Continuing Education: Helen New

In early June, renowned Scoliosis specialist Helen New paid a visit to PilatesITC HQ in Perth to deliver a series of Studio sessions and the main event, Curvy Bodies: A Scoliosis Workshop, for WA Instructors and Students.

Pilates is an intelligent system and PilatesITC has the academic edge in vocational training and continuing education, attracting high-profile local and international “movers” to ensure our Pilates family is always learning, in all ways – no matter where you are in your career!

Continuing Ed isn’t “just for” qualified, experienced Instructors; to illustrate this point we sat down with PilatesITC WA Educator and Pilates Practitioner, Lora Rainey and PilatesITC Diploma Student, Nikki Ramm to reflect on their continuing education experience with Helen New.

First thing is first: which events did you attend with Helen New?

Lora: I had a Studio Duet with Helen, and went to the Scoliosis Workshop.

Nikki: I did the Scoliosis Workshop, and was lucky enough to be a body for most of it.

For those who haven’t worked with Helen before, how would you describe her?

Lora: Helen is lovely! She’s warm and approachable. Not surprisingly given her background, she’s a wealth of knowledge and presents very well. I enjoyed her style of delivery: she’s practical and clear.

Nikki: I agree, she was relaxed, very clear, easy to understand and happy to answer questions.

What was your experience with Scoliosis prior to your session(s)?

Lora: My Diploma and Advanced Diploma studies equipped me with a solid base of knowledge; what Helen does is next level and added a whole new practical dimension to working with Scoliosis clients.

Nikki: We’ve covered Scoliosis in our coursework, and I have experience the condition in my own body and how that affects my comfort and functionality. 

Did you have any “lightbulb” moments working with Helen?

Lora: Multiple “Ah-ha” moments! The Duet was particularly valuable for me in terms of my own self-mastery. Under Helen’s direction I found myself able achieve techniques I typically find challenging; a testament to her communication style and smart, intuitive cueing. She’s great at breaking it down and building it up again. Sometimes as Instructors our self-mastery becomes an after-thought, so a Duet like this is useful for reconnecting with our own bodies.

The central theme of the workshop was “de-rotating” people and being able to make strategic corrections on a variety of bodies in motion. It’s a big, complex topic: there was lots of information to absorb and process on the day. When I was in the Studio the following day I felt a bit like a mad scientist because it all clicked into place mentally!

Nikki: I have Scoliosis myself, so the “prop what’s dropped” technique was a revelation! Such a smart way to assist a client with imbalance by propping the body with pads to help realign and provide some relief from that awful, heavy tension.

It’s “Rose and Thorn” time: what was your highlight?

Lora: That next day when the content all clicked into place in my mind. I felt really empowered by everything we learned with Helen.

Nikki: It was a pretty unique situation to be a Scoliosis body for the workshop and a Student simultaneously; so, for me the highlight was gaining a deeper understanding of Scoliosis as an Instructor and in my own body.

Thorn: something you’ve taken away from your session(s) with Helen that you find challenging/you’ll continue to work on?

Lora: It’s not a case of now I know it and pack it away as “done”. Helen has equipped us with fantastic new skills and intelligence, but now the real work begins – identifying opportunities to apply it responsively for clients. That in itself is challenging: understanding this complex condition and applying it safely in the real world.

Nikki: As Lora said, it’s a complex condition and unique to the individual. Learning how to assess other Scoliosis bodies – everyone is different – and understanding how to help them is a big practical challenge. It’s a bit daunting but something I now have a frame of reference for and a place to start, thanks to Helen.

What was your favourite skill/tip/trick for working with Scoliosis clients?

Lora: Even for someone with mild scoliosis, I found some of Helen’s techniques extremely effective in addressing my own neck and back pain. It’s hard for people without Scoliosis to understand, but the element of relief for these clients cannot be underestimated. It’s a game changer for me, I can only imagine how relieving that would be for someone with Scoli more serious than my own!

Nikki: Again, the propping: so simple and effective!

For Instructor Students: a good piece of advice about Scoliosis?

Lora: It’s a 3D posture/condition, so it’s not a one size fits all type deal – that’s why it is so difficult to understand in the context of our undergraduate course work. It’s a LOT to fit into your course.

These are skills we all need, but they need to be applied intelligently. Don’t do something if you don’t fully understand it: especially where it concerns a condition like Scoliosis, you will likely make it worse for the client.

