As Pilates teachers we spend a lot of time assessing both posture and functional movement in the human body. We typically focus on cueing and correcting the form of the Pilates choreography versus the client’s movement imbalances. Without meaning to, this can lead to the choreography being the goal of the Pilates method, rather than the achievement of uniform development. Doing the choreography “better” might seem like the point however, the true, fundamental underlying intention as teachers should actually be to help the client understand their unique movement habits or patterns. There is a constant tug of war between using Pilates choreography to bring a human body closer to uniform development, and a person's imbalances delaying the progress of the Pilates method making lasting changes. Helping a client better understand their own body as it moves can be the bridge to more long-lasting changes and ultimately, achieving uniform development.
One extremely valuable way to learn about a client's unique movement habits is to utilize more of the Pilates exercises that target one side of the body. The Low Chair offers a lot of these asymmetrical one arm or one leg exercises. In this workshop we will look at a body doing challenging Mat and Reformer exercises to discover the client's movement strengths and deficits. These deficits often lead to a lack of movement or over stabilizing in the body. We can then use some of the asymmetrical exercises on the low chair to guide the client's understanding of their movement choices. We will better see how a person needs to coordinate their whole body to do these asymmetrical exercises. When this client then goes back to the Mat or Reformer we will see a more wholly coordinated movement pattern resulting in the client being able to perform challenging choreography with more ease and uniform development. Performing the choreography better will be the result of whole-body health vs the goal.