Pilates exercises to help with sciatica

What is sciatica and what causes it? Are there sciatica exercises that will help relieve the pain?  

Dr. Brent Anderson has dedicated a lot of researches to that question. He is a physical therapist, Orthopedic Certified Specialist, and the founder of Polestar Pilates method, one of the leaders in Pilates instructor training focusing on rehabilitation. 

So in this article we will see what’s sciatica, and the role of Pilates exercise can play in relieving the pain.


The sciatic nerve is one of the largest nerves in ​the body. It provides the majority of the motor and sensory activity for the lower extremities. It is made up of a nerve plexus originating from L1 to S1 and passes from inside the pelvis to outside the pelvis through the sciatic notch – a little hollowing in the pelvis. The sciatic nerve then typically goes under the piriformis muscle, runs down the back of the leg behind the knee and splits, going inside and outside the calf and along the top and bottom of the foot.

sciatica23117022_m2- Causes of the pain

Anything that puts pressure on the sciatic nerve or its root can create the irritation we refer to as sciatica.

This can happen from a vertebral disc putting pressure on the nerve root, or you could have some problem in the sciatic notch – an accident or fall on your buttocks that caused a trauma to the nerve passing through the sciatic notch.

The injury could cause swelling and that could cause sciatic pain. An overactive piriformis muscle  pressuring sciatic nerve is also a common reason for sciatic irritation.

Another common cause of sciatic pain is neural tension (NT) (tension of the nerve).

NT is thought to be caused by restriction on the sheath (biological term for girdle) that surrounds the nerve. The nerve should glide smoothly through the sheath like a bicycle brake cable gliding through its casing. But sometimes the nerve does not glide through the sheath well and this can cause restriction.

3- Protect the nerve

As we’ve seen sciatica is a nerve injury; First preventive is to : protect the nerve.

With a sciatic injury, you want to be careful not to irritate the nerve more than it already is. Consider that the nervous system is continuous through your whole body from the crown of head to the toes and fingertips. Anywhere we move the body we are in essence moving the nervous system. So what you want is a gentle movement without over-stretching the nerve.

Adapt the movements

In my approach I Like to caution people about “over recruiting” the muscles; for example, if you follow classical Pilates, you have some moves where you tuck your bottom a little bit or squeeze hips extensors, it might not be appropriate for sciatica.  

That would increase the pressure on the sciatic nerve and decrease the space around the nerve. You want to work in a more neutral spine. 

If the sciatica is coming from a herniated disc, then we have to take all the disc precautions.

Disc precautions include:

  • not going into unnecessary flexion, and sometimes extension.
  • Avoid overusing the buttocks and the piriformis muscles. Avoid putting the nerve on stretch.
  • Avoid too much flexion [forward bending] in the lumbar spine which could irritate the nerve if there is a disc lesion.
  • Work from a neutral spine, get things to move and relax, and get the core

My advice:

  • Work with a qualified instructor, one on one one if possible
  • Find instructor that knows sciatica and can put you in touch with physiotherapist or chiropractors if needed adjustments
  • Also work on your own

People with sciatica should do exercises at home too.

I have clients who say “I feel great here but terrible when I go back to work”, and I say, do Pilates at work!

4- Home exercises for sciatica

In general, pre-Pilates simple exercises are good to practice:

  • Quadruped with knees / hands support; like Cat stretch
  • Pelvic curl and bridging exercises to mobilize and articulate the spine
  • Sides exercises: clams and glutes
  • Pre-swan
  • Leg circles

5-Exercises to avoid

Exercises that would probably bother a person with sciatica would be exercises:

  • like rolling like a ball
  • intense stretches like spine stretch, spine twist, and saw

But in my approach I’m much more inclined to do whole body movement and do modifications to perform the movement successfully.

As a teacher, I know how to modify the exercise and make corrections to provide a successful workout experience without pain.

I’ll tell the student it’s their responsibility to let me know when they have discomfort, and my responsibility to modify the exercise so that they have a successful movement experience and results. Pain free is my mojo.

In general, that formula of equal responsibility and knowledge has been the best for dealing with the ones with back pain, sciatica or any kind of injuries.


Conclusion and general tips for people with sciatica
You want to improve awareness of the core, increase mobility of the hips, and become efficient movers, minimizing over recruitment of the body’s musculature.


Jey Geraldine Pilates Shanghai



8 foods To enter Fall with energy

Fall is around the corner, Shanghai has done its back to school and with it it’s craziness of: work, social reunions, parties, birthdays and activities. We love it, but it’s gonna require you to have a good level of energy.

Now you may know from TCM (Traditional Chinese medicine) and others holistic sciences that food can heal and prevent a lot of things, especially when it comes to energies and the way you feel.

Today let’s have a look at 8 easy recipes and ingredients to get you all pumped up.

