pilates post
The Pilates Barn-Comn.

Lori Richardson, from The Pilates Barn(above) in Connecticut  and I have done business before......she bought my extra gunmetal upholstery awhile ago, and liking my Pilates Post, invited me out to visit her beautiful world.
The Pilates Barn is all Gratz Gunmetal, looking striking with the aluminum. She has alot of equipment, and of course, I couldn;t stop her from moving it around so much, but ,she got her first Baby Armchair and  I taught it to her..Staying in her home was the best BanB. Madison is a coast town, we had tea by the shore, and even more, had two strong Pilates days together.
I took the trains down to the Jersey Shores to Carol Meyers welcoming studio. We had never met either, but she's smart, so smart, and successful, and poured her  big heart into a  studio in the building she owns. I am so impressed with  her vision and I cant stop her from carrying  equipment around  either. Of course, I had to change her 5 Peak reformer combos  in a different direction and build my own systems room, that's always part of my course, the flow of the room. Carol is  a Sagittarean Italian. ( Now I'll get alot of intense offended email now from the Italians and Centaurs) She completely organized the event with teachers from Romana to PMA to Mari Jose, including a 71 yr. young Austrian engineer who drove his Smartcar from Washington D.C. for the lecture and workouts..With his shoulder surgery it was great to put him on Carol's new Baby Armchair. She also bought a Basil arm and wunda chairs  I must say, it's great craftsmanship, the spring resistance perfect and Carol and  others rave about Basil delivering his equipment himself.....
Now I'm back in California, about to begin teaching Pilates Prison Program a the L.A. Twin Towers and working on the Big Bear Summer Schedule.
Keep you....POSTED!
Yours Truly,

Horseback with Baby Barrel on Gunmetal Gratz
horsebackStudents are commenting that they are so much happier to be getting the work into their bodies and learning what they need to know, rather than listening to lectures, stories, and watcdhing the teacher demonstrate.

Dear Siri- I can't express how much Sunday has changed my teaching making it more meaningful and powerful for the client...and I know there is soooo much more. Thank you for being you.

 Hugs, Lori Richardson, D.C.




Hi Siri- 

     Please, can you give me your opinion on the value of jumping and do clients need to work with an imprint or through a neutral position?

     I'm finding that the big words  .. plyometrics, eccentric landing of the calf muscles and 'its' relative value!! etc.... Pilates speak is an ever changing dynamic force of its own.

     I'm 12 years in and I think I'm getting to grips with the method ie: its feeling more like i know it through mindful practicing .

I thought imprinting, adding flexion, was good. Please please, shed some light even if I've got it wrong.


Sincere wishes, Siobhan 


Yeah, you got it wrong. In the simplest words, "JUMP!" "It's fun!" "It's cardio."You only cue the foot tracking "Toe.ball,heel" and the movements. The belly will automatically grip to stabilize the torso. There is no "Pilates Speak" just teachers who like to hear their own voices.


Romana, who invented the jumpboard, and thus extending the length of the Reformer bed from 80 inches to 86 inches, said she did it for the NASA astronauts so they could exercise in space. People who have not danced can feel like dancers, people who have danced can get fancy. You only jump for a very few minutes. On the traditional springs, they are so strong you could never do more than fifty or so different combination jumps. Anything else is too much impact and too much ego. It is used at the end of the class to bring the energy up or as a treat. When I trained Madonna for ten months for her tour we used it for endurance. It can be given to basketball or volleyball players. The Jumpboard is also used slowly as a larger footbase for people with paralysis and palseys or M.S. who don't have the control or sensation to wrap their feet around the foot bar. That being said, nothing else should be said. There is no "neutral" in real Pilates, that's a gear on a car. People overthink to fill in their lack of the whole system. That's all!




I am building and designing a new studio in Albuquerque, New Mexico.  I have been teaching since 1996. I have all Gratz equipment.  All the studios I have been employed by or owned have had either carpet or hardwood flooring. Since you have been to so many studios over the years, do you have any advice for what type of floor to put in? Have you been to any studio that has flooring other than carpet or hardwood, any ideas/suggestions?  Thank you, Jill


Don't spend thousands of dollars in someone else's real estate. I'm not the only one who made that mistake. If it's your own, that's different.

