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Want a Better Body?

Who Doesn’t! A Great Place to Start is Better Bodies Pilates

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Article by Judy Goppert

Photography by Janie Jones

Originally published in Lee's Summit Lifestyle

Who doesn’t? A great place to start is Better Bodies Pilates.

Better Bodies Pilates owner Becky Suarez is living proof that life’s changes can improve your health, wellbeing and, yes, your body. She actively not only talks the talk, she walks the walk and loves sharing her story to inspire others to live a better, more enjoyable life.    

Becky grew up in Independence, graduated from William Chrisman High School, then went to Mizzou. As a former military spouse, she made numerous moves including California, Maryland, North Carolina and Northern Virginia/D.C. Her return to the Lee’s Summit area was prompted by a need to be near her aging parents and raise her two daughters in the Midwest.

Both daughters graduated from Blue Springs South, and the oldest is a Mizzou grad and lives locally with her husband. Her youngest is in nursing school in Iowa.    

Becky’s path to the world of Pilates came through necessity, as so many of us can relate to when it comes to life changes.

“Due to scoliosis, an abnormal curvature of the spine, I am predisposed for having back issues. I also delivered my first daughter via C-section which compromises deep core muscles,” Becky says. “In my late thirties, which was the late ‘90s, I began experiencing chronic, nagging low back pain. I began doing internet searches for ‘cures for back pain’ and the results were consistently Pilates!”

At that time in her life, she was living in the Washington, D.C. area, where Pilates classes were abundant. Within a month of participating in them, her backache was gone, and she was in love with Pilates. As a former teacher, she realized her next subject to teach needed to be The Pilates Method.

“After I returned to Missouri in 2006, I went through my Pilates Instructor Certification at Personal Best Pilates Studio, in Overland Park. I taught there full-time from 2008 to 2013 which is what prompted the purchase of the studio in January, 2018,” she says. “It's a beautiful, spa-like environment, and I always dreamed of bringing the feel of this studio to the loyal clients in Lee's Summit. That is why I am so excited to share the new space on Woods Chapel Road. It is beautiful.”

This new studio has a luxurious feel with studio equipment crafted by Balanced Body, offering private equipment lessons, small-group classes, Pilates, therapeutic wall yoga and energetic barre intensity classes. 

Pilates is distinguished by the specially designed equipment that Joseph Pilates designed and refined during the 1900's. The Pilates reformer is the most well-known and popular piece. It is spring loaded and has a sliding carriage which one can lie down on, sit on or even stand. This creates a "controlled instability" which helps with balance, proprioception and resistance training all in one move.

“All of our certified instructors have gone through rigorous 500-hour programs to learn about body mechanics and how to use the equipment to guide people safely through the exercises in the Pilates repertoire whether they are a private client or a small-group client,” she says. “That is another thing that sets us apart -- small groups of four to five people per session in our equipment classes, and no more than 10 to 12 in our mat classes.”

Her eight instructors include four current or former teachers, like her, one former nurse, one who has four children under the age of 7, and one who has lupus and uses Pilates to manage the condition. Three of her instructors are also yoga certified and teach therapeutic toga utilizing the Wall of Yoga.

Becky is engaged to her fiancé, Dick, now her business partner. They live in Prairie Village, and she teaches at all three studios. 

“I love to teach clients and guide instructors through their journeys. I became a Master Teacher via The Pilates Center of Boulder, Colorado over the course of three years, and it is my pleasure and joy to work with everyone,” she says. 

The Ralph Powell location is now open. Make a point to visit and get to know this wonderful team of people.

Better Bodies Pilates is located at 625 N.E. Woods Chapel Road, Lee’s Summit, MO 64064, and 400 S.W. Longview Blvd, Ste 105, Lee’s Summit, MO 64081. Their sister studio, Personal Best Pilates, is located in Overland Park, Kansas, at 6600 College Blvd. Visit BetterBodiesPilates.com and KCPilates.com for more information.

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