Friday, November 30, 2012

Sarah Reid writes about Pilates

Have you heard little snippets about our web classes?  Are you wondering how we came up with the idea?  Have you seen the chat room? Do you want to know who decorated it?  What about the Fitline Figurines?  Who could have inspired those?  All of these are examples of how the community at The Pilates Studio helps us develop our business!  They are examples of how our clients become dear friends…Examples of the way small businesses connect with the community around them!  Even when one of those friends move to Oakland to continue what is sure to be a brilliant interior design career!

There is Laurie teaching her class, and on the computer is Sarah coming to us from Oakland!
Sarah Reid moved away from us, but we get to see her every Wednesday and Friday when she comes to mat class through the Internet.  And now, Laurie and I are working hard to be able to offer Internet classes to lots of folks!  Laurie made the first Fitline Figurine to give to Sarah as a going away present!  And Sarah used her brilliant interior design skills while helping us pick paint for the studio and the furniture for the chat room!  And if that wasn’t enough she also wrote a wonderful blogpost about her pilates practice.  It made my day, and I instantly emailed her to see if I could share it with all of you!

So read below, and then click the link so that you can read all of it! And then read some more posts from Sarah,  I particularly like the one she wrote about her son’s eighteenth birthday!

How My Pilates Practice Is Also A Feminist Action

Okay! Now that I've ensured that exactly 3 people in the entire world will read this, let's get to telling them how my pilates practice is just one part of my overall feminism.
I hate to move. Honestly, if I could sleep all day I would. I admire and am greatly envious of cats. I have been known to not do laundry for weeks just because the washer is down a flight of stairs. Sometimes I will sleep in my bra because sitting up to take it off would be too hard. Also, the energy it takes to brush my teeth is noticable to me. Oh, and, I'm a feminist. Like, discovered that shit when I was 9 and clung to it like it was a life-raft in a sea of patriarchical blood-water filled with sexist water-demons (which is it) - we'll get to this later.

My whole life I've been tired, or at least I can't remember a time when I had a lot of physical energy to spend. Maybe my mother has another story for you. In any case, I spent my twenties trying to pretend I wasn't this way: joining gyms only to go once (mostly to impress a boyfriend), hiking way too many trails because my friends were psyched about them (and slowly dying inside), buying a bike that 12 years later still has the little rubber nubs that come with new tires. At some point I decided to stop pretending and get myself the right boyfriend, the right friends, and just embrace my laziness. READ MORE

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Gratitude and Pilates

I have settled into my week at home with my family for this my favorite holiday (mostly because it doesn’t involve presents).  It is about something much more important, saying thank you…I am not immune to the mixed history that is in the Thanksgivings of the past, but for the moment, I want to focus on what it has become.  A holiday on which you gather with friends and family to laugh, eat, and drink, and hopefully express gratitude for what you have.  So this week while I am away from The Pilates Studio, I thought I would express gratitude for some of the amazing things at The Pilates Studio.

First and foremost I am grateful for Laurie Johnson. Do you like the tea that she makes each and every day?  I certainly do.  What about her ability to have a sense of humor about everything?  This week we are dealing with some plumbing “stuff”, I shall say and in her texts to me she has already created our “Survivor” team that is going to get us to the next challenge…(not to mention that she has been dealing with all of this while taking care of her beautiful son and his not so beautiful head cold.)  Oh and not to mention I am grateful for her creativity…grateful and inspired and amazed…So I am grateful for Laurie Johnson.  Oh yeah and she makes these.  Can you believe it?

I am also grateful for the other teachers at the studio.

Jenni Sussman for being available for anything.  She can make her clients laugh, while giving them a good workout.  She is constantly sending Laurie and I into a fit of giggles with her well-timed commentary on our interactions.  Not to mention that she is also an artist.  It is always so lovely to see the details that emerge in her work.  Jenni is committed to learning and growing and this can only be good for The Pilates Studio.

Anneliese Mordhorst comes high on my gratitude list…Have you seen the pictures of the BYOBaby class.  I am grateful that Anneliese has created a space at the studio just for mommas and their babies.  Her caring and calm attitude can teach pilates no matter what the distraction.  She can also see any situation and find ideas to improve it.  Her constant eye makes her teaching succinct and beneficial to anybody that experiences it.

