This Sunday, February 22nd from 2-4pm Jackie Odette (see bio below) and I, will be teaching a workshop at MuseMovement Studio: Pilates for Yogi's. This workshop is the first in a series of three (who knows maybe even more) that explores how using Pilates exercises, principles and language can actually strengthen and rejuvenate our yoga practice. In the first of these workshops we will be discussing the core. I am talking abdominals, psoas, multifidi, but mostly abs- cause who doesn't love abs? In the next workshop we will look at the "overlooked core"- the muscles and exercises that stabilize and mobilize the femur bone in pelvic socket. In the third of the series we will dig into the shoulder complex. I am so excited about this workshop for so many reason's beyond the fact that I get to nerd out and talk about anatomy and movement for two plus hours. I am stoked to be working with Jackie Odette, whom I mentored many moons ago and is now one of Toronto's most in demand, and awesomely talented, Pilates teachers. But most importantly, I am excited to marry these two ways of thinking about, and moving, the body. Jackie and I have heard from so many yogi's that doing Pilates has transformed their asana practice by creating more strength and stability which translates into a safer and more balanced practice. By finding the containment and fine-tuning of a Pilates practice you can actually create deeper expression in your yoga practice. Its kind of like life, if you are grounded and focused, the possibilities of the universe open up to you a whole lot more.
There is so much stuff that we are going to cover in this two hour workshop, in which we will get you moving and practicing, thinking and questioning- and where all questions are good questions. And speaking of questions: a while back, when I was doing the Ask A Teacher segment on this blog (which I am starting again so please email all your burning yoga and Pilates questions to email@example.com) I got asked by a yoga teacher "What's the different between neutral and imprint?" Here is the answer as a little prologue to Sunday's workshop. If you can't make it this time we will run it again so keep checking the events page on this website and all of our social media for updates.
Neutral v. Imprint:
Our bodies are beautifully designed to function. The natural curves in our spine are created that way to be the least shock absorbent. In Pilates- and in yoga- this is the position from which we want to work to create the most stability and therefore most efficient mobility in the body. To be sure, there are many exercises where you are not in a neutral spine but we always want to come back to neutral. However, we are not all robots with the same build. So we use imprint to protect our lumbar spine if we have excessive inward arches, or convex curves. The action of imprint is just a gentle tilt by way of the abdominals so that the front hip bones move to the rib cage and the lumbar spine lengthens and moves towards- rather than away -from the floor. We might also work in imprint when we are lifting the legs off the floor as we are lying on our backs. Often, if we have weak abdominals or lower back stabiisers, or tight psoas muscles, the weight of the legs will pull us further into that convex curve into an over exaggerated neutral which will hurt and compromise our lower spine (and often our neck too). Here, we would use imprint to support the low back. The goal however is to strengthen the abdominals enough that we can support a neutral spine when the legs come up. This, and so much more, will be clarified further and discussed in more detail. You'll just have to come to the workshop to learn more. In the meantime meet Jackie Odette my co- teacher.
Jackie O was born and raised in Toronto, ON. After practicing yoga for several years she found herself curious about other movement practices. This curiosity, love for movement and mindfulness brought her to Pilates and she has never looked back. Her classes are fueled by creativity. They are energetic, challenging and fun! She can always find a little humour in a bit of hard work. Jackie O prides herself on creating safe, challenging and accessible sequencing. After taking her class you will be sure to feel stronger, leaner and more connected to the way your body moves. Jackie has her Mat intensive training from Body Harmonics and reformer training from Misfitstudio. She is constantly learning by taking workshops and classes to help educate herself and her clients through movement.
We look forward to moving, teaching and learning with you. You can register for the workshop here.
Move body, mind and heart.