Align Pilates Team

Align Pilates Team

If you want to get in shape, better your life, or just need help with finding the best Pilates and yoga experience, connect with Nicole or Cara by calling (949) 481-3577, stop by the studio at 31896 Plaza Drive, Suite E-6 in San Juan Capistrano or visit

Let’s face it life can be pretty repetitive. People tend to be major creatures of habit. From the moment we wake to the time we go to bed, our bodies perform well over 1,000 receptive motions in a day.
Think about typing on the computer, walking the dog, carrying a purse, holding the phone, driving a car, physical labor at work, the list goes on and on. Add to this the fact that most of us do the same workout day in and day out. Over time these actions add up, generating habitual patterns within our muscles and joints leading to chronic pain, over use injuries and poor posture. All of this can make everyday life seem difficult.

But the answer is easy: cross-train! The concept behind cross training is simple. By doing different forms of modalities to counteract the repetitive actions of life. Thus strengthen and stretching the body to prevent injury and improve task performance.
At ALIGN we strongly believe Pilates and yoga is one of the best ways to cross train. Both forms of modalities are smart choices in address overuse injury, spinal deviations and burnout. Here are a few examples how cross training equates to a better quality of life…

• Combat muscle/joint imbalances

When repetitive actions are done without cross training, certain muscle groups become overly develop and others become week and undeveloped. This places undue strain on the skeletal system, generating spinal and joint deviations. Thus opening the door for a gambit of back and joint dysfunction, like Kyphosis (hunchback), Lordosis (swayback) and Scoliosis (sideways curve in the spine).
The concepts of both yoga and Pilates strongly focus on gaining and maintaining a strong core and balanced posture. “The core-strengthening perks of Pilates/yoga can ease pain, improve daily life for people suffering from chronic low-back pain, and offset major postural deviations,” says Cherie Wells, a senior lecturer in physical therapy at Australia’s Griffith University.

• Reduces the risk of injury

Overuse injuries happen when the same action is done repetitively putting major stressors on joints and muscles. Over time muscles and joints can’t sustain and thus leading to inflammation, wear and tear issues like arthritis, tendonitis and other osteopathic problems.

Coincidently with Pilates and yoga, by concentrating on overall symmetry and a balanced posture in the body the risk of overuse injury is minimized as well. Equally balanced muscles surrounding a joint are able to support a body easier. The body is then able to resist chronic issues that arise from repetitive joint motion like arthritis. Over-worked muscles that become tight and hold tension can cause injury as well. Pilates and yoga consists of therapeutic stretching and breathing, which is known to release tension and produce a greater range of motion within joints. Making body move with ease and avoiding inflammation.

• Creates life/exercise adherence

Doing the same activity over and over can lead to exercise burnout. The same can be said about life and everyday activities. When life becomes mundane our minds become less stimulated and boredom arises, leading to stress, depression and other mental health problems.
Both systems of movement possess a variety of approaches and repertoire. In most sessions or classes one won’t experience the same exercises twice, making it hard to get bored. The combination of keeping each session fresh and new, plus linking breathe to movement, one is forced to focus when executing an exercise. This mindful approach to movement is highly recognized for reducing exercise burnout, stress, and depression.

To experience all of the advantages of Pilates and yoga, and properly cross-train for life, it’s important to have quality instruction. Positive results come from a well-structured session taught by a highly qualified and certified instructor, and this can be found at ALIGN. We invite you to come cross train with us and beat the everyday repetitiveness of life.

If you want to get in shape, better your life, or just need help with finding the best Pilates and yoga experience, connect with Nicole or Cara by calling (949) 481-3577, stop by the studio at 31896 Plaza Drive, Suite E-6 in San Juan Capistrano or visit

It takes anywhere from 21 to 40 times to turn a new behavior into a persistent habit. In other words, you’re not going to change what you’re doing overnight. When trying to create a change in your overall health, consistency is the key, but may take some time.

