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.

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!

Welcome to PTI: New Look, Same Family

Welcome to PTI: New Look, Same Family

Pilates Fitness Institute (PFI) has been the ‘mother brand’ for a diverse selection of specialist Pilates services including studio and rehabilitative methods, and accredited Instructor training programs (formerly registered as ‘PFI Training’).

While PFI has served us extremely well, the Training arm of the business had outgrown the brand and needed its own in order to really exercise its potential.

So, we bring you: Pilates Training Institute (PTI).

This new brand allows us to evolve our training offering and consolidate our reputation as the leading Registered Training Organisation in Western Australia.

 

NEW LOOK

PTI’s new logo was inspired by the Alocasia or Elephant’s Ear: ‘the tree that grows up to the heavens’, a remarkable plant with eastern and western symbolism for seizing opportunities and taking risk.

An explosion of greenery, its elegant and airy leaves are punctuated with thick, white veins that to us, mirror the structure of the human ribcage; a source of structure and protection: hard but soft, supportive yet flexible.

It all comes together to embody hope, renewal and growth: personal and professional, through Pilates.

 

SAME MENTORS

The PTI family is led by Directors, Pilates Instructors and Training Faculty, Frances Cahill and Suzanne Newby.

Under Frances and Suzanne’s direction, PFI now PTI has developed a reputation for delivering high quality training programs that produce the best and brightest Pilates Instructors in the state. It is the winning combination of business acumen, passion for Pilates, style of practice and a commitment to culture that makes PTI one of the most coveted and inimitable Institutes in WA.

A testament to the quality of our instruction, PFI has been sought out by Cirque de Soleil to train performance athletes in the 2017 Perth season of Kooza; and previously for seasons of Totem.

Our culture draws heavily from traditional Pilates values that prioritise quality and consistency in learning, delivered with care, for a community of people.

PTI approaches Pilates as an intelligent discipline and we empower students, Instructors and Faculty alike to seek out growth opportunities, personally and professionally, through mentorship and ongoing education.

Of course, a culture like this begins and ends with passion, and the PTI family will bend over backward, literally and figuratively, to help you get where you need to be.

 

INTRODUCING FRANCES CAHILL AND SUZANNE NEWBY

Frances has been teaching Pilates since 2005 and completed her Advanced Diploma of the Pilates Method, and Diploma of Professional Pilates Instruction through the Pilates International Training Centre (PITC) under the mentorship of the legendary Sally Anderson.

She also has a Bachelor of Science (Nutrition) and a Postgraduate Diploma of Dietetics through Curtin University. Frances has a dance background, and loves the Pilates method for its technical focus and transformative power.

 

Suzanne has a long history in the fitness industry and has been active in Instructor training for over 10 years. She is passionate about holistic biomechanical movement, and has been strongly influenced in this field by Karen Clippinger and Sally Anderson. Suzanne has an Advanced Diploma of the Pilates Method from PITC where she too was under the direction of Sally Anderson.

Known as a real pacesetter in WA’s Pilates scene, Suzanne has served on the Pilates Alliance Australasia (PAA) committee and instructs across all training courses offered at PTI.

A dynamic duo, Frances and Suzanne are passionate about training, be it moulding the new generation of Instructors or leading professional development for PFI’s team of professionals.

 

TRAINING WITH PTI

Pilates Training Institute is a Registered Training Organisation and delivers only specialist Pilates courses with accredited outcomes.

The highest level of Pilates training available in WA today, our Diploma is compatible with higher levels of study (tertiary), meaning our graduates are typically more employable at home and abroad.

Courses include:

  • Diploma of Professional Pilates Instruction
  • Certificate in Pilates Matwork Instruction
  • Certificate in Pilates Matwork and Reformer Instruction
  • Basic Anatomy and Physiology

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 nature of the discipline and achieve optimal learning outcomes, training should be physically interactive and delivered in a community environment that prioritises a mentorship.

At PTI students learn from the best in a studio environment which allows for greater ‘hands-on’ engagement with theory. It also provides greater exposure to and awareness of the physical-intelligence aspects of the discipline (how to “do” Pilates), and opportunities for students to commit to self-mastery; a crucial element of being an effective Instructor.

The PTI community plays a huge role in keeping our students motivated and on-track with study. We also coordinate students’ work experience hours through Pilates Fitness Institute (PFI), and are well positioned to help graduates secure jobs once accredited.

