Our 2022 Local Gift Guide is here! We’re feeling so much gratitude for our local community—our MOVE community and beyond. With that in mind, we’ve pulled together a “Curated Community Gift Guide” to make it easy for you to shop locally this season. We are HUGE fans of all the products below.

Please share and shop!
Elaine & Robin xo



Signature Cakes and Desserts — with a focus on local and high-quality ingredients. Check out the Holiday Mixed Cookie Boxes and Citrus Olive Oil Holiday Cakes — both make amazing gifts! Shop a wonderful selection of signature cakes, cookies and desserts — the lucky recipients of your gift giving will thoroughly enjoy and be grateful for your great taste.



Shop an unusual and eclectic collection of handmade and local goods at Thistle & Bess. From quirky ornaments to stunning fine jewelry Thistle & Bess has a truly special curated collection of gifts. The perfect place to find something for that person on your list that seems to have everything. Stop in their Kerrytown shop or shop online as well.



Handcraft bean-to-bar chocolate in small batches, using only the purest and best-tasting ethically-sourced ingredients. Shop in store or via their online catalog of products, including gift boxes and bundles, cooking and baking products, Ecuadorian Drinking Chocolate, unique flavored chocolate bars and of course, their classic award-winning chocolate.



Gift hunting for the tree hugger in your life isn’t as easy as one might think. You’re searching for something beautiful, useful, and made from natural materials. Jessica’s Warming Massage Oil with juniper berry & ginger is the perfect gift! Shop customized facials, massage therapy, herbal soaks, body treatments, waxing, skin consultations, and plant-based products online or at Jessica’s Spa.



At University Flower Shop we believe in the power of locally sourced flowers, seasonal ingredients and a commitment to our environment. Our designs are inspired by the cycles of nature and we strive to design with the most fresh and unique flowers and foliage throughout the year. Consider the gift of fresh flowers or plants this holiday season — shop online or come see us at Nickels Arcade!



BYOC Co. is a zero waste and refill shop in downtown Ann Arbor started by a 2020 UM alum focused on helping you gift sustainably and practically with locally made, low waste soaps, candles, and reusable household and personal care goods! Shop some of their best-sellers and bundles like this “GIVE LOCAL BUNDLE“.



Nancy’s designs are from the heart — jewelry for the everyday woman! It all goes together and it’s easy to wear. Jewelry that becomes a part of you. “Melet Stacks” is a wonderful, fun & incredibly hip gift for anyone in your life who enjoys the beauty of hand crafted original design – check it out online or at one of the upcoming shows.



Ann Arbor’s local retailer for all racquet sports! Have you or someone in your life wanted to try pickleball? Do you have an avid tennis or badminton enthusiast and need the perfect stocking stuffers? Cayman is your one stop shop for shoes, racquets, socks, strings and accessories. Shop online or come into the shop! Gift cards available.



The Little Seedling is committed to providing families with the products they need. With a full range of products from baby gear to toys, clothing and children’s shoes, The Little Seedling is a one-stop local shop. Mom owned, parent run, and a focus on customer service make The Little Seedling Ann Arbor’s destination for kids and families. Shop online or in-store.


An Ann Arbor shopping destination for favorite shoes for over 80 years, our team of shoe and fit experts are devoted to helping people feel great, starting with their feet! Give the much appreciated gift of foot comfort this holiday season! Favorites include Haflinger house shoes, soft wool socks, and gift certificates (they always fit perfectly). Shop online or in the store.



Expertly trained Pilates instructors at MOVE Wellness are the perfect way for you or someone you love to start a Pilates or GYROTONIC® program. Our gift card for a $49 1-hour Intro Session is a perfect gift for a beginner or consider the $99 Intro Package gift card which includes a 50 min (1:1) Introductory Session AND two small group training sessions. Call, text, email or purchase online. Come visit soon!


This week is the official start of the holiday season. We hope our curated community gift guide with suggestions to shop local helps you find just the right thing for the right people in your life.

Be fit. Be well. Be inspired. Be done shopping. ❤️❤️

MOVE is thrilled to be partnering with Melissa Trauger to provide on-site physical therapy services at the studio to pelvic health and orthopedic populations. 

“We know that a continuum of care is important to our clients as they work to get stronger and care for their unique bodies. Partnering with Melissa means that it will be easy for clients to have collaborative care right in the building. Working with a PT who understands the impact and scope of Pilates and GYROTONIC® exercise is the best service possible for our clients. Not only is Melissa a highly skilled orthopedic and pelvic floor specialist Physical Therapist, she shares our values and commitment to care for our clients. We could not be more excited to welcome her to the studio.”

—Elaine Economou, MOVE Wellness Co-Founder 

“I am extremely excited to partner with MOVE Wellness to provide on-site physical therapy services to the pelvic health and orthopedic populations of Southeast Michigan. My mission is to improve and maintain your quality of life when it comes to your specific goals, as well as, to bring awareness to an aspect of life (ahem, pelvic health) that should be talked and taught about, early and often.”

—Melissa Trauger, Rhapsody of Motion Concierge Physical Therapy

Benefits of physical therapy at MOVE

Collaborating with area physicians and physical therapists is important to providing our clients an excellent continuum of care. Quite often, when clients are working through a particular issue in their body, it is helpful to work in partnership with their physical therapist (or another medical professional like a DO or Physiatrist) to provide manual therapy, assess injuries and collaborate on movement goals. Post surgical clients can benefit in particular. Our scope of practice is movement and working with healthcare professionals for diagnosis and care plans for post-surgery, neurological issues or pain is the best service possible for our clients. 