  1. Lemon Water


Start your day with this beverage, it’s the best way to clean you inside out. Lemons are loaded with healthy benefits, and particularly, they’re a great vitamin C food source which is partly responsible for energy level.

  1. 2. Bananas


If you feel tired you might lack of magnesium, and in any case it’s always good to do a cure when fall comes. So let’s you full of this mineral.

Bananas take 1 every two days is enough to get the trick. Bananas are rich in potassium, packed with vitamins, and high in flavor. They are nutritious snack at around 100 calories per serving. They’re best consumed mid-morning 10 am, when you feel the fatigue, or before a workout. With all the fiber, bananas will help you feel full and keep cravings at bay last until the next meal.

  1. 3. Nuts

Grab a hand of those every day.

Chock full of heart-healthy fats and other nutrients, those nuts you like to munch on are a superfood that’s super good for you. Which nuts?


Two of my favorites are:

  • Walnuts: provide a significant amount of the omega-3 fatty acid alpha-linoleic acid, a compound that helps reduce plaque buildup in arteries and fights heart disease. Studies have also linked walnuts with stronger bones.
  • Almonds: Almonds are high in calcium, fiber, magnesium, potassium, copper, protein and vitamin E. They contain more vitamin E than any other nut—just one ounce of almonds holds half your daily vitamin E needs. To top off their health benefits, almonds are also high in antioxidants. These superfood nuts will fill you up fast.

I love to get those two during my day, just before giving a class. You can grab a hand while leaving home for work that’s also a healthy option.

  1. 4. Ginger

My favorite!

Ginger has so many benefits that’s unbelievable how much you can get from this root.

As we talk of energy today let’s look how It goes for ginger: two things.

  • Circulation: it is increasing the circulatory system, allowing the blood inside you to move more freely throughout the body. The sensation this provides is one where you feel the get up and go that you once did in your younger years. It helps you feel like you can be more active.
  • Sugar: Ginger can help keep blood glucose levels in check. This is important because these levels have a direct impact on weight loss and weight gain, as well as how energetic or lethargic you feel throughout the day. If you’ve noticed that you get a midday crash it’s likely due to your blood sugar levels, and adding ginger to your lunch might help you stay focused and on task. An all-natural alternative to products like 5 Hour “Energy”.

I like to pour it into water (ginger water)  or eat it raw sliced on my meals; I also like the Japanese option pickled ones. Just right after your meals.

  1. 5. Spinach


Spinach is extremely high in iron, magnesium and potassium.

Magnesium plays a vital role in producing energy, and paired with potassium enables effective digestion in the stomach and the regulation of nerve and muscle function.Add some fresh spinach to your favourite salad, or serve it wilted with some eggs for breakfast.

If you think you have enough spinach, think again Just keep adding it!

  1. 6. Spirulina

Talking about Iron, this superfood is my “chouchou” (little favorite in French). So as a non-meat eater I might need to double dose my Iron to get the good amount per day that I need. As a woman you also need more to get the same amount of energy than men.

The first sign of iron deficiency is fatigue, and spirulina contains high levels of iron. The iron-rich content of spirulina is not just for those with a deficiency. Spirulina can help to increase athletic performance; as adequate iron intake maximizes the use of oxygen throughout the human body.

Get a spoon of spirulina everyday into your yoghurts, meals, soups, or if you can’t stand the taste: get a pill version (only organic). Mix it with some Vitamin C to get the full nutriments of it, and absorb Iron.



Talking about super food these ones are little but so efficient. Chia seeds help with hydration by absorbing 10 times their weight in water. Plus, they have the right ratio of protein, fats, and fiber to give you an energy boost without a crash. BY boosting digestive system, they will get you go to toilets faster and eliminate better, by it: get rid of low energy due to slow digestion.

  1. 8. Tea


By now, it’s no secret that green tea has a slew of health benefits. You can add putting some pep back in your step to the long list. The combination of caffeine and L-theanine give you energy without the jitters. Bonus: Research suggests that green tea boosts brainpower as well, which may come in handy when you’re down to the wire at work.  Take the time to brew the tea yourself because store-bought varieties often have lots of added sugar.

Tips for summer / Fall: I like to do it cold version. For your homemade cold tea: brew your tea in hot water as usual, let it cool down, then put it into the fridge for one night. The next day you have this delicious version of green iced tea.

For a detox version add lemon and ginger ! It’s delicious! I also like caffeine free version with Rooibos and infusions !




Eat fat, get slim


Many of us, including me, have been told for many years that fat is bad for your health and scale, and to get healthy and fit, you’ll have to remove fat from food.

For a long time, we thought that fat was “global fat” and make no distinction between “fatty” ingredients. I myself, removed all kind of fat many years ago, and since recently, was not able to ingest any of them, more over I was intolerant, I had no weight loss, even gained a bit, and started to notice some side effects.

