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#1 lizzie

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Posted 30 August 2006 - 12:28 PM

Gary, thanks so much for a great interview. You spoke about "transcendence" and the feeling that Pilates made sense for your body (to the point of deja vu). You also had a strong background in dance and in health and wellness. As you work with new clients, especially people who don't have such a background, are you aiming to give them the same kind of "transcendent" experience--and if so, how do you do that? Do you explain what you think Pilates, or Contrology, could do for that person--or ask for the client's thoughts on what the work is accomplishing--or wait for those moments of understanding to arise naturally?

In my experience, many people are initially unable or unwilling to really connect with their bodies, and really want a weights workout with springs. I'm curious as to how you would introduce them to a more genuine Pilates practice.

Thanks again for your time and for sharing with us,

Lizzie

#2 pilates with calderone

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Posted 31 August 2006 - 01:55 PM

Lizzie- Thankyou for this insightful question.I do,as you suggested;explain,ask and wait.Once they entertain the idea -its within their personal inquiry that the possibility of what I am suggesting may be so for them. I don't approach my sessions with transcendance in mind as their outcome.That ultimately is up to them through discovery.I do provide insightfor the client to observe self in a non-judgemental way.Here are some suggestions from the CD:

It is important in our practice that we, as a body of consciousness in a collective mind, teach humanity a higher calibration of existence through co-operation rather than competition. Not being better than someone else––but being better now, than you used to be. Simply put, here are the mechanics to bring your client to that end:

1. Anchor the client’s Pilates experience into knowledge. Provide a touchstone or an anchor, like a referral chart on your wall, that illustrates that what they are doing is greater than the exercise you are asking them to perform.

2. Shift their paradigm around ownership of self. That in doing Contrology they are in charge of their whole health; in body, mind and spirit. This autonomy over an individual’s health encompasses in many situations a change in perception and personal belief systems. Your knowledge of this helps in meeting your client’s needs.

3. Show them how to create space in their body. Translate what they just received from the equipment and mat into the daily ergonomics of their life. When they feel restrictiveness in their body, it’s the reflection of their thoughts. Change the pattern. Have them do Pilates and recalibrate their positionality.

4. Let them experience the difference between the limiting belief system of “I can’t” and the empowerment of “I can.” Just by having them ‘notice’ the shift in their personal paradigm, in feeling the lightness, by recognizing their reduction in symptoms, and most important, noticing their state of mind, their mental clarity after their session. Teach them that who they are; their ability to discern their body, thought and form, rather than what they are supposed to be––ego based societal constructs––is the intent behind Contrology.

5. Celebrate their progress. As Matthew Fox said,“Celebration is a forgetting in order to remember. A forgetting of ego, of problems, of difficulties.”

Truly, as Joe would say, “a return to life”.

#3 lizzie

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Posted 01 September 2006 - 10:47 AM

Gary, thanks! I particularly like your advice about teaching autonomy--sometimes a challenge in the studio, where clients can be dependent on the instructor for cueing and guidance. Giving clients responsibility for their own practice seems a lot healthier for the instructor as well as the clients: part of the ergonomics of our teaching day.
Thanks, Lizzie

#4 pilates with calderone

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Posted 03 September 2006 - 08:14 AM

Lizzie, I am enjoying your questions,observations and suggestions.You are open to possibility and taking your practice to another level.I applaude that! Regarding autonomy...that is the intended outcome, what I understood from my training.The word autonomy was used to indicate an avenue to progress the client.In the day it was called the 'open gym'.Here clients were encouraged to do the work on their own,at a set time of day,with a teacher who would float around the studio to answer questions about equipment or sequence.
Today we would offer this service to clients as an 'independant session'.For a nominal fee the client would come in at a time of their choice,steeped in knowing their needs,modifications,equipment safety, set-up and exercise sequence and do the work.

To take that notion a step further,can you see the correlation between;autonomy>self knowledge >
awareness>consciousness. Ultimately,what is outcome?What is it that we are all going for?Where is Pilates leading us?

A reminder:As a Pilates teacher – because you first had to experience ‘it’ in your body, and now wish to transfer that knowledge to others – you recognize that the expression of yourself now is not the same as when you started then.

Since then, you have been attempting to explain this experience that goes beyond learning and teaching mere physical exercise. There is much to be said about the healing that occurs regarding Pilates infinite appeal to help people help themselves. We witness this in our practice and listen to clients express a ‘change in their life’ as phenomena peculiar to the Pilates experience. The prevailing question remains, why is that?

#5 lizzie

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Posted 03 September 2006 - 02:48 PM

The "open gym" is an idea I'm still unsure about--or more accurately, I don't think I have clients who are ready for it yet. For a lot of my clients, getting them to modify without being reminded, or add a spring if they need one, or pick up an arc barrel or head pillow as they come into class, are big enough steps. Others will ask for a particular exercise or apparatus because they know that's what will do the trick for that session.

I think there's a strong identity that people get from doing Pilates. Those who commit beyond the first few sessions don't tend to just lose interest. I know there are similar identities tied up with yoga and the martial arts, and even things like weightlifting and regular gym work--for me, Pilates was movement that was difficult for me, yet still made sense and felt right. It took me from being fairly inactive to feeling like movement will always be part of life, and from living from the eyebrows up a lot of the time to being more aware of, careful with, and demanding of my body. I'm still not sure how much of that can be ascribed purely to Pilates (that is, I'm not sure if I could have come to a similar place through some other form of movement), though I've also had clients who are yogis and martial artists and still find a lot more power and control through Pilates.

So the "why", as I see it, involved awareness and knowledge of the body, and the experience of what can be quite incredible increases in ability. I'm not accustomed to using words like "healing" and "transcendence", but on some level, they do describe what happens in the studio and in life.




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