One of the BEST things about running my own business is not only having CONTROL of the quality of the services I offer but the luxury of being able to allow SYNCHRONICITY and FLOW from the bountiful universe to be equally directing factors.
As an early instructor of pilates, my most valuable tools were my patience, organization, attention to detail, professionalism, personal experience and sense of fun! Now, as a more seasoned instructor, I have kept all of my earlier traits but have added even more insight into the pilates method thru, literally, THOUSANDS of hours of hands-on teaching. Sheer repetition, mindfulness, and constant focus on CLIENT SUCCESS has allowed me the opportunity to refine my reformer classes in a manner very unique to my studio.
One, though not surprising, I have found that most of my clients lead very busy, and often, stressful lives. Experience has taught me that clients come to my reformer classes, not only for the physical exercise, but the mental benefits as well.
Open Studio Pilates reformer classes are unique in that, flow is always at the forefront of every class — even with the ever-changing repertoire.
Therefore, my classes include a meditative warm-up, footwork, the hundred, theme-week program body and meditative cool-down. Beginning and ending a work-out in a state of mindful awareness is critical to getting the most from your precious 50-minute class. Approached in this manner, pilates itself becomes an actual “moving meditation.”
Two, to help clients maintain a “meditative” state, I have found, that the pilates program needs to be ever-changing. While I love classical pilates, those reformer programs historically follow very set formats. In order to keep my clients “in-the-moment,” I keep them guessing. Mind and body must stay in present moment awareness to keep pace with the unique direction of each and every individual class. Group classes are taught at a solid intermediate level, with optional modifications for beginners and challenges for seasoned veterans. Having a specific theme every week (see studio’s Facebook), not only keeps boredom at bay, but constantly sharpens specific pilates skills and concepts.
Three, a meditative state cannot be achieved without FLOW. Open Studio Pilates reformer classes are unique in that, flow is always at the forefront of every class—even with the ever-changing repertoire. Specific exercises in each class are chosen for their contribution to a complete body workout, ease of spring-change, prop usage, etc. Along with flow, the other pilates principles of: breathing, concentration, control, centering, precision, balance, relaxation and whole body movement are skillfully utilized.
I have become a better teacher, not only from my sheer volume of teaching but, from my own personal injuries—specifically, a herniated disc in my neck, received as a passenger in a vehicle struck at a high rate of speed, while on a highway in 2012. This injury, and the healing benefits I received from working with many gifted professionals in the Columbia area, allowed me the opportunity to look deeper into the pilates method with regard to the true importance of stabilizing the pelvis and scapular areas. Alignment, posture and effective walking mechanics have literally changed my body—and the way I teach. Along with Columbia heathcare professionals, the written work of Esther Gokhale has had a profound influence, not only on my recovery but my pilates paradigm as well. (See www.gokhalemethod.com).
My work as a pilates instructor has not only been influenced by Esther Gokhale, L. Ac., but Phillip Beach, DO, DAc (see www.phillipbeach.com), specifically his “archetypal postures of repose,” learned directly from Beach at a professional workshop in 2015. Both Gokhale and Beach believe that our “modern” society can learn much from other cultures (and our ancient ancestors) and that chronic pain, postural problems are often culturally induced—and (the good news is) can be changed! Finally, and not surprising, Gokhale and Beach also place much emphasis on the FEET with regard to the health of the whole body. (I have learned this first-hand in recovering from my injuries). Thus, pilates “footwork” is not just a “warm-up” but a critical and ever-present part of the pilates workout.
A final benefit of founding, operating and managing my own business, is the breathtaking opportunity for unbridled CREATIVITY! That being the case, my strategy for success, (in everything—cooking, art, meditation, pilates, etc.) is to create what I want to see in the future. Thus, in pilates, I create the classes I want to take and, ultimately, the classes my clients want to take! Clients give me feedback in every class—both verbal and nonverbal—and I am constantly being guided by their wisdom.
I invite anyone new to pilates, or anyone seeking a change in their current pilates practice, to try the holistic approach at Open Studio Pilates. Experience, not only an effective method of exercise, which is much more than the sum of its parts—but a place where energy literally FLOWS. Where each client is an integral part of the program. Where we are all, literally, in a state of synchronicity—being in precisely the right place at the right time. (In a nutshell, my client, Tara S., may have said it best: “Open Studio Pilates is my happy place.”)
Laura Detert, PMA®-CPT
Open Studio Pilates Founder/Owner & PMA® Certified Pilates Teacher
My education is ongoing! Look for my latest training updates on the studio’s Facebook page. You never know where I will be next: Chicago, IL; Denver, CO; Las Vegas, NV; Phoenix, AZ or London, UK?
In maintaining my credentials both with Balanced Body, the Pilates Method Alliance (PMA®), and my own thirst for knowledge, I have attended workshops, individual private sessions or both with the following pilates master teachers:
The gifts I have received from each of these fine teachers, is ever-present in my daily work. From the importance of “breath” from Amy Alpers, “letting gravity do its work,” from Brent Anderson, the “power of growing tall,” from Peter Fiasca, the basics of “moving and stabilizing” from Brooke Siler—I am blessed to be part of such a loving and giving community.
(See more in Blog posts).
I have not only worked with the above pilates masters but meditation masters davidji and Deepak Chopra as well. Though gaining much thru the Chopra method of meditation, I have since developed my own style of meditation—incorporating the powers of intuition, crystal energies and spiritual guidance.
(Look for my first meditation workshop to be presented in 2015 in the St. Louis area)
To help clients maintain a “meditative” state, I have found, that the pilates program needs to be ever-changing.
When the student is ready, the teacher appears.”