Posture Exercises for Standing

circle.JPG

I was a guest blogger at GetCorrectPosture! My clients often tell me that they have standing desks (because sitting is the new smoking) but standing with bad posture isn't that much better for you than sitting. Check out my tips and why I love the Power Circle so much at the link above.

And if you want more Power Circle, check out my abs and glutes video here.

P.S. credit to my son for the photo :)

Subscribe to the Blog via Email Updates

* indicates required

Top Five Differences Between Pilates and Yoga

So what is better? Yoga or Pilates? That is a difficult question to answer, and it does depend on your workout goals. Keep in mind, too, that there are many different types of yoga and even different styles of Pilates, so these are general guidelines.

The goal of yoga is spiritual enlightenment. That does not mean that Pilates cannot be a spiritual practice, and it does not mean that yoga is not a workout. It does mean that at the heart of a yoga practice is a spiritual component, and that usually involves mediation or other techniques to quiet your mind. I consider my Pilates practice a moving meditation, but I don’t spend time meditating as a component of my practice. I do meditate, but it is separate from my Pilates work.

The goal of all Pilates exercises is the strengthening of the Powerhouse. This is true no matter what style of Pilates you practice. The Powerhouse is a centering concept, but it is also a physical place. It is the two inch band that runs above and below your navel. Every exercise in Pilates is trying to connect you to this part of your body and tone and strengthen this area. This does not mean that yoga does not work your core or that Pilates does not work and tone other parts of your body. It means that Pilates exercises are always focused on this area, no matter what else is working.

Pilates was made for the modern body. Joseph Pilates created his system of exercises between 1912-1967, and moved to New York City in approximately 1933. That means he knew what concrete was, and cars, and buses and chairs. His work cannot help but be influenced by the wear and tear and stress these modern conveniences place on our bodies. The development of yoga is over 5,000 years old. It was not made for a mainly sedentary population. Most people 5,000 years ago walked everywhere, much more than we do now and sat on the floor. They got more movement preparing their food than some of us get in an entire day. That is a different body than Joseph designed his work around. This does not mean that yoga has never been updated or that Pilates does not tap into ancient wisdom. It means that Pilates was created for people who live in the modern world because it is a modern invention itself.

Pilates was not made for a yoga mat. Hey, even yoga wasn’t made for a yoga mat (see the 5,000 year old practice mentioned above). But Mr. Pilates made his own mats, and they are way thicker than your average yoga mat. They usually were a raised platform with much more cushioning for your spine. They had extra boxes at the sides to place your legs wider than a yoga mat. They had straps for your feet to help keep your feet stationary as you rolled and poles to help stabilize your shoulder girdle for inversions or open your chest for extensions. If you’re doing Pilates, you should at least double your mat to cushion your spine. Pilates has more spinal articulation and rolling (see the focus on the Powerhouse listed above) so if you’re doing Pilates at a health club, please find a thicker mat or hack one yourself to protect your spine.

Pilates has equipment. I’m not talking props like bands or bolsters. I’m talking about the Reformer, Cadillac, Barrels, Chairs…. Mr. Pilates saw the mat as the foundation to his work, but without the support and aid of the equipment, it’s really hard to progress in your Pilates practice. Equipment and mat really are meant to go together (see also Mat vs. Equipment Pilates). The Reformer and the mat are the cornerstones to the Pilates work, and Mr. Pilates always intended for his students to do both. The stretch, support, and resistance work on the Pilates equipment with the springs really has no equal in any exercise format. It combines open and closed chain work, tempo variations, and deep stretches you cannot find if you only have a mat alone.

What are your thoughts? Do you teach yoga and Pilates? How do you think they compare?

Subscribe to the Blog via Email Updates

* indicates required

Top Eight Tips for Working with Pilates and Osteoporosis (the Condensed Version)

So many of us are working with Goldeners (the Active Aging Population) that I thought it would be helpful to list a few of the Dos and Don’ts of working with Osteoporosis, especially as it concerns Pilates. (Disclaimer: I am not a doctor, and this list is not medical advice, nor should it be used as such), but I weeded through a few studies so that you don’t have too.

