Maui Weekly – July 2003

Pilates on Maui Article

Maui Weekly – October 2003

Authentic Pilates on Maui Article

Mabelle Bastien, a graduate of the New York Pilates Guild, is known on Maui as a volleyball and swim coach with 20 years experience. For the last few years, she’s been teaching the same regimen that Joseph Pilates taught to the New York City Ballet performers for decades. Now many stars, including Jamie Lee Curtis and Madonna, are fans of the method.

Pilates (“Pill-laut’teeze”) is more than an exercise program – it’s a form of body-mind conditioning, focusing on a few movements at a time. There’s special attention to developing the “powerhouse”, so the abdomen, lower back and buttocks work in concert. If you are wondering why it has gained such popularity it is because “The program really works and does change the body’s appearance as well as performance.” It is an ideal program for professional athletes and the sedentary person as well.

Bastien says Pilates gives the body a wake-up call to unite muscle groups. Conditioning work focuses on flexibility and strength. She said, “Instead of doing two hours of yoga to limber up and then an hour of weights to build muscles, why not do an hour of Pilates to stretch and strengthen at the same time?”

Pilates is often associated with specialized equipment, which Bastien says works well with those students who want to an individualized work-out, including those who have an injury or weakness or who are looking for particular refinement to their bodies.

Others prefer “The Mat” repertoire, a series of exercises built upon controlled breathing and “contrology”, a term Pilates coined. Lessons start at a relatively slow rhythm, but within a few sessions the muscles can work at a more efficient, aeorobic pace.

The body builds up a memory of the new way of moving, and soon students stand taller and move with greater freedom. When looking for a Pilates teacher, it is most important to check credentials and ask specifically how long of a training the teacher has had. Beware of teachers with weekend certification… Bastien has over a year of specific training with numerous teachers and has undergone the most demanding training program in the world.

Someone recovering from injuries can still practice Pilates, something that Bastien has had recent direct experience with. In fact, done properly, Pilates can aid recovery.

Bastien offers group mat classes and private apparatus-lessons, “designer classes,” at reasonable rates.


(Maui Weekly October 2003)