Category: Fitness


Getting to know you!

Alicia Lavender, co­-owner of Pilates studio, TONE Pilates and Wellness Center, in Astoria gets real as she opens up about how she got into Pilates, what things she wishes every student knew, and why she’s hooked on Pilates for good.

Q. Why do you still pursue Pilates?

A. I love Pilates, I love what it does for the body and how it makes a person feel. I truly love seeing a new client be amazed by the power of their center and realize how standing tall and proud can change perspective.

Q. What’s the secret to staying fit long­term? A. If you don’t’ move it, you’re gonna lose it!

Q. What got you interested in Pilates?
A. Pilates was a lifesaver for me. I blew out my knee performing in 2006, had to have three knee surgeries. I used Pilates as my rehabilitation…I knew then I needed to be in this profession!

Q. Where were you certified?
A. I got certified in Brooklyn, The Fitness Guru (that is now called The Lab under Lawson Harris and Michael Feigin).

Q. What are you famous for in your classes?

A. My Evil Finger and my sense of humor! I try to make the torture enjoyable for everyone…I like people to laugh through pain…Bahaha…evil cackle!

Q. What is your favorite muscle to work out?
A. Oh, I’m a booty girl…Right now I’m loving squats with power loops, side squat, side squat with leg lifts…it’s almost bikini season, gotta keep it tight!

Q. What’s your favorite motto in Pilates class to live by?
A. Ohhh, that’s a tough one, I have a few, “If you pooch, I will poke it.” Also, “Bring your pelvic floor to the party!”

Q. What piece of advice do you wish every client knew?
A. Don’t take it so seriously. Enjoy it and have fun. Also, you have to feed your soul; make sure to find time to do things that make you happy. If you exude happiness you will create a world around you of happy people; it’s infectious.

Q. Favorite brand of nail polish and current favorite color?
A. Essie for sure, right now it’s a coral, it’s called Haute something…makes me think of the beach and sunshine!

Our thanks to Annie Elrod for taking the time to interview and write this blog!

Motivation is Key!

Working out is great. It feels good while doing it; you feel good after; you look great. I mean come on, what’s not to love? But therein lies the rub. Consistency. Every good intention’s worst nightmare. Life gets busy. Work goes late, and before you know it working out is dead last on the priority list. As consistent as the changing seasons is the broken New Year’s resolution. So how can we combat that? Is there a way to stay strong year round and stick with it long enough to see the much coveted lasting results? You bet there is. It’s called accountability. Let’s face it, in a room by yourself with nothing but a pint of Ben and Jerry’s staring you in the face, doom is bound to rear its ugly head. But with a friend close by Jerry can be defeated. So why not incorporate that into your Pilates routine? Great idea. Stay motivated by grabbing a friend to be your Pilates workout buddy. Not only will you feel more motivated to show up to class when you know someone’s counting on you, but your friend will be a great way to help push you to workout to the best of your ability. And quite frankly, working out with a friend is just down right fun! So in honor of this epiphany that is falling upon Valentine’s Day, your fabulous friends at Tone would like to offer you a chance to put this epiphany into practice! So for the week following Valentine’s Day we would like to offer you the chance to bring a friend with you to mat class for free! So put on your favorite cupid socks, grab your favorite friend, prance on over to one of Tone’s sweet mat classes, and together let’s make a change that’s been proven to last the whole year through!

Reflection of a Year

Have you noticed as you grow older the faster time goes by? I remember 
as a little girl a year felt like forever. Now a year flies by and I
 can’t believe where the time has gone.
 Last April at this time we 
walked to the edge of a cliff and we have been flying high ever since! 
Risking to go out on our own was a major life changing decision. 
Last April we made it a 
reality.