Most of us have the best intentions to exercise, choose the right foods, and make better health decisions. But life happens and it’s hardly easy to maintain the regularity you so desire. Mornings can be slammed getting kids ready for school and yourself ready for work, and by the end of the day you barely have the energy to drag yourself to the dinner table, let alone workout. Before you know it, your good intentioned health plan is in trouble and your prospects for “sticking to it” are quickly fading.

Fear not. With few simple concepts and a little inspiration from Joseph Pilates you can succeed. First, hold yourself accountable to your new habit. Don’t fall in the trap of instant gratification. Trying something three times and saying it didn’t work is not the answer. For example the founder and visionary of the Pilates method, Joseph Pilates states in his book Return To Life Through Contrology,

“In 10 sessions, you will feel the difference. In 20, you will see the difference. And in 30, you’ll have a whole new you!”

This concept can be applied to anything. If you choose to try a new activity like yoga or a new way of eating, challenge yourself to make it happen 30 times. Don’t pressure yourself that you need to do all 30 session instantly or daily, that will only lead to burn out. Slowly build the habit one week at a time adding more as it gets easier. Overtime you will see the change and will be pleasantly surprised with the results.

“Patience and persistence are vital qualities in the ultimate successful accomplishment of any worthwhile endeavor,” said Pilates.

At Align Pilates Center we strongly believe your health and quality of life is a worthwhile endeavor. Take one small step at a time, be consistent and we are sure you will be successful in finding a new, healthy, happier you.

If you want to get in shape, better your life, or just need help with finding the best Pilates and yoga experience, connect with Nicole or Cara by calling (949) 481-3577, stop by the studio at 31896 Plaza Drive, Suite E-6 in San Juan Capistrano or visit

Jul 26, 2017


“I've got to keep breathing.
It’ll be my worst business mistake if I don’t,”
Steve Martin once said.

Not to sound too morbid, but if you are not breathing you’re not living—literally.

Now, please take a moment to inhale. Breathe in through the noise. Fill the lungs. Softly exhale through the mouth. Notice that when you inhale your ribs expand. The chest lifts and the muscles in the upper torso are stretched. As you exhale the ribs gently fall and your abdominals engage, bringing you back to your core.

Do you feel lighter, hopefully a little calmer and more aware of your body? With the constant go-go-go mentality these days and the rat race pace we all try and keep up with, most people don’t adequately breathe. Sadly, this starves the body of valuable oxygen. Not taking time to fully breathe can put major stress on the body and contribute to undesired health issues. The simple act of noticing your breath at any point in time can do wonders for your wellbeing.

As humans, our respiratory system separates us from all of the other animals on Earth. We are the only species that can control our breathing independent of our body’s action. This simple fact allows us to be sprinters, long distant runners and swimmers.

For example, a cheetah’s leg muscles are attached to its diaphragm. When it runs faster the lungs pump harder, delivering more oxygen when needed. Our leg muscles are not attached to our diaphragm or lungs. This gives us the power to hold our breath or breathe faster when needed. Our respiratory system contains both voluntary muscles, like the external and internal intercostal muscles of the ribs and the diaphragm, as well as many involuntary muscles—such as the lungs. All of this means you can consciously control your breathing to point of manipulating it.

Or you can go all through life never think about it and some how still be alive.

With the complexity of breathing, the pace of life, the stress of our society and the impact it all has on our bodies, learning how to breathe is another tool or secret weapon you can gain to provide yourself a better quality of health and living. Studies have show stress to be the number one cause of disease, including depression, hypertension and much more. Learning few different ways to breathe can be priceless.

Within all of the various yoga and Pilates practices there are numerous techniques to help you realize the potential of breathing. At ALIGN we know that a good quality Pilates and yoga sessions will get you breathing differently.

Here’s what happens when you take five minuets out of your day and do a few breathing exercises:

  • Your muscles relax—you’ll find it’s difficult to maintain a lot of physical tension when you are breathing properly.
  • Oxygen delivery improves—fresh oxygen is then able to pour into every cell of the body, increasing the functionality of every system in the body.
  • Blood pressure lowers. As your muscles let go of tension your blood vessels dilate and your blood pressure can return to a normal level.
  • Endorphins are released helping with feelings of well-being, as well as providing pain relief.
  • Detoxification improves—good breathing habits help the lymphatic system function properly, encouraging the release of harmful toxins, cleansing the body, giving it power to direct its energy to more productive functions.
  • Most of our clients at ALIGN notice that after a breathing session they look ten times younger with more vitality and sparkle in their eyes.
  • You will also notice improved mental concentration and physical stamina.

