Blossom Leilani Crawford was originally trained by Kathy Grant, one of Joseph Pilates’ personal students. Later, Blossom was also certified by Romana Kryzanowska. She is currently the principal at Bridge Pilates, NY as well as a prolific contributor to Pilates Anytime and Pilatesology.
In our conversation, we cover a lot of ground, including historical reflections and insights, thoughts on the evolution of Pilates and most importantly a powerful message of hope: What we do is not rocket science, just get people moving fearlessly.
Anula is an owner at Sixth Street Pilates in New York, a regular presenter on Pilates Anytime, and prolific presenter of workshops. She is co-author and instigator of Shift Happens with creative partner James Crader.
In addition to being a highly accomplished Pilates teacher, Anula Maiberg is a walking paradox. She is at one and the same time ironic and guileless, simple and subtle, dark and optimistic, artful and down to earth.
Most of all though, she is a deep thinker when it comes to Pilates, and the way she thinks about the movement flows over into the social and cultural context of Pilates today. Anula also has the knack of summarising the human experience with clarity and simplicity. She is a master of soundbites. And there are plenty in this interview.
Greg Lehman http://www.greglehman.ca/ is a Canadian physiotherapist, chiropractor and strength and conditioning specialist treating musculoskeletal disorders within a biopsychosocial model. He is incredibly well-read, a highly skilled educator. And he’s funny.
Before his clinical career, Greg received a Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council MSc graduate scholarship and became one of only two students each year to train with Professor Stuart McGill in his Occupational Biomechanics Laboratory, subsequently published more than 20 peer-reviewed papers in the manual therapy and exercise biomechanics field. He was an assistant professor at the Canadian Memorial Chiropractic College teaching a graduate-level course in Spine Biomechanics and Instrumentation as well conducting more than 20 research experiments while supervising more than 50 students.
Greg has lectured on a number of topics on reconciling treatment biomechanics with pain science, running injuries, golf biomechanics, occupational low back injuries and therapeutic neuroscience. His courses Reconciling Biomechanics with Pain Science and Running Resiliency have been taught more than 60 times in more than 40 locations worldwide.
In this conversation, Greg and I talk about how the biomechanics research invalidates the idea of ‘dysfunction’ as a cause of pain or disability, why scapular dyskinesis (aka poor scapular positioning and movement) is not a thing, knee valgus during a squat is nothing to worry about and several other interesting topics.
Greg shares his approach of movement optimism, and his basic framework for working within a biopsychosocial model.
I was inspired to write this by Jenna Zaffino’s story in episode 52 of Pilates Unfiltered – I don’t want to put words in Jenna’s mouth so you should listen to the episode after reading this if you’re interested to understand her point of view.
As movement teachers – Pilates professionals, exercise physiologists, physiotherapists – for years we have operated on the assumption that understanding anatomy, physiology and biomechanics are foundational to being an effective practitioner and teacher.
I think this assumption is wrong. You don’t need to know anything about anatomy, physiology OR biomechanics to effectively teach Pilates or help people rehabilitate.
Yep. Anatomy is not important when teaching Pilates. In fact, I think it gets in the way of good teaching.
I will even go so far as to say, you don’t need to know ANY anatomy, physiology or biomechanics in order to be a great teacher and practitioner. The less the better.
Kristi Cooper is the co-founder of Pilates Anytime, the world’s most popular online Pilates classroom that is bringing Pilates to a new, wider audience and making it possible for any Pilates instructor to learn from the greats in our industry.
In this conversation, Kristi talks about the genesis of Pilates Anytime, and it’s evolution to her current vision. We also talk about where online learning and online practice sits in the Pilates world, and what she has learned about teaching and coaching from working with many of the greatest teachers in the Pilates universe.
Lars Avemarie is one of the most well-read, clear-thinking people I have come across in the fields of pain science and rehabilitation. Born in Denmark, he currently works in Sweden. He is a physiotherapist and personal trainer, and a prolific blogger, educator and public figure on social media.
In this conversation, Lars shares his experiences going back to university at the age of 39 to study physiotherapy, his advice on learning to think critically and challenge your own beliefs, and how to develop your confidence to effectively apply the biopsychosocial approach to pain rehabilitation.
Benjamin has deeply researched Joseph’s ideas through his writings, marketing material, letters, and archival footage, and he has some great insights and powerful ways of bringing Joseph’s work to life.
I think you’ll enjoy and learn from his perspectives. I certainly did!
During my masters, I did my clinical placement with Brendan Mouatt and his business partner Luke Postlethwaite at their clinic The Biomechanics in Footscray, Melbourne Australia.
Like me, Brendan is a clinical exercise physiologist, and we enjoy talking about evidence-based practice and pain science in particular.
This is a free-ranging conversation where we think about whether we should provide clients with the treatment they expect, and how to navigate professional relationships with people who are not up to date with current best practice.
Brendan also has a thoughtful blog on all things rehabilitation.
Courtney Miller is a shining light in the international Pilates world. She is a prolific contributor to Pilates Anytime, Instagram, and Facebook. Her signature style is a dynamic fusion of Pilates with dance and fitness movements.
In this episode, Courtney deconstructs her process for programming a class based on sequences of 3-5 exercises; her cueing method and how she accesses endless creativity to come up with all those flowing sequences.
What was it like to work with Ron Fletcher, one of Joseph Pilates’ original students? Jenna shares her experiences, insights and surprising stories Ron told her about his experiences working with Joseph and Clara. There are some GOLD teaching tips in there.
Jenna also shares her thoughts on the shift happening in Pilates.
