If you go
What: Hayden Pilates classes
When: 7 a.m., 4:30 p.m. and 5:30 p.m. Tuesdays and Thursdays; 9 a.m. Saturdays
Where: Eva Gibbon's home, 102 S. Fourth St., Hayden
Cost: $10 a class or $80 for 10
Call: 276-3620 to sign up
Steamboat Springs Pilates classes in Eva Gibbon's basement studio can get noisy.
"She makes it feel like a family," said Karen Simon, who has been a student of Gibbon's for two years. "She has to remind us because we have too much fun."
But Gibbon isn't much of a stickler. She joked with her students at class Tuesday afternoon, checking their form and comfort as she guided them through the core-strengthening exercises. Gibbon, who also teaches in Steamboat Springs, has run Hayden Pilates in her home for two years.
She started doing Pilates about five years ago after her third back injury.
"I fell in love with it," Gibbon said.
She earned her certification and started teaching four years ago, toting her equipment to Hayden High School or Yampa Valley Regional Airport for classes. She and her husband, Ken, bought their house on Fourth Street two years ago, with the intent of creating the studio.
She runs classes Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays. Gibbon said she also does private lessons and is willing to add classes if several people want to take Pilates but can't fit her times into their schedule.
Pilates has eliminated her back pain and made her stronger and more flexible, she said. The same goes for her students.
Simon said she started taking Pilates "because everything hurt."
"I couldn't sit for more than an hour," Simon said after class Tuesday. "Now, I have no problems. It's night and day."
Rhonda Sweetser, principal at Hayden Valley Elementary School, also attended the Tuesday class. She's been coming for a couple of years.
"I knew Eva from having her kids at school," Sweetser said. "I knew what a good person she was, so I thought I'd try it out."
Sweetser said she combines Pilates with cardio as part of her fitness routine.
"I love it," she said. "It's not only a good exercise : but the stress relief is great."
Gibbon plans to start teaching at The Haven Assisted Living Center this winter as part of the Visiting Nurse Association's Aging Well program. In addition to the fitness value, she said, Pilates teaches people about their bodies and muscles.
Although Gibbon's class Tuesday was all female, she has male students, too. Women often come in with their daughters, partly because Pilates improves posture, she said. Sometimes, students discover their bodies' quirks.
"I had a mother and two daughters, and they were exercising together, doing something really simple," Gibbon said. "Every one had their toes curled in the exact same way on the same foot. : It was kind of funny and interesting to see what the body does."
The core workout from Pilates also helps with skiing and other sports, she said.
"My tele turns were just so controlled and graceful" last season, Gibbon said. "I felt great because that core strength, it makes everything better."
Her students, though they groaned through a few of the tougher moves, left class with smiling faces Tuesday.
That gives Gibbon a sense of satisfaction.
"I just like looking at people feeling better," she said, "and getting Hayden in shape."