Yes, the Pilates Police might scream and holla, because I am doing the unthinkable....mixing genres. OMGoodness! NO!! Yet, the variable and its support is absolutely divine on the body. I have decided to add the tool to some of my Pilates Mat classes.
I don't make new year resolutions anymore. I really haven't told those lies to myself for quite sometime. It's probably because I work and teach to follow a continuous path of "forward movement" rather than allowing myself to fall into the trap of "stops and starts. " I also try very hard to encourage students to find and maintain that same level of consistency in their work.
So, rather than wholesale, concrete resolutions, I have found that a few +pluses and -minuses, an add or subtract here and there, and selective adjustments and additions makes much more sense to being able to be successful in making changes in our lives and our bodies.
The country girl in me loves to walk along the river and hear the sound of the water slapping against the rocks. I get a rush from the smell of the pine and the rustling of the leaves from scampering chipmunks. I am simply and completely at home in the outdoors. Thankful that friends are still enjoying it with me, for now fourteen years.
I try to follow a few rules to stay true to my work and profession. In so doing, here are a few takeaway's from the three notable teacher's I had the honor of experiencing in the first two weeks of November. I feel so lucky and honored to be able to absorb the extra bits of texture and detail they sprinkled all around.
There are a few things I have developed a stronger appreciation for during the year. I am sitting and writing outside to keep a promise to myself of documenting my #Truthspeak. Today is the autumnal equinox, the day of equal light and darkness and its eight days away from my 60th birthday.
Three, Seven, Nine and Eleven. These are magical numbers of the universe. They have been showing up in powerful celebration with me this month across a number of personal and professional areas bringing all sorts of celebratory magic to my awareness this month.
Proud to join a few of my teacher-colleagues across the globe inspiring students to use Pilates and the Pilates Avatar program wherever they are. Thankful for this feature to kick off the Ambassador program with Clare Dunphy. Here's a reprint of her newsletter and a little video of a typical morning in the studio.
One of the things I like about managing a social media profile, is the honesty of putting yourself out there for students, clients, teachers, and colleagues to support, critique and encourage. As the work with our bodies is never perfect, it is always a practice and a progression. Social media (specifically Instagram) offers a true way to share the habit of continual learning we are all involved in with our bodies and Pilates.
The best thing I did as I approached my 6th decade was to ditch the expensive skin care, anti-wrinkle products and actually start using natural, pure coconut oil and/or vitamin E as a skin and body moisturizer. In fact, I started alternating olive oil and virgin coconut oil for cooking as well. The subtle taste difference is delightful and the enormity of compliments on my skin and youthfulness of its texture is enough to keep this going for quite a while longer.
I have worked with hundreds of people and bodies as a Pilates Teacher for the past fifteen years. The experience with each new person is always a new one. Every time a new person walks into the studio, I start a new exploration to help that person re-connect to their body as they find a way to "connect the dots" in movement with the Pilates Method.
I have to get this out. I have been hiding and withholding it and it's nagging at me. Every week I get closer and closer to the end state and I haven't dealt with it publicly. It's like that sliver of something right underneath the surface of the skin. It's annoyingly there and evident to the touch, yet pulling it out is a near impossibility.
I eliminated one item for two weeks for no other reason than to give my system a break during the transition from Winter to Spring. I wanted to bring fresh, new life, energy and enthusiasm to my movements, my teaching and my living.
The older I get, the more I appreciate the wisdom, experience and practice of those around me. There's not much new in the world, yet there may be other ways to see it and thus a better way to own the experience for one's self.
"Amazing week. Love notes from students helping me mark and affirm my work. Sometimes I keep pinching myself that I am actually teaching a method I remain in the process and practice of continual learning. Loudly living my goal-set mantra of speaking the truth and leaving the lies on the floor." Those were the first few sentences/thoughts I wrote to begin this post back on January 9th. Then I got stuck.
Energy work with Reiki. I admit, I didn't know what to expect but I trusted it as an alternative and followed my heart. I let go and relaxed allowing someone else to move me to places I had not been and to experience something I knew little about.
I think its great that students get excited in their expectations for changing their bodies and their lives with Pilates. I do however, bring reality and #truthspeak to the conversation when I tell newcomers that Pilates is not the "be all to end all." It is not a magic pill. It's part of my "body maintenance & management."
I am actually shocked to write that I have been orchestrating this hike along the Palisades cliffs for thirteen years. I think my mother would be proud that I have actually started a tradition and stuck with it!
The vividness of the color changes, the resolute acknowledgement of another year under my belt, and the reality that an incredibly smart, vibrant and powerful woman will be voted President in less than four days, brings me to setting a focus on "keeping it real and authentic" as a categorical way of writing and thinking for the year ahead. #TruthSpeak
This is a bitter sweet entry. Its the end of blog category, for I soon turn over a new leaf toward my 59th year. The bitterness isn't really about my age - although getting closer to THAT decade is surely not sweet - more on that taste in my mouth later. The sweetness is about the gift I have found during the year in teaching and sharing everything much more publicly with fellow co-horts as students, teachers and lovers of the Pilates method.
Who knows how it happened, when or why it occurred!? But darn it! I jammed my shoulder, yet again, and ended up kicking myself for taking just a little too long to seek out the needed myofascia massage therapy that allowed me to get back into action.
