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!!


It's Been A While!--But I Passed Round Two

Hello there! It has been a few weeks since I've lasted posted as I've been plunged deeply into a head space of Pilates, artistic projects and work, however, I am back and going to be updating regularly again!

As the title suggests, I have passed the second leg of my mat certification course! The intermediate test was significantly more challenging in terms of hands on and verbalization of cues, but it was a GREAT exercise in putting the necessary pressure on me to become a better instructor. After practicing so much for the exam, I now feel confident teaching beginner-intermediate mat and am able to take myself more seriously as someone who actually knows what they're doing!

I look forward to teaching and practicing more, and I can feel myself becoming stronger and more flexible every week! I will be posting soon about how Authentic Classical Pilates has helped to deeply condition my body and make me feel monumentally better. Although there are many manifestations of Joseph Pilates original work in the Pilates world, I find it EXTREMELY important to bring attention to the Classical method that focuses on research, anatomy and physiology, and takes the time and effort to train instructors in a substantive manner over a significant period of time. But, more to come on that later!

Tease On into the advanced level!