Jenna’s podcast Pilates Unfiltered is the industry’s leading platform for sharing ideas. If you haven’t listened to it yet you’ve been missing out like crazy! She is also a prolific blogger and coach.
Lesley Logan of Profitable Pilates is justly regarded as a great teacher in her own right and a powerhouse of the Pilates industry.
In this episode, Lesley talks about what she learned from Pilates Elder (Joseph’s direct student) Jay Grimes, the benefits of online Pilates, and how she overcomes negative self-talk and imposter syndrome. Lesley talks through how to differentiate yourself, and how to intentionally attract more of the clients you want to work with.
If you want to learn more from Lesley Logan about how to attract more of your best clients, her Becoming Known online course is amazing.
Nick Hannah is a Canadian physiotherapist who has been taking social media by storm with his funny, poignant and scientifically sound memes advocating a biopsychosocial or whole-person approach to rehabilitation.
Nick’s Facebook page Hannah Moves has over 6,500 likes a the time of recording this interview, and his posts are shared by leading researchers and clinicians around the globe.
Nick’s Instagram page is also a source of much wisdom.
Nick talks frankly about his education, his approach to clinical assessment and treatment and his goals with the meme thing.
Lesley is a regular blogger, podcast guest, and Pilates Anytime presenter – in short, she is a key person of influence in the Pilates industry. Despite all this, she is incredibly down-to-earth and generous with her knowledge.
Lesley shares how to know your limits and set boundaries, how to communicate the benefits of your service, how to set and communicate clear policies and much more on how to succeed as a Pilates instructor or business owner.
Since Laura Saggers opened RISE Pilates a year ago she has had an exciting, rewarding and at times stressful journey. Some wins, some mistakes and several amazing people have featured. Laura candidly shares her journey as a new studio owner, through the first year of operation, growth and learning.
Heath Lander opened White Dog Studios in Melbourne’s Inner West in 2013. For the first few years he worked long hours teaching, cleaning and doing all the other jobs around the place. In 2016 he wised-up and has been on a mission to get the business to run without him in it. At the time of this interview, he has almost succeeded.
Luke Postlethwaite started The Biomechanics when he was halfway through his degree in Exercise and Sports Science. He has built a thriving clinic employing over a dozen people with a simple strategy: Show your clients you care about them.
Josh Norris-Ongso is a classically trained dancer, physiotherapist and Pilates instructor. He founded S3 World in Melbourne and created his own style of Barre training based on his years as a ballet dancer and his biomechanical understanding from physiotherapy.
Josh now runs two busy studio-clinics, where he employs over 15 people. He shares his insights into what employers look for in a team member, and how to make yourself irresistible and irreplaceable as an instructor.
John’s energetic, warm and engaging style of teaching and his incredible popularity are the stuff of legend. John shares his strategies for teaching a great class and always showing up as your best self.
Laura Saggers opened RISE Pilates just last week. She shares her journey from starting Pilates training to graduating, working for KX Pilates, to finally opening her own studio in Melbourne’s Essendon.
There are a goldmine of tips and lessons from a successful Pilates teacher and first-time business owner.
Anula Maiburg of Sixth Street Pilates NY is renowned as an original thinker, iconoclast, jumpsuit wearer and radical agent of change in the Pilates world. Her accolades include the cover of Pilates Style magazine, presenting on Pilates Anytime and several spots on the Pilates Unfiltered podcast.
Anula talks about the state of the industry, finding your way as a teacher and what it’s all for. Not to be missed!
After selling her studio in Chicago, Jenna Zaffino, aka the Pilates Unicorn, is focussed on serving, and changing the industry through her Pilates Unfiltered podcast, which at the time of recording this interview had over 100,000 downloads and counting.
Jenna has interviewed the who’s who of Pilates and has instigated the conversations we as an industry need to have, but usually shy away from. She manages all this with a firm, light touch that inspires and energises.
Jenna shares her personal story and her mission to help the industry as well as her thoughts on finding work-life balance, making time to nurture yourself and find your true purpose as an instructor.
Ben Cormack’s business Cor-Kinetic delivers evidence-based rehabilitation courses based on cutting-edge neuroscience, pain science and exercise science. Ben regularly travels the world, delivering courses to health professionals in Europe, North America and Asia each year.
He has presented at the San Diego Pain Summit, guested on many PT podcasts and is a prolific blogger on all things exercise, rehabilitation and pain science.
Ben shares his thoughts on the current best practice in rehabilitation, how to interpret evidence, and how to navigate the tricky relationships with colleagues or bosses who are still working within a biomedical framework.
Through his business Evolved Body Studio in Sacramento USA and his blog ProjectMoveU, James Crader is challenging and evolving the Pilates industry away from ‘fixing’ people towards empowering people to move happily and freely.
James shares his thoughts on the evolution of Pilates, the purpose of it all and how he expanded his perspective to a much broader understanding of movement, teaching and fulfilment.
Since the early 2000’s the notion of cueing pre-engagement of transversus abdominis (TrA) and lumbar multifidus has been widely accepted as standard practice in the physiotherapy, exercise and Pilates worlds.
Sadly it is not an evidence-based practice.
In this video, Raphael Bender from Breathe Education reviews the evidence on ‘motor control’ training (retraining of TrA and lumbar multifidus).
There is a widespread belief among recreational athletes that running shoes play an important role in injury prevention by providing cushioning. Custom-fitted shoes and newer shoes are generally thought to provide better protection than older, less expensive shoes.
Surprisingly, scientific evidence points in the opposite direction.