Progressive Bodyworks | Pilates Mastery with Clare Dunphy


Showing posts categorized as “lifestyle matters.”

Cracking The Code

April 2, 2019

​​​​​​​​​​​​​​Cracking the Code
by Clare Dunphy Hemani

Over the years, I’ve come to appreciate Pilates as a lifestyle choice – providing an opportunity to meet ourselves in the moment and reconnect with our inner energy, life force and commitment to our well-being. And I find that difficult to explain or describe what it is and how it feels to me. I hope this article captures the feeling and give some thoughts on how to lead our students into the space where they can share that experience.


Here’s a simplified way I have found helpful to break it down. Start with the groundwork by always building our sessions from a simple foundation –the ABCs of all good movement: Alignment, Breathing, and Conscious Awareness (movement with purpose). Then weave those qualities into each session with a balance of fun, humor and discipline. I like to view Pilates as a form of recreation or “re-creation”. A time to re-create ourselves and get a break from the routine stressors of our lives. I strongly believe that it’s through re-creation that we keep our inner spark alive. I also like to capitalize on spontaneous moments that might trigger a laugh, a flash of inspiration, or an ah-ha experience and not let them whoosh by.


Regardless of your teaching experience or background, helping others keep their SPARK. alive and thriving, attracts them back to you and to their Pilates. Because at the end of the day, we can’t really “teach” anyone Pilates, we can only guide them to finding it (and the rest of the goodies that come with it) for themselves. And once they “get” it, they’re usually hooked for life. Here’s what SPARK means to me.


S: Self-discovery (being inspired, taking risks, trying new things)

P: Passion (igniting the imagination, awakening the senses)

A: Accountability (taking responsibility for one’s health in body, mind & spirit)

R: Recreate (keeping fitness fun, fulfilling and playful)

K: Karma (keeping ourselves fit and healthy to have more to give back to our family, friends, community and work)

Did you know that many studies suggest that more than 60% of communication is conveyed not by our words, but by our tone of voice and body language? This means our non-verbal communication is very powerful! Our body language, facial expression and intention (all offered with positive cueing, being in the present moment, and capitalizing on opportunities) can turn a regular moment into a magical moment. Hold the possibility open for clients to do their best each day, to reach just a little further than they thought they could. Hold the belief that they can do it and never allow negativity, self-doubt or the word “can’t” to be part of the experience.


Come with me on a short alpine experience….

Imagine we’re skiing down a mountain in a ski lesson. We both agree that our goal is to go down to the bottom, right? Our ski teacher explains that we must lean into the place we’re going (which is down the mountain) and not to lean away from where we want to go. That’s logical, right? Yet it can be scary to lean down the mountain, it feel counter-intuitive. It requires us to trust ourselves, our equipment, our teacher and often to take the risk try something new and different. It’s not that we don’t want to, it’s just that our minds can get in the way. We might feel fearful of the unknown and yet it’s hard for us to understand that on the other side of fear is well… often nothing horrible, maybe something wonderful. It’s about our mind set. So actually, the most valuable real estate in the world is the 6 inches between our ears! We aren’t our own worst enemy, we are our only enemy and far too often we are really hard on ourselves. When we recognize this is true for most people, then we can be that positive voice for our clients until they adopt that positivity and own it for themselves.

Supportive and encouraging words go far to create a bond with our students. Be that person. Step into the shoes that set you apart. Be clear and confident to express how Pilates feels in your body and about the positive experience, feeling and end result we experience. Be in the moment, be present enough to check in with the individual or class and regroup when needed to pull it all back together. From time to time, we all need to be pulled back to our center, our midline, our rhythm and flow, so we aren’t flailing about but in dynamic flow…in freedom of movement, with the musicality of the movement, without fighting the apparatus or gravity. The feeling of being in the life flow, in the life rhythm, and in the breath is exhilarating and powerful and it’s here for all of us. And the best part about our relationship with Pilates is that is can always grow, expand and deepen. I hope your Pilates journey reveals the wonders of the work to you.

Thanks for letting me share

Filed under: Lifestyle Matters

Preview The Intermediate 3 Mat!

October 31, 2018

Well, as you head into Intermediate III Mat, you may want to remind yourself that refinement and transitions are all-important at this point. You’ve nailed the basics, but don’t let familiarity create sloppiness.  Siix new exercises are added from the previous level whcih allow you to come to your edge with precision and accuracy. Devise new ways to stay engaged and focused and create your own Pilates alchemy as you reach for the moon. Stay present in your body and mind the rest will follow! You really are a pioneer you know!


Filed under: Lifestyle Matters,Movement Matters,Pilates Avatar

Intermediate 3 Reformer Preview

October 8, 2018

Clear, professionally recorded audio instructions are well-paced so you can easily follow along and learn how to correctly work from day one. Practice at home, on the road, or at your favorite Pilates studio, maybe even as part of a full Pilates equipment workout. You can fit in a quick session almost everyday and be on your way to a stronger, leaner, healthier you.

Filed under: Lifestyle Matters,Movement Matters,Pilates Avatar

Learning Labs #1

October 3, 2018

Learning Labs #1 is a 15-hour course for produced by Going More Joe and it's created for contemporary trained teachers who are curious about the classical work.  Check out this brief trailer followed by what others are saying.  Personally, I enjoyed the experience and I'm glad we captured it as an online learning tool.  We'll have more live online experiences coming soon.  Contact Me to find out more:)  

Participating in Learning Labs #1 was a great experience for me. Clare Dunphy is an exceptionally knowledgeable individual and is a genius when it comes to teaching the classical methodology of Pilates. I found her style to be absolutely creative and captivating with natural ability throughout all the parts of Learning Labs 1. Clare talked about her experiences and training with Romana and she shared the sentence, “Stay true to the system will stay true to you.” I loved hearing about her memories. So many people have been fortunate to study with Romana and share her nuggets of wisdom. Clare is definitely one of them. During the five-three hour sessions there was not a pause or hesitation in both verbal and visual exchange of knowledge. She positioned her laptop and moved it with such natural ease. It was almost as if it were part of her and the viewers never missed a single second of instruction. What Clare did with her laptop was exactly what she was teaching us to do, to keep moving and making adjustments while in movement. Clare talked about the classical philosophy of Pilates, why there is an order to the mat and reformer exercises, and how it operates. I loved her clear and concise flip chart and how she broke down the beginner reformer exercises and then wove them into the intermediate level.  For me personally, it validated my trading with Mary Pilates. Clare pointed out some common teaching mistakes. It made me aware of one of my teaching habits, like over-cueing breathing, which was something left over from my comprehensive contemporary training and I didn’t realize it until I took this workshop.  

Thank you to Clare Dunphy and Sunni Almond for giving me this opportunity to study, learn, grow and participate in  this extraordinary series of workshops via Zoom!!!!!

Francene Perel

As a Contemporary trained teacher, with some Classical influence, I found Clare's Learning Labs #1 incredibly useful. Clare teaches in a very straight forward way and is not judgmental at all. Instead she is interested in people and the differences in training.  

The workshops have helped me both in my teaching and personal practise. My clients and body have really noticed the difference. I have been equipped with more understanding of the Classical order and have gained some invaluable teaching tips. There is a lot to take in and it has been useful to be able to dip in and out of the workshop videos.

I am interested in learning more and hopefully will continue on this journey. I certainly recommend it to anyone interested in delving into Classical Pilates.

Zoë xx

Filed under: Lifestyle Matters,Movement Matters

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