Compassion

Pilates ComPassionCompassion is a heavy word…it is about humanity…being a true human. Feelings and actions of sympathy, empathy, virtue and consideration. Compassion is a human action of thought and feeling. Other animals seem to show compassion, too. Isn’t it about being, then? Existing in harmony with ourselves and others.

Why consider compassion?

As Pilates teachers or pilates enthusiasts, we must consider compassion for those you are working with and compassion for yourself. I’m not talking selfless vs. selfish or being a good teacher or a well-mannered student, though these are important things to consider. I’m talking about seeing humanity in others and yourself. I’m talking about putting yourself in another’s shoes (empathy) and caring. Stepping outside of yourself to see yourself…as someone who deserves care, too.

Let’s begin with compassion for others.
As a Pilates teacher, we must develop our hearts for our clients. Our clients come to a session to learn, to achieve a goal (physical, emotional or other), to move… Do they always find the task of Pilates easy? No. Our dear clients can often feel awkward or confused. Learning and growth happen best when we as teachers anticipate the needs of our clients by catching awkward or confusing moments before they happen. You  know how it feels to be confused. It’s doesn’t feel good. You feel diminished and powerless. Some will be scared. Of course, you don’t desire this for yourself then in turn, you will not want this for your client. Ah, the compassionate teacher will work hard to avoid confusion. Being a positive teacher means more than saying “good” and being encouraging. A positive teacher also works to teach in a way that is clear, well structured and avoids confusion.

With great import, let’s seek to remember what it was like to be a client ourselves. Each new exercise might have been exciting to you! However each or some might have been scary for you. And, let’s also recall that no two people are the same. In the act of compassion, we must be empathetic and seek out what our clients are feeling…which may be very different than anything that we might have felt. Fun and thrilling to you might be very frightening to your client. Easy for you might be difficult for her. Obvious to you might be completely shrouded in mystery to him.

It’s OK to share with your client that perhaps you used to have a difficult time with a particular exercises, too. I recall being a student and feeling downtrodden that my teachers didn’t seem to show any kindness in my struggles. Negative cues and demeaning phrases. One in particular that I found really rude from a famous teacher “You have a power-studio {as in studio apartment}, not a power-house.” and that was when I was just learning. That was diminishing. Why not say something akin to “You are getting stronger…and one day will be far stronger!” or don’t say anything at all!

Another place you can practice your compassion with your clients is in the way that you think about them or talk about them with other teachers. I have spent time around teachers who talk  down about their clients or gossip about them. How weak a client is or how uncoordinated a client is. The teachers often roll their eyes or make snide remarks. There doesn’t seem to be any room for this behavior in the book of humanity or compassion. People are trying hard. They want to achieve. Your negative thoughts are nasty. These people are coming to you for help and are paying your rent. You can show greater kindness to their efforts.

Along with this, I see notes on forums all of the internet where people laugh at clients who fart or who have difficult times doing what seem to be basic exercises. Again I ask: where is your heart? Some clients will fart or sweat excessively or have bad breath or bad body odor. This is going to be. That doesn’t mean that they don’t deserve your best. Maybe they deserve even more of your kindness. Do they deserve your cruelty with gossip in the teachers room or teachers forums? No…of course not.

Let’s broaden our opportunity for teaching with compassion for our clients. Our clients whether clearly open for anything or seemingly shut down lie on a mat in front of us and seek our assistance. That is what they are doing. Even those who challenge you and make seeming-steam come out of your ears…even that client is on the mat asking you for aid. Open your heart, remember why she is there and your promise as a Pilates teacher. Remember why you are teaching in the first place.

Compassion for our clients.

Now…what about compassion for ourselves as teachers? That is vital, too. We are often hard on ourselves. Too hard. Perhaps in all of life, but we’ll talk of the Pilates studio here. I have received messages from many-a-Pilates teacher sharing a hard day and asking if it’s OK that this horrible session happened or a difficult mat class or any number of things. Of course it’s OK. We all have bad days. We all make mistakes. We’re only human. If we don’t see the humanity in ourselves…we have very little we’ll be able to share with our clients.

As much as you’ll seek to anticipate issues, you will run into problems big and small. You must forgive yourself for this. Immediately. If you’re not used to being kind to yourself, it does take practice. You deserve it.

Though my rule is that we must anticipate issues and never have even one repetition of pain for a client…well…that doesn’t always happen. We must do our best, and if we certainly have, release ourselves from guilt if we do not succeed 100% of the time. While we work for a 100% retention rate of clients, we also must do our best and then, again, release ourselves from guilt if we do not keep all clients all of the time.

Are you changing your schedule and cannot accommodate everyone? That has to be OK.
Do you need to put more people into semi-privates and not all into privates? That also has to be OK. (Not to mention it is better for them and better for your business. A topic for another article:  teaching-mixed-level-semi-private-sessions-guidelines )
Did you have to cancel a day because you were sick? That has to be OK.
Did you just have a bad day? That has to be OK.

With practice and great self-awareness, each session, each day can be extremely successful no matter what is going on in your personal life or in the moment, but even the most practiced can have a hard day or moment. It has to be OK. We must release ourselves from the pressure of “every moment has to be perfect”. Nothing is perfect. All is practice. It’s a practice this life.

Compassion for yourself.

Now…there is another compassion that we must discuss. That is compassion for your fellow teacher. There’s a lot of chit and chat across the web with people cutting others down. Personal attacks. Why? Certainly because they are insecure to such an extent that they attempt to raise themselves up by trying to discredit others. It’s difficult to find compassion for people who are hurtful to you in these ways. I can speak for myself and tell you that I am pained when someone attacks me in one way or another. I see it for what it is: that attacker’s fear and self-loathing. My compassion is limited for those people, it is true. Hurtful actions are not-ever OK. Still, it brings me to recognize the need for some sort of compassion. I will not reach out to that person to try to see eye to eye, but I will remember that this person is hurting and sad…deeply. I will not fight the person who is trying to bring me into her own personal struggle, but I will recognize that this is his struggle, not mine. I will not engage, but I will attempt to humanize this person rather than demonize. Oh…it’s difficult. I tell you. It is difficult. However…let’s seek to humanize.

Let’s be true teachers. Let’s see our clients, ourselves and our fellow teachers as humans. Let’s practice Compassion.

quote-Dalai-Lama-love-and-compassion-are-necessities-not-luxuries-956

***Thank you for taking the time to read this. If you have any comments, please feel free to post them below. And if you ever have any questions related to any aspect of Pilates or biomechanics, know that you can always leave them in the comments or email me directly at info@TheVerticalWorkshop.com ***

Sessions:
Would you like a session in NYC or via Skype?  Email me at info@TheVerticalWorkshop.com
I have created a teaching technique that is very successful for Skype. Please email me if you’d like to set up a session.
Upcoming Workshops:
The list of current workshops is posted in the column to the side.
Full info listed under “Workshop Calendar” at http://www.TheVerticalWorkshop.com

Please email info@TheVerticalWorkshop.com for additional information info!

