where’s your head at?

If you have read my blog you may have figured out by now that I have struggled to surrender and soften my efforts.  I have had a tendency to be too disciplined and sometimes ‘overdo’ it.  I have started this blog in part to help myself take my own advise to be more self-compassionate, truly listen, and believe in my own intuition.  This takes incredible trust and love of self!

I believe that by writing this blog, I have become a better listener, but still, it is an evolving and imperfect journey along with everything else. 

More recently, approximately March 2021, I over stretched, strained something in my neck.  Fast forward to now, November 18, 2021, I am doing much better!  I do still struggle with muscle tightness depending on what I am doing but do feel equipped to navigate my discomfort with the many lessons I have learned from being in relentless pain these past several months.  

My husband, Pontus, who is an osteopath, was able to work on me which no doubt is, pretty special, but with everything else, it also has its’ challenges!  I know it was hard for him to deal with me especially after having to care for his patients all day long.  He was tired and impatient and I was also impatient, in pain, and wanting clear answers to explain my uncertain state.  Regardless, I am very lucky to have my husband.  He knows my story, my body, and my tendencies and was undeniably helpful in my healing & recovery.

Pontus believed ‘some’ of my incredible discomfort was most likely caused by a rotation at the base of my cervical spine where I had my disk replacement b/t C6 and C7 in 2017.  I must have exasperated this rotation.  I could speculate forever on why?…but understand that it is simply a consequence to my tendencies to ‘do.’  At times, my pain sometimes was so bad that it encompassed my whole right side body, from my right side occiput to my right low back, but sometimes I was such in a flare state that I had irritation that continued down all the way to my right foot!  Continuing to breastfeed through my pain was a blessing and a curse.  Pontus was and still helps me de-rotate my upper thoracic/cervical spine with muscle energy technique, where I get stuck rotated to the left.  He also advised that I practice some daily muscle energy work in my upper spine to help strengthen and stabilize this very unstable area of my body.  I still perform muscle energy in my neck daily!!  In addition to Pontus manually working on me, I did accupuncture and/or massage weekly at times.  Although these modalities helped short-term, they were not able to stick and help long term. 

Due to my pre-existing conditions in both my neck and my old compression fracture in my low back I had MRIs of my lumbar and cervical spine, a bone scan, and blood work done to make sure the pain I was experiencing wasn’t more serious.  Luckily, the tests showed no significant information to explain my discomfort.  This was also  a blessing and a curse!  Sometimes I thought, is it all in my head!?  Quite possibly!  I do know that my head played a significant role, both in how I positioned it physically and also metaphorically speaking.

Are you wearing your head in front of your heart? Or are you holding your head with your heart?

From as early as grade school I can remember being taller than most everyone in my class including all the boys, I was very insecure about this, this continued all the way into high school, where I would purposefully slouch and hang my head to one side so I would be a level to my other peers. I look back at this and wonder why I didn’t stand tall and be proud of my height?  As you already know, I know the answer to my own question!  I was not secure in who I was, felt powerless and unworthy to be me.  Fortunately, after experiencing a tumultuous couple of years in all facets of my life, I hit rock bottom my freshman year in college, but in the end, I was able to choose me!  I truly did a full circle, my self image changed drastically for the better and I started to love myself more and more.  Interestingly, not only did my self image transform, but also how I held myself changed, including how I positioned my head.  My posture wasn’t perfect however, and its been evolving (I believe) for the better ever since, of course along with my own self image.:)

Currently, my posture has suffered with the demands of caring for a new baby and also my tendencies to “do” and neglect what my body is telling me.  Pepper is now 14 months, and although she is still quite petite …23 Ibs, its been a lot of holding, breast feeding, bathing, feeding, twisting turning etc etc.  The steady demands of caring for  Pepper and the stress I put a on myself has definitely taken a toll on my posture!  This coupled with loose ligaments and general instability especially at L1/T12 from my old compression fracture and disk replacement between C6/C7 has been difficult for me to sustain freedom and ease in my spine!

I am writing this post to reflect on my experience these past several months in hopes that what I say may help you, if you find that you are struggling with neck, shoulder, back, body pain.   I hope that you will read this feeling some hope that your pain will go away and that there are simple things you can do to help yourself.  

I learned somewhat quickly that alleviating my pain temporarily was as simple as taking the time to align where my head was at, both from a metaphorical and physiological standpoint. It’s interesting how the 2 affect one another.  Furthermore, My pain significantly lessened when I physically reminded myself to hold my head with my heart, instead of forward of my heart which is where it wants to go.   My head also, naturally aligned more with my heart when I committed more time for self care.  This is not a simple action to take when you have a newborn!!  I found it to be very beneficial to work from my “head” first, not only physically with my posture, starting at my head and allowing the alignment benefits to cascade down, but also in my own thoughts!  I definitely had my moments of playing a victim to my pain…especially in the middle of the night when I couldn’t sleep!  However, this attention I would give to my pain lessened the attention I would give to taking the steps to feeling better and seeing the joy and beauty that was in me and that also surrounding me. 

