My husband, who died from cancer on May 3, 2011, used to sign love letters to me with the words, "Life is an emergency!" It was an urging to live life with intensity and intention because we don't have time to waste. Because of those words, I feel that, on some deep, cellular level, he knew his time on Earth would be cut short. The life I had with him continues to profoundly impact the life I have today, and my work as a Pilates and movement teacher is emerging from the devastation of that loss. I have experienced the deep, healing effects of Pilates in my own body — physically, mentally, emotionally. The continual, evolving process of restoring our bodies' natural state of alignment through awareness, balanced strength, stability and fluid movement can have a powerful effect on so many levels. True, sustaining strength emerges from those hard-to-reach, terrifying-to-face, necessary-for-healing places deep within us. The beauty is, there are no prerequisites. No matter where we are on our life journey, we all possess this potent potential to emerge.
Even if you're not, LIFE is athletic. Our bodies are divinely designed to handle the endless demands we place on them with elegant efficiency and ease for many decades, whether it's running (or walking) a 5K or chasing kids (or grandkids or great-grandkids or neighbor kids or pets) around the yard, dancing cheek-to-cheek or slipping on ice. But, so many of us, even the "fittest" of us, live with chronic pain, succumbing to the belief we're at the mercy of time, gravity, past injuries. The best thing we have to a full-body warranty, to being bullet-proof, begins with our alignment — the essence of "core strength" with which Pilates is associated — but runs far deeper than what mainstream media and fitness fads lead us to believe. It's like building a house — we can't start with superficial things like shutters and siding; we begin with the foundation and work outward. EMERGE Pilates is like that, guiding you toward developing the foundation of sustainable strength and flexibility in a safe, progressive, tension-free, pain-free, balanced manner, beginning from the inside out. In the process, you'll become reacquainted you with your own body, take ownership of your movements and be continually amazed at all the wonderful things you and your body can do.
My approach to Pilates has evolved to focus on spine safety and natural, functional, nutritious movements (shout-out to Katy Bowman for introducing me to that enlightening concept). Our core is so much more than six-pack abs; it encompasses the spine, the pelvis and all of the intricate layers of bone, muscle, tendons, ligaments and other materials that hold us together and help us function optimally in life. The whole is greater than the sum of its parts. From core strength emerges whole body movement — walking, running, hanging, crawling, sitting, standing, reaching, pulling, pushing, twisting, turning, crouching, rolling, leaping, landing — things we actually do in life. What a concept, indeed.
I have had the honor of working with and witnessing profound results of Pilates with an array of clients facing an array of health issues — cancer, Parkinson's Disease, pre- and post- hip replacement surgery, pre- and post- pregnancy, herniated discs/various back issues, shoulder and knee injuries, osteoporosis and other bone density diagnoses, scoliosis, pelvic floor concerns, to name just a few. But, you don't need a "pre-existing condition" to enjoy the full-body benefits of Pilates. Please note: I am not a doctor. I do not diagnose health conditions, I don't offer cures; my work is intended to complement, not replace, the recommendations of a medical professional.
I am a self-professed geek. A lifelong learner. An accidental athlete. I believe Joseph Pilates was and still is an unsung genius (the first Pilates training program I went through has reduced Joe to a mere footnote in their training materials. A travesty, in my not-so-humble opinion) whose observations about the deterioration of the human body and the healing, holistic benefits of mindful, natural movements were passionately expressed and practiced decades before his contemporaries. He called his work Contrology, a word he coined to encompass the essence of his work: control. The genius of Joe's work is in the subtle yet powerful progression theory of strength building—intention and control with every movement, not just in Pilates but in every aspect of life.
I earned my Pilates certifications with Stott Pilates and Balanced Body, with additional certifications from the Kettlebell Institute, CrossCore Rotational Bodyweight Training and American Heart Association CPR/AED. Most recently, I completed the esteemed, Classical Pilates maverick and teacher-trainer Rebecca Leone's intensive, extensive, game-changing Safe Spine Pilates teacher-training program which is classic Pilates in foundation and contemporary in research-supported spine safety protocols, and includes her one-of-a-kind, highly-regarded Cadaver Anatomy for Movement Teachers at Bastyr University in Seattle, WA. I found Rebecca's work through her blog, The Pilates Nun, an entertaining, eye-opening, life-altering view of Pilates, movement teaching, and the fitness industry in general.
I am currently enrolled in Katy Bowman's Restorative Exercise/Nutritious Movement Specialist certification program to further enhance my movement teaching experience, and am an MFA candidate in Hamline University's Graduate Creative Writing program. I live, write and teach in the Twin Cities, MN.
I'm so glad you found me here. For more information or to arrange a session at EMERGE Pilates, please email or call me directly. I look forward to connecting with you.