HARVARD -- "Inspire clients to become a better version of themselves," said Kimberly Casto, who celebrated the opening of her studio, Bodylines Pilates, and offered a week's worth of introductory classes to the community.
According to Casto, who started practicing 12 years ago, "Pilates helped me find my inner strength while going through the transition of motherhood. It was transforming."
Pilates, a low-impact form of strength training designed by its founder, Joseph Pilates, develops long, lean muscles and strength with inner peace. It improves muscle elasticity, joint mobility and helps to alleviate back pain while increasing energy, focus and metabolism.
There is no age limit for those who practice, explained Casto. "One of my master trainers, 85 years old, still going strong, can maintain mobility and strength at the same time; it's the perfect balance of the two that Pilates will provide."
"Most people think it's just core exercises, but really it is much more than that. The core helps to stabilize and strengthen your spine, and beyond that there are elements in Pilates that people are not aware of -- elements to pump the lymphatic system, flush the digestive system, palpitate the organs."
Casto recommends a practice of three times per week for most clients, adding, "Pilates is not just exercise, but also breath work, it's the space you create in the body.
In 2007, after successfully launching a Pilates program at Wellbridge Fitness in Boston, Casto opened her own studio, Bodylines Pilates, leasing space inside Orchard Hills Athletic Club in Lancaster.
With a successful and growing studio, Casto felt it was time to expand, finding the Harvard location most appealing.
Passion is evident by the three certifications and master's in Pilates that Casto proudly holds. "I just completed my master's in January at the Pilates Center, Boulder, Colo., came home and two weeks later opened up Bodylines in Harvard," she said.
Bodyline's 10 instructors are educated and certified in the Pilates method, said Castro, adding, "They're an amazing group of women."
Ann Kahn, a Bodylines trainer for four years, said Castro introduced her to Pilates. "I was instantly hooked on how my body felt after Pilates. The rest is history."
Jennifer Pinard, a health coach, is available to set up a program addressing nutrition and lifestyle, designed for clients' needs and goals.
Casto hopes to introduce Pilates-based sports conditioning for young athletes in the local school system. Bodylines will continue with community outreach. Last year, Bodylines helped to raise funds for the new playground at Lura A. White Elementary School with a "Playground Pilates" event and the annual "Pilates for Pink" fundraiser to benefit the Simonds-Sinon Regional Cancer Center, Fitchburg.
Comfortable in her new location, Casto reflected, "We have had a great response from the community."
Bodylines Pilates Studio is at 325 Ayer Road, Harvard. Call 978-537-0959.