I stepped out of my comfort zone...

Hello Friends!

Pilates is considered a Mindbody experience/exercise.  I get it...in my BODY.  And my mind is connected and controls my body.  Duh.  But let's just say, I've been a slave to by body lately.  With this training regimen and constantly working with people on their bodies, I have developed a lot of tightness.  Being in school, or even living in NYC, can cause a lot of stress.  My body is carrying that stress around. And I am UNCOMFORTABLE.  The lower back, my neck & shoulder, etc... This makes doing Pilates much more difficult.  I can't execute the basic exercises the way I want, let alone the more advanced fun stuff I've been looking forward to learning.   It's frustrating and depressing.  

Recently, a client told me about her latest meditation experience.  Full disclosure, I've never tried meditation.  I've always thought I'd be bored or fall asleep or both.  But this sounded different.  I was intrigued and a little scared.

It was sensory deprivation floating.  Stay with me here.

I got naked & floated in a tank in very thick salt water, like the dead sea.  There was no smell or sound.  Lights were optional and I turned them off. The water was body temperature and so comforting.  It felt like the softest, yet most supportive mattress was under me.  After laying there for a few minutes, I started to inventory my body from the toes to my ears, gently asking it to release.  Some places required a second or third visit.  But eventually, I succumbed to the silence, the stillness.  I let go and time slipped away with no stimulation or distractions to stop it.  And the nothingness engulfed me in the most delightful way.

Originally, I thought I'd fidget and get bored, maybe last about 10 minutes.  Before I knew it, an hour had passed. Light spa-like music started to play to indicate my session was over.  I turned on the light and prepared to leave the tank.  And I was alert!  I washed my hair and scrubbed my head.  Damn, it felt so good.  Did my scalp always feel like this?  Was there canabis or LSD in that water?  I don't know.  But I know I was feeling and seeing in a different way.  I was calm, alert, focused, centered in mind and body.

Getting dressed and preparing to leave, I stopped in the lobby.  It was Sunday.  Was I in a rush?  Not today.  I sat.  I read a BOOK for a half hour.  I focused and breathed and took my time.  There were no distractions.  Walking out in Cobble Hill, Brooklyn, (my stomping grounds with a major EX) I noticed my back didn't hurt.  My neck was perfectly fine.  And my shoulder moved freely.  Damn, I felt GOOD!  

Was it like a massage?  No.  This was more holistic and not targeted to my tight areas.  It felt like nothing happening allowed everything to happen, falling into place where they were meant to be.

It's Thursday as I write this.  My mind and body are still feeling strong and centered.  I've done 5 hours of Pilates so far this week and it's been great!  Everything is so accessible.  Being balanced is making me more efficient!  Unfortunately, I slowly notice my movement patterns bringing those strains and tight muscles back to their old habits.  But 4 days later, I'm still focused.  I'm slowly trying to remove my distractions.  Those alerts on my phone have been turned off.  I don't need to know overtime someone "likes" my Facebook or Instagram posts.  I also don't need to have 4 news alerts letting me know when something awful has happened on our planet.  I will see those things when I'm ready to focus on them.

Cheers to letting go and finding focus!



The Instructor Becomes a Student Again

Hello Lovely People,


I have some exciting news to share with everyone (ok, some of you already know my secret.)  This weekend, I started another Pilates certification program with Real Pilates.  Since I'm already a certified instructor, what I'm doing is known as a Bridge Program.  This course will take place over the next 30 weeks and I'm both inspired and exhausted by the journey ahead of me.


You might be thinking, "Where will you find the time for this?" or "But Samone, you already know so much.  Why are you doing this?"  And these are really good questions.  To answer the first question, I'm really not sure.  But I feel it'll all come together as it needs to.  To answer why I'm doing this, I think there's always more to learn.  The Pilates method has been in my body since 2001 and I've been teaching since 2012.  During the last 5 years, I have continued to take Pilates classes/sessions from instructors I admire, workshops in special conditions & injuries and learned on the fly with my valued clients.  I think my clients appreciate when I have recently completed a workshop or learned a new technique.  These little nuggets of information inspire me to work differently and deeper. 


It's 10:30pm on Sunday and I've been at the studio since Friday afternoon going back to the basics and learning the beginner system all over again.  My mind is mush.  I am reassured that I have a really strong start.  Core Pilates, NYC has given me a robust foundation.  But I am also relearning certain exercises in a new way.  My "hands on" is getting more "in your business"  And I'm learning the way our elder, Romana, taught the exercises.  It's challenging to change my script.  


I'm already inspired to bring some new techniques to my classes and sessions.  For my long time faithful clients, we'll start to incorporate some of these changes and hopefully you'll see/feel the difference.  We'll continue to learn & grow together.  As I've always believed, Pilates is a system.  Pilates is a process.  Pilates is a practice.  

