My Post Copy 2 (1).png

Breathing For a Strong Core & a Relaxed Mind

  • Tips for how to inhale using your diaphragm
  • Tips on exhaling to strengthen your core and tone your abs

Breathing Assignment Better Breathing and More Lift

  • Techniques from respiratory therapists
  • More lift & better posture - an exhale for more lift
  • Why pursed lips

Celebrating 20 years - Ana's Story

We are excited to celebrate 20 years in the Anchorage community! Thanks to our wonderful, enthusiastic and dedicated clients who have come to spend an hour or two (sometimes 12) with us throughout the week!

20 years ago, if you had asked us where we'd be now, I don't think anyone would have been able to predict all of the wonderful relationships we've had the amazing opportunity to build. The lasting structural changes are just a bonus when it comes to the community we share.

My Post %281%29.png

This week we would like to congratulate ANA KOKAUROVA for teaching at studio one for 18 years. Ana's contribution to studio one has changed throughout the years, Here is Ana's story:

In 2001 my mom was a client at studio one before I started. She was receiving Rolfing® treatments from Paul Van Alstine, owner of studio one. I had just stopped dancing ballet for good, moved back from the east cost to Anchorage. It was a difficult time because I didn't know what I wanted to do with my life. I had danced for the Joffrey school and BalletMet Columbus OH and done a good deal of Pilates and knew I did NOT like Pilates and never saw the benefit of it in my body.

On my first day at studio in summer of 2001 and with a cast on my foot, I walked into the studio and watched Paul teach and explain an exercise I had seed and done hundreds of time. This was different though...Paul was actually explaining HOW to do it, where to feel it, why I wasn't using the right muscles and helped me find my those missing connections. I was so touch and inspired I signed up for a 3 month membership immediately and started going to all of Elaine's classes on the schedule. (I think there were just 3 per day)

I really wanted to work at the studio because I was inspired every time I took a class or did a session. I soon started going through my Rolfing 10 series. I had no skills to offer as an employee so started out vacuuming, cleaning and answering the phone. After two years of flying back and forth to Toronto CA I was fully certified through Stott Pilates and was teaching full swing. Soon after I because a Rolfer and started training other instructors.

Sometime in 2006 after I graduated Rolfing school, Paul and I made a firm decision that teaching the studio one way is the most natural, humane and biggest service we could provide for the Anchorage community. We broke off of our Stott training and started creating VASIE Pilates.

The studio exploded with new clients, more space, more reformers, front desk staff and instructors. One of the things that remains to this day is the sign and the message above the mat room it reads "educate, inspire, transform" everyone at studio one lives by this and educates, inspires and transforms in every class.

Happy 20 years studio one❤️

Focus of The Week

Screen Shot 2019-09-11 at 12.33.38 PM.png

It’s hard to overstate how important breathing is. It is easy to experience though. Just hold your breath minute or two and you will definitely see how breathing is literally tied into the fabric of out being. Humans have been breathing for as long as we have been around. Therefore, it's pretty amazing that in the last twenty years we have really just begun to learn about it's effect on everything from posture to confidence and mood, and sleep and performance.

Of particular interest too many of our clients is how important breathing is to maintaining healthy, relaxed, posture and pain free living. There are a multitude of beneficial breathing techniques that may to help reduce tension, move energy between organs, or help you to achieve astral projection that you can try. These methods can be very helpful.

Pilates breathing is different and unique because Pilates designed his workouts as an integrated way to help the psyche and mind while also supporting your bone structure and balancing and grounding the body physically. When you do VASIE pilates a big part of our program is mastering very specific breathing cues that will help you to ground and center your mind and body while also toning your postural muscles.

Simply stated; the muscles you use for inhaling and exhaling are the same muscles that your use to support a long relaxed spine and aligned joints, keep your psyche relaxed and grounded, and help to improve balance and relieve pain. Improve breathing - improve everything. That is not to say that you need only breathing to get into great shape. It does point out that if you want to stay in great shape for the long run - you need to keep your breathing muscles up to speed.

All of this is esoteric speculation until you look at the results from Pilates for some of the things we really want:

Confidence: because of the grounding affects of pilates people tend to show significantly higher levels of self efficacy and fewer negative moods.

Happiness: Negative mood scores dropped in the several studies listed below. Confidence and self-efficacy improved as noted above. Sounds like happiness to me?

Mindfulness: As a body worker, I tend to associate long term changes in mindfulness to a body that is becoming more grounded and centered. While meditation and other practices can help create this a balanced body and structure is a huge advantage to creating consistent mindful states.

Sleep: sleep quality improve significantly with Pilates over other forms of exercise… This is a no brainer because when you breath well you tend to sleep well.

Performance: here is the icing on the cake. Pilates exercises supported runners to greatly improve their running times. In addition, the breathing training helped to give these runners a huge boost in VO2max… A high VO2 is helpful to a young runners running times but maybe even more important to those of us 70 plus with a respiratory infection…

So - for you VASIE Pilates junkies out there. This should give you license to continue to bother your friends and a few more facts for the skeptical. For you skeptics - you may want to try it again?

