with Carolyn Coombs
(Carolyn Coombs is an instructor at Plank Pilates)
Top 5 things we should know about you?
1. I have a bachelor’s in business administration
I came to NYC ten years ago to go to Parsons. After graduation I worked in environmental engineering and luxury hardware before I decided I had had enough. That’s when I found Pilates. Or perhaps, Pilates found me.
2. I got married in September 2013
I met my husband, Matt, when we were 14 in Baltimore and reconnected when he moved up to NYC. As teenagers we worked at a café together: he was the sandwich boy and I, the cashier. It was already a match made in heaven.
3. The love of my life is actually my dog, Xavi
He is named after Xavi Hernandez who plays soccer for Barcelona. We got him when we lived in Atlanta from the SPCA. He is definitely a mutt but the wisest being we know. That dog has seen some things…
4. I’m Chilean
I was adopted from Chile when I was three months old. I’ve been back to Chile twice since. I’m very proud of my heritage (and it doesn’t hurt that I look tanned all the time.)
5. I am obsessed with TOP 40 pop music
But in secret, of course. I sing my lungs out but only when no one is around. I really love Pitbull…LOVE HIM, Ke$ha and Miley Cyrus. I would normally turn my nose up at them but their music has infiltrated my life. I blame it on working at Lululemon. They had a party play list and I got hooked on listening to these people.
How long have you been practicing and/or teaching Pilates?
I have been practicing Pilates since 2009 (and that was just at the gym and a couple of studios.) In 2010, I found a classical studio in Atlanta and became obsessed with the practice. That was when I decided to become an instructor.
What brought you to Pilates?
I have always loved working out but it’s very easy for me to get bored. I need to mentally engage and, in Pilates, it’s a body/mind connection. I also discovered muscles I never knew I had before!!! I no longer have to use my inhaler when I run and really, all aspects of my life have changed for the better.
Top 5 exercises to do between classes?
I always to the series of five at home.
1. To begin, lie flat on your back. Curl the head, neck and shoulders up. Bring the right knee into your chest. Place both of your hands on your right leg. The left leg goes out to 45 degrees. Pull in the right leg and then switch legs and move hands over to the other leg. Repeat five times.
2. Stay lifted. Both knees into the chest. Bring right hand onto right ankle, left onto left, legs go out to a high forty-five, arms go back to the ears. Keep the shoulder blades lifted off the mat and bring everything back in. Repeat five times.
3. Staying lifted, right leg goes straight to the ceiling, both hands on the calf, left leg out to forty-five. Hold that right leg in, then scissor legs back and forth five times.
4. Stay lifted. Hands behind the head (or under the tail bone) Legs are straight up to 90, heels together, toes apart, lower the legs and then lift them back up. Make sure you end with the toes over the navel. Repeat five times.
5. STAY LIFTED!!! Hands behind the head, knees into chest. Twist the left elbow to the right knee, extend the left leg out. Lift up and over and twist to the other side, extending the right leg out and left elbow to that right knee. Repeat five times.
What do you always have in your refrigerator?
Green apples. Lemons. Kale. Broccoli and green juice. And cheese. I ALWAYS have cheese.
What’s Your Guilty Pleasure?
PIZZA. PIZZA. PIZZA. And all original programming on Bravo. Just give me pizza and Bravo all day and I would be the happiest person in the world.
Be sure to check out Carolyn’s classes on Sunday at 9, 10 and 11 am, Tuesdays 12 and 1 pm.!! Carolyn uses her classical background to give you an unforgettable full body workout. She is also available for private sessions.