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Seattle and Martha Eddy

“It was great to see Dr. Martha Eddy in Seattle this summer. Her program, Dynamic Embodiment, which I took over 6 years ago, really changed the way I was teaching and even living. I am still – and will always be – processing the learning from Martha and her faculty.
Taking a week to move the universe within me through her Body Mind Dancing teachings (one of many teachings), was my idea of restoration for this summer. I was very excited at feeling the blood in my bones for the first time so clearly. It felt strong, and resilient; “juicy bones” is what Martha calls them. Every system of the body has a role to play. Both the form and function give specific qualities to each system that can be named. Moving with specific qualities can help us embody specific systems. For myself, moving from my bones after spending so much time moving with the qualities of several of the body fluids made the obvious connection to “juicy bones”.
I also enjoyed the work on the adrenals and stimulus. We were asked to evaluate our interpretations and given the option to re-frame the stimulus in our perceptions. It reminded me of my studies in chronic pain. The mind has tremendous power over our bodies for better or for worse. Consciously, we can always improve things for ourselves. When the threat to our lives is gone and we are still reacting to stimulus, we can examine the stimulus and re-frame it in a non threatening way. It is great to work on this while moving because the mind and body work together to discover ourselves and our potential to ultimately be better people.
The somatic work and especially the experience that Martha and her colleagues provide, has helped clarify my most important daily exercise; to move my truth with consciousness and with my whole self. – Danielle McCulloch

Feedback on Danielle’s Somatic Shoulder Girdle Workshop

This workshop for me was WONDERFUL! It was comprehensive and detailed,
yet interesting and practical, allowing me to explore and learn
everything that encompasses my shoulder girdle by touching, feeling,
asking, listening, watching.

I spend about 7 hours altogether sitting in front of a computer almost
every day. I also love playing tennis and try to do so 3-4 times a
week. Needless to say, my shoulders / neck / back suffer a great deal.

Danielle’s workshop allowed me to understand and gave me more
awareness about my entire girdle. I came out with a couple of
movements that I have now incorporated into my regular warm-up before
tennis and stretching afterwards, and do also throughout the day while
I take breaks from the computer.

In addition, I now give more importance and have a different focus on my breathing and posture, and feel I have a better understanding of certain cues when doing pilates, taking a reformer or a chair class, and during regular walking and sitting activities.

Thank you, Danielle!!!!

Rebecca Lau, Studio Client

The Movement Studio is excited to be hosting Trish Kazun this Fall for a workshop on Gait and Running Injury Free. Trish is a physiotherapist at Envision Physiotherapy here in Vancouver and an expert on gait.

The Importance of Running Technique, by Trish Kazun

As some one who didn’t run for years because “I have bad knees”, I can state firsthand that that is a lousy excuse. Once I became a physiotherapist and started learning about the biomechanics of movement, I realized that it wasn’t that I had bad knees…it was that I had bad technique. The following is a discussion of some of the common problems that give people shin splints, knee pain, Achilles tendon problems, etc (the list is endless!) when they run. read more….. http://envisionphysio.com/blog/category/running/

Why take our Teacher Training program?

picThe faculty of the Movement Studio Teacher Training Program are educated from a number of different Pilates styles as well as other movement modalities. Our goal is to foster the development of confident, creative Pilates teachers by introducing somatic applications to enhance the Pilates method. Extra time is taken to focus on techniques, for observation skills, verbal cuing, program design and problem solving.

We do not give set orders of repertoire to memorize and execute. We teach you how to develop programs yourself. We include accomplished guest instructors to cover pathologies and embodiment in teaching. Our program requires hard work to synthesize the layering of material. Teachers are available for mentorship. The reward is to finish with confidence in what you have to offer as a Pilates teacher. You will be ready to meet your clients’ or classes’ needs with the ability to observe, program and be creative within the structure of movement principles. Our program has set a standard for the Canadian Pilates Association and graduates are guaranteed insurance bySports Insurance Canada.

Email us at inf0 (at) themovementstudio (dot) ca for more detailed information.

Teacher training at The Movement Studio

The Movement Studio is excited to be offering a unique Pilates Teacher Training program starting this fall. The course is recognized by the Pilates Association of Canada (PAC) and insurance is available upon completion through Sports Insurance Canada.

In the spirit of Joseph Pilates’ vision of an inspiring, responsive movement practice that adapts to the person in front of you, we aim to teach the Pilates repertoire in an expansive, exploratory, evolutionary, creative and interactive way.

Our first priority is creating high quality and well-rounded instructors… that means not only learning, experiencing and embodying the Pilates repertoire but also having the tools to effectively convey the material to clients. We focus on how your experience of the practice is transfered to the people you will be working with.

For more information, email us at inf0 (at) themovementstudio (dot) ca

Letting Go and Engaging

Letting go is such a funny thing. Our minds have mischievous ways of trapping us in this ever-changing life. What does it mean when we say someone is in control, under control, out of control, or taking control? Was there anything to control to begin with? My thoughts about control came to me in a workshop 5 years ago with Salique Savage.

We were in partners and were holding each other’s wrists. We were to engage in a movement dialogue where one person would input force the way they wanted, the partner would receive it in the way they wanted and send force back. It was a sort of dance. Salique asked us to move our bodies like sails. Sails use the wind to move the boat.Picture 1The wind can change and we are not in control of what the wind will do, but we can use our sail to make the best out of what the wind is giving us. We had a very hard time finding our sails. Our mind habits, I discovered are also our movement habits. Habits as we all know are very hard to break, so it was not “smooth sailing”.

