Pilates for the People

Seriously, you could say this week's post is a stretch for us. After all, most times we're visiting one of the Square's many hard to resist dining spots and taste testing the monster sandwiches at DiBella's, the tasty tacos at Moe's, perfect pastas at Anna's La Cucina Flegrea or a sizzling angus burger at the New Diamond Market Bar & Grill. And with more new eateries like My Big Fat Greek Gyro and Vallozzi's set to open in the next few weeks, you could say our plates will stay full in the near future. Which is exactly why we huffed and puffed up the stairs to Moxie Mind & Body, the new Pilates palace that's nested above Nicholas Coffee.

Owned and operated by Aubrey Johnson, Moxie Mind & Body packs a lot of Pilates punch in its compact quarters. With her high-watt energy and irresistible passion for Pilates, Aubrey is dedicated to helping people of every age maximize their strength, flexibility and self-esteem through this more than a century-old exercise program. Through group and individual sessions, Aubrey can tailor a program for anyone from teenagers to senior citizens. A graduate of Point Park University's dance program, she'll readily tell you that Pilates improved her on-stage performance, and believes that everyone can benefit from this workout program that enhances a person's balance, strength and agility through exercises based on resistance training using various machines and devices.

Aubrey readily admits that not everyone "gets" Pilates. That's one reason she invites anyone who works or lives or even shops or dines Downtown to visit the Moxie studio, which offers individual and group sessions during the week and the weekend. Along with a tour and descriptions of the exercises and devices, she'll explain how Pilates differs from yoga — "you're constantly moving during Pilates" — and help personalize a training program just for you. She'll also set you straight about Pilates being for "women-only." "Joseph Pilates created the program to help deal with his asthma attacks. Many of my clients are women, but a lot of men take Pilates, too. Many professionals dancers, both men and women, do Pilates. It's a challenging workout for anyone."

As for her new home in the Square, Aubrey is thrilled to be part of what she calls the "core of the new Downtown." "When I was a student at Point Park, there wasn't much to do in Market Square, especially after dark. To be here in the center of all the renovation is wonderful. I can't think of a better place to be right now." We're glad to welcome Aubrey and Moxie Mind & Body Pilates Studio to the Square. To arrange a visit or schedule your first group or private session, just call 412-261-2299.

And, by the way, when you visit Aubrey at Moxie, you might just notice a liquor license application on the doorway next to NOLA. That's the one that leads to Walt Harper's Attic. Stay tuned here for what looks like one of the next new hotspots to hit the Square soon.

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