Saturday, March 21, 2009

Pilates video casts up and coming

Planning to post my first video cast of some Pilates exercises. I am really excited about this and a bit nervous too. Kind of strange doing exercises in front of a camera. I know it won't be quite as nerve wracking as when I did a Pilates mat video shoot that I co-produced with my friend Jon Belanger for his Jonny Pilates business. The video is called Discovering Pilates . It was fun to do as we compiled exercises for a beginner mat session with a lot of specifics (including what not to do) as well as a more intermediate/advanced mat session. You can find this video HERE at amazon. So before you start watching these videos and hearing me spew about Pilates, I'd like to share with you my experience with Pilates and how my journey in this Pilates world began. So here goes...
Back in the day, a large portion of my life was consumed by ballet. Dancing began at 3 and then really started to take it more seriously (mainly ballet and some modern) from the age of 15-22. As a dancer in college, I found that my body was getting really tired and my hips could not take much more. I ended up hearing about Pilates through my dance teacher at Washington University in St. Louis, Christine O'Neal (she was in one of my fave movies Turning Point). I began in 1995 over at Karen Prechtl's studio, The Pilates Center of St. Louis which was then located in the COCA Center in University City near Wash U. I loved it from the moment I got on that reformer. The way it made me feel so invigorated, strong, taller, stretched out and less compressed (those hips of mine had been slowly starting to squeal to a halt really needing some oil for those joints and Pilates was it). My dancing was no longer at a plateau and I started moving again. Now Rehabed and hooked and in search of continuing my Pilates training, I started taking lessons at the famed Pilates Center in Boulder Colorado. Even though I wasn't yet living in Boulder as I was now graduated from Wash U and living back in my hometown, Washington DC. I had heard what a spectacular program they had and that making trips back and forth there would suffice for awhile (helped that I had family and a long distant boyfriend who lived there at the time). Long story short. I ended up moving to Boulder taking the training course that started in 2001 and continued on through 15 hours a week for over a year. LOVED IT completely(and sometimes hated the intensity, but they are great teachers and expect to get the most and the best outta you..even if it nearly kills ya). At the end of the program you are not guaranteed your certification. You must take many exams (written, teaching and performance) and you may pass your written but you very well could fail your performance (they watch and critique while you perform a series of the advanced exercises). If your body isn't ready to do these then you aren't ready to teach (all eyes on you). So insanely intense, but truly the best training by far! I have been teaching Pilates for the past 8 years. My training has included traditional Pilates training as well as therapeutic Pilates training. I worked with both Marianna Amicarella MA and Cass Reich PT to start Avanti Therapy in 2001. I worked the Pilates therapeutic program along with Marianna. Cass worked the PT and Cranial along with a few other practitioners including acupuncturists. After being there for over two years I moved to San Diego and opened my own Pilates practice called Intrinsic Movement. I collaborated with Physical Therapist Ralph Havens at his clinic Mission Hills Physical Therapy. We worked with patients with chronic pain as well as worked together doing running clinics. To this day, I still continue to educate myself taking courses, reading and chatting with my mentors. I need to in order to continue to feed this passion.
What I hope to achieve in doing these casts, is to provide some fundamentals for those who never tried Pilates as well as give some specifics for those folks who want to further enhance their practice of the Pilates method. At anytime you'd like to bring up a question or even suggest an exercise you would like to see, please feel free to comment and I will be happy to do so! So enough is enough on all this jabbering and I hope you enjoy what's to come.

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