Guest Post: Teacher Training and You!

Teaching has been in my blood since birth. When I was a little girl, I played school instead of house with my dolls. When I was in high school, I volunteered to tutor geometry instead of going to the mall. When I joined professional ballet company, I started teaching ballet classes at night to supplement my income. What I found was that I actually loved teaching more than performing.
The career transition from dancer to Pilates Instructor made perfect sense for me because it combined my love for movement with my love for teaching. So in 1998, I got comprehensively certified through Power Pilates NYC. After teaching Pilates full time for 5+ years, I decided to join the Power Pilates teacher training team. I did it to share my passion for teaching with others, travel more and boost my income. What I didn’t realize is that teaching teachers how to teach would make me a better teacher and fall in love with the Pilates method even more! About Page
There is a clarity that comes when you have to explain to others not just how to DO an exercise but how to TEACH an exercise! It makes you think about the “why” not just the “how”. It makes you honor the process not just the end result. It makes you realize that every single thing you do and say as a teacher will impact on your clients. In 2012, I moved on from Power Pilates to pursue other Pilates pastures and gain some autonomy in the industry. I still do guest teacher trainings and lots of continuing education courses here, there and everywhere but my focus is mostly my family and my clients. Here are the 3 top lessons learned over my almost 12+ years as a teacher trainer.

1. Be responsible for what you say and do!
Once you become a Teacher Trainer, your apprentices will mimic and take notes on every move you make! If you show up 5 minutes late, they will show up 5 minutes late. If you chew gum while teaching, they will chew gum while teaching. If you use silly meaningless cues or swear words while teaching, they will too! Be present! Be professional!

2. Expect to give more time than just your hours teaching.
Although being a Teacher Trainer will inevitably bring in another revenue stream to your business, it is a lot more involved than just the hours you spend teaching clients and weekend seminars. You will need to set aside time for weekly meetings with apprentices. When your apprentices observe you, you will have to take time in between your clients to answer a plethora of questions. It used to take me 20-45 min to grade tests and write evaluations for each apprentice and then another 15-30 min to give evaluations and feedback to each apprentice. If you have a group of 5 or more apprentices, that is substantial!

3. Invest in yourself and always be a student.
No matter what “level” of teacher you become always remember the value of being a student. Take weekly lessons with other teachers. Make it your job to do Continuing Education regularly. Keep your energy cup full by getting massages, exploring other forms of fitness, reading a book, going to a museum, etc.

Remember that above all, it is important to understand that we are all in this together as students of the practice of Pilates, even when we are training future instructors. There is always something more to learn, some way to further refine and perfect your technique. Teacher Training is a wonderful way to give back to the proverbial “next generation” of Pilates instructors-and is a wonderful way to share both intel and technique with those who are just beginning to experience this, our shared art of Pilates.

 

 

Formerly a professional ballet dancer, Carrie Campbell was introduced to Pilates in 1992 as part of her physical therapy to help rehabilitate chronic dance injuries. She fell in love with the Pilates method at first sight and 6 years later when her dance career ended, she decided to get certified to teach. She received a 600 hour comprehensive Pilates certification through Power Pilates NYC in 1998 and she has taught clients, teachers and teachers in training full time ever since.
 
DJG_1837Over the past 15 years, Carrie has built an extensive client base. To date, her youngest client was a 12 year old aspiring gymnast and her oldest client was a 97 year old Pilates devotee. She has trained many celebrity clients including Naomi Campbell, Whoopi Goldberg, Laura Linney, Mandy Moore, Mary Louise Parker, etc.. Carrie has appeared in numerous Pilates DVDs, online workshops/workouts, training manuals and has an audio CD of mat work called “Pilates on the Go!”  She has been featured in Fitness Magazine, Pilates Style, Us Weekly, Quest, Allure and has appeared on Good Morning America, The Today Show and the WB news. In addition, Carrie has presented workshops and workouts at numerous conferences including IDEA, PMA, Equinox and Power Pilates.
 
Carrie Campbell is the owner of Positively Pilates, LLC. She teaches privately, group classes and continuing education workshops in NYC & NJ.  She lives in Jersey City, NJ and is a mother of two beautiful children. For Carrie, Pilates is not just a workout, it is a way of life.