PTI STYLE

Our style of Pilates goes a long way to informing what prospective Instructors can reasonably expect from training with us. PTI’s style is defined by:

  • Dynamics: we favour well-rounded workouts that build on natural dynamics by prioritising active and sustained movement. To this, dynamics like pace, types of muscle contractions and breathing techniques can be added to challenge and progress practice.
  • Progression: technique and progression are key to performance. PTI ensures the learning environment is matched to skill and fitness level to produce best results for the whole community.
  • Function: an emphasis on technique. Our style is very specific, all programming approaches are chosen to facilitate precise function.
  • Flow: flow informs enjoyment. It describes fluidity of movement that ensures protection of joints, comfort and prolonged muscle connections.
  • Communication: our delivery style is unique because it revolves around the ‘why’ and ‘how’. Honed communication skills create Instructors who make their clients feel confident and can progress their practice in a safe and enjoyable way.
  • Creativity: ‘think outside the box’; evolving programs ensures ongoing, positive engagement.
  • Blend of traditional and contemporary methods: our offering 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.

Pilates Training Institute provides the highest quality instruction available today, for more information about training with PTI or to join our family, contact Katie at studentsupport@pti.wa.edu.au or call 9330 8900.

Final intake for the year is set for September, with 2018 dates to be released soon!

10 Signs You’re Destined to Become a Pilates Instructor

10 Signs you’re destined to become a Pilates Instructor

The Pilates Training Institute hosts regular Pilates Instructor Training Open Days: an opportunity for would-be, should-be and wanna-be Instructors to gain some insight into the world of training at PTI. To see when our next one is – email studentsupport@pti.wa.edu.au.

If you’re not yet convinced to take the leap, consider these 10 signs that Pilates is destined to be your new career.

 

  1. Love, love, love

Are you fanatical about the practice of Pilates? Do you dedicate an exorbitant amount of time to Pilates workouts? Are you interested in its history, principles, techniques and evolving methodologies?

Do you love it?

It’s trite, but appropriate: “If you love what you do, you’ll never work a day in your life.”

If you love Pilates, please make it your career!

 

  1. Health and fitness focus

Keeping fit and healthy is an important part of the job, so it certainly helps if you embrace a healthful lifestyle.

  1. Do something you love and help others!

To teach Pilates, you need to experience the movements and processes in your own body.

To teach Pilates, you must do Pilates. (Not a hard ask given number one!)

It is a special career because of this marriage between the learning and doing. Instructors can immerse themselves in the discipline daily, grow their own experience with and knowledge of Pilates, and help other people all at the same time. What a beautiful thing!

 

  1. Bye-bye desk monkey

Are you ready to trade a sedentary work environment and the nine to five grind for a truly dynamic career?

Work in a full- or part-time capacity, or even teach as a second/supplementary career stream. Work out of multiple studios, or teach mostly out of one; work weekends, nights or days: you choose what feels right and works best for you.

 

  1. Eagle-eyed and ready to go

If you’ve seen PTI Trainees in classes at PFI, you will be reasonably familiar with what’s involved, that is: sitting in on a lot of classes and observing a whole lot of bodies! This demands a high level of attention to detail and close, analytical skills of observation. Do you have what it takes?

 

  1. Emotional and physical career satisfaction

Being a Pilates Instructor affords emotional and physical career satisfaction like no other. Nurture others on their Pilates journey; train your body and mind, and watch your confidence grow and grow.

  1. You’re a helpful person of the people

The ability to effectively share your knowledge, relate to and guide different people in different ways is a fundamental part of being a Pilates Instructor.

(Working with people is one of those things that you either do, or really do not enjoy.)

Ask yourself:

  • Do you enjoy interacting with people?
  • Do you enjoy meeting new people?
  • Do you communicate well?
  • Are you compassionate?
  • Are you enthusiastic?
  • Are you confident managing personality differences?
  1. Good, better, best. Never let it rest.

The best Instructors are smart, forward-thinking and hungry for knowledge! No matter which method you choose to train in and ultimately teach, there is always more to learn.

The beauty of being a Pilates Instructor is you need to do a lot of Pilates yourself, all in the name of professional development. Fortunately, the opportunities to extend yourself (figuratively and literally) are many!

Once you’ve completed your base qualification you can effectively broaden or refine your expertise by layering on study in other methods or areas. Practice, learn and explore; see what you can do!

 

  1. Cherish, nourish, inspire

If you’ve come this far, you will have encountered at least one “Hero Instructor”.

Hero Instructors are often the ones who trigger a Pilates obsession. They’re the ones you adore because they push you to aim higher; motivate you and bring joy to your practice.

They are who you want to be! You can be someone’s Hero Instructor!

  1. Commitment isn’t a dirty word

Instructor training takes time, money and commitment; if you’re not afraid of a bit of hard work, climb aboard!

Does any of the above resonate with you? PTI is a Registered Training Organisation and delivers only nationally and internationally recognised, accredited Pilates qualifications; the highest level of Pilates training available in Australia.

 

Completing an accredited training course will take you further than any other Pilates course in the market; PTI programs are compatible with higher levels of study (TAFE and tertiary), and make you infinitely more employable, in Australia and abroad! What are you waiting for…change your life, change your career.