practice

Winter is coming!

 

In my city of Edmonton, Alberta,  the leaves have fallen which means but one thing - Winter is coming! For a long time. 

Pilates and the practice of pilates remind me of what it is like to experience the different seasons. There is a time where the new student will be on the reformer and mat for what seems like forever, but, there will come a time where exercises from the other apparatus will be introduced to the body. Like the changing seasons, if we truly utilize ALL of Joe’s system the body will also experience change and new growth.

Completing THE WORK Teacher’s Program with Jay Grimes has shown me that in order for the body to truly come back into harmony with itself, meaning all parts working uniformly the work of Joseph Pilates must be practiced in its entirety.

How lucky am I to know the work of Joseph Pilates, as it was taught to me from the perspective of Jay Grimes and the teachers at VINTAGE PILATES, but even more grateful now with the knowledge and understanding that I must trust the method, choose from his system wisely, and spring will surely follow. 

I dedicate this blog post to my beautiful Kuwaiti friend Noor who kept me going this past year.

Love you my dear pilates sister (and #GOT superfan)

OX

Carmen

 

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Patience is a virtue.

As a teacher of a particular physical fitness regime such as Pilates, I see many people come into it with a mindset that Pilates will be the “quick fix.” I have wonder what it is that gives someone this impression? We don't need to look to far! We live a society where quick, easy and minimal effort seems like the norm. 

Take social media for example. It presents us with this idea that to “look good” at something, one needs only a kick-butt social media campaign, savvy filter apps, and some cute slogan. Suddenly that person is at the top of the chart, looking like it. And that image that society is given is what I believe drives people to come to me and say they want to look like this, be like this, have a body like this. However, after ten sessions with pilates, a person will usually see that perhaps the learning of Pilates is going to take a bit more time. 

It takes a long time to change our body.  Let’s face it! Some of us want to change a body of 40 plus years. Well, news flash! We didn’t develop a sore back, a weakened core, and our body imbalances overnight! We don’t usually hire a trainer, seek out the physiotherapist, and visit the doctor’s office when we are on a body-winning streak. We have problems! And it’s going to take some time, probably a lot of time, to work through these problems. 

I believe the practice of Pilates will bring change and balance back into the body in time, but it does require both patience and time for that to happen. So the next time we want to be instantly good at something, we might want to consider how long it took us to get really bad or in need of a tune up in the first place. 

With practice and patience comes change. There are no quick “instant fixes’ for our bodies; otherwise, why would we even be given a body and mind to learn how to change. We’d be perfect, and I’d be out of a job. 

- Keep moving

Carmen Lanteigne.

My first teacher training program circa 2003  

My first teacher training program circa 2003 

The Work: What is it really worth to me?

This April I made my way back to LA to study the mat portion with my mentor, first-generation teacher Jay Grimes, and owner Sandy Shimoda of Vintage Pilates in the graduate program THE WORK. In January I completed the reformer portion of the program. To say I was “matified” before I even left for my training is an understatement! I had practised my mat to the point that it came almost without thinking. We were all well prepared so our time was not wasted worrying about order, choreography, and repetitions. Instead, we were able to receive those subtle corrections from Jay and the other teachers that would fine tune our pilates during the lessons.

Jay has us practising how Joseph Pilates trained his students. Like the good old days of Joe, there is no time for hand holding, or coddling. You just do the work. You practise regularly, and when a correction is given, you’re able to hear it, assimilate the information, and make a change.

I am learning as a teacher that I must let my students practise too, which means allowing them to be responsible for their own practice while in the studio and at home. Don’t get me wrong! I still catch myself being the enabler, control freak, and know it all, but as I grow deeper in the work I am starting to sit back and let the students experience their pilates. It’s not my job to entertain, hand hold, or do the work for them. Instead, I am learning what Jay Grimes means when he says, “To know pilates you must do pilates. There are no short cuts.” I need to get out of the way, let the students experience the movements, and learn for themselves how to control their own bodies. 

A good practitioner of pilates will have a consistent practice, an open mind, and loads of patience. I cannot force or coerce pilates into myself or my students for that matter. Instead, as a practitioner of pilates, our thoughts or preconceived notions of what a movement is "suppose to feel like" will eventually melt away and intuitively we’ll begin to know just what is needed from the body in that moment.

Doing the THE WORK has been such an amazing journey for me so far. It has opened my mind, transformed my practice, and most importantly taught me to trust my body. I will not break, nor falter, but I may go to places I didn’t know I was capable of going to. Thanks Joseph Pilates for believing in me!

Keep practising.

Carmen Lanteigne

The Work Program with Jay Grimes 2017

The Work Program with Jay Grimes 2017