Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Monday, September 29, 2014

What Gets You Pumped?!

One of the things I love about Pilates opposed to other forms of exercise and other forms of meditation is the lack of distractions around me when I'm doing a routine. As much as I love music, I think it's important to remove all exterior interference and really focus on those six principles (Breath, Flow, Concentration, Control, Centering and Precision if you forgot ;)) and the five parts of the mind (Will, Memory, Intelligence, Imagination and Intuition). By doing this, I truly feel I become a better Pilates student and therefore, teacher as I am able to improve each time I practice with a clear mind and active memory.

That all being said, I want to know what you like to do when gearing up for, or winding down from a really good, sweaty practice! We'll talk about food and drink regimes another day, but what about music, books and movies, places to relax? After I finish a hard workout, I love to find somewhere comfortable (preferably outside!) to enjoy nature and music if I have it with me. For whatever reason, lately I've been really into Fleetwood Mac--Rumors was the first CD I ever owned at age nine and I haven't stopped loving it since! I also enjoy reading something light, yet engaging, like modern poetry (there's a lot of good stuff out there, believe me!!!) or a book I've read before that stirs up positive emotions and reflections. 

Also, I enjoy doing Chakra meditation and other forms of meditative regimes and exercise that I will go into more detail in a future post. The point is--do the practice AND enjoy the life that occurs before and after you enter the studio (or whatever space you practice)!!

Let me know your favorite things to do!


Sunday, September 28, 2014

The Morning After

Today is another day and I've officially passed the beginner/pre-Pilates mat certification test! Going into it, I obviously felt nervous, yada yada yada, but confident enough to do it comfortably and professionally.  Trying not to be too critical on myself, I'll break it down for ya where it comes to details. Where I succeeded: I think years of public speaking, performance and tutoring helped to give me a good energy and competence as a teacher--also, I had the actual mat portion of the material DOWN and was pretty good about all of the necessary details. 

My instructor gave highest marks to me for my explanation of each exercise, which is a skill that definitely came from multiple different experimentations with explaining motion through imagery and precise instruction. 

Oi. What I need to work on: keeping track of reps! I didn't realize until the exam started how difficult it is to meld being an informative and energized instructor, while remembering rep numbers and key points about the importance of each exercise. That being said, I was able to keep the flow of the routine. I also need to make sure I'm not being too cordial with my classes, aka apologizing or second guessing myself. Many of the people who take these mat classes--especially beginner ones--have no idea what the details of the routine are and it's best to keep an air of authority and competence, otherwise students will start to second guess the instructor! We don't want that.

The other challenge that presented itself to me was the appearance of two clients over the age of sixty with prevalent injuries. Once I addressed what needed to be modified for them, I may have obsessed a bit too much on them, more than other students. It was a bit stressful as I had the largest class of all the students in the certification course and my hands-on work was not just for show, but actually necessary!

All in all, I am happy this first step of my journey has been completed, but of course I am always looking to do better and have to do my best not to be too much of a perfectionist when it comes to scores. I know one thing, after doing the routine seven times for other students, my inner thighs are feeling that Pilates stance!

Tease on!


Friday, September 26, 2014


....AT 9A.M.

Don't get me wrong, I feel very prepared to use the knowledge of instruction and fundamental Pilates information that I've learned in conjunction with the six principles, five elements of the mind, etc...but doing all this in about fifty minutes under the supervision of my peers and mentors is, to say the least, nerve-wrecking. 

It's a whole different thing imagining what it would be like to instruct a client, versus actually doing it  using clear cues, helpful hands-on encouragement, while maintaining a positive energy. The four other new apprentices I've worked with have all been so supportive, committed and diverse and I really hope we are all able to perform well tomorrow even though we live hectic and varied lives. 

I volunteered to go right at the beginning of the day, so I don't have to wait around nervously while others go. At this point, I just need to be confident in my cues and actions and that's the best I can do until I receive feedback afterward. 

I promise to let you know soon afterward how I did and how I feel, regardless of the outcome. Okay, gonna go study a bit more! 

