Introducing Doris Pasteleur Hall

Doris Pasteleur Hall is the Program Director and Master Trainer at United Pilates™. Doris brings over 30 years of teaching experience to our students. She has been a teacher trainer since 1997 at PhysicalMind and Balanced Body prior to joining United Pilates™. Doris has conducted numerous workshops internationally on anatomy and movement. As one of the first students of Tom Meyer’s Anatomy Trains, Doris’ teaching is rooted in a deep understanding of kinetic anatomy, body language from kinesis, and neuro-musculo dynamics. In her own practice, she is a renown movement educator, assisting students/clients to recover from injuries and pain. Outside of her practice, her research has centered on somatic modalities of Laban, Body-Mind Centering, and Anatomy in Clay. She has trained and taught at Carol Trier’s Pilates Studio, White Cloud, and the first Gyrotonic studio. We are honored and grateful to present one of the strongest teachers of movement, dance, pilates, and yoga to you.

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Master Trainer Led Certification Courses


Question: What is a Pilates Master Instructor?

Master instructor is a term that is becoming quite commonplace in Pilates teacher advertising. When I think of a master teacher, I think of a wise old Zen master, or at least someone who has many, many years of being an expert in their field. The Merriam-Webster dictionary makes it a little easier to be a master, citing definitions such as: “an artist, performer, or player of consummate skill” and “a worker or artisan qualified to teach apprentices.” One would hope that a Pilates instructor calling him or herself a master teacher would exhibit these qualities, but there is no guarantee.

Answer: Pilates Master Teacher is a Marketing Term

At this time in the Pilates world, “master teacher” is popular a marketing term. It may very well refer to someone with master level experience, but there is no standardized master teacher certification program or credentialing body overseeing the use of the term.

That doesn’t mean there aren’t many master level Pilates teachers — there are. For example, most people agree that the Pilates Elders are master teachers, and there are many others. But the bottom line is that excellent Pilates teachers may or may not call themselves master teachers, and so-so teachers may market themselves as a masters.

Advanced Pilates Teacher Training

There are also a number of advanced Pilates teacher trainings that use the term master as part of their descriptions. These trainings usually require participants to have already graduated from a comprehensive Pilates instructor training program.

Then again, there are plenty of specialized post-graduate programs that don’t happen to use the term master. If you are interested in an instructor with advanced education it is still best to ask directly about the extent of their studies.

Finding Quality Pilates Instruction

It is not necessary to take classes from a “master teacher” to get quality Pilates instruction.

There are many fine Pilates instructors who can take you a long way in your practice before you need a master teacher.

If you are new to Pilates, my advice is to review the tips for finding a good instructor. Familiarize yourself with what Pilates certification means. Talk to as many people as you can about their experiences with different instructors. You can do some research online and via social media. Yelp has ratings of Pilates studios and instructors, as does Angie’s List.

Once you find a class you think will meet your needs, give it a few tries. You will know if you are in the presence of a master.

For a deeper look at Pilates classes, instructors and certification, read these articles:

  • Pilates Instructor Certification Basics: Learn about the differences in Pilates certification. These include Pilates mat certification that ensures the instructor knows about Pilates equipment, and professional certification, including advanced training, sport-specific and rehabilitation training.
  • Issues in Pilates Instructor Certification: A trademark battle resulted in the word Pilates being made a general term for the method of exercise, rather than proprietary. See how this has had an impact on certification.



This content is excerpted from the original source for reading purposes. It is not an endorsed opinion by The Health Alliances Network or The United Pilates Teaching System.


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The Pilates, Yoga, and Tai Chi Energy-Boosting Workout

Source: @FitnessMagazine By Alyssa Shaffer; Photos by Chris Fanning

Yoga, Pilates, and Tai Chi Elements

Sometimes the quietest exercises can be the most invigorating. That’s the case with this energy-boosting routine, which brings together elements of yoga, Pilates, and tai chi.

“Yoga is about stability, Pilates focuses on mobility and stability, and tai chi is all about mobility,” says Lawrence Biscontini, group fitness manager for the Golden Door Spa at Wyndham El Conquistador in Puerto Rico, who designed our program. “Moving from one discipline to the next circulates the energy throughout your body, so you’re refreshed by the end.” You’ll also feel pretty darn strong — these moves are a killer way to sculpt your arms, abs, legs, and butt, using just your body weight for resistance.

