The Instructor Body: Self-Care

“Self-care”: it’s so much more than a buzzword bandied around by marketers as a way to sell wellness products.

At its core, self-care is any activity undertaken with the intention to improve and or maintain our mental, emotional and physical health. We see this very concept in the Workplace Health and Safety unit (HLTWHS001) of our Diploma of Professional Pilates Instruction (10537NAT) and associated Instruction Pathways. Here we explore the importance of self-care for Instructors, in an operational context, and ask you to identify activities, practices and consider strategies for supporting your wellbeing as a professional.

It is best practice for Pilates Instructors to develop a personal self-care plan to enhance health, manage stress and sustain positive mental and physical health in the long term.

It all begins and ends with Pilates: but it’s about more than what you do in the Studio.

Joseph Pilates was “Physical Culturalist”; influential in the three-wave Physical Culture Movement originating in Europe in the 19th Century and including European Gymnast- (Germany, 1800s), Strongman- (England, 1914), and Somatic Physical Culturalists (New York, 1926 onward).

Physical Culturalists were the ultimate teachers of self-care, and we see many of their ideas threaded through the Pilates Method. You only have to read Return to Life Through Contrology to see the common themes!

  1. Proper diet and sleep must accompany exercise.

“Always have food on hand, but only refuel when nutrients are needed.” Pilates Instructors spend all day taking care of clients, it is important to nourish your body to ward off fatigue and keep you going.

Tips:

  • Pre-prepare meals and snacks.
  • Have healthy, wholesome foods handy at home and work.
  • See an accredited Dietician for dietary advice if needed.

Pilates said “guide your eating habits with all due respect to the required amount of food you need to keep yourself physically fit…” (Return to Life Through Contrology, p37.)

(The original mindful eating movement!)

With tightly scheduled and long, physical days Instructing, restorative sleep is of the utmost importance for body and mind.

  • How many hours do you sleep each night? Are you getting enough?
  • Evaluate your sleep routine: how can it be improved?
  1. Fresh air and sunshine daily.

Pilates tells us to breathe fresh air to free your blood of the “debris” of fatigue: what a powerful image!

But it’s about more than the physiological act: Pilates talks about letting the skin breathe through exposure to the outdoors and sunshine.

“By all means never fail to get all the sunshine and fresh air that you can. Remember too, that your body also “breathes” through the pores of your skin as well as through your mouth, nose, and lungs” (p18).

Take breaks whenever you can and:

  • Go outside! Take a walk around the block.
  • Sit in the sunshine: “embrace the sun’s rays”
  • Fill your lungs with air.

Pilates also talked about wearing loose fitting clothing. Archival footage and photographs suggest he didn’t wear much of anything, but this was never about ego, but health – allowing the skin to breathe.

While workplace standards today might not allow for Jo’s style of get-up, fashion choices are something worth questioning. Modern activewear is typically form fitting which is great for Pilates because it allows us to see the body in motion and assess alignment in our clients: however, wearing tight leggings day-in day-out Instructing can be oppressive and negatively impact digestive health and reproductive hygiene (particularly in women!)

Tips:

  • Incorporate some looser fitting (workplace appropriate) fashion choices into your teaching wardrobe.
  • Bring an alternative outfit to work so you have the option to change into something looser during the day.

  1. Good hygiene

Pilates was a frequent bath-guy: cold for a tonic, hot for cleanliness, and he loved daily dry brushing with the open hands, brush or towel to “bend, stretch and refresh” the skin.

Cleanliness is again linked to “breathing”: bathe to stimulate circulation, and keep your pores open and free of toxins.

Beyond the therapeutic benefits, personal hygiene is an important feature of workplace health and safety in a public-facing industry, especially one where we engage physically and closely with other people. While not everyone loves a bath as much as Jo did, it is undeniable that keeping clean will keep you healthy!

Tips:

  • Bathe or shower regularly.
  • Have a bath at the end of your working week to relax.
  • Try dry brushing!
  • Treat yourself to new bath/shower products.
  1. Move your body

Students often assume that working Instructors do Pilates themselves, all the time. The reality is rosters and client load means most Instructors struggle to find the time or opportunity to schedule their own work outs!

Instructors spend all day making clients feel good, it is essential they “make” time to put themselves back together with Pilates! Sometimes this is easier said than done, but it is a priority.

