No Sugar September…Join us!

This September, the Equilibrium community is invited to take a pledge for a Sugar-Free month!

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Join your friends, instructors and fellow clients in taking the pledge for a September with no added sugar. Our Health & Wellness Coach, Sarah Willoughby, will be providing support, tips, recipes and facts throughout the month to help participants keep their promise to themselves.

Our most recent newsletter provided these instructions for those who would like to join:

  1. Email Sarah at to be added to a support email with tips, encouragement and advice.
  2. Ask others to join you in this commitment. Have your whole household participate to help you stay accountable.
  3. Clean out your pantry. Throw away sugary treats that will tempt you.
  4. Stock up on veggies, fruits and nuts. Easy grab and go snacks to avoid cravings.
  5. Mark your calendars. Make your “No Sugar” commitments just as important as your scheduled workouts and meetings.
  6. *Download My Fitness Pal and join the “Equilibrium Studio” group to track your sugar intake.
*We will use My Fitness Pal more during our “Fall into Health” Program this fall. Stay tuned for updates and opportunities to be involved!
Additionally, to get prepared for this wonderful, yet challenging, commitment:
  • Think of exciting, healthy ways to reward yourself. Indulge in a new pair of shoes. Plan a lunch with a sweet friend. Treat yourself to a spa service.
  • Plan to drink lots of water - cravings can be caused by dehydration, plus water will help you flush out your system and begin detoxing.
  • Keep track of why you’ve made this commitment. You’re doing this for YOU. Create a list of the reasons you’re making September sugar free.
  • Reach out anytime with questions or for support. You don’t need sugar, you’re already sweet enough!


Keeping kids active when they’re back to school

Summer provides many opportunities for kids to be active such as swimming at the pool, long neighborhood bike rides and day camps full of games and fun. Back to school schedules make it more difficult to keep up with physical activity and health but it needs to be a priority for kids to stay healthy and alert throughout the school year.

In this segment on Channel 7, Sarah sits down with Erin Nicole to discuss a few tips for keeping kids active and healthy. Sarah’s expertise as a former educator, fitness instructor and holistic health coach make her both knowledgable and passionate about educating parents and children on how to be healthy. By following some of Sarah’s suggestions, not only will students perform better in school now, have less health issues and feel stronger, they will grow into happier and healthier adults in the future. Creating a lifestyle where fitness and nutrition are a priority from a young age will help prevent long-term problems such as obesity, self-esteem issues and disease.

The tips provided in this brief news segment only touch the surface of what can be done. Watch and then contact Sarah by calling the studio at 248.723.6500 or emailing her directly at to ask questions or set up an initial free consultation for you, your child or your entire family.

Additionally, stay tuned because Equilibrium will begin offering classes for adolescents, ages 9-15 years old, this fall!


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Sister-Sister…Wedding Bootcamp Testimonial!

Sisters, Jaclyn and Alyssa, participated in our Wedding Bootcamp package this summer and are keeping up the hard work for the next month until the big day!


Hear what they think of our package, which includes 3 months of unlimited studio fitness classes and one staff private:

Jaclyn, the Bride-to-be, told us, “I loved the bridal boot camp and the flexibility of the unlimited package. It is very helpful for a busy bride whose schedule is filled with work and wedding planning. I was able to go to my favorite Xtend Barre classes with Jessie and found some new favorites like HIIT55 with Sarah. The private lesson is also extremely beneficial because you are able to work one on one with an instructor to target certain areas and correct any issues with form. After completing the first two months, I can tell how much stronger I have become both physically and mentally. I am so happy with how much I have accomplished and strongly recommend any bride and her wedding party to try the boot camp. You definitely will not be disappointed!”

Maid of Honor, Alyssa, was excited to participate with her sister. “I really enjoyed the bridal boot camp and all of the different classes I was able to experience with the unlimited package. I even found a few new favorites! It was a great experience to share with my sister before her wedding. Having a partner to share the classes with definitely helps get you moving. I would highly recommend it to any bride and her wedding party. The package could not be not be more worth it! Not only do you get an unlimited package of studio classes, but also a private class tailored to exactly what you want. Overall, it is a great experience and we loved attending all of the classes — especially those with Sarah and Jessie who are very helpful, encouraging and make class fun.” 


Jaclyn & Alyssa working on specific goals during their private session with Sarah.

Jaclyn & Alyssa working on specific goals during their private session with Sarah.

Sister using the TRX during their private to strengthen and tone with their own body weight.

Using the TRX during their private to strengthen and tone with their own body weight.

The BOSU and body bar combination was a great way for these sisters to sculpt their core muscles.

The BOSU and body bar combination was a great way for these sisters to sculpt their core muscles.

