5 Myths About Pilates

There are plenty of myths out there, Pilates is no exception. I have had many clients over the years express a sense of relief when they realized the preconceived myths have been busted. With almost everything out there, there are myths. I would like to clarify a few common ones for Pilates.

1. Pilates is not just mat work, apparatus is used too

Pilates originated with mat work. However, Joseph Pilates realized that not everyone could do the mat work so he created springs. The leg springs on the cadillac were created for those in hospital camps who were unable to get out of bed but were able to move their legs with the support of the springs. The reformer, chair and other apparatus followed.

2. Pilates uses your entire body, not just your “core”

When studying Pilates, you work your primary powerhouse - the pelvic floor, then your secondary powerhouse - the shoulder girdle and then your limps. Though challenging to coordinate all these moving parts, the goal is to work every part of your body during every exercise. Reality is that it takes years to do and one continuously tries to work towards that, which in turn, keeps Pilates interesting. You don’t always have to seek new exercises to find a challenge. Sometimes the most basic exercises prove the most effective.

3. Pilates is for everyone: men, women, children, elderly, injured, weak and strong

Not every exercise is for everyone but it is important to have a fully certified instructor who determines which exercises are the most helpful. Depending if one has any issues, a private Pilates session may be more appropriate than a group session. Always discuss this with your teacher first.

4. Pilates is not just for dancers.

Many dancers went to Joseph Pilates’ studio and his principal student, Romana Kryzanowska, kept Pilates alive after Joseph and Clara Pilates passed away, was a dancer. The reputation has been that it is for dancers only because there were many dancers who practiced Pilates, that does not mean that Pilates is solely intended for dancers. Joseph Pilates created Pilates, which was originally Controlgoy, in order to help people with physical rehabilitation. The foundation of Pilates is to rehab the body so that you can enjoy life and the activities that they love the most, whether it be dancing, golfing, boxing, hiking, running, surfing, etc or even just living.

5. Pilates was not created by a dancer or a woman. It was created by a man named Joseph Pilates.

Pilates or Contrology, was created by Joseph Pilates in the 1930s. He created mat exercises showcased in his book, “Return to Life Through Contrology”, published in 1945. During World War II, he created the cadillac which came from a hospital bed. Joseph Pilates created reformers, chairs, barrels, beds, combo apparatus and other small pieces like the magic circles, foot correctors, toe correctors, sand bags, etc. He was a very innovative creator. He took parts of his method from Yoga, boxing, fencing, the circus, etc and would individualize exercises fro the body. Pilates created a combination of exercises that allows you to create strength for your muscles and bones but add flexibility at the same time.

Photo taken by

Chuck Rapoport

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Two new sweet Pilates studios open uptown

Two young Pilates devotees, both with a spiritual, mind-body edge in common, have recently opened studios in uptown Manhattan, with Westside Pilates launching in fall of 2013 on the Upper West Side followed by Kevyn Zeller Pilates on the Upper East last month.

Westside Pilates was founded by 28-year-old Adrianne Yurgosky, who’s been teaching for seven years, trained at Power Pilates, and New York Pilates Studio with Brett Howard. She’s also an Institute of Integrative Nutrition-educated holistic health coach. Her studio offers one-on-one and duo 55-minute classes in Reformer, chair, towers, at a modest price of $90 and $60.
“In my own experience, Pilates was a form of healing, and I always felt I was in a safe environment when I could dedicate time to myself without the normal New York City interruptions,” says Yurgosky, who suffered multiple back injuries in her teens. “Pilates is not just a form of fitness. It’s more a way of becoming aware of your habits, keeping in touch with your body, and building strengthen and flexibility to alleviate pain.”

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Come Visit Adrianne this Saturday, March 1st from 12-3pm
Health Fair at the Vitamin Shoppe
 on 92nd and Broadway!

Inspiring new collections launch each month, delivering fresh, on-trend outfits you'll love.
VIP members can purchase many outfits starting at just $49.95. That's a top and bottom for up to 40% less than you'd pay if you bought them separately.

GoRecess Featured Adrianne's Recipe: Steel Cut Oats!

I LOVE making steel oats in the morning. Check out GoRecess for my recipe....


