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,