Learn more about our Wedding Bootcamp here and

call the studio 248.723.6500 to sign up!



JUST ADDED: Intensive Reformer near Toledo, OH this FALL


Due to the high demand of our Summer/Fall Intensive Reformer course at Equilibrium, we are offering another course in Perrysburg, Ohio at Essence Mind-Body Studio. This beautiful studio is conveniently located close to Toledo, less than 90 miles from our Bloomfield Hills studio.

If you’ve been interested in reformer training and live close to Toledo, this is a wonderful opportunity for you to learn from our experience STOTT Instructor Trainers in a location closer to home.

See the dates and times below. Spaces are limited so please contact Diana at or call the studio at 419.873.6463 to reserve a spot today!

  • September 19: 4:30-9:30pm, September 20: 10-4:30pm, September 21: 10-4:30pm
  • October 17: 4:30-9:30pm, October 18: 10-4:30pm, October 19: 10-4:30pm
  • December 5: 4:30-9:30, December 6: 10-4:30pm, December 7: 10-4:30pm

 COST: $1700 + materials


Two Month Challenger Update…Congrats Tasha!

Congratulations to Tasha Lord, our Summer Challenger, on completing 37 classes in the first two months!

Hear directly from Tasha about her experience this month…

“This last month has been chock full of typical real life hurdles, and I’m excited to say I have been able to stick to my workouts thanks in large part to the amazing reformer classes at equilibrium!  With the traveling I do this time of year with my gig schedule things get crazy with my routine-add a surgery and 3 weeks of bronchitis-oh my! At about 40% lung capacity I couldn’t do any high impact or high cardio training. The reformer classes and beginner barre classes allowed me to continue to tone, strengthen, and condition my body throughout. Wednesday was my first day back to hard cardio and it went pretty great. I’m looking forward to adding back more hard cardio and uncovering more of the work I’ve been doing!”

It’s amazing that Tasha was able to use our Pilates and Xtend Barre classes throughout her recovery and we are so happy to see her back in our high intensity classes! Check her out in HIIT55 last night:

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“Equilibrium changed my life…” A testimonial from Andrea Schins

Dear Nancy,

I wanted to write you a note to say thank you for the wonderful services that are provided at Equilibrium and to let you know how much I value the great instructors I have worked with.

In July of 2011, I was diagnosed with grade II spondylolisthesis of my 4th and 5th lumbar vertebrae. Spondylolisthesis is a condition in which a vertebra in the spine slips out of proper position onto the bone below it, most often due to a fracture in the vertebra.  In my case, I had a fracture in my 4th lumbar vertebra causing it to slip forward over my 5th lumbar vertebra.  I have no idea what caused this fracture.  Commonly they are caused by a congenital weakness in the bone.  Nor do I know how long I had this condition prior to being diagnosed.  It is not uncommon for this condition to be asymptomatic for a long time before the pressure on the spinal nerves becomes enough that it causes pain.  In my case, I went to bed one night feeling fine and woke up the next morning with severe lower back pain and sciatic pain radiating down my left leg.  Additionally, by the time I had a MRI and was diagnosed, my condition had already progressed so that I had no disc left between the two bones.  Therefore, my vertebrae were bone on bone, adding to the challenge of managing the condition and addressing the pain.  To say that this diagnoses negatively impacted my daily activities is an understatement.  I have always been very active (running, weight lifting, skiing, golf) person and now I was unable to do many of the activities I enjoyed due to pain.  At that time, my son was only 3 years old and I was unable to run after him and play as I much as I was used to because of the pain.  My doctor and I opted to treat this condition conservatively which involved a series of steroid injections, daily pain medications and exercise.  My goal was to postpone the need for a spinal fusion surgery.  Spinal fusion surgery is a big procedure with a very prolonged recovery time typically.  I was told to stop doing high level aerobic activity and to strengthen my core.  I spent the next few months doing a lot of walking and following a body weight training program at home.  While this treatment helped, I had to take pain medications multiple times a day in order to keep the pain levels down.

Fast forward to 2012.  My husband and I relocated back to Michigan.  I was in a position to work part time from home and decided that I needed to focus on my health, addressing my back condition and the pain I was experiencing.  I started coming to Equilibrium in October 2012 and I am very comfortable in saying it has changed my life J  I have felt welcomed from the moment I first walked into the studio.  I started taking group exercise classes and also taking a private Pilates lesson once a week.  Every instructor I worked with was helpful in assisting me in modifying exercises so that I did not cause additional injury to my back.  Over my first few months of coming, I started to feel better.  I could tell that I was getting stronger and that my flexibility was slowly increasing.  Most importantly, I was able to significantly decrease that amount of pain medication I was taking.  Prior to starting Pilates, I was taking pain medication multiple times a day.  After a few months, I was able to only need pain medication once a day and frequently I was able to not need any pain meds at all.  This was just huge for me!

