5 Transformative Power Poses in your Pilates Workout

It's no secret that Pilates makes us feel good. But it might be doing more than you think. Amy Cuddy offers us “A free no-tech life hack: change your posture for 2 minutes.”

Yes, our mothers were correct.

Standing up straight is good for you. Cuddy proposes that your posture, indeed great for your body, “could significantly change the way your life unfolds.”

The Pilates Workout: your very own ‘no-tech life hack'

By all reports Joe Pilates was an arrogant man. Consequently, the 2-minute power poses advocated by Cuddy proliferate in your Pilates workout. In each and every workout we have a chance to embrace our inner arrogance and strike a pose, a POWER pose that is. And our power poses MOVE! Change your posture, your mind, your LIFE in 1 hour 3x/week.

Back in the day I was a client of Excel Pilates in Washington, DC. They have a fabulous, powerful tagline:

Empower Your Body. Empower Your Mind.

1. The Teaser

Don't act like you're surprised by this one. Why does it feel so great to do the Teaser? Such a mixture of accomplishment and nausea? It's an infusion of power built right into your workout. Exhilarating and little scary all at the same time. SHOW OFF a little as you circle your arms when you do the Teaser on the Long Box.

Look what I can do!

It's even helpful. And it is certainly okay to have a good time while you workout…:)

2. Stomach Massage with Hands Back

How about the lift of the Stomach Massage Series with the hands back? Those hands back there are what Jay Grimes calls ‘attitude' and it's just the sheer will and lift of your chest and your back that holds you up. And your arrogance…don't forget that.

5 Transformative Power Poses in your Pilates Workout3. Swan on the Barrel

Sail right up into

the universal posture of victory

a lifted chest and both arms thrust triumphantly upward.

4. The Side Bend

In the animal kingdom, Cuddy explains, body language is all about power and dominance: “about expanding, stretching out, taking up space, opening up…humans do the same thing.” Joe watched the animals as well and saw the powerful, expanding, take-up-space positions. Just doing the work becomes an exercise in empowerment if you let it.

Kara Wily (of 5 Top Blogs Answer 1 Burning Question fame) always has top-notch material at the ready. I remember a cue in one of her online classes that kept resonating in my mind, my body and my teaching days later.

“Be GREEDY with space.”

5 Transformative Power Poses in your Pilates Workout

When I was training in dance, I loved to travel.  If I could take off in grande jete in the middle of the floor and land in the corner of the room, that was a good jump.  When dancing in a group piece, however, you also have to be aware and sensitive to the other dancers to keep the group in a bird-formation traveling together.  So I developed the idea that I could be greedy with my space as long as I kept it in my space. I think it has everything to do with what we teach in Pilates.  

Most people do not know the extent to which their bodies can fill in the space around them until they are encouraged to go further.

I like to build stability to build more potential for movement. The more aware I am of my center, the more willing I am to reach out from that center and ‘be greedy with space'.”  -Kara Wily

With this one you can almost see the cats stretching while Joe watched. It helps to feel like you are just waking up from your nap as you stretch your side all the way up to the sky. Take up some space and give yourself a nice treat. Much thanks to Robert Wernick for inspiring all of us to embrace our inner-animal.

5. The Star

Need I say more?

Perhaps we've all seen this footage (0:42 seconds in) of Romana Kryzanowska performing the Star. I love to channel my inner-Romana when working on the Star in my own workout. Her virtuosity is at once effortless and delicious. Will we see a better Star?

I don't think so.

“On my first lesson he gave me the exercise called the Star….and you know, many people never learn the Star at all. So I guess I was pretty much a star then! (laughs)

What Pilates exercise makes you feel powerful? Invigorated? Alive! Leave a comment below so we can all try it 🙂

5 Top Pilates Blogs Answer 1 Burning Question Part 3

5 Pilates Bloggers Answer 1 Burning QuestionWelcome to 5 Top Pilates Blogs Answer 1 Burning Question

Numero Trois!