I always go back to Joe's studio first.....he had hardwood floors with rugs under the equipment. Then, Romana's studio, which was Drago's, had carpet under the Reformers, and giant gymnasium mats, which was so cool. In my public studio I have laminated wood...so easy to slide the equipment on. Carpet will put a lot of extra fibers onto the rails and wheels and increase the maintenance timel In my home studio I have bamboo because it's soft on the feet. The Teague Studio, a model of success in today's financial crisis, painted 5000 square feet of cement to look like old, white wood. That was brilliant, although a little hard on the teacher's feet, but teachers should wear a good supported shoe anyway,....although most make the mistake of thinking it's a yoga studio and go barefoot. I also like the idea of rubber, thin mats under each apparatus, like in a fitness center, then you can resell it or take it with you should you move or close.




Siri- I wanted to say to you that I am REALLY honored to be in the same book as you!! "Starting Pilates"! When I read it this week I was thrilled that I was in your company! 

                                                                                        Julie Fisher



link to Getting Started in Pilates E-book



Hello Siri,


How are you? Hope you're really fine. As you have got a lot of experience with Pilates apparatus, I would like you to help me with the following question:

What is the estimate worth of a Reformer, a Cadilllac, a Wunda Chair, an Electric- Chair, a Pedipole, a Ladder Barrel, a Spine Corrector and a Small Barrel  (all are Gratz apparatus) after the use of 7 years in a Studio Pilates?

Hope haven't disturb you with this question. 

Best regards, Mara Vittoria


Love questions like this, it's no bother. Are you the buyer or the seller? The cost depends on the care and maintenance. It could be seven years old and used 10 hours a week, or 10 hours a day. Vil just drove two hours to buy Gratz equipment, The lady lied and said it was one year old and in great shape. It was well over seven years. She had kept it in front of windows and everything, the vinyl and straps, were all faded and dried out and had to be replaced.
Some people never clean their rails often and that also destroys the life of the plastic wheels.Some people don't and the wheels and the rails get scratched.
Some of the old springs are better than the new springs and it's better to keep them. Some used equipment will need $500 in new parts.

All that being said, you can buy or sell it in one lump sum or piece by piece.What about moving and shipping it? That adds hundreds to the price. And hours spent answering emails, phone calls, sending pictures. What kind of reformer, wooden or aluminum? Some collectors only want Gratz aluminum.Is it 80 or 86 inch, jumpboard or not? What is the color..you'd be surprised, some people have pink and purple, what is the condition of the upholstery on barrels, torn, knicked, stained? These are the questions I consider when purchasing or selling. I broker studios closing, buy at auction, and help people build their equipment assets.Seven year old equipment has been fully depreciated so if the business is making a profit, there is no write off for the owner. You can as a rule of thumb deduct 10% off the price for every year.

But here's suggestions not having seen it and not knowing those answers:
Reformer and Cadillac,$2500 each. Wunda Chair and Ladder Barrel,$700 each.
Spine Correcctor,300. Electric Chair,$1200. Pedipole,$200. Baby Barrel,$125.   


At Least She's Ethical To Ask


Hello Siri.....as you may or may not know; I am writing a biography on the life and work of Pilates. I understand that you have been doing research for several years on the same subject.


If you would be interested in contributing any of the historical documents or research that you have to my project, I would love the opportunity to include it. If you are researching with the intent to publish, I certainly understand that you would not be willing to share that information.


I would also like to add that your contribution to my biography does not give me the right to use your documents for any other purpose than for publishing. Documents are used with your permission and are credited accordingly.


With Regards, Stacey Redfield


Hey Stacey-Thanks so much for sharing so much of your information for free online. You helped me and I wish I could help you. Although I am quite generous with all my archival treasures, and make laminated copies of all my magazines and photographs for others, my personal treasures and discoveries are kept too close to my heart. Tell ya what, though, when your book comes out if there's anything I don't know, I'll give you credit. 



