E for Effort

The Pilates effect

For some, the boutique Pilates studio Effortless Movement (1300 NW Northrup St, Suite 300) resides in the absolute perfect spot: a couple of stories above BridgePort Brew Pub. Even if a post-Pilates IPA isn’t your thing, though, this cozy loft space in a 19th-century building that once housed a rope factory will still charm you. The room accommodates just six students at a time—it feels as though you’re doing Pilates in someone’s comfy living room.

“Pilates is magic,” says owner Christine Binnendyk. “You can fix things in your body that you’d never think would change. I’ve seen a stroke victim go from unable to walk to taking care of herself. I worked with an injured minor league catcher who was able to extend his career; now he’s being considered for the majors.”

Binnendyk, now 50, experienced her own Pilates miracle. Following a car accident in her early 20s, she experienced chronic pain for eight years. After six weeks of a dedicated Pilates practice, her pain disappeared.  Since then, she’s thrown herself into the practice and trained with a number of protégés of the practice’s originator, Joseph Pilates, including the famed late instructor Romana Kryzanowska. After working for nearly a decade at Nike as a full-time Pilates trainer and later at the Multnomah Athletic Club, she opened Effortless Movement, her own little Pilates haven, earlier this year in February. Her studio offers weekly group classes, and Binnendyk also works with people privately one-on-one or one-on-two. –Ellee Thalheimer | Photo by Ashley Anderson