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  • Julie Phillips

Pilates Systems Training weekend 3

Being relatively new to the world of Pilates, I became a super fan pretty fast. The mat work made me realize I'd been doing a LOT of things incorrectly in my aerial work -- how I was engaging (and not engaging) my abdominals; what "crunch" means (it's not good), and how lengthening and strengthening in a workout makes you feel like your body is capable of so much more.

With Yamuna Body Rolling, I'd been trying to address those issues for years. And without question, I did feel better. But we continually rotate through our patterns as we walk, drive, do dishes, exercise, whatever. Yamuna's work gives us a deeper awareness of that.

What we all really need is to use this awareness and then unravel our own issues. Because we as individuals live in the body we've been given. It's up to us to work through our pain, our tightness, our limitations. No one practice or practitioner can figure it out for us! Gah! We wish it was that easy, right?

But the thing is, we spend SO much time doing stupid stuff that doesn't really matter. Our bodies DO. So tuning in for even an hour a day really isn't that much to ask, right?

This weekend I spent another 18 hours getting to cycle through body awareness with my 8th Classical Pilates (3rd on the equipment, 8th including mat work) training session at Vitality Method Studio in Duluth, with Joel Crosby (kneeling left in above photo with these other lovely new Pilates teacher friends).

The focus since February has been the equipment created by Joe Pilates. What a genius. I think everyone who realizes the scope of his work pretty much bows down to what he created. Say you can't find your deep abdominals? You're overusing your arms rather than connecting them to your back muscles (think about that time you reached around for your purse behind the front seat of your car and OW)? There are machines for all of it (fun ones that challenge you to the point that you can't wait to try them again).

I continually feel overwhelmed with gratitude to get to do the work I do. I'm a body geek, and I love to put that to work to help others figure out what's going on for their bodies, too. To be surrounded by a room full of others on the same path, for an entire set of weekends in this training, has been so much fun. We've got one left, and then I'll be on the count for 600 hours of teaching and personal study to earn my certification. I can think of nothing I'd rather do more. Huge thanks to Joel and all my new friends, pictured above. What a great ride!!

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