“The feet are the trunk of the tree — they are our base to hold up the rest of the branches of our body,” says Carey Macaleer, the owner and lead instructor of Aline Pilates, the most specialized, curated experience in the technique. Her studio, located in Brooklyn, NY, trains a wide clientele, from celebrities to athletes, fitness veterans, newbies, the elderly and pre-and-post natal programs for women. They come for Carey’s expertise and her unique perspective when it comes to Pilates and health. For one, it starts with your feet.
“Foot alignment is the ‘secret sauce’ in Pilates,” says Macaleer, a trained dancer who discovered the technique when she was just 12-years old. “ Having correct alignment from your five metatarsals to the knee to the hips is going to help ease hip and low back pain. Believe it or not, it will even help with your neck or upper back pain.”
Macaleer’s studio is known to create specialized programs for everyone, including one-to-one training, group sessions, a customized “Wellness Hour” that goes deep into the needs of her clients, as well as pre-and-post natal sessions that provide exercises to help strengthen the pelvic floor and prepare the body for the stress of labor and recover in its aftermath. At the root of all her training practices is the belief that it all starts with the feet.
Though her repertoire includes many techniques, she recommends five specific exercises, which involves curling, pressing, raising and pointing toes, stretching calf Achilles and feet (which prevent Plantar faciatis) and flexing at ankles.
“Pilates works so many different areas of the body – it’s a full workout, but working the feet is the hidden secret,” she says. “Once you get your feet moving and aligned, it opens up a whole new connection to the core that you did not know existed. It all starts in the feet,” she says matter-of-factly. “It confronts all our issues and ultimately all our success.
Macaleer opened Aline Pilates three years ago, and since then it has become one of the most popular studios — so much so, she will be growing the business in the coming year. Her team of veteran trainers and her passion for helping and improving all her students has made Aline the go-to experience for Pilates aficionados, young and old.
“I teach women, men, professional athletes, marathon runners, prenatal, postnatal clients, even people over 80 years old, who are some of the strongest!” says Macaleer. “Clients come to us with individual goals. These could be as simple as strengthening their core or toning their body, but a lot of times it represents something else happening in their bodies, whether it’s recovering from a sports injury or strengthening their body after the birth of a child. We have a firm belief that by introducing Pilates into people’s everyday routines, they will become stronger both mentally and physically,” says Macaleer.”