8 Blogs You Should Be Reading

8 Blogs You Should Be Reading

Pilates mastery is earned, not bought.

“Mastery” shouldn’t be confused with the practical “doing” of Pilates: learning choreography and pedagogy. There’s so much more to it. After all, just because you’ve got the moves, doesn’t mean you’ve mastered them.

Underneath professional delivery is mastery from years of (ongoing) study that comes only from investing in relationships (mentoring and community), learning the work in your body, honing skills over time, and seeking out knowledge.

We want you to always be learning, in all ways; and the importance of reading to this process cannot be understated.

Read, and read widely!

To help you on your way, we’ve compiled a list of eight blogs/bloggers you should be reading on your path to personal mastery:

  1. Madeline Black

The “teacher’s teacher”, Madeline Black is a go-to for PTI and PFI Instructors.

Madeline is known as the “synthesizer” for integrating movement science, osteopathic theory, manual therapy, and energy work to create a unique, interdisciplinary approach to Pilates, Yoga and Gyrotonic. A champion for quality education in our industry, Madeline is a must, especially for those interested in developing skills in clear instruction.

A prolific and articulate blogger, she touches on everything from “general” Pilates topics, to teaching; training specific body parts (shoulder, spine, pelvis etc); and niche topics like biomechanics and movement.

(Madeline’s book, Centered: Organizing the body through kinesiology, movement theory and Pilates techniques, is available for purchase from Myaree HQ.)

  1. Anula Maiberg

Philosophical, intelligent, and funny: we love Anula! There’s something transfixing about the way she brings together the traditional elements of Pilates method with modern approaches to movement, and challenges us to question everything about our practice and our bodies! She’s mythbusting and kicking asses all over the globe, literally, with her global tour schedule in full swing.

You can find Anula on the Balanced Body blog, and featured on sites like Pilates Glossy International, Pilates Style, and of course her own Sixth Street blog.

She’s a podcast regular too; catch her on What’s Going on With Dance & Stuff, Moving Well, Thinking Pilates Podcast and Pilates Unfiltered, to name a few. Search “Anula Maiberg” or “the potato method”, and there’s no shortage of great, engaging content to enjoy.

Better still, we will be welcoming Anula in the flesh, at PTI from 15 to 18 February on her first ever Australian tour. Tickets may still be* available, check online! (*hurry or tickets might be sold out!)

  1. Pilates Style

Pilates Style is the leading (and only) magazine dedicated to Pilates: their website is a wealth of information on all things Pilates: from teaching, to exercises and advice; as well as wellness and nutrition. There is no shortage of blogs, videos and other handy content to help keep you connected with industry and create your best Pilates life!

  1. Stop Chasing Pain

Two words: movement mojo. Stop Chasing Pain is led by Dr Perry Nickelston and looks at how fundamental movement patterns can restore your body’s strength and resilience. Dr Perry’s blog looks at performance, movement subsystems, inhibition, corrective exercises, gait, performance testing and so much more. His approach is fun and easily integrated into everyday life and teaching.

  1. Hannah Moves

Follow Nick Hannah! He is a Registered Physiotherapist practicing out of London, ON Canada, whose main platform is education on the myths and misconceptions common in health care, exercise and rehabilitative sciences. Through Facebook, Instagram and podcasts Nick provides a valuable insight into the complex world of pain and helping people navigate it. An asset to your learning, plus his content is super fun.

  1. Nutritious Movement – Katy Bowman

Nutritious Movement is all about helping you move better: Katy Bowman, “Part biomechanist, part science communicator, and full-time mover, Katy Bowman has educated hundreds of thousands of people on the role movement plays in the body and in the world.” Her blog (and website) is rich with content relating to exercises, alignment, adjustments and habitat changes to optimise quality in movement and life.

  1. Pilates Unfiltered

Available on Spotify and Apple podcasts, Pilates Unfiltered is a Podcast for Pilates people, by Pilates people. If you love a podcast, this one is for you! Pilates Professional, Jenna Zaffino is joined by industry leaders in spirited discussion on the Pilates culture and industry today. It’s funny, insightful, challenging and useful! “The pulse of the Pilates community!” Get on it!

  1. James Crader

James Crader is a Movement Coach specialising in Pilates and Myofascial Release Therapy, among many other things! His M.O is quality in movement, Pilates as a practice, and how we teach it. His blogs and podcasts on Thinking Pilates are engaging, current and edgy: enough to make any Instructor stop and reconsider “how they do what they do”.

