Instructor Emily Berreth combines yoga and Pilates into a single exercise program focused on fun, relaxation and personal growth. This class brings together the stretching of yoga and the core strengthening practices of Pilates into a challenging and fun routine appropriate for those interested in improving their fitness levels.
Emily has been teaching at the College of Continuing and Professional Education since January 2010. She is an ACE Certified Personal Trainer and a Certified Pilates and Yoga Instructor. Two new daytime classes are being added. “I’m pretty excited about all of it; these are the first new classes I’ve had since 2012,” Emily said.
In her classes, Emily doesn’t do things that are very technical and complicated that the students can’t grasp them relatively quickly. A lot of stretching is incorporated in between tough core exercises to ensure that students don’t feel worn out by the end of it but rather refreshed, relaxed, looser and taller. Since lengthening the spine is a big part of Pilates, Emily wants her students to feel like they’ve just had a massage and stretched every part of their bodies.
“The difference between Pilates and yoga is that Pilates is more about developing a stronger core which helps with your lower back pain so it’s a little faster and focused. Yoga has more time for stretching and holding poses a little longer,” Emily said. To combine both, she incorporates a similar warmup in the classes and uses stretching in Pilates as well.
“I always leave the class feeling that I have stretched each of the major muscle groups in my body and I also have a sense of calm from the relaxation aspect of the class,” student Tina Turczyn said.
An essential part of Emily’s teaching is her encouragement for students to focus on their breath. “A lot of times when we do something new or tough, we hold our breath and I encourage my students to never do that. Instead listen to their bodies and pay attention to their breath,” she said. Re-learning to breath correctly takes time and patience and, in her opinion, it’s better to breathe properly and have correct form than to do multiple repetitions of an exercise. She encourages her students to excel and improve every week but to never overdo it.
Her classes are focused on not only exercise but fun. Laughter is encouraged. “Laughter is good for the soul and keeps you breathing well too!” Emily said. This keeps students enjoying themselves while exercising and along the way students become friends with each other. “The social aspect of exercise shouldn’t be forgotten,” she said.
Kathy Coyne, another student of Emily’s, said, “With all the negativity in the world, it is nice to come to class for an hour and a half, let the tension leave and have fun while getting some exercise in.”
For more information, visit ccpe.kennesaw.edu or give us a call at 470-578-6765.