Come breathe at ALIGN today. Breathe! Reap the benefits and feel alive!

If you want to get in shape, better your life, or just need help with finding the best Pilates and yoga experience, connect with Nicole or Cara by calling (949) 481-3577, stop by the studio at 31896 Plaza Drive, Suite E-6 in San Juan Capistrano or visit

In the medical and science field research is finding the act of meditation contains a multitude of health benefits. These studies are discovering that the many forms of meditation drastically offset the effects of stress and aging at a cellular level. So much so, that some doctors and scientist are proclaiming meditation could be the future of medicine.

For example, a study published in the journal Circulation: Cardiovascular Quality and Outcomes, looked at 201 people with coronary heart disease and asked them to either take a health education class promoting better diet and exercise or one on Transcendental Meditation. Researchers followed up with participants for the next five years and found that those who took the meditation class had a 48 percent reduction in their overall risk of heart attack, stroke and death.

Another landmark study led by Harvard University and Massachusetts General Hospital found in as little as eight weeks of meditation people experience decreased anxiety and greater feelings of calm; it also produced growth in the areas of the brain associated with memory, empathy, sense of self and stress regulation.

Many more studies like these are being conducted and continue to prove the benefits of mediation. The best part is that mediation is easy! Anyone can do it. Any preconceived ideas about meditation should be forgotten. Meditation is a practice that helps us take a break from the hectic pace of everyday life. It doesn’t require a specific spiritual belief, even a few minutes of meditation helps, and you don’t even have to be sitting in an awkward lotus position to start soaking in the positive vibes.

There are many different forms of mediation backed by doctors and scientists, including Mindful Meditation and Transcendental Meditation. These same doctors and scientists also recognize mindful movement like tai chi, Pilates and yoga as mediation. In the end, all types of mediation result in taking us beyond the noisy chatter of the mind into a place of stillness and silence. It is here where the brain and the body can begin to heel and create a better quality of life. Come and combat aging, release stress and mediate with us at Align Pilates and Yoga Center.

If you want to get in shape, better your life, or just need help with finding the best Pilates and yoga experience, connect with Nicole or Cara by calling (949) 481-3577, stop by the studio at 31896 Plaza Drive, Suite E-6 in San Juan Capistrano or visit

When the glutes and abs work harmoniously together the body will live happily ever after. In the last few years the abs have been getting a great deal of credit for a healthy back.

But the glutes (a.k.a. your bum) are just as important when it comes to proper posture and back health. And when the core and glutes coordinate and connect with one another magic truly happens!

The Pilates and yoga method have a firm understanding of the glutes and abs, with exercises and poses designed specifically to strengthen them.

The buttock area consists of muscles called the Gluteus Maximus, Gluteus Medius and Gluteus Minimus, as well as a group of six smaller but very important deeper hip muscles. Together they are known as the glutes and they have a number of import roles in the body. Gluteus Maximus, the largest, has a primary role to extend your leg backwards as your walk, run, climb stairs and get up from sitting. The Glutius Medius and Minimus work to stabilize the pelvis and femur, and aid in rotation of the leg.

The combination of both strong glutes and abs is what gives them their power. It also plays an enormous role in joint health. If the glutes and abs are not strong and working correctly with one another, other muscles in the body will take over whenever you walk, run or pick up something heavy. Muscles at the front of the leg, like the quadriceps and your psoas, which runs from the spine to top of the femur, may compensate and overwork. In turn this creates compression and tightness in your lower back. Your hamstrings may try to assist and shorten. The surface muscles along your spine may also try to pull the leg back to propelyou forward, as this is not their primary job, these back muscles will tighten and fatigue. Leading to many problems within the ankles, shins, knees and spine. But when working together, these muscles produce a powerhouse body that is stable and strong.

