Practice News and Calendar (February 2012)
Dear Practice Friends,
February is typically a month when our instructors place their shoulders to the grind stone as they study and practice for levels of certification and/or continuing education; we call this a month of “less talking, more doing.” It’s also an opportunity to look for deeper understanding in the fundamentals of the methods we teach.
To that end I recently re-read Joseph Pilates’ 1945 text, “Return to Life Through Contrology.” In his introduction he points to the importance of breathing: “Breathing is the first act of life, and the last. Our very life depends on it.” It was a reminder to me of just how integral conscious breathing is to the Pilates Method.
Because breathing is involuntary, it’s something that is easy to let fade into the background of our awareness, and so it may seem odd at times to have your instructor calling your attention to your breath with every single move you make. The Pilates breath pattern of inhaling through the nose and exhaling deeply through pursed lips helps to activate our deep support muscles that surround our core. Breathing into the lateral and posterior aspects of the lungs draws oxygen into underutilized areas. Deep breathing also helps us avoid unnecessary tension in the neck and shoulders and it aids in relaxation, all great stuff.
Take a moment to observe your own breath pattern right now. If you find your self breathing shallowly, try pushing the air out of the lungs first then accompany it with a deep inhale. Feels great, yes? During your sessions at Practice in February, I encourage you to treat yourself to some deep, conscious breaths. Don’t worry about forgetting to breathe, we will be there to remind you!
Finally, thank you again for all your support, and also a warm welcome goes out to our new practitioners in January:
Trish Caramico, Mindy Damstra, Heidi Donnelly, Judy Lipton, Susan Strong, and Denise Swick
Monthly Class Calendar
After a successful rotator cuff surgery last month, Joy will return to teach Hatha Yoga and Pilates Yoga Fusion beginning Thursday, February 7th. She will be in an arm sling for several more weeks, which means she will be providing more verbal cueing than demonstrating, and this will give her more time to help her students correct their form. Welcome back, Joy!
Vipal Patel, while on overseas assignment for a year, took his picture from inside the U.S Embassy, but which U.S. Embassy is it? Can you guess where Vipal is? Be the first to reply with the correct country to win your very own Practice tee. Here’s a hint: He’s not in Kansas anymore, but he’s not in OZ either. However in the Wizard of Oz, Dorothy and her cohorts run into a dilemma that requires the intervention of Glinda the Good Witch. The “dilemma” they run into is intimately related to this country.
Would you like to have your very own Practice tee for free? Here’s 2 ways to get one:
- Take a trip somewhere, and let us know that you would be willing to take a pic in a fun location (preferably not standing in front of a sign that gives away your location!) and submit it to us for the Practice Abroad feature in our newsletter. We’ll give you a tee to take with you on your trip.
- Be the first to figure out where the current Practitioner is in their photo. Reply by email to Patrick at email@example.com. The first correct respondent wins a free tee!
On February 10th, Leslie Miller will be competing in the 7th Annual Valentine’s Dance at the Schuster Center. A benefit for A Special Wish Foundation, the evening will offer heavy hor’ doueuvres, a silent auction, live entertainment, the dancing competition, and a Caribbean cruise raffle sponsored by Miami Valley AAA. For more information, click here.
Meanwhile, Brent Johnson will step into the boxing ring to raise money for the Aids Resource Center of Ohio on Saturday, February 25th. Knockout, a V.I.P Fight Night, in collaboration with Drake’s Downtown Gym, will be held at Memorial Hall at 7p. General Admission tickets are $15, and can be purchased in advance at Square One Salon (downtown and Centerville locations). For more info, click here.
Research: How Exercise May Keep Alzheimer’s at Bay
From the Well blog at the New York Times website, Tara Parker Pope shares some fascinating research results that suggests a daily walk or jog could alter the risk of developing Alzheimer’s or change the course of the disease if it begins in some people.
A Cautionary Tale about Taking Yoga Too Far
The New York Times wrote an article earlier in January on the dangers of trying to do more in yoga than you as a student are ready for. Our resident yoga instructor, Joy Karl, in discussion with Patrick, noted that the smaller group sizes in the Practice studio make it possible for her to tailor modifications for clients based on their needs and their level of readiness, something that isn’t possible in larger venues. When done properly, and within the ranges appropriate for the individual, yoga is fantastic for developing flexibility, balance and strength.
The Great Genetics Debate
Adam Bornstein, Deitorial Director at Livestrong, continues to write no-nonsense articles on health and fitness that are backed by research and often dispel popular myths related to weight loss and muscles gain. This one shines a light on the role of genetics in body composition. Check it out!
Funny Yoga Girl Video
Thanks goes to Barb Haley, who found this very clever music video on Youtube. Thanks, Barb!