     The Post is great!  The primary problem I experienced in attempting to be the first Stott certification center in Atlanta is that they insisted I only use Stott equipment and my Cadillac trap table is Balanced Body.    It went downhill from there in the pettiness department.  I jumped through every other hoop at great expense and realized I would not win their internal politics and was sick of their greed sponsoring workshops and cert courses.  Just sick of that whole part of the industry and always aspired to see a unified approach   Catherine Betko**


I was pretty happy when a Stott teacher just came to my course in Connecticut. If you think of Pilates as some people's religion there are a lot of Born-Agains with their own true prophet, and they are saved and the rest of us are are damned. Like organized religion I'm astonished at their wealth and political influence, like with their dominance of IDEA, but personally as I go around to studios who've drunk their Kool-Aid I'm just annoyed that their Cadillac keeps going out of alignment, the knobs break, the sliders stick, the spring hooks are too small, and the metal on the chairs always seem to snag your toes. Glad you made it out of the cult.





When I met you in London - you said there was something odd with the way I turned my head - following this it was discovered I had a cyst under my jawline the size of an egg - its been removed but they then caused some nerve damage following this - dropped shoulder etc - its been fun!! But every time I think of you I can't help think about that!


I am looking for the photos of Joe doing the chair /mat reformer exercises. I suddenly thought of you! Would you know where these are available for purchase at all?


Thanks and best wishes, Amy


Wow, Amy, glad you got it checked out, I remember there was something just not right with you but couldn't define it. I don't have the Joe Chair photos although I've seen them in a lot of studios if someone would be generous enough to copy them for you. I do have 176 pictures of Joe Pilates on the Reformer, some exercises I had never seen before. I can have them professionally copied for you for $100.00.



Dear Siri-

I was recently asked by someone what certification program I would recommend.  The person had barely introduced Pilates into their own body and had found two programs I have not heard of:  Melissa Bryan and Whole Body Method.  It is a complicated question I feel.  What are some good, solid programs in the LA area which give a great unbiased, true teaching of Pilates?  I told her I'd ask an expert (that's you of course) and get back to her...                                

                              Much appreciated, Kristin DiMicelli



Well Melissa Bryan was trained by Romana and is a P.T. and knows the work.Her contract used to be brutal, so she has to watch the contract requirements. Always be careful signing away your life. Whole Body Method...very nice, nice people with some of this and that, they don't bother anyone. It's small and cozy, not corporate or mean. However, is not a good idea to learn the work and how to teach it at the same time. It takes three years to get it all in your body. Before certification became a the business to be in, you had to do Pilates for ten years before asking to be a teacher. I never recommend anyone become a teacher, not in this economy, not in anyone's program other than Brooke Siler's or Dorothe Van de Walle.   



Just got my 176 Joe Photos in the mail, they are BEAUTIFUL!!! What a priceless treasure indeed. Sorry to bug you with another question, but I am too curious: is this the entire set of Reformer exercises he photographed at the time? I am wondering about Backbend, Grasshopper, Low & High Bridge etc. Thanks again, I so appreciate you sharing these!

Cheers, Benjamin


Hey Benjamin, love answering any questions. Those photos were done in the late '40's by a very famous photographer. Joe still had another twenty years to develop more exercises. Also, he did those exercises in other places in the system. I mean, how horrible is Grasshopper on the Reformer, especially if the box is the wrong height? It is done on the Ladder or Small Barrel, as are the supported Backbends.


Dear Siri,

just to let you know the photos arrived safely........they're great!! I love them - thanks a lot!                                                        Martha



SD and CArol MEyers
MAY   2012
Teachers got to learn the differences in barrels from Peak, Balanced Body, Gratz, and Basil.
Pea loses with wood that interferes with the body.

176 Photos of Joseph Pilates on his inventions "The Gymnastic Apparatus" 
$110 includes shipping
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