Tom has been giving me Pilates classes at home for the last four years. I can easily say he is the best Pilates instructor I have ever worked with. He is capable and has a deep understanding of Pilates and of the human body. He is patient and easy to work with but also sets high standards and knows how to motivate his clients. In the years we have been together, he has transformed my body and added greatly to my well being. I no longer suffer from any back pain at all and my balance, strength and posture have improved significantly.
Tom got me through five pregnancies and each post-pregnancy recovery. I was in better shape after each child than ever before thanks to Tom and I was able to manage three workouts a week with young babies because he came to my home. And when he relocated to Asheville, he has continued to work with me by livestream sessions via Skype! He frequently returns to NYC and when he does, I always schedule in home sessions with him.
I have stuck with Tom for over six years because of his ability to understand when to push me and when to let up. He helped me get the most out of my workouts without ever making me feel burnt out.
New York NY
Tom tailors his work with each client individually depending on their strengths, weaknesses and physical condition. No two sessions are ever the same. I recommend him strongly both for those who are at peak form, as he is intensely knowledgeable about Pilates up through an advanced level, and also for those who need a more therapeutic approach.
New York NY
I was motivated to try AT because of neck pain. The experience of working with Monika not only relieved chronic pain, it gave me a deep understanding of how to be in my body with fluidity and lightness. My overall flexibility improved dramatically and my workouts were more productive. As a result, I became more at ease in my professional life as a teacher specializing in full contact self defense and assertiveness training.
Founder and President
I have had many hours of movement work and Monika's lessons are by far the most rewarding. She has skilled, tender and magical hands. Not only is she highly accomplished, talented and gifted she also has a fantastic sense of humor which is a lovely bonus. Lessons with Monika are calming yet stimulating.
One of the many benefits of AT is the ability to go home and work with the principles on your own. I have had lessons with Monika when she has helped me improve my tennis serve as well as refine a yoga pose.
If you have been wondering about AT don't hesitate any longer. One lesson with Monika can be life changing.
Certified Yoga and Meditation Instructor
Monika is a masterful Alexander Technique teacher. She’s deeply knowledgeable in her practice and uncommonly intuitive, gentle and insightful in her approach. Monika has guided me toward physical self-awareness which has allowed me to exert strength, endurance, and flexibility. She’s a gem.
When I first started working with Monika, I was a mess. My body was always tense. My shoulders were drawn in; I didn’t stand upright; my knees were always locked; my feet were always tight and I didn’t have much flexibility. I did not present myself well to the world.
After working with Monika, I learned how to stop my muscles from doing work that was counter-productive. And it didn’t require any physical effort, only allowing my muscles to “not do” and my balancing reflexes to work freely without interference.
I am now a different person. My presentation is open and confident. I am so much more flexible and resilient, physically and mentally! I do ballroom and folk dancing with ease and confidence. I started working out regularly doing both cardio and weight-bearing exercises. And I have recently started running and found the transition to be very natural. I understand what I have to do and “not to do.”
None of this would have happened without Monika and AT.
My initial reason for pursuing Alexander Technique was to improve my posture. I’d seen a photo and realized how slumped my shoulders were and how my posture presented me as an unconfident, unathletic woman.
Yet my lessons with Monika turned into much more than simply improving my posture. Over a period of 6 months of weekly or biweekly lessons, I improved not only my posture, but my running technique, my sense of movement and my understanding of my body and it’s natural resting yet active state.
Perhaps most importantly, however, I learned how to settle into my body in moments of unease or stress.
Though my lessons ended when Monika left New York City, I continue to employ Alexander daily, whether running, walking to work, or cheering on my students in class.
Nancy, age 32
Middle School Teacher
BLENDED AT & PILATES
As a pianist, studying the Taubman approach I found it a mind-opening experience to work with Monika and learn about Alexander Technique. Using your body efficiently and to its fullest potential goes beyond the experience of any particular form of exercise. Thanks to Monika's expertise I have encountered the possibilities that this approach offers for any form of movement. I experienced it most clearly during our running sessions together.
During many years with Tom I have learned to apply a much better understanding of my body to my Pilates exercises. This has helped me to eliminate my former chronic shoulder, arm, and lower back pain. His sensitivity and personal rapport are exemplary and represent the best of a trainer/customer relationship.
I now view Tom and Monika more as friends and confidants than as professionals, since they are inspirational to me as well. I wish them a good fresh start and who ever will make their acquaintance will be very lucky. They are sorely going to be missed!
RUNNING & WALKING COACHING
I was a once-in-awhile runner until I started working with Monika and Tom. They inspired me and taught me how to make running a part of my daily life. Today, I’m surprised and excited about what I’ve been able to achieve with their help. First it was a half marathon and now I’m on my way to the New York City Marathon! Most importantly, I’ve gained a new mindset about exercise and running that will continue long after the races are over.