Workshops at your studio?

Sure…just ask: info@TheVerticalWorkshop.com and I’ll be glad to discuss the details!

If you have any questions about Pilates, injuries, biomechanics…just email me at info@TheVerticalWorkshop.com I will always work to get you answers.
Thanks for taking the time to read!
- Shari Berkowitz
Shari Berkowitz & The Vertical Workshop

August 10, 2014 at 2:47 pm 11 comments

Fear Not the Foward Flexion of the Spine…Just Seek to Understand…

Spine Stretch Forward - Forward flexion of the spine...evenly with length.  Photo Credit: Andrea Bonalberti and IdeaPilates

Spine Stretch Forward – Forward flexion of the spine…evenly with length.
Photo Credit: Andrea Bonalberti and IdeaPilates

 

Are you beginning to fear forward flexion of the spine? Let’s take a step back. Fear is not a great educator. Study is. Fear not forward flexion of the spine. Let’s just seek to understand what it’s all about and how to do it in Pilates and other modalities in a way that our bodies were meant to do it and in ways that are appropriate relative to our modern lifestyles.

Well, that sort of said it…”our bodies are meant to do it”. You are meant to do forward flexion of your spine. You absolutely are. If you were not, your body literally couldn’t do it. Can’t do forward flexion of the femur mid-femur can you? Of course not…there is no joint there. But there are joints in  your spine…that’s a huge part of why you have a spine.

Spinal Nerves relate to body parts and organs - Thank you universal-review.ca for this image.

Spinal Nerves relate to body parts and organs – Thank you universal-review.ca for this image.

Many Back Muscles - Thank you Gray's Anatomy

Many Back Muscles – Thank you Gray’s Anatomy

Let’s review the purpose of your spine (or many of them):
Your spine provides:
1 – Protection for your spinal cord
2 – Muscular attachments
3 – Pathways for your nerve endings to leave the spinal cord to the rest of the body
4 – When vertical, it aids in vertical support, the ability to be upright
5 – When vertical, it provides some shock absorption
6 – Because there are joints in the spine (your separate vertebrae to each other), it allows movement of the torso

Are there more purposes of the spine…sure, of course…but let’s go with these for a moment.

 

 

What is the “localized spinal system” comprised of? (Yes…I’ve just coined that “localized spinal system”. It is a valid image for the moment, though, it is clearly part of the whole you.)
This “localized spinal system” is comprised of:
1 – Bone – vertebrae
2 – Ligaments – connecting bone to bone
3 – Tendons – connecting muscle to bone
4 – Muscles – creating force to move bones
5 – Discs – providing easy gliding motion of vertebrae, shock absorption, space as the nerve endings leave the spinal canal
6 – Fascia – (We’re going to have to lump all different types of fascia together here. There is not nearly enough space in a “brief” article to write about the intricacies of fascia. However…) fascia: providing easy gliding motion and support of all tissues (soft and “hard”),
7 – Nerves – not just the spinal cord and nerve endings…but the ones who are feeding the muscles, tendons, ligaments, fascia, bones and all with information of what to do and what not to do
8 – Blood vessels – feeding the bones, ligaments, tendons and muscles
9 – Cartilage – at the superior and inferior faces of the vertebral bodies aiding in gliding actions of the vertebrae and hydration of the discs
10 – and even more than this list

That’s a lot of “stuff”. What an interesting part of you…this “localized spinal system”. When you move…do you see some of that or all of that? And then, can you see all that acts on it and how your body works? If you see all of it…then you will move like the organism that you are.

So…what creates or encourages movement of the spine?
1 – The localized muscles, ligaments and tendons act on the spine via nerves and fascia (Not just back extensors…but what about quadrates lumborum, posterior serratus, diaphragm, intercostals, etc., etc….)
2 – Other muscles, ligaments and tendons act on it, too. For example, the abdominals who are not even connected directly to the spine…they are connected to the spine via the thoracolumbar fascia.

What limits movement of the spine?
1 – Soft tissue that acts on it properly (abdominals, psoas, back extensors, quadrates lumborum etc.)
2 – Soft tissue that is imbalanced (like weak muscles or stiff discus that are improperly hydrated because of a lack of varied movement…it’s varied movement that fully hydrates discs)
3 – Posteriorly, the spinous process limits the back extension
4 – Longitudinal ligaments…oh, the remarkable anterior longitudinal ligaments…anterior and posterior…

Spinal Ligaments (some, not all) - Notice the Posterior Longitudinal Ligament and the Anterior Longitundal Ligament. Illustration Credit: M. Headworth via MayfieldClinic.com

Spinal Ligaments (some, not all) – Notice the Posterior Longitudinal Ligament and the Anterior Longitundal Ligament. Illustration Credit: M. Headworth via MayfieldClinic.com

Yes…the special longitudinal ligaments! Let’s take a look at them shall we?

Anterior Longitudinal Ligament provides both support and intrinsic stabilization to the vertebral column with most obviously the anterior portions of the bodies of the vertebrae and discs attached. A continuos structure along the entire front of the spinal column, it provides support to the vertebral column during spinal extension. Thereby limiting…or helping support an end-range of spinal extension. In spinal extension as discs appropriately bulge anteriorly, this anterior longitudinal ligament provides a stopping zone of sorts for the discs. A limit. However, the greatest limiter of spinal extension are the spinous processes. They are the great limiters of motion…on purpose.

And what of Posterior Longitudinal Ligament? Special structure! This one, like its anterior match provides both support and intrinsic stabilization to the vertebral column with the posterior portions of the bodies of the vertebrae and discs attached. It is continuous, again, like its anterior match. So, we see that it provides a stopping zone for the discs during forward flexion like the anterior. However (…and this is a big however…), are there spinous processes at the front of the vertebral column? No…no there are not. So, that means the range of motion for forward flexion is greater in the spine than back extension. OK…this is important because we need a lot of forward flexion in our lives. Most of what we physically do requires action at the front of the body. Our greatest abilities are in the front, though, of course, we have a range of actions in the back…but our greatest strength and versatility of movement occurs in front of us. So…we require greater range of motion. Just like in the shoulder girdle versus the pelvic girdle, greater flexibility of in forward flexion of the spine means less stability.

Stability of what? Many things, but most obviously the vertebrae and discs. Well, then, we’d better strengthen all back muscles to have posterior support of the spine during forward flexion. That eliminates the old phrase of “Don’t use your back muscles…only use your front muscles…abdominals, “Powerhouse”, whatever your style of Pilates calls them. We actually need to use our back muscles during forward flexion to assist in limiting forward flexion…because remember, there are no spinous processes in the front of the spine to limit movement. And…because that is a major action of the back muscles. In fact, all soft tissue works all of the time…and that means in forward flexion the back muscles work. Please don’t try to make them not work.

