April 2017 | Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
“Gratz-Pilates is the finest quality and only Pilates equipment available with designs based upon the original specifications of Joseph Pilates. Every dimension and specification was intentional. To change that is to change the method. Other brands pale in comparison. Gratz comes from the source, and like the True Pilates method it has withstood the test of time and doesn’t need to be altered or “updated” in order to exploit fitness trends. It is the only equipment we use because it is true to the source and the method with designs, measurements, and specifications that ensure that anyone, regardless of shape or size, can see and feel real change and experience the work as it was intended.”
Touchstone Pilates is a fully equipped Pilates studio offering private, semi-private and small group sessions. We offer the highest quality classical Pilates instruction available based upon the system of exercises and philosophies originally developed by Joseph Pilates - what is today called True Pilates. Touchstone was the first Pilates studio in Pittsburgh fully equipped with Gratz-Pilates apparatus and is the only studio in Pittsburgh offering the True Pilates method as handed down by Joseph Pilates directly to his world-renowned protege, Romana Kryzanowska.
Our studio’s name, Touchstone Pilates, was developed based upon my belief that the training our instructors received from Romana and her daughter, Sari Mejia Santo, and the Gratz-Pilates equipment that we use are the best available and set the standard for Pilates training excellence.
Touchstone — n. an excellent quality or example that is used to test the excellence, genuineness, or value of others. Synonyms 1. Standard, measure, or model.
Why did you decide to open a Pilates studio? I pursued my Romana’s Pilates certification while working full time in banking and finance. In 2006 after I completed my certification, I decided to move back home to Pittsburgh to pursue a new career in Pilates. I knew there was a need in Pittsburgh for a truly classical Pilates studio and decided to open Touchstone Pilates in 2007.
Touchstone Pilates will be celebrating its 10th Anniversary this June 2017.
I was Involved in athletics my entire life and was a championship springboard and platform diver for the Penn State University Lady Lion diving team. After graduating with a Bachelor of Arts degree from Penn State University and a Master of Business Administration from the Katz School at the University of Pittsburgh, I worked in banking and corporate finance for 25 years. I was a “gym rat” over those years, but when I discovered Pilates in 2001 I knew I had found the best total body workout I had ever felt. I fell in love with Pilates and decided to pursue a certification while working full time. After becoming certified in 2006, I moved back home to Pittsburgh and opened the studio. The satisfaction I get from helping clients achieve their goals or overcome a physical obstacle is so much greater than any deal I might have done in the past.
Pilates can benefit everyone, young and old, from fitness enthusiast to professional athlete. I maintain a training philosophy of providing a safe, challenging, and fun experience that fosters a desire for lifetime fitness, health, balance, and vitality.
Heather was certified by Romana Kryzanowska in 2003 after studying in Atlanta and New York with Romana, her daughter, master instructor Sari Mejia Santo, and Romana’s Pilates® Level 1 instructor Juanita Lopez. Heather started studying Pilates in 1995 while she was at Ohio University, where she received her BFA in Dance and Choreography.
Before moving to Pittsburgh, Heather danced professionally in New York City and taught mat classes and private sessions at the Pilates Center in Atlanta. Heather enjoys studying and learning about how the body moves. She loves seeing what Pilates can do for one’s body and believes that anyone can have a safe and effective workout using the True Pilates method.
I was fortunate enough to be trained on Gratz, so there was never a question that the studio would be equipped with Gratz. Touchstone was the first and for a number of years the only Pittsburgh-based Pilates studio fully equipped with Gratz-Pilates apparatus. It was my best kept secret for many years. The local Pilates community is finally starting to catch on to the brilliance of Gratz. Not only I have experienced real change in my body using Gratz but my clients have seen and felt the difference in their bodies after working on the Gratz apparatus.