Pineapple pilates builds strength, flexibility

Jennifer Davis is a purist Pilates instructor with a passion for people.

She owns Pineapple Pilates, a studio on the second floor of the Harbor Mall, and learned how to teach from Romana Kyrzanowska, protegee of Joseph Pilates, creator of the method.

“Pilates is all about working from your center out so we strengthen the core a lot, but we also strengthen everything else,” Davis said.

It’s a type of exercise made of precise movements tailored to focus on smaller muscles.

“It’s what helps you to balance out your body and get alignment,” Davis said. “What Pilates does is it strengthens the muscles around the joint and next to the bone.”

The certified level five instructor offers private lessons, mat classes, and apparatus classes.

“We always suggest that beginners start on the apparatus to learn the method,” Davis said. “It teaches you how to do the exercises. Then you can take it to the mat.”

Learning Pilates on an apparatus is an experience chock full of springs, bars, handles and other equipment, but Davis explains every exercise as her clients move through them.

With a gentle hand, she reminds students to keep their abdomen and ribs in.

“As you get more experienced, all it takes is a look to remind you to tuck your tummy to the floor,” Davis said.

As students get more experienced with Pilates, the learning curve moves with them, making the mastery of Pilates a constant mission.

“Nobody just learns Pilates, it’s a progression and you build on what you learn,” Davis said. “You don’t get bored and there’s always a challenge, always something to work on.”

Anyone can do Pilates, Davis said. For adults and kids who are looking for a balanced exercise, Pilates will do just that. It’s also good for preventing injuries.

“If you were in a car accident and you did Pilates, you’re more likely to recover faster because you’re less likely to be injured,” Davis said. “You’re building the muscle with stretch and flexibility so it gives you true flexibility and the ability to move everything.”

For seniors, Pilates can help prevent falls and can lessen injuries if a fall does happen.

“If you trip and you’re doing Pilates, you’re able to catch yourself before you fall because you’ve got the muscles already working,” Davis said. “If you do fall, the muscles around your bones are stronger and you’re less likely to get injured.”

Davis also likes to push her students to take care of each other.

During her time teaching in the Dominican Republic, for instance, her Pilates studio was set up like a nonprofit and some of the proceeds went to schools for things like running water and electricity.

On Kauai, Davis donates to the Kauai Humane Society and the Independent Food Bank, and in December she held a toy drive.

In February, Davis is promoting what she’s calling Threads of Love, where students can donate clothing, blankets and other items for those in need.

“This is a good chance to share some love,” she said.

Info: pineapplepilateskauai.com or call Jennifer Davis, 635-5955.

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