Not to mention, we have thoracolumbar fascia (TLF) and thoracolumbar complex (TLC) that will tighten/stiffen the lumbar spine to limit forward flexion if…if…if we keep the TLF and TLC healthy. (How do we do that? Another article another time…and a book. We can’t do it all in one article.)

Wait! Why do we even care to limit movement? Well, one reason, and the one most are concerned about, is that we need to protect the discs from protruding back into the spinal canal…into the spinal cord. Oh. Right. That is one major function of the Posterior Longitudinal Ligament. Oh!

And what happens when the discs are constantly jammed into the posterior longitudinal ligament (PLL)? That ligament has to try to continue its job of not letting discs go into the spinal canal and cord…it thickens up. Well, because we need movement of the lumbar spine (including forward flexion), this PLL (it’s time to abbreviate…this is a long article) is actually thinner around the lumbar spine than in other areas. So…if it thickens it will either limit movement or if it thickens far too much that leads to narrowing the space for nerves to leave through the foramen and can even impinge the easy flow of the spinal cord through the spinal canal: Central Spinal Stenosis. And ultimately, if you keep forcing a disc against a thicker and thicker ligament, the disc has to give weigh…and then we have herniations.

Oh.

Wow…there’s a lot of forward flexion in Pilates and in life. A lot. What do we do?! Do we just not do forward flexion because we’re afraid that the discs might push back into the PLL? No, no, no…of course not. We just make sure that we use all of our bodies’ natural tools to ensure good movement. That means movement with support. Do we need to collapse or crush into a rounded shape? Can’t we be rounded yet lifted?

It’s not difficult to move with support when you realize that you body is meant to move with support anyway. That is what biotensegrity is all about. Biotensegrity? Yes…your body is set up with a balance of forces: soft tissues resist expansion and bone (“harder” soft tissues) resist compression. This allows a really easy system where your bones are suspended in a web of soft tissue that moves your bones, creates support for your bones and all tissues. (Bones are really soft, by the way…just not as soft as other tissues and their chemical make up resists compression rather than resisting expansion. Amazing what a bit of calcium [and more] will do to a group of cells.) So, if we are moving well and as nature intended, then we already have great support.

However…we don’t move as nature intended, do we? No..and that is where trouble exists. In Pilates we’re supposedly seeking actions to restore our natural physical environment. We note that life is full of forward flexion and collapse in the spine. Weak abdominals, weak and overstressed back muscles, weak psoas, hip flexors and hip extensors and gluteals. Man…we’re a mess in modern life! And we lose our biotensegrity…our innate balance of tension, our natural balance of expansion and compression. We must seek to restore.

Spinal Curves - Vertical And Space for Organs1When we forward flex, there is a tendency for collapse. That collapse is possible because we don’t have those anterior spinous processes, modern life has weakened our back bodies and because we have so-called “hinges” at the transitions of the curves of our spines. As the curves alternate (a big part of being an upright being so that we have spaces for our organs and then still maintain our vertical alignment and perhaps some shock absorption built into the inherent structure of any vertical alternating curves with gravity acting upon it…but I digress…) as the curves alternate, the transition joints are hyper-flexible. They need to be, but we need to be aware of this and support the hyper-flexibility if we care about PLL and discs and spinal cords. Sure we care.

That means…we have to be wise in our repetitive movement and exercises (even Pilates has repetitive moves and exercises). Mindful! When seeking balanced movement of any joint or joints, we seek to mobilize the stiff and stabilize the hyper-flexible joints. Relative to the forward flexion of the spine, that means…move the stiff parts and support the flexible parts.

And…what sort of ideal forward flexion are we seeking in Pilates? Well…I strongly suggest that in forward flexion of the spine we are seeking a long and even curve of all vertebrae into a long and even curve of the entire spine. Oh…and that would be the same in full spinal extension, also in lateral flexion of the spine (side-bending). Evenness! That will be the ability to mobilize and stabilize. Balance!  Stretch, strength with stability and stamina. This is sounding great!

Now…that was a lot of information. How does it relate to your Pilates work?

Forward flexion of the spine:  Spine Stretch Forward

 

The magenta line is attempting to trace the curvature of the spine...not just the silhouette. See into the curvature of the spine. The top two photos are a harsh curvature of the spine that hinges at the tops and bottoms of the curves.. The bottom two photos are seeking a long, even curve of the spine. Spinal flexion with space. We're trying for that. Curved, but not collapsed.

The magenta line is attempting to trace the curvature of the spine…not just the silhouette. See into the curvature of the spine. The top two photos are a harsh curvature of the spine that hinges at the tops and bottoms of the curves.. The bottom two photos are seeking a long, even curve of the spine. Spinal flexion with space. We’re trying for that. Curved, but not collapsed.

 

Back extension of the spine:  Swan Preparation

The magenta line is attempting to trace the curvature of the spine, not the silhouette. See into the curvature of the spine. The first two stacked photos show an almost flattened spine. They don't even show enough of how the thoracic spine is still rounded outward. The 2nd two stacked photos show the attempt to reverse the curve of the thoracic spine while stabilizing the curve of the lumbar spine. The effort in the 2nd stack develops strong back muscles rather than a compression. Let's match curves and then increase curves later on...with balance. Notice...lumbar curves are different in both people. Top photo vs. bottom photo. Everyone has different curves of the spine.

The magenta line is attempting to trace the curvature of the spine, not the silhouette. See into the curvature of the spine. The first two stacked photos show an almost flattened spine. They don’t even show enough of how the thoracic spine is still rounded outward. The 2nd two stacked photos show the attempt to reverse the curve of the thoracic spine while stabilizing the curve of the lumbar spine. The effort in the 2nd stack develops strong back muscles rather than a compression. Let’s match curves and then increase curves later on…with balance. Notice…lumbar curves are different in both people. Top photo vs. bottom photo. Everyone has different curves of the spine.

 

What about Rolling Like a Ball?

Rolling Like a Ball with markings1

Now, we can find this in many and every exercise. Can you flex/round, extend/arch, side-band and rotate with space and support. Can you seek evenness. Is it contrology or a crap-shoot?

So…you don’t have to round into the tiniest ball or arch backwards into a fold or sideband in half. Big hinges happen at hips, knees, ankles, toes; shoulders, elbows, wrists and fingers. Smooth curves happen in the spine. Or at least that is what we can achieve and thereby achieve great strength, flexibility…support…stamina…movement!!!

Please move…in all directions…just with support and understanding! You don’t need to be afraid to forward flex or back extend. You just need to know what’s going on and why you don’t want to crush your discs into the PLL and/or collapse at your hinges.

You’re a mover! You’re a teacher of movement! Now…move and keep educating yourself with balance. You get scared when someone teaches an extreme statement of the body and it travels all over our social media and workshops. Extremists help with awareness, but…they are extreme. Until we are educated, we follow extremists because they are colorful and loud and then we believe and fear. It’s education and understanding that will eliminate fear. You don’t have to go all the way into biomechanics as a scientist like I am. No. But you are working with human bodies…so you have the responsibility to study. I will keep encouraging your study. Study and become a critical thinker.

