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Holly Jean Cosner Shares Her NYC Favorites

Best Pilates Instructor in NYC filling Urban Wellness Clinic in on her daily tips:

Mantra to carry you through the day:

“Detach with Love”

Applies to SO many big and small aspects of life. I grew up in very chaotic circumstances and became a control freak at a young age. As I get older I realize that it is not a healthy or reasonable way to live life, but I still have to remind myself to let go of that instinctive codependent thinking. Its a big lesson for me and certainly a work in progress!

If you could share a piece of wisdom or comfort with a younger version of yourself, what would it be?

Stop being so hard on yourself and don’t compare yourself to anyone else. Embrace everything about yourself that is unique. Learn about finances sooner than later!

Go-To shoe to run around the city and work out in:

Fall/Winter : Knee high riding boots with a high wedge heel.

Spring /Summer : Bussola Nude wedge sandals

I have high arches, so flats are never a comfortable option for me when I walk around the city.

 Holly Jean Cosner Pilates Exercises

Music playing through your life right now:

For chill clients and Pilates or Yoga classes, I have a mix in my iPod of lots of great artists including : Bon Iver, James Blake, Red House Painters/ Sun Kil Moon, Volcano Choir

For Barre class, which needs to be very upbeat : Jay Z, Melker Project mixes, Missy Elliot, lots of hip hop

Favorite Restaurant:

A tie between Momoya and Bombay Talkie

Favorite place for a quick grab for food:

Sunrise on Broome st.  Its a little Japanese market with fresh sushi, salads, rice balls and lots of yummy little things.

Any kind of exercises you are playing with right now?

I’m playing around with gliders and bands lately in class. My latest muscle obsession is the QL… I’m looking for new avenues to strengthen (and stretch) it.

Favorite single exercise, if you were to do only 1, whether it be a class or a single move:

If I could only do one class or style of movement it would probably be Barre. Its a full body workout, with some dance/yoga and pilates elements, light resistance training and cardio.  Plus its the most fun for me and I love working closely with music.

How do you take care of and nourish your body in the demands of NYC life?

Movement: flexibility and strength, patterning of movements

I get a fair of movement throughout my teaching days because I teach a variety of classes and I have to demo a lot of what I teach. For a long time I discounted that and would make myself go to other classes or do my own workouts everyday after teaching for sometimes 6-8 hours a day. But my acupuncturist finally convinced me to stop working so hard physically. So now I only do personal workouts about 3 times a week and I actually feel much better.

For my workouts, I like to train outside of the realm of what I teach : spin classes, ballet or yogaCardio is super tedious for me. So I go to Emily Fawcett at SoulCycle because she’s the ONLY one who can inspire me to push myself out of my comfort zone.

Eating habits

I tend to skip breakfast for 2 reasons :

1. I’m usually teaching from the get go and I find it really hard to demo well with a full stomach.

2. I also find that if I start eating first thing in the morning, I keep wanting to eat all day long.  I do much better to wait until around 11 before I eat anything and then its usually grapefruit or an apple for energy before my 2nd class. After that class I just have private clients for the rest of the day, so I usually grab a light lunch around 2 and keep walnuts and almonds in my bag in case of emergency for later.

Mental nourishing

ALONE TIME. Since so much of my work is giving energy to my students and clients, I definitely need time to myself everyday to just be quiet and meditate.

What is the simplest change you’ve made in your life that has had the biggest positive impact?

Pretty much anything my Acupuncturist Nalini has suggested: cutting back on over exercising, supplementing with D-Ribose and some chinese herbs she suggested, and cutting ties with some negative people of my life. Its a strange mix of things but all of them have made a huge difference in my life.

How you walk your talk as a leader in your industry ?

I have a VERY solid foundation in Classical Pilates, Yoga and Ballet. Everything I do can be traced back to one of those 3 practices and I know all of them very well in my mind but also in my body. So no matter how I choose to take a variation of any movement in class, I can always back it up with an origin and reason for taking it in any direction I choose to go in that moment.

What creative steps you take to keep the practice fresh?

I play around with movement all the time. I love to take a prop and figure out new ways to use it, find fun ways to transition between exercises or use the larger Pilates equipment and figure out new ways of doing things or making up exercises on it.

What connects us all/ the bigger picture or inspiration?

As teachers and body workers, no matter what our chosen medium, we all want to make people feel better and function optimally in their bodies. There really is not just one path to that. The fact that we can mix all styles of movement and philosophies to help each other find new ways of approaching our own work is really exciting to me. I feel sad when I see people pushing only 1 thing as the be all, end all way to exercise. There is something valid to all of it, so why do we need to close our minds to any of it? It seems to me there is room for everyone to bring something to the table and we don’t need to shut down other styles of training just because we don’t personally relate to it. I’d love to see the fitness and wellness community continue to grow more diverse and welcoming to new ideas and practices.