This will be the final post of the series. Over the last 2 weeks I asked 5 Top Pilates Blogs

  1. What is 1 Unsung Benefit of the Pilates Method? 
  2. What is 1 key piece of information that escapes the average Pilates consumer?

 Q3

Now the sky's the limit and I want to know what hopes and dreams these bloggers hold for for the future of our beloved Pilates Method. If we can imagine for ourselves the best possible Pilates universe, what would it look like?

The first part of any success story is to harness the power of creative visualization. See yourself living the dream you wish to create. Control your mind and use your imagination to find success in any realm of life. (See how I worked in that whole control angle?)

Thoreau Quote

Q3: What is your one wish for the future of the Pilates industry?

 

5 Top Pilates Bloggers Answer 1 Burning Question#1. Marguerite Ogle, pilates.about.com

1st post 2006

“My blog is part of About.com, and I have written hundreds of full articles and exercise instructions as well. I applied for the job because it was a good combination of skills and interests for me: Pilates, writing, web, and marketing. I've had a great time blogging and writing about Pilates. I really love it, and I love the Pilates community — as diverse as it is.”

Q3. What is your one wish for the future of the Pilates industry?

Marguerite: I want the Pilates industry to continue to grow with a high level of quality. There have never been as many excellent teachers as there are now and I see many signs of that trend continuing. In addition, the application of Pilates movement principles to all kinds of interests and needs, from sports to rehab, is expanding and very exciting. So the challenge for the future is to grow, and keep the integrity of the work, while we make Pilates available to more people. I want to see that intention succeed.

 

5 Top Pilates Bloggers Answer 1 Burning Question#2 Kara Wily, karawilypilates.com/blog

1st post 2012

“I blog about Pilates to increase SEO for the website to my studio so that more people in the area can find me for lessons.  For people who are not in the area, I would still like to educate the public and other Pilates teachers about the work and give more nuanced information about the Pilates Method than what I often see published.”

Q3. What is your one wish for the future of the Pilates industry?

Kara: I roll old school.  The lesson starts on the Reformer, do a little mat, do a few specific exercises for your body using the other equipment.

 

5 Top Pilates Bloggers Answer 1 Burning Question#3 Shari Berkowitz, theverticalworkshop.wordpress.com

1st post 2007

“Either in person or via emails I would receive questions from wonderful teachers. (Each day I still receive many questions and enjoy answering them all.) I wanted to have a place where I could share information to teachers on a broader scale. A place where teachers could turn to for the information they seek. The Pilates Teacher Blog developed from that!”

Q3. What is your one wish for the future of the Pilates industry?

Shari: I wish that Pilates industry had better education for its instructors earlier on. I wish the the first program apprentices go into would be the only one that they would need. Then continuing education, of course. But there are so many instructors who learn too late in the game that their teacher training programs were sadly insufficient. With that, they find themselves struggling to maintain clientele because they don't have the proper teaching tools available to them. This is a key reason why I am, at long last, launching a teacher training program: The Vertical Workshop. The first teacher training program you take should be the only one you need. The onus is on the people who create programs to make sure they are really educating the apprentices to be really solid, young teachers with critical thinking and understanding. It's possible…it just takes a lot of work from the people who create programs.

 

5 Pilates Bloggers Answer 1 Burning Question#4 Benjamin Degenhardt, benjamindegenhardt.com/articles

1st post 2011

“Initially I wanted it to be a place where I can post information for my students. But when I realized that many colleagues liked what I wrote, too, it became more of a resource for teachers. Ironically, all my students still read the website, and they love getting a deeper perspective on Pilates by looking at it through the teacher's lens. Hence, the tagline now reads: “Inspired education for Pilates enthusiasts.”

Q3. What is your one wish for the future of the Pilates industry?