I love the days when my client's workout can tell the story of the beauty and precision of Pilates movement. There's not much that needs to be stated as a preview. The video below tells the entire story. This is an actual workout session.
I will admit, I was feeling exceptionally fierce this particular morning as I began my personal workout. I just wanted to move freely and enjoy the pleasure of a good sweat. I had the intention of moving through the studio apparatus with focus and attention particularly on my legs. As such, the Wunda Chair, Orbit and Ladder Barrel, along with a few stability balls on my mat were my tools of choice.
Did you know you can practice a little bit of #Pilates everyday and really change the way you feel? Seriously! Teachers, students and practitioners alike can find a way to do a "little something" for themselves everyday to completely change and challenge the self.
Swan diving, side bending and mountain climbing on the Pilates Wunda chair can certainly change that you feel, look and move. I think that is why I find this piece of apparatus such a favorite in my personal #Pilates repertoire.
The beauty of Pilates movement is the consistency of the work across all of the apparatus. There are really only three planes of motion for moving the body. The advanced repertoire combines each of these basic elements and usually throws a small "kick" into the mix for an extra challenge.
During my private session with Brett this week, while we were working a particular Wunda Chair series exercise, he told me to do something specifically and I stopped in the middle and asked, “why?” In his direct, yet humorous style, he gave me a sigh and said,“because I said so.”
Sometimes "flipping the script" can help one find a new perspective to a regular challenge. This week, I played around in my personal work with challenging the powerhouse with #WallPlanks. First with a private client and then with my TRX class.
As a teacher, running a Pilates studio, with clients and classes everyday, one might assume that it is an easy piece of cake to exercise everyday. Actually, that would be a wrong assumption. It takes work, planning, discipline and scheduling to move your body every day. Sometimes it's easier said than done.
OMGoodness I am so glad to have a job I love! It started with an 8:00am Saturday morning TRX class in which we warmed up with the Hundred and #SeriesofFive with the TRX Straps , followed by the Advanced Mat and Beginner Mat classes and ended with the studio filled for #PilatesDay2016 with nothing but goodness.
Very proud and thankful to be included in the mix of non-traditional Pilates teachers that are inspiring others to find and use Pilates for their health and personal fitness regimens. Real people doing really hard work is always an inspiring story. This Pilates Style Magazine article profiled a few of the "rule-breakers."
Last week I posted a snippet of a few heart opening stretches using the Spine Corrector that I was surprised (yet delighted) to see gathered so many views on my Facebook Page. Given the love for the stretches I felt the need and importance to show a fuller, core-centered workout that preceded the delicious stretch itself.
I enjoy adding a little extra intensity to my private client sessions with the use of the Balanced Body #Orbit. It's a great mixer to a Wunda Chair session and a fabulous ending to a mat session by incorporating standing rotational movements. Men and Women alike love doing Pilates Push Ups with it.
The Wunda Chair is my "hands-down" favorite piece of equipment. While I usually dedicate Wednesday to the Wunda Chair for myself and select students, I love it so much, I keep a spare chair in my apartment.
Advanced Mat students are always ready and willing for a new challenge, variation and an extra bead of sweat down their back during my mat class. Following the MarchMatness campaign, everyone was pumped and readying themselves for Spring.
What a blast the month of March has been for Pilates teachers, Pilates lovers and students worldwide! A glorious way to focus together in preparation, practice and support of each other with a little bit of #PilatesEverday as our collective focus through #MarchMatness2016.
Whether the practice is arranging flowers, capturing the beauty of that sunset image or finding the full length of the stretch, the pinky toe point or the total body extension, its the perfect precision of the practice that makes beautiful art with Pilates. I will forever practice this work. Always, for the precision of it all.
I am having so much fun with #MarchMatness2016 and even more fun with all the images, video footage and good work students are exacting from themselves that on DAY 19 all I have to say is turn up your speakers and watch. This is Pilates Mat.
It was DAY 10 of #MarchMatness2016 and I found myself, in the middle of the day, at about 3:00pm, completely zonked and out of energy! All the teaching, filming, posting, encouraging students and staying on point with my personal work caused me to stop and take pause. I needed a rest and a nap!
So the saying goes, "March roars in like a lion...." and that we are doing with a fever pitch for #MarchMatness2016. Teachers and students around the world jumping into the fun of doing a little bit of Pilates everyday.
I sit writing this after completion of an amazing private session with Brett on the barrels on Sunday, Part 2 of a workshop with Blossom on Friday, and with my mind set for participation in #MarchMatness2016 on Tuesday. Lots of images, lots of media and lots of Pilates to share.There are just too, too much too many 'takeaways' to enumerate, yet I will try to share a few gold nuggets I found.
Couple of decisions were made this week. I decided to stop drinking wine the day after my "all-girls hangout" that forced me to look critically at the volume of my intake each night. The wine was going down like water. Since I am intent on holding myself to a daily regimen of Pilates, health and clean eating, these two paths were simply out of synch.
One of my biggest thrills as a teacher comes from the glee in the face of a student when they finally "get it." That has been happening quite a bit lately. New students "getting it" and gleeful faces leaving the studio.
Funny, I keep thinking if I pinch myself and I will wake up and find out this has all been a really good dream. Definitely not a bad dream. I've been teaching for a long time and I still get chills when a whole new group of students show up in class and end with such glee in their faces and joy in their eyes. And, it happened again this morning, with four brand new students. Sweet!