Last week I mentioned how humbled I was feeling by this experiment. It's abundantly clear to me that, no matter your level as a devotee or as a teacher, we are all students of Pilates, and it's our real-time growth that keeps us moving forward.
I often laugh to myself when I remember a moment in class a few months ago in a Pure STOTT Reformer class taught by Amber. We were all in standing side split position on the reformer. I looked around the room at us, all clinching our glutes and exhaling with each glide of the reformer. "What do we all have in common?" I asked out loud to no one in particular. "Well, Pilates used to be called Contrology," replied Amber.
Control. It is this, on some level, that has brought us all together. We meet in grippy socks and restart the process of controlling the narratives of our bodies while defying gravity and going beyond our everyday movements of tech neck and desk posture. In this control, we hold our core, we lift our spines with careful alignment, and we measure each breath out as if we're exhaling through a straw. It's a lot to think about while trembling through the last seconds of a move.
For relief—and to stave off burnout—I returned to the Pure STOTT Reformer classes I started with. While I have taken many of these apprentice-taught classes, I thought getting back to STOTT would be a relaxing change of pace from the Open Reformer classes and my hyper-focused private sessions. I envisioned swan-like choreography of feet-in-straps ballet moves and gentle dives over my toes on the long box. And I was wrong. The two things I envisioned were there, but, with my new body awareness, they weren't exactly gentle. I could feel every little sleeping muscle jolting awake with every count.
And this, even though together it makes me feel as if I'm on day one of my entire Pilates practice, is progress.