Benjamin: I would love to see more of an effort in our industry to embrace the integrity of Joe Pilates’ original work. His philosophy was simple at its core (pun intended): Move well in order to take care of your body and it’s self-healing properties. And even though exercise science is steadily catching up with much of what he developed well over 50 years ago, it seems that most Pilates related research is directed towards changing the work. Why not instead direct research towards understanding it better? That is what I am trying to do, and I hope many will join so this wish can come true!

 

5 Top Pilates Blogs Answer 1 Burning Question#5 Jennifer Kries, jenniferkries.com/blog

1st post 2009

“Pilates has played such a central role in my life since age 13, of course it made sense to pay homage to it this way.”

Q3. What is your one wish for the future of the Pilates industry?

Jennifer: That more teachers and devotees dedicate themselves to studying with 1st and 2nd Generation teachers who pass the torch with the original and authentic rhythm, dynamic and flavor that Joe Pilates would have wanted people to know and practice, so that the actual “spirit” of Pilates becomes reinvigorated.

Please share your wishes for a bright Pilates future in a comment below…even if you tell they will still come true 🙂

5 Top Pilates Blogs Answer 1 Burning Question Part 2

5 Pilates Bloggers Answer 1 Burning Question Welcome to 5 Top Pilates Blogs Answer 1 Burning Question…

Part Deux!

Last week I asked 5 Top Pilates Blogs What is 1 Unsung Benefit of the Pilates Method?

Q2

This week's question almost builds on the last one. As a devout Pilates practitioner I believe if everyone could truly experience Pilates just once they would be hooked.

Pilates is experiential and once you feel the truth of what it can do for you it's just irresistible. But what would entice the newbie? One teensy (HUGE) thing that would seal the deal…

If there was one singular fact to share with the average Pilates consumer, potential Pilates enthusiasts, what would it be?

Q2: What is one key piece of information that escapes the average Pilates consumer?

5 Top Pilates Blogs Answer 1 Burning Question
#1. Jennifer Kriesjenniferkries.com/blog

1st post 2009

“Pilates has played such a central role in my life since age 13, of course it made sense to pay homage to it this way.”

 

Q2: What is one key piece of information that escapes the average Pilates consumer?

Jennifer: Pilates is meant to be an extremely challenging and dynamic workout, one that tests your limits, challenges what you thought you knew about yourself in the arena of ability and expands your sense of capability and what is possible in your life as a result of performing the work the way it was meant to be done!

 

5 Pilates Bloggers Answer 1 Burning Question#2 Benjamin Degenhardtbenjamindegenhardt.com/articles

1st post 2011

“Initially I wanted it to be a place where I can post information for my students. But when I realized that many colleagues liked what I wrote, too, it became more of a resource for teachers. Ironically, all my students still read the website, and they love getting a deeper perspective on Pilates by looking at it through the teacher's lens. Hence, the tagline now reads: “Inspired education for Pilates enthusiasts.”

Q2: What is one key piece of information that escapes the average Pilates consumer?

Benjamin: I think overall Pilates has established itself as a great way to increase strength and flexibility, but many don’t know that Pilates really is about what is happening inside our bodies as well. Pilates is unique in that it deliberately stimulates and improves function in nearly all of the body’s systems, from the muscular and skeletal to the circulatory and respiratory systems – even the endocrine and digestive systems get a boost! Now that I am writing this I realize it doesn’t sound nearly as sexy as flat abs and improved posture, but then again – I happen to find good health incredibly sexy.

 

5 Top Pilates Bloggers Answer 1 Burning Question#3 Shari Berkowitz, theverticalworkshop.wordpress.com

1st post 2007

“Either in person or via emails I would receive questions from wonderful teachers. (Each day I still receive many questions and enjoy answering them all.) I wanted to have a place where I could share information to teachers on a broader scale. A place where teachers could turn to for the information they seek. The Pilates Teacher Blog developed from that!”

Q2: What is one key piece of information that escapes the average Pilates consumer?