Long time clients may recall our previous partnership with Julie Simpson of Mend PT so we know how well this kind of partnership can work. We are now so happy to be partnering with Melissa Trauger and Rhapsody of Motion to again offer PT services within MOVE. Melissa works independently inside MOVE Wellness studios, but is knowledgeable about the systems we teach. She is also an eager student of Pilates and GYROTONIC® exercise herself, which is key for us. 

Melissa works with orthopedic issues and has a special focus on pelvic floor dysfunction. We know that this affects both women and men and can play a role in low back pain, and hip issues. Pelvic floor PT can also be part of the solution for imbalances throughout the body. At MOVE we work a lot to help people have a healthy functioning pelvic floor. So much of what we teach focuses on coordinating breath with movement and the pelvic floor is part of the musculature involved in breathing. Working with Melissa can help clients identify pelvic floor imbalances and learn to release the muscles and regain coordination. She will be a wonderful resource for our clients to help resolve a number of issues.

Meet Melissa Trauger

Melissa Trauger is a physical therapist who treats patients with the mindset that everything is connected in the chaos of the body. This view, along with her love of music, led her to finding the rhapsody within the human body. Both require many moving parts working in concert creating harmonious movement.

Melissa received her Doctor of Physical Therapy from the University of Dayton in 2016, and continues her education to diversify her skills when treating pelvic health and orthopedic populations. Her undergraduate was spent at the University of Michigan where she earned a B.S. in Movement Science. She followed that up with several years spent in Chicago working as a massage therapist and personal trainer.

When Melissa isn’t helping her clients relieve their physical pain, she spends her time with her husband, Ryan, and their dog, Coco. She enjoys writing and playing music, running, and providing comedic relief among friends and family.

Start Now

By partnering with MOVE, Melissa can promote early access to physical therapy through individualized care that includes manual therapy, neuromuscular re-education, therapeutic exercise, and more. Please feel free to reach out to Melissa directly via the contact information below to schedule a call and learn more!

Rhapsody of Motion Concierge Physical Therapy
Phone: 734-519-0020
Email: info@rhapsodyofmotion.com
Website: www.rhapsodyofmotion.com
Instagram/Facebook: @rhapsodyofmotion

Book your appointment directly with Melissa online, by email, or by calling 734-519-0020.

by MOVE instructor Davy Darnton

Pregnant bodies are forever at the mercy of public discussion, whether we want them to be or not. And women experiencing the physical, psychological and emotional weight of pregnancy need strong supportive communities available to them before, during and beyond childbirth. As I reflect on the arrival of my second and third children, I can feel the weight of the social expectations surrounding my body nearly everywhere I go.

Public expectations of the pregnant body

I remember once, at 29 weeks pregnant, I was asked by a complete stranger if I was having twins, while another person casually commented that I “looked like I was about to pop.” I explained to them that I did in fact have only one baby in my belly and that I wasn’t due for another couple of months.

As a Pilates instructor and mother, I wanted to shout from the rooftops, “This is what a healthy woman who is five feet tall and seven months pregnant looks like!”

The goal during pregnancy is simple: Keep yourself healthy, keep your baby healthy. And a healthy you and a healthy baby mean weight gain and a big belly. And I’ll never understand why people expect pregnant women to look small. Sure, the weight gain bothered me a bit during my first pregnancy. But now looking back on my third pregnancy, I know exactly what my body is doing: it’s transitioning into “milk truck” mode. And if becoming rounder and fuller means I birth a healthy baby and am able to feed that baby, great. Bring on the soft, supple body.


The myth of the postpartum body “bouncing back”

Recently, a male friend of mine whose sister is pregnant asked me, “So, you bounce back pretty quickly right?” I looked him right in the eyes and said, “There’s no bouncing back. Your body is never the same after pregnancy and birth.” It wasn’t the answer he was expecting.

The whole idea of bodies bouncing back is pretty silly. Our bodies aren’t basketballs, and that’s a good thing. Life moves forward, not backward. We should be encouraging women to celebrate the new bodies they have, not stigmatizing the changes that accompany them. This shouldn’t be a revolutionary concept, and yet somehow it still is.

I can’t tell you how many clients I work with who are experiencing multiple pelvic organ prolapses and incontinence because of the counterproductive expectations and narratives surrounding the pregnant and postpartum body. During pregnancy, our bodies are preparing for birth. That means opening and loosening, not restricting and tightening. After pregnancy, our bodies work and move in new ways, and we should embrace that. There’s no going back to “maidenhood” after motherhood. And why would you want to?

Pregnancy, celebrities and the media

If there were every two ideas perfectly at odds with one another, they would be a healthy pregnant body and the media’s representation of pregnancy. We see celebrities on television and in magazines (with a full arsenal of personal trainers and nutritionists behind the curtain) basking in the glow of their pregnancies until about six or seven months in, and then they disappear until they’ve magically “bounced back” to their prenatal bodies. Or so the media would have us believe.

Pilates is for every body

One of the most troubling aspects of social expectations surrounding body image, of the pregnant body or any body, is that they fail to acknowledge that we are all individuals with unique body shapes and sizes.