(Doing Pilates isn’t only important for Instructors’ health and wellbeing, it is also self-mastery. We are always learning, in all ways, and commitment to self-mastery and professional development is at the heart of this.)

Pilates stressed the importance of consistently doing exercise that worked the complete musculature of the body, aka “full-body work outs”, and encouraged people to seek this out in all formats: at the gym and on the athletic field, in addition to the Studio.

Tips:

  • Schedule your self-mastery: non-negotiable!
  • Aim to complete three classes or sessions each week as a minimum.
  • Put yourself “back together” at the end of every shift: find three exercises to release and realign your body and complete before you go home.
  • Do other things! Take up other fitness formats and sports. Diversity in movement makes you a better mover; and time away from the Method is sometimes well spent!
  • Listen to your body: seek exercise that makes you feel good and gives you what you need.
  1. Mind/Body

Thinking is a powerful factor in health and can be constructive or destructive in equal measure: it can build you up or tear you down. Taking care of your mental health care is important! What form this takes is up to the individual, but:

Tips:

  • Don’t be afraid to ask for help from a professional!
  • Confide in your colleagues and Pilates community.
  • Set boundaries and be realistic: don’t over-extend yourself!

“Work-life balance” is a misnomer: it doesn’t exist. All we can realistically hope for is to find a state of being where work and personal life are in relative harmony, and our bodies and minds are in good health.

Self-care isn’t self-ish. It is not only about considering our needs; but rather it’s about knowing what we need to do in order to take care of ourselves, and as a result being able to take care of others as well.

Without self-care, we can’t give our best in our professional or personal lives!

Just ask: What Would Jo Do? (WWJD?) Have you written yourself a personal self-care plan?

Links:

https://www.movementhealth.com.au/news/physical-culture-movement/

https://www.movementhealth.com.au/news/joseph-pilates-and-the-physical-culture-movement/

 

Course Design: What’s a Practicum?

“Intelligent course design”: what is this, exactly?

It comes down to accessibility and equity: we want our courses to be accessible to all people, from all walks of life. And life, as we know all too well, can be messy!

Our courses have been designed to be completed, like all vocational training, parallel to a full-time work commitment as standard.

However, the reality is: no two peoples’ work-life balance looks the same. That’s where our intelligent design features come into play.

Work Experience hours are course specific, but similarly divided into:

  • Observing: “Pilates in-action” – students spend time observing group class, private and semi-private Studio delivery to gain insight into repertoire, programming, teaching style, cueing, client management and Studio operations.
  • Teaching: a combination of self-scheduled (with your own clients in the Studio environment) and co-instruction of group classes and Studio sessions alongside accredited Instructors.
  • Self-Mastery: your own ongoing practice under the direction of an accredited Instructor in group class and Studio environments.

Self-scheduled teaching hours are often the most challenging logistical aspect of work experience. Practicums are an optional add-on and have been developed to lighten this load by helping students to expedite the completion of these teaching hours in an open, mentor-supported environment.

Practicums are led by national Faculty and delivered in teaching clinic format against set topics (units of competency) including:

  • Matwork
  • Postures
  • Reformer
  • Joint Health
  • Ageing and Bone Health
  • Initial Consultations
  • Reformer and Cadillac
  • Wunda Chair and Barrels
  • Pregnancy
  • Spine Conditions

These sessions provide students with a unique opportunity to practice teaching in a mentor and peer-supported, Studio environment. Work through the aspects of repertoire, delivery and foundations that are challenging you; workshop ideas with your peers; enjoy the benefit of immediate, constructive feedback from Faculty. Hone your teaching skills, build your confidence and tick-off teaching hours in the process!

Practicums run for five (5) hours in total. For each hour students accrue four hours of approved teaching experience.

1 hour = 4 hours of teaching experience.

It is possible to complete all required teaching hours by attending all offered Practicums (subject to availability: please refer to course dates for your State or Territory).

These sessions are not included in the total cost of your course, and can be added to your schedule at your convenience for only $75 per session. Practicums can be booked online at the point of enrolment, or later.

Life is busy. We understand. Intelligent and flexible course design means we can go that extra mile to create a course schedule that works for you.

View available Practicums on the Course + Enrol page for your state, and click Enrol to register.

The Student Support and Administration team is on hand to help in any way we can, give us a call on (08) 9330 4570 or email administration@pti.wa.edu.au.