Talking with my friends in fitness industry, yoga teachers, former dancers, nutritionists and so on, I realized a lot of them have tried to cut off fat as well and ended up with one same consequence: didn’t lose any weight at all, or worse: got fat.

Indeed, not eating good fat food will not only stabilize your weight or get you gain some, but it will stop the “losing weight” process if you wish to do so.

Recently many researchers, and my personal studies led me to the same answer to these questions: fat can help us maintain our weight? Fat doesn’t make us fat? In a word: exactly.

Fat is not something to avoid. For starters, it’s essential for normal growth and development. Dietary fat also provides energy, protects our organs, maintains cell membranes, and helps the body absorb and process nutrients. Even better, it helps the body burn fat.

But be careful there is two kind of fat, fake beliefs have been built on some “kind of truth”: Not all fatty foods are created equal. For example: pizza, French fries and hamburgers can contribute to weight gain and deterioration of health.


That’s where confusion has started- 50 years ago researchers have shown that “fat” raised bad cholesterol and can gives many health issues such as heart disease, plus get you fat. But that was about saturated fat.

Nowadays more complex researches have shown that good fat not only reduce bad cholesterol, but raise the good one (yes, yes there is a good one), protect cells, balance the proporitions of nutriments in the body, and by it get you thiner;

It’s not an “abstract” example, I experienced it. Like I said, I stopped every kind of fat many years ago, and only couple years ago got convinced by my friends and professionals to re incorporate lipids in my diet. 

I was not looking for weight loss to be honest, my main concern was my skin, hair and overall beauty that seemed a bit deteriorated and way much more dry after many years of fat free diet. After reincorporate fat results were not to wait: my skin get back to soft and hydrated, my hair as well and “cherry on the cake” i’ve stabilized my scale two kilos under where i’ve started. It was only positive!

It balanced proportions in my body, help digest and ingest good vitamins, it feeds your hair, skin, your brain, your heart. It will help maintain a good number on the scale without any effort.

Which fat to eat then? I will give you today easy “good fat” food

Let’s list three of my fav !

1. Sesame Oilstéléchargement

I might be Mediterranean but I can’t stand olive oil or butter.  I’ve tried other kind of oils to have this amount of good lipid I needed; and I’ve found it: Sesame oil. Living in Asia: sesame oil is one of the most popular one, and it happened to be my fav: super tasty and perfumed, you don’t need much to get one of your dish fulfilled and delicious.



Sesame oil, which comes from sesame seeds, is a lesser known vegetable oil but is, in fact, one of the healthiest alternatives to normal vegetable oil options.The health benefits of sesame oil include its ability to improve hair and skin health, stimulate strong bone growth, reduce blood pressure, maintain good heart health, manage anxiety and depression, protect infant health, cure the dental problems, prevent cancer, improve the digestive process, and lower inflammation. In a nutshell: it’s a 10 for sesame oil !

2. Chia seedschia-seeds-in-a-bowl

One of the greatest product or “super food” as it considered so, you can find; Chia seeds is full of benefit and the example of good fat. They’re full of fatty acids and omega3. More over they’re also protein, dietary fiber (easy to digest) and full of minerals (potassium, magnesium, calcium).

But careful as they became so popular, they also ate in a wrong way that make you miss of the content.  Chia seeds have a mild, nutty taste and can easily be added to most dishes as a garnish, yet chewing small seeds like flax or chia generally doesn’t make the omega-3s and other nutrients readily available for digestion and assimilation. The best way to access their vitamins and minerals is to either grind or soak them.

3. Fatty fishes 


The term “fatty fish” may sound unappealing, but actually these are the tastiest and healthiest foods from the sea. Oily fish such as salmon, tuna, sardines, mackerel, and trout are full of omega-3 fatty acids.

Omega-3 fatty acids have been shown to lower triglycerides, which are a type of fat in the bloodstream. Omega-3 fatty acids may also slow down the growth of plaques in the arteries and reduce inflammation throughout the body.

In an important review of studies, researchers found that getting daily omega-3 fatty acids from fish oil could lower triglyceride levels by 25%-30%. Research has demonstrated that omega-3 fatty acids play an essential role in brain and heart health. Specifically, they have been shown to reduce the risk of heart disease, and be beneficial for pre- and post-natal development. 

Which fatty fishes ? 

Fatty fish typically are cold-water fish. You have many good choices when it comes to fatty fish, it includes: 

  • Salmon
  • Tuna
  • Trout
  • Herring
  • Sardines
  • Mackerel 

One important point to keep in mind: How you prepare the fish is almost as important as which type of fish you eat. It’s always best raw, to broil, grill, or steam these foods.

To conclude: researches on “fat” have shown that good fat exist and even more that we need it. This idea revolutionizes how you eat and how you feel on every level. We got into this “big fat mess” and now we can incorporate healthy fats back into our lives to feel better, cut cravings and live with more energy. 

