Letter to All Pilates Clients

Sunni-Almond-head-shotDear client, It’s NOT Pilates if:

It’s anything from Acrobatics to sitting and meditating and finding your Zen.

To be clear, I’m not bagging on any sport, any Barre, any Bosu, or Suspension Training or Yoga, Wall or Rock climbing, Skydiving, Wind-tunnel play, Acro yoga, or any yoga. Any super reformer, or mega former. Balls, bands, foam rollers, or any reformer where you put the box over the springs instead of just long or short box, or Zumba.

Those things all have their place, but if you walk into a studio that has Pilates on the sign, and what they teach didn’t come in some major way from Joe and Clara Pilates (and you should ask, if you’re not sure) then it isn’t Pilates. Anyone can say they teach Pilates, there’s no law against it, but if you actually want REAL Pilates, please ask for credentials, find out where your teacher studied, or who their teachers are. Get what you’re paying for.

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From The Hundred To Push Up in 34 Connected Moves

classical pilates orderI’ve been on this Pilates journey for many years now, and it’s only in the last few that I think I’ve finally got the idea. WHY has it taken me SO long to figure it out? It’s really simple and yet so complicated all at the same time. This is not an argument for or against contemporary or classical, but I must say that not until I recognized that there is an ORDER that should be followed (leaving out what isn’t appropriate for a given individual), did things really start to make sense.

I thought it was simply a lot of exercises and choices I could pick from and pick apart to make classes and lessons more interesting both for the clients and for me.

I now get just how wrong I was…

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Crossing The Bridge: Going from Contemporary to Classical Pilates

cross pilates bridge

You know that saying, ‘You don’t know what you don’t know’? Well those who haven’t been contemporary first can’t understand the drive to hop/switch yesterday, BUT the reality of investing at a time of life when there is more to the story than just what YOU want to do is daunting.

You’ve been teaching and working all these years, going to conferences and keeping up the CEC’s, buying more apparatus and all the cool toys that keep getting invented, getting certified in different but similar modalities, ’cause it’s fun, looks cool, will get more clients in the door, the ROI is in sight…” …And then you try a classical workshop, class or lesson, and you can’t shake off the feel of the difference.

How is it so much the same and yet at the same time so completely different?!?!?!

The feeling of all those years and dollars poured into something that you thought was the real deal! And it was … until it wasn’t.

Rad full article on PilatesBridge

Do It!

Homer-on-Reformer

What??? Pilates not for you? Think again!! Ahhh, you think you are too old, too stiff, too fat, too thin? That Pilates is for sissies? Think you can’t change? You have to much pain? That you have to be a dancer? No, no, no, no!! Pilates is for everybody, and for every BODY no matter how (un)fit you are, your age, you weight, your gender or whatever. Look for a good studio with Apparatus and (very) small groups! Read the Pilates experience of Homer. He has a tip for you. He says:”Do it!”

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The Red Thread Book Review

red thread kathy ross nashTitle: The Red Thread Of Pilates. The Integrated System& Variations Of Pilates-The mat
Author: Kathryn Ross-Nash
First published: 2015
Edition: 1st
Format: Paperback
Pages: A LOT! 358
Availability: Amazon
Description: The Mat manual of mat manuals

I will start by saying that this book is EPIC! It is as if you attended the Mat portion of a comprehensive training, and you got the to keep the teachers notes and crack open their brain and suck the info out, spoon fed it to yourself in manageable portions, as you digest every word, and end result is that your personal work and your teaching become exponentially better for having perused, and studied this manual. OH, and you get to keep the workshop at your avail for looking back on and referencing.

This manual is PERFECT for the person like me who is bridging themselves from Contemporary to Classical. It fills in the gaps in your knowledge, linking each exercise to it’s companion on the reformer and other pieces of apparatus, as well as linking each exercise to the one prior and the ones after (skill building), AND it’s connection to all spinal movements. Hence the thread theory.

If you haven’t already figured it out in your personal study of Pilates, the spine shapes repeat everywhere in the studio. The exercises can be done almost anywhere in the studio and on any piece of apparatus, so it becomes exponentially clearer how if you or your client is unable to perform something in one place, how you can get the exact same work from somewhere else in the studio.
What does the body need? Here are your answers on how to see.

From the Introduction and loving words from Kathi to her family and friends, as well as to Kathi from world renowned Pilates teachers, through to the last few pages of pics from everyone you know, it is a book you won’t want to put down.

Yes, it is THE priciest paperback book out there, yes it is worth every penny, yes you will be afraid to touch it because it’s so pricey and biblical in nature to our industry, but then once you dig in and flip back and forth and begin to put the connections together, it becomes more friendly.

There is a bit of study involved to learn to use the book properly, but then the world of Pilates becomes your oyster and the pearls of wisdom just flow into your mind.

Table Of Contents list every mat exercise, a suggestion as to which exercise to add next for a balanced workout and the page # the exercise is located on.
Also listed are the Transitions, Mat Flow Charts, Injuries and Issues (to do’s and not to do’s to inspire healing, or alternates) and finally Bibliographies.

Included, The Principles and their meaning in her subjective way, a bit deeper than you may have originally thought, and yes she states, that Joe didn’t come up with the principles, but that they are present.

Decoding the Pilates Lingo is a section on the verbiage.

Next is a section on Suggested precautions for Carpal tunnel, Bad Back, Neck and Shoulder situations, Knee issues, and Scoliosis.

Next is a Synopsis of Level Used, meaning the perspective of h, and how the layering of information creates the strong foundation needed to perform and execute the exercises safely.
”It is the HOW and Depth of the work which dictates the students level-not the exercise.”

Then there are a few pages of instruction to get the best use of the manual.
The photos are brilliant and many, and are from the Teacher’s point of view, they show spotting techniques, what to look for, and how to cue simply and directly.

The Threads are: Stability, Articulation, Side Bending, Twisting, Rolling and Extension.
Each exercise is linked by Thread, by Order of Execution, and what to do if the next suggested exercise isn’t yet possible.

Repetitions, Point Of Stability, Purpose, Add Next, Relationship to The Reformer are all included in depth. Connection to the prior exercise as well as to the next exercise are all included. Settings (how to position the body on the mat and whether or not a pole, straps, satellite boxes, etc. are used), Skill Level, it’s all there.

What to look for, Do’s, Don’ts, Major benefits, Building variation, and Challenge variation, all to reach the ultimate goal of the individual exercise, as well as prepare the body for the rest of the workout.

Near the end of the book is a 3 column page that lists the exercises in categories: Foundational, Core, Advanced. Then come all the flow charts, so you don’t have to flip back and forth, after you’re confident, you just go there.

Injuries and Issues have their own Flow Charts. The reminder is there for a medical clearance and Dr. ’s ok, for working out.

Must Buy, Borrow or Steal, Get your hot little hands on one ASAP, The holiday’s are coming, ask Santa If you’ve been good ;))

I need to add that the responsibility for doing this book justice has been enormous. I appreciate being trusted with the ability to glean the treasures inherent and present them in a way that entices you to buy. It will increase your knowledge base regardless of your current level of experience and ability. There is something for everyone here, batteries not included, you’ll just have to energize yourself, and you’ll want to.