Nikki: The information you take away can be overwhelming, but the best way to understand it and retain it is to put it into practice ASAP. Apply it on friends, family, other students; talk it over and practice and it’ll stick.

Favourite Helen-quote or anecdote?

Lora: I loved her analogies. Especially “the bossy side” as a playful way to reference the imbalance in the Scoli body.

Nikki: I agree! Her analogies were so fun and useful and have stuck in my mind! “Prop what’s dropped!”

Why is it important to do Continuing Education with people like Helen New?

Lora: The learning doesn’t, or shouldn’t, stop when you graduate. We need to invest in this type of learning to protect ourselves, our clients and the reputation of the industry.

Students, don’t be afraid to yourself to throw yourself into it! Instructors who haven’t done Continuing Ed for a while, get back to it!

Invest in learning and understanding from people like Helen, arm yourself with the proper tools and feel powerful for doing so! These sessions are a great way to enhance your learning mix no matter where you are in your career.

Nikki: From a Student’s perspective, the more tools in the Pilates tool box the better! It gives us a competitive edge, makes us more employable and more competent going into the work force. At the end of the day, having these skills will help to attract, retain and make a difference in the lives of a broader range of clients.

Jess The Bird: Pilates Touring + “thinking big”

HKI > RA > PAR > LDN > SYD > BALI

Six weeks, six cities and a blistering schedule: it reads like a Pilates rock tour (coincidentally, the trip was informally called “The Pilates Rockstar Tour”). But for PilatesITC Faculty Mentor Jessica Romano, it was all business assisting Anula Maiberg on her European tour.

We sat down with Jess to chat about her trip, “thinking big” and more:

Welcome back to Perth! How are you feeling after such a marathon trip?

Pretty good! It’s good to be home and reset for a minute*; see the family, catch up with Students, (my clients are my students) and the team.

It was an intense experience, super tightly scheduled and there wasn’t much time for rest but we had such good momentum so we just worked through it.

*Jess is off for an eight-week, US tour with Anula in early June.

What exactly did you get up to?

Worked hard! Travelled and assisted Anula with professional development workshops and masterclasses for Pilates Teachers. Drank a lot of coffee. Laughed heaps. Made new friends. Saw rad places. Every minute was full. It was a great time!

For those who aren’t across your friendship “origin story”; you and Anula met after her visit to Perth with Pilates Training Institute in February 2018 and started working together following this.

This was your second tour with Anula, how have you found your friendship and working relationship has evolved?

We speak between visits so when we get the opportunity to see each other in person we work well. Our friendship goes from strength to strength every trip.

I have worked hard to contribute to and be a part of sessions on this tour. Talking to and working with an international audience of Pilates Teachers is a big deal for me personally and for my career. It means a lot to be given the opportunity to travel and learn from someone who’s opinion I respect and care about.

The learning from Anula never stops. There’s always so much and then so much more. Touring with her has reminded me of the power of observation and how to be a student. Watching someone like Anula is quite a learning opportunity.

Participating myself is an added bonus. I’m always wide-eyed and ready to play ball. I was given the opportunity to teach a few exercises throughout the tour which culminated in teaching a full class during our time in Bali. It’s always a daunting experience when you’re putting your skills on the line, but it’s the only way to learn, reflect and improve.

 

Being in each other’s pocket all day every day for six weeks would be challenging for any strong relationship, did you ever fight or get sick of each other?

I think when you’re around someone 24/7 and within five inches of them at all times, you learn to respect each other’s space and when they (or you) need time out. We didn’t kill each other so I take that as a good sign!

Let’s play “thorn and rose”. What was the thorn of your trip?

This is a tough question! There wasn’t one stand out low light: every day had its own challenge. Anything from the travel logistics to scheduling, self-care or just navigating cultural differences in the Pilates Studio.

If you were following my or Anula’s social media during the trip you might have seen the clip of Vito – he’s a legend, on the Swedish Bars when we were in Italy and how difficult the language barrier could be.

However, as we are teachers of movement skills and a method of exercise, there is a universal non-verbal understanding of how to try to participate in what is being taught. Relying on a translator had difficult moments for everyone involved. Disruption of communication flow is inevitable but it also made it equally tough for the person doing Pilates. Laura, our translator, was such a good help!