This success continued until early this year.  In February, I started to experience a significant increase in lower back pain as well as numbness and tingling down both legs.  My MRI showed that my ‘slip’ had progressed and was now causing more pressure on my spinal nerves.  Bottom line, I was now heading to surgery.  While this was the only option I had left, I was very nervous.  While I was waiting for surgery, I let my instructors know what was happening.  Again, everyone was great at helping me modify exercises as needed so that I could continue to come to Pilates and participate.  Coming to class was a stress relief for me and it helped me address the pain I was having.  I also wanted to make sure that I could keep up my strength and flexibility, to the best of my ability, prior to surgery.

I had a L4-L5 spinal fusion surgery on April 24th.  I was expecting a prolonged and challenging recovery period as that is what I was told is typical.  I am very happy to report that my recovery has been the complete opposite!  I immediately started a daily walking program, progressing from 2 miles a day at 4 days post op to 5 miles a day by my 6 week checkup.  My doctor was astounded at my progress.  He felt that the strength and flexibility I had gained from Pilates was a reason why I was doing so well and he cleared me to start back at Pilates, very slowly increasing my activities over the next several weeks.  He said I was doing so well that I did not need physical therapy and that I could use my Pilates classes as PT.  On my way home from that doctors appointment, I stopped at Equilibrium and got on the schedule to start with some private Pilates classesJ  It has now been 12 weeks since my surgery.  I have slowly progressed in my classes and am now almost up to the activity level I was at prior to surgery.  Every instructor I have worked with has been great at helping me modify exercises so that I can participate in the activities.  While I will always need to modify certain exercises due to my spinal mobility, I am very confident that I will be up to full strength over the next few weeks and I am looking forward to continued improvement over the next several months. My pain is almost totally gone.  I still have some stiffness and tenderness right at the surgical site and occasionally, I still get some nerve pain in my left leg.  The doctor said this should continue to improve over the next few months as the nerves slowly heal.  However, I can now control my pain by taking a Tylenol and many days I need no pain medication at all.

I firmly believe that the strength and flexibility I have gained in Pilates is the main reason why my recovery has been so strong.  I am just thrilled with my progress and can’t emphasize enough how much I appreciate the quality of classes and instructors that are provided at Equilibrium.  A very special thanks goes to Jen, Amy P., Liz and Kristin.  Without those ladies, I don’t think I would have progressed as far as quickly.  Thanks so much for all that you offer!

~Andrea Schins

Andrea on the Cadillac during a private post surgery.

Andrea on the Cadillac during a private pilates session post surgery.

Upcoming Workshops…For ALL Fitness Professionals

Ready to take your training and instruction to the next level?

Take our upcoming workshops this September and October!

Regardless of your area of fitness, you will benefit from these 2 hour sessions with Master trainers. Earn CECs for many organizations including STOTT and ACE.

Lead Instructor Trainer for Stott Pilates and a professor of Physical Therapy, KIM DUNLEAVY returns to Michigan for TWO days ONLY

Kim Dunleavy

Saturday, September 6th: 

11-1pm Stabilization Principles
1:30-3:30 pm Secret to Strong Back
4-6pm Programming for Osteoporosis Management

Sunday, September 7th:

8:30-10:30am Postural Analysis & Application to Pilates Exercise
10:30-12:30pm Knee Stability & Function
1-3pm Prenatal Pilates w/ Stability Ball & Flex Band

*Each workshop is $100 and earns 0.2 CECs. If you purchase all 3 workshops in a day, you will receive a 10% discount and pay $270.*

Offered only a couple times a year: Workshops in Ann Arbor at MOVE Wellness with STOTT Instructor Trainer, AIMEE MCDONALD-ANDERSON


Saturday, October 11th

11a-1pm Matwork Toning Ball Workshop
1:30-3:30pm Athletic Conditioning on the Cardio Tramp
4-6pm Reformer and Padded Platform Extender

*Each workshop is $85 and earns you 0.2 CECs per workshop.
EARLY BIRD SPECIAL: Purchase all 3 workshops at Move with Amy Anderson before September 12th for $225 or one for 10% off ($76.50).*


Click this link or call 248.723.6500 to enroll!

Look for equilibrium studio in the new issue of Leisure Lifestyle.

Have you seen the new issue of Leisure Lifestyle for Bloomfield Hills? Equilibrium is featured on page 1 and is listed as a preferred vendor for fitness, wellness and golf & tennis conditioning!