Happy 2nd Anniversary!

Today marks the 2nd anniversary of Hands On Pilates, NYC!  Anniversaries always inspire reflection on the time before and planning for the future.  So let’s take stock together.


  • As a business, Hands On Pilates, NYC has grown!  I’ve added more hours to the schedule.  New clients have joined the fold and friends from long ago have reconnected with their practice.  Some of my clients have overcome injuries and others have mastered more advanced exercises (hello Tendon Stretch!)  Wherever we start on any given day, we try to feel better by the end of the session.  And that’s really all I ever ask or expect from my clients.  Bring yourself to me on good days, bad days and everything in between.  Pilates always helps you feel better, physically and emotionally.


  • In my personal Pilates practice, I’ve continued to take weekly sessions/classes with the instructors who inspire me.  I’m also making a commitment to other forms of exercise.  What?  Not just Pilates?  That’s right.  I’ve found another challenge.  Rowing is my new exercise du jour.  I take at least one rowing class a week.  Believe it or not, it follows all six Pilates principals: Breath, Concentration, Centering, Flow, Precision & Control.  Plus, it wipes me out.  I sleep like a log after class.  Let me know if you’re interested in adding this to your health regimen and I’ll give you all the details.


  • Looking ahead for both the business and my personal practice, I have some exciting news to share.  Along with the other practitioners at Oasis Healing Arts, I’ll be hosting a client appreciation day this spring. We’ll be providing complimentary services and serving wine & nibbles.  Guests are welcome!   Details will follow soon.  Be on the lookout for an email in the next few weeks.


  • Also, I intend to increase my continuing education.  It’ll be an intense 7 month program.  Think of a masters degree in Pilates!  I’m very excited to enter this new chapter of learning. As clients, you’ll certainly see & feel the difference as I increase my knowledge. It’ll be an adventure for all of us.  Again, more details to follow. 


  • I’m adding home sessions to my list of available services.  These sessions are for those of you who are postnatal or recovering from injury.  Please ask me if this is something you’re interested in. 


As I’ve often said, I am so grateful to all of you for entrusting me with your fitness journey.  I look forward to each of your sessions every week and hope we can continue to grow together.  My clients become my friends and friends become like family.  Thank you for your trust and support.


Cheers to moving forward & up!

Best in health,


Happy New Year!

I awoke today in Sydney Australia, to find it's the last day of 2016.  

So many changes have happened in the last year.  Some events have left me feeling angry, uncertain and concerned.  But when I reflect on my personal path, relationships that have been born or reinforced and professional accomplishments, I can't help but feel truly grateful.  Not only did I survive 2016 (knock on wood for the next 16 hours) but I really thrived.  

YOU have been a part of my journey this past year.  Your presence in my daily/weekly/monthly life has enriched me and given me confidence to move towards the next day/week/month.  Every client I meet becomes a teacher to me in some way.  And I consider you all dear friends.  I can't thank you enough for being with me this past year.  

Maybe you're making some plans for 2017.  I know I'll be writing down some intentions for personal, professional and physical growth.  Let us make health and wellness part of our daily commitments.  We must keep stretching our minds and bodies past our limits so we can journey into 2017 together.

Wishing you a happy, healthy and prosperous 2017!

Happy Anniversary!

Happy Anniversary to Hands On Pilates, NYC!!

That's right!  I've been in business exactly a year, today.  Time has definitely flown by.  

When I work with my clients, I periodically check in with them to assess their progress.  I will ask how they're feeling both in mind and body.  This process is for both of us.  I want to confirm that we're working towards their unique goals.  In addition, I want my client to examine how far s/he has come in their Pilates journey.  Are they feeling better than before?  Does s/he feel stronger?  Has Pilates affected other parts of their daily life?  What more do you want to accomplish and how can I help you? This self reflection is an important part of all journeys and relationships.  

So now it's my turn.  How has opening Hands On Pilates, NYC affected my daily life?  Do I feel better or stronger than before?  What goals do I have in my Pilates journey and are they different than before?  How can I cultivate the business/lifestyle I imagine?

Wow!  That's a lot to ponder.  Let's take a little inventory of this past year.

When I first started this business, I was a successful instructor who worked for several other businesses.  My classes were full and I was living a comfortable, yet harried life.  I was always running from place to place.  This is not a complaint.  Since changing careers 4.5 years ago, I have transformed my life in countless ways that continue to bring me joy.  But that doesn't mean I wasn't also exhausted.  Each client and class I teach deserves 100% of my attention.  So at the end of the day, I am wiped out.

Opening my own small studio has freed up some of my time.  It's given me a tremendous amount of responsibility that I did not have before.  My time is suddenly even more valuable than before and I am more judicious in how & with whom I spend it.  I am able to take classes!!!  I can devote several hours a week to my own practice, both with my favorite instructors and on my own equipment.  Pilates constantly challenges me both physically and mentally.  If I don't keep learning and discovering, how can I inspire my clients?

