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mary_annI’m a woman well into the other half of her century. I spent many years hunched over a desk and computer as an engineer and educator while squeezing in running (later walking)/ hiking/skiing whenever possible.  My husband and I also did a great deal of construction work for about ten years together and found I was able to do less and less over the last 20 years with increasingly debilitating back pain.

Four years ago I had a spinal fusion with complications that led to a second corrective surgery 2 years later. The last four years were extremely painful and I was firmly deciding to: never walk into a surgeon’s office again and do everything I could to get out of pain including walking, hiking and rounds of my physical therapy exercises. My neighbor, an MD, called me “the poster child for rehab.” But I still was in pain. Was I going to end up a hunched-up ol’ gal—even before I was an ol’ gal? Did I just have to accept I could not sit or stand without pain, just walk around to stay sort of comfortable, get up during the night to walk around and do a few exercises to bring the pain level down a bit?

Our long-time friend and fellow ski instructor told us about his success in Hallie’s  Pilates for Yoga program. I could see he was extremely pleased with the results of Hallie’s class and I hoped it might help my pain and liberate me to do more things I wanted to do during my next half-century.

I am still completely shocked!  Hallie’s Pilates for Yoga is WAY BEYOND DIFFERENT!!  It is certainly not the Pilates, yoga, or exercise class you have been to.  Hallie’s program is personalized, upbeat, effective in pinpointing the cause of pain and deterioration in the body structure, and uses her selection of techniques to correct and enhance alignment, muscle-memory, relaxation, flexibility and strengthening.  But, it is more than that, too. It is beyond a “way of thinking” or just a battery of moves or poses, rather, it seems to be a way to free your brain do what it is superbly designed to do and allow your neuromuscular system to use its own intelligence when you move or relax.

The impact from one class was astounding. I sat in a chair without pain for the first time in over a decade. Correctly positioned on a foam cylinder I felt relief in my spine I had all but forgotten! Each class has brought new and deeper relief.  Stretches performed against the wall had me walking away with the most welcome feeling of floating without pain I have ever had. Breathing techniques and Hallie's CD are helping me cope with over 40 years of irritable bowel pain.

My husband and I challenge and encourage each other outside of class to keep thinking and following Hallie’s method.   Even as “life happens” where I do a number of things that might increase my back pain, I know what to do: employ Hallie’s program.  As I progress with Hallie’s program I am continually surprised how I can even think more clearly without the “head-noise” of pain continually in my life. After 4 short months the changes I have found through Pilates for Yoga® have made a huge impact in what I can and want to do, and most of my days are now totally pain-free no matter what physical activity I do!

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