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HEALTH + FITNESS

Evolve Pilates
Teaching Strength, Alignment, Breathing, Balance and More

Profile by Amelia Smith

When it comes to health and wellness, there’s something for everyone on the Vineyard, and Evolve Pilates is a vibrant part of that landscape. It’s a well-appointed studio that offers a range of classes – not just Pilates – in three specialized spaces. Its location, across from the Edgartown Stop & Shop, is conveniently located for all Islanders

Pilates develops core strength, but it’s also about alignment, breathing, and balance. It was developed in the early 20th century by Joseph Pilates, who called the system Contrology, and it has become increasingly popular in recent decades. Laura Alexander, who owns Evolve Pilates and teaches there, discovered the practice about thirteen years ago. “I injured and re-injured my knee in tennis and skiing,” she says. She needed surgery to rebuild the knee, but she opted to use Pilates to help recover, which helped her avoid more invasive surgery. “This was the first fitness thing that really spoke to me,” Laura says. She had tried lots of things, including dance and softball when she was growing up, and yoga. “The thing about Pilates is you’re not just moving your body parts, it’s the coordination of mind, body, and spirit,” she says. “A lot of Pilates exercises are rooted in yoga, and it can be modified to suit everybody because it’s a rehabilitative form of movement.”

Laura began taking classes at Vineyard Pilates and, after a few years, enrolled in Stefan Knight’s teacher certification program there. Soon after, she bought her studio space, a former surf shop. “It’s felt like home ever since,” she says. It’s a bright, airy room with a cathedral ceiling and big windows for natural light. “People like to call it their happy place,” says Laura. “It’s nice to offer a training where people leave in a better frame of mind than what they came in with.” The original front studio is dedicated to Pilates, but Laura has added two more studios to the back and, with them, more classes.

Evolve Pilates now employs six instructors in addition to Laura, a front desk manager, and occasional other teachers. Classes include mat and apparatus Pilates. In the newer studio back from the road you’ll find Barre, suspension, and TRX classes. Downstairs is a room full of stationary bicycles, for the “Revolve” indoor bicycling classes, which is like a “dance party on a bike” with music and colored lights. Laura says that all of the modalities are complementary, and all of the teachers at Evolve try a little bit of everything. vs

Evolve Pilates is open year-round at 250 Upper Main St., Edg. For more information, current schedules or to meet their team, Click: evolveonthevineyard.com or Call: 508.627.6060