Below is a brief summary of some ideas/practices that helped me feel better!  Remember the following are practices and ideas, and most if not all of the below are things I still work on and practice daily to keep me feeling better…

PHYSICAL PRACTICES – First you need to align and “wear your head over your heart!”  Then do the following…

-practice muscle energy from all sides of your skull with the heel of your hand to strengthen & stabilize…isometric exercises.

-“wear your smile from ear to ear” practice keeping the base of your chin in and down towards your throat.  Slight chin tuck.

-extend the roof of your mouth to the crown of your head

-“Stand your ground,”  Stand tall and be proud of who you are.

-in general, make smaller more precise movements.  Progress takes time and steady practice – little by little, bit by bit…!

MENTAL PRACTICES – 

-“What is the lesson?” What if I am experiencing this pain to help someone else not have to experience pain?  How can I use this experience to help and serve others?

-“Less ego and control, more universal and flow.”  Soften, relax, breathe and let be

-“Forgive, no self judgement”

-“Do less and Be more”

Lastly, if you’re hyper mobile, unstable, have pre-existing conditions, and a mover like me, you may want to consider doing prolo-therapy or PRP(platelet rich plasma) for your vulnerable areas, especially if you have good, healthy blood.  I did undergo PRP in both my low back around my old compression fracture and also more recently around my disk replacement in my cervical spine.  I know it has made a positive impact.  I am noticeable more stable in my ligaments and joints and therefore, experiencing less pain and persistent irritation caused from the instability.

I have a class on my Vimeo account – “upper body tune up” I recently made that shows some of the physical practices I would do to help me with my pain.

I hope this helps and please reach out with feedback or questions.

Aloha,

Brooke

Connecting to a ‘BIGGER PICTURE’

Aloha!

Happy new year to you all.  I have a new Pilates video to share with you on my vimeo account.  The practice begins with 10 minutes of simple yoga salutations to ‘wake up’ the body before diving into a 30 minute Pilates mat workout.  The practice is a perfect practice for the morning, especially when you are not at home and have the luxury of space.  You can expect to stay on your mat from start to finish…no side lying leg kicks here.

The one instruction I give, sprinkled throughout  the workout, is “Breathe into your back body.”  The back body is beneficial to be aware of, not only because it gives you a cue or reference point from which you create more inner space, but also because it is symbolic of the universal energy within us.  The front body on the other hand is symbolic of our ego or of a more singular energy.  Although both are necessary and good, the back body is the unseen energy and therefore more of a challenge to be aware of, making it easier for our ‘egos’ to take center stage.

The practice of Pilates is all about taking a step back and softening our egos in order to connect us to our back.  This concentrated physical effort to balance our front with our back (ego with universal), I believe, can also indirectly connect us to something ‘bigger’ than ourselves.  Clearly a strong and tall ego will allow us to move forward and reach for our desires. However, too much ego, without the consideration of the unseen and universal back energy, could surely deplete and exhaust us. Balancing the two, with a slight edge to the back body, will allow for something better.

Personally, I have experienced both extremes!  I have had too much ‘ego’ with too much discipline and rigidity in my practices, without considering the current situation and others involved, making for an unhappy ending.  Also, in my physical practice, most of you know that I have a love affair with backbends.  I love them so much as I feel invigorated every time I do one.  However, I have learned that if I do not take the time to also balance my practice of backbends with something to bring my back and me back to neutral, all the back bending or emphasis on opening up my front body, is like drinking too many cups of coffee.  We all know too much coffee, although oh so good, can lead you to feel anxious, jittery, and just not well.  That said, it is valuable for me to also incorporate some basic forward folds (as I breathe in my back body) in my practice of backbends.  

The practice of Pilates encourages us to connect to our backs, both physically and metaphorically.  It’s a beautiful and humbling practice that hopefully reminds us all to soften more, let go more, yield more, forgive more, be okay not to be “right” more, all without losing our capacity to love ourselves and stand tall in who we are.

I hope you breathe into your back…

Aloha, Brooke 

delighting in a “Bigger Picture” – Kukio Beach, HI

PREGNANCY and PILATES

Dichotomy of allowing yourself to be held before you can be independent and free…

Generally speaking this pregnancy compared to my other 2 (Ginger – 13 and Coco – 10) was challenging.  I have had more minor inconveniences, such as hormonal acne around my smile which in the big picture is no big deal (especially with all the mask wearing I am doing these days), but it still makes me feel self conscious.  I also experienced a major episode early in my pregnancy which made me appreciate the “gift” of being pregnant and getting another chance to hold and nurture another beautiful creation.  

