Pilates studio raises money for St. Jude Children’s Research

Mary Beth Young has been a Pilates instructor for 20 years. She opened The Pilates Advantage in Georgetown in 2007. — Kaitlin Bradshaw photo

To celebrate five years in business, Mary Beth Young, owner of The Pilates Advantage at 4 Old Mill Road in Georgetown, hosted a fund-raising event that raised $1,230 for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital in Tennessee.

This was Ms. Young’s first fund-raiser at The Pilates Advantage. She had previously raised more than $150,000 for St. Jude’s while working at a gym in Ridgefield, she said.

Ms. Young along with two other instructors lead the rotating event.

“We started with Pilates in one room, re-bounding (mini-trampoline) in the other and spinning. We made the workout like musical chairs. We had four people shifting in each room every half-hour and at the very end for the last half-hour, we all came together in one room for Piloga, a combination of Pilates and yoga,” she said.

Ms. Young said she started in the fitness industry in 1981, before there were gyms like there are today.

“There were no options for women. We didn’t even have sneakers. We’d get shin splints from wearing tennis shoes,” she said. “It’s funny how the industry has changed.”

Fitness instructors didn’t need to be certified to train people but as the industry grew, Ms. Young got her certification to train people.

“I came across Pilates at a convention,” she said. “I watched people move. I saw a [older] woman move like she was in her 20s.”

From then Ms. Young went on to be a Pilates-certified trainer. She had to understand the body’s movement and moving with grace, she said.

After 30 years of teaching at a gym in Fairfield County, she decided to go on her own.

“In 2007 I opened this place here [in Georgetown]. It’s been amazing and the area is wonderful. The people are lovely. No one has an attitude. There is good energy,” said Ms. Young.

She describes Pilates as a method of exercise.

“It’s more than just a workout. It helps you understand your body in everyday life,” she said.

At $30 per person, women attended The Pilates Advantage fund-raiser event to celebrate its five years in business. The event raised $1,230 for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.

It makes people become aware of their movements and the way they sit, stand, walk and work out, she said.

She said that by doing Pilates it helps people be more balanced, gain strength in their core and has allowed people to avoid surgery. With Pilates people move from the core out so their movement is efficient, she said.

“Physical trainers will send us people,” she said. “The benefits are really unlimited.”

Incorporating Pilates into a regular cardio routine is also a good idea, she said.

Ms. Young offers sessions at a variety of prices between $20 and $75 because she wants people to come back more than once a week.

“Everywhere else it is  $15 to $20 more [than Pilates Advantage],” she said. “I want people to come.”

Free informational sessions are also offered for people who have never done Pilates, she said.

“Most people feel better after one session,” she added.

Ms. Young, along with four other trainers, offer private or group sessions. She said there are no more than four to eight people in a group so the instructor can make sure the movements are done properly.

Classes and schedules are online at Thepilatesadavantagect.com or call 203-544-9289.

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