The (Pilates) Joke’s On Us

I am officially an OG in the Pilates world. I got thrown into Pilates years ago. At the risk of dating myself, the year was 1999 and I was hooked before I could barely even pronounce the word “Pilates.” My introduction to the method was on the west coast where the work can be found with audible exhales and little, if any mention of the man himself. It wasn’t long after receiving my certification, that I was teaching out of a Beverly Hills studio, and got my first taste of what is known in my industry as Classical Pilates. I became obsessed with finding out as much about Pilates lineage as I could, and learning about this crazy man in tighty-whities named Joe Pilates. Does all of this sound like Greek to you? Never even knew there were different styles of Pilates, or that there existed a man behind the method? You are not alone, and frankly, it’s all our fault.

 

resources-img2-300x199

 

A controversial article about the death of the Pilates industry-The Pilatespocalypsewas published in New York Magazine recently. The article talks about Pilates industry’s need to get trendy (and quick!) to stay relevant. While the rest of the world licked their fingers and, well, just turned the page, in my community it was an uproar. A few of my colleagues circled together to start a dialogue about the supposed demise of our industry and what, if anything we could do about it. In typical Pilates instructor fashion, what started as a benign conversation on how we can educate you folks, ended in a debate about what Pilates really is. These instructors-certified, qualified, over 600 hours of training and observation between them, couldn’t agree on how to explain Pilates to a layman in 140 characters or less. Shocking you say? Read on.

Since the rise of both the Pilates industry and its training programs, we teachers have kept our heads down training and learning, with little concern for how to make something that can be deemed difficult palatable for the rookie.

We worked for a good 50 years prior to Pilates landing on American soil to have an official industry association (although some teachers still don’t recognize it), and still to this day have no governed, regulated or standardized teaching training programs. The Pilates industry can feel, to a teacher, like the wild west (sans guns and horses). And while we as teachers spend so much time infighting about the use of the Pilates name or the authenticity of the methodology of our neighbors, the world turns round without truly understanding what Pilates is.

So to clear it up, let me start with what Pilates is not. It is not yoga, or for dancers only. It is not girlish or feminine. It does not have separate methods for mat vs machine. What it’s not is, like anything else. When someone asks me what is Pilates I simply reply: “A method of moving your body to make it optimal for anything you want to do in life, created by a man named Joe Pilates, using both mat and spring bound machines.” Seems simple doesn’t it? Well, Pilates really is.

We’ve vastly overcomplicated the damn thing and, gotten so wrapped up in the cherished work, that we’ve alienated the people we want to reach-you. So next time you take a Pilates class, private session, or video, remember this: not all Pilates is created equal or is one size fits all. Don’t settle for an explanation. Try the thing and see how your body feels afterward. If you don’t see a difference don’t fault the message blame the messenger.

Now it’s time for us to hear from you! Tell me what your idea of Pilates is or your experience with the damn thing. Trust me my fellow teachers are foaming at the mouth to get your feedback!

Like what you see? Sign up for updates… It’s FREE!

Teacher Focus Feature ~ Monika Harczuk

Tall and stunning, Monika Harczuk will get your attention just standing on the floor at FORM Pilates. Serious with a smile, Monika came to me as an instructor looking for a home to see her clients, but she has since become so much more. A good friend and coaching client, Monika sees wellness as a true mind, body, and spirit job. She is always quick to offer advice about healing food, tea, or meditation techniques. Her dreams include eventually traveling back to her home in Europe and spreading Joe Pilates’ work with her company Harmonized-me. Here’s her story:
SKPJ9O_vhb0HhOj5lsjltk08IRR7ZzpYGUWv6jsOAEo
Monika never exercised as a teenager and was very weak and tight, but always loved ab exercises. The year was 2002 and she was living in Amsterdam and in an effort to get the most out of her gym membership she wandered into a class called “Ground Work”. It was 45 minutes of killer ab work: Monika’s favorite. After class she found out this was not your Mom’s ab workout — It was a method called Pilates. From that point on, she began her research. Back in Berlin, she could only find two Pilates studios but that didn’t stop her from traveling for her weekly private lessons and mat classes. After a year of working hard, practicing a lot, she saw what Pilates was doing for her body. Monika decided to move back to Holland and begin her teacher training program in Den Haag.
For Monika, Pilates changed everything. She never felt very connected to her physical body and the method opened up her eyes wide. Today, she loves to pass on the gift of Pilates to her own clients. She is focused, deep, and detailed in her sessions to make sure that the basics are understood and that clients develop a deep foundation. She often works with imbalances like Scoliosis and through her careful command of the Pilates technique change and growth are inevitable.
When she’s not teaching, Monika balances her schedule with doing well,…nothing. She loves having no plans and taking the day by surprise.

