The Pilates method is a philosophy
of movement. It’s a way of
feeling and being aware of your
body. Pilates impacts everything
you do: walking, getting out of
bed, sitting, riding horses, playing
with your children.

The result of practicing pilates
is a well-tuned body, properly
aligned with a balanced posture,
and a flexible spine. The pilates
principles of centering, concentration
and control become part of
those who practice, and something
we can draw upon when we
need them, just like learning to
ride a bike.

Pilates, like yoga, can be strenuous
or gentle depending on the
level of your practice. The Pilates
mat work is done in a sequence
with flow and precision using the
breath to guide you. It is gravity
and you.

Yoga is similar in that it is done
in a sequence. In yoga you start
standing and finish lying down;
whereas in Pilates, we start
lying down and finish standing
in order to take the corrections
we have made into the vertical
world we live in. Pilates and
yoga complement each other in
a yin and a yang way.

Joseph Pilates invented a variety
of equipment with spring
resistance that can assist and/
or challenge the movements.
Pilates can correct misalignments
and re-educate the body
so that injuries don’t repeat

Find a certified instructor to
learn the Pilates method. In
time you, too, will find yourself
moving with ease and

Kimberlie Barrett is the Owner of
Peak Bodies Pilates Inc. in Bozeman.

Some basic exercises to get you
connected to your core:

Standing Arm Circles
Stand with your heels together and toes about one fist
distance apart.

Reach arms straight out to the side, shoulder height.
Draw little circles as you move the arms to the front of
the body and back to the side. Vary the height of your
arms, moving them from waist height to eye level and
back down. Reverse the direction.

Keep the shoulders relaxed and away from the ears
and stay tall.
Stay tall reaching up through the crown of the head.
Move the arms from your back.
You will feel this in your core and arms.


Planks are done on the floor on the forearms or on the
hands. An easier option is to try on a park bench or
desk at an incline.

Maintain a straight line from head to tail and don’t let
your back sag. If you feel this in your back modify by
lowering to your knees.

Push-ups can be done once you build the strength in
your core to maintain proper alignment from head to

Walk with poise and grace

Imagine your eyes are on the front of your pelvic
bones. Walk with proper posture. Let the earth hold
you up as you walk and stand. Gravity can be your