What being a Lululemon Ambassador means to me…

Lululemon clothing has been at the top of my birthday wish list for many years now…it started as comfortable clothing I could wear to class or around campus in college but quickly became something much bigger…my work wardrobe. I wake up and put it on every morning. I rely on it to not only flatter my figure but also to help me perform while I teach and move. I count on it to hold up after many wears and sweaty workouts. It’s my uniform!

For me in the beginning, like any customer, Lululemon was a store and a brand. Their athletic gear fit me the best, plus the colors, styles and variety made me feel like I was dressing up to exercise so it became the place I shopped. It was a website I would visit to browse the newest items…

Now, Lululemon has developed into a community I belong to, a family of friends that I care for, and a place to promote all aspects of leading a healthy life.

Since moving back to Michigan from Chicago, I have been constantly looking for ways to connect in the community. My job at Equilibrium has offered me many wonderful opportunities to do this through events, classes, community outreach and more. One of those events was teaching an in-store Xtend Barre class at Lululemon in Birmingham. I was thrilled by the opportunity to lead the community is this class. Not only was it a successful and fun class but also a great way to meet many of the store employees. That experience back in March has lead me to building wonderful relationships with their team.

Last Thursday, I was honored, humbled and shocked to be asked to be the newest Ambassador at Lululemon Athletica Old Woodward. The team in Birmingham asked me to coordinate a Shop Night for Equilibrium’s staff. I, of course, jumped on the opportunity because who wouldn’t want to get together with the best co-workers to chat, snack and shop…in their favorite store?! Little did I know, I was setting myself up for a major surprise.

When the store’s Community Leader, Nikki, starting speaking, I was moved by her words to our team. I was listening intently as she welcomed us, never expecting to hear…”Sarah, will you be our ambassador?” I honestly can’t remember what my exact response was, although I do know how moved I felt. As tears welled up in my eyes and hugs were given all around, I felt truly blessed and honored.

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Lululemon is more than a store. It is a brand that works hard to develop relationships and create partnerships in the community. While thinking about aligning myself with this brand, I am struck by what an important aspect of my life that is. I love being active, I love teaching classes, I love trying new exercises…but what I really love about my job is the ability to have an impact in someone’s life. I thrive off of sharing my knowledge of health and wellness with others. I take great pride in seeing my clients reach their goals. I strive to help each and every person I work with achieve the results they want. My work doesn’t feel like work because it is my passion.

It is with such pleasure and humility that I accept and look forward to my role as an Ambassador for Lululemon Athletica Old Woodward.

In good health,

Sarah Willoughby

Challenger 1 Month Update…Congratulations on your progress!

Our 3-month Studio Fitness Class Challengers have reached their one month mark! Combined Nicole and Tasha took 40 classes in 30 days! They have been dedicated to their workouts and their health. Both challengers have pushed themselves our of their comfort zone by trying new classes. They take HIIT55, Total Body Conditioning and Xtend Barre weekly. All of the instructors are impressed with the hard work they are putting in to reach their goals. We can’t wait to continue to see progress over the next two months.

Here is an update from Nicole:

“One month down, two to go!  My first month as a 3-Month Challenger has been spectacular.  Working out has now become a habit as opposed to a chore.  It is something I look forward to each and every day.  I am energized and so committed to living a healthy lifestyle.  I have committed to coming to class 5 times a week, sometimes even doing “two-a-days”.

I have now added HIIT55 to my workout regime.  It was hard in the beginning mainly because I lacked stamina, but also because my body just wouldn’t allow me to do certain things.  But what I’ve found over this past month is that it gets easier.  Don’t get me wrong-the class is TOUGH, but I find that my endurance has increased, and I’m more aware of my body than I ever have been.

Working out at Equilibrium has been an absolute dream.  After a month, I now recognize the faces and some of the names of the “regulars”.  I have to say, that the support they have shown me from day one is an absolute inspiration.  After all, if they think I can do it, how can I not???  There are so many parallels between the mind and body.  As my body becomes stronger, so does my mind.  This month has bred so much positivity –I have gained confidence, and developed a new lease on life…

I am in a place of strength, power, peace, and happiness.”

Nicole at her 1 month mark before HIIT55! She looks amazing!

Nicole at her 1 month mark before HIIT55! She looks amazing!

Here is an update from Tasha:

“One month into the challenge and my posture is already improved and my strength and endurance already increased. At shows I am no longer completely annihilated from exhaustion during the last set and no longer suffer from back strain from moving gear. I’m feeling awesome and so excited about finding something I can get some real results from and enjoy!”

Tasha before a show in Birmingham looking strong and confident!

Tasha before a show in Birmingham looking strong and confident!

Congratulations on your progress ladies! Keep up the good work! We can’t wait to hear from you again next month!