New Pilates-physical therapy studio opens in Winter Park
Mara Pacyga has opened the first full Pilates studio in Winter Park. The studio is also a physical therapy center.
“Pilates can transform your body, mind, and spirit,” Pacyga says.
Pacyga is a Polestar Certified Pilates Practitioner, and certified physical therapist.
She decided to open her own studio with “good pressure” from the community.
“I have a good number of classes,” she said. “But I am open for other times and dates because I want to bring in as many people that want it.”
Pacyga gives private and group sessions on the reformer, trapeze, chair, and CoreAlign, along with continued physical therapy services.
She hosted a grand opening of Elevate Pilates on Sunday with over 100 residents, patients, friends, and visitors attending the event.
Pilates is an exercise method that combines strength, flexibility, coordination and movement awareness to transform your body, she said.
“Pilates teaches you control and joint stability, fluidity and flow of movement. Your body will experience neuromuscular training to change faulty movement and compensatory movement strategies. The apparatus allows assistance with exercise, giving your body feedback and guidance for movement, as well as resistance for strength building. Pilates is much more than building a strong core; it is building a strong, controlled, and balanced body.”
Pilates is past being a trendy new exercise program, she said.
“Pilates can transform your body. It is now more infused into mainstream fitness and rehabilitation. And, it is the most efficient type of ‘multi-tasking exercise’ you can do.”
All ages can do Pilates. Pacyga has clients on the young gymnastic teams and competition center athletes. However, some of the best outcomes are people with neurological impairment, she said.
“That is why I do this – there are incredible success stories.”
Adam Hall is a 2010 Winter Paralympic gold medalist in the slalom and has congenital Spina bifida. After eight seasons training in Winter Park, and working with Pacyga and Pilates, he is a success story.
Hall has been part of the New Zealand Disabled Ski Team since 2005, representing New Zealand in Torino, Italy in 2006 and Vancouver, Canada, in 2010. He also represented New Zealand at the 2009 and 2011 World Championships, winning a silver medal in 2009. He is now training for the Winter Paralympics in Sochi, Russia, 2014.
“I have been working with Mara now for about four years; primarily for Pilates. I am a firm believer in Pilates and strongly believe that the hard work and creativity of Mara, and her work with me and my program, has paid off in huge dividends in maintaining my success as a New Zealand Paralympic Athlete,” he said.
This past winter was a successful season for Hall – winning Paralympic Gold in Vancouver at the 2010 games.
“I won four World Cups, two Slalom, one Super G, and one Super Combined. I retained my world ranking of Number 1 in Slalom, Super Combined and Third in Super G. A career best to date.”
He believes that a big part of his accomplishments are due to the Pilates program, and specifically how Mara has been able to work with him to meet his specific needs as an athlete on the snow, and in life.
“It really is magic,” Hall said.
“Mara has been really amazing to work with. Her knowledge is invaluable and we are always learning how to do new things, pushing the envelope and seeing what we can try next, which is awesome and keeps everything a challenge,” he said.
“I also hope to bring beginning and continuing Pilates education to other fitness, rehabilitation, and Pilates professionals through my connections with both Balanced Body University and Polestar Pilates International Faculty,” said Pacyga.
If you haven’t tried Pilates, after your first session, “you’ll be hooked,” she said.
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