Do each circuit three times through, breathing deeply and evenly throughout the workout.

Circuit 1

1. Camelfi050106ginow003

Strengthens: Shoulders; Stretches Front of Body

  • Kneel on floor with feet behind you, legs slightly apart.
  • Stretch your hips and thighs forward while reaching back, placing your hands on your lower back (easier) or heels (more challenging).
  • Gaze up toward ceiling while pushing your hips forward and arching spine; hold for 7 to 10 breaths.

2. Thigh Stretch

Strengthens: Glutes, Core; Stretches Quads

  • Release from Camel and return to start.
  • Inhale, then exhale while leaning back from hips, this time without bending spine, so your body forms a straight line from ears to knees.
  • Place hands on hips (easier) or extend arms in front at shoulder height (more challenging).
  • Come back to start, then repeat. Do 7 to 10 reps.

3. Rising Lunge fi050106ginow004

Strengthens: Legs, Glutes, Hips; Stretches Back

  • From thigh stretch, bring left foot in front of you, left knee bent 90 degrees.
  • Lift right knee off the floor, straightening leg behind you.
  • Sweep arms out as you rise; then lower arms as you sink back down.
  • Do 4 reps; switch sides and repeat.

Circuit 2

1. Tree Pose

Strengthens: Quads, Glutes, Hamstrings; Improves Balance

  • Stand with feet together, palms together in front of chest.
  • Place sole of right foot on left inner thigh, as high as you are able; turn right knee out to side.
  • Keep hands in front (easier) or extend arms overhead, keeping palms together (more challenging).
  • Bend left knee slightly to work quads.
  • Hold for 7 to 10 breaths.
  • Go directly to Single Leg Circle.

2. Single Leg Circle

Strengthens: Glutes, Hamstrings, Inner Thighs; Improves Balance

  • Remaining on left leg from tree pose, straighten right leg and bring it out in front of you, toes pointed toward floor.
  • Drawing abs in, make 1 large circle clockwise with your right foot, keeping hips still; exhale 1 full breath to draw the circle.
  • Keep hands on hips (easier) or arms extended overhead (more challenging).
  • Reverse direction, drawing a counterclockwise circle.
  • Do 7 to 10 reps per direction.
  • Go directly to Rooster Stands on One Leg.

3. Rooster Stands on One Legfi050106ginow010

Strengthens: Glutes, Quads, Hamstrings, Shoulders; Stretches Back

  • Remaining on left leg, bring right leg in front of body, knee bent 90 degrees and thigh parallel to floor.
  • Slowly bend left knee in a half squat, keeping weight over heel.
  • As you squat down, bring arms down in front, then out to sides and back above head as you straighten leg.
  • To make it easier, don’t squat down as deeply and keep your right foot closer to floor.
  • Do 7 to 10 reps.
  • Repeat the entire series, starting from Tree Pose, on opposite leg.

Circuit 3

1. Warrior 1

 Strengthens: Legs, Glutes, Core; Stretches Back
  • Stand with feet 3 to 4 feet apart.
  • Turn left foot out 90 degrees, pointing to left side, and pivot right foot toward left.
  • Bend left knee 90 degrees, knee aligned with ankle; turn hips to face over left thigh.
  • Place hands on hips (easier) or raise both arms overhead, palms facing each other (more challenging).
  • Hold for 7 to 10 breaths. Go directly to Tuck and Extend.

2. Tuck and Extend

Strengthens: Arms, Chest, Glutes; Stretches Hips

  • From Warrior 1, sweep arms down to touch floor on either side of left foot.
  • Step both feet back behind you.
  • Inhale, then exhale as you lift right foot off the floor and sweep knee under body (not shown).
  • Straighten right leg behind you, lifting it as high as you can, then bring knee back toward nose.
  • To make it easier, bring right knee to floor before straightening leg.
  • Do 7 to 10 reps; go directly to Slow Kick.

3. Slow Kickfi050106ginow006

Strengthens: Glutes, Chest, Shoulders; Stretches Hamstrings

  • Lower right foot and walk hands back, rolling up to standing position.
  • Lift right leg, knee bent 90 degrees; bend elbows 45 degrees, palms down (not shown).
  • Slowly kick forward with right foot, leading with the heel; at the same time, slowly push palms forward.
  • Lower and repeat.
  • Do 7 to 10 reps.
  • To make it easier, keep standing leg slightly bent and hands on hips.
  • Repeat entire series on opposite leg.

