Pilates: grow beyond what you know
Let me begin like I begin my drop-in classes: what do we know about Pilates? Generally, the response is “a bit”. This is great. My favorite thing is to introduce people to Pilates and watch them learn their bodies anew. Ultimately, I’m simply an observer. You live in your body.
I teach Pilates, but far more, Pilates teaches me. Insert epic eye-roll here, I understand. There are so many buzzwords and pithy little motivational quotes that it’s all noise. Stripped down to its bare bones essence: Pilates is movement and movement teaches us.
What I do is watch your movement. For an hour at a time, I pay attention to the details. I watch you see if the muscle that I know produces a movement is the muscle working or not. I watch you understand your range of motion in any given joint. How quickly you release out of an exercise (relief!) tells me how difficult that likely was for you. You wouldn’t have to speak. Your body tells me all sorts of things. I translate these things back to you; from movements to words and you connect the dots. It’s the best discussion of the week and you’ve barely had to say a word. Although, I do appreciate when you share your discoveries with me in words.
What do you know about your body? What movements do you avoid and why? Most of us avoid pain and discomfort. Understandably. How has that affected what you believe you are capable of? I’ve stopped attempting to demonstrate as much because I’ve realized how many people will do something they are guided through that they would never have attempted if they’d known the look of it. In the movement of it, they feel safe, supported and are listening to their body. Pilates is meant to be short repetitions of small movements that work very specific muscles so that you get through a conversation with your entire body within an hour.
Focus your attention on anything and you are more likely to learn something about it. Spend some time in your body. Grow beyond what you know.