The Shift Wrap Up
So, what is The Shift?
The Shift is about showing up to your profession and practice with congruity and empathy. With concern to congruity we advocate that you approach your job & sessions as you are ... be whom and what makes you happy! There is no "right" way to be a Pilates Teacher. It's about learning to fill your time and space with your passion while still honoring the heritage of Contrology. Further we endorse an empathetic approach to professionalism - learning to put aside our knowledge / opinions / worldview in order to listen to and hear our colleagues & students is paramount to creating a Pilates culture we are all proud of. Being met with sincerity and openness is what matters most to people.
The Shift is about facilitating movement experiences that help our students explore Contrology while creating a self-awareness that helps them to DISCERN when to stop, versus when to keep exploring where movements and exercises could potential go. It's about students learning to improve their Movement Potential through physical thinking. It's about acknowledging the difference between discomfort and injurious pain. What is it that you are noticing/feeling? That lesson comes from the emergent properties of practice ... discernment is not a THING to be taught, but with practice and experience can be learned. That practice is less about DOING the exercise and getting it "right," and is more about PRACTICING curiosity around the movement while investigating what it is you could learn from your experience. What am I noticing? How would I like to SHIFT that? What else could this movement become? Where else could it go?
The Shift Bulleted:
- Doing VS. Practicing
- The exercises are what you're doing, but what are you practicing within each of them? The options are as limitless as your creativity, and your capacity to simply pay attention & adjust.
- Exercises Are Practices Leading To Fuller Expressions Of Movement Potentials
- We're promoting skill building. Exercises are non-transferable patterns. Meaning, that getting good at Push-up patterns doesn't necessarily improve Bench Press patterns ... improving my Reformer Footwork doesn't blatantly transfer over to a better Squat. You have to practice the THING to get better at the THING. Want a better Lunge? Keep practicing the Lunge! However, practicing movement with the intention of creating an experience and discernment around that movement will improve the skills needed to make the movement pattern (the exercise) happen more fluidly. Footwork may not make you a better Squatter, but it will improve your ability to connect and integrate your limbs & trunk within the action of pushing. You can then practice those skills within a new movement pattern/exercise. What's being facilitated in movement experiences is an increase in proprioception and interoception, with the intention of creating aware movers that communicate better with their body and others.
- Form VS. Philosophy
- If we are stuck strictly training EXERCISES as singularly correct shapes it serves as detriment to the philosophy of Movement; and Contrology & Return to Life are fundamentally philosophical with a foundation based upon forms that are universally present in a number of exercise modalities. (e.g. Teaser - Boat Pose - V-Ups) What distinguishes Pilates from other forms of movement is not the shape of The Teaser, but the fact that moving in and out of that shape is repeated, iterated, and explored in a number of ways (Environments & Relationships to Gravity: Roll-Up / Roll-Over / Up-Stretch / Teaser on The Box / Teaser on the Cadillac / Teaser on The Chair) throughout the system. Meaning that the singular movement is not the point, but that the point is to repeat and practice the movement in a number of ways to figure out how to embody the Movement Potential the best & fullest way you can today. Then do it again tomorrow ... with the intention of shifting the quality over time.
Real Talk: This is NOT something new. We didn't INVENT this line of thinking ... this soapbox.
However, we are explicitly and whole-heartedly advocating for it.
Thank You for engaging in the Shift Happens Online experience.
We look forward to you joining us in the Live experience soon!
~ James & Anula
Things to Check Out & Consider
Here are some things we find interesting / inspirational / informative / and ingenious ... all of it SHIFT relevant:
- WATCH THIS FIRST! (*Required)
- THEN THIS! (*Required)
- Beach DO DAc, Phillip. Muscles and Meridians: The Manipulation of Shape.
- Bonnie Bainbridge Cohen: On Embodiment
- Carl Rogers: Empathy.
- Damasio, Antonio. The Strange Order of Things: Life, Feeling, and the Making of Cultures.
- Gil Hedley: Cellulite.
- Interview w/ Deborah Lessen on Pilates Anytime. (*Required - contact us if not a member)
- Liberated Body Podcast, Ep. 55: John Sharkey: New Paradigm of Anatomy (*Required)
- London Real: Ido Portal on Dorian Yates & Bodybuilding. A discussion of form vs. philosophy.
- Martha Graham 1 / Martha Graham 2
- Model Health Show: Katy Bowman & Why Your Environment Shapes Your Body
- Ohad Naharin: GaGa Movement.
- Pilates Intel Article: Form or Philosophy.
- Pilates Unfiltered, Ep. 49 w/ Raphael Bender:Evolutionary Teaching & Pain Science. (*Required)
- Porges, Stephen W.. The Polyvagal Theory: Neurophysiological Foundations of Emotions, Attachment, Communication, and Self-Regulation.
- Professor Peter O'Sullivan: The Myth of Core Stability (*Required)
- Thinking Pilates Podcast, Ep. 43: Where History, Art, and Potatoes Collide - A lesson with Anula Maiberg