If you are stuck in a rut and tired of the same old gym routine, then Pilates Central in Madison, Wisconsin might be just the place to try. Specializing in Pilates as well as barre, yoga, and more recently, massage therapy, owner and personal trainer Vanessa Washicheck wants her students to unplug and unwind during her classes, letting the stress and anxieties of their day melt away.
Opening her studio in January 2014 at One East Main Street, Washicheck wanted to offer individual and group classes in Pilates which were easily accessible to the local community. Her expertise did not stop at Pilates, however, and she thought her students would appreciate learning yoga and barre as well so she added them to the service menu. Among its many benefits, Pilates corrects misalignments and strengthens joints by using the body's own weight to create zero-impact resistance training. Although there is some equipment involved in the Pilates method, such as pulleys and springs, essentially its techniques rely on body weight to work.
Along with actualizing her passion for teaching the Pilates method, Washicheck wanted to provide a service to her community. "I saw the need for a boutique studio on the square that allows students the opportunity to take a break from their busy day to do something good for the body and mind," says Washicheck. Her entrepreneurial acumen was spot on, and a few months after her initial revelation, she set out to make her dream a reality.
Since opening her main studio, she has expanded the space in order to accommodate the growing clientele and to better serve the needs of her students and instructors. Thanks to a team of talented teachers and a group of dedicated students, Pilates Central has grown in popularity among the Madison community.
"A Pilates workout will take you through a sequence of precise movements that place emphasis on technique, body control, and your energizing center (powerhouse)," Washicheck explains. The exercises are performed on a mat or supported by Pilates apparatus, among them the Reformer, the Tower, or the Pilates Chair. In an effort to educate us on the fundamental elements of Pilates, Washicheck describes that "the Pilates method builds strength and flexibility by connecting you to your deepest, interior muscle groups to uniformly develop the body from the inside out."
Not only that, but Pilates also has a mental component similar to the Yogic disciplines. For instance, Yoga and Pilates both focus on the mind-body connection, proper breathing techniques, alignment, centering the mind, and concentration. "We offer a Vinyasa type yoga flow class that invigorates your senses and energizes and refreshes you inside and out," tells us Washicheck. Studying Yoga and Pilates simultaneously can provide an excellent workout, reinvigorating body and mind.
Last but not least, Barre targets small, internal muscle groups in the arms, legs, buttocks, and abdominals to build strength and stamina. Emphasizing small, controlled movements that push you to work from your energizing center or core makes Barre an especially effective routine.
Washicheck feels fortunate to have developed close relationships with her students over the years. It's one of the main reasons she loves her job. Pilates is a challenging and complex discipline that takes years to master, let alone teach, but it's certainly worth the effort.