Tuesday, January 27, 2015


Hello All! I'd like to use this opportunity to link my love of Pilates and creativity into the real world in which I live. I think it's important to respect yourself enough to be honest about what you need.

I have long since felt a conflict between how society encourages me to prioritize, versus my own personal needs, aspirations and desires. I became obsessed with the structured education system I was clay-formed around as a kid, achieving high academic success each year in hopes that I would excel through middle, high school and college, set to achieve my goals with relative ease. How hard could it be to become a professional after spending thousands of dollars and hours learning my ABC's over and over again?

It wasn't until the beginning of college studying to be a playwright that I realized I was subjugating my mental health, joy and even creativity, forcing myself to garner exclusively A's, sitting through four hour classes I struggled to complete without experiencing one or two panic attacks. My freshman year, I arrived to finish my Bachelor's degree with a backpack stuffed with depression, anxiety and obsessive compulsion--I made friends, got great recommendations, had a series or two of underwhelming relationships. Everyone seemed to be enjoying the atmosphere around them--carefree, a little bit of class work and a lot of their version of "fun."

I was spending my afternoons in therapy and my nights drinking, when I longed to be outside, to be active and adventurous. I developed a habit of ignoring my gut reactions, which are always truer representations of my feelings than my muddled mind could ever be. It wasn't until this year, when I realized I had love for so many things: Pilates, climbing, writing and more, that I decided I couldn't continue to punish myself within a system that made me feel bad about myself, in an atmosphere that was so opposite from anything I desired. I've always found I write so much more and produce more inspired work when I'm not confined to write in a certain way about certain things. I've valued aspects of my education certainly, and I have the debt to show for it--but, if I want to continue living with more joy and less depression each day, it is necessary to forge ahead in a direction my gut is most willing to go; I don't want to feel guilty for it, nor do I think anyone should for taking a leap of faith.

I encourage anyone to forge their own path, despite its unconventional groundwork or direction--being true to on own nature and needs only helps to bring you closer to yourself and treat others with the same compassion, time and respect you treat yourself with. I want to keep learning, writing, climbing, nature-ing and of course, Pilates-ing! 

Tease On and Follow Your GUT,


Monday, January 26, 2015

"Side-to-Side" Re-Discovered!

Well Folks, I'M SNOWED IN!

I wanted to take a minute to share my excitement in FINALLY figuring out the correct physical engagement to complete the "side-to-side" with the pole on the short box. It's not that the exercise itself has a huge range of motion--and it isn't exactly popular for being everyone's favorite exercise; however, I a constantly reminded by other practitioners of its positive properties, especially when it comes to pelvis stabilization and achieving a stretch of the obliques on each side of the body.

Rather than moving my box forward and twisting it diagonally as I had been doing consistently, my mentor re-described the motion as being more of a "windshield wiper" movement where the box does indeed come forward, but the shoulders and hips remain down and there is no rotation--that comes later in the "twist" with the pole on the short box! Instead, the wiper movement involves a reaching up and over, essentially coming out of the pelvis as though stretching up and over a barrel running horizontal to your side and elongating while stretching!

I'll try to post more pictures as I figure more out along the way! My group is now tackling the intermediate Apparatus module and will be continuing to practice and teach with each coming day!

Stay safe if you're in the blizzard and keep being open to learning things you thought you knew already :)

Tease On and Warm Up,


Thursday, January 15, 2015

Balance In Pilates--Balance Within

As my body begins to further accept Pilates as a daily occurrence, I am encouraged by the consistent physical progress I've made. With each improvement, in hindsight it seems impossible that I haven't been able to do such things my whole life.

Surpassing each wall has largely presented itself to me as a series of challenges derived from self-imposed mental barriers, the complexities of physical precision and the necessity of observation (we'll talk about this another day).

The results of my practice range daily and offer a cocktail of encouragement or confusion. I stress the idea to my clients of leaving worries outside the studio, yet I feel such stressors penetrating my focus as I begin workouts. When thrown off focus, there is little chance I will juice the most from my practice, rather, I often hold myself back and exist in an uncomfortable state of pseudo-concentration that leaves me with a sour taste post-workout. Because of this frustration and because of the incessant and inevitable cares I experience everyday, I have begun to prepare myself before I even enter the studio to clear my head and exist in a space where my mind is calm and ready to respond in conjunction with my physical movements.

