"It is the mind itself which builds the body," said Joseph H. Pilates. I imagine, unfortunately, that the opposite is also true and I am therefore in want of an introductory package at Laura Dixon's Harmony Mind Body Fitness studio.
Harmony Mind Body Fitness is a very quick glide from the Armitage L stop. Right off Armitage Avenue on the chilled out Bissell Street sits a deceivingly residential-looking building. Ring the bell at the side door and enter within the warm, yellow exposed-brick walls, treading on the sallow wood flooring (never touched by the muck of shoes). Inside are autumn-scented candles, Zen-like voices, bamboo decor and an individual dressing room suitable for a designer clothing boutique. The associates and clients all seem relaxed yet productive; lots of smiles, conversation, and eyes closed with intention.
Classes: Dixon's private and small group workouts center essentially on Pilates, Gyrotonic (a fusion of yoga, dance, tai chi and swimming performed with specialized equipment), and Gyrokinesis (similar to Gyrotonic but performed on a stool with the added bonus of an "awakening of the senses" – oh yeah). The classes are designed to match your initial level of fitness, and build on your strengths with new challenges each session. The workouts are "mentally focused." The mind-body relationship develops as the instructors encourage you to be aware of what your body is doing. The overall result of a committed practice is an increasingly toned physique and relaxed mind. The instructional costs are high, as is the quality, ambiance and personalized attention. Each mat class is $20 and Reformer (Pilates resistance machine) classes are about $35. Check out the website for class schedules and reduced price packages. Classes available by appointment only; each class is 55 minutes long.
Centerstage Reviewer: Kate Anderson