 

Monika wants us to remember that our body is the vehicle that carries us through life and it is important to care for it and give it our undivided attention. Having a body that is strong and healthy is the key to living your most joyful life.
Here are a couple interesting facts about Ms. Harczuk:
  • She loves listening to Eckhart Tolle
  • She is nearly vegan
  • When she has the first sip of sparkling water, she gets a hiccup
  • She speaks 3.5 languages

Like what you see? Sign up for updates… It’s FREE!

For The Pilates Virgins

 

virgin-mary

I’m always the first to say, and have been known to shout it out loud in a mat class or two, Pilates instructors LOVE Pilates Virgins. I mean, I can understand from the perspective of a newbie not wanting to show their rookie status, favoring hiding in the back, and meekly or not at all raising their hand when asked if they’ve done this before. I get it. We want to always be the expert in the situation. No one wants to look the fool, but as the other side of this equation, as the instructor, let me tell you: we <3 the beginners. I know — you virgins may not yet be convinced.

Well, here’s three reasons why no experience is needed to be our favorite population to work with:

  • You’re like clay

That’s right! Like a malleable piece of clay, we can use Pilates to mold your body into exactly what it’s meant to be. Since everything is new we can just observe how the work looks on physique without a bad movement habit throwing you off. You’re soft (no pun intended) so we can shape and work to create a strong foundation in the Pilates method that will serve you for years to come.

  • You are usually eager

Since you’ve had absolutely no previous Pilates experience, good or bad, you are less likely to be resistant to our corrections, suggestions, and instruction. Beginners are usually the most eager to please, the hardest workers, and the most present in their workouts. You don’t have a previous Pilates “movie” going on in your head which means that you are in the moment listening to our every word. Besides the fact that it boost our teacher egos, it also helps you get the most out of your session so you “finish” feeling completely worked and rejuvenated.

  • You see the most change

I often say, there’s in-shape and then there’s Pilates-shape. This work guarantees to be different than ANYTHING you’ve ever done, because simply there’s nothing like it. Our bodies usually respond best to varied movement and challenge so your first 10-30 sessions will be your most memorable. You’ll always remember when you mastered that seemly impossible exercise, saw your pants getting a little baggier, and notice a muscle growing where you didn’t even know you had one. This new-ness only comes once in a Pilates lifetime and we love to be a part of it.

DSC_4569

So, own your naiveté and know that your instructor is stoked to have a novice in their midst. When it’s time to declare that it’s your first time in class, raise your hand high. Remember you only have your first time once…

The team at FORM Pilates wants to take you through your first time…email us today to speak to our Pilates concierge

 

Like what you see? Sign up for updates… It’s FREE!

Teacher Focus Feature ~ Vanessa West

One of FORM’s newest teaching additions is Vanessa West. I first met Vanessa in my studio at one of my business seminars. I found her incredibly smart and insightful so when she told me she wanted to be part of the FORM brood I was thrilled! I am pleased to have this opportunity to get to know her better and share my findings with you! Here’s the scoop on Vanessa: ChairpullUpb&w

With a childhood speckled with ballet and dance, Vanessa knows the importance of moving well. As a “corporate animal” she was looking for something that could alleviate thediscomfort of sitting in boardrooms and airplanes all day, and she got it with her first taste of Pilates on a mat in a dusty old room. The Tribeca space was in need of renovation, a converted dance studio, but that didn’t phase Vanessa- the class was amazing and it was love at first workout. She was especially drawn to the key principles of Pilates – control and centering, which helped her manage a demanding travel schedule during her career in media sales and marketing. Eventually she decided that a stiff back and the 9 to 5 schedule was not her style and decided to leave the office to become a fully certified Pilates instructor and teach full time.