****The most important tip is first

  1. Don’t use spinal flexion. Yes, that is a lot of the Pilates repertoire, but flexion puts pressure on the anterior surface of the vertebral bodies, and that is usually the weakened part of the bone. Flexion increased the risk of fracture in 89% of osteoporosis cases in this study.

2. Do use spinal extension. The posterior vertebral bodies have a higher degree of cortical bone and are at less risk of fracture. A study found that stronger spinal extensors led to increased bone density and less occurrence of spinal fractures.

3. Don’t side bend. Pressure on the vertebra are also excessive during side bending.

4. Do teach a hip hinge instead of flexion. It is imperative osteoporosis clients know the difference between spine and hip flexion (see #1 above).

5. Don’t twist. Again, excessive pressure on the vertebra.

6. Do teach isometric work. This is one of the best ways to get strong (and by now, you may be asking, “What can I do with a client with osteoporosis?”). Most of the isometric work can be found in the Pilates Fundamentals and are great for teaching control and strength in the core so clients don’t accidentally do little tiny twists or other contraindicated movement when moving their legs to the front or side.

7. Don’t work with a client if they can’t tell you their T-Score. Clients who have taken a Bone Mineral Density Test should be able to tell you their T-Score. A Standard Deviation of -1 to -2.5 indicates osteopenia, and -2.5 or more indicates osteoporosis. Why is this important to know? For every one point below the mean, fracture risk doubles.

8. Do teach these clients to stand and balance. They need to be weight bearing if possible. Standing weights, standing power circle, standing leg swings, and single balance work on one leg is very important. If these clients fall, they are likely to fracture, so they need to be taught how to stand tall.

Working with someone with osteoporosis can be a bit scary (and when in doubt, refer out), but it can be safely done with a knowledgeable Pilates instructor. The extension work, chest openers, standing series and the ease of adding weights to our work makes it a natural fit for the osteoporosis client. Remember, it is a silent disease, so your clients won’t have symptoms, but don’t let that stop you from following safety guidelines. Some clients like flexion because it feels good, but you need to be firm in your knowledge and confidence to tell them why that movement needs to be avoided.

Leave any additional questions in the comments below. I’ve been working with clients with osteoporosis for years and would love to help. Its a population that needs Pilates!

Subscribe to the Blog via Email Updates

* indicates required

Self Care for Pilates Instructors

IMG_2399.JPG

So how do you teach 6-8 or 9 hours straight? This question was recently posed to me and I thought I would add my ideas here on the blog. These techniques could be applied to any job that doesn’t have standard breaks, and in the gig economy, that applies to many of us. I should add that I am my own boss and I decide to teach these hours. I stack my schedule back to back from the hours of 6am-2pm so I can utilize my time effectively and then get home to take care of my children after school. I’m not looking for sympathy for my working hours. I understand that what I teach is my passion and an privilege, and I am not trying to say that this work schedule works for everyone, I’m just trying to share what works for me.

So…. the first tip is what you do the night before a long teaching day. I have gotten super disciplined about getting to bed. My usual waking time is 5am, so that means I try to wind down by 10pm. Sometimes 10pm is my first opportunity of the day to workout if my schedule has been stacked and my kids need me, so sometimes my workout is 5 minutes of wall or 10 minutes on the roller. I try not to skip Pilates any day of the week, but I will shorten the duration of the workout so I’m fresh to teach the next day. I also don’t drink alcohol the night before I teach. I find it disrupts my sleep and I have a hard time getting focused to teach. Finally, I will look at my schedule and make a rough plan for the next day. I don't write anything out formally, but I’ll take a few minutes to look at my semis and think what would work best for the group (for some people its the second or third workout of the week and I don’t want to repeat), and I have a small studio so sometimes I have to plan how to use the props or the space, and sometimes I’m just reviewing who is injured and making sure I’ve looked at what we did last time and making observations to see if they are progressing or showing signs of readiness for additional exercises. This mental preparation is key so I’m not caught unprepared. A client walking in you haven’t prepared for can take a lot of mental energy and I wan’t to make sure I’m conserving what I have for the entire day.