5 ways Pilates can improve your sex life

sex life images

Dear Students I often point out Pilates for rehabilitation or alignment but there are much more fun reasons to add Pilates to your repertoire.

Researches have shown that not only Pilates exercises make sex better, but many of Pilates benefits have more than basic benefits in the bedroom.

1-Use your pelvic floor

The most obvious reason, Pilates makes you have a better sex, and I always emphasize this point elsewhere, it uses your pelvic floor;

Nowadays everybody talks about pelvic floor, but very few (even among professionals and fitness) know what it is and how to use properly.

Pilates is actually one of the only discipline that really makes pelvic floor muscles grow and tone up, and first develop consciousness about them. We work closely the pelvic floor as part of the core foundation.

But what really are pelvic floor muscles?

Before everything let’s recap what are pelvic floor muscles: Pelvic floor muscles are the layer of muscles that support the pelvic organs and span the bottom of the pelvis. The pelvic organs are the bladder and bowel in men, and bladder, bowel and uterus in women.

Because yes we talk about both genders when it comes to « pelvic flor », men are often surprised to learn that they even have one!

Researches, and the acclaimed Dr Kegel, recognized the importance of training the pelvic floor and its role to improve sexual function and satisfaction. A healthy, toned up, strong pelvic floor, Is the key to good sex life for women and men!

WHAT TO DO? Work your shoulder bridge on the Mat. Curl up and down between each repetition.


Then bring that move to the mattress. With consistency, your performance and intensity should help everyone cross the finish line

2- Stress reduction

As being a mind-body focus technique, Pilates will help you reduces stress and calm your mind.

The effects of stress are insidious. It takes a toll on your physical, emotional and relationship health, probably more than you realize. It impacts your overall health and by it your sexual life. Stress raises the production of a hormone called cortisol, and high level of cortisol in your body actually lower your sex hormones.

Lower degree of sex hormones equal lower libido.

Pilates with its regular practice, helps you control and manage stress, and prevent cortisol level from rising too high and too often.

It also, by calming the mind rises testosterone. When it comes to sexual desire, the most influential hormone is testosterone: the hormone responsible for sexual appetite, performances and pleasure.

Pilates class gives you stress reduction comparable to “holidays”, and who never noticed that on holidays your sexual life is way much more active

Playful smiles.jpg

3- Work on your breathing

A correct breathing is actually a pattern that very few master and that is essential in every daily life aspect.

When you have sex: you need all the oxygen-rich blood you can get coursing through your body, refreshing your cells, enhancing your endurance, and waking up all of your senses. Unfortunately, for many people their version of heavy breathing is shallow panting, not optimal for full on sex or exercises.

In Pilates we learn to lengthen and pace our breathing timing the exhales with the point of exertion. Translate this into love-making when you’re up for something more than a quickie and you and your partner can draw out a sex session that takes up a full afternoon or more.

What to do? Practice your hundreds (see picture below) then practice small pumps inhale for five, exhale for five.

hundreds version

4– Concentration

One of the sad facts about exercise is that most people try not to be there for it. They work their bodies but send their minds elsewhere. Pilates is one of this technique that makes you help concentrate and by it: be totally at what you do. Stay present

If you rehearse mentally checking out during physical activity, you may well fall into that pattern during sex. Distraction is an enemy to sexual satisfaction.

So working on your focus is imperative. Joseph Pilates intention was to integrate the body and mind toward an elevation of the spirit and full enjoyment of the pleasures of life.

WHAT TO DO? Begin at the beginning. Work on the first 5 moves of Pilates mat work (The hundreds, leg circles, rolling like a ball, one leg stretch, double leg stretch) with maximum concentration.

Do not let your mind wander outside your body. Note your sensations, challenges and breathing.

The next time you’re feeling frisky, bring your new found focus with you in bed and add this perk to your lover panoply.

This may be the most challenging for some but has the most impact.

 5- Improve variety, better balance

Pilates moves happen on your back, on your stomach, in sitting, kneeling and standing. Many moves challenge your stability and balance. Sex play can be a bit scary for some as we often get into habits routines that involve repeating the same position. As we get older, trying new things is harder mentally and physically.

Improving your balance can help inspire everyone to test drive a new method and simultaneously keep us safe.

WHAT TO DO ? Incorporate some balance Pilates moves into your routine. Most can be done anywhere and anytime. Try teaser.


Pilates is all about balancing your body. A balance of strength, mobility and even your body chemistry.

Be aware whatever exercise you choose that adopting a Pilates sensibility to right-size your workout is the very best strategy for a happy healthy body both inside and outside of the bedroom.

Now: what are you waiting for?


Back pain doesn’t have to be chronic

Back pain doesn’t have to be chronic


Back pain became the curse of the century

Nowadays: Everybody has back pain from teenager to the oldest. Having back pain is normal and we get operated from our sciatic like we would remove a cavity: it’s “normal” procedure.