Besides the way the method made her feel, Vanessa was attracted to how Pilates challenges every body, regardless of age or fitness level. The initial draw of the work in her body was fused with seeing how her client’s mind-body connections improved and finally helping them achieve the results they always wanted with the magic of Pilates.vw102.hr

So, it’s no surprise that Vanessa loves to work with clients who have spent their professional lives in corporate environments. She can relate to how the pace and pressure of corporate life can create a disconnect between our minds and bodies.  Helping people incorporate the method into their daily lives – sitting up at their desks, controlling their breathing while giving a presentation, scooping their abs when reaching up for that bag in the overhead bin. She loves helping people build & improve that bridge, making them more confident in their body’s abilities

Vanessa seems to always be teaching these days, but when she isn’t she’s been getting back into cooking. Tackling the “Balthazaar” cookbook, who’s most recent dish was their coq au vin.  Art & travel is also on the agenda, and she’s ready to get more stamps on her passport.  Ireland and Greece are at the top of her list.

Here’s 5 secret nuggets you may not know about Vanessa:

  • She’s afraid of birds, heights and clowns. At times that’s a challenge in NYC!
  • She loves a good martini, slightly dirty.
  • She believes that life is too short to take ourselves too seriously.
  • She likes tall men who can make me laugh.
  • And she believes that it IS true that sometimes you’ve just gotta dance.

 

Like what you see? Sign up for updates… It’s FREE!

What the Fuck is Pilates Anyway?

In a conversation with a couple of clients over brunch, I realized how little people know about what Pilates is — even those who actually practice it.

As I took the time to ponder this anomaly, I started wonder what is Pilates anyway?

IMG_4057

 

There’s the textbook answer: Joe Pilates was an actual man. A boxer, gymnast, movement enthusiast. He was an inventor, an innovator. A man’s man. A beer-drinking, cigar-smoking German. My clients all have that basic knowledge, and maybe some of the New York lineage. “Yes, Romana, she’s the Pilates guru,” but that’s really it. As I sat explaining the roots of Pilates, its foundation, family tree, and my line, I realized that it still doesn’t really explain what it actually is. SO, if Pilates isn’t the people that created it or teach it, what the fuck is Pilates anyway?

 

It might be easiest to start with what Pilates isn’t. It’s not yoga, or ballet-based. It’s not weight training, or just mat work. Pilates falls somewhere between mind/body modalities and cross fit. It’s not extreme or passive. It stretches, strengthens, energizes, relaxes, and heals all at the same time. There’s equipment involved, and while it’s most beneficial if you use it, you don’t have to if you want to do some Pilates.

 

No wonder Pilates is confuIMG_4501sing to most people — even to it’s instructors. We come from all different backgrounds — from dancers to dog trainers — and hold certifications from different schools in over 20 states and 24 international countries. It was Joe’s dream to have a Pilates studio on every corner, in every city, in every country. The thing with expansion is that the more hands you have on something the more it morphs and changes, and some say, mutates. Joe used to give each person their own personal workout and then let them loose in the studio nudging and elbowing them into correct form. So whatever Pilates was for the business man that came to the studio, it may not be the same for the ballerina next to him. The definition of Pilates wasn’t the same for him as it was for her.

 

Here’s where the family tree grows branches and spreads it’s seeds across the world, making Joe’s dream come true. Many hands, many amalgamations. But isn’t that what their experience warranted? The industry gets bogged down with arguments and “discussions” on who’s actually teaching the true work of Joe, but really who the heck knows what Joe would do if he were alive today? He would probably be sitting back, sipping a cold one, and laughing at all the money in the bank.

 

 

Like what you see? Sign up for updates… It’s FREE!