A pregnant woman who is six feet tall with wide hips is going to carry a baby differently than one who is five feet tall with narrow hips. Similarly, someone who’s just given birth is going to look and move differently than someone recovering from a stroke or spinal surgery. Which is why focusing on the health and function of your body from the inside out (rather than what it looks like on the outside) is the key to feeling better and stronger, and living longer.

My favorite thing about teaching Pilates as a movement practice is that it helps you feel better and more balanced, whether your motivation for doing it comes from wanting to fix lower back pain from years of sitting at a desk or just a basic desire to look better in a swimsuit.

A fit pregnancy and the GYROTONIC® method

One of the fundamental problems with the word “fit” is that, for most people, that means tight and toned, or more accurately, constricted. Pregnant women need their bodies to open and release, not tighten up.

We need mobility and stability. We need our spines and sacrums to glide through their full range of motion. We need our femurs to articulate properly in our hip sockets and we need our tailbones to wag.

A “fit pregnancy” isn’t about weight lifting and more traditional exercises methods, although it can certainly include those things when done safely and thoughtfully. Prenatal exercise should include a harmonious blend of fascial stretching and muscle strengthening.

In July 2017, I started learning the GYROTONIC® method to get out of my comfort zone a bit and learn a more dynamic way of moving my body. At first I was overwhelmed, and moving that way felt foreign to my body. But then I fell in love with it.

I started working toward certification as a GYROTONIC® instructor later that year completed my final certification course at 28 weeks pregnant in April 2019. It was a joyful and empowering physical experience. I left feeling energized, strong and ready to enter and embrace my third and fourth trimesters.

After the birth of my first child, I grew tremendously as a Pilates instructor because I was able to apply that knowledge base and movement practice to my own body as it healed. And now, I’m geeking out on movement in anticipation of the healing process again, this time with GYROTONIC® also in my toolbox. And beyond my own postpartum healing, I look forward to bringing this deeper knowledge to my work with clients when I return from maternity leave.

I feel nourished and supported through the movement work I’m doing now, and like I’m working with my body and my baby, rather than against them.

Community support and movement practices for pregnant women

If you really want to be supportive of and say the right thing to women who are expecting, here’s my advice: stop commenting on their bodies. Instead, try saying one of the following:

  • You look so healthy and wonderful.
  • When are you due? (with a tone of genuine curiosity, not judgment)
  • I really hope everything continues to go smoothly and that you have a joyful birth.
  • What are you most looking forward to?
  • After the baby is born, can I help by bringing you dinner or anything else?

Along those same lines, it’s also important to know what not to say. Pregnant women do not want to hear about your cousin’s traumatic high-risk birth story, or about their pregnancy “waddle,” or anything else that might compound the natural amount of anxiety and uncertainty we experience while pregnant.

Pregnant women need access to the wisdom and resources of other women who have already given birth and/or movement instructors who understand how prenatal and postpartum bodies work, move and heal. We need to understand what physical challenges are normal, common and treatable after we give birth.

We need a supportive team of experts including physicians, midwives, pelvic health physical therapists, pre/postnatal fitness instructors, friends and family who will collectively help us feel empowered rather than helpless. We need nourishing foods that help our babies grow, and that help us heal mentally and physically.

It often feels to me like our culture has lost so many of the communal support structures for women before and after pregnancy. Women aren’t supposed to do this alone. We can’t heal from childbirth if we’re not resting enough. We can’t just jump back into the daily grind without risking pelvic organ prolapse, incontinence and a range of mental health challenges.

Investing in smart, safe prenatal movement practices and a postpartum period that celebrates the new body you have, rather than clinging to the old body you left behind, is an investment in the health of your whole family, whatever that family may look like.

Want to learn more about the benefits of Pilates and GYROTONIC® for before and after pregnancy? Looking for a supportive and knowledgeable community to help you support and celebrate the body you have? Visit movewellness.com or call 734-224-2560.

Davy Darnton is a STOTT Pilates and GYROTONIC® instructor at MOVE Wellness in Ann Arbor and can be found on Instagram at @davydarnton.movement.

Your Workout. Your Choice.

We’re here for you—however you want to move with us. We recognize that some of you are eager to join us in-studio while others would prefer to wait for now. We respect whatever decision is best for you—your workout, your choice. Safety protocols are in place in the physical studio and MOVE Wellness is currently scheduling private sessions and small group classes. Our livestream classes continue to be available, and virtual private and small-group training sessions are also an option to meet a wide-range of client needs. We invite you to choose the mix of in-studio or at-home training that’s right for you.

Your Safety in Our Studio

When you’re ready to visit MOVE in-person, we want you to feel safe. So we’re taking important steps to make sure you’re comfortable. Here are the primary COVID-19 protocols we have in place.

