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Rhythm Pilates in Denver this February

Lisa Hubbard

by Amy De Sa

As a studio owner and teacher, it is very important to offer a variety of classes to accommodate many individual’s different needs and desires. Whether it be equipment classes, Pilates mat classes, balls and props mat classes, or barre and yoga classes that offer a fusion or complementary methods of exercise, Rhythm Pilates offers an opportunity to experience the Pilates Mat work with music. The exercises are performed rhythmically to create class routines that are fun and innovative, thus Rhythm Pilates! I am very excited to offer this new class to our clientele in the New Year! 

As Pilates professionals, it is critical to stay up to date with the most recent work, changes and research that continues to evolve in our industry. My role in this dynamic culture has been diverse in both business as a studio owner (Pilates Denver), hosting teacher training courses and in education as a Pilates teacher trainer (BASI Pilates Faculty) as well as teaching a numerous and varied clientele for two decades. I have experienced the growth, challenges and positive outcomes in the industry for over 20 years.

I am very thankful for each and every part of this journey as it has established a rewarding career path and has continued to stimulate my passion for learning, teaching and for helping others. I have the opportunity to help people improve their bodies, minds and well being, to teach and mentor students to have this same opportunity, to create a positive team work environment for my staff and a community for our clients, to create many meaningful relationships with clients, staff and colleagues and to continue to learn along the way.    

We are amazingly lucky to have such a gift to experience and to share!  

This Thanksgiving I give thanks to all in the community as we continue to learn, grow and share in our ongoing journey as Pilates and movement practitioners. 

Please join us February 6-7 for the Rhythm Pilates course to enhance your passion and to continue your journey!

Hope to see you!

The Pilates Method: From Joseph Pilates to Rhythm Pilates

Lisa Hubbard

The Pilates method has expanded since its original development by Joseph Pilates.  In fact, he himself continued to develop and refine the method throughout his life.  During WWI, Joseph Pilates, a performer and boxer living in England, was placed into an internment camp along with other German nationals in England.  It was there that he taught fellow camp members the concepts and exercises that he had developed over 20 years of self-study and apprenticeship in yoga and ancient Greek and Roman regimes.  These exercises were done on the floor and are known today as “mat work”.  It was during this time, in the early 20th century, that the formation of the Pilates method began to take shape.  Pilates called his method Contrology (meaning the science of control) because he believed that his method uses the mind to control the muscles.  He believed that both mental and physical health entwine. 

During the following years he became a nurse/caretaker to many internees struck with wartime disease and physical injury.  To assist with their rehabilitation, he began devising equipment to create resistance and "movement" for the bedridden.  Our modern day Pilates equipment is still very much like those of his original creations. 

The Pilates method has since evolved. There are those who stay closer to the classical movements as done by Pilates himself, and others have chosen to incorporate more modern ideas, equipment, the knowledge of advanced science and anatomy, and their own creativity to evolve and enhance the method.  However, there are six "principles of Pilates" which are concepts, distilled from Joseph Pilates’ work by later instructors of the Pilates method, which have been widely adopted by the modern Pilates community and which provide an axis of which to work around.

The original six principles are as follows, however you may find different interpretations as the Pilates industry is not always in complete unison.

  1. Centering: Mentally and physically bringing focus to the center of the body where movements originate. Pilates called this area “powerhouse” (abs, back, pelvis, hips).  Mindful initiation from your center of gravity to allow movement to flow outwards to the extremities.
  2. Concentration: Without concentration, we lack the connection between the mind and body, therefore lacking in quality and the value of each exercise. Establishing concentration increases body awareness and conscious control.
  3. Control: Each exercise must be done with the utmost muscular control.  This allows the body to work as a whole and minimizes risk of injury and maximizes results.
  4. Precision: Focuses on placement, alignment and spatial awareness.  Over time the body integrates precise movements patterns, quality and proper positioning for an effective outcome.
  5. Breath: Oxygen is life and facilitates movement.  The lungs pump air in and out of the body enriching the blood with oxygen to awaken cells and eliminate waste.  The intention of each movement is supported by the breathing patterns.  In Rhythm Pilates the routines are coordinated with the breath, enhancing effective muscle use and facilitating proper movement and pattering.
  6. Flow: Pilates should be performed with fluidity and ease, integrating continuous rhythm and a logical blend of transitions.  This is the state of being mentally and physically 100% immersed in the moment of the movement.  In flow, the emotions are positive, energized, and thereby helping to increase endurance.  Connecting precise movement, intention and rhythm, creates flow.  Both of these concepts are celebrated in Rhythm Pilates.

Rhythm Pilates offers a challenging experience by incorporating the above traditional six Pilates principles into every routine to ensure that each class is mindful, integrated, and centered. In addition to the traditional principles, Rhythm Pilates incorporates three intrinsic ideas: Integrity, Consciousness, and Rhythm & Flow.