9 Books You Should Be Reading

9 Books You Should Be Reading

We’ve previously talked about Pilates “mastery” being the product of years of (ongoing) study, and seeking out knowledge.

Reading, and reading widely, is so crucial to this process!

So, we thought we’d bring you part two: nine books you should be reading on your journey toward Pilates mastery.

  1. Return to Life, Joseph H. Pilates

The Pilates Bible!

The original Pilates exercise book written by the creator and visionary of the Pilates method, Joseph H. Pilates. This book reviews the conceptual basis and philosophy of the Pilates method or ‘Contrology’, and the original matwork exercises Mr. Pilates taught in the studio on 8th Avenue and 55th Street in New York City. The model featured in this book is Mr. Pilates himself at the age of 60!

  1. Dance Anatomy and Kinesiology, Karen Clippinger

All dancers are looking to achieve optimal performance—and Dance Anatomy and Kinesiology will help them do just that. This text offers valuable scientific knowledge and understanding for dancers, helping them to blend anatomical and kinesiological principles with artistic expression. Such a blend of science and art will empower dancers to realize their potential and expand their artistic vision.

Dance Anatomy and Kinesiology is useful for dancers to learn anatomical and biomechanical principles as they apply to dance performance. It focuses on optimal dance movement and the related principles for understanding the function of body joints. And by applying those principles, dancers can help reduce their risk of injury and enhance their performance longevity.

  1. Centred: Organising the Body through Kinesiology, Movement Theory and Pilates Techniques, Madeline Black

This book provides explores the complex interconnectedness of the musculature, fascia, and joints, and the implication of these deeply intertwined systems for movement through Pilates, yoga, and other fitness disciplines.

Black’s richly illustrated presentation style allows the Instructor to grasp the biomechanics, underlying posture and dysfunction and hence to enable change and improvement.

A fantastic read; and available for purchase at PFI HQ in Myaree.

  1. Daring and Disruptive, Lisa Messenger

Not a Pilates-specific text, but a great read for anyone who wants to succeed as much as they want to breathe!

After decades of success in multiple industries, Lisa Messenger recounts personal stories and important business lessons: from why money is not the only currency, to how to fail well.  Whether you’re a budding entrepreneur, seasoned game changer or a corporate ladder-climber dreaming of creating your own gig; this book will inspire you to dig deep, stay on track, back yourself, be true to your ideas, and ensure that if you’re thrown to the wolves, you’ll have the strength to come out leading the pack.

  1. Diastasis Recti: The Whole Body Solution to Abdominal Weakness and Separation, Katy Bowman 

Biomechanist Katy Bowman explains explores Diastasis Recti as a symptom of a whole-body problem, including: body alignment; frequency of movement; the effects of all-day forces, like intra-abdominal pressure; and why a few exercises simply aren’t enough for long-term success. This text challenges us to learn a new way to move for an improved set of core muscles.

It includes over 30 exercises and habit modifications, designed to improve both the appearance and the function of the abdomen: a very useful reference text for all Instructors, but especially important pregnancy and post-natal!

  1. Move Your DNA: Restore Your Health Through Natural Movement, Katy Bowman

Another gem from Katy Bowman; Move Your DNA explains the science behind our need for natural movement – right down to the cellular level.

It examines the differences between the movements in a typical hunter – gatherer’s life and the movements in our own. It shows the many problems with using exercise like movement vitamins instead of addressing the deeper issue of a poor movement diet.

Best of all, Move Your DNA contains the corrective exercises, habit modifications, and simple lifestyle changes we need to make in order to free ourselves from disease and discover our naturally healthy, reflex driven selves.

  1. Pilates Anatomy, Rael Isacowitz and Karen Clippinger

“Pilates as you’ve never seen it before!”

This text is a must-read for anyone with aspirations to teach Pilates: a one-of-a-kind reference text. Pilates Anatomy takes you inside the exercises and programs that will tone the body, stabilize the core, improve balance, and increase flexibility; and uses detailed descriptions, step-by-step instruction, and stunning full-color anatomical illustrations.

Using the original mat work of Joseph Pilates, it explores how key muscles are used; variations and minor adjustments can influence effectiveness; and how breathing, alignment, posture, and movement are all fundamentally linked – and more!

Available for purchase from PFI HQ in Myaree!