Slipped disks, compression, sciatica:  everyone has it’s own and try to find the remedy with neighbors, colleagues, and friends. To feel better, we take painkillers, multiple visits at the physician and if necessary let’s get the surgery!

Today I’m telling you to endure repetitive back pain is not “normal”, remedies exist and the causes have to be determined.

  1. The reasons 

We tend to point out wrong factors, either we have trapezius, middle back or lumbar pain, we accuse mattress, pillow.

From changing your entire bed to taking pain killers, it ends up pricey, useless and sometimes dangerous for your health. Indeed from soft canape, to comfy chairs: this fake comfort just make the situation get worse and hide the true causes of your pain.

images copie

We forget the most common and obvious factor: daily life posture.

The more we look for “easy” comfy stuff like lying down in a soft canape or chair, the less we develop right strength and back efficient posture. The vicious circle has started, your muscles support decrease and your vertebrae disks get compressed, while looking for “relax” you in fact make impossible the development of an adapted back & girdle muscles support.

We spend a lot of time either stand up or sitting down:  both of these positions are really tricky for the back and challenging in modern daily life ‘fake’ comfort; If you don’t adopt the right alignment and an adapted girdle: The curse has begun!

Go to chiropractor and osteopath and get mechanical manipulations does help but if we repeat the same actions  we just keep on treating consequences not causes. Only a safe, well repeated exercises and better posture habits will get rid of pain definitively!

  • The positions at risk:

Standing : Standing is a very difficult position because we all tend to compensate due to different angles of the joints in this posture. The challenge is against gravity and the standing require some girdle.

Sitting: The worst and most dangerous position for the back.

And that fact itself should explain why more and more people suffer back pain.

Our modern lifestyle make us  more and more sedentary and stationary instead of being active. Our body don’t build the right strength and core muscles anymore and we often sit in offices FOR HOURS.

2. Solutions:

  1. Yawn and stretch

Have you ever pay attention at a cat? Well, you should!


Animals and cats particularly spend their time yawning and stretching while going from one position to another one. Indeed, they activate and alternate the hyperextension & flexion, then yawn. Yawning will have a good impact on diaphragm with a bigger engagement, and powerful but soft action on your back.

  1. The right posture

It is important to adopt the right posture in every position and every situation; it can be easier to say than do, but becomes it is a game changer and it becomes quite natural when you start understanding body’s mechanic.

  • Asymmetry: since childhood, we step with one feet more than the other one, we carry heavy stuff same side, we run, climb stairs and others always the same way. Balance with appropriate gesture, reinforcement and stretches will help this natural compensation and get an appropriate musculature from the other side.
  • Aging: Naturally with time and life we tend to arch and back bent. Fatigue makes fight against gravity less active and efficient, without a right posture alignment and good back & abs muscles construction, we might have difficulty to keep the “nice and tall” required spine.
  • Sedentary lifestyle: like said before: Where we used to do a lot of physical jobs and expose body to difficult tasks, we now tend to me more sedentary spending hours in sitting position. For example= Most of my students are businessmen and women, they travel a lot, and carry on heavy luggages, spend hours sitting down in a plane, in a car, in front of a computer. That without appropriate and frequent stretches create serious tensions.

4 tips and easy stretches to relieve back pain

  • Abdominal breathing

It might be the best way and yet underestimated way to treat, prevent and git rid of chronic back pain. Adopt the right breathing and train to understand abdominal ‘correct’ breathe.

  • Correct sitting

At work, home, restaurants, else, practice self extension of the spine “taller” process while sitting.

Put your back straight and let your trunk point in two opposite directions: tailbone and lower back bone push to the floor whereas head and neck push to the ceiling.



-push against the backrest of your chair (that are always too much to the back)

-cross your legs (always the same way) that get asymmetry in your pelvis.

-put a pillow under your butt that will exaggerate the arching.


-Put a books or anything under your feet to keep your angle 90°C hips-knees

-put a pillow (small) under your back to sit straight.

  • right stretches

stretch ballon


Arch Back

Break the neck

Put body weight on the upper part of the back / shoulders


Push in opposite direction while breathing out

Engage abdominal belt, keep the organs and visceras up and toward the spine

Keep body weight to the back (buttock to heels)

  •  Standing

stretch standing

Nice and tall against a wall : feet parallel in front of the wall, wide of your hips. Stand up, push against gravity push top of your head to “the sky” while pressing lower back region against the wall. Engage pelvic floor to feel the lower abs contraction and lower back extension; It’s a big relief if made correctly.

  • Standing back extension



Fall down into your shoulders

Break the neck

Let the back curve


Flat back

Keep one-line angle from backbone to top of your head 90°C to the legs.

Press and push in opposite directions while breathing out, micro bend the knees if needed = meaning if you feel too much stretch in your hamstrings.

