Pilates with Open Awareness


Pilates is my favorite method for training the body to coordinate movement and work as one unit, one interconnected body. I haven’t found any other exercise (yoga or otherwise) that matches what Pilates brings to my practice. Because of this, Pilates is integrated into the active yoga sequences I teach.


What do you mean “interconnected body”, and why should I care?


Every part of your body is linked through a network of connective tissue called fascia. Have you ever had an injury in one area that impacted a seemingly unrelated part of your body? Like a sprained ankle and a limp that causes low back and shoulder pain? Nothing inside of you exists by itself, and it needn’t work by itself. Pilates is the best method I’ve found to help myself and my clients understand and master this whole-body muscle coordination.


Yoga and Pilates together enable us to strengthen weak and underworking parts of your body and release tight and tense areas to transform you into a fluid functioning physical being. This practice will absolutely make you more comfortable sitting, standing, moving, and even lying down. Yoga plus Pilates practice will positively impact all other physical activities you engage in. Pilates makes your body smarter.


What makes Pilates different?


First, Pilates trains the “Powerhouse” muscles. The Powerhouse includes the “core muscles” of the abdominals, along with the muscles of the spine, low back, hips, gluteals, and upper thighs (pelvic stabilizers). Practicing Pilates teaches these muscles to be stronger, smarter, and work together with the rest of the body efficiently.


Pilates isn’t about repetition as much as it’s about precision of form. We work towards perfection in Pilates, not towards adding more weight or reps.


During practice, your brain learns to focus on relaxing the face and neck while engaging the muscles of the Powerhouse, upper body, and legs. While moving through the Pilates sequence, it’s important not to let the stationery or “non-working” part of the body just flop out there, sloppy in space.


We learn to stay engaged through the entire body while performing under ten repetitions of multiple exercises – specific, precise movements of the torso, arms, and legs. As you advance in your practice, the movements become more fluid and you are able to do them quicker, with less thought. The body itself learns the coordination. Engagement and precision become intuitive and automatic. This has a huge impact to your posture and movement in every day life!


By practicing Pilates with our yoga, we bring an active and intuitive consciousness back to the posture and poise of the body, thereby improving comfort and balance in all your movements throughout the day. This is a system to retrain your body to move through space, no longer herky jerky and strained, now with smoothness, balance, strength, and grace.