From here, my ability to execute the minutiae of the classical Pilates method becomes greater and my body feels more attuned to the exercises that come next, while still staying present and balanced in my current position. Certainly, when I'm stressed (as horribly cliche as it sounds) not only is my emotional balance thrown off, I actually have trouble with physical balance demanded by Pilates such as the Standing Series in the Advanced Mat. If I'm in a composed state of mind, I am so connected with my body that such exercises are not nearly as difficult! Further, as a climber, I visit a gym where there is a slack line (like a tightrope) and the equation correlates here too. If I'm not shaking from anxiety and unnecessary worry, I can walk the line over and over again!

Bringing this all together, I do my best to spend free moments existing in a loving, pleasant, kind space that dials in my focus. I'm not usually a fan of collecting objects or gifts and don't like having a lot of "stuff," but my dear friend gave me these hand carved Chakra stones (look up if you're not sure! :) ) that correspond to seven areas of the body. They are small stones and are very difficult to stack in a straight line, but I spent some time focusing on this project and was able to achieve a nice little tower. The small achievement made me feel a sense of personal accomplishment. It seems trivial, and in a way, it is, but I think allowing time to feel a sense of balance and body-mind connection allows for so many more opportunities to show kindness to others and act out of compassion and empathy.

(The camera quality isn't great--let's not forget I don't own any state of the art tech ;) )

I encourage you to do whatever you can to stay balanced and love the space surrounding you and your practice.

Tease On and Om,


Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Updates!/New Title :)

It has been a WHIRLWIND past few months. Between my Pilates and artistic studies, academics and work, it's been difficult to maintain a consistent sense of balance and calm (as is evident by my sporadic posting ;)) HOWEVER, I am excited to announce that I have passed my certification exam and am now officially a Classical Pilates Mat Instructor!

After taking four tests, (Three practical beginner, intermediate and advanced mat classes and one written exam in anatomy and physiology) I am now able to practice and teach varying levels of mat with more confidence and know-how than ever. For my final test, I tried to be as connected as possible to my own body and the bodies of clients taking the class, as well as choose my words more carefully, as part of my never ending quest for precision! (six principles apply here, right?). Because of such concentration, I received my personal best score on any practical test I've taken so far.

Moving forward, I will continue to teach mat in my daily regime, with a greater focus now on learning and practicing the Apparatus. I still have a long way to go before I can test on the equipment and daresy maybe even graduate from the program, but it feels good to have made this big step forward. Look for more updates in the near future :)

Tease On like an instructor,


Monday, November 24, 2014

What Does it Mean to Have DISCIPLINE?

**It means no ONE thing to any ONE person. Discipline hinges on what each individual chooses to be most important in their lives and how they plan to use control and concentration to achieve it.

For me, discipline means allowing myself to do what is healthiest for my body and mind, without indulging too deeply within the distractions and substances that have the ability to derail me and keep me from maintaining alignment and a sense of balance. I'm not someone who posits the importance of health just for the hell of it--I've truly observed in myself how a lifestyle focused on the well-being of myself and others helps to clear literal and figurative "toxins" from festering in my system.

I am never ever one to be self-righteous or preachy or condescending. This simple theory of mine has no religious or political affiliation, or ability to be categorized. I do not work to be healthy in order to impress someone or put others down--I try to be healthy so I can stay sane and have the ability to love and respect others, as well as myself. In fact, I feel much less kind and respectful when I am indulging too deeply in sadness or fear or failure. Putting myself down never seems to help anyone come up.

I am part of a group of friends who have encountered a variety of unbelievable hardships, but we have all been working to use the resources from within our bodies to help ourselves become more fit to handle life's twists and turns. Dedicating myself to achieving well-being is harder than I could've ever imagined, but well worth the energy. I understand some of what I'm saying may border on cliche, or may seem hard to relate to, but health (whatever that means to you) IS something that requires discipline and importantly, YOUR singular vision of WHAT health means!

PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE do not allow work, school and others to make you feel that your health (mental and physical) comes second. Health NEVER comes second, otherwise, you will not have the energy and ability to maintain meaningful relationships with others!

