CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- Amy Goins started doing Pilates one month after the death of her younger sister in 2001 at the suggestion from a friend, who was a mental health therapist.
Goins, 40, was overweight and exercised infrequently.
"She thought getting me moving would be healthy and suggested Pilates. So I tried it," Goins said. "It's a challenge for me, and I find it spiritual and meditative."
Goins credits Pilates for beginning to heal her body so that she could heal her mind and spirit from the devastating loss.
"It's constantly moving and flowing. I'm not only focusing on breathing and where I am in space, but I'm also listening to the instructor give me cues to hold my body with better posture over time," she said.
"I'm not able to think about grocery shopping or anything else for a full 55 minutes. Like the Type A person that I am, it resonates with me and my spirit. It connects my mind to my body via the breath."
Goins is bringing a body-image event to her studio to help others feel comfortable in their own skin.
The bodyheart workshop will be held at Centered Pilates today and will feature special host Amber Krzys from Los Angeles.
Krzys' company, bodyheart, focuses on teaching people to love the bodies they're given.
"She teaches women to fall in love with their bodies as they are today," Goins said. "You can come to the workshop and participate in her campaign . . . she takes a photo of you, un-retouched, and uses these photos in her marketing materials. And she shows people who are moving to self-acceptance."
In addition to caring for the minds of her clients, Goins focuses on caring for their bodies, too.