Centerworks: a place for strength and healing

From left to right: Anne Marie Schultz

From left to right: Anne Marie Schultz

Pilates is not just conditioning for your body, it’s also a workout for your mind, according to Anne Marie Schultz, owner of Center Works, Pilates and Wellness Studio.

“It’s so different from any other exercise,” Shultz said. “… it’s healing for your entire body.”

Schultz is not just the owner, she also trains teachers and is the head instructor of Pilates and Gyrotonics at Center Works. She has been teaching Pilates on the island for the last eight years. “I began exploring Pilates in early 2005 with Kari Gardiner here on Orcas, and I loved it,” she said. “My body felt great, grew stronger, and more balanced, and my mind was intrigued.”

The exercise

Joseph Pilates originally came up with the idea to help train boxers and police officers. He later used the practice to help rehabilitate dancers in New York City. Pilates builds flexibility, muscle strength, and endurance with emphasis on spinal and pelvic alignment, breathing, developing a strong core or center, and improving coordination and balance. Schultz said the various equipment, which some people may describe as instruments of a torture chamber, enhances movements that support the body or challenge it with resistance.

The Gyrotonic method was developed by Juliu Horvath, a Hungarian professional dancer from Romania. It helps people create balance, efficiency, strength and flexibility. Shultz said Gyrotonics offers a bigger range of movement and focuses on opening up the body and then strengthening.

She also owes the success of her business to her instructors and her husband Jay Resch for all the time he has put into building and maintaining the space.

The instructors

Center Works has several instructors including Renee Seagult, Lauren Castle Weaver, Torah O’Neal and Vicki Sare.

In the three years that Center Works has been open, Shultz said  there has been room for not only growing muscle, but friendships.

“I appreciate all the teachers so much,” Schultz said. “Their support has been here when I needed it. It has been great to have these long-term relationships and watch them grow.

Instructors like Seagult, have also watched Schultz evolve through the years. She describes Schultz as always learning, growing and completing extra training.

The energy

The teachers also say they are energized by their students and feel vitalized by the experience.

“I never understood how to fully use my body until Pilates,” said Seagult.

She added that it’s less likely that she would have an injury in the future because her mind is connected more to her body and she knows when to push and when to hold back.

“We want people to have better lives …” Schultz said. “My husband would say I want to change the world, and I do want to change the world, bone by bone by bone.”

The studio offers drop in group classes as well as private sessions. For questions or to sign up for a class or package call 376-3659.