Alright, I hope this does not read as instructional or preachy--I simply want everyone to realize that their health is important and to attempt to use discipline as the set of tools to achieve that health. All peace and love and gooey hippy dippy stuff like that :)

Tease On,


Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Pilates Applied to Rock Climbing--Alex Honnold!

Six Principles Are The Difference Between Life and Death!

At least in this case.

Living legend and rock climber golden boy, Alex Honnold demonstrates his unmatched ability to use control, concentration, breath, and precision (as well as some flow) to climb an remarkably physically and mentally challenging route in Yosemite National Park (where I lived, worked and rock climbed two summers ago). As a climber myself, I have an indescribable amount of respect for those who take calculated risks and use their bodies and minds to achieve greatness, despite seemingly "impossible" barriers that stand before them.

What's most amazing perhaps, is that Honnold isn't a typical "buff" guy--few rock climbers are! In fact, I have rock climber friends who do Pilates and yoga as their alternative form of exercise, rather than typical gym workouts. Like Pilates, climbing is more about control than brute force and that's one of the things that makes Honnold so astounding. Having friends who've met Honnold (as well as the film's videographer) I have been told that Honnold reflects a peaceful and composed demeanor that comes from focus, compassion and control.

So now, experience three+ minutes of bliss and inspiration.

Squarespace Presents: Alex Honnold (Climber's Cut)

Tease On and Get Inspired


Also, of course I did not make this video, nor do I own it or assume any ownership in anyway. I'm simply linking it for your enjoyment :)

Friday, November 14, 2014

Why Study Classical Pilates?

Living in NYC, I cannot feasibly recount the number of Pilates and yoga studios I pass everyday. Even if I'm on the train to school, all the smaller Westchester County towns are bursting to the brim with "alternative" ways to exercise.

When a new student wants to begin exercising, how do they decide on Pilates? And further, how do they decide to study Authentic/Classical Pilates, and why should they?

Where many new students decide to practice is highly dependent on the "sexiness" of the studio and the way the business and exercise techniques are marketed. It doesn't surprise anyone to hear that "yoga" (including all popular forms) is en vogue and represents a certain lifestyle that perhaps also includes health food stores, fancy water bottles and meditation. Let me say this, I go to health food stores weekly and meditate numerous times daily; both are integral parts of my lifestyle! That being said, it's important when deciding to begin exercising to be discerning. If you're going to spend money, why not get the biggest bang for your buck!?

Pilates may seem intimidating to those who haven't exercised much before. The word itself is synonymous with dedication, professional dancers, the "abdominal series" and in some cases, being a "medieval" form of exercise; and ya know what, it's kinda true! Joseph Pilates used springs and metal to completely astound the medical community at the time and demonstrate his incredible ability to condition and rehabilitate bodies.

Classical Pilates as opposed to quick-fix, divergent forms, focuses on the original principles Joseph Pilates and his successors envisioned upon creating the techniques.

I harp on repeating the Six Principles of Pilates, but in an Authentic Pilates method, Concentration, Control, Centering, Precision, Flow and Breath, offer the necessary components to achieve the same high level of fitness, meditation and health that is synonymous with the yogi lifestyle. Pilates IS "yoga" in a denotative sense; "yoga" itself is a Sanskrit word for discipline and Pilates IS discipline. Mainstream Yoga and Pilates each have strengths and some similarities, but they are exceedingly different.

When practicing the Classical method of Pilates, you can be almost certain that your instructors have received intense time and experience based substantive training. Instructors in Classical methods don't simply get their certification in a couple of weeks or a month, they receive something exceeding 700 hours of experience before working as professionals in the industry! When taking a non Authentic class, there is no way to know if your instructor has the necessary background in anatomy and physiology and in observing other instructors to offer helpful "expertise," rather than destructive and under-tested forms of stretching and strengthening. What's the point in doing Pilates and becoming in worse shape? Pilates is a great element in the process of rehabilitating a body and helping to deal with injuries, but not all studios are created equally.

I think of myself as a discerning individual, partly because I want to help my body become stronger, and also because I simply don't have the time and money to spend on something that's not going to help me in the long run. I would never attend a college or university for a program that I didn't first heavily research. Pilates is an investment, and it might just be the investment that changes the way you live the rest of your life.

Tease On and Know the Difference!!