Hi, I'm Carrie Stillman.
I hold an MA in Dance Education and am a National Certified Pilates Trainer (NCPT) with the Pilates Method Alliance and PhysicalMind Institute.
I have been teaching Dance and Pilates fitness since 1994.
Approaching three decades of hands on teaching experience and ongoing continuing education, I am a life-long learner. I practice what I teach every day.
In addition to my active work life, teaching Pilates and Dance, I also continuously study current practices in functional anatomy, exercise physiology, and the practical application of using Pilates for conditioning, injury prevention & recovery, and functional movement education.
I draw inspiration from an eclectic blend of several holistic movement therapies and bodywork to devise an integrative, thorough, and appropriate personalized program for my clients, of all ages and abilities, from teens with physical issues to athletes, dancers, and active seniors.
Besides owning and operating my full-time Pilates studio, I have been an adjunct faculty member at Santa Rosa Junior College since 2000 teaching Dance and Pilates in the Kinesiology, Athletics & Dance Department, as well as choreographing for musicals in the Theatre Arts Department.
My fully equipped residential studio is located in a beautiful East Santa Rosa neighborhood, convenient to Oakmont, Rincon Valley, Bennett Valley, and Central Santa Rosa, California.
I particularly appreciate Carrie's depth of experience and knowledge about the body and how it works. She has helped increase my awareness of how I can affect good habits that will help me stay strong as I age.
Carrie is a wonderful trainer. She combines a deep knowledge of the body with a warm and engaging style that makes her a pleasure to work with. Her assistance has allowed me to continue activities that I was afraid I would have to give up.
I have been a Pilates client of Carrie Stillman since 2002. During that time I passed 60 years old. My work with her has strengthened my core muscles and increased range of motion. My back no longer stiffens up when I get up to walk and my shoulders have good range of motion. This has allowed me to continue to mountain bike, ski and actively hike. Pilates is a good antidote to the loss of elasticity that comes with age and Carrie is a master trainer who personalizes training with a good sense of humor.
My husband and I have been going to Carrie Stillman for Pilates training for a year now and I have had remarkable changes. I had trouble with both knees and was having shots in my left one. This has now greatly improved. When the knees got better the problem moved down to my ankles and I had trouble even walking and bending them. This too has completely corrected. It is not just the Pilates 2 days a week, it is Carrie’s deep knowledge of the physical body and unique and effective ways to help the problems you might have. Thank you Carrie! At 76, I feel great.
Carrie Stillman’s Mindful Movement Pilates practice has been my gift to myself since the summer of 2001.Before that time, I found myself in my early forties, overweight, and unable to get out of bed each morning without my hips, ankles, feet, knees aching, especially on my right side. Carrie has not only assisted me with rehabilitation, but over the years, I have gained strength, balance, and mobility I never imagined possible. I even snowboard every winter and the more Pilates I do during the winter, the more fun I have on the slopes! I am forever grateful for Carrie’s no-nonsense and expert approach to my “whole” self. Carrie makes the Pilates practice a meaningful part of my life and I can’t recommend her highly enough.
I have trained with Carrie Stillman since October 2010. During that time my posture has greatly improved as has my flexibility. Carrie's training greatly aided my successful summiting of Mt Kilimanjaro. She approaches her sessions with a keen sense of humor and has infinite patience in making sure a correct Pilates position is attained.
Joseph Pilates was born a sickly child, suffering from such ailments as rickets, asthma, and rheumatic fever, near Düsseldorf, Germany in 1880.
Due to his physical weaknesses, he was determined to overcome them through various methods of fitness and sport, including body building, diving, skiing, and gymnastics. He soon excelled in all of these activities, and by the time he was fourteen he was so physically fit that he worked as a model for anatomical charts.
In 1912, Pilates move to the U.K. where he worked as a boxer, circus performer, and a self-defense trainer to detectives. During World War I, he was taken prisoner of was due to his nationality, and was placed in a camp in Lancaster.
As the war proceeded, Pilates was moved to another camp on the Isle of Man, where he became a hospital nurse and soon developed a fitness regimen for the other internees. He devised equipment by removing bed springs and attaching them to the walls so inmates could work out using the springs while confined to lying in their beds. After a flu epidemic that killed thousands, Joseph Pilates’ fitness methods were accredited as the main reason none of these inmates succumbed to the deadly virus.
Returning to Germany after the war, Pilates settled in Hamburg where he continued developing his conditioning regimen, working with the local police force until he was drafted into the army. He eventually became disillusioned with Germany, and in 1926 decided to set sail for the U.S. On the ship over, he met a young nurse, Clara, who later became his wife.
He settled in New York City, where he set up his first fitness studio at 939 Eighth Avenue. Not much is known about the early years, but by the 1940s, his methods of exercise became very popular with the dance world. By the 1960s, many of New York’s most famous dancers became regular clients of Pilates, as well as actors, gymnasts, and athletes. One such client was George Balanchine, who also invited Joseph Pilates to teach the ballerinas in the New York City Ballet. Since that time, the Pilates method of mental and physical conditioning gained enormous popularity. Most recently, the public at large has discovered the benefits of this technique, and it continues to grow as one of the most effective core strengthening and lengthening fitness methods.
Joseph Pilates was way ahead of his time.
The original exercises, created by him in the 1920s, consisted of thirty-four moves. His influences came form his fascination of various sports and exercise methods from both Eastern and Western disciplines. What set his approach apart from others was that he brought a functional element into the moves that positively affected one’s overall fitness, well-being, and daily life. Pilates never formalized his routine; instead he would personalize the moves to the needs of each individual client.
Therefore, many of his followers continued to devise their own version of the Pilates system to meet the ever changing needs of clients, as well as to stay current with the latest in mind and body research.
Thus, although the basic principles of the method are unwavering, the actual teachings now vary slightly in style, emphasis, and approach. Even so, his original thirty-four exercises are undeniably his forever, and should always be acknowledged as such by all teachers of this amazing and ground breaking fitness method.
"...with zest and pleasure!"