Thank you for reading this! It was a lot of information. Please reach out to me when you have questions! Seek me out at workshops and such. You’ll see them listed on the sidebar of this blog page and I always list them on my website. And we can do consultations or sessions together in person or via Skype and workshops at your studio. Let this be the start of a conversation, not the end, as I am wont to say.

 

May 14, 2014 at 9:06 pm 16 comments

NYC Seminar in May

Hello, All!

Before I post my next article, I just want to share with you that my next set of 3-day seminars in May is coming up this May 16-18, 2014. Here is the information:

TVW Intensives

 

3-Day Seminar in NYC in May
Please Join In! 
 
May brings another 3-Day seminar to NYC…I would like to invite you to join in!

This 3-Day is all about getting and keeping clients. Here’s the information:

True Teaching Tools to Get and Maintain Clientele from Day One Onward – Intensive with Shari Berkowitz
18 PMA CECs!!  
May 16-18, 2014  
Teaching is easy when you have the right tools.  A client will be your client for a very long time when s/he makes the physical changes s/he desired.  Learn how to make sure that every first session is successful.  Gain confidence in knowing what to do and what not to do with the best tools possible.  We will study what works and remove what doesn’t, understand what First-Time and Beginner clients really need in order to stay and move forward.  Getting and Maintaining your clientele takes teaching the correct actions correctly the very first time…not just the exercises, but the choice of cues and the way you behave and interpret the behavior of your clientele.  This is a remarkable seminar that will support a lifetime of Pilates teaching!

Objectives:
1- Provide tools for teacher to confidently teach first timers
3 – Enhance teaching skills with applications of education in Pilates teaching
4 – Help create more confident teachers with a scientific rather than simply intuitive education
5 – Expand teaching vocabulary
6 – Understand how people learn
7 – Encourage confidence in teaching through education
8 – Provide ability for longevity in teaching career
9 – Provide tools and resources for answering questions and handling difficult situations in the studio

This is open to all teachers of all styles. It is weekend #2 of The Vertical Workshop Pilates Teacher Intensives. All weekend seminars are open to anyone who is interested even if you’re not interested in the entire program.

Please know that you are welcome to join in for one 3-day weekend at a time and even add in its corresponding 4-month set of homework.  Just ask and I will gladly include you in any way that is possible.

To register or get more information, email me: info@TheVerticalWorkshop.com

Thank you!

- Shari

April 4, 2014 at 9:01 pm 2 comments

Buttocks – Seemingly Every Fitness Person’s Favorite Subject…

GluteusMaximus

Dearest Fitness Fans…You’ll please forgive me as I am about to share something that will shock and appall:
Getting bouncy buns, strong buttocks and a lifted bottom doesn’t come from what you think it does. It 100% does not come from squeezing your seat, buns, butt, buttocks or tusch. All that squeezing you’ve been doing…it ain’t doing what you think. I know you’ve been told by people with gorgeous back sides that this is “The Way”. You’ve seen dancers with bottoms to astound. You’ve seen boxers with buns of steel. You’ve marveled over carved bums of seeming marble on your capoeira master. However, my fellow fans of fit…when they all tell you they got it by squeezing their seats (or any of the aforementioned terms)…they lied. Not intentional lies…but…perhaps that makes it even worse.

Why? Why do people think that squeezing your seat is going to get you a great seat? (Yes, I’ll go with seat or buttocks…the rest are rather crass [butt is crass] or childish [tusch or tuschy...as much as I love Yiddish, no one with a tusch is posing on the cover of Sports Illustrated and none of my powerful clients who own half of your country and mine have "tushcies". They have backsides or buttocks or seats.] I’ll go with seat, buttocks or backsides.) It’s funny to me how many people squeeze and squeeze and tell you to do so…but they do not have enviable backsides. Hmmm…if this works so well…why aren’t their buttocks so glorious? And why haven’t you thought about that?

Curious…no?

Yes.

Now, not every fitness trainer is going to look like an Adonis or the female equivalent (what is that…Athena?).  That is not the goal. And please let’s recall that what is en vogue in this generation is perhaps anemic looking to another. So, may please agree to be  working towards fit, strong, healthy and able…and have fit buttocks as part of that package.  Still, I ask why doesn’t everyone who says to squeeze and those who do squeeze have sensational sit-upons (appropriate to body-type)? Why isn’t it working for you?

Because it doesn’t work.
Sorry.

NO SPOT TRAINING

First, I must share with you that there is not such thing as “spot training”. You cannot craft the perfect set of buttocks by squeezing them or working them alone. You are an organism and not a mechanism. So, you work as a whole. We can’t just work your buttocks alone. And that squeezing in each exercise is saying that you can.

In truth, you never have to squeeze any muscle to get it to work or strengthen or look fit. What you do have to do: actions that use those muscles in their primarily and secondary ways. It’s that simple, really. And it takes your whole body to allow that to happen. All the better!

Taking the buttocks for our primary example, but this relates to all muscles and muscle groups, let’s consider what the buttocks are in the human body. They are gluteus maximus, medius and minimus. And what do these muscles do as their primary actions? (I say “primary” because all muscles work all of the time. Yes…all of the time. Even your resting muscle tone (RMT) is not complete inactivity. [That is what death is...complete inactivity.] However, all muscles work all of the time with primary actions, secondary, terciery and so on. Based on where they are and the desired action they either assist in mobility or stability of a joint in the action. And every single muscle in your body is actually working for that to happen. There is no agonist and antagonist as our old biomechanics has led us to believe.)

So you can’t get great buttocks by squeezing them.  Simply, you must work the entire body and allow the glutes do their actions naturally.  That’s how it works.


OVERDOING BREAKS DOWN RATHER THAN BUILDS UP

If you do squeeze your buttocks constantly in all exercises, it actually causes more harm than good.  This can hurt you.  You see, when you squeeze your seat/sit bones/narrow your sit bones, etc., you are actually causing  a tremendous amount of compression of  hip joint/ball & socket/acetabulofemoral joint, the sacroiliac joint, L5-S1…and it simply does not look good.  As I asked in a seminar a couple of weekends ago:  When you look in the mirror at your bare buttocks and squeeze…does it look good?  I ask this because I know how we all are.  We all look in the mirror and check out what is or is not working.  Tell me, especially the ladies…what does it look like?  Nothing good.  If you have some cellulite and most women and even men do…it accentuates it, doesn’t it?  So, just common sense and the visual tell you that it doesn’t work.

