I view life as a journey of acquisition in respects to knowledge. It is a continuous path to acquire, broaden and deepen one’s understanding. I believe it is only through dedication, discipline, ingenuity and time can it lead to intuitive wisdom.
My ethos to Pilates teaching and training practice is much the same. As much as I am of the belief you can learn from everyone, I am also selective with my time and attention (retention), therefore I endeavour to train and learn from the best.
Since I started my Pilates journey in 2007, I have made it my mission to broaden and deepen my training and understanding of the Pilates Method. This has led to my continual travels to New York City - the head quarters of Romana’s Pilates Method to train with the best Master Trainers.
Below is an account of my most recent trip (16 days) to NYC in October 2016.
Pilates Journal - October 2016
Pilates training was both intense and rewarding, my pain threshold has reached a whole new level. I learnt new things, but for most part it consolidated my teaching and reinvigorated my practice. My days and nights were groundhog moments of training and soreness. Nights were spent lying in bed sore from the day’s training only to wake up (still sore) to do it all over again.
I trained with my usual favourite Master Trainers - Cynthia Shipley, Jerome Weinberg and Jeanne Gross at True Pilates New York (TPNY), this year I also worked with Master Trainer Anthony Rabara in his studio in Princeton - New Jersey. Each teacher brought a different perspective, dimension and depth to my understanding and together they are the essence of what is Romana’s Pilates Method. Through all the teachings, I have a renewed love and vigour for my own teaching, practice and studio.
Below is a synopsis of teachings I came away with each trainer;
Cynthia taught me about the essence of the Pilates method. To work the depth in the simplest of exercises and the necessity of improving one's skill as a Pilates teacher. She is aspirational as a teacher and exemplifies the importance of how this can make all the difference to a person’s Mind, Body and Spirit.
Jerome as always was dynamic, fun and profound in his intuitive wisdom. To keep up with his flow and spontaneous repertoire, mind and body focus is a pre-requisite. This year, I learnt something I was ready to understand - trust. To trust my mind and strength to visualise, move and work the body. It was an epiphany that brought a new understanding to endurance and pain threshold.
Jeanne’s lessons are always unsuspecting. Her voice may be meek, but she teaches with the vigour of the old school - focusing on the basic principles of working range, springs and the simplicity of each exercise - it was enough to make my body tremble with effort.
Anthony pushed my limits with each exercise, he showed me there was always room to move within each exercise - to work my range and creativity. He was aspirational in his leadership and professionalism in running his studio. His hard work and dedication to his instructors, clients and Pilates Method alike was truly inspiring.
On top of Pilates, I also had gymnastics lessons with Ivo Lupis. Ivo was firm, precise, encouraging and patient. I initially found myself outside of my comfort zone having to learn new combinations swinging in mid air. But Jerome's lesson of trust gave way to my spirit and I took my Pilates to the air.
In amongst all my Pilates and Gymnastics, I went upstate to the Adirondacks for my second love - whitewater kayaking. It was while kayaking the Moose River and faced with rapids in rocky terrain, I understood fear. It was a strange feeling to witness my fear as it unraveled with the initial paralysis, followed by clarity then determination to push past the fear and move forward.
The final inclusion of my journal is poignant because in many respects doing Pilates isn’t (shouldn’t) be just about exercise. Joseph Pilates was always adamant that Pilates is more than just exercise, it is about how one lived their life. It is this philosophy of living life to its fullest in Mind, Body and Spirit that inspires and drives my practice and teaching - this is the Strength and Spirit of Pilates.
It is important to note, while I train with the best in NYC, I also train with the best when in Sydney. I still maintained weekly tutelage with Master trainer Cynthia Lochard and it is to her I owe much gratitude for my passion, love and dedication to the Pilates Method.