GoRecess Featured Recipe: Steel Cut Oats

There are many different ways to make steel cut oats, but Adrianne Yurgosky, owner of Westside Pilates in NYC, brings us this speedy method that tastes delicious and is gluten free! Since steel cut oats take time to make on the stove (about 45 minutes), Adrianne recommends doing the prep work the night before. 
The night before:
  1. Bring 3 cups of water to a boil
  2. Once the water is boiling, turn the heat off and stir in 1 cup of steel cut oats for 1 minute.
  3. Cover the pot and refrigerate overnight.
The next morning:
  1. Turn the stovetop on medium heat and cook for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  2. Remove the pot from heat and serve (it normally makes 3 servings - pour the extra in a container and use it during the rest of the week)
While still hot, add the following per serving:
  • 1 teaspoon of cinnamon
  • 10 broken up walnuts
  • 1 tablespoon of honey to sweeten
  • 2 tablespoons of milk
Stir it all up and then cut a banana into slices and place on top (half of a banana works well too).  Serve and enjoy! 
About Adrianne

Adrianne Yurgosky is a professional Pilates instructor and the owner of Westside Pilates on the Upper West Side of Manhattan. She is certified through Power Pilates in New York City after completing 600+ hours of study under Bob Liekens, Junghee Won and Susan Moran. Her second certification comes from The Pilates Studio with Sean Gallagher and Brett Howard and she recently completed her Pilates Method Alliance certification in August 2013.  Adrianne is dedicated to inspiring people towards better health and wellness through Pilates and works with a wide variety of clients including athletes, people struggling with physical ailments such as low back pain and other chronic conditions as well as those dealing with specific and general areas of tightness in the body. Adrianne is also a holistic health counselor, certified through the Institute of Integrative Nutrition.

Exercises for Abs, Posture and Balance


I am always giving homework to my pilates clients; I find it important to enforce the practices that we learn in class. Especially if you are new to pilates, the exercises you do at home should be simple, safe and have layers (modifications and challenges) depending on how your body feels that day.
Here are 3 exercises that I give as homework to help with abs, posture and balance that can be done everyday.
Lower Lift
Set-up: Place your hands behind your head, bend legs into your chest, curl the head and neck up and extend legs to the ceiling
Execution: Lower and lift the legs
Reps: 10x
Modification: Hands under your tailbone (fingertips should be showing) and/or bend your knees (together or diamond shape)
Challenge: When the legs are lower, hold for a second or two and then lift back up
Attention: Do not let your back arch and make sure your upper body is lifted so you do not strain your neck
Focus on using your legs to challenge your stomach
Serratus Push-ups
Set-up: Go onto your forearms and extend legs into a plank position
Execution: Try to press the shoulder blades together as you lower the chest to the floor and lift back up
Reps: 3-5x and do 3 sets
Modifications: Just hold your setup (plank)
Challenge: Increase reps and alternate between serratus push-ups and holding the plank position
Attention: Make sure your body is in one long line and your shoulders are down
Focus on your upper back, pulling your stomach in and working your quads
Heel Lifts (Standing Balance)
Set-up: Stand upright and heels together toes 2-3 fingers apart
Execution: Lift the heels and then lower, try to lift straight up instead of moving forward
Reps: 5x
Modification: Do not lift your heels very high
Challenge: Keep the heels lifted and together as you circle your arms, close your eyes or do both
Attention: Keep your heels together!
Focus on balance and using your back side (butt, inner thighs, calves, ankles and feet) and your core

- Fabletics Master Adrianne Yurgosky

Happy Holidays from Westside Pilates!

Happy Holidays!

Enjoy the holidays with friends and family!
Can you guess where these trees are in New York City?
Adrianne Yurgosky has joined the Fabletics team!

Inspiring new collections launch each month, delivering fresh, on-trend outfits you'll love.
VIP members can purchase many outfits starting at just $49.95. That's a top and bottom for up to 40% less than you'd pay if you bought them separately.
Save the date: 
OPEN HOUSE - Saturday, January 11th 2014 from 12-4pm
Contact us:
91st & Broadway

Knowing Your Limits

There have been several instances in my life where knowing my limits has been tested. I am sure that everyone has different opinions about it and everyone is entitled to their own opinion therefore I am going to give mine.

There is a fine line between pushing yourself (or letting others push you) and hurting yourself. I enjoy being pushed, I enjoy the extended stretch and the very deep massages. However there have definitely been times in my life when I have pushed it too far and I regret it the next day (and sometimes even the next week!). Looking back at most situations, I could see where the situation went wrong.