Because back muscles reinforcement take time, stay patient, practice your exercises regularly, take a qualified coach to help you, choose activity like Pilates that are non violent for the joints- with One-on-one sessions.


Dear Followers, As it seems to be a « loving season » in Shanghai I resulted to have many of my students who get pregnant – That just gave me the idea to talk to you a little bit about Pilates and Pregnancy – I will make it very simple and answer the more […]

via PILATES FOR PREGNANCY — Jeydancepilates


Dear Followers,

As it seems to be a « loving season » in Shanghai I resulted to have many of my students who get pregnant –
That just gave me the idea to talk to you a little bit about Pilates and    Pregnancy –

I will make it very simple and answer the more frequently asked questions-

  • “Iam pregnant, Can i practice Pilates ? » 

Yes. Pilates method is very well adapted to pregnancy -Pilates technique is based on what we call the « power house » meaning all the core muscles = abdominals, pelvic floor, back muscles- these ones are the foundation of our body : core muscles maintain and support the rest of our muscles, skeleton and organs. Pilates will also helps with stiffness and help develop awareness of your body and flexibility of your main muscles- That’s why that’s great benefit either you are pregnant or not

  •  »Why is it especially good for pregnant women?”

As we said Pilates will help as well pregnant women as well non pregnant people, but the specificity when you are pregnant is : 

Baby inside the body is moving the heart of gravity from center to the front- so pregnant women will feel more easily back pain, especially into the  lower back – As pregnancy goes on, weight is becoming heavier for the mother, and strengthen tummy muscles, will help your body better to cope with the strains caused by the weight of the growing baby. Hormones make the tissues -ligaments- that connect your bones more pliable in pregnancy, making you more prone to injury. 

Strenghen pelvic floor- studies have shown that practice Pilates regurgaly before, during and after a pregnancy is as effective as pelvic floor exercises. And from my experience i now work and exchange with a nurse in Shanghai, and she strongly recommend Pilates for pregnancies – she even told me that there is a huge difference in pelvic floor rehabilitation between women practicing or non practicing Pilates. 


Pilates is NOT yoga

Hi All ! images

I have recently talked with friends, network and even athletes and I discover this terrible confusion that has been spread  – let Me tell you this breaking news once for all :

Pilates is NOT yoga – And I could add « AT ALL » 

Let me explain and try to understand why this false thought has been shared by so many. 

Pilates and yoga are two entirely different ways of moving and perceiving the world and should not be confused. The underlying philosophies and goals are worlds apart in their approach. The message and technique is completely unique for each system. We could say just like oil and water, these two systems will be in conflict if you try to mix them.

  • The Approach 

Whereas Yoga is more a philosophical and spiritual approach for health, Pilates is a fitness and muscle training one With no spiritualism Pilates is a body movement method made to develop strength, avoid injuries and get to know your body’s functions better- The goal is only physical (even if practice some activity can develop mind well-being) there is no research of spirituality or mindful theory behind it. – Yoga at the opposite, is an ancient philosophy which combines mind and body in order to get the balance- and to find inner stability. 

To Sum up we could say : Pilates is a workout body orientated -whereas Yoga is lifestyle-meditation orientated- 

  • The content 

In Yoga you will have relaxation movements, silence with breathings,  stand-up and sit down poses- flexibility exercises- splits, pigeon poses, facing dog and many other posture to build your strength but usually it is a lot of static.This takes a great amount of focus and the flow in and out of each position is fluid. The movements are not what you would call workout moves; they are more like poses that are designed for different needs and purposes. That part might be the origin confusion so I would like to establish that once for all : (even if some teacher- like me- can include breathings and little stretches to relax and avoid cramps to the practitioners) You will NOT find any splits, flexibility and suppleness requirements for Pilates. 

In Pilates the accent is made on core muscles = ABDOMINALS. Pilates was definitely developed as a logical system of exercises specifically designed to enhance and balance the physical, mental, and spiritual aspects of the human body. In other words, Pilates is not about sitting still or holding poses — Pilates is about movement. So, if one of the things you dislike about Yoga is the idea of twisting yourself up like a pretzel and holding the pose, or go upside down in order to get the « saint graal » split :  don’t worry! You won’t be asked to hold any position for long in your Pilates class.

  • Why Choose ? 

To conclude it has never been question to launch any battle between those two, because as we just clarify today they are two different activities with different goals, different aims and different results. There is not one better than the other- It all depends on what you are looking for and what kind of purpose you are aiming. 

And even I would add : Why to Choose when you can have benefits from both? Pilates and Yoga are Totally complementary and really work perfectly with one another- So MY recommandation would be : ASSOCIATE !

Practice Both : Pilates for the strength, details and abs workout – Yoga for the peace of mind, flexibility and freedom. 

Now I hope : next time You’ll heard about PILATES you will never mix it up with YOGA. 

