COURSE LENSES
 

The Spiral of Learning: Same Method, New Perspectives

 

Our knowledge is never static, but has a history and evolves over time. As practitioners we are continually revisiting the Pilates exercises and concepts, circling back with fresh eyes and new physical capacities. The Spiral of Learning allows us to take the same path day after day, while inviting us to draw on multiple perspectives and embrace the power of what author Ellen Langer calls “Intelligent Ignorance”.

 

My perspective has evolved over the past ten years from seeing the moving body through the lens of biomechanics to one of biodynamics. Each trip to the reformer, each client I have taught, each teacher I have studied with has incrementally deepened my understanding of the work and brought nuance and sophistication to my teaching.

 

I am fascinated by how attention, intention and perspective color our experiences and inform our ability to learn. I am blown away by seeing how shifts in my own understanding are directly transmitted to my clients. I find that making thoughtful changes to my cueing language, the quality of my attention & my expectations of clients powerfully transforms their movement experiences and physical capabilities.

 

Being a curious teacher, you are no doubt on your own spiraling journey. I offer this unique program so we may join together to reflect on our assumptions, connect diverse perspectives, explore questions that matter and share collective discoveries… all through the lens of Pilates.

Inquiries 

  • Transformative Learning: Self-Reflecting on One’s Own Assumptions & Creating an Environment in which to Question & Shape our Thinking

  • Exquisite Attention: Dancing Between Focused Awareness & Open Presence

  • Shifting Paradigms: From Bio-Mechanical To Bio-Dynamic

  • Diving into Flow: In Both Movement & Mind

 

The Interconnected Method: Exploring Relationships, Weaving Connections

Versed in both classical and contemporary Pilates, I inhabit a space where these approaches serve to elevate each other. I actively pursue the holism, vitality, integration and pleasure that Joe sought to engender in his students’ bodies. Through this pursuit, I have learned to trust the work without manipulating its essence and to expand on its brilliance in creative and practical ways. Whatever branch of the Pilates tree you have grown from, I invite you into this robust conversation.

 

One strategy is to honor Pilates as a holistic system, embracing the flow of relationship between the individual exercises. The skills in Chest Expansion relate to the upper core foundation that is required in Roll Over and Single Leg Circles, while Spread Eagle on the Cadillac is a direct precursor to Horseback. When we are steeped in these relationships, we will unearth the essence of each exercise, teach them differently and layer them into our practice in a more consistent and useful manner.

Connecting the dots that fortify this ingenious system, we ground our creativity in the deep roots and fertile soil of the history and tradition of the work, bolstering its effectiveness rather than watering it down. The effect is to spark our creative capacity, elevate the work and deepen our felt experience of it.

Inquiries 

  • Global Perspective of The Body & The Method

  • Matwork As Our Foundation

  • Original Intent & Essence Of The Exercises

  • Building & Layering Skills: Advancing our Clients at Any Level

 

The Intelligent Body: Cultivating Movement From The Body’s Perspective

Our bodies are innately intelligent. They have a natural ability to learn movement… if we let them. We can tap into this kinesthetic intelligence by tuning into our experience from the body's perspective.

 

I think of myself as an interpreter of this wisdom, often asking "what would this beautiful body in front of me want their owner to know that they are currently unaware of?" Like a sculptor cutting into marble, this reveals what is already there and allows for a natural evolution. Listening to the body in this way invites us to expand our perspective of fixing, making shapes, teaching separate exercises, trying just to “get it right”… to fostering movement in a way that invokes playfulness, creates vitality and honors process.

 

This approach creates a wholesale shift in the way that the body responds. The core becomes a hub of communication, how we use our hands and feet can trigger muscle activation and our alignment is experienced as pathways of energy.  From this enhanced perspective, the effect is to lessen the burden on injured or vulnerable areas so that they may heal, allowing us to be present and honor the cells of the body as ourselves.

Inquiries 

  • Redefining Core as a Hub of Communication

  • Connecting Hand to Core & Foot to Core

  • Alignment as Pathways of Energy & Information 

  • The Global Alignment of Primary & Secondary Curves        

 

The Apparatus: Inviting The Spring Inside

The apparatus and their spring suspension system are the “special sauce” of this unique method. Learn to dance with the apparatus and it will whisper its secrets directly into your body. This dynamic interaction is at the heart of my love for Pilates and what differentiates it from other movement modalities.

I believe that the springs, through the way they "load" the body, communicate with our neuromuscular system, increasing stability and experientially demonstrating how our many body parts work together in a synergistic relationship as we move. In addition, the leverage that we can receive from the stable surfaces, such as the foot bar and shoulder blocks, also increase power and connection. Neuroscience has been able to corroborate what we have experienced: the notion that we can "become one" with objects we touch. So it's not wishy washy to engage in and strive to enhance this form of communication.

Using this lens I often ask, "What is not allowing the spring to communicate with the whole system?"  Homing in on what is impeding the spring energy can make your cueing much more potent and give your clients a clear directive from which to move. As teachers, we can translate this “enlivened whole-body response” to our clients’ experience on the mat such that the spring is now truly inside of them.

 Inquiries

  • The Spatial Support of Tensegrity

  • Load: It's Not the Weight but Rather How You Distribute It

  • Comparing Exercise Families on Different Apparatus

  • Inviting The Spring Inside: Observing & Teaching this Dynamic Experience of the Body in Motion

 

The Art of Teaching: Insight in Action

Pilates is movement, and we spend our days in the trenches with clients, so we need practical ways to take our new information and skills into action.... delicious, robust, sweaty action! This focus on actual movement experience via exercises on all of the Pilates apparatus will be woven into everything that we explore.

I love to teach and have learned that the way I teach–my perspective, my intention, the words that I choose, the layering of exercises and skills and even my attunement to clients–can shift their experience, creating a confidence and harmony that the client can own.

We will start with identifying your personal strengths as a teacher and then I will challenge you to expand beyond self-limiting concepts to refine and evolve your own unique teaching voice. Your clients will be the happy recipients of this "insight in action."

 Inquiries

  • Refining Skills in Multiple Environments: Privates, Duets & Group Classes

  • Potent Cueing: The Role of Language, Intention, Rhythm & Touch

  • The Continuity of Working With a Theme 

  • Teaching From Your Strengths

 

Creating Connection: To our Environment, Ourselves & Each Other

Movement is the way in which we interact with and move through the world. It is also a vital form of self-expression.

The Spring Inside perspective invites us to to look at the ways in which we find physical integrity and connection via our interactions with our environment, specifically with the apparatus but also with gravity, with the internal space inside us and the external space that surrounds us.

We are also always in relationship with ourselves, other lovely humans who make their way into our kinesphere and our greater community at large. Acknowledging this, we will look at the biopsychosocial factors that influence our perspectives and our personal experiences of movement.

This multidimensional program celebrates the multidimensional human being in motion!  Won't you join me and The Spring Inside community in this exploration and celebration!

Inquiries

  • Biopsychosocial Elements of Living & Moving in a Body

  • Cultivating the Response-Able Client

  • Paradigm Shifts in Pain Science

  • Owning & Living your Entrepreneurship