304 W. WEAVER STREET CARRBORO, NC 27510

919.260.4817

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Testimonials

Interview with Kate Dickson, 2015

How were you before classes at Spira? Paint us a picture of your sense of body, awareness, or pains.

Before starting classes at Spira, I was recovering from two orthopedic surgeries (wrist and a herniated lower back disc) over the course of just a year and a half.  I’d found little benefit from physical therapy, particularly from a pain management perspective, and was frustrated at not being able to get back to running and yoga, which had been my main forms of exercise prior to injury.  I wanted something that would be challenging both mentally and physically, but also allow me to exercise around my injuries as I continued to heal from surgery.

How are you feeling after classes at Spira? Have you had any awakenings of awareness? Do you carry yourself differently outside of the studio? Do you look forward to your next session?

Wonderful!  Very quickly after starting classes at Spira, I noticed a dramatic decrease in my back pain. Two years later it continues to improve, and I feel much stronger and more flexible in general.

Sarah is a master of metaphor – from origami flowers to fish swimming upstream, she is able to describe each movement of the body in a way that makes proper alignment clear and intuitive for her students.

I am much more aware of alignment and posture in everyday situations.  I apply the movement cues I’ve learned at Spira in many situations, whether it’s going for a run or sitting at a desk at work, and am confident that I’m keeping myself strong and safe from injury as I move through my day.

Everything about Spira is fun and engaging.  Varied and challenging routines, a spa-like ambience, excellent music, fun and enthusiastic fellow students, and of course first-rate instruction all make sessions at Spira a highlight of my week.

Are there any tangible results? Are your clothes fitting differently? Has pain lessened/changed/gone away? Do you feel confident? Has anyone else noticed any differences in you?

Greatly reduced pain from previous injuries and more confidence that I can move without pain or injury in all aspects of my life.

Is there anything that you feel has been unique about class at Spira?  

Classes at Spira are the opposite of the one-size-fits-all approach you might find in other settings.  Even in group classes, Sarah has an intuitive ability to adjust and modify routines to the specific needs, injuries, and practice levels of each student.  The result is the motivating fun of a group class with the individual attention of a private session.

Interview with Natalie Ammarell, 2014

How were you before classes at Spira? Paint us a picture of your sense of body, awareness, or pains.

I started Pilates mat classes with [Sarah] on September 1, 2005 and committing to follow through was one of the best decisions I’ve made in my life. I had just turned 60 and to say the least I was in bad shape. My life was full of the stresses of recovering from being caregiver for my recently deceased mother; having a very demanding job with extra consulting work on the side; and supporting my best friend through her journey of ovarian cancer. I had lost a lot of weight in the late 1990s, but by now I had gained some of it back and my body was screaming at me. I was hugely aware of it, but very unable to find solutions to serious lower back spasms, shoulder/chest muscles that were so contracted they were painful, and plenty of soft tissue in belly and thighs. I was walking regularly, gardening and playing golf, but those physical activities could hardly offset all the other ways I was punishing my body. I had zero flexibility – compounded by a lifelong history of very tight hamstrings; getting down to and up from the floor was challenging.

How are you feeling after classes at Spira? Have you had any awakenings of awareness? Do you carry yourself differently outside of the studio? Do you look forward to your next session?

OMG – 8 ½ years later, now almost 69 – the change is not fully describable; but I’ll try. Now, I understand that it’s ALL about awareness. I didn’t get that for a long time. I thought it was all about effort and I did put in the effort. I attended two mat classes a week as much as I could for a lot of years. At the beginning of 2009 I made the commitment to private sessions once a week. While I’ve had to give up the mat classes, you or some other compelling reason would have to force me to stop my private sessions. Of course, I look forward to my next session – who knows just what might happen?

Awakenings and understandings have included: 1) it’s not about using your muscles to just pull everything in or up or down; it’s about using your breathing to drive the rest of the effort; 2) alignment and gait matter; 3) everything is connected from the bottom-most toe to your head; 4) the inflexible can become more flexible; 5) every single one of us has life patterns and physical limitations that we must learn about, accept and incorporate into the changes we are trying to make.

Yes, I carry myself differently outside of the studio. During my years of Pilates, I gained and now have re-lost weight, but wherever that has been, I gradually have stood taller, walked less hunched over, felt more “toned”.

Are there any tangible results? Are your clothes fitting differently? Has pain lessened/changed/gone away? Do you feel confident? Has anyone else noticed any differences in you?

Here was what I told a friend in September, 2005:  “I’ve started Pilates exercise classes and am hoping that these will stop my muscular-skeletal deterioration and maybe even some day rearrange the scar tissue in my belly and allow me to get back into decent form again.”

I have no doubt that the muscular-skeletal deterioration has been stopped (or, age 68, certainly hugely slowed down). Pain in back/shoulders largely gone. Neck pain attributable to use of computer can be managed/stretched through. The scar tissue has given way to an ability to use my core for many purposes. Clothes fit somewhat differently, though weight is in play for that, too. Yes, I feel more confident – I understand my body better. It’s not that things don’t happen – my legs challenge me regularly – but I can better figure out what’s happening and how to respond. And yes, my friends and family are fully aware of what a difference Pilates has made in my life.

Is there anything that you feel has been unique about class at Spira?  

