Workshop Reviews - Australian Pilates Method Association by Wendy Larsen

What is Fascia? Why is it important? Fascia’s functions and how it is related to Pilates.

Pilates and Fascia - Fit Together

I was lucky enough to attend Geri Taylor’s Pilates and Fascia Workshop on Saturday 4th May 2019. Coincidently this coincided with National Pilates day - what a way to spend the afternoon, immersed in knowledge surrounded by inspirational Pilates women.

Geri lists the goals of the afternoon workshop as follows:

Learn about fascia.

Practice Pilates with a different focus.

Assess clients using fascial lines.

Have fun and meet new people.

We began the workshop with a roll down. I’m thinking…..”Hmmmmm OK, love a roll down but what has this got to do with fascia?” Geri then gets us all to roll our our feet with a pinky ball. Here i’m thinking “Oh my, this is heaven”, and whilst I’m sure we all could have done that for four hours, Geri asks us to do yet another roll down, but with the thought process of what has changed, what restrictions are now unrestricted, how does your body feel this time? For me, there was definitely less restriction in my lower back and also my right hamstring. LIGHT BULB - It’s all connected, the fascia from under the feet travels the length of the body toward the top of the head. As Oprah would say, and “AH HA Moment!”

Geri then took us through a fascia focused workout on the mat. so far this is the most practical workshop I have been on.

Following this, we discussed what is fascia, why is it important, fascia’s functions and how it is related to Pilates. We looked at the Fascial Lines ( if you are not familiar with these check out Thomas Myers Anatomy Trains) and how to use these fascial lines when assessing a client; what to stretch and what to strengthen.

We then moved onto the equipment, looking a the functions of Fascia; Stretch, Spring, Revive and Feel. Finding new way of stretching on the Wundachair and Cadillac, Feeling on the Reformer, Wundachair and Cadillac, Springing on the Jumpboard and finally Reviving with release work on the roam roller, pinky and squishy balls, before being shown some Bowen Therapy techniques to soothe and relax ourselves.

Concluding our workshop was the Inclusive Circle - eight women and eight therabands around a magic circle. The feeling of connectedness to the group of women standing around me and knowing that at that moment we all had to work together to hold each other brought the workshop home to me.

If you ever get the chance to take a workshop with Geri Taylor I suggest you must. I know that the education committee is looking into getting her onto the 2020 calendar. Want to know more about Fascia, Pilates and Bowen Therapy? Get in contact with Geri via email at vivapilates@bigpond.com.

Are You really Doing Pilates?

Pilates involves so much more than turning up and going through the motions.  In a true Pilates class you learn as much about mind and body as exercise.

Here are 5 ways to know if you are really doing Pilates.

1.  Can you feel your core working?  Centering is one of the main principles of Pilates, where all movement is initiated from a stable, centered space.  It takes awareness, concentration and control to move this way.  If your workout seems erratic and lacks the core connection, you are not doing Pilates.

2.  Is there a focus on breathing?   In Pilates it is essential to focus on the breath along with the exercise.  Pilates movements help to improve breathing, and Pilates breathing can make the moves easier or more challenging.  If the breath is not part of the exercises you are doing, it's not really Pilates.

3.  Is it continually challenging?  Doing Pilates well takes work.  Mental and physical effort are required to keep all of your body parts working efficiently to create specific movements.  If you are not being fed details to continually improve your practice, you are not doing Pilates.

4.  Why isn't my instructor doing the class too?  Pilates teachers don't work out with you so they can watch you, and correct your movements.  These corrections and modifications can bring great benefits to your body.  If you are not your instructors focal point, nope, not Pilates.

5.  Is it supposed to hurt this much?  No!  Pilates is not meant to over fatigue muscles, and quality is more important than quantity.  After a Pilates workout you should feel energised, and function well for the rest of the day.  If you find yourself exhausted or in pain after a workout, you're not really doing Pilates.

Thanks to Brielle Brown, The Pilates Project Blog, for the inspiration.