  • The studio layout has been redesigned to allow for physical distancing and a streamlined flow of clients. 
  • The number of people allowed in-studio at any given time will be limited.
  • New windows and ceiling fans have been installed to allow fresh airflow.
  • We have added UVC light filtering to our HVAC system to kill any airborne virus particles that pass through.
  • Cotton gloves will be made available to clients who wish to use them.
  • Masks are optional for clients. Staff will be mask-optional when Washtenaw County is in the CDC low or medium community level. Masks will be required for staff when Washtenaw County is in the CDC high community level. Clients are welcome to ask their trainer to wear a mask for any individual session. Please reach out to us with any specific questions or concerns.
  • Stringent cleaning protocols with approved cleaning solutions are in place for all equipment and touched surfaces.
  • We have a UVC light wand for extra sanitizing of props and equipment.
  • Reusable items (fabric straps, gloves, etc) will be sanitized according to the CDC approved guidelines. 
  • We ask all clients and staff to stay home if experiencing 2 or more of the following symptoms:  fever, chills, repeated shaking with chills, muscle pain, headache, sore throat, cough, congestion or runny nose, nausea or vomiting, diarrhea, loss of taste and/or smell. 

We will continue to monitor local, federal, state, and international guidelines for any changes in recommendations, cleaning strategies and best practices. We continuously update our policies as needed and you can trust that we will always keep the lines of communication open. 

You CAN Start Now

Ready to get started with an in-studio training session? We’re happy to continue to see you online for private sessions, or livestream classes. We look forward to designing a safe and comfortable plan for each and every member of our community. Your workout—your choice.

Please feel free to reach out to us at office@movewellness.com with any questions or concerns you may have. 

Be Fit. Be Well. Be Inspired.

Elaine, Robin, Rachel and Staff

A Picture is Worth A Thousand Words

To help you visualize the changes at MOVE, we want to share some photos of our new equipment arrangement in both studios to allow for physical distancing, as well as our new windows that open and ceiling fans to enhance airflow. We’re so excited about these changes to safely welcome you back into our space.

This week is the official start of the holiday season. We’re kicking things off by sharing our curated community gift guide with suggestions to shop local. We’re excited to spread the word about these great community members. You just might recognize some of them from Elaine’s Lifted segments on Facebook!

On small business Saturday (and all year long) we hope you’ll check out some of our favorite things, places, and people. 

Be fit. Be well. Be inspired. Be done shopping.

BYOC, Co. Logo

BYOC Co. (Bring Your Own Container) aims to reduce single-use plastic consumption by allowing you to refill your own containers from home with eco-friendly, ethically-produced household cleaning and personal care products. Owner Emma Hess, started BYOC Co. at age 22 and fresh off graduating from the University of Michigan with a degree in Sociology. Her low waste journey started while in college when she swapped a bottle of liquid shampoo for a solid shampoo bar. 

255 E Liberty St
Ste 215
Ann Arbor, MI 48104

Connect with BYOC, Co. on Instagram or Facebook.

Watch Elaine and Emma’s conversation on Lifted.

Great gift idea:

Zero Waste Dishwashing Set

Zero Waste Dishwashing Set

This set includes:

Solid Dish Soap from Tiani Body Care (local Ann Arbor business), Bamboo Hand Brush, and a Bamboo Soap Dish for $20.68. 

NeuroFitness Wellness Center Logo

NeuroFitness Center offers wellness services to help bring balance to the lives of the seriously stressed, chronically in pain and under rested among us. They offer flotation therapy, cryotherapy, a salt room, and neurofeedback sessions to reduce stress and help you relax.

NeuroFitness Wellness Center
6360 Jackson Road, Suite A
(Across from Menards)
Ann Arbor, Michigan 48103

Connect with NeuroFitness Wellness Center on Instagram or Facebook.

Watch Elaine and Peg’s conversation on Lifted.

Great gift ideas:

Tantre Farm Logo

Tantré Farm started its very first crops of potatoes, winter squash, and garlic in 1993 on a 40-acre parcel. Since then the farm has grown to include about 80 to 100 varieties of vegetables, mushrooms, and a small variety of herbs and flowers. Their fruit crops include strawberries, raspberries, blackberries, pears, melons, and more depending on the fruit weather. Their farmland has now grown to about 115 acres of wetland, woods, and sand-loam fields in the area. Tantre Farm sells their produce through CSA shares, at various local stores, restaurants, and also at the Ann Arbor and Chelsea Farmers Markets. MOVE Wellness loves serving as a summer CSA pick-up location!

Tantre Farm
2510 Hayes Rd
Chelsea, MI 48118

Connect with Tantre Farm on Instagram or Facebook

Watch Elaine and Deb’s conversation on Lifted.

Great idea for your holiday table:

Check out the Tantre Farm Immune Booster weekly share.

Arbor Teas Logo

Arbor Teas is a family-owned organic tea company based in Ann Arbor, Michigan. Their daily mission is to find the world’s most fantastic organic teas and deliver them to you as sustainably as possible. 

Arbor Teas
1342 North Main Street, Suite 1
Ann Arbor, Michigan 48104
(734) 994-7698

Connect with Arbor Teas on Instagram or Facebook

Great gift idea: 

Kombucha Homebrew Kit

Kombucha Homebrew Kit 

The Kombucha Homebrew Kit ($45.00) comes complete with all your homebrewing essentials, including: step-by-step instructions, organic kombucha culture (SCOBY), Arbor Teas organic loose leaf black tea, organic sugar, USA-made 1 gallon glass jar, and more!

Jessica's Apothecary & Spa Logo

Owned and operated by Jessica Goniea, Jessica’s Apothecary offers the luxury of a day spa paired with the expertise of a botanical skin care specialist. You’ll find customized facials, waxes, skin consultations, and an online shop that all feature plant-based products combining ancient herbal knowledge with modern skin care science. Everything used and sold  is cruelty-free and free of synthetic fragrance, artificial colorants, SLS, parabens, and other unnecessary chemicals. Jessica is honored to have been voted “Best Skin Care” 8 years in a row and “Best Esthetician 2020” by Current Magazine!

