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New Jersey was cold, but the students were HOT! I learn many things when I have an opportunity to teach a Pilates workshop for professionals of different lineages. The Spine Corrector Mat syllabus that I present, during the Pilates workshop, evokes some consideration for what Joe Pilates may have approved as a good evolution of his legacy. Many people quote Joe. I was not there and I doubt that Joe said the same things to each of his students. I don’t. If you are a teacher, you know that each student is an individual and the same information must be said often and in different ways over a long time of study.

In the Pilates workshop, I began teaching Mat work on the Spine Corrector to inspire other teachers to reconsider this deceptively simple piece of equipment. It appears simple due to the engineering that employs no springs or movable parts. I wanted to offer the Spine Corrector work as a choice for class and private teaching hours. The Spine Corrector has a unique geometry that facilitates thoracic extension, deeper “C” curve, and cervical spine support. It also can be very challenging. The application of the Mat work was a choice based on the ability to offer choreography that was inclusive of all good educational comprehensive programs and introduce familiar exercise to the anatomy of the curve. Resistance is often encountered when new patterns are introduced within Pilates work. I would suggest that this feeling derives from a respect for the classic work. It may arise from concern that the work has departed too far from the intension of Joe.

Our group discovered that the Spine Corrector allows participation for people who may have some dysfunction that precludes full participation within the Mat on the floor. We discovered that Mat work on the Spine Corrector can be a killer workout for the advanced student. We also discerned that personal practice is imperative for the teacher to apply critical thinking to the choices of the Mat list for each student. Often a piece of work on the Spine Corrector is easier or harder than the performance on the Mat.

We agreed that we did not know what Joe may have told us last weekend. We did agree that trusting what our teachers have imparted has given us tools to make intelligent choices. The goal of good practice is to offer a path of physical exercise that imparts health and vitality. Our choices of exercise and presentation may change over the years, but the goals are constant.

Bodies in Balance
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Madison, NJ 07940
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