Training with PTI: The Gift of Style

Training with PTI: The Gift of Style

Pilates Training Institute (PTI) has a reputation for delivering world-class Instructor training, with some of the highest exacting standards in the market today. PTI believes that to honour the discipline and achieve optimal learning outcomes for all, Instructor training should be physically interactive and delivered in a mentorship community.

This is also what makes our training so special!

At PTI, students learn from career Instructors in a studio environment providing greater opportunity for meaningful, ‘hands-on’ engagement with theory and physical-intelligence aspects of the discipline (how to “do” Pilates). We believe that investment in ‘self-mastery’ is essential to developing proper understanding of biomechanics in our own movement, and ultimately creates world-class Instructors.

And of course, our PTI community plays a huge role in keeping our students motivated and on-track. We invest in our people and our students! When you graduate with PTI you don’t just walk away with a piece of paper, you take with you a special style of Pilates Instruction.

Our style goes a long way to informing what students can reasonably expect from training with us; and provide insight into the culture of instruction they will take with them into the industry.

The PTI style is defined against seven criteria:

  1. Dynamics

We favour ‘well-rounded’ workouts that build on natural dynamics by prioritising active and sustained movement. From here we adjust variables like pace, types of muscle contractions and breathing techniques to add challenge and progress performance.

  1. Progression

Technique and progression are key to performance: but progression is unique to the individual. To ensure no man or woman is left behind, we have built a learning environment that values inclusivity and works with the skill and fitness level of our students. This way our teaching and learning community enjoys sustained, optimal learning outcomes.

  1. Function

PTI is a technique-forward training organisation and our style therein very specific: all programming approaches facilitate precise function.

  1. Flow

Flow (fluidity in movement) is at the heart of enjoyment! It also plays a significant role in safety: protecting joints, and performance: the execution of prolonged muscle connections.

  1. Communication

Communication is the foundation of any good relationship. ‘Effective’ communication is a skill and something that is constantly tested and honed throughout a career. At PTI we fast track our students into ‘Communication Chameleons’ who can listen, negotiate and be responsive in all situations, for a diverse selection of clientele. Of course, the communication skills our students take away from training with PTI extend beyond the studio, and are an asset in building relationships that work, personally and professionally.

  1. Creativity

Always learning, always growing. Our students and Faculty are encouraged to ‘think outside the box’ and evolve programs to ensure ongoing, meaningful engagement.

  1. Blend of traditional and contemporary methods

Ideologically, PTI is built on a foundation of traditional Pilates principles applied in combination with contemporary methodologies, health and lifestyle advice to keep our Instructors at the cutting edge of the industry.

PTI provides the highest quality instruction available in WA today and we would love to welcome you to the family! For more information about Instructor training with PTI or sign up for the final intake of 2017, contact Katie on hello@pti.wa.edu.au.

Course intake dates for 2018 will be released soon!

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.

9 Tips for Surviving and Thriving During Your Diploma

9 Tips for Surviving and Thriving During Your Diploma

The Diploma of Professional Pilates Instruction (10537NAT) is a government accredited, internationally recognised course that equips you to teach Pilates in all settings:

  • Matwork programs
  • Reformer programs
  • Pregnancy and Post Natal programs
  • Studio Pilates programs: including apparatus
  • Clinical rehab applications
  • Postural analysis and applications, and more

Completing this course is no small feat! It’s comprehensive, and achievable. The beauty of all our courses is that your study commitment can be structured to suit you: after all, life doesn’t just stop!

PilatesITC doesn’t want you to just “survive” your time with us, but thrive! So, we compiled the top nine tips from our Faculty, for surviving and thriving during your Diploma and Instruction Pathways:

  1. Military-level organisation

The juggle is real: most of our students are balancing work (full-time and part-time) and family commitments with study.

As a rule, maximise organisation to minimise stress, and make the whole experience more enjoyable!

  • Map out your commitments.
  • Set goals.
  • Prioritise tasks.
  • Be realistic: balance your schedule (as much as possible).
  1. Be open

Balancing family, work and study takes a village! Open communication with the people who will be most affected by your new study commitment (employer(s), friends, family) is the best thing you can do for yourself. If you are honest about your availability, people are more likely to be understanding, supportive and helpful!

  1. Be productive

Ask yourself: “What could I be doing right now to make my life easier tomorrow, next week and beyond?”

  1. Invest in self-care

There are no medals for doing it tough! Be smart: take care of yourself.

