South Central WI Archive
  • South Central Wisconsin
  • August 2015
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Pilates Method — Meet Ellen Utter

Fifteen years ago I attended my first stretch class at Gold’s Gym on Madison’s East side. Stretching at this time was not second nature to me. I loved the way it felt to move and stretch all of my muscles. After encouragement from the instructor, I decided to sign up for Pilates mat techniques training. In this class I learned the basic breathing, alignment and the sequence of the beginning mat exercises. This transitioned into regular mat classes that I’ve attended over the years and teach at the present time.

Most of my fitness routines up until that point included biking, walking, swimming, treadmills and elliptical machines at the gym. During this same time, I regularly took hatha yoga classes at the gym and at the State Department of Health Services. Yoga complemented Pilates mat for me. I discovered that mindful movement, strength training and stamina could be achieved without a circuit of weighted machines and a lot of repetitions. The human body is like an instrument that can be finely tuned with the right exercises and movements. After taking many hours of Pilates classes and both mat and yoga classes, the decision to become a certified instructor was a no brainer. There was still so much to learn from other instructors. Guess what? I’m still learning and improving every day. The disciplines of Pilates and yoga have taught me the power of a mind/body connection. If you carefully listen and picture the imagry I give you as I cue, your brain and your body will follow along.

My certifications include Power Pilates, AAA/ISMA in both yoga and Pilates mat, PiYO, and Basi Fit just recently. I’ve also received training in a downtown Barre studio. I began teaching barre classes over the past year and apply core fusion, Stott and Barre3 principles. It just keeps getting better. My best teacher, role model and the one who inspired me to teach owns a Pilates studio in Madison. Clients learned how to deepen and really work so many more muscles. The cueing became easier for me as I took hours of Master Training in the winter of 2012. After this comprehensive training was complete, I had made it my own. Today I apply the methods based on Joseph Pilates, the founder of this truly phenomenal exercise method and teach pure Pilates, pure yoga, a blend of both, and Pilates barre.

The barre classes apply the basic Pilates method of alignment — something I myself had to correct and improve upon. I really am committed to teaching new clients and some I’ve taught for years. There is always a new cue that makes more sense, or the satisfaction of having given someone a great feeling of confidence and new energy.


“The Pilates barre class taught by Ellen Utter is a wonderful way to promote core strength, balance and intensive toning. The class energizes while strengthening your muscles. Classes are always a little different and time just flies. This class also reshapes your body!” —Karen Haagensen

I highly recommend Ellen Utter’s Pilates barre classes. Your core is strengthened and toned. Your posture and balance improve. The classes provide intensive toning of your body!” —Emily Howell

Visit Ellen’s website for more descriptions of her classes:

Contact her at 608-334-3773 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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