There is a difference between working hard and pain. One needs to learn that difference for themselves. It is something learned and unfortunately it has to be learned by the individual. I do not know how the other person's body actually feels, I know how mine has felt and I have experienced many types of issues which I try to empathize with but I am not in the other persons body therefore I cannot have a 100% understanding but I hope to have a 95%.

Last week, I went to yoga, the instructor asked me if it was my first time and about my past issues and my previous yoga experience. Normally I don't say all of my issues only due to the fact that I am an instructor and I know my body now and how to modify (I don't advise that for the average person and especially as an instructor, I do like to know everything. Majority of the time even if one doesn't tell me, old injuries show up in Pilates and I can normally tell something is going on anyway). However that day I felt compelled to tell the instructor about my body. I mentioned my torn disc, my scoliosis and my bulging disc and that I was overall feeling tight. He told me that everyone is tight and that my injuries were old and that it is time for me to push through them and even when I think I can't go further, go further. He said I should feel discomfort but not pain. In my case, I do not agree. Here is why...

I "injured" my back in 2005, that's when my disc tore (I heard it) and the disc bulged as a result I developed sciatic pain. In 2007, I developed a chronic pain and had to go to physical therapy from sitting at my corporate job. In 2009, I could barely walk due to a flare up from standing too much during the day. In 2011, minor flares which put me back on anti-inflammatories. Beginning of 2012, I got a massage and she irritated my L4 nerve which put my back into spasm and I couldn't walk for 2 days.

Yes, my injury is old but when looking at my history, it is recent due to the inability to walk and my chronic pain.

So the question becomes... Should I push through? I do not think I should push through to discomfort. The discomfort is a preliminary sign for me that I will have pain. Our body like to give us warning signs and that is mine. Do you know yours?

I believe you need to follow your gut feeling, if something feels off, it probably is! Never let someone force you into something you do not feel comfortable doing!

Fat Girls Diets... Seriously... I had to do take a double take!

Last weekend, while I was at an antique store, I came across The Workbasket and Home Arts Magazine from April 1968. I flipped through the pages and landed on page 27. If this were written today I don't think it would be published.

Fat girls diets...

Just let that sink in for a minute. Diets for fat girls...

You can purchase 5 of these diets for $1, 10 for $2 or all 20 for $3.25. Money back guaranteed... Now that's a deal ;)

I did a google search for Ruth Pfahler. One can still find some of her pamphlets on Amazon: Special Diet for Fat Hips and Thighs. I wonder what she is up to now.

How do you think we have changed as a society regarding diets?
And do you think it is appropriate to call these diets, Fat Girls Diets?

Soul Cycle

I broke down and went to Soul Cycle two weeks ago for my first time. Many people have been asking me to try it out and I just never pushed myself to sign up for a class. I made it my goal that by the end of the year I would attend a class.

Yesterday I attended my second class which went so much better than my first. I knew that I had to go again (even a few more times) in order to make a complete judgement. The first class I was trying to understand what the class was about, feeling out the bike and knowing what my body could handle. This second class was better and I was able to add more coordination and felt more relaxed about what I was doing. I still think I need to do a few more classes before I make a full assessment. 

Here is the photo to prove that I did actually go ;) I took Mondays 12:30pm class at Soul Cycle at the 83rd and 3rd ave location and was able to test out my new Lima Capri by Fabletics. However I wish the photo would have been taken before class as my face is red but hey, I did just take a spin class!!

Preparing for Thanksgiving!

Preparing for Thanksgiving is always difficult for me. Ever since college, I have always had a non-traditional Thanksgiving. Therefore it has been years since I have partook in a "real" Thanksgiving meal. This year, I am looking for different dishes, trying to look outside of the box and mix different fall flavors with different textures.

One of my favorite dishes is roasted brussels sprouts. I wash them, cut them in two and soak them in olive oil for a little while with salt (high quality salt) and pepper.
Then I place the brussels spouts on a baking dish and roast them in the oven (400 degrees) for 15-20 minutes until they are crisp. Pretty easy and even people who don't like brussels sprouts (you know who you are), they even like them! Simple but delicious.
You can roast any type of vegetable, try: carrots, parsnips, potatoes, winter squash, sweet potatoes, etc.