Jessica’s Apothecary
415 N. Main Street, Suite 3
Ann Arbor, MI

Connect with Jessica on Instagram, YouTube, or Facebook.

Watch Elaine and Jessica’s conversation on Lifted.

Serendipity Books Logo

Serendipity Books is a brick-and-mortar indie bookstore celebrating literacy and building community in Chelsea, Michigan. Owner Michelle Tuplin is the mastermind behind our awesome MOVE Book Club reading choices. ​​We think it’s a pretty special place. Stop by and let Michelle help you choose just the right book for anyone on your list.

Click here for a variety of ways to shop Serendipity Books.

Serendipity Books
113 West Middle Street
Chelsea, Michigan 48118
(734) 475-7148

Connect with Serendipity on Instagram or Facebook.

Watch Elaine and Michelle’s conversation on Lifted.

Mast Shoes Logo

Mast Shoes is the best of modern and old-school. Their stylish, relaxed, clean store sets the stage for you to experience the fitting process and see how we use tools like shoe horns, fitting stools and Brannock devices (the metal foot measuring tool) that have been in use since they opened in 1942. Mast Shoes has made it their mission to stop feet and shoes from ruining your day. They believe there are no “bad feet,” just bad matches between feet and shoes. 

Mast Shoes
2519 Jackson Ave 
Ann Arbor, MI 48103

Connect with Mast Shoes on Instagram or Facebook.

Watch Elaine and Molly’s conversation on Lifted.

Aberdeen Bike Logo

Aberdeen Bike is a family owned bike shop located in Chelsea, Michigan just west of Ann Arbor. Aberdeen has a full service repair shop and offers a wide range of adult and youth bikes to tackle any terrain. They offer a full complement of accessories to outfit you for everything from commuting to racing.  

Aberdeen Bike and Outdoors
1101 South Main Street
Chelsea, MI 48118

Connect with Aberdeen Bike on Instagram or Facebook

Massage oil drops on hands

Trish Newman Massage

Missing your massage at MOVE? MOVE Livestream class members with a keen eye may have noticed that our massage room has become a teaching space. If you’re missing your massage at MOVE with Trish (we miss her too!), you can find her at two locations in Ann Arbor. 

K-West Skin Body Spirit
415 N. Main Street
Mon., Tues., Fri. 8:30–2:30
Every other Thurs. 4:00–8:00
Some Saturdays 9:00–2:00

Eastern Integrative Services
2300 Washtenaw Ave.
Suite 101
Wed. 12:00–8:00
Thurs. 8:30–2:30

Schedule by calling Trish directly at 810-923-8936.

Ian and Nick took their running to the next level in 2014 and officially opened up Ann Arbor Running Company. Both have been part of the Michigan running community since the mid-90s and love giving back to the sport. They know what it feels like to run your best, to run your worst, and everything in between. Their staff will support you through thick and thin. Ann Arbor Running Company uses their experience to select only the best products available and the ones that they truly believe in.

Ann Arbor Running Company

901 W Eisenhower Parkway
Ann Arbor, MI 48103

209 S Ashley Street
Ann Arbor, MI 48104

2621 Plymouth Road
Ann Arbor, MI 48105

Connect with AARC on Instagram or Facebook

MOVE Wellness Logo

Movement heals. We know that to be true. Share the gift of movement with your family and friends this holiday season. 

MOVE Wellness Studios
3780 Jackson Road, Suite K
Ann Arbor, MI 48103

Connect with MOVE on Instagram or Facebook

Great gift ideas:

MOVE trainer Lauren MIller working with a senior client

Three private sessions for $150.00

This special introductory offer is available for new clients. Stop by the desk, email us, or call 734-224-2560 for details. A value of up to $277.00!

Elaine Economou Movement Essentials

Save $20.00 on your purchase of Movement Essentials: Getting Started with Pilates.

This new 28-day program developed by MOVE Co-Founder Elaine Economou will get your loved one started building a healthy fitness routine with gentle Pilates for your everyday life. Head on over to MOVE On Demand and use code HOLIDAY20 to purchase.

Thank you for supporting local businesses

Additional no cost ways to support local

Here are three simple, no-cost ways that you can offer support for these small businesses through this holiday season.

Write a review on Google or Facebook.

Small businesses like ours can really benefit from reviews by those who use our services and know us best. Your opinion matters.

Like and follow on social media.

With the click of a button you can stay connected and be the first to know. We’ve linked to Instagram and Facebook pages for each business listed above. 

Share this gift guide with a friend.

Spread the word and shop local this holiday season. Our community is strongest when we lift each other up.

Reimagining my fitness routine for post-pandemic life

With two doses of vaccine in my arm, I find myself pondering what my new ‘post-pandemic’ fitness routine will look like. Here’s one thing I know, it will not look like it did before COVID-19 and in many ways I’m grateful for that. Gyms, small fitness studios, local YMCA’s and other recreation centers are all open again. In addition to Pilates, I love to play tennis and am thrilled to be back on the courts! While I’ve been lucky to keep up my Pilates at home during the pandemic, it’s time for me to return to in-person workouts. Do I need to give up my ‘at home’ workouts? I don’t want to!