Second…I have a plan for what I’m going to eat. If I teach longer than five hours in a row, I have a smoothie at hour 3. I can drink the smoothie during transitions and I get more than water but protein and fat to keep my brain working. My smoothie is a banana, sugar-free sun butter, matcha, and greens. This is what works for me, and I’ve found over time that fruit in my smoothie gives me a sugar crash. What you may need to eat may be different, but I like getting the smoothie as a meal replacement that I can gradually drink (instead of trying to gulp down a protein bar all at once). If I have a break, I make a green tea. If I have time to eat lunch, I do a salmon salad with kale (I put salsa on top. It adds nice flavor and softens the kale). I always have snacks on hand, and eat while the clients clean if I feel brain fog coming on. My favorite snacks combine some fat with protein. I usually have dried buffalo bars, Trader Joe’s Coconut Clusters, RX Bars, chocolate covered almonds, or dried fruit on hand. I also like dried chickpeas and beat chips. I love dried seaweed, but I’ve found it’s too messy for a quick grab (and I have a bag of snacks in my car for the ride home in case I crash then).

Thirdly, water is super important. I’ve found that drinking enough water really helps prevent brain fog. I generally take a sip from my water bottle during the big transitions on Reformer (another great reason to teach your clients to do their own transitions). I have a water bottle I just tip and sip (no covers or lids to slide) so I can watch my clients do the transition after I say it. I won’t use a water bottle where I can’t keep my eyes on the clients for safety reasons.

And my last tip is…I try to stay off my phone. If a client is late or goes to the bathroom and I have a few minutes, it’s super tempting to check my phone. But that takes me out of the room, and most importantly, out of my body. If I do have the shortest of breaks, I first check in: Do I need to eat? Drink? Stretch my calves? Lay over the barrel? The phone will always be there after the session, and it can be a big energy suck, or I might get an email that will distract me from my next lesson. And I often remind myself, there is never an email emergency. People call or text in those situations so I don't need to keep checking email while I’m teaching. It’s better to do that at a separate time (and usually not when I’m with my kids either).

So there are my big tips. I hope they help. I’ve found the more disciplined I am in how I structure my time and nutrition, the better I can serve my clients. And the most important thing is that I am present and available to lead them through the best session I can give them that day. And with a little bit of planning, I can do that.

Subscribe to the Blog via Email Updates

* indicates required

New Training Offerings for 2019

oct17.JPG

Do you need CECs or are you looking to up your skills? Join one of our Continuing Education Courses. These are open to all certification programs and levels and Pilates enthusiasts. We will be offering the Prop Shop Workshop and MVe Chair Course this winter at JSP.

Are you looking to jump start your Pilates career? Then our Peak Pilates Comprehensive Level I Training is what you are searching for. This is the foundational course to the full Comprehensive Certification, and covers all beginning exercises on Mat, Reformer, Tower, Small Barrel, Ladder Barrel, High Chair, Low Chair, Power Circle, and Wall. It’s the best way to expand on your knowledge as a Pilates practitioner and take it to the next level.

Check out all the details here.

Subscribe to the Blog via Email Updates

* indicates required

How are your Resolutions Going?

So it’s February…how are your New Year’s Resolutions going?  Now is a good time to reevaluate them.  How consistent have you been?  Are you meeting your goals?  And maybe, most of all, are you set up to succeed?

If you’re not preparing your New Years Resolutions around your Tendency, you might be setting yourself up for failure.  Some people will resist internally a resolution, so it’s actually better not to have one at all.