Teacher Focus Feature~ Julia Starobin

If someone knows about a gut busting, head turning, infectious laugh it’s me. I have been accused of being too loud or too boisterous but have ignored it all and kept on cackling. My laugh soulmate is Pilates instructor Julia Starobin. Her joy, smile, and yes, laugh is catchy and instantly joy inducing. Having Julia in the studio is a pleasure because besides joining you in a laugh she’s one hell of a teacher. Here’s Julia’s story:

photo

Like so many of us Pilates people, Julia was a dancer. Fascinated by movement, she dove headfirst into any exercise class or training method. The dance world was buzzing about Pilates and what a great workout it was so when she stumbled across a studio in her home state of New Jersey, she gave it a whirl. After that, there was no turning back.

For Julia, the most exciting thing about the Pilates method is that it is accessible to everyone. Whomever you are- whether you haven’t worked out a day in your life or you are a professional athlete- Pilates will challenge you. Keeping Julia’s interest is not an easy feat, but Pilates seems to do the trick. She’s crazy about how it consistently challenges her clients, continuing to teach alignment and introduce them to muscles they never knew existed.

Something that I find most exciting about Julia and her teaching style is her myriad of experience. She is a certified yoga and GYROTONICS teacher in addition to Pilates. While she deeply respects the Pilates method, sessions with her are infused with these other modalities. She finds that melding techniques into her client’s lessons makes the work that much more amazing.

When she’s not teaching you can find Julia practicing what she preaches. She’s an avid yogi and continues to take lessons for her self in the GYROTONIC method. She spends lots of time with her family, just across the Hudson, and close friends. In the summer, you can find her basking in the sun at Masten Lake, one of her favorite places to be!

Here’s 5 things people might not know about Julia:

  • She loves Mexican food and Sushi (just not together:)
  • Her mom is also a Pilates instructor
  • She’s yet to meet anyone who can make her laugh like her sister does
  • She REALLY loves what she does
  • You can bribe her to do just about anything for a good cocktail

Find Julia teaching Pilates at FORM, in NYC and for mat classes and yoga classes check her out at various Equinox Fitness Clubs here in the city.

Like what you see? Sign up for updates… It’s FREE!

Three Reasons People Are Afraid To Try Pilates — And Why You Shouldn’t Be

I’m not gonna lie. Pilates is hard. I was a professional dancer before I came to Pilates and I still thought it damn hard when I started. Sure, I had the coordination thing down already but I still had to re-learn how to move the Pilates way and that, my friend, was not easy. From a teaching stand-point, I try to convey this struggle to my clients. They will merely roll their eyes in disbelief and say, “Sure, your teaser looks like you have been doing it since you came out of the womb.” Not the case. When I started taking lessons I couldn’t do a roll-up to save my life because my lower back was locked solid from years of butt-clenching at the ballet barre. I find it particularly irritating to dispel all of the Pilates rumors and try to convince men that there really was a man who created the work and it was not a flouncy ballerina in a tutu. So, if you’ve been interested in trying that thing called Pilates this article is for you. Pilates is a challenge, but anything worth having is always worth working for isn’t it?

IMG_4825

  • Reason #1 – Pilates is just for dancers and women

This is one of the biggest misconceptions about the method. To dispel the rumors correctly let me give you a quick history lesson. Joe Pilates was an actual person who was very much a manly man. He was a boxer and a gymnast who smoked cigars and drank beer. There was nothing girly about this German powerhouse. The first studio in the US was opened in NYC, and just happened to be in the same building as two of the biggest dance companies. When dancers heard that Uncle Joe on the 5th floor was helping heal injuries and strengthen weak muscles, they jumped right on that. Dancers became some of his biggest devotees not because the work was dance-like, but instead because they danced better and healed themselves with the work. When your body is your source of income, it is indispensable. In the modern Pilates studio, men may feel intimidated by all the ladies in the house. They shouldn’t. In that very first Pilates studio, business men were sweating it out right next to the dancers under Joe’s watchful eye. Remember, this was the 1920s and most women were home with the babies and didn’t seem concerned with working out. Men dominated the studio and Joe knew just how to work with them since he created the method for himself and well, he is the man.