I always dreamed of running a marathon but whenever I got to about 10 miles in my training, my IT band would tighten up and cause me knee pain to the point where I would have to stop running. Monika introduced me to AT and it made a huge difference in my running. Not only is Monika a skilled AT teacher but she is also a great running coach. I always thought of myself as a slower runner but Monika saw something different in my running. Using AT, Monika coached me through two marathons. After my first marathon, Monika developed a training schedule and worked with me to shave 25 minutes off my time. When I run now, I can still hear Monika's words in my head!
New York NY
I love running. For me, it is more than physical exercise. It is the place and time to nurture my inner self, my motivations, my will power and my freedom as a human being. After suffering a back injury, being told I should not run was one of the worst moments of my life. I am now training for my sixth marathon and I owe a great deal of gratitude to Monika and to the Alexander Technique. She has helped me to correct my bad habits, and I have increased the level of awareness in my body. I am learning to be more efficient every day and I feel lighter and lighter. In addition to her incredible experience and knowledge, I enjoy very much Monika's passion for listening and teaching. Her very real presence when sharing abilities and inspirational moments, and her fun and good attitude towards life have profoundly impacted me. I continue to work with Monika whenever she comes to NYC, which she does regularly.
President, Moleskine American
AN INDEPTH TESTIMONIAL FROM A RUNNING CLIENT WHO USED OUR
"RUNNING AGAIN... DIFFERENTLY!" SERVICE...
I ran my first marathon in 2005. It was a fantastic and exhilarating experience, but a very painful one. I was in physical therapy for 2 months during my training because I had developed horrible IT Band pain in my right leg, a chronic issue that many runners encounter.
Even so, I was determined to run another marathon in 2006, which is when I was introduced to Monika and Tom by a running friend of mine. He swore that Tom's hands-on assisted stretching would make all the difference with my IT Band problems. I was a huge skeptic knowing how painful it was the first time around and nothing would help, but I was willing to try. I started getting sessions weekly and saw immediate improvements after just 1 session. After a few weeks, I reduced to every other week and then to only when I needed a "tune-up".
It was then that I decided to take advantage of the full expertise that this tremendous team offers.
First, I studied AT with Monika. I was amazed at how quickly my form improved and my overall running ability increased. In particular, it taught me how to conserve my energy for those miles where you really have nothing left to waste.
Next, Monika created a running program for me. This marathon training schedule got me to push through that last 10k of seemingly never-ending miles.
Finally, I added Pilates with Tom. I was a bigger skeptic of Pilates than anything else and yet that has changed my body the most. It has made me leaner, more flexible and much stronger. I will always incorporate Pilates into any workout regimen.
My running goal is to qualify for the Boston Marathon and Monika and Tom have gotten me within striking distance.
My times have improved to a speed I never thought I could achieve and it was due to every aspect of the work I have done with Monika and Tom. They have transformed both my thinking and my physical capabilities. Even though they are no longer in NYC, I will still be tapping into their knowledge because this is something I haven't found anywhere else - truly one of a kind!
I really can't say enough about the work I have done with both of them. Let me just finish by saying that 5 years and 6 marathons later, I no longer have any issues with my IT Band. Or anything else!
Director, Equity Sales
(FOLLOW UP NOTE - Jaime did indeed qualify for Boston! She has met that goal twice now, with a 3:34:31 in the 2012 Chicago Marathon, and then again with a 3:32:43 in the 2013 Grandma's Marathon. She ran a 3:43:30 in the 2013 Boston Marathon, thankfully finishing before the bombings occurred. She is planning to return to run Boston in 2014.)
FITNESS AT 60+
Nearing my 70th birthday I began to experience pain when stooping, twinges when reaching, and the realization that I was becoming inflexible. I did think "gym" but since the only thing I had done in a gym was injure myself, I rejected that. A friend who knew my history of multiple cancer surgeries and injuries suggested Pilates and specifically Pilates with Tom.
I began work with Tom not as a skeptic, exactly, but steeped in fear of failure. Then instead of dreading, I began to look forward to this work. Who would not as Tom is personal, professional and patient beyond imagining. Each hour required my perfect focus and attention and there was an immediate sense that this concentration would be uninterrupted, making it a gift.
Simultaneously, I had the opportunity to receive instruction in AT from Monika. With her I discovered that the knowledge of my own body's mechanics was woeful but I felt that if now my muscles were being toned in my work with Tom then using them in a way that prevented my returning to old habits made ultimate sense.
As I continue this journey I find some unexpected side effects. Not only is my movement more fluid but my sense of myself is buoyant and dancing. And I have the confidence that I am moving through my day with a 70 year old body at the best it can possibly be.
I am 85 years old and know that less flexibility comes with the territory. When I step out onto the street after an hour of Pilates with Tom, I am more upright, loose, and walk more freely. I am assured that he knows what he is doing and has the experience to keep me within my natural limits.
Thomas F. McEvily, Jr.
Retired Insurance Executive
I was initially recommended to Monika for AT by my acupuncturist, and I was extremely pleased with our work together. This lead me to Tom, and Pilates. Matter of fact, there was a time when I was going out running with both of them as well on a regular basis. Tom is a brilliant Pilates teacher. He not only knows his stuff, but is extremely thoughtful and intelligent and is able to work with a client to bring out their unique best. I appreciated his ability to verbalize what he wanted from me, and felt that his hands-on approach suited my personality. So in my book, he's the best. To anyone who reads this, you are very lucky indeed to have Tom and Monika in your community. They are great people and wonderful teachers.
