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The Bend Magazine

Movement as Medicine

01/30/2020 02:00PM ● By Alexis Harborth

By: Alexis Harborth  Photos by: Lillian Reitz

Located in the scenic Gaslight Square is Pilates Studio Be, a fitness studio whose numerous classes are each grounded in the fundamental Pilates principles of centering, breathing, precision, and control.

The founder and owner of Studio Be is Mariah McQueen, a licensed GYROTONIC® trainer, certified Pilates instructor, and physical therapist. She has been working in the world of rehab and Pilates for more than 20 years, and opened her first Pilates studio in 2001 to share the healing art of Pilates, which helped transform her life and health.

“I have scoliosis and found that Pilates was so much better for my body than other activities,” she says. “With my physical therapy background, I decided to go into Pilates-based rehab after experiencing how beneficial it is.”

Her dream has now grown to be a fitness and wellness center with a robust calendar of sessions led by a total of five licensed instructors. Each week, they hold more than 40 classes, which include an apparatus class, muscle therapy, power Pilates, and more. Each of Studio Be’s classes are centralized around foundational core concepts. 

“There are primary Pilates principles that everything is centered around. The principles include breath, centering, fluidity, control, precision, integration, intuition, and concentration,” McQueen says. By performing short sets of 4-8 repetitions of each exercise, up to 40-50 exercises may be incorporated into a single Pilates session. “This way, no muscle groups are overworked or over-trained,” she explains. They also offer classes based in The GYROTONIC® Method, which is like Pilates with a twist – literally.

“Whereas Pilates tends to have a more linear component, The GYROTONIC® Method is based on patterns of rotation and spiraling.”

McQueen also ensures that each class leverages a person’s core to help them carry out the series of strengthening and leaning moves. The studio has Pilates reformer machines, which uses a person’s body weight and the machine’s springs to create resistance and a challenging workout. 

“A reformer is a moveable carriage with spring-loaded resistance. You are working with the springs of the machine to help guide you through the motions. It not only guides you, but also adds resistance to make you stronger. It’s a type of resistance training without weights,” she says. “If you are kneeling or standing on the carriage, you need concentration, control, precision, and fluidity to maintain balance. Every element of the Pilates repertoire is incorporating some form of core stability. Even if you are working your legs, you are also working your abs.”

When it comes to what she wants attendees to experience in her classes, McQueen hopes for joy and enhanced well-being. “Movement is medicine,” she says.

As the saying goes: If you love what you do, you never work a day in your life. “It’s never boring. I’ve been doing this for 20 years, and I’m still inspired,” McQueen says.

1020 Santa Fe St, Corpus Christi, TX 78404
361.884.2673  |