Kay Cowperthwait is also one of our fabulous teachers with a fabulous sense of humor.  (We laugh a lot at The Pilates Studio)  I never tire of hearing stories of her two beautiful kids, and can’t help but jump into the amazing conversations that she has with her clients…Her interest in fitness is broad and she brings so much to the table.  I am so grateful that I have Kay who coaches both hockey and golf.  I am constantly asking her questions…She is able to take Pilates and apply it to so many things!  YAY! Kay

Last but certainly not least is Suzanne Mente.  I look forward to every Wednesday when she comes in for her class and we get to chat…In ten minutes, I am always laughing (I’m sensing a theme) I love to hear her talk about horses and the way she works with young riders.   It’s a special person that can understand animals like Suzanne.    

My heart is so full already as I am speaking about the wonderful people that I get to work with…but what about the people that I get to work for.  To the clientele at The Pilates Studio:  Each and every one of your stories makes my life so rich.  I am so grateful to have all of you in my life.  The community at The Pilates Studio is a small microcosm of what life should be for everyone, we should all move, we should all tell stories, and above all else we should all laugh, and not just because laughter is the best abdominal work ever!  

In closing, I wanted to let you know that I looked back to last year’s Thanksgiving post (because I think Katrina’s Thanksgiving Blogpost might just become a tradition), and it was a piece about Pilates saving my body in the Wyoming wind. Well, I am not sure that everyone believes just how windy it is here, so I will leave you with proof that it really is quite windy in Wyoming.

See you all next week!
In gratitude
Katrina Hawley, C.M.A, PMA-CPT
Co-Director of The Pilates Studio


Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Improving Posture with Pilates

When thinking back to childhood, who remembers the command “Sit up straight!”  It probably interrupted a fabulous daydream, and it might have even been bellowed from above where all of the grown ups seemed to exist. As an adult, I can look back and understand that the grownups of my childhood had good intentions. I understand the danger in the postures that I see created in children as their spines curl around the latest smartphone/ipod/ipad, but that doesn’t mean that I want to create the opposite effect.  Imagine a room full of kids sitting around the table, sticking their chests out, immobilizing their bodies into a “good posture”…I don’t know about you, but the word podpeople comes to my mind.  What if we replaced, “Sit up Straight!” with “Go roll around on the floor!” or “Do ten jumping jacks!’ or “tickle fest!”  The other night I was at a dance party, and had the opportunity to dance with my buddy Jack (he’s four).  He would start by holding my hands as we started spinning creating the centrifugal force of any space station, then he would let go with one hand continue the circle to the ground until I was spinning him around on his back.  He would continue spinning, somehow find the way to his feet, climb like a monkey up one side of my body, and wrap his spine around my neck. Then I would use my hands to guide his feet back to the floor, where he insisted on starting the entire process over again. Jack was playing, but little did he know he was also improving his posture through movement not stillness.

 In my practice, I see quite a few people that have trained themselves into this “straight” posture by throwing the ribcage forward and squeezing the shoulder blades together.  They show me this “good posture” and wonder why the base of their ribcage aches, or why they have limited range of motion at the shoulder joint, or why their arms have no muscle tone.  They talk to me about tension in the neck and shoulders and speak of stress related headaches.  Often they express frustration because they have worked so hard to improve their posture.   They are also often surprised when I start teaching them how to move their spine rather than how to hold it still….To create balanced posture, one shouldn’t try to create a straight spine, or a still spine, one wants to create a mobile spine.   We want spines that react to stimuli, spines that respond to stresses as opposed to spines that create stress.  We want a spine that connects our head to our tail.  We want a spine that bends forward, backwards and sideways.  We want a spine that rotates.  Yes good posture is important, but movement is magic.

So how does one improve posture with movement?  Where do you start?  The following video illustrates one way!  It uses the foam roller to begin adding movement to the spine.  As you watch it notice the sequential movement of the spine.  As you try it, imagine each vertebra moving individually.  Remember that your top vertebra is actually between your ears, and the base of your spine is your tailbone.  Find movement in each vertebra, and as always use your breath.  This is just an introduction so move slowly, and then take the time at the end to see if you feel different.

Have Fun!
Katrina Hawley C.M.A, PMA-CPT,
Co-director The Pilates Studio