male and female, a free class to try out the method and the equipment. And although Pilates originally invented the various pieces of equipment to serve dancers, gymnasts and even an opera singer, she feels Summit County residents are a perfect fit for the program.
"People here are so healthy and so fit already," she said. "They do so much aerobic exercise mountain biking, skiing, hiking they’re very athletic. But they hardly ever stretch and lengthen their muscles. I’ve been doing this for almost 10 years and I just don’t get overuse injuries anymore."
She said the focus on the center third of the body, known as the powerhouse or the core, will help get the underused muscles in the arms and legs more active. By using a system of springs rather than weights, the most resistance comes when the muscles are stretched and long, rather than flexed and short as with weight lifting.
"It takes a while to get the hang of it," she said. "You get better with practice. You have to train your muscles to work long, not short. It takes a lot of focus but it is very rewarding."
The Pilates Studio is located at 6421 N Business Park Rd. #C in Park City. The phone number for the studio is (435) 640-6654. The first class each day is at 12 p.m. on Monday, 7 a.m. Tuesday and Friday, and 9 a.m. Thursday and Saturday.