Progressive Bodyworks | Pilates Mastery with Clare Dunphy

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Pilates Enthusiastic People!

November 8, 2014

 I'd like to announce and recommend a unique must-have for all Pilates enthusiasts!  

A sleek, modern take on the classic Japanese calligraphy scroll with photos of all of the original mat exercises from "Return to Life" by Joseph Hubertus Pilates. 

JOE'S ORIGINAL MAT ART POSTER, €89.90 

Complete your daily Pilates workout - at home or on the go - with the support of these beautiful and informative images showing each exercise. 

The clear design of the poster makes following along and even progressing simple. The exercises are presented in 4 levels: 

Beginner exercises are marked with an asterisk (*), start with these! 

We recommend that you start with the first 3 Beginner level exercises. Then each week, add 2-3 more exercises to your repertoire. In only a few short weeks, you will be able to do all of Joe's Original Mat! 

For best results, find a classical Pilates trainer in your area. Discover why the Method has inspired people world-wide for 100 years. 

You will learn not only the details of these exercises, their proper execution and how they can best benefit and challenge your body, but also Joe's Principles: Control, Concentration, Centering, Breath, Precision, and constant Flow of motion. 

Print: Two-sided, fine photo printing 

Material: BlockOut fabric, finished with hemstitch, aluminum tube, and hanging cord 

Dimensions: approx 40 cm x H 155 cm 

Order today for the holidays todress up your studio, pass on information to clients.  It makes the perfect gift for the home practitioner or for travelling.  The scroll rolls up and fits into any carry on so it can travel with you wherever you go.

Purchase at:  http://www.senso-studio.de,

"This scroll is a work of art and my students find it quite helpful!" -Clare Dunphy Hemani

Filed under:

Getting into the Zone

March 10, 2014

How do you get into the zone during your workouts? How do keep yourself true to the discipline of clean transitions, advancing your own practice and challenging your own personal ideal? Where do you give yourself slack?  One of the things I have learned over and over again in the years of my teaching is that the commitment to my own practice is directly related to the quality of my teaching.  When I keep my practice strong I find myself so much more engaged, focused, excited and energized not only in my teaching, but also in my daily life.  I realized early on the more I personally do Pilates, the more I have to share about it.  Romana once told me that if I stay true to the method, the method would reveal itself and stay true to me.  What did she mean by that? 

For me, it is simply a matter of working with three important factors.  First, I intentionally work full out every time I practice.  This means to go for quality and not to skimp when I don’t feel like it.  I challenge my personal best by maintaining awareness of extraneous movements and by focusing on precision and movement quality, reaching for the goal of the exercise.  By working with a balance of tempo and control with squeaky-clean transitions, a new world of discovery opens up for the one-hour I give myself.  I know the places in the workout where I have choices to include a variation or perhaps omit something, making instantaneous decisions about how and why to do so; always mindful of where I am going next.  I notice the nuances occurring in the moment and work get the feeling or purpose of the exercise starting with the first repetition and then carry it through to resolution in as few repetitions as possible.  Sounds like a tall order, but that is what goes on in my head.  Experience has taught me that by going deeper in my personal practice, gems of insight are a joyful reward.  

The second factor, which reliably draws me into the zone, is to breathe as full and deep as I can right from the first exercise, whether it is on the mat or reformer.  This works like a charm to clear my mind and begin the flow of the session.  I get in tune with the reformer springs and listen to my breath in time with the sound of the springs working with the movement. I can hear the quality of movement by the sounds I hear.  Immediately aware of tension or sluggishness in my body through the breath, I can control the way I feel.  Bad mood, good mood it doesn’t matter; after a few good oxygenated breaths in timing with the movement I am on my way to the zone.  Early connection with full breathing also creates a deeper powerhouse connection and helps set the rhythm for the entire session.

The third factor that keeps me on point is to keep the workout fresh, fun and varied.  Some of this is a matter of session design.  Will today’s workout be on the reformer, reformer mat, reformer on the cadillac, or will it be on the chair and barrels?  What kind of fun can I create for myself in this one hour of playtime?  What discoveries can I make?  How can I make this hour really matter to add value to my day? What can I do in this workout to make it feel worthwhile?  So a combination of what I bring to the experience is as important as it is deciding what workout design I choose.

Challenging my ideal for that particular day continues to mean honoring my body and at the same time reaching for my edge.  When I expect the best from myself, I feel confident asking the same from my clients.  We are role models for our clients and when our energy is bright and clear, our clients pick up on that and are uplifted as a result.  Energy begets energy.  Pilates is a practice, not a performance and there are always places I can improve.  That for me is part of the ongoing discovery into self-mastery that captured my imagination when I first began Pilates and what keeps me coming back for more.

Filed under: Movement Matters

Catch the Spirit

December 10, 2013

Early this fall, I was introduced (thanks Kathy Ross- Nash)  to a woman who is a real blessing in the Pilates community. Her work is creating history by documenting the teaching of classical Pilates through many talented teachers. I am excited 

to introduce Alisa Wyatt, founder of Pilatesology.com.  Alisa and I share a common philosophy in our mission to help people Age Strong with Pilates and I am thrilled to have the opportunity to share the filming of my first few classes WHICH ARE BEING RELEASED TODAY!   On the birthday anniversary of Joe Pilates!

Happy Birthday Joe, this one is for you and for all the students and teachers who inspire me. Sharing the love of Pilates is an honor, privedge and joy!

