Yoni is an excellent Pilates instructor. She teaches Classical Pilates, as its creator Joseph Pilates intended it to be taught. This is a rare skill, and a valuable resource for her students. Her teaching technique is incisive, precise, and pleasant. She has a discerning eye, and this results in her ability to tailor each lesson to the strength, skill level, and injuries of the individual student. She breaks down even the most challenging exercises into manageable portions, and then, when all of them have been mastered, assembles them into a new accomplishment for her student. I have finished every session with Yoni feeling stronger, more balanced, and more tranquil than when I started. Yoni is a treasure.
Bill William Henry
Las Vegas, NV
I love taking lessons with Yoni! She is a caring, supportive teacher who makes sure I am getting the maximum amount of benefit from the exercises. My hamstrings feel looser than they were and my core is stronger. I can stand for long periods of time without fatigue or lower back pain. I've never been someone who loved exercising, but doing Pilates with Yoni is a treat for my body! I highly recommend.
Las Vegas, NV
A year ago I started skiing for the first time in my life. Every vacation I went to and every time I tried, I kept falling off. And when I did succeed , my body got exhausted after only 20 minutes of skiing. This year something change. I’ve started Pilates only two month before I want skiing again. Unlike last year I immediately felt the change in me- I was strong, my posture was incredible and not only did I not fall, my body was so strong and fit that I skied for a few hours (of course with some break) without even feeling any muscle in my body that was hurting or exhausted. The change was so amazing that everyone noticed it. I could not believe how much the Pilates will make a changed in my body in such a short time and it was amazing to discover it!
Las Vegas, NV
I have always led a healthy and active lifestyle, constantly involved in some sport or physical activity. I have been a member of a ‘pumping iron’ type gym, a womens’ fitness club and more recently, a couple of Pilates studios. Being a Physiotherapist I have spent more than 20 years helping others regain physical function, thus have good understanding of how the body works. Before staring Pilates in the studio where I met Yoni, I did not realize that I had always been working on the strong distal muscle groups, creating an imbalance. I thought that having already done Pilates for a year, I did not needprivate lessons. However, I understood the absolute necessity for initial private lessons when I saw how the instructors were constantly watching and correcting each student, according to their individual body structure and imbalances. This enables the student to extract the most from each exercise at his or her level. The student can then integrate the new awareness during group sessions to improve mind/body control and work from the core. People come and go, but Yoni’s classes are the best frequented amongst all the instructors. Yoni has an ability to focus on each and everyone in the group and to guide you precisely how and where to change the execution of the movement to improve the exercise. She has a wide variety of tools - words, imagery, sensations – to make each student comprehend the subtle changes required. I am sad to see Yoni leave and I envy the people who will gain her as their instructor.
Thousand Oaks, CA
I have worked with Yoni Avni for a year, three times a week. In that time I have worked with three other teachers in the Teague Pilates studio including Cathy Teague, Yoni’s mentor. What I am happy and fortunate to say is that Yoni puts first in her approach the care of the student. She exhibits this by her patience, her encouragement and her endlessly varied ways of finding a way for the student to experience what she is explaining. Her knowledge is comprehensive and seemingly inexhaustible, but that would mean nothing if it weren’t for her very real gift for teaching. She represents Pilates work in her effortless strength and grace when she demonstrates for the student’s understanding some simple or magnificently complex posture. She is always ready with a smile, and a nod of support that radiate delightful inner joy. What more can one ask for, a beautiful teacher , a delightful personality, and exceeding great competence? Pilates the practice, has addressed ways that my body has compensated for a back problem of forty years. My body has found ways of protecting a remembered injury by eliminating certain kinds of movements and unnecessarily flexing muscles in anticipation of imagined problems. What Pilates has done is relieved me of sensing a need for protection. The muscles are in training to work together, thereby not taxing one particular group to provide support in a manner it cannot fulfill. I have a new freedom of movement in something as simple as running across the street. I can pick up my daughters with an ease that once was just strength. Pilates is an exercise for functional strength. Isn’t that the purpose of exercise?