IMG_4057

  • Reason #2 – I’ll look stupid/awkward/feel embarrassed/or won’t be good at it

Ok, let’s just say that anytime you try to learn a new skill there’s going to be a learning curve. No one jumps on a bike for the first time and pedals away. Sure, some of us pick up certain things faster than others but we’ve all fallen, stumbled, or tripped along the way so you’re not alone. Learning Pilates is no different. It’s something you have NEVER done and it’s NOT like anything else so duh, it’s going to be a challenge. The thing is, it’s not about getting somewhere or reaching some illusive Pilates level. No way, Jose! It’s about the movement, and in that moment, being present with each muscle and sensation. Learning to coordinate those movements together to work your body (the only one you’ll have in this lifetime btw), to its most efficient, healthiest self. Plus, Pilates instructors don’t see all of those so-called missteps. We’re trained to be so focused on what YOU need as the individual and how to give you that. We aren’t really paying attention to nervousness. We just want you to work hard no matter how it looks. So, feel a little awkward. Maybe even be a little embarrassed. But don’t give up because Pilates is one of the BEST things you can do for your self.

IMG_4622

  • Reason #3 – I don’t have the right body type or I’m too old

Joe’s biggest dream was that there would be a Pilates studio on every corner, in every city, all over the world. What he didn’t envision, was that only skinny, anorexic-looking women would be doing his method. Nuh uh. He had fantasies of kids doing Pilates in school, elderly men standing tall for the first time in years, and sedentary office workers getting color in their cheeks from finally getting their blood pumping. Pilates is for everyone and every body. It is safe enough for the 80 year old or the injured; it is challenging enough for those pro-dancers and athletes. In archival documents and interviews Joe Pilates never talks about muscles or bones but rather breath and blood. He wasn’t promising flat abs or a perky ass, but optimal health and space for your organs to do their thing without obstacles. Feeling good was waaaay more important than looking it. So, whether you’re a super model or a just the average Joe — Pilates IS right for you!

In short there is really no good reasons not to be doing Pilates, so get over yourself and get into the studio. I promise you’ll thank me. If you’re in New York, schedule your New Client Special here at FORM Pilates USQ here!

Like what you see? Sign up for updates… It’s FREE!

The Dog Whisperer’s Guide To Fitness

 

Me and the man himself

Me and the man himself

 

Her name was Bella, but we renamed her Frida. Her original family decided they couldn’t keep her so in lieu they dropped her at a horse ranch. All dogs love the outdoors so any four legged friend would love to live on a ranch, right? Wrong. Frida was the opposite of a ranch dog. She was terrified of horses, people, and just about everything. She hid under a porch morning to evening shivering and shaking trying to disappear. It wasn’t long before the ranch owners decided Frida had to go. Things just weren’t working out. A friend of a friend worked part-time with the horses and knew I was looking to adopt a dog. My boyfriend drove his Audi up the winding Hollywood Hills to ranch-land and brought Frida home in the backseat with us.

We noticed right away that she was very damaged. She couldn’t walk a straight line while on a leash, darting and cowering like a PTSD’d casualty of war. Whatever trauma she endured she carried it with her in every situation dodging and weaving away from an invisible enemy. She just needs time to adjust and get comfortable, we thought. We had no idea how serious her wounds were and what was entailed in her healing. A month into her adoption we stupidly took her to a 4th of July party and she lost her shit. A little boy with a giant water gun spooked her and she went for him, drawing blood.

I was devastated. I never had a dog that was aggressive or violent. People’s advice was to put her down or give her away but I believed in her sweet face and searched for other options. A Pilates client of mine who had dogs suggested I reach out to this guy who was known as the “Dog Whisper” who had an unusual way of training dogs with issues. Two weeks later Ceasar Milan showed up to our Venice apartment to assess Frida. Terrified she lunged at him right as he crossed the threshold but he didn’t flinch. “Her problem is not that she’s a ‘bad dog’ but rather that her psyche needs a tune up” he said, “but she’s a red-zone case and won’t get better without help”. She needed to go to his center in a compound tucked away in East LA for doggie misfits, STAT.

