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Stretch, Strength and Control at True Pilates Boston

By Jake Levin

Mary Sullivan Kelly twice ran the Boston Marathon, but it is only now that she considers herself physically fit. Kelly owns True Pilates Boston, based in Newton, Mass., and credits her practice of Pilates with some positive changes that have occurred in her life.

"Nothing strengthened me physically and mentally the way Pilates has," Kelly said. "I cannot over-emphasize the mind-body aspect of this amazing method."

Pilates, named after its founder, Joseph Pilates, is all about stretch, strength and control, according to Kelly. A common misnomer, she said, is that Pilates is simply a core workout; in reality, it is a full-body workout with an emphasis on carrying the principles learned into daily activities and movement.

True Pilates Boston has placed its focus on private and semi-private sessions which are individually tailored to personal fitness needs and goals. The fact that the studio is fully equipped with Gratz apparatus also differentiates it from other studios. Kelly advises practitioners of Pilates to not be intimidated, but also to proceed with caution when attempting the method for the first time. She is also keen on the idea that Pilates is, well, Pilates, and not anything to be tampered with.

"Our mission is to honor and stay as true as possible to Joseph Pilates' original intent," Kelly said. "There is no 'one-size-fits-all' version of Pilates and that is its beauty. It meets you where you are. Practiced faithfully, it will transform your body.

"I would encourage all practitioners regardless of prior experience or fitness level to seek a teacher and studio that recognizes and adheres to Mr. Pilates' original methods. Any other experience might be loosely based on Pilates or not Pilates at all. That doesn't necessarily make the movement experience worthless, but it isn't always Pilates."

Kelly said that True Pilates Boston utilizes the full repertoire of classic apparatus to its clients benefits, including reformers, towers, Cadillac, chairs, barrels, pedipole and other small props.

"Pilates helps people live healthier lives through physical fitness and works on improving posture, alignment and overall sense of well-being," Kelly said.

True Pilates Boston is located at 385C Elliot St. in Newton. To learn more about what makes this Pilates studio the place to be, check out its website,

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