  1. Pilates, Rael Isacowitz

This text, by Pilates royalty Rael Isacowitz, explore the full range of Pilates exercises to strengthen, lengthen, and sculpt your muscles.

Starting with the foundation for all the exercises, this text provides an in-depth treatment of the full range of Pilates apparatus, including photo illustrations and detailed breathing instruction to help you perform movements correctly:

  • Reformer
  • Cadillac
  • Step and ladder barrels
  • Magic circle
  • Wunda chair
  • Ped-a-pul
  • Arm chair

The complete repertoire includes a customized grouping of exercises in blocks that progress from the fundamental level through the intermediate and advanced levels to challenge you at all stages of Pilates development.

Pilates is the most comprehensive guide available on the Pilates method!

  1. Pelvic Power: Mind/Body Exercises for Strength, Flexibility, Posture, and Balance for Men and Women, Eric Franklin

The pelvic floor, it’s so important! This text combines scientific principles with movement and imagery exercises to create a stronger body by toning the pelvic floor.

Focusing on the biomechanics of the pelvic floor, Pelvic Power shows how the pelvic floor plays an important role in almost all movements, balance, and body posture. Included exercises train the muscles and joints and improve the tone of the organs, thereby increasing energy flow, eliminating incontinence, and keeping sexual organs healthy.

Anula, Anula, Anula: Why we love her so

Anula, Anula, Anula: Why we love her so

Philosophical, intelligent, and funny: safe to say, we love Anula so we’re thrilled to be the first stop on her first ever visit down under, from 15 – 18 February.

While WA’s, nay Australia’s, Pilates community is buzzing from her imminent arrival, her visit isn’t to solely serve up professional development to WA pros: she’s here for everyone!

But who is Anula Maiberg and why is she so special?

Anula was born in Israel and relocated to New York City in 2001 to pursue photography, but soon experienced a change in professional trajectory, as her interest in and enthusiasm for Pilates morphed into something: a game changer.

Unlike many of those who have come before her, Anula’s Pilates CV reads like holy scripture for Pilates nerds. On paper and in person Anula’s professional experience is enviable and admirable in equal measure, as she’s trained in the most prestigious Pilates lineages (Kathy Grant) and under the biggest names in the business.

Anula graduated from the Kane School for Core Integration (Kinected) in NYC in 2009; the Kathy Grant Heritage Training Program in 2014 and has worked with American Pilates Masters and wisdom keepers, including but not limited to Cara Reeser, Kelly Kane and Deborah Lessen.

Nothing short of amazing.

But a couple of lines in a professional blurb doesn’t do Anula justice!

There’s something transfixing about the way she brings together the traditional elements of Pilates method with modern approaches to movement. She challenges us to question everything about our practice and our bodies, and wraps it all up in a lovely, inclusive package.

She’s of the people, for the people: and we love it. Pilates is, after all, for every body, and this is exactly how she approaches it: as a lifestyle, as a culture, and a method of movement.

Anula is myth-busting and coming in hot with all the big, loaded questions that we need to be asking in order to be better as an industry, as practitioners, and in our own practice:

Where should I be feeling it?

Let’s look at the language we use to discuss our bodies: pain, activation, harm, sensation.

How can we improve our delivery for our clients?

How can we tailor more to their needs so every body really benefits?

And more.

Over three days, Anula will be running workshops, some open to both Pilates Instructors and Clients (general population) including:

 

DAY ONE | Friday 16th Feb. 2017

SESSION ONE: Matwork Masterclass

Clientele: General population and Instructors.
SESSION TWO: Reformer Masterclass

Clientele: General population and Instructors.
SESSION THREE: Workshop

Topic: Where Should I Be Feeling This? Reformer class for uncertain times.

Clientele: Instructors only.

 

DAY TWO | Saturday 17th Feb. 2017

SESSION ONE: Marathon Matwork Masterclass
Clientele: General Population and Pilates Instructors
SESSION TWO: Workshop

Topic: Mythbusting Your Pilates Practice: how to gain or regain confidence on and off the Mat and apparatus. 

Clientele: Pilates Instructors only

 

DAY THREE | Sunday 18th Feb. 2017

SESSION ONE: Reformer Masterclass
Clientele: General Population and Pilates Instructors
SESSION TWO: Workshop

Topic: Thoroughly Modern Mat
Clientele: Pilates Instructors only.

