“Strength for Life.” It’s not just a catchphrase or marketing gimmick but a mission statement for Carey Macaleer, the founder of Aline Pilates, New York’s most tailored experience. A haven for the most seasoned practitioners, fitness enthusiasts and those just looking for a life change, Aline Pilates provides the most expert, seasoned training for a bursting clientele. And an essential part of that is giving clients the tools to maintain their well-being, including physical strength, health and peace of mind.
“We have a firm belief that by introducing Pilates into people’s everyday routines, they will become stronger both mentally and physically,” says Macaleer, a former dancer who discovered the practice at 12-years old. “We have an incredibly diverse group of clients from all walks of life and ages, from teens to seniors, and our hope is that we can open their eyes to a sustainable Pilates program that will exist outside of our studio walls. We aim to give them a roadmap for keeping their bodies’ strong over their entire life. As teachers we all work hard to keep synergy for the student.”
Discovered by Joseph Pilates during the eve of the 20th century, Pilates has proven to be a resilient practice that emphasizes alignment and breathing while developing a strong core (abdominals, hips, and low back) and improving coordination and balance. Macaleer and her highly experienced, passionate trainers help clients achieve this through five distinct principles: centering, control, precision, breath and flow. “Pilates helps you to learn how to engage certain muscle groups that may not be firing so the body works evenly and systematically helping to improve balance, flexibility and deep core strength,” she says. “Pilates can be done with no machines and on a mat or on Pilates apparatus.
Aline Pilates, based in the Brooklyn’s Carol Gardens neighborhood, boasts a diverse clientele that spans the entire New York market.
“I teach women, men, professional athletes, elderly — even over 80 years old! — as well as marathon runners, prenatal, postnatal and even clients with Parkinson’s and MS,” 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 live, whether it’s recovering from a sports injury or strengthening their body after the birth of a child.”
Aline Pilates offers a full menu of sessions, including tower, reformer and chair-mat based classes, as well as a highly tailored “Wellness Hour” which combines many techniques to help her clients achieve desired results. The studio has also gained prominence for its pre and post-natal programs, which provide exercises to help strengthen the pelvic floor and prepare the body for the stress of labor and recover in its aftermath. “Our focus is to not just give a workout, but to help women gain specific support to offset certain health issues that can come up during pregnancy,” says Macaleer. “We work with women in all their different stages of pregnancy and post,” including consulting with clients’ physical therapists “to make sure we are bringing the most we can to the women during a very special but sometime complicated time.”
Macaleer has also created a video series of video workouts that can be done anywhere. “I see firsthand how busy our clients are and how difficult it is to find the time to make it to the studio,” she says. The first video, “Aline Blast,” is 15-minute session clients can do without props. “Our goal with these videos is to provide all of the unique high-quality instruction found within our studio, but for anyone that is time starved or doesn’t live in close proximity to Carroll Gardens, Brooklyn,” Macaleer says.
While clients come from all walks of life, one commonality Macaleer is seeing is the prevalence of desk-bound men and women stuck in a stationary position most of the day. They are the perfect candidates for aline’s classes.
“Sitting is the new smoking,” Macaleer says. “Because our work is so much on a computer/phone, we habitually have to be more ‘forward’ in posture. This forward posture of our head, because we are looking down, can cause headaches, weakness in the neck, and low back pain. In order that we combat the amount of ‘forward living,’ we need to in our exercise make sure we are working to increase proper posture, stretching and strengthening of all the muscles that keep our skeletal system upright.”
Macaleer is not only a trained practitioner, coach and teacher, she is an entrepreneur who is giving voice to female entrepreneurs. “Aline is a woman-owned small business, and it’s important we be a part of our community,” says Macaleer. She recently started a program called “The Parlor Series” which welcomes local residents into the studio for events, talks, complimentary classes and consultations and other community-centric sessions.