As most of you probably know, I recently attended the 13th Annual PMA Conference. It’s the big Pilates conference where all the leaders, influencers and teachers in the Pilates world from around the country get together to learn, mingle and advance the study of Pilates.
Once again my experience at the PMA Conference was wonderful, enlightening, enriching and inspiring! There is so much that I learned as well as many new friendships made. The Pilates community can be a supportive and nurturing environment. I say can be – because sometimes with less experienced students or less trained studios there seems to be insecurities that prohibit this kind of embrace of each other. That is one of the reasons I am willing to travel across the country, dip into my bank account and spend close to a week at the PMA – the people make it worth the trip!
I want to share with you a small snapshot of some of the new learnings and experiences I had. Don’t worry I won’t share everything – neither of us have time for that!
I attended a workshop on dealing with low back pain. All low back pain is not the same and can not be treated the same. By assessing the student, asking questions and performing simple tests – one can determine the best course of action. Some students can perform flexion but not extensions (clients spondylolisis or stenois -narrowed spinal canal). Some clients can perform extension but not flexion (students with herniated discs or degenerative discs). And even some can tolerate neither (students with a herniated disc and spondy). BUT there is work we can safely do with all three groups!
I attended a workshop on adhesive tissue post c-section. To simplify, this workshop examined what happens to a body post surgery – the scar tissue and adhesions that develop and the weakness too. Whether from a c-section or even gallbladder surgery – there are ways to improve the core, reduce the scarring and slow or stop the growth of scar tissue. EVEN 10 or more years post surgery – we are still able to make these changes! The body is an amazing healing force – we just need to know what to do! And here is a fun fact – did you know post c-section it is best for the healing of the pelvic floor not to wear heels for a while? The wearing of heels only contributes to the anterior tilt of the pelvis which can be persistent from the incision and tightness of the stitches and scar tissue.
I participated in several mat classes and it was fun as well as challenging to be the student and learn new transitions. I had the opportunity to meet and spend an evening talking with the PMA president Trent McEntire. As a result I was also able to attend the Pilates Anytime and Pilates Style Appreciation Party – and what an event it was! The room was full of all of the who’s who in the Pilates world! I felt like one lucky Pilates instructor to be able to tagline to such an exciting event!
Another session I participated in was all about cuing – verbally, visually and tactily. I learned some new tricks to really get you all to understand and feel the work!
I also took a session on using a different chair – the Wunda chair. It’s on my list of equipment to add to the studio –and oh what fun we will have! (remember my idea of fun usually involves hard work!)
Pilates is so much more than an exercise. In fact, most who teach think of it more as body conditioning and movement improvement. We are teaching you to move properly in your body so you utilize your muscle in the best way making physical activity and everyday life possible. And guess what – that usually leads to a nicely toned body too!
I believe it is so important to continue to learn, grow and strive for more knowledge. Attending conferences and making Pilates contacts makes that possible for me. I am excited to see each of you and share a little bit more with you this week. And don’t be surprised if I try out some different cues on you too!