November Events, Promotions and Happenings at PIE and PIA!

Summer is over, the last remaining autumn leaves are clinging to the trees and our first snowflakes have flown here in West Michigan. With the changing of the seasons, we too, here at Pilates in East and Pilates in Ada have some upcoming events, changes and promotions to announce.

Trunk Show with She Active:

This Tuesday, November 14th, join us at our Pilates in East location for a free “Tone and Tighten” class and trunk show! Come shop many wonderful brands (Beyond Yoga, Alo, NUX, Free People, Kira Grace to name a few)  and a treat yourself to a guaranteed good workout! Bring a friend and meet us there!

FREE Tone & Tighten Pilates Class 6:00pm
Trunk Show 5:30pm-8:00pm
Pilates in East (616) 242-9595
2249 Wealthy St SE, Suite 230, Grand Rapids MI 49506


Class additions:

You asked and we answered! We have added some early AM classes at Pilates in East for those of you who like to get your Pilates sessions in before dawn. We now have a 6:00AM class offered on Tuesday and Thursday mornings. Also new to the schedule are evening classes at Pilates in Ada. Reformer 1 classes have been added to Tuesdays at 5:15PM and Thursdays at 5:25PM. To see all of our classes for this month, visit the Pilates in East schedule here and the Pilates in Ada schedule here.


Free Demos:

For the month of November, we will be continuing to offer our free demos on the Reformer as well as the Bodhi Suspension System. No previous experience is necessary – only a sense of curiosity required. We are passionate about helping people move, stay healthy and love their workouts. Come and try it out for free! Call or email to set up a time with of our instructors.


Thanks and Giving Promotion:

Are you hooked on Reformer workouts and would like to share this awesome workout with a friend? You are in luck. For the remainder of Thanksgiving, cash in on our Thanks and Giving promotion! When you bring a friend, he/she will receive $20 off any membership or package. You will also receive $20 credit towards your next Pilates in East/Ada purchase! This promotion is good through the end of the month, so spread the word!

thanks and giving2

As always, we are so grateful to get to work with such wonderful clients and friends. We welcome new faces into both studios and can’t wait to help all of you meet your fitness and movement goals!

thank you

Spunk, Energy and Positivity: Meet Courtney Yarch – November Instructor of the Month


Energy. Spunk. Positivity. These are just a few words that one might use to describe Courtney Yarch. She is one of our dedicated Reformer and Barre instructors at Pilates in East and Pilates in Ada. If you have ever taken a class from Courtney, you can feel her love for fitness and movement ooze from every ounce of her body. We took a few minutes to catch up with Courtney to get the backstory on her passion for Pilates.

Courtney said, “After the birth of 2nd child, I had a tough time toning back up. A friend who was going through reformer training offered me a few sessions free as part of her practice. I fell in love with reformer and signed up to begin my Pilates training just a few months later. “

That was several years ago and it has been a fun journey since. Courtney loves the benefits from not only teaching, but doing Pilates and Barre. “I love that besides a physical challenge, it is a mental challenge for me, never letting myself quit when it gets rough. I also love the fun-factor. I truthfully have a blast doing barre!!!”

As an instructor, Courtney loves the fact that she gets to watch others get stronger and more confident with each class or session and that her clients get to have fun while doing so! “There are so many ways to exercise, and so I always encourage people to find a way they love. That means the women in my classes are here because they love it too!  The social aspect of group classes is great for accountability and for fun!” Courtney has a group fitness background that brings an athletic feel to her classes. “I taught group fitness for several years before Pilates (and still do). I bring an athletic edge to my classes and love helping others gain strength.”

When Courtney is not at either of the Pilates studios, you can find her playing with her 3 amazing kiddos – ages 10, 9 and 6. As a family, they stay active together and enjoy bonfires in the summer.

For those considering giving Pilates a try, Courtney has some advice. “Any new form of fitness is challenging (Both mentally and physically). Don’t give up. Commit to Pilates for 7 weeks and you will never go back. Have fun with the progress, and do not worry about perfection.”

Courtney Snake

Courtney demonstrates “Snake” on the Reformer.


Lisa Buth – Pilates Passion turns into a Career


In speaking with instructor, Lisa Buth, it takes about .3 seconds to pick up on her passion for Pilates.

Back in 2007, Lisa was looking to mix up her fitness routine with her friend Nancy Peterson. Ahmé Bovée has just opened Pilates in East, so the two friends gave Pilates a try. As Lisa says, “The rest is history!” The two friends both fell in love with the workout. Lisa decided that she not only wanted to DO Pilates, but that she wanted to teach this form of exercise to others. Lisa began her teacher training and has been a dynamite in the studio ever since.

