Band of Insiders
Dear Practice Friends,
I have a client, let’s call him Tom (because that’s actually his name), who has been doing some great work in the studio over the last 3 months. He’s gained strength, muscle and endurance, and he’s lost weight, all of which is fantastic. More importantly though, last week he crossed a milestone in his development even though he himself wasn’t aware of it at the time. It’s a quality in training that Pilates and yoga instructors look for in their students, which you might call working from the inside out.
Usually, when people first start training, they look at the equipment or the trainer as the catalyst for change, the thinking being something like “the weight I am pushing is making me stronger,” or “the trainer is telling me what to do and therefore I am improving.” The resistance or the programming is coming from an external source, something “out there” is doing something for the person. This is working from the outside in, and is one of the reasons why I think people enjoy the Pilates Reformer so much. It is reforming you, it is doing something to you for your benefit, which is why I often hear clients say, “I love the reformer, it gives me a great workout.” I also hear them say the same thing about our instructors: “I really love Kitty: she works me out really hard.”
There is nothing wrong with working from the outside in. I have clients who have operated this way with me for years and they have worked hard and made progress; I am proud of them and love being with them.
I have also lost clients over the years because they didn’t get what they wanted. I will take ownership of my part: it has sometimes been the quality of my instruction, or my personality didn’t mesh well with theirs. But in addition to that I often perceive a sense of dissatisfaction with the training process because it isn’t a magic pill, or because it doesn’t pay dividends immediately, or because it is harder than originally anticipated. And who is to blame when things aren’t working out? Not the person, certainly. Rather, it’s that reformer, or that instructor, or that process “out there.”
Working from the inside out is different. There is a shift toward recognizing oneself as the agent of change: The reformer isn’t doing something to me, I am moving the reformer; The kettle bell is just an object, and I am the one who is engaging my muscles to pick it up; the instructor is giving me cues, but I am the one who is doing the work, and receiving the benefits. If I am not achieving what I want, then I need to evaluate whether it’s the methods, the instructor, or me. I am an active and integral part of this process, or even more, I own my part on the process.
Something significant happens when a person begins to practice from the inside out. Their self-confidence increases as well as their sense of self-efficacy. They are usually able to better tolerate the temporary discomfort that occurs during intense bouts of exercise, partly because they understand that they are the ones choosing it. Exercise, rather than being a drudgery or an obligation imposed from the outside, becomes a vehicle for accomplishment, both short and long term. For my clients who are open to talking about their experience, they point to the positive experiences of increased self-control, resilience, personal power, and an ability to lean into the wind, so to speak. The work outs become more satisfying, so much so that it becomes the new normal, and missing exercise feels like a missed opportunity. The role of the instructor for them is someone who provides a path for growth, though it is understood that they are the ones who are walking it.
These are the kinds of things I am seeing in Tom right now: Fewer rest breaks between exercises; sustained focus; greater attention to form because he’s no longer bowled over by the effort; better breathing; bright eyes; more energy; more confidence in his movement patterns; more active engagement with his class mates when paired up with others; if he is behind the group, he finishes his reps before moving on to the next thing. In short, he is owning his process, and as a result, he looks great, he feels great and he moves well.
I applaud Tom for his progress and welcome him to the band of “insiders”, and I invite you to consider yourself an insider as well; membership is only one thought away.
Monthly Class Calendar
Class Changes: The Restorative Yoga class on Tuesdays at 7p is cancelled for April.
Welcome to Practice!
A warm welcome goes out to our newest members of the Practice community, who started with us in March: Aubree Brown, Brook Grinder, Elizabeth Haley, Leah Hall, Joe Knight, Kelli Minor, Cynthia Mitchell, and Victoria Walters
We are thrilled to have you with us. Welcome aboard!
|If you missed the news today, I want to share with you that our friend and fellow practitioner Brent Johnson was asked by Mayor Nan Whaley to speak at the State House yesterday about the bill that was recently passed in Indiana. Nan Whaley, along with mayors of several other cities in Ohio and Senator Sherrod Brown, voiced their support for diversity in Ohio cities and made it clear that in Dayton, members of the GLBT community are welcome. (If you didn’t know it already, Practice has always been a studio where people can feel welcome regardless of their race, religion, gender or sexual orientation. While our space is small, we find we can always make room for new friends.) Congrats to Brent and the Mayor for stepping up and speaking out!|
|We are also proud to announce that Matthew Parente, Heather Weaver, and Kelly Wolfe completed the 50-hour STOTT PILATES Intensive Reformer course on March 28th. You will see Matt, Heather and Kelly around the studio as they work to accumulate personal practice, observation and practice teaching hours over the next couple of months. If you are interested in a free or reduced rate reformer session in the next month with these talented instructors, please contact Patrick at firstname.lastname@example.org|
Research: How Exercise May Aid Cancer Treatment
From Gretchen Reynolds in the NY Times’ Well section:
“In a new study involving mice, aerobic exercise slowed the growth of breast cancer tumors and made the cancer more sensitive to chemotherapy. The results raise the possibility that exercise may change the biology of some malignant tumors, potentially making them easier to treat.”
Research: One Twin Exercises, the Other Doesn’t
From Gretchen Reynolds once again in the NY Times:
“Identical twins who shared the same sports and other physical activities as youngsters but different exercise habits as adults soon developed quite different bodies and brains, a new study from Finland found.”
Fish Oil Claims Not Supported by Research
From the Alternative Medicine Section of theWell Column, NY Times reporter Anahad O’Connor shares with us that “the vast majority of clinical trials have found no evidence that fish oil supplements lower the risk of heart attack and stroke.”
The Far Reaching Effects of a Fall
On the flips side, here is a statistic about falls that might be preventable with regular exercise: “Fall injuries requiring medical attention rise almost linearly from age 18 on, peaking at 115 per 1,000 adults 75 and older.” Check out Jane Brody’s column in the nY Times:
Research: Older Really Does Mean Wiser
From Benedict Carey in the “Mind” section of the NY Times gives a great article highlighting “research is catching up with the idea that, in some ways, people apparently grow smarter with age.”
Fitness In Midlife Could Help Men Reduce Their Cancer Risk
Thanks, Barb Haley, for sending us this link on a new study connecting exercise to lower cancer risks, which just appeared in the Huffington Post. Check it, men!
“Don’t ask what the world needs. Ask what makes you come alive, and go do it. Because what the world needs is people who have come alive.” -Howard Thurman
Thank you, Sandy Bergsten , for sharing one of your favorites!