Learn more about available sessions on the PTI website; but hurry, spaces are limited. Studio appointments and observations hours are sold out! Contact Jackie to be placed on the waitlist.

If you would like to learn more about Anula, you can find her work on the Balanced Body blog, and featured on sites like Pilates Glossy International, Pilates Style, and of course her own Sixth Street blog.

She’s a podcast regular too; catch her on What’s Going on With Dance & Stuff, Moving Well, Thinking Pilates Podcast and Pilates Unfiltered, to name a few. Search “Anula Maiberg” or “the potato method”, and there’s no shortage of great, engaging content to enjoy.

Want even more? Check out the following links:

Mr. Pilates:

https://www.facebook.com/orpresmanpilates/videos/1798079126886856/

Marth Graham:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aFTNmGBKC2Y

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CA91fGV9LEo

Interview with Deborah Lessen:

https://www.pilatesanytime.com/workshop-view/3252/video/Pilates-Pilates-Industry-Questions-by-Deborah-Lessen

Skillful Teaching Podcast:

http://skillfulteaching.com/ep_43_where_history_art_and_potatoes_collide_a_lesson_anula_maiberg/

Kathy Grant and Ron Fletcher:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N2BSt3zjdxs

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fNvOkoZ5D8o

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NU75SbVOCYM

Letter to Eva Hesse from Sol LeWitt:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dTGvbhqWoFI

Mindfulness Matters

Mindfulness Matters

‘Modern mindfulness’ is a booming industry. In this hyper-connected, 24/7, fast-paced world, mindfulness has become part of the modern survival kit. To live with less stress, greater focus, and some semblance of balance, most of us accept that we must take/make time to find some peace in our world.

But what is ‘mindfulness’, exactly?

Unlike the practice of meditation, mindfulness is less about spirituality and more about concentration. In a nutshell, it encourages active, open attention to the present moment and physical awareness.

Mindfulness techniques can be applied in many formats, it is easy to do, accessible (hello, apps!), fun and these days it’s everywhere: it’s in our schools, workplaces, homes, board rooms and in sport across all codes.

It’s also being built into new fitness formats and packaged up as ‘mindful exercise’. This is one of the hottest fitness trends in 2017, and it is all about mind-body connection.

Let’s cut through the marketing noise for a moment and look at what makes an activity distinctly ‘mindful’. According to Ralph La Forge of Duke University, it should include:

  1. A self-reflective, present moment and non-judgmental sensory awareness.
  2. A perception of movement and spatial orientation.
  3. Focus on breathing.
  4. Attention to anatomical alignment.
  5. Awareness of intrinsic energy.

Sound familiar?

Turns out, Joseph Pilates brought us mindful exercise with the Pilates method, long before it was even a thing!

At the heart of the Pilates method is this idea of harmony between body and mind that is achieved only by combining mindful thought and awareness of breath, with the physicality of athletic movement.

This emphasis on mindfulness occurs across the six, core principles of Pilates:

  1. Centring: the mind creates focus and initiates energy to the centre of the body.
  2. Concentration: the mind must be present.
  3. Control: the mind connects with the body to create control of movement.
  4. Precision: the mind signals to the body to create precision in movement.
  5. Breath: the body and mind connect through breath to create rhythm and intention.
  6. Flow: the mind and body must work together in coordination, to create flow of movement.

There is growing recognition of the value of Pilates as a mindfulness exercise, with benefits spanning both clinical and every day contexts.

Studies show that mindfulness practice in Pilates can help people to:

  • Improve memory.
  • Train the brain: challenge body and mind at the same time.
  • Improve nervous system health by firing up deep muscles and movement chains.
  • Calm mind, body and spirit:
  • Relieve anxiety and depression.
  • Treat insomnia.
  • Improve focus.
  • Unlock creative thinking.
  • Relieve stress.
  • Assist chronic pain management.
  • Reduce negative emotions/boost mood.
  • Lower blood pressure and improve cardiovascular health.
  • Help emotional regulation.
  • Improve self-awareness.
  • Boost confidence.
  • Enhance happiness.

There is something deliciously cleansing about mindfulness in Pilates movement. The beauty of this method is that these skills translate so easily outside the studio, and can help you cope with life’s ups and downs.

Living mindfully is the way of the future!

Joseph Pilates said it best: “A body free from nervous tension and fatigue is the ideal shelter provided by nature for housing a well-balanced mind, fully capable of successfully meeting all the complex problems of modern living.”

Thanks Jo!