In order to spice things up this year, I found the following recipe. I figured I could start small especially since I won't be doing most of the cooking.
Recipe taken from Whole Living (which no longer exists which is very sad, it was a great magazine)

1 tablespoon of honey
2 teaspoon of olive oil
2 cups of your choice of nuts
2 tablespoons of sugar (the only down side)
1 teaspoon of coarse salt
1 teaspoon of ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon of ground coriander
1/8 teaspoon of cayenne pepper

1. In a large skillet, heat honey, oil and 1 tablespoon water over medium heat. Add nuts, toss to cook.

2. Sprinkle the sugar, salt, cumin, coriander and cayenne over the nuts. Cook, tossing and stirring until the nuts are well coated and lightly browned, 2 to 3 minutes. Transfer to a baking sheet to cool completely.

I did a preliminary test with almonds... delicious!

What dishes will you be preparing for this Thanksgiving?

So Excited to be a Part of Fabletics!

I am so excited to announce that I will be joining the Fabletics team as a Fabletics Master. I have been on a search for a new clothing company, one that I can actually wear their clothing for 12-14 hours a day and not end up with red skin by the time I get home. Well, I have finally found that!

I decided to test out the clothing before going any further (an outfit is only $49.95 + free shipping!!). For me, the tops are very important. It is so hard for me to find a bra or bra top that I can wear for the ENTIRE day. My favorite is the Doon Sports Bra. I am hooked!

You can check out their site to see what they currently carry : http://www.fabletics.com/
If you have any questions please let me know, always happy to help :)

Photo Shoot at Westside Pilates

Two weeks ago I took some new photos of me at Westside Pilates and I wanted to share them :)

One leg pull ups...

Swan Dive on the chair...

Teaser on the chair...

Leg Springs in the air...

Thigh Stretch on the tower unit...

The Hundred… A Warm up!

The Hundred is an exercise that was created by Joseph Pilates which is performed by beginner, intermediate and advanced clients. The Hundred is meant as an entire body workout. Your head is lifted to work your upper abdomen, your legs are extended to work the lower abdomen (in the photo below, the legs are at the intermediate level), the arms pump up and down and then you add breathe (10 counts in and 10 counts out for a total of 10 breathes) to work your lungs. So many things to think about while doing this exercise!
Molly doing the Hundred

Men Can Be Swans...

Swan can be a challenging position for a man. One of my clients saw a photo of someone doing the swan on the Ladder Barrel and decided that it was something he wanted to accomplish. His goal was to be able to gain length on the Ladder Barrel (he is already 6'2") and to do something he didn't think he could. I wanted him to see his swan so I took a picture of him at Westside Pilates. Yes, he gave me permission to post it… I am proud of him :)

Randy doing the Swan on the Ladder Barrel at Westside Pilates

I had to add one more photo because you can see how proud he is of himself...

Randy looking very proud :)

… This is why I love my job!! :)

Westside Pilates is OPEN!!


I am so pleased to announce the opening of Westside Pilates 

on the corner of 91st and Broadway. This has been a dream 

for the past 5 years and it has finally become a reality. I am officially open for business so book your session today! 

If you know of anyone in the New York City area who may 

be interested, please forward them this email.

Contact us:
91st & Broadway
Mon-Thu 7am-8pm
Fri 7am-4pm
Sat 9-2pm
Sun 9-4pm

Adrianne Yurgosky received her Pilates instruction certification through Power Pilates in New York City, completing 600+ hours of study under Bob Liekens, Junghee Won, and Susan Moran. Adrianne received her 2nd certification through The Pilates Studio with Sean Gallagher and Brett Howard. She recently completed her Pilates Method Alliance certification in August 2013.

Adrianne was a college athlete who was a member of her school’s field hockey and swim teams. She first turned to Pilates in an effort to manage a painful case of sciatica. Because of her personal experience with Pilates as a method of pain management, Adrianne is able to bring exceptional insight into her work with athletes, individuals with lower back pain, and those with both specific and general areas of tightness. She gains inspiration when she is able to help her clients build the strength and understanding to achieve body movements that once seemed impossible.

In addition to her Pilates instruction, Adrianne is also a holistic health counselor, certified through the Institute of Integrative Nutrition as well as the American Association of Drugless Practitioners (AADP).

Adrianne graduated from Fordham University with a bachelor's degree in international political science and French literature.
Contact us:
91st & Broadway

Opening of Westside Pilates!

I am so excited to announce the opening of Westside Pilates this fall 2013 (exact date to be determined in August). It has been 3 years in the making and just when I thought my dream of having a studio was crushed, it has come alive again. I am so grateful to those people who have helped me through this process. It makes me realize that one should never give up on their dream and there are always people who will support your dream in many different ways.
So... THANK YOU to everyone who has helped and stay turned for the exact date opening!