(This article was originally published at Coral Gables News)
Local fitness enthusiast Christa Gurka is dedicated to improving the overall health and wellness of the Miami community, and she is doing so through the exercise known as Pilates.
A Coconut Grove resident, Gurka, coowner of Pilates in the Grove (3316 Virginia St.) and Pilates on the Beach (712 W. 51 St.), has a contagious energy and passion for sharing the physical and mental health benefits of Pilates to people of all ages and fitness levels.
While she has gained notoriety teaching the exercise to a number of Miami-based celebrities, including Miami Heat coach Erik Spoelstra, WNBA player Ruth Riley, pro volleyball player Kelly Schumacher, and pro golfers Cristie Kerr and Natalie Gulbis, Gurka is committed to helping anyone and everyone live their best life.
“Whether your training for a marathon, need to be limber to chase toddlers around the house or manage the stress of coaching in the NBA, Pilates can prepare anyone for optimal health and wellness, physically and mentally,” Gurka said. “Pilates offers numerous benefits, including increased flexibility and muscle strength, improved balance and respiratory capacity, weight loss, prevention and treatment of back pain, better overall body awareness, and stress relief, to name a few.”
An orthopedic physical therapist specializing in Pilates-based fitness, rehabilitation and injury prevention, Gurka has nearly two decades of experience training those of all ages and levels, and believes in offering her clients personal attention with expert and well-rounded instruction.
“Along with my partners, Shana Kruger and Aliza Bixon, we take pride in knowing that our talented instructors hold advanced degrees and well-rounded backgrounds in physical therapy, occupational therapy, dance movement therapy and massage therapy,” Gurka said. “We also adhere to a low studentteacher ratio, and offer individual sessions and classes ranging from ‘Pilates for Athletes’ to ‘Pink Ribbon Certified Pilates,’ which is tailored to breast cancer survivors looking to regain full range of motion to those areas affected by breast cancer surgery.”
Spreading her message about Pilates from the Grove to Miami Beach and beyond, Gurka is working to help people in the community feel and look their best.