Entries in Education (65)
Pilates teaching has become a second career of choice for many former dancers, which makes perfect sense. Many dancers have been doing the exercises since childhood or have used Pilates to heal from injuries. Plus, it’s a way to keep movement in their lives long after they’ve retired from the stage. In recognition of this tradition, Power Pilates, an international Pilates education organization, is teaming up with Career Transition For Dancers (CTFD) to offer matching grants up to $2,000 for enrollment in Power Pilates certification programs offered in more than 40 U.S. cities.
“We at Power Pilates feel that it is both an obligation and an honor to support the dance community. Many of our top instructors have dance backgrounds and we welcome those dancers seeking to become Power Pilates instructors,” says Dr. Howard Sichel, chairman of Power Pilates.
CTFD, a nonprofit with offices in New York, Los Angeles and Chicago, helps professional dancers transition into new careers when dance is no longer an option. The organization offers career counseling, seminars, workshops, support groups and other services free of charge and has helped over 4,100 dancers since it was founded in 1985.
If you’re interested in learning more about or applying for the grant, you can contact Career Transitions for Dancers.
By Nicole Rogers
For Pilates instructors looking to branch out into another movement method—or add variety to their studio offerings—the GYROTONIC EXPANSION SYSTEM® has become a popular choice. If you have yet to try it or are curious about learning more, read on.
Gyrotonic is a method of movement and an exercise system developed starting in the 1980s by Juliu Horvath. As with so many types of movement work, Gyrotonic was invented as a way to heal its founder’s own injuries. As a dancer, Horvath herniated three discs and suffered knee, shoulder and ankle injuries. He tried to rehab himself using Hatha yoga, which he felt injured him further. It was at this point that Horvath invented Gyrotonic intuitively by following what he refers to as “internal movement.” His pain diminished, and he lives a healthy, relatively pain-free life today.
By Nicole Rogers
Jennifer Kries—Pilates educator, owner of the Hot Body Cool Mind studio in Philadelphia, and arguably first to bring Pilates to the masses with her award-winning “The Method” videos—is back with an ambitious new series of five Pilates DVDs. The Pilates Method Master Trainer Series covers Joseph Pilates’ classical series on the Mat, Reformer, Cadillac, Chair and Barrel, with one piece of equipment covered on each DVD, as well as a segment on the magic circle and a “sculpting” section using hand weights.
Peak Pilates President Julie Lobdell talks about what the acquisition means for the company and the Pilates industry.
By Amy Leibrock
The news of any corporate acquisition in this dicey economic climate can lead to doomsday conclusion-jumping. So when a press release was sent out last week announcing the sale of Peak Pilates to SPIN Fitness (aka Mad Dogg Athletics), Julie Lobdell, Peak Pilates’ founder and president, quickly got emails saying, “I heard Peak Pilates was taken over.”
The deal, which puts the 12-year-old Pilates equipment and education company under the umbrella of a much larger fitness company, was anything but hostile, according to Lobdell, who will stay on as president. “This was a choice—it was a planned, deliberate choice, and I’m very happy about it,” she said.
Pilates-Pro.com interviewed Lobdell about the acquisition and what it means for the company, its customers and the Pilates industry. Read more after the jump…
“Continuing Ed” is our regular look at workshops, programs and other methods of exercise and bodywork that can enhance your skills as a Pilates teacher.
By Nicole Rogers
The Alexander Technique is a method for reeducating the mind and body to eliminate unnecessary tension. It focuses on changing unhealthy movement habits in everyday life, creating a more relaxed, enjoyable and energetic experience.
The Alexander Technique is popular with musicians and performers. F.M. Alexander (1869-1955), the creator of the technique, was an Australian Shakespearian actor who suffered from chronic hoarseness. Through intense self-observation and experimentation, he conquered his hoarseness and developed what he called the primary control. According to the American Society for the Alexander Technique, “He named this relationship the primary control because he perceived it as primary in controlling posture, breath and movement.”
People with chronic pain, back problems, arthritis, asthma, repetitive strain and carpal tunnel syndrome have found particular success with the Alexander Technique. The medical community has widely endorsed the method, as well as respected scientists such as Dutch ethologist Nikolaus Tinbergen, who noted Alexander’s discoveries in his 1973 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine acceptance speech. Clinical studies have even proven some of the Alexander Technique’s benefits. Suffice it to say, this is a form of body education that is well established and respected and will be around for a long time.
THE PILATES PERSPECTIVE ON THE ALEXANDER TECHNIQUE
Heather Snyder, a nationally certified Alexander Technique teacher and Pilates instructor and founder of The Graceful Body, a studio in New York, agreed to answer a few questions about the Alexander Technique and how it affects her as a Pilates instructor. She is a graduate of the Manhattan Center for the Alexander Technique, and she received her Pilates certification from Romana Kryzanowska.