Juggling motherhood (Lisa has 4 grown children), her own athletic endeavors, teaching Pilates and family life has been a wonderful challenge. Lisa has loved the benefits of Pilates in her own life as well as seeing it in her clients’ lives. “My favorite benefit of doing Pilates is the core strength and overall toning that translates to everyday life. It’s like an insurance policy for a better, more balanced you. I love being a cheerleader for Pilates.  When I teach, my personal goal is to leave my clients feeling physically better than before, and have them enjoy their time with me.”

Pilates isn’t Lisa’s only form of exercise these days. “I swim, bike and run on a fairly regular basis. During the winter months I do more indoor training, but once the weather gets better, I try and be outside. I have started to enjoy  sprint triathlons over the past few years,   and try to do a few each summer. I’ve taken up pickle ball too. What a fun game… it’s addictive.”

If you haven’t had a chance to spend time with Lisa in the studio, find her on the schedule here. Her classes fill up quickly, so hustle on in! We are so fortunate to have Lisa on the team at Pilates in East and Pilates in Ada!


10 Years and Grand Opening in the Books!


This will definitely not be the last party in our Ada studio! Thanks to all the vendors who helped make this a success!

A warm thank you to ALL of those who made it out last week to help us celebrate the Grand Opening of the Ada studio and the 10 Year celebration of Pilates in East. We are so fortunate to work with such amazing clients and to be part of two very vibrant communities!

To all of you who have made the commitment over the past 10 years to stay healthy, who have worked with our instructors – either in private sessions or group classes, who have passed along information about our services – THANK YOU! We are in business because we, as instructors, are all passionate about helping you all move, stay healthy, and be the best possible versions of yourselves. Because of your commitment, we are able to live out our passions and do this wonderful “work” that never truly feels like work at all!

A special thank you to Kingma’s Market, Kilwin’s in East Grand Rapids, Jam ‘N Bean Coffee, Moosejaw, Gravel Bottom Brewery, Artisian Floral, Gagamitz, Mother Tucker Cookies, and Lole East Grand Rapids for providing goodies to share with all of our special guests. Again, we are so lucky to be working alongside wonderful folks here in West Michigan.

Below are some photos from this wonderful bash. Again, if you haven’t had the chance to check out our new location in Ada, please call, email or just pop in and say hello!

From all of us here at Pilates in East and Pilates in Ada, THANK YOU!

For more photos of this event, please check out our Facebook page here.

Celebrating 10 Years and a New Studio!

21742813_10155694879488064_1504434586303163008_nTen years ago, Pilates in East first opened its doors to the public in Grand Rapids. Over this past decade, hundreds of clients have joined us to strengthen, lengthen, stretch and tone in our Mat, Barre and Reformer classes. It has been amazing to watch the growth and excitement in the community. Starting in a 1,000 square foot location with only 1 reformer, Pilates in East has grown to a 2,000 square foot space with 3 rooms, 7 reformers, Cadillac, chairs and now, Bodhi suspension system. The instructor team has grown from 1 to 16 strong!

But that’s not all! We have a second reason to celebrate! In addition to a decade of business in East Grand Rapids, our second location ​just opened and we have expanded into Ada. We are so excited about this new space and the potential to help even more community members find health and happiness through movement.

In celebration, we are throwing a party and inviting all of past, present and future clients to join in the festivities!! We will be hosting a party at our new location at Pilates in Ada. Please join us for refreshments, some goodies from Kilwin’s, vendors from our community, and a good time. Come check out our new space and celebrate with us!

Here are the details:

WHO: Past, present and future clients
WHAT: Celebration of 10 years in business & Opening of Ada Studio!
WHEN: October 4th, 6:00-8:00 PM
WHERE: Pilates in Ada, 452 Ada Dr. S.E., Suite 200 Ada, MI 49301

We look forward to celebrating with you! Put it on your calendar and meet us at Pilates in Ada!



Coming to a Village Near You…


If you have driven through or past the village of Ada, you have seen the construction and progress happening over the past year. We are excited to announce that Pilates in East is expanding and adding another location – Pilates in Ada!

The East Grand Rapids location has become so busy that it felt like a natural progression to look for additional space. With the growth and development happening in Ada, it was a no brainer for the next location. “I’ve always wanted to bring Pilates to the Ada and Cascade area.  I’ve lived in this area most of my life and always felt that a Pilates studio would do well here with the demographics.  Ada and Cascade, much like East Grand Rapids, are filled with residents committed to their health and well-being.  What better way to grow that lifestyle than with Pilates,” said Studio Coordinator, Katie DeCamp.

Pilates in Ada can be found on the second floor in the building right next to the new Kingma’s Market. Floors are being installed, painting is wrapping up and brand new, shiny reformers are being delivered in the next 2 weeks.