Shari: It takes a commitment to yourself and the work to find the truest benefits. That means 3 sessions or classes a week on all apparatus. It is the entire method multiple times a week that will bring on the desired results…whatever the goal is. Many people will take one mat class a week and wonder why Pilates isn't changing their lives…but one of anything a week is not going to make much of a difference. Three times a week and moving on all apparatus is the key!

Of course, time and money are often limiting factors. With that, I say…then once a week or whatever you can do. I get it! But…maybe fewer lunches out, fewer coffee extravaganzas at Starbucks and fewer of something else will afford you another class or even a session!

It's always a balance of time and money. We can all make choices.

 

5 Top Pilates Blogs Answer 1 Burning Question#4 Kara Wilykarawilypilates.com/blog

1st post 2012

“I blog about Pilates to increase SEO for the website to my studio so that more people in the area can find me for lessons.  For people who are not in the area, I would still like to educate the public and other Pilates teachers about the work and give more nuanced information about the Pilates Method than what I often see published.”

Q2: What is one key piece of information that escapes the average Pilates consumer?

Kara: That they can practice Pilates on their own–in my opinion it is most powerful when it is a self-practice and a way of intimately connecting with myself.

 

5 Top Pilates Blogs Answer 1 Burning Question#5 Marguerite Oglepilates.about.com

1st post 2006

“My blog is part of About.com, and I have written hundreds of full articles and exercise instructions as well. I applied for the job because it was a good combination of skills and interests for me: Pilates, writing, web, and marketing. I've had a great time blogging and writing about Pilates. I really love it, and I love the Pilates community — as diverse as it is.”

Q2: What is one key piece of information that escapes the average Pilates consumer?

Marguerite: That you can do Pilates yourself for free. I am a huge believer in everyone getting proper instruction. However, many would-be Pilates practitioners think their only avenue to Pilates-based fitness is to continuously take Pilates classes, which is too expensive for many. I want people to know that Joseph Pilates fully intended his method, especially the mat work, to be practiced at home; and while it takes a certain amount of tenacity, you can make a tremendous amount of progress on your own. Classes are important, but making Pilates personal makes it last.

What would you like the average Pilates consumer to know right off the bat? Please share your comments below.

5 Top Pilates Blogs Answer 1 Burning Question

5 Pilates Blogs Answer 1 Burning Question

Welcome!

If you're new here, thanks for stopping by. Have a look around and I hope you enjoy this post.

5 Pilates Blogs. 1 Burning Question.

Some geeking required.

Just 1 question?!

I know, what was I thinking? Welcome to the first of 3 posts – yes 3 burning questions they were gracious enough to answer! – in this shout out to blogs devoted wholeheartedly to the life's work of Joe Pilates.

Trolling the Pilates blogosphere as I am wont to do, I spend a considerable amount of time reading about Pilates technique, teaching pointers, new products, equipment raves and rants, and inspirational success stories.

I chose prolific bloggers – single-author blogs – who deliver insightful posts and epic content. And boy oh boy, they did not disappoint. On my initial reading of some of the answers I almost stood up and cheered. Okay, I did cheer.

Q1: What is 1 unsung benefit of the Pilates method?

We have all heard the standard list of benefits of a consistent Pilates regimen. Highlights include long lean muscles, better posture, a nice butt and – gosh we hope so – a six-pack wall of abdominal muscles. However, there are numerous huge benefits that nobody really talks about. So aside from the aesthetics and the hype (albeit well-deserved and the truth), what other rewards can your Pilates workout give you?

5 Pilates Blogs Answer 1 Burning Question #1. Jennifer Kries, jenniferkries.com/blog

1st post 2009

“Pilates has played such a central role in my life since age 13, of course it made sense to pay homage to it this way.”

Q: What is 1 unsung benefit of the Pilates Method?

Jennifer: For me, the unsung benefit is the remarkable mood-boosting that occurs from a workout. Each and every time, I experience a radical transformation in how I feel mentally, which to me is directly connected to that incredible feeling of space and ease and aliveness in the body after a Pilates session.

