Today: Feb 20 , 2020

Fitness Quest: Pursuing Pilates

23 April 2015  

My week at Pilates was not going to be enough. 

I was starting to feel changes, but I knew results would not be forthcoming in just three sessions.  Lucille Noggle, my certified Pilates Instructor at Wellbridge Health Center, agreed.  We decided to do a second week of sessions together, and I was blessed to have the opportunity to get to know her (and Pilates) better.  Lucille first was introduced to Pilates in 1996, when she was doing dance training at San Francisco State University.  She trained with Romana Kryzanowska, Joseph Pilates’ protégé, and was certified by Romana in 1998.  I asked her to tell me about that experience.

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"I was so impressed with my first Pilates experience," Lucille shared.  "While doing my dance degree I developed an injury in my foot.  I went into the Dance Medicine Clinic at the Saint Francis Hospital in San Francisco . They had a pilates studio and I worked with the pilates instructor there.  She analyzed my posture, identified what the problem was and gave me exercises to correct it.  I also found out that I wasn’t using my powerhouse (my core) correctly which explained why a couple of dance movements were a challenge for me.  I remember the first exercise on the Cadillac – rolling back with the bar.  How my spine was actually functioning was a revelation to me.  I remember leaving feeling invigorated and inspired.  The fact that it was a complete system of exercise and that the focus was moving from the powerhouse (the center) really appealed to my interest in the connection between the mind, body and spirit.  It felt like a great way to have a positive impact on people’s bodies and lives."

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"I remember Romana once saying, 'You aren’t teaching Pilates, you are teaching people.'  So, for me It’s not really about the type of class that I teach, but it’s about the people.  I enjoy working with my clients, seeing them get stronger and more flexible and being a part of their successes and progress," Lucille continued.  "It is best for beginners to start with private sessions. In a private session they will learn the best exercises and the correct modifications for their body and any existing dysfunction or injury that they may have.  In a private session they have trained eyes watching how they move, detecting any dysfunctional movement and helping inspire them.  Once a person has a little background in Pilates, Mat classes and duet classes are very popular.  At Wellbridge we never have more than 5 people per mat class, so you still get a lot of individual attention.  Once a person has had experience on the equipment they can move into a equipment duet class, where there are two clients per instructor.  This is often popular with friends or couples – to work out together is a great way of spending time together."

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My third and fourth sessions with Lucille differed in several ways from the first two sessions.  While certain things were standard (such as "The 100" - I always did 100 small arm pumps), Lucille introduced me to the Pilates chair and different positions on both the reformer and the tower.  I noted that I was better able to control my movements as I  concentrated; once again I found my mind cleared of the outside baggage I so often brought to a session of exercise.  With the new clarity I had found in Pilates, I began to wonder if my loathing towards exercise was more a mental battle than a physical.  Wellbridge provided a private, safe environment to explore and learn a new discipline with a certified instructor focused solely on me.  While I had experienced individual training before, it was never in a private setting.  As a very clumsy, uncoordinated woman with very long limbs, it was a welcome change.  Lucille's gentle corrections assured me that I could learn the appropriate movements; my now tightened core proved her methods worked.  I could achieve better posture; was it possible that I was achieveing more with Pilates because I was focused and not distracted?  It was good to know I had a second full week of working with Lucille, as my Fitness Quest took a turn.

Lucille Noggle, CPCC, CHT practices at Wellbridge Heatlth Center, 1055 Ruth Street Suite B in Prescott, Arizona.  Phone: (602) 418-8969

Katie Cornelius

Katie labels herself a Solutions Engineer; she is the creative powerhouse dedicated to supporting and growing small businesses in the Prescott area.  She spent the past twelve years working in sales training and business coaching, specializing in mom & pop shops.  Currently Katie is on a journey to get healthy after a severe concussion and some personal challenges.  Her corresponding blog, Fitness Quest, relates the quirky issues faced when following a  fitness program.  Finally, you can visit and coment on the Quest on Facebook.