The Pilates and yoga method have a firm understanding of the glutes and abs, with exercises and poses designed specifically to strengthen them. Unite your glutes and abs today at Align and experience this loving relationship.

If you want to get in shape, better your life, or just need help with finding the best Pilates and yoga experience, connect with Nicole or Cara by calling (949) 481-3577, stop by the studio at 31896 Plaza Drive, Suite E-6 in San Juan Capistrano or visit

The New Year is already flying by, and with spring right around the corner, March is a great time to take a deep breath and reflect on personal progress. Take a moment this month to honestly ask if your New Year resolutions have truly brought the change you are seeking.

Humans are creatures of habit and there is no question, changing habits are hard. Especially when it comes to changing your body physically and mentally. Answer the questions below to see if your workout habits are leading you to a path of positive change this year.

1. Do you enjoy your workout?
After working out do you feel good, like you have accomplished something, or are you more hard on yourself and judgmental?

2. Is your posture better?
Does the workout vary enough to combat repetitive every day movements? If you walk into the gym and do the same exercises haphazardly every time, the answer is “No.”

3. Are You Pain Free?
Don’t confuse pain with burn, soreness, or fatigue. Most people ignore pain, and keep pushing through. DON’T! If you experience true pain during or after a workout something is wrong. Never settle for pain.

If you answered “yes” to these questions, great you’re on the right track. But if “no” is the answer, your workout is not serving you and the change you seek may never come. Fear not, Align is here to help. The Pilates and yoga method is grounded in the concept of mindfulness, to help induce positive emotions, better posture, and be executed in a pain free way. With this philosophy change will be achieved.

“Mindfulness can be thought of as moment-to-moment, non- judgmental awareness, cultivated by paying attention in a specific way, that is, in the present moment, and as non-reactively, as non- judgmentally, and as openheartedly as possible,” says Mindfulness pioneer Jon Kabat-Zinn. “For mindfulness is none other than the capacity we all already have to know what is actually happening as it is happening.”

Being aware of the mind’s tendencies only strengthens our ability to choose how to respond to our workouts and life. This ability to be mindful is what makes the change you seek this year possible.

If you want to get in shape, better your life, or just need help with finding the best Pilates experience, connect with Nicole or Cara by calling (949) 481-3577, stop by the studio at 26850 Ortega Hwy., Suite K in San Juan Capistrano or visit

Always bear in mind that your own resolution to succeed is more important than any other. - Abraham Lincoln


Many people at the beginning of the year have great intentions of getting in shape. But sadly, by mid February so many of them fall way. At Align we want that to change, we want you to succeed. We want to help you achieve your goals and and instill a long lasting love for movement, that will serve you the rest of your life.

Below you will find five reasons why you need Pilates and yoga in your life. These reasons go beyond losing weight to look good in your jeans. These are real reasons why you need to be moving everyday. Plus, a few tips to help you stay true to your intentions.

  1. You will be smarter: Not only is your brain getting more energy and oxygen when doing mindful movement, but many studies show that it boost your memory and helps you learn better.
  2. You will have better posture: Deviations in one’s posture is a cause for a large number of health issues today. Both Pilates and yoga directly address posture for the better and the result can create less pain in the body.
  3. More confident: Exercise can also help you feel more accomplished and give you the power to overcome obstacles. When the workout gets tough, just like life, you know you can get through it.
  4. Relieve Stress: It has been proven that mindful movement helps minimize stress and brings the mind into a state of clam.
  5. Live longer/better: It's no secret that healthy living will keep you alive longer, but you might be surprised at how much longer. One study found that exercise improves life expectancy as much as quitting smoking. And with proper strength, aging will be easy.

To keep yourself honest and committed, don’t overestimate your ability. Take small steps to your goals and add more as you go. Understand that it takes at least 90 days to see true change within the body. Nothing happens overnight. Plus, no one is perfect! Setbacks will happen and it’s okay because at Align Pilates and Yoga will always be here for you. Cheers to a healthier 2017!