Maria and her mother Lina

Maria and her mother Lina


The Begin Chair™ is the only ball chair available that adjusts to your spine’s natural curves. It reinforces excellent posture through the use of an adjustable small ball that rests against the sitter’s lumbar spine. The ball seat of the chair is very safe yet also provides just the right amount of instability to activate the core muscles.

Maria Mankin invented the Begin Chair™ with her 83-year-old mother, Lina, in mind. Lina did not have the strength nor the flexibility to participate in a regular Pilates floor exercise program, so Maria developed a low-impact, gentle Pilates program on a standard chair. Although Lina greatly benefited from the program, Maria realized she could further challenge Lina’s core muscles if she could come up with a way for Lina to sit safely on an exercise ball. To address this need, Maria invented the Begin Chair™, which provides a stable, safe way to activate the sitter’s core.

After a few months of doing Pilates on the Begin Chair™, Lina began to experience increased strength and flexibility and was able to do things that she couldn’t do before, such as get up from a chair without assistance. Soon after, Maria began teaching the Grace Pilates Method® on the Begin Chair™ to other clients and found that it made Pilates more effective and appropriate for all ages and abilities.


Pilates is often perceived as a practice for young, athletic people. With the Begin Chair™ and the Grace Pilates Method, the practice of Pilates broadens to safely and effectively serve the needs of all populations.

Produced and developed by Balanced Body™, a California-based sustainable corporation, the Begin Chair™ is not only a state-of-the-art office chair that transforms sitting at a desk into an active experience, (, but it’s also a Pilates chair that has been the inspiration for Maria’s Grace Pilates Method®, a gentle Pilates program for older populations and for those seeking a rehabilitative approach to Pilates after surgery or injuries. With the Begin Chair™ and the Grace Pilates Method®, Maria and her team have helped many people regain strength and stamina in order to lead the life they want.


The Grace Pilates Method® Pilates classes provide a low-impact, challenging Pilates program utilizing resistance and weights. The individualized instruction focuses on developing core strength, improving flexibility and balance, and strengthening bones and muscles. Click on “schedule” to sign up for a class.

Grace Pilates Method® Instructor training coming soon.