11 Jul 2014

I’ve been thinking

Over the last few years I’ve spent an enormous amount of time trying to better understand the thought process that led Joseph Pilates to create his work, in an effort to give more integrity to my teaching, and ultimately feel better about using his name to delineate what I practice and teach.

Trying to make intellectual sense of something as intangible as a thought process quickly reveals that it’s not a simple and straightforward task. After all, a thought process is neither reality nor aspiration – it is the connective tissue in between.

What keeps me fascinated in studying the history of physical culture is how the limitations in revealing one’s perspective back then inevitably colored the way information was presented: the written word had to be emotive and bold to be noteworthy; stories told had to be grandiose in order to be memorable. Results may or may not have been delivered, but either way they were promised – the louder the better.

That approach may not have changed all that much, but the playing field is certainly different now that the flood gates of knowledge exchange have opened (and we’re merely in the infancy stage of the internet and social media). Unlike Joseph Pilates, we have a real chance at defining our thought process and letting others in on how we process the world – a little bit at a time, an opportunity that we will hopefully learn to use wisely and in service of the greater good.

Earlier this year, I was asked to share some of my perspective on physical culture and movement as well as the thought process behind my own life and work. It was a humbling experience having to put it all in words – on camera, no less! I’m not sure I like talking about myself as much as I like talking about Joseph Pilates and Contrology, but here you have a little bit of both, courtesy of Kristi Cooper and Pilates Anytime.

This experience has made me truly appreciate the vulnerability of the ‘knowledge exchange’ process and the loss of control over its interpretation on the other end. It’s an improvisation I’m willing to continue – as long as it remains helpful to you and me.

In fact, it inspired me to revive this blog, which had to make space for personal projects and a busy travel schedule during the past year. Super-charged with thoughts and observations from the world of movement and movement teaching, I am excited to share my very own thought process with you again, right here.