I hope you enjoy my classes and the other fabulous teachers on the website. Happy Holidays and a Healthy New Year!  We are all connected to Joe in one way or another and our lineage brings us into the future as one family.  

In the interview below, Alisa takes us through the backstory of Pilatesology, sharing history and future aspirations for her work.

What was the genesis of Pilatesology? 

Alisa:  My Pilates journey began as a student who fell in love with the method so deeply I knew I wanted to take a teacher training program before I had even taken my first real lesson. I was there for all kinds of personal reasons and was lucky to begin in 1997 with Romana and her incredible team of teachers whose passion for Joe's original work was contagious.

Over the course of my apprenticeship with Romana I met and learned from people who made deep impressions on me including her daughter Sari Mejia Santo and Bob Liekens. I also got to work out with and observe others who were destined to be the next generation to carry on the work like Kathryn Ross Nash (who I will never forget gave me a brilliant tip on an exercise I was practicing while she was waiting for a workout with Romana), Brooke Siler (whose first book I relied on as much as my own notes), Moses Urbano (who lit up the studio with his fun and warmth), Brett Howard (who gave me my first lesson), Mari Winsor, Dorothee Vandewalle, Juanita Lopez, Cynthia Lochard, an amazing trio that Romana taught every week with Jerome Weinberg, Peter Fiasca and Tiziana Trovati (Tiziana earned the nickname 'Mighty Mouse' in this trio because, despite her tiny stature, she performed all the same exercises as the men with absolute ease) and so many more in my own seminar group. I took regular lessons at Alycea Ungaro's studio where I met more amazing instructors and when I was finished with teacher training I felt I had just begun learning so I quit my corporate job and started teaching.

The first mat class I taught, I took over from Jennifer Kries who was leaving the local gym in my NYC neighborhood to open her own studio. I continued taking lessons with Romana, Sari and Bob and found another student of Joe Pilates: Kathy Grant, who I went to twice a week at her studio at NYU and got to experience her wonderful assistant Blossom Leilani Crawford there. I've attended countless workshops and conferences and could write pages of names of teachers who inspire me and that is exactly how Pilatesology came into being. I've always been a connector; if I like someone or something, I want others to know about it (my corporate job was as a book Publicist) and Pilatesology is a means of bringing this method to the world.

My husband Jack is a photographer and we had been making videos for my clients to travel with when a tech-y friend of his told us we should be putting the videos on the internet. That seemed way over our heads until I reconnected with college friends who had just started Pilates Anytime. I loved what they were doing and envisioned a more specific site, focused on preserving and spreading the original method through workouts that regular people can enjoy and instructional videos for pros. Even our name is intended to recall the original work that Joe Pilates called Contrology.

What draws people to Pilatesology.com?

Alisa: What are they really excited about?
I think when people experience the depth of the work in the original Pilates style of teaching it's almost impossible to resist. Pilates might attract people initially because of how they want to look but they stay because of how it makes them feel, which is strong, powerful, flexible, in-control, and calm. Personally, I'm excited about preserving the classical method for future generations.

What makes Pilatesology unique?
I made a decision early on to limit our teachers to those who were either trained by Joe Pilates himself (ie. Jay Grimes) or  trained by Joe's protege, Romana Kryzanowska. There were many reasons behind this decision. I wished someone had recorded more of Joe and Romana teaching and realized we have an opportunity to create a living record, and I wanted to distinguish the work that I learned from Romana and pass it on in a form that is close to it's source. It's the basis of the method for me, like when you want to become a dancer, you study classical ballet in order to have the technical ability to be a modern dancer. We are inviting people in and trying to uphold the mission of the original work, to keep the original work alive and to make it accessible at the same time.

How do we reach people and develop a passion that is unstoppable?


Alisa:  Once people get bit by the Pilates bug, they can't stop. Aging strong is a huge topic, particularly preventing injury and overuse commonly occuring in media-hyped trendy training methods that beat the body up, instead of building the body up. The less anyone has to work out the more we can enjoy a great life. With wellness and health so big in our national interests it's a great time to refocus on wellness. It's not about putting on a Pilates 'suit' so that you 'look like you do Pilates' you actually want to get the deep strength that Pilates provides!  The discipline, the depth, the strength makes you feeI complete. 

It's a lifestyle choice that you make because it's a good way to live (like brushing your teeth) and creates a basis that makes the rest of your life easy. In a conversation we had, Clare made a comment that was absolutely on target. She said that people discipline their kids but often not themselves. When you come to Pilates you do it a certain way and you get to feel proud when you get it right.  it's thoughtful, disciplined, feeds your body, mind AND spirit because it requires you to be engaged! This is a huge appeal, it's not haphazard, it leads to a fulfilling method.

There's nothing wrong with starting because you want a tighter butt or flatter abs because in the end, you're going to end up with stronger character and that's far more enduring than how your jeans fit on any given day.

What is in the future for Pilatesology?

Alisa:  We are growing like crazy and as our classes and members become more diverse, our challenge is to make it easy to find what you're looking for within our site. We have more than 350 videos with 3 new ones added each week so beyond continuing to record the highest quality workouts and instructional videos for teachers we want to help people find answers to individual questions through weekly live 'office hours' with our teachers, live feeds of classes, and more.

What a great way to honor the birthday of Joe Pilates!

Filed under: Business Matters,Lifestyle Matters

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