Q&A with Billie Drury of Arcadia Pilates and Performance

Written by Marilyn Hawkes Category: Health & Fitness Issue: August 2015

Arcadia Pilates and PerformanceA few years back, lifelong athlete Billie Drury decided to turn her zest for exercise into a career and opened Arcadia Pilates and Performance. In her tidy Phoenix studio, Drury teaches Pilates to a wide spectrum of clients – from people rehabilitating from injuries to athletes, and everyone in between. She has a master’s degree in exercise and wellness from Arizona State University and holds certifications in Pilates, yoga, personal training and fascial stretch therapy. I caught up with Drury to ask her a few questions about Pilates.

Why is Pilates such a great way to stay in shape?
Pilates makes lasting impressions in terms of teaching people body awareness, body alignment and proper body mechanics. It’s incredible for improving alignment, reducing risk of injury, improving posture, breath control and mind-body connection – your ability to be more aware of where you are in space and how you’re moving in space. Pilates also gives you improved core strength and stability [and] improved flexibility and helps prevent and treat back pain.

Is Pilates a good option for people who need a low-impact workout?
Of the many exercise modalities out there, Pilates is probably going to be one of the best options because it’s low-impact and you don’t have the grind of some of the higher-impact exercises. With Pilates, you’re able to build strength and not have that strong risk of joint compression. People are getting hurt left and right in boot camps with some of those high-intensity exercises, and because of large class settings, there’s a much greater risk of injury from overuse and improper alignment.

Why has Pilates become so popular?
So many people sit hunched over their desks all day long. Their necks hurt, their shoulders hurt and their backs hurt. Pilates has such an incredible focus on posture – it helps with strengthening the muscles along the back to lift up the spine and pull the shoulders back. People are concerned with the way that their bodies move, and that’s the focus of Pilates – keeping the body moving in an optimal way.

What other exercise is a good supplement to Pilates?
You should do any type of cardio movement, at least twice a week. And when I say cardio, I don’t mean you have to go run 18 miles, I mean anything that gets your heart rate up and allows you to build some breath – hiking, walking, jogging or spinning. Pilates is a strength-building form of movement. The Pilates apparatus is designed to effectively build full-body strength with single exercises, so your simple bicep curl is also a core exercise.

Reach Drury at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Arcadia Pilates and Performance
3627 E. Indian School Rd., Phoenix
602-799-5663, arcadiapilates.com