Pilates to Rehabilitate

The 1230 to 1330 online class on Mondays has more of a rehabilitative focus.  Anyone can attend the Monday lunchtime session of course. It will just be a bit less physically demanding with the emphasis more on beginner, improver and intermediate level exercises.  For full details about the rehab Pilates class including who might benefit most from it and what to expect from the session, please visit this new page of my website.

The above image is of Dr Gunther von Hagens’ plastinated gymnast from his Body Worlds exhibition.  I saw this in London in 2002/03.  I was studying anatomy as part of my Pilates Teaching Training course so it was the perfect opportunity to get under the skin (see what I did there) of the musculoskeletal system.   As those who practise with me know, the engagement of the pelvic floor muscles is a key part of the Pilates Method and this exhibition provided a chance to actually see them up-close. If I see a pelvic floor in the flesh again I’ll be surprised…and frankly disturbed.

To close, here’s a beautiful video from the Dutch National Ballet of their dancers performing at home in lockdown.  Pirouetting in socks on a tiled floor – respect!

Seeing and Hearing with your Whole Body

Lockdown can provide time for more mindful pursuits so I thought I’d share a favourite video of mine.  It features choreographer, Anne Teresa de Keersmaeker’s pure dance piece, Rain set to Steve Reich’s minimalistic composition, Music for 18 Musicians.

Rain feels particularly apt for these unprecedented times when we’re being called upon to work together to overcome the threat posed by Covid-19.  Here’s how de Keersmaeker describes her piece…

“In Rain, the company of dancers are a close-knit group of pronounced individuals who, one by one, play a vital role in the whole. Seven women and three men allow themselves to be propelled by an unstoppable joined energy that binds them together. It’s a bustling network in which breath and speed is shared as well as that special comradery that forms when you are beyond fatigue.”

If dance isn’t your thing, I’d highly recommend you just close your eyes and listen to Reich’s music.  I often listen to it while doing Pilates at home. 18 Musicians is a beautiful piece that you experience rather than just hear.  The pulsating tones and repetitive movements seem to enter the body, clearing the mind of its chatter, releasing tension in the body and producing, if not quite a dream-like state then a stillness inside.

Anyway, less blathering from me.  I’ll let the dance and music speak for themselves…

UPDATE – rather unhelpfully, YouTube has removed my favourite video so here is the full performance of Steve Reich’s Music for 18 Musicians and a snippet of the dance performance, Rain in a separate video…