So…why does everyone say to squeeze and worth those glutes?  Because it’s an easy muscle or muscle group to get into in that fashion.  It’s not actually that easy to train, but it’s easy to squeeze.  It must be entirely accessible as “fight or flight” muscles.  If you were crouching in the cave and a saber-toothed tiger/cat came your way, your gluteus maximus will help you leap up, run and climb.  However…it would already be strong because you’d been climbing, walking, running, swimming, squatting in life all of the time.  Sitting on a chair actually aides in deterioration (atrophy) of the gluteals.  So…they are not as easy to access as they once were.


TEACHER TO TEACHER
Here is what I just wrote to a colleague who asks for a true understanding of what to do with our glutes.  She says she now understands completely.  I hope you will, too.  Here it is
“Glutes.  It’s not an eternal question to me.  It is quite clear.   Like everything else in the human body, we must seek efficiency.  And muscles ought to work with effort only when needed.  What I mean by this:  
 
All muscles work all of the time.  Even when you don’t think so.  
That is The Truth.
And all muscles assist in all movements.  Even when you don’t think so.
Also The Truth.
There is no agonist or antagonist no matter what books say that there are.  If people still think this and think this way…they are ready to study more.  Modern biomechanics is well beyond this.  If we worked this way (agonist/antagonist) we would certainly fall apart.
 
However, there are primary movers.  If you straighten your leg/extend your knee…indeed the quadriceps are the primary movers.  They instigate this motion.
 
As for the glutes or gluteus maximus in particular…it must work…but it’s primary movement is not to squeeze.  No no no.  Like all muscles, it should have excellent RMT (Resting Muscle Tone).  What are the primary actions of the gluteus maximus?  This anatomists are correct:  “Extension of the femur from the flexed position in the hip joint; lateral stabilization of the hip and knee joints; external rotation of the femur” (a quote from the reliable source of Wikipedia.  No…really…Wikipedia is great for this sort of stuff…straight anatomy.)
 
Now…gluteus maximus is best for external rotation of the femur when in extension because it’s primary action is really extension.
 
It is a superficial muscle, true?  Not deep.  Have we a more deep muscle or set of muscles that we must concentrate on?  Yes yes yes yes (I don’t want to type it more, but yes to an infinite degree):  Quadratus Femoris, the Obturators and the Gemelli.  Study them and then it will be clear why our community of Pilates teachers are confused about what the feeling at the “sit bones” is. That everyone says “squeeze your sit bones”.  Do not squeeze your sit bones.  Hug your darned heels together with legs ideally parallel and together (heels and big-toe knuckles/bunion knuckle) so that these muscles can train and eventually you can live your life with true parallel (as normal people should be) with incredible strength from deep muscles.
 
IMG_0124
Now…back to gluteus maximus…it’s best in hip extension.  That doesn’t mean just when your leg is behind you, but it works when you are going up any level…like a stair (going up front) or seeming like it (press down front).  Any time you are trying not to let your hips flex while kneeing or standing…that’s gluteus maximus (kneeling chest expansion, thigh stretch and arm circles) are great examples of this.  Any time you lift your hips/pelvis in an exercise, it’s the action of hip extension even if your legs don’t actually go behind you like Shoulder Bridge Prep or Full, Jackknife, The Roll Over, Short Spine, Long Spine, Overhead, etc.  Even keeping your legs level with your pelvis when you are lying prone (on  your stomach) in a swan preparation, in Pull Straps in 2nd Long Box and so many other things…that is the active resistance of falling into hip flexion…and your gluteals do that.
 
And do you have to squeeze your buttocks to do this?  No no no no no no  (to the infinite degree)…they are the only muscles that can do it.  So you just have to unconsciously ask them to do it and they engage only in the degree that is needed.  You just have to send a signal that you want this action of the bones to occur and the correct muscles work.  If it doesn’t happen, the muscles aren’t strong enough.  That doesn’t mean you squeeze them.  That means you have to find an easier exercise to train the action.
 
NEVER SQUEEZE YOUR SEAT.  Of course, if you want to impinge your sacro-illiac joint, jam your lumbar spine, force your femoral head into your acetabulum or many other things.  Then squeeze all that you want.”
WHAT DOES SHARI DO? So…what do I do for myself?  How have I crafted my own backside?  (This feels silly to even discuss…) Do I do as I say or do I do something else?  The Truth…The Truth…I have not squeezed my buttocks for years and years and years!  I remember feeling like I was the queen of squeezing it!  Boy, oh, boy, could I get people an myself to squeeze!  Ohhhh and I could even refine it to just the sit bones.  Wow!!!  But…now that I have studied and know the down side of it…now that I see the better results on my clients and on myself…I simply do not squeeze.  I allow my gluteals to engage when they need to.  I don’t try to release them if they are doing their job.  I just made sure, by my stable pelvis and action of my lower abdominals and back muscles together that my glutes can extend my femur in the hip or take me out of hip flexion.
I often guide my clients sharing in an exercise like The Half Roll Down on the mat:
“From your lower abdominals, rotate your pubic bone upwards.  Keep that action/connection as you roll your pelvis backwards.  You’ll feel your glutes engage…but recognize how you don’t squeeze them…they just do it on their own?”
or Shoulder Bridge Preparation on the mat:
“From your lower abdominals, rotate your pubic bone upwards.  Keep that action/connection as you roll your pelvis upwards.  You’ll feel your glutes engage…but recognize how you don’t squeeze them…they just do it on their own?”
We don’t want to relax our buttocks.  (Yes, I know I used to teach that well before I knew better.  I should hope we all learn even more over time.)  That was in the back-lash of wanting to not squeeze the glutes, etc.   Now…I know…you want them to engage when they’re supposed to.  They do it on their own.  Our bodies are extremely efficient and work when given the correct environment.
Can I go on and on about this?  Yes and I shall…in another article.  However, this is enough for you to chew on now.  Please comment on this.  Ask questions and read the comments.  And join me in face to face (even via computer) discussions.  I do promise to share more!
Sessions:
Would you like a session in NYC or via Skype/Video Conference?  Email me at info@TheVerticalWorkshop.com
Upcoming Workshops:Full info listed under “Workshop Calendar” at http://www.TheVerticalWorkshop.com

January 31, February 1-2, 2014 – NYC, NY, USA (NYC Intensive Weekend #1 – Please join in for this one seminar or all)
February 21, 2014 – Hamburg, GERMANY
February 22-23, 2014 – Vienna (Baden), AUSTRIA
March 7-9, 2014 – Vicenza, ITALY
March 21-23, 2014 – Boston, MA, USA (Boston Intensive Weekend #2 – Please join in for this one seminar or all)
April 24-28, 2014 – London, ENGLAND (awaiting confirmation)
May 3-4, 2014 – Miami (Coconut Grove), FL, USA
May 16-18, 2014 – NYC, NY, USA (NYC Intensive Weekend #2 – Please join in for this one seminar or all)
June 1, 2014 – Rhinebeck, NY, USA
June 7-8, 2014 – Austin, TX, USA
June 20-22, 2014 – Zurich, SWITZERLAND
July 18-20, 2014 – Boston, MA, USA (Boston Intensive Weekend #3 – Please join in for this one seminar or all)
Mid – August, 2014 – Long Beach, CA (Long Beach Intensive Weekend #1) – (awaiting confirmation)
 
September 19-21, 2014 – NYC, NY, USA (NYC Intensive Weekend #3 – Please join in for this one seminar or all)
October 24-26, 2014 – Rhinebeck, NY, USA (Rhinebeck Intensive Weekend #1 – Please join in for this one seminar or all)
November 21-23, 2014 – Boston, MA, USA (Boston Intensive Weekend #4 – Please join in for this one seminar or all)

The Vertical Workshop Pilates Teacher Intensives:
Boston begins: November 15-17, 2013
NYC begins: January 31, February 1-2, 2014
Long Beach, CA likely begins in mid-August 2014
Rhinebeck, NY likely begins at the mid-October 2014

email info@TheVerticalWorkshop.com for information!