To that point, I have found time to take a few highly specialized workshops this last year.  Through Kinected and Mt. Sinai Hospital, I took a gross anatomy workshop last July.  It may seem a little grotesque to some.  However, handling actual joints, muscles and bones is so enlightening!  It has truly expanded my understanding of our bodies.  As a continuation of that class, I took a workshop in November on shoulder rehabilitation.  It's all so fascinating to know how modern medicine has advanced to repair our torn limbs.  Often it's up to me to continue a client's rehabilitation post surgery.  Now I have more tools in my kit to help in that recovery.  Every Pilates class I take, along with every workshop, gives me new exercises or new perspectives on the Pilates system.  I am constantly reinvigorated.  My clients can always tell when I've had an amazing class or returned from a workshop with new ideas and exciting exercises.

My clients continue to inspire me in new ways.  While I may only see them one or two times a week, I am amazed at what they take from me into their homes & daily lives.  Several of them document our sessions so they can practice at home or in their gyms. I'm happy to give homework as well.  Often they come in and show me how far they've come!  I am beyond impressed and honored to know my influence transpires the studio space.  And I take my clients with me throughout each day.  Thank you all for this past year and helping me through this transition.

As I continue to reflect on this past year, I also look ahead to see how I want this adventure to continue.  Numbers on the scale or in the bank have never really interested me.  I'm more interested in how I feel in my mind & body.  This next year I want to feel even more empowered and liberated.  I will look for ways to expand my physical horizons within my Pilates practice.  Specifically, I want more mobility & strength in my shoulders.  I want to work within the advanced system and challenge myself with Flow.  I want to work more with the barrels & chair.  These things excite & challenge me.  Within my business, I hope to welcome new friends & clients to work with me.  Every client has a unique journey & lesson to teach me.  I can't wait to discover how I can help all of you.  Let's continue the adventure together!


Wishing you the best in mind & body,


I'm bloggin' for the first time!!

Welcome to my website & welcome to my blog!  If you're in NYC, I hope to welcome you to my studio, Hands On Pilates, NYC.

I started practicing Pilates in 2001.  In that time, I've done The Hundred over 2500 times!  And here's a little secret for you.  It still kicks my butt every time.  But that's why I love Pilates.  Even the most basic and fundamental exercises continue to be beneficial, challenging and help me feel alive. 

My first Pilates class was out of obligation.  I didn't like to exercise and hadn't done so in several years.  I don't like to sweat.  My friend wanted to take this mat class, but didn't want to go alone.  So being a good friend, I tagged along to Body Tonic in Park Slope Brooklyn.  What a gift she gave me!  I had finished my second round of physical therapy for back pain only a few months earlier.  Believing myself to be "cured," I had gone back to my routine of working 12+ hours a day and playing hard during my time off.  I was exhausted.  Not surprisingly, my back pain had started to return.  What I discovered in that first class was that over half the mat exercises were the same as my physical therapy.  And after class, I felt AMAZING.  I was hooked.  This is what I needed to relieve pain.  Pilates is what I needed to feel functional.  And when I found ease and movement, I found happiness.

Whenever I was having a struggle in my life, I'd pop into a class or take a session.  Just having that one hour devoted to my breath and physical well being reduced the stress and anxiety I had.   I was refreshed.  Then I worked it into my weekly schedule, first one class a week and then twice when I could afford it.  And my back pain...what back pain?  That doctor in 2000 who said I'd probably need surgery within a few years?  She can eat it!  See that?  I found confidence, too.  When I found strength in my body, I found strength in my voice.

I discovered a new sense of myself both physically, mentally and emotionally.  This led me to make stronger and bolder choices in my life.  Finding my previous career of stage managing to be more of a drain of my energy & emotions, I gravitated to what was already nourishing me.  In 2011 I made that choice a reality and charged into this next chapter of my life.  Becoming an instructor and opening this studio has changed everything.  Finding a community that encourages individuality and growth has had such a profound impact on me.  

I truly believe in Pilates.  The method as Joseph Pilates intended is a system that has transformed my mind and body.  Everyday, I seem to uncover something new for myself.  Then I pass it along to my clients.  I can't even express the joy I feel when that light bulb goes off with a new client.  It's a magical moment.  Sometimes that "Ah Ha" moment happens in an instant.  With others, it might take a few weeks, but they sense a change occurring.  There might be less pain.  One client finally beat her opponent on the tennis court.  Another client with severe scoliosis literally grew a half inch!  I'm in awe of their commitment to themselves and their faith my my guidance.  This is my passion and drive.  Please join me on the journey.

Now watch me bang out another Hundred.  I'm gonna kill it!