Endurance Pilates-why we do Pilates the “correct” way!

A student that is progressing very quickly with a mix of classes and privates has started to attend an “Advanced” Mat class that I am teaching. Really, I am just going through the repertoire as Joseph Pilates designed. From The Hundred (NOT the hundreds, there is no s!) to The Pushup we take one exercise right after the other and yes, I do teach her The Crab- it is a fantastic exercise, learn to do it from a Classical instructor! We are still working on all of the inversions in some of the sessions, but are pretty true to the way Joseph Pilates wanted his students to perform the mat exercises in the proper order and execution with lots of hands on assistance from me! She remarked at the last session after I asked if she felt Ok with all of the corrections, “I used to hate taking from you because you would make people do the exercises correctly and I just wanted to keep doing them the way I thought they were supposed to be done as fast as I could with little attention to form. After working this way (with corrections and major tactile cueing) for a very short time, I am seeing huge results in my body.”

Touche.

Advantage Classical, Authentic, Real, Romana’s, however you want to call it, we can trust the Pilates method to do the job.

At Endurance, we have worked very hard, for almost three decades, refining our knowledge of the Pilates system, studying Contemporary methods based on newly designed equipment and back to the roots- on the Gratz, with two NYC apprenticeships in Pilates- learned from the sources, through oral tradition as Joseph Pilates directed on the equipment that he designed. After spending years and hundreds of thousands of dollars, we took the best of the methods and combined them to teach the Classical system at Endurance. Our goal is to get our students to flow, one exercise to the other, assuming their knowledge of the repertoire.

When the student is ready, the workout is available! That being said, we have developed some very effective methods including tactile cueing, exercises to teach pieces of full “Advanced” exercises and ways of creating the strength and stability necessary to progress in the Pilates system. The Basic is so very important, we spend most of our life somewhere slightly in the Intermediate system, even as teachers. Normally, when a student comes in and claims to be very experienced or advanced, I know that I am in for a challenge. Some folks love it and realize what we are trying to elicit via our acute attention to form, others can be offended that the 40 person group classes they have been taking for 10 years are really choreography based on Pilates versus instruction in the Pilates method. Pilates is fantastic for the body, but can be a challenge to the ego- for all of us. I get my sorry abs handed back to me every single time I get on the Mat with one of my instructors! That is how it should be- Pilates practitioners ideally move within the Pilates ideally based on the guidance of their teachers. We have a responsibility as instructors to create an experience for our students based on the body that walks through the door.

Pilates, years to learn, a lifetime to master. The more you know, the more you know you need to know!

Posture in the Zoom world and beyond!

Why is good posture so important to your well-being, stature and image?

Settling into a post-pandemic return to life? Travel, long days in the office, running from meeting to meeting. The last thing you are thinking about is your posture- even your health in general. At Endurance, we use Pilates to help our students engage, train and become aware, consciously and unconsciously, of the muscles involved in attaining a perfect upright posture.

Imagine walking into a room, filled with your colleagues and customers. You are tall, crown of your head reaching to the ceiling, shoulders back, chest open, tummy flat and glutes engaged to keep it all together. You are strong, in control of your body and pristine in your appearance, exuding confidence and expertise before saying a word. People smile at you, are immediately attracted to your grace and poise. You are already ahead of the game- in control of the room.

Now imagine the same scenario, you are stumbling in, shoulders slumped, little pooch in the belly showing over the top of your trousers or your pencil skirt, your head and neck straining forward. People turn away so as not to embarrass you by watching you shuffle toward your seat at the head of the table. You now need a little corrective, perhaps creative action to gain control of the room- your own meeting.

Enter Pilates. Pilates is a decades old exercise regimen emphasizing the muscles of the core.  Now, the core encompasses much more than just the abdominals, the most superficial (in many ways!) muscles of the body. That six pack? Means nothing if you aren’t able to hold yourself in proper alignment. Joseph Pilates created his regimen to teach students how to use their mind to control their muscles. He wanted folks to build a suit of armor from within. Joe Pilates was a boxer, he wanted you to learn how to take a punch- using that muscle memory as you are simply walking down the street!

Pilates retrains the neuromuscular connections in your body to ensure proper and efficient movement patterns. Instead of using your shoulders or hip flexors to account for a weakness in the core, we will train the supporting muscles in your upper back, back of legs and deep core muscles to work all the time. Standing up is hard work! We will also help to stack the bones and joints in the strongest position possible, creating a strong frame to wrap all of the muscles around. Pilates will help with all you do, whether it is your yoga practice, your eighth Zoom meeting of the day or your first triathlon, we want you to be unconsciously competent at standing strong so you can move better. According to Romana Kryzanowska, the woman chosen by Joe to carry on his work, “Pilates is stretch with strength and control- the control portion being the most important”!

Joseph Pilates called his method Contrology. We work hard to put the pieces into place. At Endurance, we try to give some simple and quick hints that you can incorporate into your daily lives to become more aware of your body, where it is standing in space and how you can easily put things into place- even if it is just for a little while. We can help with getting that perfect posture “in endurance” pun intended! Enjoy our video with a quick hint- all you need is a wall!

Stand better today with this simple Pilates- based reminder!

Winter Workout Tips

What a gorgeous fall season we have enjoyed in the Northeast this year! Mild days, plenty of sun and impeccable weather just tailor-made for outdoor activities. We have been so lucky! At Endurance, we have worked with our students inside and out- setting up running programs and weekly Pilates reformer sessions coupled with nutrition coaching and intuitive healing. We plan to help our students continue to participate in all of their chosen outdoor activities all winter long. Yes, even in Boston!

Did you know that spending time in the cold is good for your skin, can help you to burn more calories, lowers inflammation and improves allergies! Just by stepping out for a quick walk or run, you can improve your health far beyond the expected cardiovascular benefits. With a little wardrobe planning, your outdoor workouts can be just as comfortable, or more so, than your indoor sweat sessions!

Here are some of our favorite outdoor exercise tips!

1- Wear mittens. Use Hot hands. You can get away with gloves for shorter workouts, but be prepared for the wind and cold temps. And, don’t worry about having specific exercise gloves- go for warmth, wool, deerskin- grab your ski gloves!

2- Wear layers that will be easy to store around your waist unless you plan on dropping pieces off at designated places.

3- Have tissues for blowing your nose!

4- Wear a hat

5- Be sure your shoes and socks are appropriate for the terrain. Yak tracks and other ice soles are great when you are actually on an icy surface, but they are a disaster when you hit pavement or uncovered ground. Be sure to have good tread and a water resistant shoe if you will be out in the snow.

Outdoor exercise is very important for your health no matter what time of year, but winter workouts can become more challenging as we all know! Hopefully our tips will help you out as you plan your fitness regimen through the rest of 2021 and into 2022!