When a working lifetime of mostly sitting at desks threatened me with elderly flab and loss of resilience, I was lucky enough to find Monika Gross. Her firm and skillful teachings returned me to operative efficiency for many years. As an added plus, I had the pleasure of enjoying her infectious enthusiasm and smiling personality along with the lessons!
J.M., a retired senior manager
New York NY
I have been working with Monika on and off for 5 years, starting right after I turned 60. I find that the AT and Monika's approach have led to not only better posture but a better overall presentation in both business and social settings. I also find that AT results in better self awareness and an improved attitude toward self and others. Monika is zealous about AT and her results speak for themselves.
REHAB FOR LIFE
I came to Monika with chronic sciatica caused by pinched nerves in my lumbar spine. I’d had four epidural steroid injections, but the sciatica always returned. AT has given me a way to literally rise above it: to stop bracing against the pain, release my spine upwards, and move freely. AT has simply meant the difference between having pain and not having pain. When I have a twinge, I now know how to release my way out of it. I’ve lost my fear of the sciatica, and regained my ability to walk as far as I want. I’ve learned that when the body moves as it was designed to, there’s plenty of room for even a pinched nerve to function properly without causing pain.
Monika is a brilliant AT instructor and she has been an enormous help to me personally. She has also brought relief to many of my referred patients who suffer from chronic pain and disability. She has an intuitive sense of the body complemented by a playful sense of metaphor. Sessions with her have always left me with a lasting sense of poise, increased energy, and a heightened awareness of my relationship to the space around me.
Philip J. Wagner MD
Anesthesiologist specializing in the
treatment of patients with chronic pain
After completing my first marathon, I discovered that I couldn't run any more without lower back and hip pain. I was in pain getting up in the morning and couldn’t do what I wanted to do. After seeing a variety of doctors with no success, I started working with Monika and Tom, first learning and applying AT and then strengthening with Pilates. I am now stronger and have been without back or hip pain for several years and I can run again! And since Tom has relocated to Asheville NC, my husband, Urs, and I are happy to be able to continue to work with him with regular Skype Pilates sessions!
New York NY
I had endured a severe whiplash injury that created intense nerve pain on the left side of my body. Nothing helped. I am very athletic and love to work so it was soul crushing to try every form of rehabilitation with no results. When I saw Monika I was cranky, overwhelmed and desperate for relief.
Working with Monika changed my life. It took a while to adjust my vision of how I saw my body due to how long I had been trying to 'fix' it. Monika and her AT lessons allowed me to find physical balance and I use my body now in a way that doesn't hurt nor do I compensate for the injury I sustained.
I went from not being able to feel my fingers on my left hand to having circulation and full feeling. I can sit and type and read which I couldn't do before because it was so painful. The sciatica on the left side of my body is gone. These results come from a special approach and style that I have only found with Monika.
I recommend AT not only for chronic pain but also for stress. I learned so much about not reacting to stress. I began to realize how much choice I have in responding to stimulus and now my pain and stress levels have dramatically decreased.
With AT I learned about what I already had that was functioning well and how to let that be the focus of my attention. Because of this I was able to complete my masters program in social work.
Rachel Hirshberg, MSW
I am a 54-year-old dentist in Manhattan and an avid golfer. I have worked with Tom as my Pilates instructer for the past three years. He has improved my performance greatly both in my profession as well as in my golf game. He is extremely knowledgeable and a pleasure to train with. I have worked with trainers for the past 30 years and Tom is by far the best. He is a great motivator in a focused and very personal way. He has truly helped me shape and improve many facets of my life.
I first started with Pilates after a few episodes of disc herniation. After two months of sessions I felt much stronger and more flexible. I have continued Pilates for 12 years, twice a week with excellent results. My core muscles are strong and back pain is a rare and fleeting issue. I can't thank you enough -- I am able to play golf twice a week without issue and can ski as hard as I would like. Thank you for helping me continue to pursue my athletic interests with confidence.
R. Slepian, M.D.
Monika Gross worked with my colleagues to help them become compelling speakers and skilled presenters. Through the Alexander Technique and dramatic coaching, Monika transformed their careers as they gained the confidence and respect of their clients and peers. Over a number of years, Monika’s teaching was proven over and over again to improve the performance of our employees.
Michael J. Wolf
Former President, MTV Networks
Former Managing Partner, McKinsey & Company
Over a period of 18 months, Monika helped my family in so many ways: She provided me with executive coaching, using AT to develop strategies that keep me open and engaged in a range of new and challenging leadership situations. She helped me stick with and finish writing a book about my father that sat idle for over 20 years. She helped my husband, a triathlete, run happier and with fewer injuries. And she taught my two teenage daughters ways to be physically present and available with life as it really is, warts and all. And she got me running myself!