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by: Courtesy of Andy Robbins Melanie Byford-Young, noted pilates instructor, will celebrate National Pilates Day on May 7 by offering Stott Pilates classes all week.

EXERCISE

National Pilates Day

Sting likes it. Maybe you will, too?

National Pilates Day is coming up (Saturday, May 7), and Portland is home to one of the noted experts in Stott Pilates, considered the 'gold standard' because it's bio-mechanically based and uses progression to customize work: Melanie Byford-Young, who wants to give a shout out for yoga's rival in the exercise realm.

Pilates differs from yoga in that 'as opposed to long stretches, we do it a bit more dynamic - 10 to 20 reps of each movement, taxing the muscles from all different angles. We use the wonderful equipment designed by Joseph Pilates, with spring-based resistance,' she says.

'It's incredible for rehab. What you're getting out of pilates is control through muscles and suppleness of movement, range of motion, ease. Because it's detailed focus on control and length and developing balanced bodies, it's amazing in overcoming and preventing injuries.'

When the pop star Sting performed at the Clark County Amphitheater in 2008, he called on Byford-Young to train him.

'He worked crazy hard,' Byford-Young says. 'Very mobile, incredibly strong. He's in great shape. I really challenged him, and he was laughing, 'I'll be hitting the high note tonight.' Thirty-five minutes later, he was on stage.'

Byford-Young, Stott Pilates rehab master instructor trainer, has traveled around the world to educate herself and teach Stott Pilates. She is co-owner of Pacific NW Pilates at 5201 S.W. Westgate Drive, Beaverton, a renowned destination for aspiring pilates participants and instructors.

Pacific NW Pilates will celebrate with classes the whole week of National Pilates Day. For more information, go to pacificnwpilates.com.

- Jason Vondersmith