Workshops at your studio?

Sure…just ask: info@TheVerticalWorkshop.com and I’ll be glad to discuss the details!

If you have any questions about Pilates, injuries, biomechanics…just email me at info@TheVerticalWorkshop.com I will always work to get you answers.
Thanks for taking the time to read!
- Shari Berkowitz
The Vertical Workshop
Pilates Teacher Blog:
http://www.TheVerticalWorkshop.wordpress.com

December 15, 2013 at 1:50 pm 16 comments

Workshop Update – Boston November 15-17…

TVW_LOGO_497 copy JPEG

A quick update for those who have expressed interest:

I’ve opened the first seminar weekend of The Vertical Workshop Pilates Teacher Intensives in Boston, MA and NYC, NY to anyone who would like the seminar even if they are not going to do the full intensive program.  It’s 3-days, 18 PMA CECs.  Here’s the information:

 

November 15-17, 2013 in Boston, MA, USA…and January 31, February 1-2, 2014 in NYC, NY, USA…

3-Day Seminar on Biomechanics, Biotensegrity and Biodynamics of the human body as a functional whole with applications to Pilates.
FULL BODY INTEGRATION with Shari Berkowitz
18 PMA CECs
$720
You’ve had a lot of continuing education, but none of it…none of it is comprehensive. I mean…you get a lot of information, but it’s all bits and pieces. Are you able to apply it all? Really? While the entire Pilates Teacher Intensives is to rectify this missing an essential element in Pilates continuing education, this first 3-day seminar “Full Body Integration” must be the basis for all that we do. What is your perspective on the human body? How much does it align with how the human body really works? How do you tie it all together with a true education and apply it to your actual teaching of Pilates? How do you take your education and make it all make sense?

In “Full Body Integration” you will learn the modern biomechanics: Biodynamics and Biotensegrity. Biodynamics is my theory of human physical movement and dysfunction. I am a biomechanics scientist and theorist in addition to being a Pilates teacher. I spend the majority of my time, in fact, developing ways for people to really understand how the body works at it’s best and help people return to their most able states why dysfunction occurs. Pilates is an exceptional method to return a body to health…but only if we understand how the body works and make sure what we’re doing in Pilates coordinates with that.

We will explore and study:
Biodynamics (by Shari Berkowitz) and Biotensegrity (by Dr. Stephen Levin)
Functional Anatomy of The Human Body with specific detail on:
The Spine
The Pelvis
The Shoulder Girdle
The Legs
and…
we tie it all together…because we’re not just bits and pieces…we are organisms
Apply this knowledge and actions to Pilates Teaching…no matter what style you teach.
Your perspective is everything. Please let me guide your education and understanding with “Full Body Integration”.
If you can’t do the entire Intensives…come do “Full Body Integration”!

Register by emailing me at info@theverticalworkshop.com

It will be an amazing 3-day weekend!!!
– Shari

http://www.TheVerticalWorkshop.com

info@TheVerticalWorkshop.com

 

October 22, 2013 at 10:49 pm 3 comments

3 PMA CECs for “The Music of Pilates”!!!

The Music of Pilates

The Music of Pilates – 3 PMA CECs

I have wonderful news!!! The PMA has accepted “The Music of Pilates” for the full 3 PMA CECs!

It was a special process for this one because they have never accepted an aural workshop before. However, this one is special…extremely special. They have fully accepted it and I’m thrilled!

With that…please check it out at www.TheVerticalWorkshop.com
1 – Read the full information on “The Music of Pilates” and listen to the FREE Introduction track.
2 – Listen to a FREE track of “The Saw”.
3 – Order it for Mat and Reformer for 3 PMA CECs or Mat Only (no PMA CECs.)
How will you receive the PMA CECs? Simply email me requesting the evaluation:  info@TheVerticalWorkshop.com
I’ll send it to you.  You fill it out and send it back to me.  If your evaluations shows that you did, indeed, listen and absorb this workshop…I’ll send you your PMA CE certificate.

“The Music of Pilates” Information:

The Music of Pilates is a continuing education workshop that you listen to and both speak and workout to to practice.

It comes with 3 PMA CE credits if you take the evaluation.

Mr. Pilates created a rhythm for each exercise. These rhythms are different for each exercise. They highlight the action of the exercise to direct the specific purpose. When you work with Mr. Pilates actual rhythms…the exercises come to life!

This is a sincere workshop with learning and practice modules. You will certainly come away from this at-home/at-studio workshop with a new set of tools making your and your clients’ experiences easier.

Teaching should be fun and effective…
The keener your tools are…the stronger your teaching and the more your clients change for the better!

How does it work?

1 – You download it to your computer from http://www.TheVerticalWorkshop.com (go to “The Music of Pilates” tab).

2 – If you want, transfer it to your Smartphone, iPod, iPad/Tablet, etc.

2 – Play it on your computer, Smartphone, iPod, iPad/Tablet, etc. Just like you would music.

3 – Module 1 – Introduction
Module 2 – Learning -
You learn the purpose of each exercise in the mat and reformer order in the typical “Advanced” list of exercises.

You learn the rhythm and accents that Mr. Pilates created for each exercise.

You learn how to count each exercise and teach them in rhythm
You listen and can do the exercises in rhythm.

Module 3 – Practice -
Separated into 2 sections, Mat and Reformer, you can physically do each exercise to the rhythm, listen to or speak out loud each rhythm through the Advanced order. You can pause the workshop at any time to change springs on the reformer and then keep going.

This helps embody the rhythms.
Of course…not every exercise is for every person, so feel no pressure to do it all. However, learn the rhythms so you can teach them.

4 – Request an evaluation and receive 3 PMA CECs. Email info@TheVerticalWorkshop.com

If you have any questions…drop me a comment here!  Or email me at info@TheVerticalWorkshop.com however…comments are helpful to all…so drop a comment!  Thank you!