Your rose?

If I was to summarise I would have to say that a trip like this is wholly positive because it challenges your perspective and makes you have to think a lot about why, what and how you are teaching. This kind of thinking applies equally to teaching in a small studio to a conference, and even the state of the industry. Lots of productive thinking and some not-so, but it’s all relevant in the end.

Actually, one stand out was teaching Pilates gymnastics on the Mat and apparatus. Swedish Legs, handstands and backbends all the way!

Biggest take away from the trip?

It has made me think deeply about what our job is. More specifically, where Pilates stands as a Method and in what context. What are we teaching people to do?

At the beginning of nearly every session Anula will ask a group of teachers “What is your job?” and for some people it is a tough question to answer. It’s ok to not have an answer straight away – but this should spark your curiosity to find out why you don’t have one!

I’m interested in the evolution of the Pilates Method from what Mr Pilates created to what we have today and where it will go from here.

What about two pieces of advice for PilatesITC Student Instructors?

  1. Self-practice. Do it. Do Pilates and be ready to move in other ways.

Pilates is an exercise methodology. The best way to learn and learn to teach is to try something out in your own body. Even if you try and potentially fail. It gives you something to work for. As Teachers, it is easy to become caught up in only teaching and participating in what we enjoy. Get uncomfortable sometimes and be ok with it.

  1. Ask questions and be curious: of yourself, peers and Mentors.

Challenge yourself in the process to find out why. After all, becoming a Teacher isn’t about teaching a bunch of Pilates-type exercises, anyone can do that. Quality education is about understanding the systems, knowing the Method and teaching with that in mind.

Thanks for your time Jess. Safe travels for the US leg, we can’t wait to see what you guys get up to!

We’ll keep you up to date on Jess’ travels via @pilatesitc. Or, follow Jess and Anula’s progress direct on Instagram @jessthebirdpilates and @anulamaiberg.

For more information on Pilates Instructor training with PilatesITC in your State or Territory, contact our Student Admin team on (08) 9330 4570 or drop us a line at info@pilatesitc.edu.au.

10 Reasons Why You Should Become a Pilates Instructor with PilatesITC

The spectrum of career change is broad and motivations for trying something new or starting fresh looks different for everyone. Whatever it is driving you to become a Pilates Instructor, PilatesITC has a selection of vocational qualifications (undergraduate and post-graduate) to enrich your potential and propel you forward in your new career direction.

In a world where we’re spoiled for choice, why should you become a Pilates Instructor with PilatesITC?

(Because we said so, plus 10 far more convincing reasons…)

  1. We offer the original and longest standing Pilates qualifications in the world!

PilatesITC courses and pathways were developed and continue to be Mentored by Sally Anderson, and are today delivered nationally by Directors Suzanne Newby and Frances Cahill, and our National Faculty in NSW, ACT, QLD, TAS and WA.

  1. Our Courses and Instruction Pathways are accredited.

What does “accredited” mean, anyway?

In practical terms, PilatesITC courses are recognised and endorsed by the Australian Skills Quality Authority (ASQA): the national regulator for vocational training, in accordance with the VET quality framework. ASQA regulate quality standards, that’s why when you select an accredited course, you enjoy quality assurance.

An important note for those in the depths of researching courses: only Registered Training Organisations can deliver accredited training. So, no RTO number, no accreditation!

Pilates International Training Centre’s RTO No. 40941.

Choosing an accredited course affords other benefits, including:

  • No expiry date on your qualification! It’s yours for life.
  • The industry’s peak body, the Pilates Alliance Australasia (PAA) recognises accredited training due to quality assurance.
  • Qualifications are recognised Australia-wide, and internationally via partnering with international bodies, like the Pilates Method Alliance (PMA) in the United States.
  • PilatesITC courses can articulate directly into higher education streams.
  • Flow on effect to Private Health Funds: although this is currently under threat. Watch this space.
  • High-quality qualifications help us to promote and maintain high standards of Pilates instruction in Australia, and around the world!
  • Accredited Instructors are inherently more employable (more on this below).
  • Students are protected by the quality assurance of the regulating body, ASQA.
  1. Our qualifications are widely recognised and highly regarded.

Our undergraduate and post-graduate qualifications and Instruction Pathways are recognised by the industry’s peak body, the Pilates Alliance Australasia (PAA); the American Association, the Pilates Method Alliance (PMA), the Australian Skills Quality Authority (ASQA) and all reputable employers in Australia and internationally.