See: Joseph Pilates’ principles for optimal health:

  • Proper diet and sleep must accompany exercise.
  • Fresh air and sunshine daily.
  • Wear loose clothing outside and embrace the sun’s rays.
  • Always have food on hand, but only refuel when nutrients are needed.
  • Do not fear the cold in winter.
  • Do not overdo exercise: muscle fatigue can ignite poisons in the body.
  • Sleep: use a firm mattress, no more than one pillow, and have a quiet, dark room.
  • Baths: clean your pores! Dry brush daily.
  1. Be flexible

Proper preparation may prevent poor performance: but sometimes life has other plans. A happy, full life often means being willing to adapt.

  1. Ask for help

Some days, weeks and months will be more challenging than others and that is perfectly ok! Do not be afraid to ask for help from your support network and the PTI family.

  1. Invest in relationships

The Pilates community is your greatest asset. Put yourself out there; build relationships; take advantage of mentoring opportunities and engage with your community. There is so much support, knowledge and friendship to be gained, and this professional network will serve you well throughout your career.

  1. Surround yourself with learning

Read widely. Listen to podcasts. Think critically. Talk shop. Surround yourself with people who inspire and challenge you.

  1. Have fun!

Remember why you’re here. Breathe. Relax. ENJOY YOURSELF!

We are here to support you wherever you are in your Pilates journey: don’t hesitate to get in touch with our Student Support and Administration team on (08) 9330 4570.

4 Types of Cues

4 Types of Cues

What is cueing? It’s the heart of the method as a uniquely mind-body discipline. It’s complex and powerfully individual (check out Pilates Cuing is An Art insights from industry leaders).

That’s what makes it so very interesting!

Cueing is a learned communication skill. In practical terms, it is about using communication devices to help a client move through an exercise with specific intention.

Effective Pilates Instructors hone cueing skills throughout their career, and constantly challenge their repertoire according to experience, trial and error, and intuition.

While there is no one “right” way to cue: the aim of the game is to be well versed in different types of cuing, in order to be accessible to and provide effective instruction for each individual client.

What are the four main types of cues, and how can they work for clients with differing learning styles? Pilates Elder and BASI Pilates Founder, Rael Isacowitz, MA, explores this in an article for IDEA Health and Fitness Association.

  1. Demonstrative cues

Visual learners respond best to demonstration: this means Instructors must always be adept at executing an accurate example of an exercise or movement.

Here we see the importance of knowing the work in your own body! You must further your own practice in order to “stay connected with the movements physically, mentally and viscerally.”

  1. Explanatory cues

Auditory learners engage most effectively with explanatory cues: articulate a movement using words. Types of verbal explanations include:

  • Analytical cues: often science based, these verbal cues are broken down against an objective and delivered with clarity, in logical progression.
  • Figurative cues: relies on imagery to help the client make sense of a movement or exercise. Imagery is a powerful tool that acts like a communication short cut, simplifying an otherwise complex concept and making it more accessible for clients. Rael says that for figurative cues to be effective, they must closely align with the concept: broad or general imagery can be confusing and counterproductive.
  1. Do then tell cues 

Clients who learn through experience want to launch into the exercise straight away. In this case, it is often most helpful to allow the client to experience the work in their body before offering direction or correction. “Step back and let the process “happen.”” Then follow with reason, says Rael.

  1. Touch cues

Tactile learners prefer touch prompts from the Instructor in order to make sense of a movement or exercise. Rael says touch cues are the most valuable of all methods in Pilates: however, it should be applied with care to avoid misinterpretations. Not all clients will be comfortable with touch cues. Always be professional, deliberate and confident.

Rael sums up: “Ultimately, the effectiveness of your cuing will determine the effectiveness of your teaching. No one is just a visual learner or just a tactile learner. In the best-case scenario, you will be well versed and competent in all modes of cuing and able to combine them in subtle ways for the best effect.”

It is only with practice that you gain confidence, and become skilful at selecting the right cueing tool for the task and client before you.

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

10 Things Pilates Instructors Know To Be True

10 Things Pilates Instructors Know To Be True

  1. Creeper status: high

Hyper-awareness of how people around you stand and move can be an occupational hazard, particularly in social settings. The urge to help people stand and move better, is strong and always on, which means sometimes our helpful, postural creeper status is a little high. Sorry, not sorry.