The profession of Pilates has deep roots in apprentice-style learning, and one teacher who was there in the early days is launching a new program to keep that tradition alive. Lolita San Miguel is kicking off her Pilates Master Mentor Program this month. It’s a 200-hour, two-year program open only to teachers who have completed a training program and have been teaching for at least three years.
Lolita, who has 50 years of Pilates experience, first apprenticed with Carola Trier in the late 1950s and then in the ’60s with Joseph and Clara Pilates, who granted her a certificate after an intensive 520-hour program. With her new program, Lolita aims to pass on what she learned from these pioneers, and what she’s continued to learn over the years. (She has gone through Polestar’s training program and can be spotted attending as many classes as she can at conferences every year.)
Lolita is keeping the groups small—no more than 12—and will meet with them for multi-day intensives six times in two years. Guest instructors will be invited to present, and Lolita will work with the group to refine their skills. “Pilates Masters must go far beyond mere competence, beyond certification, beyond knowing anatomy, the Pilates terminology, the exercises and being familiar with the equipment,” says Lolita. “They must undergo a specific type of training (as is done in the martial arts) and become an apprentice for a period to a Master with experiential wisdom.”
The first group, starting in January, is sold out, but spaces are still available in a group starting in February. Visit lolitapilates.com for more information.
Ron, Mary and Lolita
Ever had a client ask, “What are the differences between yoga and Pilates?” As you stammer out a hopefully intelligent-sounding answer, unconvinced even in your own mind as to the difference, you probably just hope the client doesn’t ask again!
You may have heard this joke: The difference between Pilates and yoga is that in yoga you close your eyes and think about god and in Pilates you keep your eyes open and think about your abs! And one guru said the purpose of yoga is to become more flexible so that you could sit comfortably to meditate. Yoga certainly is more than that.
I write this in trepidation of offending the beautiful yoga and Pilates practitioners around the world. I hope to distill some of the information about yoga and Pilates looking at some of the differences and similarities between them to help practitioners understand these popular forms of movement.
With the holiday shopping season in full swing, lots of sales announcements for Pilates goodies have been landing in our inbox. Here we’ve compiled a list of 14 deals on Pilates clothing, equipment—and even training—so you can finish (or start!) your shopping in one place. But act fast—some of these deals expire soon. Consider it our gift to you. Happy Shopping!
“Continuing Ed” is our regular look at workshops, programs and other methods of bodywork that can enhance your skills as a Pilates teacher.
By Nicole Rogers
The Olympic gold medal-winning Italian fencing team recently revealed Feldenkrais as their “secret weapon,” and many others rave about the benefits—pain and stress relief, enhancement of artistic and athletic performance, improved posture and balance. But it may be easier to experience Feldenkrais than to explain it.
The method was invented by a man named Moshe Pinhas Feldenkrais, with a long and impressive resume including degrees in mechanical and electrical engineering, a D.Sc. in physics from the Sorbonne, work on a Van de Graaf generator used for atomic fission experiments, and extensive knowledge of Judo and Jujitsu. Before his death in 1984, Feldenkrais taught small groups of practitioners to continue teaching the method we know today as Feldenkrais. Now there are approximately 6,000 practitioners around the world.
The Feldenkrais Method is an educational system designed to improve awareness through movement. The Feldenkrais Institute of New York puts it this way: “An integration of biology, neuroscience and psychology, the Method explores the biological and cultural aspects of movement and posture, and how habitual ways of moving, feeling, and acting can constrain us to a small portion of our potential.” In other words, as humans we ordinarily learn to move well enough to function, but our abilities to function with greater ease and skill remain to be developed. The Feldenkrais Method teaches—through movement—how we can improve our capabilities to function in our daily lives.
There are two ways in which Feldenkrais is taught:
Awareness Through Movement – group classes
Functional Integration – a hands-on, one-on-one session with a practitioner
THE PILATES PERSPECTIVE ON FELDENKRAIS
O-Sel Nyima is a Pilates instructor and Feldenkrais practitioner in Brooklyn, NY. She invited me to her home to explain more about Feldenkrais and how it enhances her Pilates instruction.
Review by Nicole Rogers
Kelly Kane, founder of the Kane School of Core Integration, is well known for her knowledge of anatomy as it relates to the Pilates method. In The Kane School Core Principles Series—her first DVD series—she delivers a lecture in three parts covering “Respiration and Pelvic Stability,” “Core Stability and Hip Differentiation” and “Cervical Nod and Curl and Scapular Stability.” The lecture is complete with anatomical illustrations, demonstrations using models, sample exercises and a glossary. Kane clearly explains these topics, from basic concepts like neutral pelvis, to the most detailed anatomical descriptions of complex systems like respiration.
Kane maintains a sense of humor throughout an almost three-hour lecture in total and uses a variety of visuals to keep it dynamic. Her demonstrations using model students are invaluable. For example, once you understand how transversus abdominis relates to the pelvic floor in the lecture, you can watch closely as Kane cues a student to engage her transversus abdominis through a series of exercises.