Gretchen Rubins new book, The Four Tendencies, has been a major help in our home and lives to help us meet any goal, not just health and fitness goals.  I strongly recommend it, especially if you’re not doing well committing to your New Years Resolutions.

You can take this short online quiz to discover your tendency.  Once you know your tendency, then you can set yourself up for success so that you can meet your goal.  For example, I’m an Upholder.  That means I’m intrinsically and extrinsically motivated.  I love goals, challenges, and charts.  I give myself a gold star when I do my Pilates workout each day.  Watching the gold stars increase and grow makes me happy.  I want to workout so I can see the list of gold stars grow bigger.  I do Pilates every day (even holidays and vacations).  That’s my rule. I set up the rule so I can succeed (it has no specified amount of time, so 10 minutes counts).  That way I can meet my goal, my success pattern increases, which helps me keep doing Pilates.

That rule would not work, however, for my son, who is a Rebel.  He is the opposite of me - he is neither intrinsically or extrinsically motivated.  My husband and I are trying to encourage him to practice piano.  However, the more we encourage him, the more he resists us.  Stickers don’t work.  He needs to feel like he has the freedom to choose to practice.  So, he now chooses when he practices.  He still needs to practice each day, he just gets to choose when. That little bit of flexibility helps him to feel like he has some control over his goal, and when Rebels decide they want to do something, they can be very successful. 

So for Rebels, resolutions sometimes just don’t work.  If you’re a Rebel, like my son, they have the opposite effect.  Maybe that’s why you can’t meet your goals.  It’s not an internal fault that lies within you.  It’s better to try to match your resolution to your Tendency. 

This is the perfect book to read before you give up on your New Years Resolutions.  It’s full of great ideas how to motivate yourself or the people in your life to make healthy changes.  It’s helped all of us in my home relate to each other better.  Now I know when my son is trying to negotiate a rule, it’s just his tendency.  He’s more likely to follow the rule if I give him some control.  As an Upholder, that’s hard for me.  In my head, a rule is a rule.  But now I’ve learned that a little bit of flexibility on my part can give him some control, and then the task will be accomplished.  More peace insures, more practicing happens.  

How about you?  Do you know your tendency?  What tricks have helped you to know yourself better so you can motivate yourself to meet your goals?  And don’t forget, you can always have a Non New Years Resolution.

51-l20dxsRL._SX329_BO1,204,203,200_.jpg

Subscribe to the Blog via Email Updates

* indicates required

Pain, Pilates, and a Tool to Help

banja.JPG

One of the things I love about Pilates is how it gives us permission - permission to listen to our bodies.  I feel like when I was younger I was all about pushing myself and pushing my body to perform.  In order to do that, I had to ignore signs of fatigue and pain.  

Then I found Pilates, and my teacher would ask me questions like "Where do you feel that?"  Nobody had ever asked me that before.  As long as I was performing well, nobody cared.  Now that I've found Pilates, I use my workout time to not only improve the performance of my body, but to also check in.  It's one of the things I love about traditional Pilates that follows Joe's order.  If you repeat the order of the exercises each day, they become a barometer to check in and see how your body is doing.  The consistency acts as a guide to see how my body is feeling each day.  If the 100 is always first, then if it feels different, better, or worse, I know I need to adjust.  I need to listen.  So if I feel a twinge or a pain, it matters.  

The other thing that Pilates taught me is the difference between good pain and bad pain.  Discomfort that lasts during an exercise but goes away when I'm done?  Good.  Discomfort that lasts hours later?  Bad.  Muscle pain?  Good.  Joint pain?  Bad.

And that joint pain leads me to that little bottle above (housed in front of my manuals and research and general to-dos).

