Today when creative and values driven folks look for connection to their bodies we often encounter punishing fitness or invitations to practice controlling ourselves. While exercise is a vital component to healing, not all exercise is trauma-informed.
Your body is not a machine, your body is poetry. Humans have been dancing longer than they have been languaging. Movement is a birthright not of punishment but of connection.
So much of what brings me, and my clients, back to the system of Pilates is the emphasis on mindfulness. Pilates invites us to bring awareness to our movement, to practice intimacy with self, and to experience wonder at our anatomy.
Why trauma-informed Pilates? Trauma is stored in the body. It is the memory of being out of control, past capacity to process or respond, and it stores protective mechanisms in our movement patterns. Exercise, paired with the right therapy modality, can be a powerful transformer, inviting the shedding of old energy and habits, and welcoming space for new ones. It can also be re-traumatizing, if we don’t track capacity and a sense of safety by staying within capacity and at our growing edge.
I take a trauma-informed approach to this system. To me, that means tracking, affirming and leaving space for the experience of safety and empowerment, prioritizing connection over achievement, and combining science with intuition for a whole person approach.
These six principles are the ancestors of my approach to trauma-informed Pilates, what I call Transformative Pilates. They were taught to my teacher(s) by the students who worked directly with Joseph Pilates.
They are: Concentration. Control. Precision. Breath. Flow. Center.
Concentration. Where do you place your attention? When you’re in movement practices, what is your mental practice?
Control. What is within your control? Are you tending to those places? Are your muscles harnessing power as you move through your days?
Precision. Can you find the nuance in movements and in moments? Are you able to direct yourself and your energy with clarity?
Breath. Can this be a place for connection, for wisdom, for learning about the rise and fall of being alive?
Flow. Do you let yourself go? Do you ride the waves? Do you let your body dance and express and explore?
Center. Can you find your center? physically? mentally? emotionally? spiritually?
I envision a world in which connection to our bodies can be remembered and prioritized as affirming, spiritual, deepening of awareness, and holding of complexity. I am passionate about offering trauma-informed pilates training so that your healing journey can include the necessary and life-affirming experience of movement and strength building.
To learn more about working with me click here.
In the meantime, let this be a magic spell that invites you in to more connection with yourself and your aliveness. Let it be so!
west philly and via zoom
holding space to prioritize the wisdom of the body