Living with the demands of the modern world, many of us find ourselves wrapped up in the hustle and bustle of the everyday. We find it difficult to find a moment to slow down, take a deep breath, and focus on that moment where nothing else is happening except just being. This quote by Stephen Batchelor speaks well to the concept:
“One of the most difficult things to remember is to remember to remember. Awareness begins with remembering what we tend to forget. Drifting through life on a cushioned surge of impulses is but one of the many strategies for forgetting. Not only do we forget to remember, we forget that we live in a body with senses and feelings and thoughts and emotions and ideas. The world of colors and shapes, sounds, smells, tastes, and sensations becomes dull and remote.
To stop and pay attention to what is happening in the moment is one way of snapping out of such fixations.”
This notion of the focusing on the moment and filtering out the irrelevant information is deeply rooted in the philosophy of pilates, allowing your mind to focus on how to just be and become in touch with each movement rather than getting caught up in all that may be going on around you. By doing so, your perception of your own body, mental processes, and position becomes heightened, increasing your awareness of your state of being.
We invite you at this moment to just take a minute, take a deep breath, and feel what may be going on around you. Exercise this empowering sense of focus and become more in tune with yourself and your current position.
We’ve got an exciting new program starting up at The Movement Studio — Danielle is offering a new workshop called MUMS & BABIES! Developmental Movement Patterning. (Don’t let the name fool you, Dad’s are welcomed, too!) Continue reading »
Instructors at The Movement Studio are constantly absorbing new methods and theories to help improve their teaching; to engage with different strategies that will enhance the Pilates experience for their students.
This coming August, three of our instructors, Karen, Danielle and Steph, will be participating in an exciting workshop in Seattle. All three of these fantastic teachers come from a dance background and have been involved with movement their entire lives.
The workshop called the Seattle Festival of Dance Interpretation is put on by the Dance Art Group. Danielle, Steph and Karen are excited to be working with Martha Eddy in a session called FLUID MOVEMENT. It’s going to focus on: Continue reading »
Earth day is celebrated annually on April 22, just a couple of days away. And while it’s important that the spirit of Earth day be celebrated every day by everyone, it’s a nice way for people to come together and be collectively appreciative for Mother Earth. (But don’t forget to be mindful of your footprint, especially if partaking in large-scale celebrations.)
Continue reading »
Joe Pilates knew he was on to something when he started developing the Pilates that we do today. In his words: Continue reading »
If anyone is in the Calgary area, be sure to check out Winter’s Fresh Kiss at Epcor Centre, an interdisciplinary production directed, produced and choreographed by The Movement Studio’s Danielle McCulloch.
The video production features contemporary dance, visual artists, a fashion designer and DJ. It’s a re-kindling of childhood memories and our physical relationship to the winter landscape.
Danielle McCulloch, the producer, director and choreographer describes the experience of Winter’s Fresh Kiss as “four strong snow faeries sliding head first down a steep and snowy aspen forest with the help of their designer crazy aprons and fresh trip hop beats.” It runs until May 1, 2010.
Breath provides a way to focus our mind and keep it from wandering into the past and future. Counting the inhalation and exhalation can be especially helpful for that. Breath can calm our autonomic nervous system. It is an access to sensing the self through its movement. There is a big difference between thinking what is happening or what should happen, and sensing what is happening or what wants to happen. Sensing is not about doing. It is about listening. Sensory information comes to the brain for processing. The brain is only the interpreter. I often find that new students need to learn how to listen to sensation before they can make effective movement changes. If we are interpreting what is going on without sensation, then we are making up stories without asking the source, possibly to serve our schedules, belief systems, will power, or habits.
Breath gives us a sense of inner space. From the place of inner space, we can start to pay attention to our signs and symptoms and what they are telling us without expectation or judgment. From this place, with patience and curiosity, we can start to honestly ask ourselves some questions.
What do I feel?
What do I want?
What do I really want?
What wants to happen?
Fatigued? What kind of activity would give me recuperation from the activity I have been doing today?
Hungry? What kind of food would give me the best nourishment?
Thirsty? What kind of drink would best replenish my fluids?
In a mood? Is this true for me? Do I need time to really feel what I am feeling?
Feeling stressed or anxious? How do I know this? Where do I feel it in the body? What is happening? What is the quality, the density, the movement, the colour, the texture, timing, weight? Is it changing? What would it like to do? Where does it want to go?
This may seem rather tedious perhaps even odd, but if you stick with it, you may be surprised how much information and change transpires, and how just paying attention can help bring a more natural rhythm back into your day.
Inefficient movement done repetitively causes the body to develop out of balance and this causes injury. Pilates’ integration of the trunk, pelvis and shoulder girdle, and emphasis on proper breathing, correct spinal and pelvic alignment plays an important role in helping to keep folks injury free. These concepts practiced through mindful movement promotes strength and an awareness of functional mechanics, educating clients on how to fully engage in dynamic activity injury free. Pilates has become a crucial adjunct to strength and conditioning regimes with top-tier athletes, dancers, and folks seeking to get the most out of life.
Pilate’s exercises teach awareness of breath and alignment of the spine, aiming to strengthen the deep torso muscles. This creates a stronger, more balanced body, flexible yet stable spine and strong core, and also promotes faster recovery from strains or injuries.
Through a regular Pilates practice you become aware of how your body feels, where it is in space, and how best to support its movement. Pilates improves balance and agility, increases endurance and speed which help prevent injury and increases sports performance and general wellness.