Pilates at Yam

Spring and summer are always times of renewal. Flowers are blooming. Fresh fruits and vegetables are abundant at the Farmers’ Market, and the sun seems to wake up earlier each morning. This time of year is especially renewing right now with the proliferation of the COVID vaccine and lifting of mandates. Many people who had held off returning to the studio until mask requirements were lifted are now eager to return, and YAM is excited to offer them a new class to help them celebrate the renewal of spring. Starting in June, YAM will be offering Pilates classes at the Moon studio. Pilates can be a great compliment to yoga, running, weight lifting, or whatever your fitness routine may be.


To learn more about Pilates and what students can expect from these classes, I talked to Tanya Masella, YAM’s new Pilates instructor.

MH: How does Pilates differ from yoga?

TM: The first question of how yoga and Pilates differ is a long one and can be different depending on who you ask. I think some of the fundamental differences would be that yoga is for one, much older and tends to incorporate flexibility, breath, strength and spirituality, whereas Pilates doesn’t necessarily focus so much on the spiritual aspect. Pilates was created during World War One primarily for physical rehabilitation. Although there are a wide variety of yoga and Pilates practices today, one constant for Pilates is the focus on core strength, improved posture and alignment, development of balance, and overall strength.

MH: How can Pilates be a compliment to yoga practice?

TM: Because both Pilates and yoga focus on a mind body connection, using your breath to drive movements, I think students of yoga find it easy to transition into Pilates. If you take Pilates regularly you’ll likely see a lot of improvements in your overall core strength, not just the glamor muscles, but those deep down muscles surrounding your bones. Not only will you feel more powerful in your yoga practice, but also in your day to day life. The object is to build strength that will protect your body in everyday situations.

MH: What is your teaching style and what can students expect from your classes?

TM: My teaching style is trying to match my clients learning styles. We all receive information differently. I do my best to clearly explain the movements, what you should be feeling in your body, how to connect your breath to your movement, and what the muscle focus is. I like to use imagery; ie “think of your spine as a string of pearls”, as well as more technical terms “squeezing your inner thigh abductors”. I think if you’re too ridged one way or another people can get lost if your styles done match up.

MH: How long have you been teaching and what do you like most about Pilates?

TM: I started teaching Pilates in 2016. I had already been teaching barre for a couple years prior and knew it would compliment my knowledge and experience. What I like most about Pilates is everyone can do it. Even if you come to class and all you do is follow the breath patterns and lie on your mat, you can get a workout!

To learn more, come to one of Tanya’s classes at the Moon Studio starting in June. They will be Tuesday and Thursday morning at 6:30.

Blog by Mandy Henderly