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Fitness & Health 

(cont.)

gravitational pressure off the nerve roots and spinal disks
while increasing the space between vertebrae. Because of
that, inversion therapy has been known to provide
temporary back pain relief. By decompressing the spine, a
proper posture and alignment can be achieved.

It’s also been said AntiGravity workouts can improve
circulation, unclog the digestive system, and help with the
microcirculation of the lymphatic – and therefore the
immune – system.

Beyond the physical workout, what attracted Cascais to
the workout was its mind-body balance, an undertone that
pairs perfectly with her philosophy. For her, exercise isn’t a
true exercise if it only engages the body; it should also pull
in the mind into the workout.

“We’re so rigid because we limit ourselves,” Cascais says.
“But doing something like AntiGravity, where you’re
suspended in the air and upside down, is completely
limitless. It helps to expand your range beyond what you
think your limit might be.”

BEHIND THE SCENES

The AntiGravity workout fit seamlessly into Cascais’s
studio, which has a “no pain, more gain” focus. Her
instructors have taken the required 50-hour course on
AntiGravity training, recognizing not only the correct
positions and movements, but also safety protocols to
prevent injuries.

“My whole concept is to work out non-invasively, with no
impact on your body, so AntiGravity was ideal for my
studio,” says Cascais, who also offers various Pilates and
spin classes, as well as acupuncture and nutrition
programs. “I don’t want my clients to walk out of my studio
sore. That’s unnatural because soreness is a result of micro
tears to your muscles. Instead, my clients leave bouncing
off the walls and feeling great about themselves.”

The Bulgaria-born Cascais and her Pro Pilates Lifestyle
Solutions now serve 5,000 area clients. A certified
Romana’s Pilates and American College of Sports
Medicine instructor, Cascais’s hands-on approach to 
each of those clients have kept her motivated to 
continue training and educating people on how to 
better their bodies.

“We all were given this Ferrari,” Cascais begins, referring to
the human body, “and then what do we do? We drive it over
the curb. But what I want to do is get you back on track and
in better condition than when you came into my studio.”

RV

ANTIGRAVITY WORKOUT TIPS

Cover Up:To prevent the hammock rubbing against
your skin, wear long-sleeve shirts and pants.

Be Open:Unless you’re a Cirque du Soleil performer,
it’s unlikely you’ve ever been inverted for minutes at a
time. Be open to the moves and poses as that’ll help
you achieve the full benefits of the workout.

Stay Hydrated:For first-time goers, it’s common to feel
nauseous after blood rushes to the head from the
inversions. Drinking cold water can help quell that
feeling.

Trust the Hammock:Once properly secured in the
hammock, there’s virtually no way to fall out of it. 
Trust that the hammock will hold you in through all 
your inversions.

Tonka Cascais, Owner, Pro Pilates

AntiGravity Fitness classes are great fun 

and can provide developmental benefits for kids, as well.