Pilates leaves boredom on the treadmill

Emma Tembreull

Tucked in the Watermarq Suites kiddy-corner from Getz’s on Front Street, Bird On A Perch Pilates Studio offers a unique and rewarding workout experience for any age or body-type.

re-birdonaperch2-etPilates is a series of low impact exercises to foster progression in flexibility, strength and an overall heightened sense of body awareness, said owner of Bird On A Perch, Allison Cherrette. The most broad and understood practice is traditional mat Pilates, but what Cherrette believes to be the most unique form is through the use of spring-loaded equipment.

Originally invented by Joseph Pilates, such equipment provides support and resistance to promote greater muscle control.

The classes offered at Bird On A Perch are diverse, which allows patrons to switch up their routine, leaving no room for boredom. Traditional mat ultimately tests your strength by exploring the original 34 exercises that will employ your full body. Equipment classes provide a Pilates experience with leverage utilizing the Pilates chair, reformer and tower.

Barre classes fuse Pilates with familiar ballet poses that target the “legs and buns,” said Cherrette. If you’re crunched on time, jumpboard classes are a quick 30-minute cardio session where you lie on the Pilates table and essentially jump using the spring-loaded equipment that surely gets your heart rate up while working the legs, arms and abs.

Cherrette brands her studio as being for real people.

“No one is perfect. I’m certainly not,” Cherrette said. “My goal at Bird On A Perch is to create an environment where people can just be themselves. It doesn’t matter what you look like, how ‘fit’ you are, what you ate last night, or how you choose to spend your free time. When you walk through the door, I want you to be real, have fun and simply keep moving.”

A native to the remote Skanee area of the U.P., Cherrette has always been inspired by movement.

As a child, she spent a great deal of her time hiking, biking, skiing, swimming and not-so-gracefully playing tennis, but above all she admired dance. Her escape from the stresses of life was through the heart-guided experience of dance that allowed her to spend time in, and appreciate the body she had been given. However, by age 27 she felt as though her body needed something new.

“I was never a big fan of the gym. Treadmills are so uninspiring, and while I had a solid yoga practice, I craved something that would make me feel as alive as I did when I was dancing,” Cherrette said. With her flexibility slipping with age and a knee surgery under her belt, she turned to Pilates after experiencing her first private lesson on the Reformer, a table-like piece of equipment with moving parts that allows for pushing and pulling resistance actions.

This newfound workout left her feeling strong, long and energized. This sparked Cherrette to leave her marketing career and chase her Pilates dreams.

Cherrette earned her Pilates Method Alliance (PMA) certification at the Pilates Center in Boulder, Colorado. She completed the 950-hour Advanced Teacher Training program and  completes 16 education credits every two years to keep the title. This certificate gives her a great excuse to travel and explore other areas in her field of expertise.

Cherrette and her sister, Angie, offer a diverse spread of fitness classes Monday through Sunday with a wide range of hours to accommodate work and class schedules. Private lessons are available as well for those who wish to have undivided attention. Students with a valid NMU ID can save $10 off of class packs of 10 too, and all new clients receive discounted intro packages.

Classes can be booked using the MINDBODY Connect app or by calling or emailing Cherette. Additional information can be found on birdonaperch.com.