  1. Active wear on point

There is an expectation that Pilates Instructors always have strong active wear game. (Like we need an excuse to spend on active wear!) #Blessed to spend all day in comfort and style; sorry bank balance!

  1. Not so neat feet

*Looks down* Yikes! When was the last time I got a pedicure?

  1. I can do anything you can do, better

You will, inevitably, encounter the amazing, hot, super fit client who can do your moves better than you! But that’s cool! We value and prioritise self-mastery, find challenges within on our own practice and do so at our own pace. It’s not a competition!

  1. Sporadic loss of numerical literacy

How many more reps? Where were we up to? Just keep going.

  1. Loopy cues

Sometimes even our most well-versed, go-to cues go missing during class, often resulting in substitutes being invented on the fly.

You know, the ones that kind of make sense, but they don’t quite fit because they’re either super random, morbid, silly or (accidentally) bawdy? On the plus side, they’re generally the cues that make clients laugh most!

  1. Demo drama

Even the most practiced Instructors have “those” days when mind, body and mouth don’t quite connect and demonstrations come unstuck. “Do it this way, but don’t do it this way!” You can only laugh!

  1. You secretly have a favourite class

We’re a social bunch, so it’s only natural to develop a rapport with clients you see sometimes multiple times a week!

  1. You’re a 24/7 Pilates Oracle

Family, friends and strangers will ask your advice on injuries, performance, fitness, weight loss, pregnancy (you name it!) because you’re a magical Pilates Oracle that can solve all manner of problems!

Tip: learn to say no (nicely), early.

 10. Pilates is life

You can’t switch it off! You take it with you and find that it informs all aspects of life and the way you think about everyday tasks, and it makes you giddy with happiness! The End.

The Balancing Act: Gender in Pilates

The Balancing Act: Gender in Pilates

The misconception that Pilates is somehow a feminine discipline perhaps comes from the fact it was adopted early, in the mainstream, by the dance community: a traditionally female industry.

In actual fact, Joseph Pilates used the method to train army troops, interned prisoners and men from all walks of life, as much if not more than he trained women and dancers. And nowhere in his books does he state or even allude to the discipline supporting a gender bias.

Joseph’s fitness empire is built on creating the perfect balance of body and mind to create health and happiness, for all!

Today, attitudes are shifting and many training institutions, like PTI, prioritise inclusivity in their recruitment and training models; and we’re pleased to report that interest from men is on the rise.

In fact, Founder and Director of PilatesITC (and mentor to PTI Directors Suzanne and Frances), Sally Anderson wrote a blog for Body and Soul this month detailing 5 reasons why men do Pilates.

Overwhelmingly it seems men are increasingly recognising that the discipline’s health benefits are not exclusive to the female population, and are embracing Pilates as an effective way to supplement fitness and conditioning:

  • Increase flexibility
  • Improve functional strength
  • Prevent and rehab (non-acute) injuries
  • Address muscular imbalance
  • Improve posture
  • Build a strong core from the inside-out (hello, six-pack!)

A growing number of professional and elite level athletes have recognised Pilates can play a pivotal role in performance.

The likes of LeBron James, Kobe Bryant, Tiger Woods, Andy Murray, James Magnussen, David Beckham, Venus and Serena Williams, have adopted the practice. Pilates has well and truly found a place in modern training regimens across codes and around the world, including: NBA, NFL, AFL, Rugby League and Union.

Joseph said it best: “You will develop muscular power with corresponding endurance, ability to perform arduous duties, to play strenuous games, to walk, run or travel for long distances without undue body fatigue or mental strain.”

‘Real men do Pilates’ is an increasingly common buzz phrase these days, but we want to bring it back a notch (what is a ‘real man’ anyway?!).

Men do Pilates. Mean teach Pilates. Men are an essential part of our Pilates community.

Our industry is at a pivotal point in its history: Pilates is exploding in popularity, we’re visible, accessible and investment is steady. We are also in our most inclusive state, as a culture and discipline, to date.

At PTI we want more men through our doors for Instructor training; we want more men leading classes, we want more men to be active in driving our industry forward!

In a discipline that values balance in all forms literal and figurative, let’s strive for more of it between the sexes! After all, Pilates knows no gender.

The final training intake for 2017 kicks off in September. For more information or to enrol, contact Katie on hello@pti.wa.edu.au.

Course dates for 2018 will be released shortly.