Entries in Pilates books (6)
By Nicole Rogers
Sometimes the best gifts are things you’d like to receive yourself. While you’ve been out shopping for family, friends and clients, have you stopped to think of what you might like to find gift-wrapped for your own Pilates practice this year? With that in mind, we asked some Pilates professionals what items are on their Pilates wish list for 2010, and they answered with great ideas and suggestions for every budget.
Practical and Portable
With a busy schedule and a practical budget, Kayla Laurene, who is currently pursuing her certificate at Power Pilates in Manhattan, has a list full of pragmatic ideas in a variety of price ranges. First on it, she writes, is this Sweetheart mat bag in papyrus green, “a great mat bag that is big enough for a nice thick Pilates mat and is really pretty too!” The regular price is $125, but it’s on sale for $85.
It’s surprising that there are so few books out there that directly address the anatomy of Pilates, considering the Pilates world’s enthusiasm for studying anatomy, and considering there are plenty of books out there about the anatomy of yoga. But if you’ve been wishing for a Pilates-specific anatomy text, you’re finally in luck.
Paul Massey’s The Anatomy of Pilates, released earlier this year by North Atlantic Books, covers the basic anatomy of the classical mat series. It is a great introduction to Pilates-specific anatomy, and it is definitely intended for Pilates professionals. The book is filled with excellent illustrations that clearly show the key muscles and how they function in each exercise. The first two chapters provide an introduction to Pilates, and a guide to posture and movement assessment. Then the book provides a description of each exercise: the movement, the breathing, the possible “pitfalls,” and of course the specific muscles that are used.
The book is a straightforward text that deals mostly with musculature.
By Madeline Black
In order to work in a deeper, more expanded way with her clients, Pilates instructor Madeline Black has searched out new ideas and methodologies during her career. This is the third in her series of reviews in which she shares some of the books and resources that have deepened her knowledge and self-practice and have enhanced her teaching beyond Pilates.
The Body Has a Mind of Its Own (Random House, 2007) by Sandra Blakeslee and Matthew Blakeslee is a fascinating and educational book about how we process our experiences through our body. The mother-son science writing team explores the brain’s “body map” and its role in our ability to feel, move, perceive and learn motor skills, as well as how it relates to phenomenons such as phantom limbs, stroke recovery and out-of-body experiences.
The authors explain how the brain works in a way that is scientific yet understandable and entertaining. My favorite part is how they describe the history of the concept of body maps and their importance to the body’s way of learning to move in space and experience the outside world. Read on to see how body maps relate to our work as Pilates instructors.
By Madeline Black
In order to work in a deeper, more expanded way with her clients, Pilates instructor Madeline Black has searched out new ideas and methodologies during her career. This is the second in her series of reviews in which she shares some of the books and resources that have deepened her knowledge and self-practice and have enhanced her teaching beyond Pilates.
If you’re reading this site, you probably don’t need anyone to convince you of the mind-body connection. But your clients might be more skeptical. What if you could hand them a book that makes a strong scientific case for the link? Enter Bruce Lipton, PhD.
Dr. Lipton is an author, former research scientist in cell biology at Stanford University and medical school instructor. His research in cell biology and quantum physics has broken new ground in how science views the role of cells in our health and the power of our mind on the body. In his book, The Biology of Belief, Dr. Lipton explains his research and introduces to us enlightening concepts of cellular life, the impact of the environment in and around our cells, and how we manifest states of well-being or disease.
A book recommendation from Madeline Black
A Pilates teacher today is presented with clients with issues beyond the physical. They may have problems that are emotional, energetic or spiritual in nature. The physical part is easier for us to understand because that is what we are trained to see and intellectually problem-solve. Sometimes, however, the effort we put into planning and working with a client doesn’t advance the client as well as we’d like it to.
In order to work in a deeper, more expanded way with my clients, I’ve searched out new methodologies and philosophies over the years. I’ve also studied myself to find more clarity, balance and openness. (A teacher once told me not to treat someone who is healthier than you are.) I’ve spent years learning and receiving IMT (Integrative Manual Therapy), other manual therapies, energy work and meditation practices, and I’ve done lots of reading. Through these explorations, I’ve developed tools to share or reference for my clients. And sometimes, I simply observe and better understand their complexity without making any comments or judgments to them. A Pilates teacher’s scope of practice is to refer a client, when appropriate, to their practitioner of choice such as a doctor, chiropractor or physical therapist. I may also recommend a book.
In the coming months, I will be sharing some of the books and resources that have deepened my knowledge and self-practice and have enhanced my teaching beyond Pilates.
This month, I recommend a book about dealing with trauma: Waking the Tiger by Peter A. Levine, PhD, with Ann Frederick (North Atlantic Books, 1997). Dr. Levine is well known for his research about how animals in the wild deal with stress and trauma. His discoveries have led him to successfully treat people to release trauma in the body.
It’s no doubt that an understanding of anatomy is one key to being a good Pilates teacher. A reader recently asked if we could recommend some good books on the topic. Here are a few that are popular among Pilates teachers we polled. If you don’t see your favorite, please post a recommendation in the comments section!
Anatomy of Movement by Blandine Calais-Germain
Anatomy Coloring Book by Wynn Kapit
Anatomy of Pilates from The PhysicalMind Institute
Anatomy Trains by Thomas W. Myers