I was sent a sample of the Banja Balm by Khroma Herbal Products, so if I was working out and felt a twinge or pain, I would apply the balm to the area after I worked out.  I would massage it in and I always felt better.  So better, in fact, that applying the balm is now part of my ritual after my Pilates practice.  Usually, I workout at 8 or 9pm after the kids are in bed, so I use Pilates as a way to unwind and check in after a long day.  After my workout, I'll apply the balm, and really massage it in.  I've found it also helps relieve the over-stimulation that nighttime workouts can give me as well.  It smells super good, and is full of vegan and organic yummy ingredients.  I've been recommending it to my clients who want a sore muscle rub without camphor because some of them are adverse to the smell.  It is a little grainy, which concerned me the first time I used it, but the balm melts on contact and absorbs well.

So how about a little self-massage after your Pilates session?  Don't mind if I do.

Disclaimer:  I was given a free bottle of the Banja Balm, but all opinions expressed above are my own.

Subscribe to the Blog via Email Updates

* indicates required

All the details on our Donation Mat Class

Unknown.jpeg

Who can come?  Anyone who wants to help support hurricane relief by doing what we love - Pilates!

Where is the class being held?  The Pilates Barre Portland, 1515 SW Sunset Blvd, Portland, Or 97239.  There will be a link on their mindbody class software to register for free.  Class is limited to 15 people.

When is it?  Saturday, October 21st.  Doors open at 10am to register and donate.  Class begins at 10:30 and goes for an hour with Master Instructor Jessica Schultz.

How do I donate?  Bring a check to send in or show a copy of your donation on your cell phone or even bring an old school paper print out of your donation.

How do I get 1 Peak Pilates CEC?  Just donate, join us for class, and Jessica will send your name in.

 

Subscribe to the Blog via Email Updates

* indicates required

Donation Mat for Hurricane Relief - and get a CEC

Unknown.jpeg

Join us at The Pilates Barre Portland October 21, 2017 at 10:00am for a Donation Mat Class taught by Master Instructor Jessica Schultz.  Donate what you can.  Every dollar will be given to the American Red Cross to aid continuing hurricane relief efforts.  Any Peak instructor attending will receive 1 CEC no matter what they donate.  This class is open to the public.  Love wins!!!  Let's do this people! 

Subscribe to the Blog via Email Updates

* indicates required

Powerhouse Cues!!

100 - Imagine there are bricks on your hips, Like a statue, Like birds flapping, bouncing a ball

Roll Up - Roll a marble down your centerline, Like quicksand, melting chocolate, merging with the floor, like a gear

One Leg Circle - Balance a glass on your hips, strong like a tree, pelvis nailed to the mat

RLAB - Tuck your pelvis and roll like a doodlebug, Like a rocking horse, make a fruit wedge

SLS - Knee to nose, Steady as a rock, like a mountain, steady and unchanging, anchor into the mat

DLS - Hold a pencil in your inner thighs, Body is anchor, extremities are sails, body is like concrete, whoosh sound while rowing arms

Scissors - Mat is mud to sink into, root spine, legs are branches, legs cut through fabric

Lower and Lift - Lower like an elevator, steady foundation as elevator rises

Criss Cross - Twist like a pretzel, wring out lungs, folding origami, twist doorknob, dog-ear a book, gaze out lighthouse beacon, twist tie

Spine Stretch Forward - Scoop ice cream out away from yourself, someone pulling you with a rope, pull your sticker-self off the wall, fiddle-head fern, articulate spine like a wave

Saw - Move upper body like an owl's head, sawing body through PH, twist like a cinnamon roll and lick the frosting, cutting like a knife

Swan I/Neck Roll - Smell the cookies in front of you, pushing a marble

Rest Position - Like a hollow log

Shoulder Bridge Prep - Roll spine like train cars, like rain drops falling one after another, feeling each vertebra, rusty door hinge

SK:  Front and Back - Torso between two walls/Nail through hips, Leg like a pendulum 

SK:  Up and Down - Pull your toe down through wet sand, Closing legs like a fan, pushing down through mud

SK:  Inner Thigh Lifts and Circles:  Balance a teacup on ankle, Drawing circles on the wall with heel, draw a donut or pizza

Seal:  Be a hedgehog, Applause with your feet

Standing Roll Down:  Balance soccer ball on the back of your neck, Hold like the space before thunder, snaking under a door

Check out more Powerhouse Cues here

Subscribe to the Blog via Email Updates

* indicates required

Foam Roller Workshop

Did you miss our Foam Roller Workshop last year?  Only $100 if you BYOR.  Check out the details in our latest newsletter.

