inspired you to combine the ball with Pilates?
was certified by On Center Conditioning Studio up in
Costa Mesa. Rael [Isacowitz] is my master teacher. I
teach a class every week, twice a week, and I've been
doing that with the same students for five years. They're
always looking for something fresh and fun, so I started
introducing the ball. They were my teachers. They would
tell me, "Oh, we don't like this - we like it like
this," and then I would incorporate their comments
in my class. They were very instrumental 'cause I was
teaching the video to my students long before we shot
it. So it was very good feedback for me. The work on
the video is my own. I gave birth to the work in my
class, with my students. When I got the call from Andrea,
who's the director of the video, saying that Natural
Journeys wants to shoot a video with the ball and do
I do Pilates with the ball, I said, "Well, actually,
you integrated it into your class, had you been doing
other ball work?
yes. I used to teach a Fitball class at Rancho La Puerta.
So I'd been working with the ball in a fitness setting
before that, and then I reintroduced it to my personal
training clients by using the abdominals and the ball,
and other work on the ball - instead of using the bench
to do, say, a chest fly, doing it on the ball creates
more stability, more work. So it was nice to have the
fitness background with the ball and now the Pilates
background with the ball.
make these really tough Pilates exercises look so easy
on the video!
Pilates the theory is we need to make it look easy.
When you make it look easy you're doing it right. (Laughs)
Pilates did teach me how to become a very good instructor,
how to be very specific and very cueing oriented, and
the breath is cued. It made me a much smarter instructor,
and understand how difficult it is to connect into certain
muscle groups. It taught me patience, it taught me integrity,
to honor yourself. It taught me all of these regular
principles that regular fitness did not.
always say in any sort of traditional fitness milieu
that form is really important, but saying that and actually
putting it into practice are two different things. In
Pilates, the whole focus is on form.
you're not doing Pilates - you're doing crunches. Yoga
and Pilates, I think, are very complex. There are many
layers of understanding. So you may be able to look
like you're doing Pilates but there's a different, integrated,
core-connected Pilates that takes time to feel, takes
time to understand.
it comes to Pilates and Yoga especially, I've always
felt that a student should be taking classes in person
and videos should supplement the practice. Like, "I
can only afford to take classes once a week, but I want
to practice every day." That's where a library
of videos comes in.
agree with you. My videotape, the way I designed it
is Pilates on the ball for beginners. So I try to give
as much information as possible. I wrote the program
- the choreography, the script, the cueing - for the
beginner. And clearly it takes more than one time in
order to master the tape. That was one of the elements
that Natural Journeys wanted, that it wasn't so easy
that you mastered it in one time.
you need to avoid getting bored.
And it moves very quickly to give you enough information,
enough variety to keep you interested as a viewer. So
when I wrote the program, that was the intention, that
I would have a brand-new Pilates student watching the
video, and if you have the financial means and the time
to go to a Pilates studio or Pilates class, that would
enhance the experience of the video. The video would
prepare you so that these concepts of drawing your abdominals
in and up, and the breath and movement become familiar
in the privacy and comfort of your own home, so when
you get to the health club or the Pilates studio, it
will be a familiar language, familiar patterns. Then
your experience will be more successful. This would
be the ideal.
video's still very new, but I was wondering if you've
had any feedback on it yet.
students love it! (Laughs)
they helped make your video, in a way.
did and I have to give them credit, 'cause they really
took such pride in knowing that they were contributing.
They wanted to give me so much, like I've given them
so much. They wanted to give back.