Posts Tagged ‘clients’:

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Last summer I took a Pilates workshop with Jay Grimes, one of the elders. Amidst all the stories and information, what stuck out most to me was when he told us that if you could truly understand the double leg pull (a.k.a double leg stretch), one of the exercises in the series of five, than you fully understand Pilates. Why, he asked? Because it’s in every exercise you do in Pilates. It incorporates a strong center, and opposition.

Everyone knows that one of the benefits of Pilates is a stronger core. Most people do Pilates for that exact reason. But opposition is like the middle child, often forgotten. Can you guess where I fall in my family order? But I don’t think I’m any less important, and neither is opposition. It’s what will help lengthen your body, and length can be your best friend. Just ask anyone who struggles with back problems.

In another workshop I took recently, the presenter focused on the importance of getting grounded through Pilates. She made the point that you must focus on the placement of your clients feet, because the more supported you are at the base of your body, the more length you can get all the way up. With the length you achieve through opposition, you decompress the spine. That’s why many people say they feel lighter after their Pilates session.

It’s not enough to just cue opposition. Look to see that your client has equal weight on the big and little toe knuckle, as well as on the inside and outside of the heel. This applies to when someone is standing, sitting, or inverted. While you bring awareness to the evenness of your clients feet, make sure their muscles are working the opposite direction, up towards the crown of their head. I like to tell people to visualize stirrups under their arches that work their way up the inside and outside of their legs, pulling their muscles up. Don’t forget the importance of grounding the feet at the same time.

In an inversion, you still want the same emphasis. If your feet are in straps, work to make sure there’s equal weight on all four points of your feet. Since you’re working against gravity, you have to put a little more energy into it. When I’m in an inversion, I pretend I’m standing on the ground and apply all the same principles. Your goal is still opposition. Ground your feet while you work the muscles up towards the crown of your head.

People often ask me if Pilates will make them taller. Clearly it can’t make your bones grow. However, if you strengthen your core and work in opposition, you will gain an inch or two. Truly understanding the double leg pull (stretch) is not only the key to understanding Pilates, but also the key to being taller. Looking to add a few inches? Head to a Pilates lesson.

 

watched-pot

Be Patient. This is something that has always been extremely hard for me. I’ve heard it my whole life. I must admit I’m envious of those who have the ability to be patient. At least for me with impatience, comes anxiety. And with anxiety, comes an inability to get things done. It’s not a very attractive characteristic. I have spent so much of my energy wanting more in my career, more clients, more money, more, more, more. In those moments of wanting, I forgot that effort needed to be made, and time needed to pass.

Until I moved to Los Angeles, over 4 years ago, I had bounced around almost every year for 4 years from Connecticut, to Boston, back to Connecticut. I never gave myself the time needed to build my clientele or reputation in one place. Instead of realizing I needed to make a commitment to stay in one place in order to grow, I would doubt my teaching. That’s never a good place to go.

When I finally made the decision to move to LA, it was at the end of 2007, and our economy was on its way down. Once again, I found myself wanting more, more clients, more money, more, more, more. I was frustrated, and at times felt defeated. So last year around this time I decided I needed to focus less on what I didn’t have, and more on what I needed to do to break past the plateau I’d been sitting at.

I’m not sure where I stand on the whole “Secret” stuff, however I do strongly believe in like attracting like. Positive attracting positive. It’s a shift that needs not only be made, but also believed. For changes to happen though, effort does need to be made. I had to start working more, and at times I really didn’t want to work. I started writing for my website, and at first I found it extremely difficult. I put classes into my schedule and waited through months of them not being very full. And I waited my turn to teach for the Equinox Pilates teacher training program.

Here we are, January 2012, a year later, and I’m happy to say I’ve pushed past that plateau. While I believe it’s important to always have something to reach towards, it’s nice to not have to sit with an extreme wanting. Being busier now than I’ve ever been in my 8 plus years of teaching, I’ve come to realize that it’s true, a watched pot never boils. Instead of sitting on the sidelines waiting for things to change, I jumped in and kept myself busy, leaving no time for me to be impatient.  And while I was teaching a full class the other day I realized that the advice, be patient, had finally sank in.