Subscribe to the Blog via Email Updates

* indicates required

Stretches and Strengthening Exercises for Feet and Ankles

I made this video for a client of mine who recently sprained her ankle, and thought I would post it here as well.  It's a great series of exercises to do to strengthen your ankles for dance or sports conditioning, or if you've been wearing too many heels this holiday season!  Because ankle and foot flexibility play a key role in allowing the knee to move in a healthy range of motion, these exercises can also help with knee pain.  I recommend doing this set of exercises daily (if you're a runner or a dancer, do them before you move).

  

Subscribe to the Blog via Email Updates

* indicates required

How to Eat Like a Pilates Teacher

 

So this is not a post on how to loose weight, or what Pilates teachers eat.  It's a post for all the Pilates teachers out there who don't eat.  I usually teach at least five hours in a row, and don't have time to eat.  Literally.  And that's not ok.  And while my go-to lunch is a salmon salad with kale (just let the kale sit with basalmic and it softens up just fine, thank you, no need to massage the kale - hey, why should my kale get more massages than me?), there are days I bring my salad home uneaten.  Not ok.  I can't get up at 5am and then be home at 3pm and not eat.  So one of my mentors, Pamela Garcia, gave me a great tip that I want to share with you:  Eat while the clients clean the equipment.  They really don't need you to direct them while they do that.  It's ok.  The trick is to have food you can quickly grab a few bites of, so it has to be eaten out of hand and not too messy.  Fruit works - apples or oranges are good (you just have to pre-slice them like you're in preschool. I find an apple or orange eaten whole is too messy).  Trail mix is good.  I like the mix of good fats and protein.  You can buy it, which gets expensive, or make it yourself.  Tanka Bites are a great source of protein and not too messy (some jerky gets a bit greasy).  And you can always go with a bar.  I recently tried the Sunwarrior Sol Good Bars, and I liked them.  They were easy to break into pieces to eat quickly, had ingredients I could pronounce, and use plant protein.  I found them filling without being too sweet.  My favorite was the blueberry, which had actual blueberries in it!  So Pilates instructors, make sure you take care of yourself.  It was one of my New Years Resolutions last year (along with Use the Bathroom When you Need To.  No, Seriously, Use the Bathroom When you Need To.).  Sometimes the simplest change is the best.  Practice self-care this year.

**Please understand that I am not suggesting that the above ideas are substitutes for a healthy balanced lunch.  They are simply suggestions as to what you can eat to keep your energy up without a lunch break.  I still eat that salad as soon as I can.  

Subscribe to the Blog via Email Updates

* indicates required

How to Drop a Few

My clients often ask me how to drop a few pounds right before a big event, and I've found a simple formula that works, so I'd love to share it with you today.  It's perfect before a big event like a wedding or reunion.

So my secret is simple (Don't you like simple?  No books to buy or complicated lists of "yes" and "no" foods).  Only eat foods that start with a "S" - smoothie, salad, and simple super.

Check out my Mama Morning Shake Recipie to see what I put in my morning smoothie.  I've been digging this protein powder lately.  It has no added sugar, and doesn't have such a "protein powder" taste that I can't taste the fruits and veggies.  I want my smoothie to taste like food, not like chalk.

For lunch, have a salad.  I'm a protein girl, so I usually have salmon on mine, but you could do hard boiled eggs, chicken, or keep it vegan. 