Breathing & Cardio. Want to drop 2 minutes off your 5K time?

Screen Shot 2019-09-11 at 12.32.58 PM.png

VASIE Breathing & Cardio Want to drop 2 minutes off your 5K time?

Cardio Junkies - We salute you. And we want to keep you doing what you want both better and longer. Here’s a new study that will help to support what we’ve been saying for years about Pilates and cardio performance... It really helps - A LOT.

When we think of fitness, cardio is one of the first things that comes to mind. Studies show that this is a VERY important part of fitness. At Studio One we are huge fans of people getting their cardio in. I personally do 3 - 6 sessions of cardio per week of various lengths. Im a huge fan of the 2 -3 hour hike on weekends.

At Studio One we work hard to help you create the muscular and respiratory conditions that will make doing cardio effective, and fun for as long as possible in the lifespan.

Keeping Cardio Effective:

What is “effective cardio.” In the short-run, it is what will help you to win that next race or event. If you are trying to win a race later this month, it will mean workouts that will help you to reach this short term goal. However, if you are looking at the ability to enjoy the benefits and fun of cardio into your 100’s - effective cardio takes on a new meaning.

In the medium to long run, you may want to look more at supplementing your cardio exercise. You may want to add exercises that will improve your form, support better body mechanics, and respiration during your cardio workouts.

Choose Pilates: A study done in 2018 did a 12 week running program. One that combined Pilates with the program and the other group did running only. In fact, in 12 week study of Pilates for runners significant improvement was noted in the Pilates group over the control group. In addition to significantly faster running times (they dropped over 2 minutes on their 5K’s vs the control group!) the Pilates group also saw a significant increase in their VO2max due to learning Pilates breathing. I am sure everyone would agree that a high V02max makes anything cardio much more fun.

So, if you want to maintain your ability to do cardio effectively as you age, it is important to maintain proper balance between in the muscles that help you breath & the ones that make you move! Maintaining the coordination in these muscles makes people perform better at cardio in general. We hear comments from clients such as - “I was out hiking with a bunch of friends who hike much more than I do but I could keep us easily & was just as fast.” This study helps to show that this is not a fluke. It is science and it is by design.

Fun Cardio: When you know you’re getting great results, your breathing feels easy and relaxed, and your body is feeling balanced because you are using the right muscle for the job.

Easy breathing + feeling strong and balanced + using the right muscles = FUN CARDIO


24 Apr 2018: Finatto P, Silva ESD, Okamura AB, Almada BP, Storniolo JLL, et al. (2018) Correction: Pilates training improves 5-km run performance by changing metabolic cost and muscle activity in trained runners. PLOS ONE 13(4): e0196509.

Finatto P1, Silva ESD1, Okamura AB1, Almada BP1, Storniolo JLL2, Oliveira HB1, Peyré-Tartaruga LA1.


Confirming our hypothesis, a significant improvement (p<0.05) was observed for running performance in the PG (pre: 25.65±0.4 min; post: 23.23±0.4 min) compared to the CG (pre: 25.33±0.58 min; post: 24.61±0.52 min). Similarly, the PG (4.33±0.07 had better responses than the CG (4.71±0.11 during post-training for Cmet. These findings were accompanied by decreased electromyographic activity of the postural muscles at submaximal running intensities in the PG.


Overall, these results provide a rationale for selecting strength training strategies that target adaptations on specific postural and locomotor muscles for trained distance runners.

Do you have hourglass syndrome?

What is hourglass syndrome and how to reverse or prevent it.

  • Read article and watch the video to improve your overall ab tone.

Anatomy & Physiology of Breathing

Breathing Meditation

Take a minute and an exhale for yourself. Breathing and meditation helps fight stress and inflammation.

Master Classes

My Post Copy 2.jpg

Master classes are two-hour plateau busters that help you reach the next level of integration, tone, strength & confidence!

Master classes are the heart of your learning and education at Studio One. They provide the opportunity to really slow down and learn a profoundly new way of changing your body through exercise. Every master class is carefully designed to help you get several “ah-ha” moments.


My Post Copy 2.jpg


Intensives are part of the VASIE Movement University series. The weekend intensive classes go through the entire VASIE Pilates repertoire. It is created with the goal of sharing the deep knowledge that Studio One instructors & Rolfers® know and have with every client. We believe that the skills you learn and transformations you make here at Studio One Pilates are for life. Let's make 2019 a year of learning, changing & growth!

Instructor Training

Look good, feel good and learn to help others to do the same. Explore and expand your knowledge of the body and increase your confidence by joining the VASIE Pilates Instructor Training. Because there was so much interest, we added another certification course this year!

Online Membership

Want access to studio one workouts & education wherever you go??

Sign up for studio one pilates online.

  • Results Focused Studio One Workouts
  • Currently: $10/Month. No Contract, Cancel anytime.
  • Unique Studio One Cues, Corrections & Workouts
  • Need technical help or have requests? email me at
My Post Copy 3.png