STUDIO NEWS - What is the Gift of Pilates?

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The Gift of Pilates
When I begin with a new student, I prefer to do a Postural Analysis. As I explain to them, the analysis is a one day snapshot of their posture. It takes a look at a person’s static (stationary) posture at that point in time, which can differ from a person’s dynamic (moving) posture. I’m looking for postural deviations, posture that differs from the norm or neutral. It allows me to get an idea of modifications I may need to make and problem areas that I may need to address. Postural deviations are caused by many things: injury, surgery, the way the structure developed, industrial stress, emotional stress, etc. Because I am not a medical professional, I cannot diagnose; I can only observe. But based on the information provided on the Intake form & the conversation that ensues while I explain what I found in the analysis, I get a better idea of why some of the deviations exist. One of the purposes of Pilates is to address the deviations, trying to, at a minimum, arrest them so that they don’t cause increased stress on the joints. With diligent effort some of the deviations can be arrested, improved, & on occasion, corrected.
I try to explain to people that one of the benefits or side effects of Pilates, the gift of Pilates, is that you build body awareness, or proprioception – knowing where your body is in space. This causes you to become aware of your posture in your daily life, & you begin to correct it as you sit, stand, move through your day. Improper movement patterns that result from deviations take time to correct, when possible. A physical therapist once told me that it takes 10,000 repetitions to create a new, proper movement pattern – 10,000! Wow! I was flabbergasted. But when you consider that you have to change the way you’ve moved, possibly for years, & recreate a new neural pathway – the conversation between your brain & your muscles – I guess that’s understandable.
The telling moment with a client is when they start to move, especially with resistance on the equipment. Movement patterns, proper or improper, will show up on the Mat too, but become much more evident with resistance.
It is through the Intake form, where people tend to give me very little information, a discussion of what they’ve written, the Postural Analysis & then movement that I begin to form an idea of how I can help people have “ah ha” moments, that point in time when things start to click in our brains. Where my words of how they are moving & how they should think about moving begin to make sense. It’s a great feeling, having an “ah ha” moment. I still have them because I am still learning, and hope to continue learning and having them for the rest of my life.
I’ve taught a lot of different types of exercise in my career, but maybe now you can understand why I prefer to teach Pilates. Keep in mind that I practice different exercise styles, but really enjoy sharing the gift of Pilates with people.

Over the years, I have occasionally written about an exercise that is one of my favorites. Please let me know which exercises you like, and why, or if you prefer, which ones you dislike, and why. And maybe we can start a discussion! When I asked this question last month, it was pointed out to me that you don’t always know the name of the exercises. So please ask me in the course of your session, write it down & then email me to start the conversation.


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Newsletter Archive
Remember, you can always find past issues of the newsletter by following this link. You'll never know what stimulating articles you've missed until you do!

Video Highlight - Beats on the Tower
We do this exercise on the Tower/Cadillac & Stability Chair, and slightly differently on the Reformer. In all cases, the focus is on the adductors, while stabilizing the body as the inner thigh muscles work.
To see more videos, visit YouTube & subscribe!
Beats on the Tower
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