  1. Employers prefer our Instructors.

We don’t just teach you a bunch of moves and set you loose on the world: our Instructors are comprehensively trained. PilatesITC courses, as developed by Sally Anderson, deliver a smart and accessible blend of theory and practice, so our students graduate with a sound and well-rounded understanding of the Method, their scope of practice, and where Pilates fits and is most useful in the Allied Health chain.

Our Instructors graduate ready to teach and equipped with the micro and macro-level skills necessary to deliver a targeted, responsive and corrective Pilates experience for clients. Quite simply, we produce Instructors who clients and employers love: they fill classes and retain clients!

  1. Flexibility: figuratively and metaphorically

PilatesITC Grads can teach in all settings, including but not limited to: Pilates Studios, gyms, in wellness tourism (retreats, clinics, cruises etc), community halls, from home, in a mobile arrangement, for corporates, alongside Allied Health (Physio Clinics), in schools, and more!

We have Grads working across this spectrum and doing amazing things in Australia and around the world!

  1. We keep things at the cutting edge.

PilatesITC students have access to the most current teacher training applications, delivered by leading Educators in some of the finest facilities in the country. Our teachings honour the essence of Joseph Pilates’ teachings while encouraging them to be informed by contemporary art, science and kinematics; so, our Pilates is modern and multidimensional.

  1. The best of all (learning) worlds.

Online and off: our flexible and intelligent course design cherry picks the best bits of online and in-person content delivery so our Grads enjoy a supported learning experience.

PilatesITC students have access to a library of online resources and ample opportunities to get hands-on with content in a mentor and peer supported environment through our National Training Locations and Work Experience Affiliated Studios.

When you graduate with us you don’t just walk away with a piece of paper, you take with you a refined and intelligent style of instruction that clients and employers love, and potential to take your career to new heights.

  1. Our point of difference.

Why PilatesITC?

  • We connect you with job opportunities.
  • We support self-employment.
  • Our training is highly regarded and our Grads enjoy a 100% employment rate.
  • The learning never ends: our Grads enjoy the best access to higher learning pathways, professional development programs and Mentoring.
  • You’ll make long lasting friends and forge valuable relationships that will last your whole career.
  • Combo delivery: the best of both worlds, online and off.
  • Mentor culture: you’re not out in the wilderness on your own, we’re with you every step of the way.
  • All work experience included under our guidance.
  • No hidden fees.
  • Our courses are comprehensive but achievable.
  • Learn to teach in a style that clients LOVE.
  • Work anywhere in the WORLD!
  1. A Movement Mentorship.

We’ve mapped out the end goal: to be a capable, comprehensively trained Pilates professional. But, how do you get there? We believe the best learning outcomes are achieved in a mentor-supported environment: guidance from some of the industry’s finest Pilates bodies and minds goes a long way to ensuring our students’ success!

“The PilatesITC community, across the country, plays a huge role in keeping our students motivated, on-track and enriching their learning experience through Mentoring. It underpins everything we do, and it continues to motivate our PilatesITC family to be the best training centre on the market today!” said Suzanne Newby.

  1. The perks of the career are many!

Why become an Instructor? Let us count the reasons!

  • No two days are the same, it’s never boring.
  • Enjoy great income for short shifts.
  • Forget being tied to a desk all day!
  • Join a healthy, wellness-forward professional culture.
  • Rewarding having a positive impact on peoples’ quality of life.
  • Work in many different settings: gyms, wellness centres, community centres, wellness tourism, Pilates Studios, alongside Allied Health and more!
  • Work all around the world.
  • You can fit it in around having a family.
  • Teach full-time, part-time or casually around other work.

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 if you have any questions or concerns on (08) 9330 4570.

Visit your State or Territory’s Dates + Enrol page for more info, or to make your move and enrol today!

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/

 

Pilates Heaven: New York City 2014

PTI Faculty and our Directors practice what they preach when it comes to professional development: but when you live and breathe the method, seeking out growth opportunities is a joy! To demonstrate this point we’ve rebooted an archived blog from 2014, written by Director Frances Cahill, detailing her month of Pilates heaven working with some of the method’s elders in the spiritual home of Pilates: New York City.

Read More

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.

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