The Pilates Method is a conditioning program that improves muscle control, flexibility, coordination, strength and tone.

Pilates' work is concerned with the process itself - experiencing all movement from the inside out by focusing on the present moment instead of placing the entire emphasis upon "doing". Through continuous involvement in the process of movement, the goal is reached by a natural evolution, in contrast to a forced result.

The basic principles of Pilates conditioning are to make people more aware of their bodies as single integrated units, to improve alignment and breathing, and to increase efficiency of movement. Unlike other exercise programs, the Pilates Method does not require the mindless repetition of boring exercises that most people tire of quickly and subsequently abandon. The method consists of a sequence of carefully performed movements; some carried out on specially designed equipment. Each exercise is designed to stretch and strengthen the muscles involved, opening the joints and releasing tension. There is a specific breathing pattern for each exercise to assist in directing energy to those areas while relaxing the rest of the body.

The Pilates Method works many of the deeper muscles together, improving coordination and balance to achieve efficient and graceful movement. Rather than pursuing the unrealistic goal of having an ideal or perfect body, the practitioner develops a healthy self-image, through the attainment of better posture, proper coordination and improved flexibility. The method requires more personal supervision than other exercise programs and is therefore safer and more effective.

It concentrates on alignment, lengthening all of the muscles of the body into a balanced whole, building endurance and strength without putting undue stress on the lungs and heart. Ahead of its time when it was originated over 70 years ago, this resistance control exercise is unlike so many of the fitness programs popularized over the last few decades that promoted a harmful, marathon approach to body conditioning. The longevity of the Pilates Method has given it a track record of consistent, proven results. As an age of moderation approaches, the Pilates Method is an idea whose time has come... again.

Meet Your Pilates of Greenville Instructors:

Clare Dillon-Palma

The founder of Pilates of Greenville, Clare Dillon-Palma was born and raised in New York City. Her lifelong love of and participation in sports and fitness led to a BA in Health and Physical Education from...

Sarah Brown

Sarah studied dance and physiology at Appalachian State University where she was first introduced to Pilates...

Erin Hahn

Erin is a transplant from Pittsburgh, PA and is the farthest thing from a natural athlete that you'll likely come across....

Catherine McElhany

During her 30 years of working in corporate America...

Lisa Hunnicutt

Lisa Hunnicutt is from Greenville, SC. She has always had a special...

Belinda Bellows

My introduction to Pilates was in the spring of 2007, on the advice of my GYN...

Kira Dykstra

Originally from Charleston, Kira spent most of her youth in Colorado...

The founder of Pilates of Greenville, Clare Dillon-Palma was born and raised in New York City. Her lifelong love of and participation in sports and fitness led to a BA in Health and Physical Education from Lehman College, City University of New York, and a MA in Applied Physiology from Columbia University. After teaching PE and health in high school and community college, Clare turned to corporate and community fitness. She served as a coach for cross country, track and field, and volleyball. She moved to California after getting married, where she worked in the Pritkin Longevity Center in Santa Monica, and did personal training.

Clare moved to Greenville in 1987 and began work as a manager in a 55,000 square foot hospital-based wellness facility.
She began Pilates in 1998 with a mat certification, followed closely by full certification in the classical Pilates method.
She opened Pilates of Greenville in 2000, as a fully equipped Pilates studio. She has been teaching Pilates full time ever since. She began working with PeakPilates in 2003 as an instructor trainer for their teacher certifcation programs.
Clare and her husband have four children. She is still active in running, swimming, cycling, basketball, and especially Pilates!

Sarah studied dance and physiology at Appalachian State University where she was first introduced to Pilates. She became fascinated by the biomechanics of movement through her deepening work with Pilates and Exercise Physiology. After graduating in 1999, Sarah stepped into the world of Corporate America which took her away from creative movement. She primarily maintained an active lifestyle through running, alpine skiing, hiking and weight training. Moving to South Carolina in 2008, she began her journey back to creative movement and primarily, Pilates. As a mother of two, Sarah has personal experience with the benefits of Pilates for women's health through various levels of fitness.

During her 30 years of working in corporate America, Catherine McElhany learned the value of exercise for maintaining health and managing stress. Introduced to Pilates in 2006, she was instantly hooked! Her move to Greenville in 2015 provided her with the opportunity to deepen her practice. Upon becoming a 'corporate refugee' in 2017, Catherine has begun to follow her passion and share her love of Pilates through teaching. Outside of Pilates, Catherine enjoys participating in the many activities available in and around Greenville. She can often be found out hiking on a local mountain, taking a run along the Swamp Rabbit Trail, listening to live music and enjoying a craft beer at one of the local breweries.

Lisa Hunnicutt is from Greenville, SC. She has always had a special interest in physical fitness. She also has a passion for caring for others. She earned her Bachelors in Nursing degree in 1999 and continues to work part-time as a registered nurse in home care. Some years ago she began taking Pilates mat classes and fell in love with the practice. She is a comprehensively certified Pilates instructor through Peak Pilates. When she is not practicing Pilates, she enjoys spending time with her family, biking, reading, and preparing healthy meals. She is married and has two children ages 12 and 9.

My introduction to Pilates was in the spring of 2007, on the advice of my GYN, of all things! I was an avid runner and experiencing constant lower back pain. I started taking a Pilates Mat class two times per week, and after six months I was completely pain free. I was so encouraged by the change of my body that I wanted to learn more about Pilates. In 2014, I received my Mat Certification through Balanced Body. While working toward my Reformer Certification, a Pilates Instructor friend, encouraged me to call Clare Dillon-Palma at Pilates of Greenville and sign up for a group Mat class. This is when I experienced true Classical Pilates. There was no looking back. I have a Full Comprehensive Certification /Peak Pilates and a Group Exercise Instructor Certification through NETA. I am in awe of Classical Pilates; the mind body connection, the precision and systematic approach of the exercises, even the transitions. Pilates truly transforms bodies! I was raised in the West and took a very circuitous route to Greenville SC, arriving in 1996. I am married and the mother of two lovely daughters. I graduated from the University of Utah with a degree in Interior Design. I worked mostly in corporate and healthcare design before finding my way to teaching Pilates.

Originally from Charleston, Kira spent most of her youth in Colorado, where she developed an appreciation for the importance of an active, healthy lifestyle and a love of gymnastics. Kira returned to South Carolina to study English and German literature at the College of Charleston. After college, Kira lived and worked in Miami where she tried Pilates for the first time. She loved Pilates immediately because, just like gymnastics, it was form based, required focus, and it was FUN. Kira's appreciation for the safety and efficient results of Pilates grew after she was diagnosed with Rheumatoid Arthritis after the birth of her daughter in her early thirties. In conjunction with the right medical treatment, practicing Pilates kept her pain free and got her into the best shape of her life. She wanted to learn everything she could about Pilates so she could help others experience the same transformation she had felt and seen in her own body, and began training to teach Pilates. Kira became certified to teach Pilates in 2014, and completed her Peak Pilates Comprehensive Teacher Certification in April of 2015. Kira is passionate about helping her clients reach their goals, and compassionately teaches clients, some who have movement limitations, and all who want to be challenged to get the most from their Pilates practice. When she's not at the studio, she enjoys cooking and spending time with her husband, six year old daughter, and two dogs.

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