Pilates in Ada will be offering private sessions, group reformer classes as well as some new and exciting classes not yet offered anywhere else in this area (stay tuned for that announcement later)! The instructors are so excited to be able to have more times and space to offer classes. Devon Pearson is currently an instructor at the East Grand Rapids location and said, “I’ve loved the classes that I teach and clients I have met in East. I can’t wait to offer more classes to the growing community of Ada!”

For the entire month of September, Pilates in Ada will be offering FREE 30 minute demos on the reformer with an instructor. This will give new and potential clients a chance to learn what this machine is capable of, how this workout might best fit an individual’s fitness goals and to help build one’s confidence and comfort with something new. The reformer can sometimes seem intimidating, so this is a great way to meet with an instructor one-on-one and get comfortable with this versatile machine.

New classes will continue to be added to the schedule in the coming months so continue to check back. If you have an interest in scheduling your free demo, contact us today! Email and we will get you on the schedule. No commitment is necessary  – all that is needed is a good attitude and a sense of curiosity!

WHAT: Pilates in Ada
WHEN: Doors open September 2017
WHERE: 452 Ada Dr SE, Suite 200 (Upstairs, next door to Kingma’s Market)
HOW: To schedule your free demo, email today!




Ahmé Bovée: Instructor of the Month

More than likely, if you have taken a Pilates class at Pilates in East in Grand Rapids area, you have heard the name, Ahmé Bovée. And if you have ever had the chance to take one of Ahmé’s classes, you know why the students she teaches get hooked immediately on Pilates. Her calming, soothing voice is perfectly contradictory to the intense and effective workouts she composes for her students and clients. Ahmé has the ability to fine-tune an exercise through the use of descriptive words, attention to the fine details and an acute awareness of her clients’ movements.

Ahmé attended her first Pilates class with her mother, who is a Naturopathic Doctor that has always been ahead of her time. Because of the instructor’s transformative words and descriptors used in that private session, Ahmé fell quickly in love with the workout! Ahmé went on to get her original (the first of many) certification from Body Harmonics in Toronto Canada. She credits her two original mentors, Susan Greskevitch and Margot McKinnon, as individuals who were exceptional teachers.

Pilates is often credited as a Mind-Body activity and Ahmé agrees with this description. “Pilates helps me find my center not only physically, but mentally too. It is a form of moving meditation that brings me into sync with my physical being. Physically it makes me feel strong and integrated from head to toe but without making me feel strain or stress. Mentally and physically I feel empowered,” states Ahmé.

Along with starting and running two thriving Pilates studios over the past two decades, she is a Balanced Body University Master Instructor and offers comprehensive teaching training at Pilates in East. Those who have had Ahmé as an instructor for Teacher Training can’t help but be affected positively by Ahmé’s passion for Pilates, movement, anatomy and helping others live the healthiest life possible.

One of the many aspects of being an instructor that Ahmé loves is witnessing the moment someone has an “ah-ha.” When she gets to see the joy and excitement in a client’s eyes, when movement feels good again and her clients tap into their true strength, power and freedom – this is what keeps Ahmé going as an instructor.

Prior to becoming trained as a Pilates instructor, Ahmé taught aerobics at the YMCA, although she says that “hamstring curls, step aerobics and boxercise are a distant memory these days.”

When Ahmé isn’t busy handling both the teaching and the business side of the studio, you can find her running on the local nature trails with her dog, Thomas, a regal miniature schnauzer.

Ahmé offers some advice to someone who is considering trying out a Pilates or a Barre class.

  • Find an instructor you really love and connect to. Everyone likes a different style and that’s ok. Find someone who makes you feel comfortable, curious and inspired.
  • Give it some time, the detail sometimes takes a while to sink in.
  • Be open minded and curious. Don’t assume you already know a certain move just because you have done it before. Pilates is about going deeper and discovering new hidden potential.
  • Try a Private lesson. Even if you want to take group classes most of the time a few private sessions with one of our expert instructors could unleash a new discovery that changes how you do things in class and in life for years to come.

We can’t wait to have you experience one of Ahmé’s classes. Check out her teaching schedule here.


Jen Shaw: March’s Instructor of the Month at Pilates in East

Jen roll back M

If you have been to the studio at Pilates in East, you have most likely seen Jen Shaw coming, going or teaching either a group class or a private session. Her warm and infectious personality is hard to miss.

After two C-sections, several knee surgeries and years of physical therapy, Jen sought out a way to rebuild her core and overall body strength in a safe way. As fate would have it, she saw a commercial for Windsor Pilates in 2006 and decided to try a class. After trying a class and loving it, Jen became an instructor and has been teaching ever since at local studios and gyms. Jen received her Comprehensive Certification from Balanced Body University and instruction from Ahmé Bovée.

If you have taken a class from Jen, you wouldn’t be surprised that her favorite part of being an instructor is the opportunity to connect with her clients. “I enjoy getting to know peoples’ stories, meeting them right where they are in their journey and then empowering them to fulfill their personal next steps. I love seeing the confidence that blossoms with developing physical and mental strength that grows into a strong, healthy, balanced mind and body connection.”

