Oct 11, 2017
Pilates: What is ‘it’?
By Gary Calderone
“As Pilates teachers – because we first had to experience ‘it’ in our bodies, and now wish to transfer that knowledge to others – we recognize that the expression of ourselves now is not the same as when we started then. Since then, we have been attempting to explain this experience that goes beyond learning and teaching mere physical exercise.”
~ Excerpt from Chapter Eight of The Pilates Path to Health: Body, Mind, and Spirit.
Very often, I am asked what motivated me to write The Pilates Path to Health: Body, Mind, and Spirit. The incessant notion that kept me in the inquiry to pursue writing the book is expressed in the excerpt above. This was the common denominator among the teachers and practitioners I had spoken with. An often unspoken sense that something big was happening that had not been articulated or put into words before. During our conversations, when we were at a loss for words, a simple gesture of pointing to the heart was concurred with, “Yeah, I get that.”
So, what is that? Or, for our purpose here, what is it? Is it a personal, collective or universal experience? One lens we might look through is from Wendy Le Blanc-Arbuckle, my mentor and Foreword author, whose words inspired me to write the book regarding the purpose that drives our practice. She suggests “… that we discover our own inner wisdom, our ability to self-heal and reconnect with the vital forces that constitute our true nature.” Wendy holds a perspective that a “bio-intelligent” or life-intelligent way of being is a path toward our innate healing ability and purposeful living. Can a kind of “one for all and all for one” – a felt sense of self, from single cell to whole being – be an indicator of this potency in our Pilates practice and teaching?
On November 4th, 2016, I attended the ground-breaking inaugural conference Consciousness and Healing Initiative summit, co-sponsored by UC San Diego and Academy of Integrative Health and Medicine (AIHM), where scientists, Ph.D.’s, M.D.’s, healers, artists and social entrepreneurs shared their research, clinical perspectives, and innovations in consciousness and healing, from cells to communities.
A variety of health care professionals, including both allopathic and naturopathic practitioners, attended. All were apparently interested in learning about the scientific and real-world application of consciousness and healing practices. For this author, the words consciousness and healing are synonymous with Pilates’ Contrology.
To summarize the keynote of the conference – what is becoming more evident in scientific mainstream thinking about the true nature of health – and what reflects my notion that Pilates can be a necessary component to that end:
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Gary Calderone was lecturing in three countries, immersed in holistic health sciences prior to his Pilates experience, setting the stage for this book to be written. His dedication and exploration of the Pilates Method, as it relates to the experience of a series of exercises, engagement in body/mind/spirit connection, and overall health and balance, comes out of that immersion and his history of injury and recovery and personal need. He continues to benefit from his own experiences with the Pilates Method from the positions of student and teacher.
Gary is a second-generation teacher, originating and graduating from the Pilates Center in Boulder, Colorado, in 1993. During that year, as founding Director of the Pilates Center of Fort Collins, Colorado, Gary brought the classical teaching to the attention of the medical community, illuminating the healing potential of Pilates, particularly around chronic/acute patient populations, culminating in collaboration with the Brain Injury Recovery Program (BIRP), to enhance patient recovery. During 2000 and 2001 Gary went on to complete eighteen months of transformational training as a protégé of Wendy Leblanc-Arbuckle, creator of the Core Connections® Pilates 3-Core Body Mapping Perspective at The Pilates Center of Austin (PCA). Inspired by his own training, his life altering experiences, and the inspirational benefits of training others, Gary integrated his own philosophy and understanding of the power and practicality of the Pilates Method for a healthy, holistic approach to life.
You can also visit his website.
You can also visit his website.