Latest "Pilates" Posts
Pilates Mat exercises (or any other form of physical activity) can be an excellent way to refresh the body and relax the mind. Adequate rest and getting a good night’s sleep is one of the key components to whole-body health.
But for many people, falling asleep, and/or staying asleep can be a challenge… Racing thoughts, worries, thinking about all the things you need to do, or should have gotten accomplished today, or no matter what, you have got to get done tomorrow… Insomnia will not rejuvenate the body, mind, or spirit, but exercise can!
If you ever find yourself lying in bed wide awake wishing you could sleep, and wondering how the heck you’re going to stay awake at work tomorrow, roll yourself out of bed and onto a mat and MOVE. Even a short 10-15 minutes of Pilates Matwork just might be enough to calm the mind, center your body, and release and relax nervous energy so you can crawl back in bed and get a good night’s sleep.
Pilates Mat exercises à Moving Meditation à Relaxation (for a restful night’s sleep.)
The upper body strength benefits of incorporating handstands into your weekly workouts are huge. In daily life we don’t typically spend much time upside down on our hands. But, being upside-down is great for developing balance, body awareness and control, and improving arm and shoulder strength. Plus being in a handstand position has some great benefits for a healthy spine. In a handstand, you’re countering the effects of gravity to lengthening the spine in a completely different way!
Continue Reading ‘Pilates Exercise Progressions: Use Handstands To Develop Strong Arms & Shoulders
Joseph Pilates saw the Pilates benefits his clients received for strengthening the body, improving posture, and developing better whole-body health. While “Pilates” is a form of physical exercise and is not considered “re-hab” or “physical therapy,” it is becoming more widely accepted as a beneficial form of exercise for rehabilitative purposes.
The act of learning how to work the body correctly to improve balanced muscle development and train healthy movement habits, builds better bodies – PERIOD.
If you have a healthy body, Pilates training can help you avoid all the problems listed here… If you have physical issues or health challenges, big or small, the right exercises in your weekly workouts, and working out with the Pilates System might just help you make changes other modalities you’ve tried have been unable to achieve. The Pilates Method is the best thing on the Planet for correcting posture, improving body alignment, and developing whole-body health!
Contrology, the art and science of control. This is the term Joseph Pilates coined for his system of exercise. We must learn to be mindful of our movements. The brain controls the actions of the body.
To develop the mind-body connection, we must begin by consciously paying attention to the finer-details of what we’re doing while we exercise. When we use mind control over muscles, we are successfully “working the Pilates system,” and using the power of Contrology to improve health. What begins as movement and exercise with conscious control, shifts with practice to be a comfortable and correct way of using our bodies for everything we do. With the right muscles working, what else can we expect but to enjoy a well-balanced body and optimal whole-body health.\
I’m excited to announce the release of my new Kindle book, 52 Fabulous Pilates Quotes, a compilation of my favorite words of wisdom from Joseph Pilates two published books, Return to Life and Your Health. What better way to enjoy a little Pilates, Health, and Wellness Inspiration than to have easy access to 52 Fabulous Pilates Quotes from the Master himself! Stay motivated to move and improve your whole-body health. Joseph H. Pilates had a LOT of relevant thoughts and inspiring words of wisdom on the topics of physical fitness, exercise, diet, connecting mind and body, and improving whole-body health. Physical exercise is only one tiny piece of the equation of the legacy and health philosophies of the Pilates Method! Grab a copy of this compilation of inspiring Pilates Quotes, and be sure to share this post with your friends!
Unfortunately, I do think Joe was right with this Pilates quote from his book Return to Life about the body and self-care. We don’t tend to always give our bodies the care that our well-being deserves. Can you imagine what you would feel like, and what a happy place the world would be if we all listened to our bodies and DID take care of our well-being, mind, body, and spirit.
It’s not too late… Start today and make this happen for YOUR body!
Pilates Elder, Master Teacher, and Mentor
Romana Kryzanowska: June 30, 1923 – August 30, 2013
I was deeply saddened to learn that Pilates Elder, Master Teacher, and one of my first Pilates Mentors, Romana Kryzanowska passed away today. Romana was a vibrant and feisty woman with a zest for life and a deep passion for sharing and passing on the legacy of the Pilates Method as she learned it from Joseph and Clara Pilates.
Romana Kryzanowska was born in Detroit in 1923, the only child of artist parents, and studied ballet as a child. At age 17, while studying at George Balanchine’s School of American Ballet, she suffered an ankle injury, and was taken by Balanchine to Joseph Pilates to see if exercise rather than an operation would resolve the problem. Her Pilates exercise program helped her successfully recover from her ankle injury, and she continued to study with Joseph and Clara Pilates. In 1944 she married Pablo Mejia and moved to Peru, where she danced and taught the Pilates technique. Returning to the US in 1958, she began working again with Joseph and Clara Pilates at their studio in New York City. In 1970 Romana became the director of what was by that time called “The Pilates Studio.” She has spent the last 60 years passionate and dedicated to the work, traveling the world teaching Pilates to clients and instructors of all ages.
