Practice News & Calendar – October (2013)
EXERCISE YOUR CREATIVITY
Dear Practice Friends,
The word creativity tends to invoke ideas of artists, writers, painters, dancers, and actors, which represents the pinky toe in the body of creative output that arises in our universe every day. Any change we make in ourselves or in the world around us is inherently creative. At it’s most utilitarian, creativity is problem solving. When you are required to do something you have never done before, say changing a headlight in your car, finding out how to do the repair is a creative act for you because it involves starting at a place of not knowing, engaging in a search for the answer (whether on the internet, in a book, or a phone call), and then integrating the new found knowledge with an action.
So how do we apply that to fitness? At first glance, it seems that the instructors at Practice are generating the creativity through their programming and this is true enough; we get to practice creating from our side in order to better serve you. Your opportunity for a creative response comes when we present you with a challenge that you have never done before: a new exercise, a new resistance level, a shift in the tempo, or perhaps a bundling of a series of exercises in a different sequence.
Let’s take learning a new exercise for example. The second you find yourself encountering the new and unknown, your brain lights up, alerting you to change. While you may not be overtly aware of the question, at a subconscious level you ask, “how do I do this?” Your awareness heightens as you scan your body and memory for other activities that might be like the one you are watching the instructor demonstrate. “It’s sort of like this, but not exactly.” The newness is a little unsettling but also exciting. Your focus sharpens around the task at hand. If you are a visual learner you watch the instructors body and then form a mental image of yourself performing it. If you are a verbal learner you hone in on the instructors words and string the movement pattern together in your mind. Then you take up your starting position and (after inhaling to prepare 🙂 you begin to move.
Almost immediately you can tell that the way you are doing the movement pattern doesn’t match the way you saw the demo or heard the instructions. You stop and ask yourself “what am I missing,” this time allowing the question to hang in the open space of your mind for a moment. Suddenly it dawns on you, the teacher was reaching forward with long arms while you were bending your elbows and lifting your shoulders. That moment of open questioning followed by a flash of recognition is creativity in process and underlies every learning endeavor.
Why is creativity important in fitness? I can think of three really good reasons:
First: without creativity, there is no progress. Simply repeating the thing you have done before will deliver you the same result you have received before, and in many cases results in diminishing returns.
Second: the act of creating feels wonderful. While encountering the unknown, especially when it is your own personal ignorance, can sometimes feel threatening or scary, the joy and thrill of learning or doing something new really does outweigh the anxiety that might arise (and as with most things, stepping into the unknown gets easier with practice J). Combine this joy with the endorphins from a good workout, and you have a recipe for one of the healthiest and most potent cocktails on the planet!
Third: engaging the creative process is more congruent with reality. Creativity is intimately tied to change, and the universe in which we live is in constant flux. To give ourselves a sense of security and stability, we learn to perceive our self as unchanging and our lives as routine; at least until something momentous shocks us into confronting the unknown, at which point the experience can be debilitating. By consciously choosing to put ourselves in a state of not knowing while at the studio and looking for creative responses to new challenges, we can strengthen the muscles that we use for facing change in other aspects of our lives. We build resilience for looking directly into the unknown. We learn to listen deeply both within and without. And we get better at embracing the change that flows around us, and through us, every moment of our lives.
At its heart, creativity is a state of inquiry that contains deep listening and openness; it is a communication channel to our best self.
Have a great October,
Fitness for Life
Monthly Class Calendar and 2013 Rates
There are no class changes for October, yay!
STOTT PILATES® Professional Education Courses to Begin at Practice in 2014!
We are thrilled to announce that Practice will become a Hosting Facility with Merrithew Health & Fitness™ and will begin to offer STOTT PILATES® educational courses for new instructors, starting in January. The two courses, Intensive Mat-Plus and Intensive Reformer, are foundational courses for becoming an instructor of STOTT PILATES®.
Please mark your calendars now!
Intensive Mat-Plus (40 hour course)
January 10-12, 24-26
Intensive Reformer (50 hour course)
March 6, 7, 8, 9
March 20, 21, 22, 23
April 4, 5
We will also be offering 2 days of workshops, great opportunities for current teachers to acquire their continuing education credits, for prospective teachers to explore what educational courses with STOTT PILATES® are like, or for clients who want to learn the newest workouts for Pilates reformer and more.
Sunday, February 9, 2014
STOTT PILATES® Pilates with Medicine Ball
STOTT PILATES® Athletic Conditioning on the Reformer, Level 3
STOTT PILATES® Matwork Flow Conditioning Sequence Workout
Sunday, April 6, 2014
To request a digital brochure on education and career paths with Merrithew Health & Fitness™, click here.
If you, or anyone you know, might be interested in taking the courses and/or the workshops, please contact Patrick at firstname.lastname@example.org, or by cell phone (937) 609-4170.
An advanced congratulations goes out to Juetta West on the launch of her new business venture, Turn It On Fitness (TIO) and the creation of her very own line of fitness apparel!
Juetta has partnered with native Daytonian and Project Runway finalist, Althea Harper, to create a product line originating from “the premise that fitness apparel shouldn’t scream “I belong in the gym” but instead should be both fashionable and versatile enough to transition from workout to “every wear” effortlessly.
From the Turn It On Fitness website: “The concept is simple, yet almost non-existent in today’s athletic wear market place – stylish, flexible, high quality clothing inspired by looks from the fashion runway. Each item can be worn on the street, as well as in the gym and is designed for a variety of workout activities including: running, spinning, yoga, Pilates or dressing to kill.”
While the official launch is coming later this fall, you can still check out the products, a photo gallery and TIO TV at www.turnitonfitness.com.
Good luck, Juetta!
Welcome to Practice!
A warm welcome goes out to our newest members of the Practice community, who started with us in September:
We are thrilled to have you with us. Welcome aboard!
What to do if Your Child Tears an A.C.L.
The first of 4 very informative articles in the NY Times’ Phys Ed section, Gretchen Reynolds writes on the process of education and decision making required should your child have an A.C.L. injury.
Public Health: The Silent Disease Striking Children
Many thanks to Michael Kunesh who forwarded us this link to an excellent Wall Street Journal article, highlighting the prevalence of Fatty Liver Disease in children, “a type of liver disease once thought to afflict primarily adult alcoholics.”
Research: Do your Gut Bacteria Influence Your Metabolism?
A number of you steered us in the direction of this fascinating NPR story with host Ira Flatow, who discusses a new study in which “researchers were able to make mice lean or obese by altering their gut bacteria. Jeffrey Gordon, an author of the study, discusses how the interaction between diet and the microbial community in our gut influences our health.”
Research: How Physical Fitness May Promote School Success
From Gretchen Reynolds in the NY Times “Phys Ed” section: “Physically fit children absorb and retain new information more effectively than children who are out of shape, a new study finds, raising timely questions about the wisdom of slashing schools’ physical education programs.”
Why Runners Don’t Get Knee Arthritis
From Gretchen Reynolds (one more time!) at the NY Times: “One of the most entrenched beliefs about running, at least among nonrunners, is that it causes arthritis and ruins knees. But a nifty new study finds that this idea is a myth and distance running is unlikely to contribute to the development of arthritis, precisely and paradoxically because it involves so much running.”
Research: How Exercise Can Help Us Eat Less
Also fro the NY Times “Phys Ed” section, Gretchen Reynolds writes on a new eating study: “Strenuous exercise seems to dull the urge to eat afterward better than gentler workouts, several new studies show, adding to a growing body of science suggesting that intense exercise may have unique benefits.”