Monday, June 17, 2013

The Science Underneath the Magic of Pilates: Explorations to come at the Polestar® Life International Conference

In anticipation of the Polestar® Life International Conference on August 1-3, Polestar Pilates released the following video.

It is the clearest depiction of how a well-designed pilates program can improve any life with the magic of movement.  Through an in depth understanding of movement theory and functional movement analysis, Polestar Pilates and its graduates are changing people’s lives.

But is that all we’re doing?  One of the things that I love about the Polestar Pilates philosophy is the understanding that teaching movement is more than just a robotic, industrial analysis of biomechanics and kinesiology.   You cannot isolate the movement of the elbow to functions of the bicep and the tricep. The complexity of movement alone accompanied with the emotional life and history of an individual makes every elbow in this world a little bit different, and Polestar Pilates not only recognizes this but also celebrates it. 

At the Polestar® Life International Conference, Polestar Pilates has partnered with Chopra to create a celebration around the complexity of movement and the diversity of life.  This conference will prove to be three life-changing days of discovery and practice, but for me there is something so much more exciting about this conference… 

It’s true I love practicing Pilates, and I love learning new exercises, and new ways to teach classes, but there is something that I love more.  I love the magic that happens when two people are present and collaborating with each other working towards a common goal.  I love the “aha” moment that happens when actual communication takes place.  The space where the messages passed are congruent. I love the seemingly magical time when together a client and I “try” something and as a result good things happen.  I am equally happy when my client asks me why it worked and I get to say, “I don’t know, but that was awesome.”  It is this part of teaching movement that is going to make the Polestar® Life International Conference spectacular, because at this conference together the presenters and attendees are going to explore the science underneath the magic.

In the following video one of the conference presenters Dr. Carol Davis speaks about the energy transferred between practitioner and client.  She says, “beyond technique…Healing is grounded in the energetic connections that we make with others.” She goes onto say that the fascial system is the conduit for this energetic connection.  (if you follow this blog, you know that Dr. Carol Davis had me at the word fascia)

Imagine a web of messaging connecting every cell of our body, and even more imagine this web connecting every nucleus of every cell. 

This idea makes two of Dr. Davis’s statements all the more powerful, “How we are with our patients impacts their feelings of hope and that has a direct expression on their genes.”


“We have an obligation to read and understand the effects of subtle energy on our cellular process and then to use that knowledge to help the body and mind heal itself”

Pilates is an energetic and collaborative practice, and at the Polestar® Life International Conference we are going to explore the potential of increasing hope and joy on a cellular level.  Check out this list of presentations:

Changing Our World from within: Joe’s simple formula to Health and Happiness

Chopra: Ayurveda and Mind/Body Types

From Practitioner Anxiety to Practitioner Potency: Polestar Pilates Through the One Life Model

The Pelvic Floor: to Contract or not to Contract

Moving Imagination

A Breath of Fresh Air: Pilates Breath in the Past, Present, and Future

Chopra: Ayurveda and Nutrition as Medicine

Work Smarter not Harder: How hard should Pilates really be?

Air Traffic Control

Voice and Mat Workshop

The Biology of Perception

Bridging Consciousness, Science, and Society
Chopra: Ayurveda Through Movement

Essence of Mindful Teaching: Discovering the Art and Soul of Communication – Purposeful, Compassionate Intention

The Miraculous Discoveries of Fascia and Movement: A Profound Look at the Extracellular Matrix

Join us in San Diego and make the world a better place!

Katrina Hawley C.M.A and PMA ® - CPT
Director of Instruction at The Pilates Studio

Thursday, June 6, 2013

Pilates in the Park: Practicing Outside

Imagine this as the view for your side leg series
I took a deep breath, looked up at the sky, and watched the clouds pass by.  As I started the class I noticed my eyes darting quickly to see everything that I could see.  I was struck by the expansive view, and wondered if it correlated to what I perceived to be a never ending inhale. Then I exhaled and felt my body melt to the mat and through the mat to the earth.      A wondering popped into my mind. Was it possible that the incredible spacious sight of the trees and the sky was increasing inspiration? Could the breeze that I felt on my skin be communicating to my lungs?  Saying something like, “Woh man, now this is the good stuff! Take it all in!”

Every class starts with breath
Unfortunately, the scientific part of myself won’t let me proclaim with unwavering tenacity that practicing Pilates in the Park increases lung capacity (which is too bad, people would be coming to my classes in droves.) I can simply suggest that practicing Pilates in the Park is awesome!  Imagine lying on your back looking at a sky that is the crispest of blue. Think about feeling the breeze on your skin as you laterally flex your spine, or what it might be like to extend your spine to the view of a lake lined with beautiful trees.  Will it be more fun to challenge your balance with the vision of ducks taking flight? How many times have you taken a pilates class inside and the teacher says, “Imagine that the sun is shining down on your body.” What if you were taking a class and the sun was actually in reality shining down on your body?  I always say movement is magic…practicing movement outside is well…Better than magic.  Practicing movement outside clears your mind. For one hour instead of aches, pains, stress, or sadness, you will feel bright joy with a side of enormous strength and power.
And ends with balance

This has been the first week that The Pilates Studio has partnered with Look Memorial Park to offer Pilates in the Park.  Thanks to the Northampton Chamber for giving us the chance to connect with such a fabulous treasure in the Pioneer Valley and to Look Park’s new Executive Director Shawn Porter for offering us the opportunity to teach outside.  What a grand summer this will be!

Click Here for more information mat classes at Look Memorial Park!

Katrina Hawley C.M.A, PMA® -CPT
Director of Instruction at The Pilates Studio