I started to study Pilates a year ago with Yoni Avni as my primary teacher. The last year has changed my life, my posture and my energy. I have been tall all my life and tried my best to always stand straight and tall but what Pilates has given me is the abdominal strength to do so without stress or my mother's knuckle digging into my back. I am at ease with myself in a whole new way. I was never a very athletic child, never on a team or competitive in a sport. I did always move and take various classes I learned tennis and swimming and dance, but I also read a great deal. I became more athletic as an adult and I have at various times danced, skied, skated, lifted weights and done yoga (8 years consistently). I also ride a bit and swim in the summers. Through my adult life I have given birth to two daughters but lived through 6 pregnancies. None of my activities have repaired my body the way pilates has. I now have the waist I wanted back after the birth of my youngest child. I now have the arms I always wanted even back when I was very skinny and 22. They are finally defined in a way that 10 years of gym workouts, weights and cardio, never gave me. I love my arms now. My legs have returned to what they were when I was doing karate three times a week. Firm and strong without having to literally fight for it. I had a chronic neck problem...I carried all my stress there and had to be very careful in how I used my neck in order to not throw it out of whack. That problem is gone. I find myself doing things in my daily life while incorporating Pilates from picking up my groceries to hugging my kids to throwing a ball for our dog. Yesterday was my last lesson with Yoni. In my last lesson I did things on the cadillac that I hadn't done since I was 12. Flipping my body and hanging upside down to do things I never imagined I could do at 43 years old. But I did! And my husband was there to see them as we took this lesson together. My body has youthened in this past year. I have a great deal of faith in my ability and in Pilates ability to bring me back to the way I was when I was a kid and felt free in all my joints and in my movements. Back to a time when I would flip around a bar on my school playground high above asphalt without a thought as to my own safety but confident in my strength and balance. I am very sorry to lose Yoni as a teacher as she moves back home to teach and open her own studio. I will be missing her ready smile, her sense of humor and her uncanny ability to see exactly which muscles I am using regardless of what I am wearing. There is never any chance of fooling her or of not doing it all the time. She has been incredibly sensitive to my fear about injuring my neck. I never have hurt it in any way working with her. She is very flexible in her approach and finds ways to deal with my body's idiosyncrasies. I have long legs and we needed to adapt things until my muscles became strong enough to accommodate the length. There is not one approach to an exercise but many approaches which deal with everyone's shape and ability and Yoni always has had a way to deal with mine. I will continue to study Pilates without Yoni but I know I will hear her in my head reminding me of the many things I have learned from her. She has truly found her calling in teaching this technique. Our 9 year old daughter and her 5-year-old sister are starting to learn as well. What a gift to go through life without crunching down into one's self! I envy them their early knowledge.
Classical Pilates is an excellent way to rehabilitate after hip replacement surgery. I had my hip replaced shortly after I started practicing Pilates over a decade ago. Hip replacement surgery is usually performed after many years of ever increasing degeneration, chronic discomfort, and declining mobility. Patients bodies - bones, muscles, and nerves, have slowly been warped out of healthy alignment by an unconscious effort to find a less painful gait and posture. Hip replacement surgery is Orthapedic surgeons' most successful surgery, in that, for most patients, pain relief, after years of suffering, is almost immediate. Happy patients make for happy surgeons. The surgeon's goal for the surgery is modest: to leave the patient pain free, and able to get down into a chair and back out of it without struggling. There is more to life than getting in and out of a chair! The bodily degeneration, in posture, spinal misalignment, as well as traumatized muscles and nerves, is not addressed by hip replacement surgery.
My experience of practicing Classical Pilates after hip replacement surgery was a revelation and a blessing. I quickly regained my pre hip degeneration ability to move through everyday life, more importantly I learned all the ways that years of accommodating discomfort had effected my body and habits. My Pilates instructors taught me how to bring my frame into square, relax the muscles that should be relaxed, gently tense those that should be tensed, and give muscles and nerves the opportunity to heal. The many small muscles and ligaments of the surgical hip healed, until I was unable to perceive any difference between my hips. I am stronger, have better balance, and am more athletic now, in the second half of my life, than I was as a teenager. This is a direct result of receiving Classical Pilates instruction.