*****

Now…here’s what else is going on:
The Vertical Workshop Pilates Teacher Intensives…
The Pilates Teacher Intensives begin in Boston: November 15-17 and New York City: January 31, February 1-2!

Please read all about them at www.TheVerticalWorkshop.com under “Teacher Intensives” tab.
Or check out the information packet here: The Vertical Workshop Pilates Teacher Intensives Information Packet (Boston and NYC)
The first seminar weekend (those dates listed) will be open to all and everyone.  If you are not able to do the full Intensives…come do the first 3-day seminar weekend.  It is 18 PMA CECs!  

Full Body Integration: Functional Anatomy and Pilates Applications Intensive with Shari Berkowitz
18 PMA CECs
3-days:  $720 (Included in your tuition for participants of The Vertical Workshop Pilates Teacher Intensives)

You’ve had a lot of continuing education, but none of it…none of it is comprehensive.  I mean…you get a lot of information, but it’s all bits and pieces.  Are you able to apply it all?  Really?  While the entire Pilates Teacher Intensives is to rectify this missing an essential element in Pilates continuing education, this first 3-day seminar “Full Body Integration” must be the basis for all that we do.  What is your perspective on the human body?  How much does it align with how the human body really works?  How do you tie it all together with a true education and apply it to your actual teaching of Pilates?  How do you take your education and make it all make sense?

In “Full Body Integration” you will learn the modern biomechanics:  Biodynamics and Biotensegrity.  Biodynamics is my theory of human physical movement and dysfunction.  I am a biomechanics scientist and theorist in addition to being a Pilates teacher.  I spend the majority of my time, in fact, developing ways for people to really understand how the body works at it’s best and help people return to their most able states why dysfunction occurs.  Pilates is an exceptional method to return a body to health…but only if we understand how the body works and make sure what we’re doing in Pilates coordinates with that.

We will explore and study:
Biodynamics (by Shari Berkowitz) and Biotensegrity (by Dr. Stephen Levin)
Functional Anatomy of The Human Body with specific detail on:
The Spine
The Pelvis
The Shoulder Girdle
The Legs
and…
we tie it all together…because we’re not just bits and pieces…we are organisms
Apply this  knowledge and actions to Pilates Teaching…no matter what style you teach.

Your perspective is everything.  Please let me guide your education and understanding with “Full Body Integration”.

Again…if you can’t do the entire Intensives…come do “Full Body Integration”!

Register for Boston and/or NYC  by emailing me at info@TheVerticalWorkshop

More Continuing Education Workshops:

Full info listed under “Workshop Calendar” at www.TheVerticalWorkshop.com

Fair Haven, NJ: October 20
Purchase (Westchester), NY: November 3
Birkerød (Near Copenhagen), DENMARK: November 8-10
Boston, MA:  November 15-17

Keep your eyes open for 2014 dates coming very soon!
January in NYC – January 31 and February 1-2
February in Austria near Vienna/Wien and Hamburg, Germany
March in Italy near Venice
May in Miami, FL, USA
and so much more!

The Vertical Workshop Pilates Teacher Intensives:
Boston begins: November 15-17, 2013
NYC begins: January 31, February 1-2, 2014
email info@TheVerticalWorkshop.com for information or here’s the info packet: \The Vertical Workshop Pilates Teacher Intensives Information Packet (Boston and NYC)

All the very best,

- Shari Berkowitz

October 13, 2013 at 2:32 pm 10 comments

Pilates Disagreements

Well, I suppose it’s time for me to write this. I thought I was going to write about the buttocks or knee stretches today, but…when I saw the number of searches for “Pilates Disagreements” that led people to this blog…I knew that I had to write this first. The buttocks and knee stretches will have to wait.

This is an opinion piece. You certainly don’t need to think the way that I do or agree, but please do remember to be kind if you wish to comment your disagreement. Be an adult. Be a teacher, healer, human. Yes…be human. And do read…digest…think.

When I first started teaching Pilates, I was so excited! (Those who know me know that I am still extremely excited!) Specifically, I was excited to be with other people who just want to help! Help people feel better, stronger and able. There were many options for how I could do this. Before choosing Pilates, I was considering being an orthopedic surgeon, a physical therapist…but Pilates seemed a way to help people in a day to day organic way. It is. And I was thrilled with my choice. Until…

Until I realized how much horrendous in-fighting there was. I was shocked. Disappointed. Horrified, even? What had I entered into? I was disgusted. How could people under the guise of teacher be so petty? Fighting over differences of how to do The Tree or what the name of an exercise is or who has the right to call themselves a Pilates teacher? I saw such disreputable behavior that I became embarrassed to be in this community.

At the time, I had also recognized my own elitist Pilates upbringing. I was taught to believe that the only Pilates was the style that I was doing and that the rest was horrific and should not even be called “Pilates. I was taught to believe that the only apparatus to work on was the one I was working on and the rest was a waste. I was taught to believe that the people who would teach these other styles and work on these other apparatus were bad people. I was taught these things.

Being the good little girl that I was, I listened to my teacher who held herself above all others. I believed what she believed. Until…

Until I spent time with these horrible people…and found they are nothing close to horrible.
And saw the supposedly horrible things these horrible people were doing…and found out that they were also nothing close to horrible.
And worked on this supposedly horrible apparatus…and found out that they, too, were nothing close to horrible.
They were different…
Is different horrible?

Could it be possible…could it be possible that there might be good people doing good work on good apparatus that is different than what you do? And…could it even be possible that maybe some of them might be doing great work…maybe even somethings that I could learn from? Is it possible that I’ve been taught to be close-minded?

You see, there was this time I was partially paralyzed. I would lie in my physical therapy office with electro-stim on or ice or any number of things…there for a long time outside of the owner’s office where I would hear him on the phone talking about some intense lawsuit he was part of. It was early in this lawsuit that I later learned was “The Lawsuit”. The conversations were supremely heated. I could do nothing but lay there (paralyzed) and listen. Why wouldn’t I listen? It was all that I could do. And wonder what the heck was going on.

Sure enough, I learned, when I was training to teach that this lawsuit was still going on and it had to do with that particular man I had heard believing that he should have the rights to the name “Pilates” and that Pilates was just one thing. People moan and moan that this man or, rather, they say “We”…”We lost the lawsuit!”

What was lost? Something that didn’t belong to anyone at all anyway. What is “Pilates” but a made up name. Mr. Pilates himself didn’t even call his work “Pilates”. He did “Contrology”. That is what ought to have been solidified as something that Mr. Pilates created. And what people who say “we lost the lawsuit” are doing and teaching is rather different than what Mr. Pilates did anyway. (It is…take a look at archival footage and you will see how different it is from what you do.) So…what’s the big deal? And look how it’s divided everyone…a bunch of people who promise to help are all fighting over stupidity.

