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Katie Trzebiatowski demonstrates how the machines are used in her new North River Pilates studio in Weston.

Katie Trzebiatowski sought out Pilates as something that would provide her with both a physical activity and help her feel better after suffering a number of high school ski injuries. Her first Pilates class went so well that she felt like she was walking on air when she left the studio.

“It completely transformed my body and my life,” Trzebiatowski says. “My goal was if I could help one other person feel like that I’ll be satisfied.”

Trzebiatowski is reaching for that goal by opening North River Pilates at 3409 Schofield Ave. in Weston. The business, which opened Wednesday, is one of the few Pilates-dedicated studios in the Wausau area. (Yoga studio 5 Koshas does offer a Pilates class and Central Wisconsin School of Ballet has an in-house Pilates program.) The next closest is Stevens Point.

What is Pilates? Most people figure it’s like yoga but with some crazy machines. There are a lot of similarities to yoga, Trzebiatowski says, but the exercises, developed by Joseph Pilates, are made to stretch and strengthen muscles at the same time, and can employ special machines to enhance that. For example, she demonstrates a side plank, a common fitness move found in yoga and other forms of training. With the machine, the plank becomes a deeper or easier challenge depending on the tension of the springs on the machine.

Pilates is for nearly anyone, Trzebiatowski says, from the fitness junkie to someone with chiropractic needs. The machines are used in one-on-one sessions in which Trzebiatowski guides her student through movements. “It’s about helping people live their lives in less pain and adding function… everything from picking up the grandkids to running,” Trzebiatowski says.

The studio also offers mat classes and barre exercise, which is a blend of Pilates principles with ballet.

“It’s transformative,” Trzebiatowski says about Pilates. “I noticed less anxiety, I lost weight, I slept better, I was more toned and I had more confidence, a different sense of myself.”

Find North River Pilates on Facebook and at