With Love,




Hello Everybody so Today Iam coming back with a VERY SPECIAL article and today it is about frequently asked topic when regarding Pilates practice : MEN. Let’s look closer at this specific question:

Is Pilates useful for men ? 

First of all I think Men are afraid to practice Pilates because they don’t really know what it is. They have misunderstanding about the content so i will try to clear that up. Let’s look at the history.

Pilates came from Joseph Pilates.


Joseph Pilates


Pilates inventing the reforming

Joseph Pilates who was an athlete : boxer, body builder, skier. As a child he suffered him self from bad health conditions and he started study self-improvement. He took a lot of inspirations from ZEN BOUDDHISM and ANCIENT GREEK IDEAL OF MEN PERFECTED IN DEVELOPMENT of Body, Mind and spirit. During WWI, J. Pilates has been interned in « jail » by the British – There in his cells suffered from very poor conditions of living and he developed floor exercise and body core reinforcement. That was first state of what we call today «  pilates mat work ». Quickly his method has been spread out through jail’s detainees and they came to him to be trained and prevent their injuries. That helped them to build strength and endure terrible incarceration conditions, disease and bad shape that occurred from detention hard life conditions. When he was released from jail Joseph Pilates trained the military forces in Hamburg and when the german army forced him to train soldiers for wars he packed and left the country to establish him self in New York city. There was the big step into his life and career that brought Pilates where we know it stands today. In NYC dancers and many physical trainers get interests in Joseph Pilates’ method and made it popular in « women’s circles ». so That story to explain even originally speaking Pilates is a method developed by men for men. And which was nothing else than body’s training to survive.  Now Let’s see why that suits well to men and how it can help them to build strength and power through exercises as we practice it today.

Core Strength 

Core strength is one of the six major principles of the technique and maybe the most important one. 

Core strength in Pilates is considered the heart of the body and the best way to get strong, deep and « real »  muscles.

A musculature that will make you able to endure other kind of exercises.The integrative component of Pilates can be especially beneficial for men whose workouts often emphasize a part-by-part approach to muscular development, such as what what finds in weightlifting.Core strength principles means emphasizes movement from the center of the body called « powerhouse » and building strength from deep muscles to stabilize the trunk and protect the back. (especially lower back). That approach and technique makes Pilates a perfect train for whole body and a serious foundation for other sports. Pilates is often add to professional athletes in cross training, golf, soccer, swimming and skiing.



Pilates stretch poses

The word « stretching » typically brings in men’s mind : sweating in high socks with their foot up high reaching for their toes. it might have been part of bad understanding of Pilates technique and men’s fear to practice it.

BUT in reality : first of all Pilates doesn’t mean stretching, and second turns out that reaching your toes with head like a yogi is not the only way to improve flexibility. The routine in gym in general and in Pilates method can have drastic effects on your ability to touch your toes. After all being flexible is not only a « girl » matter but is actually essential for men in their daily life.

When it comes to desired physical characteristics, flexibility falls down the priority list, as most guys would much rather have killer abs and ripped arms than be able to touch their toes with ease right ?

 However, a lack of focus on flexibility may be hindering results in the gym. Heavy workouts combined with the typical desk posture from the 9-to-5 grind can stifle strength gains and line you up for an injury down the road.

In fact, flexibility training is an important aspect of gaining strength and size. Average men spend most of their time over a computer further deteriorating any chance at proper posture. Outside of just preventing injury, having better posture helps to show off the muscular physique. Proper flexibility also goes hand in hand with full range of motion exercises like squats and deadliest which are massive deep muscles builders.

Increasing flexibility is a goal that Pilates addresses in a way that men often feel comfortable with. Pilates works toward functional fitness. That is, the ability to have the strength, balance, and flexibility that allows one to move through daily-life tasks with ease.

Develop neglected muscles 

Some of your muscles, like those that dominate your daily movements, are stronger than others, and a big part of Pilates is focusing on those muscles that don’t typically get a lot of attention- Pilates is made that you will workout and build muscles you don’t hit when lifting weight only.

Better posture


main localization of back pain

Not only that standing will makes you look, it also have various  benefits on your health. Most of the men, like women, have office’s jobs, lots of stress and hours in front of your computer that cause terrible pain in the back at the end of the day.

Pilates workout will get you rid off these back like pain in the back, neck and shoulders which are the most common ones. You will find stronger framework and straighter posture.

Live more conscious of your body

Pilates forces you to pay attention—you’ve got to focus on your breath while working through each movement and concentrating on proper form. not only that is going to cool you down and make you retreat from your daily stress and problems but also will make you create a proper consciousness of your whole body’s functions as well breathing functions and unconscious mechanism. After a Pilates session, you’ll feel refreshed and relaxed. One of my male student told me once «Pilates class might be the first time I actually take a conscious breath in an entire day ». Speaks for it self right ?

