February Fever


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I am used to the month of February flying by, but usually January seems to drag on forever. Another epic month, somehow shot by, and I'm happy that we are inching ever closer to brighter and warmer days (yes I know, a while to go yet!)

Its been wonderful to have so much interest in CircusFit Aerial Pilates Teacher Trainng, which starts on 14th February. I will be confessing my love for aerial fitness this Valentine's Day!

I have been relishing digging into my Pilates library and getting re-acquanited with the legend that is Joseph H. Pilates (1883-1967). Pilates methodology was the grounding of my dance training through college and university. My mother had been a Pilates enthusiast growing up in the 1960s as a dance student - following contempoary dance icons around the south of England for masterclasses, being accepted to London School of Contemporary Dance, and becoming a dance teacher and exercise professional in the 1970s. Pilates under-pinned all her professional movement work. Until the mid-to-late 1980s it was only the dance community and elite athletes that kept Pilates methodology alive. Suffice to say the Pilates method is something I took for granted. I grew up with dance, exercise and movement awareness, learning the 7 fundamentals of Pilates: centering, concentration, control, alignment, breathing, precision, and flow via osmosis.

I came across this classic quote today:

A few well-designed movements, properly performed in a balanced sequence, are worth hours of doing sloppy callisthenics or forced contortion.

— Joseph H. Pilates

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Joseph Pilates is the master of modern movement training in my eyes, and my generation and generations to come are fortunate to have the Pilates method so widely available. Pilates has been everywhere for me, from Lewisham College Access to Dance, to New England Centre of Circus Arts - Aerial Teaching Training. Serenity Smith-Forchion and her twin sister Elsie Smith performed a Doubles Trapeze act with Cirque du Soliel for over 4 years. It wasn't until Serenity tore her shoulder, that she learnt to encompass the wisdom of Pilates into her training and she became Pilates Captain for Cirque du Soliel.

Today I was treated to a Myo-Fascia Release therapy session by my talented mother. My mum is now a therapist and incorporates her decades of movement, Myo-Fascia Release therapy, Pilates knowledge & experience to educate other teachers in the fitness industry. My scapular was winged, right shoulder rotated forward, jaw bone pushed sideways, pelvis twisted to the left... my body is well and truly in need of some TLC. Even exercise, when out of balance, can be bad for us. I have been thinking today about my priorities and how to keep things in balance. It seems to be what most of us are striving for: work/life balance. So I had a think about all this, while wishing my Granny & Grandad farewell as they take an epic trip to NZ, and asking my mum to put her feet up for 10 mins before treating her next client. I am incredibly grateful for my family, my hubby, my daughter, my sisters and brother, my job, my friends and colleagues, and for the opportunities open to us today, that certainly weren't available to our parents or grandparents.

Continuing with the gratitude, I am grateful to Joe Pilates: an extrovert, a pioneer, a leader, a character. I read that he smoked cigars, liked to party hard, and strolled around in nothing but his training briefs on the streets of New York (when he felt like it). Papa Joe was a fantastic role model (physically and ideologically). His passion and dedication to what he belived in - a healthy body and mind - gave his students and followers a method that kept them fit, strong, free from pain, injury and illness.

Pilates life's work was striving for physical perfection, to be the best he could be, whilst being intelligent and always emphasising quality over quantity. Wherever he is now, I hope he is looking down on me, and I hope I have his blessing. Today I give thanks to Joe Pilates, I acknowledge his legacy, and our connection to the past through his work, which is practiced all over the world today.

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