The movement dialogue often did not sequence well. Some of us moved and moved and moved into our partner seeking some pressure back to work with while the other partner buckled joints, unable to sequence information into them and give outwardly. This often happened when we were afraid to hurt someone or do the wrong thing. The incessant moving person was not waiting to get information from their partner. (Monologue versus conversation) Imagine that relationship. Or, the other thing that happened is that one partner anticipated and tried to help the other partner by moving for them.  This was also disastrous because if I could not take care of myself and let my partner know what I wanted, he had nothing to work with, but himself and my assumptions of him. I was neither taking in his input nor digesting it to form an opinion about it and act on it. Imagine that relationship.

So do we really need to “take control” or do we need to engage in the world in a mindful way that encourages to balance our taking and inner processing with giving and outer action. It can be very hard to stay true to ourselves and stay engaged or attuned to one person or a group.  When you take in information, digest it, form an idea, or impulse, act on it, and realize it didn’t work or it hurt someone, it can be discouraging. Conversely, when you receive information that is disagreeable to you, it may be hard to stay engaged or to fully take in the information and process. We may limit ourselves to new experiences in this way. Sometimes we stay engaged too long when we clearly need a break or a change even.

All of the phrases I had known came racing back to me. “Be with, not for”, “help others to help themselves”, “help yourself first so you may help others”, “it can be hard to live your truth, but there is a rightness to it”. The experience of how hard it was for me to do this in a movement experience was shocking. It felt like I could not stop trying so hard to be right and as a result, I couldn’t be myself. I had thought I was over it, but it was a lingering habit.

Salique did not mention any of this. I love his simple brilliance. It was my own little “aha”. I love how in somatic practice, the teacher can plant one little nugget of information that can vomit into a huge life realization. That is why I continue a movement practice. It keeps me developing myself and likewise those that interact with me and vice versa.

That brings me to the letting go part. I had this dream that a Lion was trying to approach me to eat me.Picture 2No matter where I went, it would find a way in. The dream woke me up, and then I was so much in an alerted state by trying to escape the lion that I couldn’t go back to sleep. In wondering how I would calm down so I could sleep, I though that I needed to get out of the fight state. So I tried to control the dream so that the lion would go away. That didn’t work. Then I realized that I was fighting my dream where it maybe was not necessary to fight. So I decided to let the lion eat me. It started at my legs and worked its way up and I don’t know what happened next because I fell into a very deep sleep. Well I do know what happened. The lion got what he wanted, and I got what I wanted.

Phrasing as Support for Movement

Within each Pilates exercise we can play with Phrasing which allows us to be responsive to clients day to day. In this sense, we have the macro phrasing of the session as well as the micro phrasing of each exercise. With Foot/Leg work we can change our tempo to put the accent at the beginning (Impulsive Phrasing), middle (Swing Phrasing), end (Impactive Phrasing) or have no accent at all (Even Phrasing). Generally speaking, with Pilates we encourage an even quality to movement to facilitate constant sensing as the intent. Especially in the beginning, this is an important quality for experiencing the support for and awareness of movement. Once a client is more familiar and confident with an exercise, we can introduce different phrasing to round out a richer exploration. We can observe whether a client is able to shift their phrasing or whether they are so patterned into moving with a specific style of initiation/action/recuperation that they are unable to make another choice. This is common with some beginners who require encouragement to spend time in preparation, as they tend to skip over this crucial time of having an intention and just want to ‘do’ the exercise.Swing or Even Phrasing may be best to focus on. In this way, preparation is included to maximize initiation and sequencing.

Phrasing in body movement is linked to breathing patterns. Noticing whether a client takes a quick and impulsive inhalation and never pauses at the end of an exhalation will give you information about their tension holding patterns as well as how their movement is sequencing. Bringing awareness to the inherent accents within the breathing cycle creates an opportunity for change in the dynamic rhythm of movement. Our breathing supports our intention as well as the exertion/recuperation cycle. If we are doing mid back series we may call upon an Even Phrasing of breath and movement, whereas if we are using the jump board we may want to access either Impactive or Impulsive breath and movement phrasing. What provides overall ease and efficiency for that client?

Phrasing is one of many rich components of the LMA framework and I particularly enjoy how we can become aware of our preferences and begin to explore other options. I have written about a session’s phrasing as well as how it can be applied to each exercise, but the concept can obviously expand far beyond this. We have phrasing throughout our days, months and years as well as within each minute and second. Our breathing is always a good indication of how we embody phrasing from moment to moment. Becoming aware of breath is an excellent inroad for working towards balance as well as range.

Aahh – Assessments

JANUARY 19, 2009

AssessmentsAssessment…the dreaded word! This is not like in school; this is practical, hands on and entirely helpful (if done correctly and with a keen eye and hands). We learned about the client assessment last Friday in class and this week we are attempting it on a guinea pig of our choosing. People’s bodies are all so unique and biomechanically different though similar at the same time-I find it fascinating. The dynamic nature of this type of work and environment is so engaging and fulfilling! I have so much to learn and practice. Luck is on my side though, I bribed my sister to allow me to assess her! More about that later!

Teacher Training – First Impressions

TT Blog- January 14, 2009

At the moment I am playing a bit of catch up and attempting to digest and process a lesson about developmental movement which I missed. Initially, I didn’t really connect with the concept-I didn’t get it, nor did I understand why it was considered important.I’m not going to lie and say that I completely understand all that there is to understand about developmental movement yet, but the notion of the brain and body’s concurrent development and the effect that the central nervous system has on the body is slowly starting to “click”. I can now see how developmental movement and pilates go hand in hand; in pilates you attempt to stabilize proximally and engage the core before working distally-developmental movement re-establishes that the body was formed from the center out, as were the nerves, and to have control and optimal function in distal points, you must first engage and control the proximal areas.