The best kind of exercise is the kind you don't dread. For Ahme Boveé, a love for Pilates has kept her fit, healthy, and in business for fifteen years. As the founder of Pilates in East of East Grand Rapids, Ahme is sharing her passion for a healthy body and mind with students and teachers across the state. But she didn't start out in East Grand Rapids, or even in the United States.
Canadian audiences knew Ahme for her Rogers TV Pilates instruction, Pilates in Guelph. A recognizable celebrity in the fitness field, Ahme made a name for herself and enjoyed the success of her studio. But seven years ago, Ahme made a big move to East Grand Rapids to get married and begin again. "When you pick up your whole life and move," she said, "you have to start over, and you have to hustle a lot."
At Pilates in East, Ahme has found a home and a need. She's the only Pilates Master trainer for miles. (The nearest training programs are in Detroit and Chicago.) Ahme, along with six other teachers all trained by her, provides daily classes for students. But she's focusing on the teacher training aspect of the business. She wants to share her love for Pilates with as many people as she can, and spread the good news about smart exercise practices.
"[Pilates is] an intelligent exercise," Ahme said. "Everything you do is done with a purpose. You're not wasting time or doing moves just because someone told you to. It's really good for your body, both mentally and physically."
Ahme has studied the biomechanics and anatomy of the human body, and she understands the inner workings of joints and muscles. She doesn't believe in pushing someone to their limit. "Exercise should be pleasurable and light. You're creating power in the body and freedom and fun to move."
Pilates is an exercise than could be practiced by anyone. Ahme has worked with an NFL player, competitive marathon runners and triathletes, dancers, and other high performance elites. She's also worked with people with scoliosis and with hip and knee replacements. Whether practicing Pilates for injury prevention or rehabilitative reasons, the fundamentals can be tailored, and the results are always good.
"In the end, your physical and mental health is the thing that makes your life happy or miserable. It's a richness. And in some ways, it's the most valuable thing you have," Ahme said.
Pilates in East, located at 2213 Wealthy St. SE, Suite 210, offers students private or group lessons. Whether you're a novice or an expert, just want to dabble, or are brave enough to enroll in the Barre class, Ahme and her team are ready to usher you into a wonderful world of exercise for the enjoyment and lifelong health of it.
Interested in becoming a Pilates instructor? Ahme said it's a great option for those looking for a full- or part-time job. Plus, the fringe benefits of teaching exercise classes for a living are tangible. "I lose weight just teaching," Ahme said.
Written by: Erika Rose is West Michigan Woman magazine's staff writer. She graduated from Michigan State University with a degree in journalism. Erika was born and raised in West Michigan, and after a brief stint on the sunrise side, she's home and loving it.