For the last four years, Pilates maestro and Reiki master Lynda Lippin only worked with clients in the island paradise known as Parrot Cay. Parrot Cay is, of course, the Turks and Caicos enclave where Demi Moore, Donna Karan, Hugh Jackman, and zillions of other A-listers have second (or third?) homes and go to recharge with five-star spa treatments, views of the Caribbean, and a serious dose of yoga and Pilates.
Now Lippin brings some of that A-list island expertise to Real Pilates, the Tribeca Pilates studio owned by Alycea Ungaro. And now Donna Karan gets to see her favorite Pilates teacher several times a week in New York City instead of just in paradise. (Ditto Brazilian supermodel Raica Oliveira, who’s also happy to get her Pilates fix locally now.)
Lippin’s Pilates approach is both challenging and healing. “I am not one of these Pilates teachers who thinks it’s the only thing you should do,” says Lippin who also teaches TRX and kettlebells. “Pilates complements other types of exercise. For runners and spinners, for example, Pilates helps to balance things out in the legs by strengthening the hamstrings, inner thighs, and glutes to take pressure off the front and side of the leg,” says Lippin.
And if Lippin seems more like your college feminist theory professor than a Pilates teacher, that’s no coincidence. Before devoting herself full-time to Pilates, Lippin taught philosophy and women’s studies at Drexel and Villanova.
She applies this inter-disciplinary approach to exercise, layering Reiki into her fitness sessions. My intro session with her included 45 minutes of subtle and specific Pilates work to help me lengthen my spine and stop compressing my lower back. And she sensed that my post-natal body needed 15 minutes of Reiki and soft tissue massage at the end.
This Pilates intellectual knows just what methods to mix together to create the perfect workout for any client—whether it’s me or Donna Karan. —Alexia Brue
Well+Good readers receive $25 off an introductory package (retail value $350) with Lynda, which features two 55-minute private Pilates session and one 45-minute Reiki session.