Erika Bloom Pilates
How many years have you been in business in NYC?
I began teaching Pilates is NYC in 1998, began my private practice in 2003 and opened my first studio in 2006. I now have five studios with a sixth to open in downtown NYC, as well as one on the west coast next year.
How did you get your start and what was your initial inspiration?
I was a professional dancer being held back by injury. I explored many different movement and body work modalities to heal myself. I also struggled with auto-immune issues and found help through alternative therapies such as meditation, Chinese medicine, and healing nutrition. I felt there should be a place where this knowledge could be accessible and coordinated, within one studio and also across practitioners and doctors; where fitness and wellness were not thought of as separate and clients had guidance in their healing journey.
I also have a love for interior design and beautiful spaces and wanted to create an environment that I wanted to work out in. I created my first studio to be a beautiful haven where one can become strong and beautiful but also healthier in every way.
What do you feel differentiates you from others in your field?
A few things: knowledge, my team of instructors, the personalization of our programs, and how that leads to lasting results. I am devoted to truly understanding the body and to gathering tools to work with it. The combination of modalities on top of a deep understanding of how to read the body allows for real, true, and lasting personalized change. To be able to provide this approach to all the clients in the studio, I have gathered an amazing team of instructors and holistic practitioners. I’ve been so honored to bring on top body workers, acupuncturists, and yoga instructors in addition to my core team of Erika Bloom method Pilates instructors.
Our instructor training program is one year long and includes in depth training in anatomy, biomechanics, movement re-education, and injury protocols. This means that every client coming in to the studio can feel confident they are receiving a senior level instructor fully versed in creating a personalized program whether they want to get rid of stubborn problem areas, re-shape their bodies, correct posture, or heal or prevent injury. Our knowledge extends to working with scoliosis, osteoporosis, prenatal, diastasis recti, joint replacement, back pain, sports injury, chronic pain, and so much more.
What do you feel gives you longevity in this big city with so many options?
Our work is based on the 100 year old Pilates method that is tried and true, then layered with modern biomechanics. Trends go in and out but the method is in and of itself one of longevity because you can do it throughout your life without causing injury or imbalance. It creates beautiful, healthy bodies by providing both strength and length in the specific ways each person needs. It is perfect for the young, the elderly, the expectant mother, the new mother, the injured, the fit, the pro athlete.
This is the beauty of the method by design but is also true because of how we customize programs to each individual. Our clients have stayed true to us over these last ten years as fads come in and out because they experience its effectiveness in both how they feel, how they look, and how they live.
How do you positively impact your clientele?
Guiding someone to become truly in touch with their body and with their breath leads to so many positive changes including self-love, better sleep, improved digestion and immunity, smarter food choices, and more presence in their life. Achieving these benefits in combination with a fitness and stretching practice leads clients to find their best selves both inside and out.
What is your favorite part of your job?
Seeing clients change, not just in their bodies but in their whole way of living and being.
What is your favorite secret NYC spot?
I love sneaking in a late breakfast or early lunch at Two Hands in Nolita. The Zoe’s Market Plate is amazing.
How do you benefit mamas?
Being a mom is the hardest and best job. Our lives become about our children. A private Pilates session offers so much care and attention that it is the ultimate ‘me’ time for moms. We also address not just the moms desire to get back in shape but also address the fact that they may have imbalances or tightness from the physical work of motherhood. We need to be healthy and strong to get down on the floor with our kids, run after them in the park, and curl up with them in their beds at night.
Also, new moms are often so focused on their newborns that they neglect the very important first steps to healing their own bodies. Our postnatal sessions include restoration of the deep core muscles, healing of diastasis recti, pelvic floor therapy, and postural correction. This is all super important to regaining your pre-baby body and also leads to fewer issues down the road as you have more children and as you age.
What is the most memorable feedback a client has given you?
I love to hear from my clients who have tried everything to heal their pain or to find more balance in their lives or to change an area of their body- but have not found results- tell me about how they have finally achieved their goal through sessions at my studios.
Pay it forward and name your top colleagues in the same field or related field:
Lesley Powell, Shelley Studenberg, and Kuan Hui Chew are Pilates masters that I am grateful to have studied with. Tom Myers has changed how I educate my instructors on how to read bodies. My friend Malia Mills has an authenticity and bravery in her business that always reinforces my belief to stay true to myself.
What is the best advice anyone's ever given you? Or what is your "mantra" / words to live by?
It is very simple, but it is just to be present. This means different things in different moments. For example, to be present as a mom is to just be there with the kids, down on their level, listening and doing things with them without taking any calls or doing any work.
To be present with my clients means to really listen to their needs and see in their bodies what is truly going on that day. Presence allows us to let go of the superficiality of this era and all the ‘you should,’ the baggage from our past, the fear of the future. It leads me to feel grateful for each and every moment because when I am present I see all the beauty around me, connect to people more deeply, and find more self-love.
As moms, the day can escape us, what is your best time-saving trick?
I love to turn daily tasks in to family time. For example, I order organic, local vegetables online, usually from Freshdirect but sometimes from a CSA. I can just hit re-order and all our favorites come the next day with just a few moments of my time. Then, in the morning, the kids sit at the counter with me as I chop fruits and vegetables. I cut them up for their breakfast that day, put them in their lunches for school, and leave prepped vegetables in the fridge for quick salads and vegetable bowls for dinners. While I do this, I talk to the kids about all the healthy benefits of fruits and vegetables and the kids tell me about what’s on their minds. It’s a great way to spend time together in the morning talking and also lays the groundwork for quick, healthy eating all week.
The second thing I do to save time is I make sure I have space in my consciousness for efficient thinking. While I constantly have to be on top of the latest evidence based research in healthy living, I avoid brain overload by limiting extraneous information. I also keep my home and my studios very clean and organized. Clutter around us can clutter our mind and we end up wasting time looking for things. We often think that being frantically busy all the time gets more done, but using time saving tactics helps to avoid decision fatigue so that I can make quicker, better choices and actually save time. With 5 studios, 60 employees, 2 kids, and all the things that brings, I have to make a million little and some big decisions every day. Staying present and being efficient is what makes it both possible and a joy to do each and every day.