Voices

Moving With An Open Mind

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I have been teaching Pilates for eighteen years. During that time, my relationship to and ideas about my movement practice have matured considerably. I began, as all new teachers do, primarily focusing on the learning and memorization of choreography and movement and breath patterning. I integrated, voraciously studied, and tried to collect as much information as possible wanting to be the best teacher I could be. Over the past few years my approach to Pilates has shifted to a deeper more contemplative place. I’ve learned to listen, not just to my teachers, but to my body as well enabling my practice to come from the inside out rather than the outside in. I strive daily in my search for ease and grace in my movements and, I suppose, my life in general.

I am profoundly grateful for my teacher and mentor Rael Isacowitz for giving me a solid foundation in the BASI approach to Pilates which is where I feel most at home. I have a tremendous sense of appreciation for his support and permission to work within a structure without ever having to limit my own curiosity and open-mindedness towards learning and growing within my practice. I am a proud senior faculty member for BASI Pilates® which has given me so many incredible opportunities to share my love of movement with students around the globe. I am also inspired by so many of the amazing teachers whom I have had the pleasure to learn from throughout my Pilates journey.

Benjamin Degenhardt is one of those teachers. When asked if I would be willing to help him break down the classical Mat repertoire, I jumped at the chance knowing that it would be an amazing learning opportunity that would help me deepen my understanding of the classical work. It was so interesting to feel in my own body the relationship between flexion and extension, between the rotational movements and the interconnectedness between each and every movement based on Joseph Pilates’ book Return to life.

It was a journey. Under Benjamin’s excellent tutelage, I was able to experience the link between each movement and the simplifications of the transitions. I have done the classical Mat work many times but never has it been broken down for me in such a clear and cohesive manner. In my own teaching practice, I strive to create flow without a specific order so it was an entirely different experience to flow within the classical order.

I believe that, as teachers, it is our responsibility to create conversation. Be that an internal dialogue in relation to our personal movement or the practice of listening deeply to the experiences of our students to better understand the information they may need to navigate and integrate this work into their bodies and their minds. I am grateful to Benjamin for the conversation that he invited me to participate in.

Another deeply held belief of mine is that it is important to come to a movement practice with an open mind and an open heart so that we may best receive the wisdom of our teachers no matter who they are and regardless of background. In this way, we open ourselves to a more powerful experience and exploration of our own work. Can we give ourselves the gift of freedom of movement and perspective? I like to imagine that we can.

About the Author

Meredith Rogers

Meredith Rogers is a part of BASI Pilates® faculty and a regular instructor on Pilates Anytime. She teaches classes and workshops throughout the United States and other countries and is an instructor at Balanced Body: Pilates on Tour.


Comments

Thank you so much Meredith! I agree with you 100% and would say it myself if only I could say it so well! xo
4 people like this.
Breath, movement, and gentle introspection. Trifecta!
3 people like this.
Meredith I have loved and learned from your classes on Pilates Anytime ! I am grateful to you and Benjamin for providing us with this opportunity to learn the connections between the exercises ( and for free- Thank you Benjamin and PA) I am not classically trained but intuitively felt the connections but Benjamin explains it so well! thank you for this reflection !
This blog is the cherry on top of a wonderful experience. Our joint exploration of the work has taught me so much as well including the gift of freedom of movement and perspective, indeed!!!
Thank you all for taking time to read about my experience and to Benjamin Degenhardt and PA for creating the space for this conversation. I'm so grateful.
Ed
Thank you so much for sharing!
Love you and thank you for sharing your thoughts and feelings with us.

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