A "simple supper" for me is meat and unlimited vegetables.  Namely, try to avoid carbs late in the day.  Learn how yummy and filling fruit can be.  Add rice or quinoa if you still feel hungry, but add vegetables before that.

And that's it.  Here's why I love this plan:  It's simple, you can repeat it without thinking (sometimes my leftover dinner meat is my salad for the next day), and you can customize it to your budget.  I love a cleanse as much as the next girl, but sometimes those get ridiculously expensive.  Flexibility for me is key - make it vegan, make it organic, make it local, whatever works for you.  Just eat the 3 "S"s!**

 

Subscribe to the Blog via Email Updates

* indicates required

Stretches for Back Pain Relief

Here are a few of my favorite stretches to help alleviate back pain. 

These are not Pilates exercises, but stretches that can be performed 2-3 times a day to help stretch and strengthen your lower back.  If you have back pain that is acute or has not been diagnosed, please check with your doctor before adding in this stretch series.

 

Subscribe to the Blog via Email Updates

* indicates required

Powerhouse Cues

Here are some more cues for instructors:

100 - reach arms and legs like you're grabbing fruit from a tree, pump arms like a bouncy ball

Roll Up - zip up your zipper as you roll down

OLC - Don't rock the boat, balance a cup of tea on your pelvis

RLAB - curl and look in as you hug a bowling ball into your belly

SLS - wrap your seat, hug your cheeks

DLS - power thru your heels like you're hitting the brakes

SSF - reach up and over like a candy cane, get punched in your belly, round over a beach ball

Saw - wring out the washcloth

Side Kicks:  Front - swing your like a pendulum

Side Kicks:  Side - lift like a can-can, lower like a feather

Side Kicks:  Inner Thigh - don't spill your favorite drink on your foot

Seal - Be the ball

Need more?  Find more cues here

Subscribe to the Blog via Email Updates

* indicates required

Chair and Barrel CEC Workshop

Want to advance your Pilates practice in the new year?  Keep your certification current?  Lean 73 exercises and how to integrate them into a session?  Check out our latest Instructor Newsletter to learn more about our Workshop January 30-31st.

Subscribe to the Blog via Email Updates

* indicates required

Mat Trainings Added to Schedule

Check out our newest Teacher Newsletter with details on how to learn the Basic and/or Intermediate Mat work!

Fall 2015 Teacher Training Newsletter

Subscribe to the Blog via Email Updates

* indicates required

The Top Three Reasons to Choose the Peak Pilates Training Program

I often get asked what makes Peak Pilates unique.  After years of owning my own studio and hiring teachers of many different backgrounds, here is what I can say for sure. 

1.  We teach Pilates by honoring the past

Peak Pilates teaches Pilates as a movement system, honoring the work of Joseph Pilates.  We don't feel his work needs to be changed, but we work hard to understand it in today's language with some minor adjustments to reflect the advancements of science and what we know about the body and mind.  You certainly wouldn't want a doctor with medical knowledge limited to the last century.  So as a Pilates instructor, it's important to understand advancements that have been backed up by science so that you have the latest knowledge to safely teach your clients and help them meet their workout goals.

2.  It's all included.

At Peak Pilates, our training is integrated.  After successful completion of PPC-I, you will know all the beginning exercises on Mat, Reformer, Cadillac/Tower, Chair, Small Barrel, Ladder Barrel, and Power Circle.  You will not pay additional money to assess.  You will pay for the four modules and material fees (and shipping).  That's it.  You will understand how to modify exercises to keep people safe with general back, knee, wrist, ankle, shoulder or neck problems, as well as how to modify a class for a healthy older client.  Everything to understand the system is included.  You don't need pre-anatomy courses.  Anatomy is included. 