 

5 Pilates Bloggers Answer 1 Burning Question#2 Benjamin Degenhardt, benjamindegenhardt.com/articles

1st post 2011

“Initially I wanted it to be a place where I can post information for my students. But when I realized that many colleagues liked what I wrote, too, it became more of a resource for teachers. Ironically, all my students still read the website, and they love getting a deeper perspective on Pilates by looking at it through the teacher's lens. Hence, the tagline now reads: “Inspired education for Pilates enthusiasts.”

Q: What is 1 unsung benefit of the Pilates Method?

Benjamin: One of my favorite aspects of practicing Pilates is the built-in massage. I can’t count the times I went into my practice wishing I went to a spa instead, but leaving just as rejuvenated as if I did – if not more. Because of the way we move the body in Pilates, it truly massages itself. As Joe Pilates said: “the entire body is wrung-out like a wet towel.” What other workout will do that for you?

 

5 Top Pilates Blogs Answer 1 Burning Question#3 Kara Wilykarawilypilates.com/blog

1st post 2012

“I blog about Pilates to increase SEO for the website to my studio so that more people in the area can find me for lessons.  For people who are not in the area, I would still like to educate the public and other Pilates teachers about the work and give more nuanced information about the Pilates Method than what I often see published.”

Q: What is 1 unsung benefit of the Pilates Method?

Kara: I think that in the Pilates technique I get a little microcosm of life.  I have challenges that I meet, a work ethic to manifest, discipline, fun, joy in my accomplishments.  I must take personal responsibility for getting done what only I have power to control and to change.  These are really powerful concepts that I am just starting to understand that I have explored just in dealing with my physical body and it does help me to then to practice these principles in other aspects of my life.

 

5 Top Pilates Blogs Answer 1 Burning Question#4 Marguerite Ogle, pilates.about.com

1st post 2006

“My blog is part of About.com, and I have written hundreds of full articles and exercise instructions as well. I applied for the job because it was a good combination of skills and interests for me: Pilates, writing, web, and marketing. I've had a great time blogging and writing about Pilates. I really love it, and I love the Pilates community — as diverse as it is.”

Q: What is 1 unsung benefit of the Pilates Method?

Marguerite: There are a lot of benefits of Pilates that may have been considered unsung a while ago but are getting attention now — mostly because of the proliferation of Pilates articles online. Things like better sleep or sex, and importantly the body/mind/spirit connection are examples. So I'm going to go with the fact that Pilates is an interesting and beneficial companion for life. Pilates is not like a sport or fitness method that has a peak and then you go downhill. How one practices — the level of challenge, the equipment, the venue — might change, but Pilates movement principles remain viable and supportive of good health throughout ones life.

 

5 Top Pilates Bloggers Answer 1 Burning Question#5 Shari Berkowitz, theverticalworkshop.wordpress.com

1st post 2007

“Either in person or via emails I would receive questions from wonderful teachers. (Each day I still receive many questions and enjoy answering them all.) I wanted to have a place where I could share information to teachers on a broader scale. A place where teachers could turn to for the information they seek. The Pilates Teacher Blog developed from that!”

Q: What is 1 unsung benefit of the Pilates Method?

Shari: The consumer doesn't realize that he/she is actually going to develop an entirely new way of life. Pilates is more than a workout, but a lifestyle of sorts. The actions for increased stability and mobility that you do in the 55 minute workout go with you when you leave the studio…and become the actions of your life! It's always a beautiful surprise to the clients when they realize that this is more than a simple workout.

Thanks for reading and stay tuned next week for Q2!

TMI Andrea

Ok, I simply can't stop myself. My favorite unglamorous perk of practicing Pilates? Digestive Health. C'mon we all want it, but no one's slappin' it on the cover of Pilates Style magazine…

Have some unglamorous perks of Pilates that you particularly enjoy? Do tell. Leave a comment below and join the conversation…

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