I see an opportunity to evolve my fitness routine — hopefully to include both virtual and ‘in studio’ training. As a result, I hope to build a more robust and more flexible fitness routine into my post-pandemic life.

My pre-pandemic fitness routine

Like many people who have had a regular fitness regime for years, my pre-pandemic fitness routine included a combination of memberships, class fees, court time, outdoor activities and even a splurge on some semi-private Pilates training with fellow tennis enthusiasts. When the pandemic hit, it was March in the Midwest. Things shut down quickly, leaving many of us who use fitness as a wellness and mental health tool floundering. Tennis in the snow, anyone?

My (current) pandemic fitness routine

Things evolved quickly with COVID-19 and thankfully, so did my Ann Arbor Pilates studio — MOVE Wellness. As a team, they managed to go completely virtual within days and offer a fantastic array of livestream fitness classes. Kudos to all the Pilates, GYROTONIC, yoga and barre teachers for turning their homes into online studios and their laptops into lifelines. As grateful as I was to still be ‘moving’, I joined in online with a bit of skepticism and an attitude that I ‘would just get through this’ until we could get back to normal classes at the studio.

One month, two months, three months. I lost count. But I also lost count of how many classes I have taken online with live instruction. It’s become a new norm for both me and my husband, and in some ways I’ve grown to love it. 

What is it that I love? Here’s a short list.

  • Weirdly, I love seeing who shows up for class (a little like happy hour). I do feel like part of the community. Sometimes we chat, sometimes we don’t and both are ok.
  • I love the flexibility of changing my clothes (or not) 5 minutes before logging on for class.
  • I enjoy the ease of adding extra classes to my schedule when my schedule allows it—no pressure of an early commitment to do something I’m not sure I will be able to do. 
  • Occasionally (but not often), I enjoy doing class in my pajamas with the camera off.
  • I spend a lot of time in northern Michigan and I love that I can take my new routine with me.
  • As a contract employee paid hourly, I value the time I save by not traveling to any studio (I’m in and out of class in 50 min!).
  • I love the overall value of my classes – I am getting LIVE, professional instruction at an affordable price.

Nancy Kelley doing an online Pilates class with MOVE Wellness

Nancy Kelley doing an online Pilates class with MOVE Wellness

Nancy Kelley doing an online Pilates class with MOVE Wellness

What do I miss? (A much shorter list…)

  • In the group classes I miss the 1:1 in person connection with my trainer and their ability to correct my form with more nuance or encourage me to push a bit harder. 
  • The equipment—love my weekly Reformer class.
  • In person interactions with friends and instructors.
  • Occasionally leaving my house to immerse myself in the small studio environment.

Over time, I started making some adjustments to take things to the next level with livestream classes. I eventually took the money saved from membership fees and tennis court time and bought myself a home Reformer. Having my own equipment at home allowed me to participate in a livestream small group training class with MOVE. My instructor is up close and personal managing only a few clients on the screen and I don’t miss a thing. Honestly, she sees everything and gives me fantastic feedback.

Nancy Kelley updating her fitness routine with a home Pilates Reformer

Nancy Kelley updating her fitness routine with a home Pilates Reformer

Nancy Kelley on her home Pilates Reformer after her workout

What’s next? A hybrid fitness routine?

I have learned so much by being forced out of my normal fitness routine and experimenting with live online classes. It’s something I would never have tried had it not been for COVID-19 shutting down all the gyms, tennis clubs and small fitness studios in Ann Arbor. It’s easy to point to these online classes as a silver lining in a very difficult time.

I have often heard MOVE Wellness owner Elaine Economou say that “the consistency and frequency of your routine builds positive outcomes” and I have to say, she is right. I was able to increase my workout frequency while still receiving quality instruction — all from the comfort of my own home. And, I am definitely seeing the benefits. At a time when most people were moving less, I was actually moving more and both my physical and mental self benefited.  

Nancy Kelley playing tennis as part of her new fitness routine

Truth: If I could only choose ONE form of exercise — I would likely not choose online fitness (I’d choose tennis). I’m grateful to be back on the courts and ready to return to some in-person fitness classes. Even with my Reformer at home, I miss the face to face interaction. But, I also have NO intention of giving up this newfound form of online fitness instruction. It’s extremely clear that these online classes have a very important place in my routine adding significant value, flexibility and very real positive outcomes. I also know how much Pilates improves my tennis game and keeps me injury free. Since I don’t have to choose, I plan to keep a mix of virtual and in-person training. 

I might not be ready to jump into a big gym environment again, but I am ready for a small fitness studio where I feel safe. In addition, I am committed and excited to continue my online instruction. I’ll find my new balance between in person and online instruction as I go forward. I’m confident in one thing, that my new fitness routine will be just that—new.

You Can Start Now

We know the more you move the better you feel. There’s no better time than now to reimagine your own fitness routine. Here are five ways you can start now and join the MOVE Wellness community:

A Mother’s Day Like No Other

Whether you are a mom in any sense of the word or have a mom, this year will be a Mother’s Day like no other. We are all familiar with the ways kids can throw a curveball, and that’s exactly what life has thrown our way this year. We may not be able to plan this day in the manner we would choose and celebrate exactly the way we want to, but we do deserve to stop for a minute and recognize all the things that motherhood means and give due notice to all the feelings that go with that. 