5B1529AC-9C3C-43F0-8593-E85A9F01EB97

In my work as a Pilates instructor I have lots of opportunity to observe what make people tick. Sure, they’re taking Pilates to improve their posture, get stronger or more flexible, maybe even heal from an injury but what they don’t realize is they also get an attitude adjustment. Our body and psyche are not separate and unconnected. On the contrary. According to my friend and Pilates anthropologist, Benjamin Degenhardt, Joe Pilates was adamant about Contrology’s original trifecta: body, mind, and spirit – not just body. Benjamin tells me that he believed exercises alone won’t do much if you are not present in your practice and don’t bring the willingness to take control of yourself. His idea of mindfulness and spirituality was straightforward: “it is the spirit which builds the body”. We see it everywhere in the Pilates studio. The lack of music to aid in concentration, the specificity of the movements, the use of visual cues bring us into harmony with the whole of us. When we change our mindset we change how we feel inside and out. We literally change our body by focusing our mind on muscle, bone, and breath.

Frida spent 3 weeks at the Dog Psychology Center and when we went to visit her we saw a completely different dog. She was present and bold, with snout and tail lifted high, a doggy smile on her lips. I was amazed to see her playing with other dogs and strutting around without a care in the world. We brought her home with lots of advice from the master- “you have to change your energy to keep her like this. I train humans, and rehabilitate dogs,” he said. We got this I thought.
Turns out it was harder to do the work we had to do. Frida instinctual by nature, was always in the moment, but it was us humans who live with one foot still in the past. See, while behavior may be easy to change, mindset is not. It takes daily practice and determination to “train” the muscle that is our brain. Benjamin says of Joe’s work that “if willpower was a muscle, it’d be the single-most important one in the practice of Joe Pilates’ work”. If Joe was alive today I believe he and Ceasar would be buds. If we want to change and grow we can,we just need to meet the way with the will. We are not slaves to our genius, species, or our mind.

Interested in seeing what your mind can build with your body? Join us for the Pilates goodness in our NYC studio today! Click here for more info!

 

Like what you see? Sign up for updates… It’s FREE!

Will The Real Joe Pilates Please Stand Up?

joe-pilates

The fitness industry, known for being notoriously fickle, has embraced Pilates- even if it can barely pronounce its name. Most people think it is merely a form of exercise that can yield strong abs, but what they don’t know, is that there is a man at the core of these body changing exercises. Today, Pilates has over 10 million practitioners all over the world, As the New York Herald Tribune noted in 1964, “in dance classes around the United States, hundreds of young students limber up daily with an exercise they know as a pilates, without knowing that the word has a capital P, and a living, right-breathing namesake.” Those who have studied the method, know it is so much more. They know it is the work of an actual genius, Mr. Joseph Hubertus Pilates.

Pilates was born in Germany in 1880. A sickly child, he suffered from Asthma, Rickets, and Rheumatic Fever. At an early age he was fascinated by the ideal Greek man who balanced mind, body, and spirit. Pilates or “Contrology” as Joe actually called it, has its roots in his personal experience. Determined to heal himself from his ailments, he gained inspiration from Anatomy books and the movement of animals he watched in the woods. His passion to cure himself led him to study many types of movement including yoga, boxing, diving, and gymnastics.

In 1912 Joe lived in England and was a defense instructor for the Scotland Yard. When WWI broke out in 1914 , he was placed in an internment camp where he fine tuned his method and was able to successfully rehabilitate injured soldiers by removing the springs off their beds and using them to exercise their fragile bodies. This is was the origin of first piece of Pilates apparatus.pilates.240

After the war, Pilates returned to Germany but was uncomfortable with its political and social conditions, it was then he made his decision to emigrate to America. In 1926,on his voyage across the sea, he met his future wife, Clara. Together they opened the first Pilates studio in a former boxing gym, right here in NYC, at 939 Eighth Ave. His gymnasium attracted the professional dancers (that had rehearsal in his building) actors, business men, and normal people alike that would willingly subject themselves to his authoritative prodding in hopes to be transformed by Uncle Joe.

At FORM Pilates we focus on learning Pilates as it was intended: one-on-one. While we know that Pilates is both and investment in time and money, we want you to have the most out of your sessions. This is why we offer an introductory special to all first time clients at our NYC studio. This customized approach allows our instructors to specialize a Pilates program just for you. Build your foundation solidly. Sessions are by appointment only so reserve the first of your 3 private sessions in our our New Client Special today!