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Alycea Ungaro’s Real Pilates workshop was a wonderful teaching experience! The inspiration for the title evolved as the syllabus material unfolded. As a student I started by looking front at my teachers for a template of movement. I looked into the mirror to see myself, and it was not always a comforting experience. My body did not seem to organize into the image that was presented by the mentor. My attention would turn to the other students in the mirror and I noticed that some were experiencing the same difficulties and other seemed paragons of beauty in motion. All of these comparisons in the quality of the movement were from a perspective of the front view.

Joe Pilates taught his students uniform muscle development. My understanding of this from a perspective of teaching and taking class for over 35 years has grown more expansive. Looking Front – Working Back is about learning to feel the back and the relationship of that which can be seen to that which can only be felt. This workshop does focus on the shoulder girdle and the motion of the shoulder girdle to changes in spinal mechanics and the orientation of the core of each body to gravity.

It is not a coincidence that Looking Front – Working Back is can also be the inspiration for each of us to work back to the roots of Joe Pilates and Contrology. We should also encourage each person who engages in this practice to look forward and respect innovation and creativity that is still true to the Pilates method.

The Pilates workshop students were very intelligent, respectful and well trained. Despite the different lineages, each student was able to relate the information to the syllabus that they teach. Each student was able to participate in partnership by doing and by assisting one another.

Our metaphor for this workshop was a fish. This will not make sense to anyone who was not in attendance, but we all had fun defining where the fish was in space. If you want to know more about this, come to the next workshop. I’d love to share.

I am grateful to extend much gratitude to Alycea Ungaro, Jan Phillips, Yuuko Igarashi and every wonderful student in attendance. NYC Rocks!