  1. Integrity: Integrity is a concept of consistency of high standards, values, methods, expectations, and outcomes.  It is important to adhere to the integrity of the movement so that the full muscular and functional movement benefits are reached (the appropriate stretch, strengthening, and coordination).  This means not only to try to perform the exercises with the precise body alignment, but to also incorporate and perform the exercise with the proper energy, focus, and its intention, or in other words, the “internal-integrity.”  As an instructor, we have the responsibility to our clients to teach with integrity (professional high quality instruction) and to teach ­the integrity of the work. 
  2. Consciousness: Consciousness should be found in both our movement and our teaching. Our consciousness is our relationship between our mind and the outside world. It is also linked to our self-awareness. As an instructor, the verbal and visual cues that you supply the class as well as to each individual, will help to raise the consciousness level of the client by providing them with the tools to become more self aware of their movements. As we, the instructor, demonstrate the work at the front of the class, or to break down the movement, it is vital that we remain conscientious toward how we present the material, the emphasis of our instruction, and the positive awareness that we are building for our clients.
  3. Rhythm & Flow: Rhythm is movement with uniform or patterned recurrence of a beat. The thing about ‘rhythm’ is that... let’s face it... we don’t all have it.  And some of us only think that we have it. In the Rhythm Pilates technique, movements are set to music with a consistent beat pattern. Different rhythms naturally affect people differently, so it is always important to stay aware of your class, their abilities, and the precision of their movements. The goal is for everyone to have a harmonious experience.

The music selected enhances the work and encourages a more invigorating Pilates experience by providing uplifting beat patterns to coordinate the exercises and energy.

One unique attribute of this style of work is that the music is a part of the creation of the “flow” of the class. The music increases the connection between the client and the exercises enhancing their overall experience. In Rhythm Pilates routines, you will find that there are movements, which occur on the beat, on only certain beats, and sometimes, even in-between beats. The flow of the class is achieved by ensuring that each routine is designed to address the whole body and will provide a full body workout challenging your client’s strength, flexibility, and coordination. The choreography of each routine has been thoughtfully designed to deliver a fun; positive and challenging Pilates mat experience. 

We believe that all of the above principles, Joseph Pilates’ original six, and the three Rhythm Pilates principles, work together create a strong foundation for our unique program, and we work diligently to ensure they are a key component of every routine and workout.

Are you interested in attending or hosting a Rhythm Pilates course? Please contact us for more information. Visit our Upcoming Courses page to find a course near you.

Behind the Scenes: Filming with Pilates Anytime

Lisa Hubbard

Being invited to be an instructor for Pilates Anytime is a profound highlight for me, not only professionally but personally as well. Never in my wildest dreams did I think my Pilates career could reach an all-time high. This of course includes my love and affinity for BASI Pilates, where I received my Pilates training and first met Kristi Cooper.
At Pilates Anytime, I am amongst A-list educators in the industry. Knowing that some of my classes are still on the leader board absolutely blows my mind! I am humbled and utterly grateful to be a part an incredible resource that anyone can access anywhere, anytime (with internet connection that is!). I embrace every moment that I get to teach at their perfectly situated studio, and work with an incredibly positive and talented team, all the while taking in the serenity of a very special place. This is undoubtedly the Pilates life! 
On my recent trip, we began at filming at 1:15pm and finished at 6:00pm sharp so that they could organize the studio for a mat class that was to arrive at 6:30pm sharp (keep in mind this is probably the busiest studio on the planet; it never sleeps). I filmed 4 classes on Monday. 

A mat class with props, new Rhythm Pilates material (yay! breakdown without music), Rhythm Pilates' 'Inner Goddess' with music (a yoga inspired workout), and lastly, an efficient 30-minute Reformer workout. Time-wise it was tight, but we managed to squeeze everything we planned in the day, well mostly. Honestly, I would have loved another hour, but I am beyond GRATEFUL to have filmed four additional classes!  

You may wonder what the most challenging aspect of filming a class might be. Well, it is an evolutionary process and I have decided that the mic works best on my arm, as opposed to my waist or hips, and that we have limited time. In some cases, we need a re-take for the logistics of a moving target. Because RP is sequenced choreography, it can be tricky because we're working with fixed cameras and our goal is to make it as 3-dimensional and seamless as possible for the viewer. We had one re-take for this particular RP class; which is not too shabby if you know what I mean. It wasn't as perfect as some of my rehearsals had gone, I tell the truth, but I will say, it wasn't all that bad, either!

The day ended with smiles, high-fives, white wine, ocean gazing, group photos, laughter and a fabulous meal, where the lovely Amy Havens hosted us.  

I want to thank Pilates Anytime for having me once again and to my dear friends and colleagues Alicia Head, Christine Baltes and Livi Kerszenbaum who all contributed to the new choreography. I hope you will enjoy it as much as I do! 

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