Studio BE Pilates clients have a way of inspiring us. We are thrilled to be able to share Studio BE success story insights from our own Robyn Craig – who started Pilates after dealing with pain in her neck and leg as a result of disc issues. See what Robyn has to say about how Pilates at Studio BE has changed her life.

Studio BE: How did you get started at Studio BE?

Robyn: I found the studio back in 2005 when Studio BE was in its old space. I had disc issues. Prior to my first surgery, the disc in my neck was in pieces. The doctors had to pick pieces of the disc off of my spinal cord and I had lost feeling in my right thigh.

I had been working out with weights and treadmills had heard about Pilates after the surgery and walked into the studio one day and signed up for classes. Several months later I began taking more private sessions. I feel like the advantage with private sessions is that you get the one on one attention that might not be noticed in a class setting.

Studio BE: What made you stay with Pilates at Studio BE?

Robyn: I like the way Pilates changed my body but I also liked the way it made me feel. I had a second back surgery in 2014 so I am fused in my neck with screws in multiple places on my neck and back. Running is not going to do it after two necks surgeries and one back surgery. One of the things that Pilates does is that because you are always lengthening, it creates distance instead of compression that comes naturally as we age. Even if you don’t have back issues, Pilates makes you feel better.

Plus, Studio BE is a fun place. The people – both the instructors and the clients – give it a fun atmosphere.

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Studio BE: How is your health now?

Robyn: Better. There was talk about needing a potential spinal fusion so I made some changes in my life.

I decided that my long commute to Bethesda each day was not a good thing because the time in the car – even with all of the healthy back gear that I used – and was fortunate enough to find a position where I can work from home.

I use a series of exercises that I learned in mat class every morning so that I can get up and go. I found that I don’t feel as good when I don’t do my Pilates for whatever reasons. I think my surgeon will be shocked when he sees me for my next check up now that my leg pain is gone and my flexibility is back.

Studio BE: What is your typical workout schedule?

Robyn: My goal is to take two equipment classes and one mat class each week which translates into one private session, one group Pilates class and one mat class. Occasionally I add in another mat or private session when I can. Outside of Pilates I walk, preferably outside but sometimes on the treadmill.

Studio BE: Do you have a favorite Pilates position?

Robyn: I really like it all. They always say that you need to vary your workout and change things up. Pilates does that when you switch between the Reformer or Chair or mat or Barre class. Pilates naturally rotates your workouts.

Studio BE: Do you have a least favorite series?

Robyn: Nothing makes me cringe. Carla knows me well enough to know what I like and that I want to get stronger. So I want her to challenge me. After my back surgery I told her that she needed to get me back to where I needed to be to go back to the level III advanced reformer class. The good news is that I am back in the class and loving it!

Studio BE: How has Pilates changed you?

Robyn: It allows me to feel more movement and go about my day. From a physical standpoint, it has changed the way I feel and the way I look. My muscle tone is different – long and lean instead of adding bulk. I like feeling long, lean and toned.

Studio BE: What advice would you offer someone that is considering Studio BE Pilates?

Robyn: Just do it. Just try it. I would always recommend private lessons to start. Eventually maybe private sessions become just for maintenance or brushing up, but if possible private sessions help you refine your practice.

Studio BE: What are your favorite workout clothes?

Robyn: Definitely clothes from Lucy and Athleta.

Studio BE: Do you have a preference between open and closed toe socks for the studio?

Robyn: I have both closed and open toe socks. I probably have a collection of 15 socks that I keep in my purse, my car and everywhere so that I don’t forget them. In the middle of winter I also use my open toe socks with my flip flops when it is cold.