Yes…I did just judge and call it stupidity. Because you see…I have given myself the gift that most people who still squabble about this stuff have not…I have taken sessions and workshops and had tea, drinks, lunch, dinner with so many teachers who teach differently than I do. Who have had different training experiences. Who were on the “opposite side” of “The Lawsuit” and you know what? They are all fantastic people. (Of course, there are lousy people, too, don’t get me wrong.) Do I have to agree with their version of The Short Spine? No. Do I have to agree with anything? No. But maybe I will see that they are helping other people. Maybe I will see that they are smart and thoughtful. Maybe…

And maybe those people from “the other side of The Lawsuit” will find value in me. Maybe we all can find value in each other.

I guess what I’m getting at…is what are people disagreeing about? Why can’t you just go do your thing and do it well. Didn’t the Pilates world actually expand into super-popularity during this time of “The Lawsuit”? Doesn’t our diversity help the public at large because not everyone reacts positively to the same thing. We’re all needing different styles of personalities to “connect to”…maybe even different personalities of exercise. Why is your way the only way? Really? Really. Why do you think your way is the only way. Narcissistic, don’t you think?

And…I know some get really upset that some teachers don’t know the difference between what Mr. Pilates created and what someone else did. Well…is that really your problem? It’s so very not your problem. Why are you spending energy on something that doesn’t actually matter?

And some get upset that there are others who don’t believe that what they do has value. Is that really your problem either?

Why not just stick to what you’re doing, explore your education, be a critical thinker and remember why you came to Pilates in the first place?

I recall that I came to Pilates because I wanted to help people feel better and stronger. It just so happens I was in a particular studio and learned a particular style that was available to me. I make decisions every day that inform how I will teach. I continue my education in many different ways…outside of Pilates itself…and use that education to inform my Pilates teaching. I try to meet as many different people as I can and explore their different thought processes…in and out of Pilates. I encourage you to do something of the sort for yourself.

You can’t really teach anything of consequence if your experience is limited.

Yes…that is an educated judgement. You simply have nothing to share if you have not explored outside of your small box. Indoctrination does not a teacher make.

A little kumbayah, my friends, in the sense of “can’t we all just be friends?” What’s the big deal anyway? It’s time to stop demonizing “the other”, see our similarities and appreciate differences. Picking “the other” apart is simply ridiculous at this point. Grow up. It’s just a sign of lack of confidence. The people who do that in the on-line forums…I know them well…as charlatans (great word for “Faker”). They don’t know what they’re doing in the first place. They attack out of fear.

People of all styles of Pilates all around the world…just practice, study, learn, accept and grow.

Kumbayah!

***As always…if you have any questions or comments, please leave them in the comment section below. I’d love to hear from you and share with our colleagues! and…

Below is info on:
The Music of Pilates downloadable workshop
Workshops
Pilates Teacher Intensives in Boston and NYC!

Workshops – Sessions – Downloadable Products…

Download Workshop:
Please take a look at THE MUSIC OF PILATES. It’s an aural workshop and manual of Joseph Pilates’ actual rhythms for the mat and reformer exercises. These rhythms and accents will make your teaching more effective and your clients’ experience much easier.

Though this is using Joseph Pilates’ rhythms…this work applies to all styles of Pilates. It’s universal.

In this workshop, you will learn…
1 – the value and purpose of each of the Mat and Reformer exercises at what is commonly referred to as the “Advanced” exercises
2 – the rhythm and accents that Mr. Pilates coordinated with these exercises
3 – the purpose of those rhythms and accents
4 – how to count the rhythm of each exercise
5 – how to coordinate the counts with each movement of each exercise
6 – how to teach in rhythm and create a successful workout

We all need tools to make teaching and learning easier…this is a great one!

More information: http://www.TheVerticalWorkshop.com/html.showcase.php

Want a free sample? http://www.TheVerticalWorkshop.com/html.showcase.php

(And…you will see a link to it all in the sidebar of this blog)

 

Upcoming Workshops:

Full info listed under “Workshop Calendar” at http://www.TheVerticalWorkshop.com

Fair Haven, NJ: October 20
Birkerød (Near Copenhagen), DENMARK: November 8-10

And more to come in 2014 including Austria (near Vienna) in February, Italy (near Venice) in March, Miami, FL in May and so so so much more!.

The Vertical Workshop Pilates Teacher Intensives:
Boston begins: November 15-17, 2013
NYC begins: January 31, February 1-2, 2014
email info@TheVerticalWorkshop.com for information!

 

Workshops at your studio?

Sure…Just ask: info@TheVerticalWorkshop.com and I’ll be glad to discuss the details!

 

If you have any questions about Pilates, injuries, biomechanics…just email me at info@TheVerticalWorkshop.com I will always work to get you answers.
Thanks for taking the time to read!
- Shari Berkowitz
The Vertical Workshop
Pilates Teacher Blog:
http://www.TheVerticalWorkshop.wordpress.com

September 27, 2013 at 12:50 pm 49 comments

Older Posts


Sessions via Skype

Would you like to do a workout, question/answer or mini-workshop session with Shari? Each week, Shari works with teachers all over the world via Skype. Email Shari at info@TheVerticalWorkshop.com

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Workshop Download – The Music of Pilates

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Workshops

Full info listed under "Workshop Calendar" at www.TheVerticalWorkshop.com

August 22-24, 2014 - Long Beach, CA, USA (Long Beach Intensive Weekend #1 - please join for this seminar or all of the Intensive)

September 13, 2014 - NYC, NY, USA
September 17, 2014 - NYC, NY, USA
September 19-21, 2014 - NYC, NY, USA (NYC Intensive Weekend #3 - please join for this seminar or all of the Intensive)
September 26-28, 2014 - Birkerød, Denmark (near Copenhagen)

October 17-19, 2014 - Chicago, IL, USA
October 24-26, 2014 - Rhinebeck, NY, USA (Rhinebeck Intensive Weekend #1 - please join for this seminar or all of the Intensive)

November 21-23, 2014 - Boston, MA, USA (Boston Intensive Weekend #4 - please join for this seminar or all of the Intensive)

December 5-7, 2014 - Long Beach, CA, USA (Long Beach Intensive Weekend #2 - please join for this seminar or all of the Intensive)
December 20-21, 2014 - Barcelona, SPAIN

New Intensive Locations:
Long Beach, CA Intensives begin in August 22-24 2014 and Rhinebeck, NY Intensives begin October 24-26, 2014!
London, UK Intensives begin Late Spring/Early Summer 2015
Go to the "Teacher Intensives" section to read all about it. Or download the information packet in the "Downloads" section. of the website: www.TheVerticalWorkshop.com

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Special Thanks:

Pilates Therapeutics® Continuing Education

NYC's Finest Chiropractor

Joe Fiedler Trio

Incredible Music

Fantastic Music

The Vertical Workshop

Link yourself to this blog…

Would you like to be listed on the Pilates Teacher Blog like the links you see above in "Special Thanks"?
E-mail me at info@TheVerticalWorkshop.com to find out how!


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