Pilates at The Energy Lab is not your typical Pilates. Our body becomes the machine, the vehicle to explore, to listen to, and to discover its lines, connections and anatomical reference points. It is a form of meditation, education, and always includes an element of play, release, laughter, relaxation, and permission to “simply be”. Sometimes that means to do nothing. Sometimes that means to rest. Sometimes that means to trust. Always that means to leave our mats feeling better than when we arrived.
- It will teach you to listen to your body. One of the greatest gifts of simply being with you on your mat is the opportunity to be still and to listen.
- It will teach you the basics of the MELT Method. We begin each practice with either a MELT hand- or foot-treatment. This is against the grain in that there is no additional fee; just learning, education and knowledge. With the MELT Method, you discover your body’s areas of “stuck stress”; that is congestion in the body, connective tissue that has adhesions and may not have the tensegrity and elasticity to allow you to move freely (PRE-PAIN SYMPTOMS and SIGNALS- kind of a big deal if you like to be injury-free and yet active!) Knowing this before you begin any practice will greatly change the way you approach your movement. You would not jump into an activity with tense, dried up “play-doh” as it were; you would first have to understand its form and then give it an opportunity to become hydrated and allow seamless energy vs. segmented energy. One energy type (seamless) will allow you to move freely, the other (segmented) restrains your movement, which often leads to compensation, which will lead to a compromised pattern, and most likely, result in chronic pain. All of which will be blamed on a joint or joint complex that had nothing to do with the original cause – the noise, chaos, tension of stuck stress, left unattended in the body. The MELT experience will leave you feeling the vibrations under your skin and alert to your starting point of practice.
- It will teach you what you look like under your skin. You will be asked to drop your gaze inward and to scan your body from the inside out. You will learn from Jill’s experiences with three different donors at the Laboratories for Anatomical Enlightenment, where she received the gift of understanding what is truly underneath the skin, in a “see for yourself (autopsy) experience” laboratory. The donor bodies that Jill had the opportunity to dissect were “as is”, nothing had been removed or added or changed, the donors were frozen, and all fluids intact so that an accurate-as-possible-understanding of movement and fascia and lines and connections could be obtained. The question you will be asked is this: “Are you living a life that you would invite someone a glance into what is under your skin, much like you would invite someone over for dinner, and you tidy up your house, maybe even deep clean before you are satisfied with the presentability of your home?” Can you say the same of your body?
- It will teach you breath. To inspire, which literally means “breathe life into”. Breath practice of both the para-sympathetic and sympathetic nervous systems, understanding of the diaphragm and its location, attachments and function in breathing, and how vagal tone, gut health and the vagus nerve all serve our most basic of human functioning. Jill reminds us that in the U.S. only pregnant women are given courses on breathing. Stirred by the words and writings of Max Strom, author of “A Life Worth Breathing”, we are reminded that accessing our breath is accessing a life where our capabilities are beyond anything we could ever imagine. How much better would our world be at coping with stress if more people knew how to breathe?
- It will teach you alignment, balance, and coordination.
- It will teach you humility and acceptance.
- It will teach you how to stretch appropriately; by shifting one of your “big rocks” (either the feet or the hips or the shoulders) ever so slightly to affect the stretch in the fascia and muscle desired.
- It will teach you the layers and the directions and the values of the muscles you are affecting.
- It will teach you the interdependence of your system and that everything is truly connected.
- It will teach you YOU. Your state of mind. Your defenses and excuses. Your celebrations and accomplishments. Your calm and your clarity OR your noise and your blinders. You can choose to diligently practice or you can choose to show up once in awhile. What you learn, how you benefit, and what you get out of your practice is what you put into it. You are a direct result of what you do day-in and day-out.