Pilates Instruction & Teacher Education
I just read your wildly entertaining (and then wildly inspiring) story about your many moves, that culminated in chasing the 3 drunk thugs. You are one cool chick :-) Not only did it make me giggle, but something strange happened - I remembered that I have a little crazy in me as well (the good kind, I hope). And in the midst of divorcing and taking care of my kids and flailing about trying to start my own pilates/nutrition business, I have lost that spark. I had a lightbulb moment - I need to access that part of myself - the "spark" - in order to develop a business - and life - that is authentically me.
Look at the effect you have on people! I think you are just awesome, and so incredibly gifted at what you do. I am making a commitment to myself to find my way to your pilates excel program - have to meet you and soak in your wisdom and expertise! I may not have wayward hookers outside my window or random cars crashing into my driveway, but life is crazy nonetheless, and I'm going to attack it with the same spunk and fearlessness as you do!
I have recently been introduced to your wonderful and insightful videos via The Pilates Podcast.
It surprised me to hear someone asking these questions and taking a fresh look at things, as this isn't often done in the Work, at least not in my experience. I am not currently teaching, and haven't for almost two years--I moved with my husband to Charlotte, NC and have not been able to establish a teaching practice here, which hurts my heart, but at the same time has led me to question what I was teaching and when I resume, how I will teach. (For the record, I am PMA certifed--but I'm beginning to wonder if that means anything at all--I don't mean that as a slight, but as an honest question). Lifted flexion is essential.
Bless you for bringing this into greater consciousness. Yet where I begin to wonder about things is the work is primarily flexion driven. Mat or reformer. And looking at Mary Bond's book, THE NEW RULES OF POSTURE, and how periphery feeds core kinda blew my mind, along with the work of Serge Gracovetsky (whom I became aware of in Caryn McHose and Kevin Frank's book, HOW LIFE MOVES) which found that bipedal gait is dependent on healthy, supported spinal curvature--and when I look around at the human form as it typically ages--the glutes deteriorate, the lumbar curve collapses and the pelvis moves into a posterior tilt, thoracic curve implodes into kyphosis, the cranium protracts (Donald A Neumann has a great illustraion of the neck/cranium relationship on page 284 of his book KINESIOLOGY OF THE MUSCULOSKELETAL SYSTEM)--basically the body returns to the fetal C-curve, albeit a collapsed one, and is forced to carry the cranium in protraction in order to see to walk, otherwise one is found looking at the floor. It seems to me the extensors need repeated awakening, brightening. It is wonderful to ask them to accompany the lifted flexion, but the exercise in form, in shape, is still flexion.
Most of my mentors take a hard-line view of Pilates, and the necessity of the order, which I feel I can no longer teach in good conscience. I don't mean to say that all flexion exercises need be abandoned--I've seriously been considering obtaining a personal trainer certification to have more freedom in my teaching. Many questions are living inside me.
As for my own practice--I adore the Hundred after lowering my legs till they hover just inches off the floor, as Joe does in RETURN TO LIFE. My hip flexors work very little compared to my hip extensors in that position--so incredibly different than bringing the legs up to the ceiling or down to forty-five degrees. Interestingly, the exercise is also explored in KUNDALINI YOGA, by Shakta Kaur Khalsa, page 46.
I hope I haven't offended you--I feel you are doing noble and great work. As for doing anything for me--such a generous offer--I ask that you continue in the work that you do, as it is a gift that ripples out into the space we live in, and makes this world a more beautiful and compassionate place to be in.
A thousand blessing to you on your way.