Balance and Coordination

If you have ever felt like a klutz, clumsy, pilates may be the answer. Increased muscle tone combined with the yoga-like control required to complete Pilates exercises give the body more stability and coordination.

This may not be number one men willing but having balance, ease and coordination of your body is important in your daily life basis. It will bring you more confidence, better walk and prevent most injuries.

Less Body Fat

Increasingly, our sedentary lifestyles have made us heavier. Hours in front of the computer makes more difficult loosing weight and tend to accumulate stored fat.

Fat accumulation in men is different than in women, but also significantly more dangerous. Because men’s fat areas tend to accumulate around the belly area, it poses a much greater risk for heart attacks and strokes. Pilates is a great muscle toner that also helps reduce body fat. Pilates workout movements like abs, criss cross legs and butt boosters combined with stretches are good way to reduce stored fat in your body. It will activates micro circulation blood and will eliminate body’s fat as well as helping eliminate orange-peel skin aspects (not only a girl’s problem).

Have Better Sex 

I have hesitated to put that one as a « perks »  for practicing Pilates, that can be a borderline subject as well as indelicate and private one BUT there is a several studies and researches about it and they are all unanimous : Pilates exercise will increase your body’s function control and awareness and will conducts to better sex life.

After all that makes sense :

Pilates strengthens the core and the pelvic floor, and men who practice it have greater control of this region of the body. Need we say more?



I have asked different different men that already practice Pilates and asked them about their point of view regarding Pilates practice and men’s frequent opinion about it. 

Jey : why do you think men are intimidated by or not interested in Pilates ? 

Thierry 38 years old – from Lyon France biker, runner and swimmer and swims. Training for his first 50-mile trail run. He added Pilates to his workout routine recently :

“I think men probably feel like they have such limited time, so why work on muscles they haven’t heard of and can’t see when there are biceps and pecs to be pumping? It’s also probably intimidating when those Pilates girls make it looks so easy and smooth, yet men aren’t as flexible or graceful most of the time.”

Guillaume 25 years old – from Marseilles France Practice Pilates time to time – combined with running, soccer and weight lifting.

“I’m sure it varies from guy to another, but I think the number one reason is probably just that it doesn’t seem « manly »  enough. classes are full of women in tight spandex lying on the floor and seemingly not doing much at all beyond stretching and flexing into « girly » positions that often have « girly names » “Mermaid stretch, anyone?”

Danny, 30 years old – from NYC  Salsa teacher, Soccer  player, Gym weight lifter

“Men may be intimidated by Pilates due to the exercises that seem popular. Guys don’t want to lie on the floor and exercise with their body weight.”

Jey : Why should men do Pilates?


“Where do I start ? I have finally learned that the best swimmers swim with their cores; the best runners have stable hips and can train harder without injury; and there is cycling power in a strong core, especially as the ride gets long and hilly. Pilates helps with all of that. Oh, and it usually has a great female-to-male ratio. Need to add any more convincing argument ? “

-Guillaume : 

“When i first came to your class i didn’t expect that much workout and sweating. And what I would tell those guys is that Pilates can be VERY challenging. That is definitively a great workout and can benefit the other types of sports that you do. Also, I would tell them that it is like any other exercise: “

Danny :

« Because I’m already salsa teacher and sport player i incorporate Pilates training in my routine because i can feel the benefits of it. For example i can lift more weight because i know how to activate my core, thanks to Pilates. So many lifters compensate when lifting heavy and then injure themselves. I feel relaxed lifting weight and thanks to you make it injury free workout”

Now Guys you have all the keys about Pilates –  I hope this would have helped changing opinion and prejudices you may had regarding Pilates Practice-

Now let’s get started – I will end this article with a video from FTNESS BLENDER VIDEO – A very good workout for Lower Body routine – made by a Pilates MAN instructor- hope you’ll like it ! 

You liked this article ? This topic has interested you? Leave a comment I would love to read what you have to say 
Stay tuned 
with Love JeyDancePilates



Today I would like to show you three different ways to wear active clothes and feel trendy as you stretch and workout.

  1. Sober Stretch

black version

I wear:

-Top: Thin strap Black tank top

-Bottom: Green and Black Nylon&Elastane Pant Forever 21 Brand

-Foot: Pink stretch Nike Studio Wrap pack Shoes 

  1. Color Block

color blockI wear:

-Top: Turquoise 100%cotton Knitwear Forever 21 Brand

-Bottom: Day dream tribal print legging Forever 21 Brand

-Foot: Barefoot

  1. Easy Chic

easy chic I wear:

-Top: lovely Lace bodysuit Forever 21 Brand

-Bottom: Dance black Pant Repetto Brand

-Foot: Nike Studio Wrap pack Shoes (see 1st outfit link) 


 Which one is your favorite? Let me know your choice, and what do you like to wear when stretching and exercising ? 
 Leave Your comments get in touch with me : i’ll be glad to share&exchange !