Tutorial #2983

Return to Life

5 min - Tutorial


Take a look at the bigger picture of the Pilates method with this tutorial by Amy Taylor Alpers. She references the book Return to Life by Joseph Pilates to show how Pilates is more than learning the movements and choreography. She encourages you to read this book so you can dive deeper into the method and so you can understand his intention.
What You'll Need: No props needed

About This Video

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Mar 26, 2017
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Hi everyone. I'm Amy Taylor, outbursts from the Pilati Center in Boulder, Colorado. And I'm here to talk about my absolute favorite topic ever. Plot, ease and specifically return to life. So return to life. Hopefully you've read it. If you haven't read it, if you have read it again. Every time I read it, something new, something amazing. Um, I know there's some question as to whether Joe wrote it himself or maybe spoken, I don't know, but it certainly tells exactly what he meant, what he's feeling, what he, what he wanted his work to actually do. And I think in the course of learning the choreography of all the million of exercises that there are, um, you know, we get a little lost sometimes and trying to figure out what is it I'm doing besides teaching somebody how to do [inaudible] what's the point again and, and how do I see a bigger picture here? And I remember years ago just having to, being faced with sort of all the different voices in the [inaudible] world and, and hearing all of this anatomy stuff and all of these contraindications and you know, what's good and what isn't good and what's what [inaudible] does well and what plot is does too much of, or too little of, I thought, you know, I've got to get somewhere for myself. I've just got to get clear. And so I'm kind of red, returned to life again and again and, and started really thinking about what he meant and being able to teach from that place. And, um, and as I found, as I've taught now, you know, going on close to 30 years, I find myself teaching much less technically and with much more energy and much more spirit behind the work. Um, cleaning up nuances of details in choreography or in form, but only when that's necessary for the purpose of the ultimate intention.

And to me the ultimate intention is very simple. It's this concept of uniform development. In other words, a body that's just beautifully organized the way it's designed, no more. So no less. So just the way it would ultimately designed if life hadn't gotten in the way. And we still lived more primal life. So we used our bodies that way. They're really designed and that that would then promote tremendous breathing, tremendous circulation.

And really the fundamental point is that the tissue in your body would be absorbent. So as you, as you teach these movements and you'd get lost in the nuances or the technicalities, remember the point, the point is really to stimulate this tremendous internal shower, this sense of releasing and freeing tissue up so that it can get hot and get steamy, and that your heart can pump in your spine is very supple. It doesn't resist nothing, resists everything is supple and very, very taffy. Like the muscle tissue is beautiful so that this credible circulatory system can work. And so that the s the tissues themselves can really, really absorb. And, and it's really the absorption in the end. That's, that's key. So for me, that means that that things need to be organized in a certain way so that there's no stresses, there's no strains, there's no overworking, there's no underworking. And so when you're even picking on a little nuance in a person, it really needs to be just for the purpose of relieving tension, relieving tightness, relieving a need to hold or harden or grip so that you don't block that incredible circulatory system. And that's, that's your blood, that's your lamp, that's your synovial fluids. That's all of you. 60 70 75% fluids, all of that moving all the time at a deep cellular level, even in the bones.

Even if you could imagine the bones being so full of blood, so full of fluids, so 10 silently strong yet very, very spongy so that they're absorbent as well. And in terms of something like even osteoporosis, you know, thinking that way of getting, getting oxygen deep into the cells of all of the tissue, no matter whether it's an organ, a bone, a muscle ligament, a tendon, even a vessel, it doesn't really matter. It all needs to be texturally the same. And really, really absorbent. So we're gonna do a mat class and we're gonna do a reformer class and rooms to try to keep that theme alive. And hopefully it might be able to see that my, the reasons that I might ever correct anyone is because I see a place in their movement that looks tense or held or hard, and it's impeding this process of being able to breathe, circulate, and absorb, and nothing else is more important in a way than that. Okay, so let's go.

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2 people like this.
bravo again here

4 people like this.
Amy, I can absolutely relate to what you say about getting caught in a web of so much information and not having a clear enough intention. This helps so much. Thank you for so clearly articulating this vision.
3 people like this.
Breathe, circulate and absorb. Return to Life! Thanks, Amiga!!
2 people like this.
Great reminder....time for another read!
Beautiful, Amy...it's so inspiring to see how you are refining your language and vision over the years, xwendy
Exactly what I needed to hear and so happy to be able to share this message from you here Amy! Thank you!
2 people like this.
Amy, this was a pure joy to watch & I plan to return to it again & again. You've also inspired me to re-read Return to Life, which I think I'll do this weekend. Your insight & clarity is very appreciated. Thank you!!
Just what I needed to hear this time of year for inspiration!!! (One more month of season:) xo Deb
2 people like this.
Thank you for bringing me back to my roots. It was so inspiring and well needed. So nice to have you on PA and be reminded of the true essence of the classical work!
Thank you Amy, the fluids of the body and bones, flowing, circulating throughout with the internal shower stimulated through proper form, organization of the body in motion to release held tension ..... love it!
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