I met Romana when I began my initial Pilates teacher-training program almost twenty years ago. Believing in the early 1990’s that she was the last living “link” to Joe, and wanting to study as close to the source as I could for my Pilates education, I completed my Intensive Pilates Teacher-Training Workshops at Suny Purchase, and spent many weeks at Drago’s Gym in NYC over the next year as a “fly on the wall” quietly sitting in the corner furiously taking notes, observing, and learning. Earning the privilege of assisting in the studio was exhilarating and terrifying. And what sweet success it was to finally teaching on my own under Romana’s ever-watchful eye, hoping that I could impress her enough and show off my teaching skills to “pass” inspection and earn my Pilates teacher-training program certificate of completion.
It was scary, thrilling, and absolutely fabulous to be in Romana’s presence. She was always 100% committed to helping you learn and grow, but only if you did EXACTLY what she said with no back talking, excuses, or whining… After a lifetime of teaching, she had an innate sense of knowing what you were capable of, and pushing you mentally and physically to your limits to challenge your body to improve, and deepen the understanding of how to move well, and do Pilates.
I was always amazed at how from way across the room Romana knew exactly what springs you had on the Reformer (and if they were correct or not!) She was also quick to shout out and remind you when you’d gotten off track and were NOT doing the correct exercise for a client’s workout. There might be 10-12 clients and 4-5 apprentices teaching and she knew exactly what everyone in the room was doing every minute of a Pilates training session!
I still find it hard to believe that Romana was in her seventies when I was in the studio! She had the energy of a teen-ager, and while I never actually saw her do a full Pilates workout – it was always amazing to watch her move. When she didn’t like the way a client was doing an exercise, she’d kick them off the equipment and demonstrate what they needed to be doing. Completely un-warmed up she would whip out a few reps of a beautifully executed exercise! Sometimes it was something basic, but most of the time it was a more intermediate or advanced exercise that I couldn’t fathom diving into cold. And from just looking at Romana – hunched over the end of a Reformer teaching, you would never suspect she could move so magnificently. But Romana had been eating, sleeping, and breathing Pilates her entire life. Every fiber of her being knew exactly what to do to be in control and coordinated for the safe execution of effortless movement. She was a joy to watch move, and I learned so much about EVERYTHING watching her teach.
I feel extremely blessed and fortunate that Romana Kryzanowska was one of my very first Pilates mentors. Learning the exercises and Pilates system from her gave me invaluable insights for the power of Pilates, the importance of the order of the exercises, “riding” the breath, working consistently with precision, control, and concentration to ultimately transform bodies for better health.
For all who knew and studied with Romana, we were truly blessed that she shared with each of us a piece of her heart and passed on to us the legacy of her Pilates knowledge. I am forever indebted to the gifts she shared with me, and only hope that I will have as much time as she, to share the memories of my mentors and continue to pass the Pilates legacy forward to younger generations of Pilates teachers and students.
Click here for more information about the memorial service
that will be held for Romana on September 13, 2013.
The Purpose Behind Your Pilates Training Plan Is the Fuel Needed for Setting Goals, Selecting the Right Pilates Exercises, and Achieving the Results you Desire.
- Are Your Actions, Efforts, and Pilates Exercises in Line with Your Wellness Goals?
We all go through periods in our lives when we feel stuck in a rut. It could be your career, your Friday nights, or your exercise routine. Spend too much time in the rut, and frustration can set in. You may start to lose confidence in your abilities, second guess that what you’re doing is helping you at all, and potentially quit, drop-out, or lose hope that your life, career, fitness level – whatever it is, will ever improve.
Keep in mind that the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again (and expecting a different result.) To get the right results from our efforts, we have to be sure that what we’re doing is what we really need to be doing to progress.
Continue Reading ‘Setting Goals for Pilates Exercise Success
One of my favorite memories of working with Kathy Grant for the few blessed privileged times I had to be with her at the PMA conferences, was getting to learn and experience the visualizations, and techniques Kathy had for organizing the body and teaching good movement. Kathy’s Pilates “song,” her series of Cats, “hello, my name is….,” and so many other techniques and exercises she had to share were so very challenging, and so FABULOUS!
Continue Reading ‘Cueing the Core – Kathleen Stanford Grant’s “Song” for Pilates Students
Determining Which Pilates Spine Corrector is Right for You?
Have you ever wondered what the difference is between Pilates Arc Barrels? Foam vs. wood and vinyl Arc Barrels? What’s the difference between styles, exercises, and use for the long Arc of the Balanced Body Pilates Arc®, a traditional East-Coast Pilates Spine Corrector Barrel and a West-Coast Spine Corrector? And what about the option of a Spine Corrector Barrel with interchangeable “humps?”
I was asked some great questions this week from a customer shopping for Pilates Arc Barrels online in the Centerworks® store. Here’s what she wanted to know, and my reply:
Continue Reading ‘Shopping for a Pilates Arc Barrel: The Difference Between Brands, Barrels, and Bodies