Sometimes I think we’re dreaming, at other times I wonder why we 
didn’t do it sooner. I know it may sound cliche but 
everything happens for a reason. Every experience leads down a path 
and prepares you for your next adventure even if in the moment you can’t
 truly see the meaning in it all. All I do know is, Alicia and I were meant to meet that cold day in December 2007. We weren’t sure where we were headed but we knew we were in it together!  ( insert dance break) 

One year ago we were ripping up carpets, ordering flooring, purchasing equipment and painting. It was the most exciting, scary, exhilarating time for us.

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One thing we have always recognized is how lucky we are to have the
 most amazing clients a studio could ask for. We definitely have broken 
out of the mold of your traditional Pilates studio. You all have supported our journey with your enthusiasm and need to be beaten..:) We are family at TONE and would not have it any other way.

Looking back over this year, even though we were scared shitless we knew this was a risk we had to take.

Sometimes you get into a routine, you begin to feel safe and secure and you forget what life is really all about.  We realize no job or relationship is worth suffering for. At the end of the night if you are not happy then maybe it’s time for a change. There have been so many wonderful memories for us here @ TONE. We can still make each other laugh even when we are tired and hungry and writing this blog. 🙂 Who knew we were going to be writing a blog!!! Not these girls!!!!! ( insert jazz hands)

Change can be scary, risk it all or gain nothing. What do you want to change? Are you willing to walk to the cliff?
 “You can only become truly accomplished at something you love. Don’t make money your goal. Instead, pursue the things you love doing, and then do them so well that people can’t take their eyes off you.”

Bottom line we are grateful, are hearts are full and we look forward to another year together. We wouldn’t be here without some truly amazing people who have been our support.  Special thanks and gratitude to the two best hubbies in the world, Kenny and Jose for dealing with us day in and day out. Momma Cohen, Aunt Mara, Uncle John, for giving us the chutzpah to fly!

Why Surfing…Why Surfset?!

In today’s world we are constantly looking for the next best thing. Whether it be technological or fitness related. Alicia and I are consistently reading, learning and growing in our own practice. We thrive on what’s new and exciting to challenge us and our clients while keeping in the realm of our ideologies which can be hard in the fitness industry…shake weight/belly belt!!

We are definitely not your cookie cutter Pilates instructors at TONE. So, it’s important that whatever we do, we stay true to our beliefs and foundations. It’s imperative to love your workout or you won’t do it. We realize the need for cardiovascular activity, both of us struggle to find ways to enjoy what can be the mundane task of running on the treadmill.

Enter SurfSet! As dancers we always liked being motivated in a group setting. We are not enthralled with running on the treadmill or the elliptical, it’s much like a hamster in a ball and it’s hard to stay present and aware of our body patterns in these situations. We both would rather take a class and feed off the energy of the class for motivation. SurfSet is exactly what we’ve been looking for. It allows us to challenge the heart and have a great time while doing it.

Many times we see bad form on the treadmill and elliptical. Round backs, rolled shoulders, no controlled breath and no connection to their core. At TONE we are sticklers on form, breath and a clear connection to our center (core).

SurfSet combines this level of core training merely because it’s on an unstable surface. It combines cardio and strength circuits so before you know it, your heart is pumping, you’re sweating, possibly swearing and burning calories.

So bottom line: We all get bored, we all like a challenge and SurfSet will help you Spring into Summer!!

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Two women + one dream = TONE

Two women, one dream and a LOT of hard work.

Looking back over the last few years, it has been an amazing journey with many ups and downs but we wouldn’t have traded it for the world. From the moment Alicia and I met each other we knew we were meant to work together. I can remember the exact moment that we met each other way back when in December 2007.  That was the moment that changed our lives as we knew it.

We have been dreaming, developing, creating and working together ever since. We are two women who are passionate and determined and truly love what we do. We are thrilled to be able to share it with our clients, friends, loved ones as well as everybody and anybody we meet.

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We really want this blog to reflect who we are: fun loving women, instructors, wives, entrepreneurs and friends. We look forward to sharing our adventures with all of you.
Welcome to our blog in our special corner of the big city.