Get More Early Morning Energy

Question: “What can I do to get more energy for a morning workout?”

Answer: Try these tips from Lawrence Biscontini, coauthor of Morning Cardio Workouts (Human Kinetics, 2006).

  • Think caffeine. Set your automatic coffee maker (or even better, make some green tea) so it’s ready when you get up.
  • Then eat a small snack that’s high in carbs and protein, such as peanut butter on a slice of apple.
  • Finally, choose some new music for your routine. “Just hearing something different can get you moving,” says Biscontini. And of course, make sure you’re going to bed early enough at night.

Try Our Favorite Mind/Body DVDs

Level: Beginner/Intermediate

Soul Stretches (36 minutes; $16.95)
Instructor Ulrick Bien-Aime leads you through 30 different stretches, including two 15-minute workouts designed to bust stress and improve flexibility. Pick the variation that suits your level.

Level: Intermediate

Crunch: Super SlimDown Pilates Yoga Blend (40 minutes; $14.95)
More of a soothing mind/body routine than a heavy calorie burner. Instructor Ellen Barrett starts with a flowing yoga workout, then shifts into a mat-based Pilates segment with challenging variations that will leave you feeling strong, sculpted, and reenergized.

Level: Intermediate/Advanced

Tai Chi for Health Yang Long Form (2 hours; $19.95)
This is billed as the most comprehensive tai chi DVD. Master instructor Terry Dunn carefully details 108 tai chi positions for more than an hour, then puts them all together in a fluid 17-minute series.

All videos are available at

Introduction to Pilates

Introduction to Joseph Pilates and  The United Pilates™ Teaching System

Joseph Pilates created Contrology in the 1920s during years of hardship in Europe prior to immigrating to America. The work, now synonymous to the creator, is referred by many as “pilates”.  

Many confuse this extraordinary work with yoga, although, kinetically speaking, the two are quite different. Joseph Pilates was a pioneer and visionary, ahead of his time, as the exercises prove its efficacy (over time) through the lens of studies and experimentation by sports trainers, researchers, and rehabilitative experts. Some exercises have been modified to suit the purposes of physiotherapists and studio trainers, but much of what is offered to the healthy public falls under two categories: the classical and contemporary approaches. After several decades since its debut to the mass public, the exercise program and method is found in gyms, fitness centers, and health clubs around the world.

The success of pilates as an exercise movement has little to do with hype and fad. Other complementary movements and systems have also found similar esteem as their methods were tried and tested through time. Similarly, the authors and founders of these unique movement (sciences) have all been exemplary students of the human body. Looking specifically at how the body functions and moves with space, gravity, changes, injuries, health, and ailments. 

Joseph Pilates’ Contrology, as taught through the United PilatesTeaching System, is an inquiry to the prescribed methods and exercises; in context with our current knowledge of health science and optimization of biomechanics. Each United Pilates™ Teaching System certificate programs is delivered and hosted with The Health Alliance Network; through dedicated partners and gifted educators. Classes focus on the intent of the choreography sequence and approaches with the purpose of attaining a solid foundation in anatomy and physiology training in harmony with the modern population.fi050106ginow003

The United Pilates Teaching System was created to welcome and train (new and experienced) members into the pilates, studio fitness, and wellness industry and community, through a constructive and comprehensive program that herald the works of past generations, which delivers and maintains Joseph’s original intent: bringing fullness of life to people through exercise and mobility.

Through the course of four certificate programs, anyone with little (to no) pilates, anatomy, or personal training background or experience can become fully certified pilates instructors (as recognized by the Pilates Method Alliance). Each program builds from the central piece, Mat Course, which fosters self practice and begins the teaching practice.

From the first class, the teacher trainee will learn to:

  • present important science-based knowledge in anatomy and physiology,
  • teach in an encouraging and methodological way,
  • assess the needs, and design classes, to help clients reach their fitness goals, and
  • know the sequence and difference between classical and contemporary movements.

We encourage you to learn more about our programs for qualifying individuals and personal enrichment. Hope to see you at one of our courses.

img_0195The United PilatesTeaching System has sought the strict guidance and compliance required by the National Academy of Sports Medicine (USA) for their continuing education units.


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