We are living through history in different stages of motherhood. Our daily realities may vary significantly with the ages of our children. You may be expecting a child and wondering how to welcome him or her as safely as possible while simultaneously grieving the loss of all the usual joyous social activities. You may be nesting in place at home with young children or managing the energy and educational needs of sidelined school-age children. You may have teens mourning their social connections and milestones or young-adult children back in the nest after some time away. Or, you may have grown children and maybe grandchildren that you are kept separated from during this very difficult time.

Forsythia with Snow

Caring for a family in the face of uncertainty

As moms, we naturally prioritize going above and beyond for our families. Sometimes this means being asked to show up in ways that are new and uncomfortable with so much uncertainty in the world. All this while trying to sleep, care for our families, run a household — with the added challenge of getting groceries, managing your work and maybe your children’s work. Let’s face it. The activities of daily life are just plain hard right now and on top of it all we’re doing our best to answer hard questions and help our children navigate this experience. We all see and can’t help absorbing the outside cultural pressure to learn more, workout more, clean out more, improve more. While meanwhile noticing that our emotions and moods may be changing daily like the spring Michigan weather. And it’s not just our own emotions, but those of our families. This era is not for the faint of heart!

MOVE Marketers Kacey Beach and Nancy Kelly were kind enough to share these anecdotes with us. Kacey reflected on how her first Mother’s Day bears resemblance to what’s happening in today’s world…

“I delivered my twins prematurely on the heels of the H1N1 pandemic in December 2009 and for various reasons, we were advised to stay home through April. My first Mother’s Day felt like liberation. I was bound and determined to load the babies in the double stroller and have brunch outdoors in the sunshine. The thing is, it wasn’t really that warm, it took forever to get them loaded and out of the house, and the babies made it clear that they were NOT on board with my plan. While I was quite disappointed in the moment, I learned that motherhood doesn’t put on the brakes and conform to any preconceived plan or notion of a holiday. It didn’t then and it won’t this year either, and that’s ok.”

Nancy shared this recent interaction with her son…

“My 17 year old son asked ME, yes me, to play basketball today. That was today’s magic moment — something that would never have happened if we weren’t 2 plus months into quarantine. As much as I really didn’t want to brave the cold sunshine, I got dressed and met him outside on the court. We laughed, I lost (badly) and then we walked the dogs.”

Basketball hoop surrounded by large trees

Seeking out the moments that matter

So, we do what we do best. We carry on and make it work. Perfection is an illusion on a good day so we will seek out the moments that matter. When your 17-year old asks you to play basketball, you will of course say yes and laugh your way through it. When your twins fuss (ok, scream) through your al fresco brunch, you’ll shrug it off and push the buggy home to get them to sleep. When you can’t go have dinner with your grandkids, you’ll schedule a Zoom party to play a game with them. 

These days may feel extremely long and full of uncertainty and your kitchen might feel permanently messy, but there will be moments every day that remind you how unique this time is that we are living through. It won’t last forever. We will all come through it stronger than ever. Capture the moments in your soul and with your camera when you can. Seek out the simple gifts of breathing and take time to get outside and connect with nature. Let go of things that add stress like expectations and screens and try to make time for what builds strength like exercise, meditation, and nourishing food. Know that you are enough. Ask for help when you need it. Be a haven of comfort for your children, but also let their bright minds be a comfort to you. Be assured that your love lives inside them and radiates out into the world.

Path Through Forest

Nourish yourself for the road ahead

Motherhood and living through a pandemic have this basic fact in common: we’re not really in control. Moms have instincts like no other so listen to your gut and practice sharing what you need with your family. Do something that nourishes you for the longer road ahead, whatever that may be. For some it may be some quiet alone time and extra rest. Others may crave family time. And for some this year virtual time or physically distant time might have to be enough. Find ways to connect and fill the day with the moments that matter, relishing the joy they bring to your heart. 

So, to all the moms and nurturers of our MOVE Community, take care to be well and accept our sincere wishes for a peaceful Mother’s Day. 

A few weeks ago, Elaine Economou found an inspiring playlist shared by the staff of the University Musical Society they called “Quarantunes”. Each UMS staff member contributed a track to the list that was helping them through this period of social distancing. At a time when we’ve lost simple daily contact with each other, this seemed like a lovely way to connect and share something of ourselves. 

Music can be incredibly therapeutic. Certain songs evoke memories of significant times in our lives. Music has the power to motivate and energize us or calm us down. Music can shift our mood or mold our focus. It can even complement how we are feeling and provide escape or comfort as needed. What a powerful tool to share how we’re all feeling right now and connect as a group. So, we give to you this list of what we’re listening to during this challenging time. We hope you find inspiration and connection of your own in our picks. While we cannot be together, this playlist is a way to deepen our connection.

Tell us here, what music is giving YOU inspiration right now? 

Pilates Extension

MOVE Wellness Staff Inspiration Picks

“Dancing in the Moonlight” by King Harvest

Submitted by Marybeth Housner, Trainer

This song reminds me of simpler more carefree times, like summer vacations up North on Lake Michigan.

“Eyes” by Rogue Wave

Submitted by Rachel Cook, Studio Manager

Reminds me of sunny days and simple happiness, like wandering through my childhood neighborhood.

“What a Wonderful World” by Louis Armstrong

Submitted by Tony Brutz, Trainer

It is my favorite song. It reminds me of all the simple things in this world that we tend to overlook. The song is a complete positive. Nothing negative.

