GoRecess Playground Pro: Mika Street of Uptown Pilates
Classes She Teaches: Classical Pilates, private and group sessions
Hometown: Born in Tel-Aviv but grew up in Boca Raton, FL
Background: Mika left the corporate world a year and a half out of college, knowing that it was the wrong long-term fit for her. Within a year she received her Pilates certification through the Pilates Studio NY under the apprenticeship of Brett Howard, and opened the doors to Uptown Pilates. Two years later, she followed with Uptown Pilates on Madison and in 2010 opened Uptown Pilates Sag. As a Pilates devotee, she wanted to share her passion for the Method in a welcoming environment where clients could expect the best instructorship in a warm and welcoming environment. This passion has led to Uptown Pilates being voted Best Pilates Studio in NYC for three years in a row!
GETTING TO KNOW MIKA & HER VIEWS ON PILATES
How did you get started doing Pilates? I was originally introduced to Pilates through my mom. She has been practicing for years as a way to strengthen her bones, and I remember being totally inspired by the way it changed her body. I really fell in love with Pilates when recovering from a stress fracture gained during marathon training. It was hard to leave the endorphins that you get from long distance running, but I had to find something to replace it while recovering. After my third private lesson I had a total break through and was converted for life. It all made so much sense and I could feel and then see (in that order) my body changing. Joseph Pilates has a famous saying “After 10 sessions you will feel your body changing, after 20 you will see it changing and after 30 you will have a whole new body” well, this could not be more accurate. I first experienced this in my own body – but it has proven the case with countless clients at all the Uptown facilities.
For someone who has never tried Pilates, why do you recommend it and why do you think it’s a great workout? No matter what your level of fitness is, Pilates can be adapted to give you optimal results. It is a lifestyle, so you are committing to changing the way you carry yourself in life. The more you practice, the greater the results. Just know that you will leave your session feeling lengthened, lighter and balanced.
What advice do you have for someone who is new to Pilates? Do not be discouraged if you leave your first session feeling confused and/or uncoordinated, we all did the first time. Commit to trying it three times, after that you will be hooked. Also, research the studio and instructor before you go. Try and find an instructor who has gone through at least a 600-hour apprenticeship and continues to study and practice themselves.
What’s your favorite type of Pilates equipment and why? I don’t have a favorite apparatus, but I do have a favorite brand – Gratz! I think it is the gold standard, and it is the company Joseph Pilates originally commissioned to make his apparatuses.
The one Pilates move everyone should master? Most would say the teaser, but I am struggling with the entire tendon stretch series in my own practice, so my answer today is the tendon stretch series on the reformer.
Aside from Pilates, what types of fitness activities do you enjoy? I really love horseback riding, surfing and yoga!
What’s your proudest fitness accomplishment? Completing a 30-day Pilates challenge, Pilates every day for a month. The accomplishment was that I made the time to do something I knew would make me feel better 30 days in a row.
If you weren’t busy running Uptown Pilates, what would you do? I am pretty passionate about the work Jamie Oliver is doing to provide education and resources for all Americans to have nutrious food, particularly in the school system. I would love to participate in this effort.
What’s your “go-to” workout song? With summer around the corner it will probably be Over the Rainbow/What a Wonderful World by Israel Kamakawiwo’ole
Favorite workout brand: Splits 59, I love the fit and quality!
What do you eat/not eat? Everything! Well, other than cheese and Chinese food. Luckily, fruits and veggies are my favorite. There is nothing like a freshly picked piece of fruit!
What’s your guilty pleasure? Traveling, it is only guilty because of the amount I do.
What's your most memorable teaching moment? I had the chance to teach at the Boys and Girls Club for a few months; watching the development of the kids that stuck with it was for sure a highlight.
If you could give GoRecess users one piece of fitness advice what would it be? Do something active every single day!
Any other random tidbits to share? We are really proud of the content we have added on our blog so check it out at http://uptownpilates1.wordpress.com. And just in time for summer, watch this video of Mika to learn how pilates can help you get a beach body!
ABOUT UPTOWN PILATES
What makes Uptown Pilates unique? We are one of only a few classical studios where you can take both group classes and privates. So you can work with an instructor in a private setting where he/she can really learn how your body moves and then continue with them in group classes. Also, everyone at the studio from front desk to instructor is committed to helping you achieve your goals.