944 - Your Inner Diva
NINA WALDMAN WANTS TO BALANCE YOUR BODY IN MIND - MARCH 2006
BY SHAYNA NACKONEY PHOTOGRAPHY BY BRIAN BROWN
As I walk into the high-end fitness studio in Henderson, I am greeted by a beautifully toned woman who could serve as a life-size advertisement for the benefits of Pilates. She's Nina Waldman, native Las Vegas and owner of the Valley's two all-in-one beauty and fitness dream boutiques-the body in Mind Pilates Studios. I'm excited and a little nervous. I'm taking my first private Pilates class from the fitness diva, and I don't quite feel loose, sexy or confident. Waldman's class is about to change all of that.
She leads me over to this funky looking (and at first, slightly intimidating) machine call the Reformer. We go through a variety of exercises on this crazy, yet effective contraption. Waldman continually emphasizes that I should keep engaging my abdominals. Pulling my belly button towards my spine throughout the duration of each exercise was more challenging than I had anticipated. I entered Waldman's studio with what I thought to be a pretty sufficient Olympic-level athletic background, but nonetheless, my tummy was in full trembling mode during the classes Pilates exercise "the hundred".
As I lie on my back with my wrists and feet in straps, and my legs lifted up to a 45-degree angle, holding my head and tops of my shoulders up, I extend my knees and grimace as I try to keep my feet, knees and thighs firmly pressed together while pumping my arms up and down by my sides. "Breathe, don't forget to breathe, feel your breath in the back of your ribs," Waldman politely reminds me in her calm, soothing voice.
After that session, I can now say that I fully understand where both the body and the mind come into play during Pilates. The Body in Mind Pilates Studio is meant to promote that understanding - a sense of physical harmony and well-being for people of all ages and athletic abilities.
Waldman first became intrigued with Pilates in the late '90s when her husband - former professional basketball player H Waldman - slipped a disc in his back while playing overseas. A major part of his rehabilitation was practicing Pilates. Waldman, who was already working as a personal trainer then, became a certified Pilates instructor as well. The led her to open her first Body in Mind Pilates Studio in Jerusalem. Upon returning to the Valley, Waldman opened a studio in the Las Vegas Sporting House which eventually moved to a location at the Las Vegas Athletic Club at Rainbow and Lake Mead. But in May of 2005, Waldman took everything her clients have ever asked for in a high-end fitness boutique and opened her Body in Mind Pilates Studio in Henderson.
The are two types of Pilates exercises, those that are done on the mat and those that use the five different pieces of equipment. Both are geared towards the same goal of core stability and strength. Mat classes have 34 exercises to choose from and there are over 500 that can be performed on the five apparatus. Such a variety of exercises that help Waldman and her 14 certified Pilates instructors ensure that their sessions never become monotonous.
Waldman has incorporated all aspects of health and beauty under one roof in her Body in Mind Pilates Studio. The serene boutique gives a sense of self and immediately gratifying feeling of "I'm worth it." Body in Mind Pilates Studio is fully equipped with everything a person need to stay beautiful, toned, physically fit and healthy. Nina not only offers beginning, intermediate, advanced and super advanced Pilates training at the studio, but she also offers different sexy and fun cardio classes. The choices range from striptease cardio and pole dancing classes with fitness model and dance instructor Fawnia Mondey-Dietrich, to kickboxing. The kickboxing workout is specifically designed to burn up to an astonishing 1,200 calories in just one class. For the final touch in achieving Waldman's goal of balancing the body and the mind, her clients have the option of a post-workout massage or facial.
Waldman says she does not want her clients to feel intimidated to try out these relatively new ways to burn off those weekend brownies. She wants women of all ages and backgrounds to feel comfortable in the studio, have fun, let loose, and feel sexy and confident. "It's about the tease," says Nina as she explains the cardio striptease class. "It's about coming in a sports bra, a tank top and a jacket, and slowly unzipping the jacket. The class teaches you the tease while learning a sexy, sultry dance routine designed to create longer, leaner muscles just like Pilates."
Waldman offers private Pilates sessions; each new client must attend at least two before joining a group Pilates class. "This allows the client to learn the exercises in their proper sequence as well as get the necessary one-one-one attention that everybody needs prior to joining a class."
The most popular class right now is the Reformer class. It is not only the most affordable, but it is also one of Waldman's favorites - and it's beautiful to watch. "Everybody in the class is synchronized and there is a little bit of healthy competition but also camaraderie because everybody is into their routine. It's so aesthetically pleasing to see five bodies doing the exact same thing together."
Classes at the Body in Mind Pilates Studio range anywhere from $10 to $65. Waldman offers numerous amounts of packages to satisfy all of her clients' personal needs. It's an investment in health, beauty and spiritual well-being - one that starts with an intial public offering courtesy of Body in Mind.