Well, you [Sarah]. I never tried anything like this before. I was an athlete and just carried on with my athletic body until I couldn’t. I just accepted my inflexibilities and didn’t bother to do anything about them. You are the reason that I have stuck with Pilates. You met me where I was and we took it from there. You have an ability to relate to every person you work with that makes each feel unique and understood. You have a wealth of knowledge and an ability to synthesize and tailor that to the individual. And, you value continuing to grow and learn in your work. We all benefit from that.

From Natalie’s Annual New Year’s Eve Letter, December 31, 2008 

For 2008, first thing on calendar – January 2nd – is Pilates. I made a real commitment to Pilates, within my abilities. Showed up most Tuesdays of this year for mat class. In the fall, Sarah gave me a slot every other Thursday and I started private sessions using machines. As one who was never able to commit to exercise classes or structured exercise, I’ve really come to love this. A lot is due to Sarah – her upbeat, grounded way of leading us and her encouragement as I struggle with my legs.


Interview with Tara Konkel, 2014

How were you before classes at Spira? Paint us a picture of your sense of body, awareness, or pains.

Before my classes with Sarah I felt frustrated with my workout routine and results. I tried many different things and never saw a much of a change. For example, all of the ab workouts I tried left me with overdeveloped outer abdominals, causing my stomach to look bigger, not my desired outcome. Sarah taught me how to engage my inner abdominals and how to bring awareness to the whole area, shifting my mindset and getting rid of the pooch! This is just one example of many.

How are you feeling after classes at Spira? Have you had any awakenings of awareness? Do you carry yourself differently outside of the studio? Do you look forward to  your next session?

After class with Sarah I feel strong, body aware and happy. I have experienced huge awakenings of awareness in my body. Sarah has taught me to shift my awareness from my outer core to my inner core; from my overworking upper back to my underdeveloped lower back; there are honestly too many to count. Basically, Sarah’s extensive knowledge has completely changed the way I workout, the way I carry myself and the way I look. I can’t wait for my next session and usually try to squeeze in to more!

Are there any tangible results? Are your clothes fitting differently? Has pain lessened/changed/gone away? Do you feel confident? Has anyone noticed any differences in you?

There are definitely tangible results from working with Sarah. Like I said before, my abs no longer stick out from overworking my outer core and her well-rounded Cardio-Core class has helped tone that pesky inner thigh muscle so well that my thighs no longer touch…well as long as I stand correctly, also taught by Sarah. It’s amazing how confident one can feel with a little thigh gap!

Is there anything that you feel has been unique about class at Spira?

Sarah is such a diverse and well trained individual that class with her is unique in every way! She will have you piking, plié-ing, and dancing all in one class!


Ginger W.

Before Sarah invited me to her GYROKINESIS® group class I had taken some years away from dance and yoga. After the first couple sessions, moving in luscious spirals and and waves, I realized this class could fulfill much of what I was missing. I quickly became a loyal student. The multi-layered approach of Gyro, and Sarah’s teaching style, give me so many hooks to grab onto, including anatomy (bones, organs, musculature, fascia, etc), energy work, the beauty of my own imagination, emotional acceptance and release, and spatial dynamics moving between the internal and external. My understanding and curiosity in my own body, it’s intricacies, asymmetry & vibrancy, have increased immensely in the last year of attending class. I love being challenged every week with new information to help me be more attentive to my body. Striving towards ease of movement and overall health in and out of the studio through Gyrokenisis has been a gift I wish I could have given myself many years ago.


Marie K.

My work in Pilates with Sarah Honer has given me a strong pelvic floor Most of us never give the pelvic floor much thought. But after the birth of my second child, I was diagnosed with Stress Incontinence. Not only was I benched from my favorite sports, I couldn’t run after my children, cough, or even walk across a parking lot without peeing. My doctor suggested surgery. “Whoa! Isn’t there anything I can do for this other than surgery?” I asked, nearly in tears. “No,” I was told. She suggested I try Kegel exercises until I decide on surgery.  I never went back to that doctor. I continued Kegel exercises on my own and I started Pilates with Sarah Honer, who wisely instructs her students on every aspect of the pelvic floor and why it’s so important for movement and overall health. After two years of Pilates, my bladder control was back to normal, and my new doctor agreed that my pelvic strength had greatly improved! Pilates is hard work, but I am grateful every day for my ability to move freely without worry.


Elin A.

I highly recommend Spira Pilates Studio. Whether you are a strong athlete looking for a new way to gain strength or have an injury, Sarah Honer will meet you where you are and you will learn about your body and begin to move in strength and confidence.


Jamie N.

If you are looking for a really great Pilates instructor, there is none better than Sarah Honer at Spira Pilates. I have taken both her mat class for several years and did about a year and a half of private lessons using the pilates equipment. Sarah has fun with her students and makes you feel comfortable no matter what your skill level may be. She is always learning new techniques and shares them with her clients. I always feel better after a session at Spira Pilates and would highly recommend her to anyone that is within diving distance to Carrboro!


Bela F.

After your classes, always, I feel more in tune with my body, more connected and in control.  I feel stronger, longer, and better overall. Really, I just wanted to thank you for everything that you have taught me and everything you continue to teach me.  Your methods are so wonderful, unique, and intelligent.  I think you should start your own pilates school 🙂 And I can say I was your first pupil!  But seriously, the Honer method of pilates has changed my life… and it’s unlike any other.  As I continue to experience other studios the comparison is just out of this world.  So thank you for being different!

GYROTONIC EXPANSION SYSTEM®, GYROTONIC®, and GYROKINESIS® are trademarks of Gyrotonic Sales Corporation and are used with their permission.