One of the many reasons that Jen personally fell in love with Pilates is the ability to develop balanced strength and flexibility to help avoid injury. As someone who participated in collegiate athletics and someone who has coached all levels of basketball and soccer over the past 20 years, this has been very important. Jen credits her own practice in Pilates as one of the main factors that has allowed her to stay active over the years, continue coaching and to keep up with her children. When not in the studio, Jen loves being outside – camping, hiking and biking.

Jen’s advice to someone new to Pilates: “Take a couple of private sessions so you can learn some techniques and terminology.  The instructor can also give you some very personal tips and guide you to your next steps.”

Great advice for someone getting ready to dive into a new and life-changing activity.


Exercise of the Month: Standing Side Splits

standingsidesplitsSTANDING SIDE SPLITS

When I first learned of this exercise years ago, I was immediately met with resistance in my own thought. “Splits… I haven’t been able to do that since I was little! Cross this exercise off the list for me.” However, I soon learned that it is not as intimidating as it might sound. If you have been to a reformer class or had any private instruction, it is likely that you have given this exercise a whirl, as it is an incredibly effective exercise.

How to do Standing Side Splits:

  • Stand on the reformer facing one side (Use caution when getting on. Always step onto the platform before the carriage since the carriage will move).
  • Place one foot on the platform and one on the carriage. (The closer to the shoulder blocks your foot is, the more challenging the exercise will be).
  • Find a neutral spine and pelvis.
  • Reach arms out to sides thinking length – palms down or facing forward.
  • Maintaining neutral pelvis and spine and keeping weight evenly distributed on both feet, press legs evenly away from midline to move the carriage out.
  • Draw the legs back together by bringing the carriage back to the platform using control.


  • Strengthen leg and hip muscles
  • Improve posture, balance and coordination
  • Improve core stability as well as lumbopelvic stability
  • Strengthens adductors


  • Some variations would be the placement of the feet (i.e. try a wider stance and external rotation of the feet).
  • For added arm workout, grab some light hand weights and get the arms involved.
  • When bringing the carriage in, think about lifting up through the pelvic floor and abdominals rather than just bringing you legs back to the starting position.
  • If your foot on the carriage is slipping, use grippy socks (sold at Pilates in East) or add a sticky pad to the carriage before placing your foot in place.


  • Anyone with sacroiliac joint problems or knee injuries should use caution – limiting range of motion.
  • Anyone with balance problems should use caution (always let your instructor know if you aren’t feeling comfortable) since this is a standing exercise on the reformer.
  • Prenatal clients perform with caution.

One of the great features of the reformer is that, with a simple change in spring weight, you can work a different muscle performing almost exercise. Standing side splits is a great example of such benefit. When adding springs, the resistance is greater and the focus shifts to the abductors. Depending on the resistance, it will be helpful to move the foot on the carriage closer to the edge in order to have something to push off of.

We look forward to having you into the studio to give this exercise a try! See you soon at Pilates in East!

**For current class schedule at Pilates in East, click here

***As with all exercises programs, please consult with your physician and know your limitations prior to starting a new workout regimen.***

Meet Amy: February’s Instructor of the Month


Pilates in East Instructor, Amy

We would like to take a quick minute to introduce one of our stellar instructors, Amy Donohue.

Amy has been teaching at Pilates in East for 4 years and has been a client since 2007. She discovered Pilates in East through an ad in the paper. Starting as a client, she never expected that she would someday be teaching!

Amy and her husband Dennis have four college-aged children. They enjoy spending time as a family and keeping active.  When not teaching at the studio, she enjoys many activities such as cooking, reading, running, kayaking, sailing and snow shoeing.

One of Amy’s favorite parts of being a Pilates instructor is helping others feel stronger both emotionally and physically. Amy personally felt an increase in both her inner and outer strength, feeling more confident in all of her activities. Pilates is now an integral part of her weekly workout regimen. As Amy says: “I have always enjoyed being active, but was often challenged by not feeling strong enough. When training personally and working with clients, I often relate their interests to the exercises we are doing to make it more relevant and muscle specific.”

Amy truly believes that, regardless of one’s fitness level or age, all can benefit from participating in Pilates. Amy’s advice to someone contemplating a class at Pilates in East: “Be open to learning to think about a familiar movement in a new way. Listening to cues from the instructor, you’ll be surprised (and excited) at the connections one can make.”

Amy teaches group classes and private sessions at Pilates in East. She is comprehensively certified through Balanced Body and is working towards getting PMA certified. Come check her out. You’ll love her personable demeanor; ability to challenge you physically and her extensive knowledge about Pilates movement that will help you get the most out of your time with her!