3.  We teach not just WHAT to teach, but HOW to teach. 

There are a number of reputable companies that can teach you what the 100 is, but at Peak we teach you how to teach your clients to perform the 100.  That means how to spot, how to communicate, how to use imagery and touch...all the amazing things that will set you apart as a Pilates instructor.  Our Five-Part Formula for Success is unique in that it sets up people who have little to no teaching experience to achieve excellent results. Even if you have taught before, the Five-Part Formula will expand and deepen your teaching skills.

Without this system unique to Peak, it's easy for beginning instructors to get overwhelmed.  Imagine, you've spent thousands of dollars and hundreds of hours taking exercises apart and discussing the nuances of movement.  So what do you do when you get that first new client in front of you?  If you share everything you know about an exercise, they will very quickly be overwhelmed.  How do you know what to say and when to say it?  How do you cue a body in motion to stay in motion without music?  How do you safely progress clients?  As a graduate of a Peak Pilates training program, you will know how to do all these things.  And because you have this knowledge, you will stand out, and you will get excellent results.

So start your Pilates journey will all the information necessary to succeed -  check out our latest trainings and get started today!

Subscribe to the Blog via Email Updates

* indicates required

Why I Won't Let you Berate Your Body at JSP

After I had my first child, my husband banished me from using the words "muffin top."  And I thought, "Why can't I say muffin top?  I have one!  Can't you see it?  I hate my muffin top!"  But I am at heart a rule follower, so I did what he said and stopped using that phrase.  And you know what?  My muffin top didn't disappear overnight.  It took months of Pilates (thank you Ab 5s and Side Sit Ups on the Reformer!) and focused eating.  But by just stopping the negative self-talk, I think I made a significant change in my head for the better, which helped me work out in a more focused way.

And that's the reason I think negative talk just doesn't work.  Sure, we all have conversations with ourselves in front of a mirror - I hate this, I hate that.  But I don't think those conversations inspire us to change.  I think they actually hurt our ability to change, because if you are so intrinsically flawed, why would you try?  If the part of your waist that meets your jeans after having a baby (or just a few too many not-so-great food choices, or a hard genetic hand) makes you rename it something hideous, doesn't that take away your power to own your body?  You've just separated yourself from a part of you that, like it or not, has carried you and helped you move (and yes, maybe expanded a bit from time to time).  But it's not a muffin top, it's your waist.  And your waist isn't even your waist (that's for another post).  Your waist is an invention of the fashion industry to sell pants.  You don't have a waist bone.  You don't have a waist muscle.  You have many muscles that connect your pelvis to your torso, so don't oversimplify the wonderful machine that is your body into one part you dislike. 

I've written a lot about mantras here, so I'm a deep believer in self-talk.  How we talk to our bodies, even in our heads, is important.  And I'm sure as anything not going to be that Pilates teacher that tries to make you feel bad about your body to workout.  Not only because it isn't kind, but because I don't think it helps.  Do you really think you'll go deeper into your Powerhouse by renaming it after a high-fat pastry?  No, you'll disconnect from it more.  But a little bit of self-love goes a long way, especially when you're sitting on top of the Short Box in front of a mirror and see your thighs squoosh out to the sides.  Yes, I've finally written about the Pilates exercise we all hate to see ourselves do. 

So, here are your two choices: 

1.  Wow, I hate my thighs.  Look at how big they are.  I shouldn't have eaten/drank that. 

2.  Hmm.  I think I'm losing my seat.  Maybe I should pinch/perch. 

Guess what?  Number 2 is always the better choice (because it works!)  Through the eyes of a skilled teacher, none of our bodies are flawed.  They are just still evolving.  And we need to be that guide for ourselves, too.  See something that's not right?  You probably need to change how you are performing the exercise, not how your body is put together. 

So, that's why I don't want to hear about how much you hate your butt, or your thighs, or arms.  Sure, we all want to grow and change and shape our bodies, but let's choose the path of least resistance, shall we? It's simple, just correct to the positive.

.

Subscribe to the Blog via Email Updates

* indicates required