“Dream a Little Dream of Me” by Ella Fitzgerald and Louis Armstrong

Submitted by Lauren Miller, Senior Trainer

This song makes me smile, then cry with some kind of nostalgic joy, then start dancing. The best adjective I can think of to describe it is ”delicious.”

“Piano Trio No. 1 in B-Flat” by Franz Schubert

Submitted by Sarah Cohen, Trainer

What I am appreciating about this piece right now is how beautifully the three instruments compliment each other. Each has their own important piece of the melody but then the other instruments come in for support. It is analogous to how I would like the members of my family to work together in this time of so much togetherness.  

“Little Red Corvette” by Prince

Submitted by Nancy Kelly, Marketing Team

It’s fun and makes me want to dance.  

“Ocean and A Rock” by Lisa Hannigan

Submitted by Aimee McDonald, Master Trainer

Since we can’t travel to see them, but those far away are still with us in our hearts and minds.

“Stand Up (From Harriet)” by Cynthia Erivo

Submitted by Tricia Wise, Trainer

She was an inspiring leader in freedom for slaves. She endured personal heartache for the sake of others. Great movie. Even greater woman!

“Can You Get to That” by Funkadelic

Submitted by Sammy Hart, Yoga Instructor & Trainer

Honestly just loving this song. 

“Take Five” by Dave Brubeck

Submitted by Robin Krienke, MOVE Co-Founder

It’s chill but funky. Just what I need.  

“Remedy” by Zac Brown Band

Submitted by Kacey Beach, Marketing Team

It’s mellow but still has enough of a beat to move you through whatever you’re doing. There’s so much unknown right now but we can’t go wrong putting more love into the world. 

“The Sound of Sunshine” by Michael Franti & Spearhead

Submitted by Suzanne Willets Brooks, Senior Trainer

This song was playing a lot on the radio during a very difficult time in my life… it really spoke to me. That this was just a storm and it would pass me by. The idea that sunshine has sound and sound heals. That this song was part of the sunshine coming down and keeping me going and at the end of my very long day I would be with my loved ones. Keeping my family in my heart knowing at the end of the day everything I did helped them.

“Concierto de Aranjuez” by Miles Davis

Submitted by Laura Mason, Desk Team

Relaxing and gorgeous but also has the quality of yearning and nostalgia.

“Flame Turns Blue” by David Gray

Submitted by Laura Tyson, Trainer

I chose the David Gray song simply because I love the song and it came out during a time in my life I was particularly content and happy!   

“Shower the People” by James Taylor

Submitted by Elaine Economou, MOVE Co-Founder

Memories of carefree times at JT concerts and later, warm weekend mornings, making breakfast for my boys with his classics in the background seem so far away now but the songs still resonate more than ever. Hard to choose one but love wins.  

“Rainbow” by Kacey Musgraves

Submitted by Angela Sutcliffe, Senior Trainer

Kacey Musgraves is one of my favorite female artists and the theme of this song is about looking on the brighter side of things and that no matter what the circumstances we all have our own rainbows.

“Fast Car” by Tracy Chapman

Submitted by Davy Darnton, Trainer

Because it is about hope and making your world better.

“River Jordan” by Rochelle Clark

Submitted by Elaine Economou, MOVE Co-Founder

I am so glad to include one of Rochelle’s songs. She was invaluable as we created MOVE and is missed!

Reflecting on 2019

The end of a year is always a time of reflection on where we have been and where our path will lead us next. Our growing community has become stronger than ever as our trainers and desk team have provided encouragement, accountability, and resources for our clients to be successful. We see people flourishing in their health and fitness as they deepen their commitment to movement and we couldn’t be happier.

We know that movement heals. With a focus on common health issues that many of us face, we were able to host several events this year that brought us together as a group to hear from experts and engage in conversation around these topics. In 2019 we held events in partnership with local health providers related to back pain, pelvic floor issues, and osteoporosis. We are committed to continuing these conversations into the new year and using movement as medicine. We’re always listening if there’s a topic you wish we would explore further in 2020.

We can’t look back on 2019 without once more congratulating our most recent group of MOVE Pilates Instructor Training graduates. Joining the MOVE Comprehensive Pilates Instructor Training Program is a big commitment and these students worked tirelessly to soak up and assimilate a wealth of information. In training the next generation of movement teachers, we are proud to impact the future of our industry and of what these teachers will bring to our studio. While these apprentices are wrapping up their practice hours and beginning their professional movement careers, we prepare to welcome the next Instructor Training class in February 2020.

Welcoming 2020

As we anticipate what we can accomplish in the new year, some topics and themes you can look forward to include:

  • More movement and programming for healthy backs
  • Regular osteoporosis classes and discussion groups
  • A renewed focus on post-therapy fitness
  • Additional classes for men
  • More pre/postnatal programs
  • Continued collaboration with healthcare providers

We are ending a year filled with great memories and fun times. Know that as we have helped you reach your goals, you are helping us to reach our goal of sharing MOVE with as many people as possible. We have so much appreciation for the trust you place in us and thank you for giving us the opportunity to do what we love. MOVE Wellness is a reflection of the beautiful community inside our studio and we raise a toast to each of you wishing you a new year filled with health, joy, and movement. 

Happy New Year!

Elaine & Robin