Tease on!


Sunday, September 21, 2014

Spotlight on Six Principles! Why do we learn them anyway?

With years of experience in academic settings, I've grown accustomed to the frustration of learning dozens, hundreds...thousands (?) of terms, phrases and concepts, without being provided with an account of why the term is so important in the first place.

When it comes to the SIX PRINCIPLES OF PILATES, my mentors have been incredible with their explanations of the information they teach and share. It may even be said that the reason I'm doing Pilates is because of the six principles and the history that lies behind each one. Two terms specifically, concentration and centering, have unique significance in my life. 

The first of the two terms mentioned helped to slow me down from the harried, unenthusiastic daily life I was leading. Whether it was working out, writing or even socializing, I did things with a certain flippancy that washed my life with an ill-feeling of boredom and listlessness. Once I was forced to concentrate--that means no music, no other technology or distractions when doing the routine, I was able to slow my life to an appropriate gear, and concentrate on what is truly important to me.

Centering follows concentration in its necessity to my current lifestyle. The word can be applied a number of ways, including physically. Centering is an important concept that corresponds with the position of the box and the structure around which one's Pilates routine is based. However, I am referring to centering on a different level. Using Pilates to help center and quiet my mind did nothing short of change my life.  I've encountered years of struggle regarding restlessness and strain on my mind and on my perception of the world I live in, but my discovery of Pilates has initiated a new perspective on myself and my surroundings that stimulates me as I go throughout my day, yet keeps my mind at peace.

I could ramble on for pages about the continued importance of these two principles, along with the other four, but we'll leave that for another time! Please feel free to offer any feedback or thoughts on how the six principles have influenced you!

Tease on :),


**link to an explanation of the six principles appears in an earlier post entitled: "Mat Certification in Full Swing...Test Coming Soon!"

Saturday, September 20, 2014

Tired, Overloaded and Excited

Starting to feel like I'm not sure what I've gotten myself into...

Today, I began the first module for my Pilates apparatus certification. I have a lot of experience with the mat and have grown to be quite confident as a student and  potential instructor. Apparatus on the other hand, is a whole different dance for my body. Going through the beginner workout on the Reformer and Cadillac, (with almost NO prior experience with the machines as a student or instructor) I was reminded how challenging, rewarding, exciting and tiresome the machines can be! Even though the mat and apparatus are similar in many ways, it takes some time for me to become accustomed to different ways of moving.

I'm sure it will require days and nights of consistent observation, practice and poring over my scribbled notes to become as confident as I am on the mat, but I have no fear that in a few months time, I'll be a regular pro ;)

Wish me well, I'll do the same for you!

Tease on,


Friday, September 19, 2014

Instructing My Friend in Pre-Pilates

Just finished teaching my friend Olive her first pre-Pilates class! Went surprisingly well! She says her abs feel worked out and her legs feel stretched! I couldn't ask for more! My cues felt stronger than they've ever been and I think I'm starting to find my voice as an instructor. Nice way to start off the weekend :)

Mat Certification in Full Swing...Test Coming Soon!

Hi Pilates-ers!

Last night I completed the second of my beginner pre-Pilates mat classes--this means that in about a week I'll be taking the exam! I am responsible for memorizing a beginner mat and weight routine, along with routines using the theraband and magic circle! There are about 5-6 of us in the class and we're all pretty nervous, but I've really liked how helpful and supportive everyone's been to each other regardless of age or experience!]

I have a feeling we're all going to do pretty well :) (At least I hope so since I volunteered to go second!)

Today, I'm gonna go teach my friend who has never done Pilates before! Hopefully I'll be able to cue her in the right direction!

Below is a link to a verrrrry important piece of the Pilates *method* (I have to keep reminding myself to say "method"). Regardless of what studio you may attend, knowing the SIX PRINCIPLES OF PILATES is integral to becoming a great student and informative teacher!

Have a good day everyone. Do a teaser for me!


(**note: I have no personal association to the website of which the above content is displayed)