When I was 14 weeks pregnant, and had traveled to Texas for a Pilates conference, I had a major bleeding event.  I woke up in the middle of the night after my first day at the conference to go to the bathroom but instead bled a lot of blood.  My first thought was that oh-no, I lost my baby!  I was shaking with fear and felt so much shame for what just happened.   In my head, I told myself that it was stupid to come to the conference in the first place!  I was upset at myself, as I was thinking that I must have “overdone” it again, in addition, to drinking too much coffee and matcha tea.  What did I do?  What lesson do I need to learn now?  Can’t I be done with learning lessons for a while?

I called Pontus and sadly, still in a lot of shock, told him what I just experienced.  He tried to comfort me and told me it would all be okay and that we do not know anything for certain.  “Try to get some rest,” he says!  It was 3am and I was wide awake and even though I was tired, there was no way I would have been able to sleep.  I ended up changing my flight and came home on the next earliest flight possible.  As I was packing my bags to leave for the airport I knew that worrying and looking up stuff on google would not help my current emotional state so I decided to sing to try and calm myself.  I just started singing without knowing what to sing.  I was so frightened, but was determined not to worry about it.  I told myself “I am okay, I know my baby is okay and I started singing – 

i love you

i love me

i’ll be gentle with you

i’ll be gentle with me

i love you

i love me

you are my baby

all of my dreams

i care for me

i care for you

i’ll be gentle with me

i’ll be gentle with you

stay with me

i’ll stay with you

please my baby stay with me!

i love you

i love me

i promise to be gentle with you and with me.

Baby, stay with me

i love you

i love me

Arriving back at Sea Tac, Pontus and the girls picked me up, and as soon as I saw their faces I could not hold my emotions, and the tears came streaming down my face like waterfalls. Pontus held me and I soon realized that the girls had no idea what was wrong with their Mamma as Pontus had not mentioned anything to them yet.  We got in the car and I told the girls what happened.  They were sad, but so sweet, as they tried to make me feel better.  That whole day still remains a blur, I simply rested and prayed that my baby was okay.  The following day, I saw my doctor.  I held my breath as I lay on the table for the ultrasound.  I closed my eyes, said one more prayer and soon I heard a strong little heart beat inside.  I opened my eyes, smiled and cried, and knew that everything would be okay.  I made a promise to myself to take it easy more, and continue to practice listening to what my body is telling me.  Less pushing, doing, efforting, and instead, more yielding, softening, and surrendering.  At that moment, I knew that this pregnancy was a beautiful gift and I am lucky to have another opportunity to experience the miracle of life within me.  

I am now going on 38 weeks and I have kept my promise.  Although I practice everyday, I have been gentle and loving to myself and my baby.  I take it easy, rest when I need to and I am proud of myself for listening and not competing.  I understand now that my bleeding experience needed to happen for me to slow down, and not continue with my old habits of being in autopilot – doing things just to do them.  In a way, I am grateful for that experience and what it taught me.  

Even if you are not pregnant, sorry men, …you can still visualize and imagine what it is like to be pregnant, holding and nurturing a miracle inside(your heart center) will help you lift your middle and enhance your breathing to help you sustain more space within, then maybe you are used to practicing.

With this heightened body awareness and my vow to soften and listen more, my connections have been so much deeper and allowed me to access parts of myself that have been challenging.  I’ve gotten better at letting go of my expectations of what the practice SHOULD bring me and instead have allowed the practice to literally hold and support me.  Listening to my body and asking what it needs that day to feel better in that moment to accommodate myself and the needed space for my baby has been such an important practice.  I am not simply “logging in another session.”  My breath has been deeper, my body more lifted and spacious and I treat each movement I take with a little more care and percision just how Mr Pilates intended the practice to be.  

The mindfulness that both practices of Yoga and Pilates require have helped me feel held and supported. The more consistent I am with practicing the more held and supported I feel.  This idea is so important in the practice because it will allow you to feel and experience more of yourself to make the deeper more meaningful connections that you need.  

My early  experience during this pregnancy has helped me allow the practice to literally “hold me.”  Just how the loving faces of my girls and Pontus holding me at Sea Tac, I was able to let go, soften and let my emotions flow out to and clear my state to literally, get myself back together.  I  feel fortunate to have not only a loving husband and 2 amazing daughters, but also 2 disciplines that I can count on to hold me.  I do hope you have found people and things in your life that also hold you!  

Now, about to give birth to another baby girl, I feel so lucky to be the one to hold her.  I feel our amazing connection and hope I can continue to hold her and support her out of my womb in the ways she needs so she can also feel and learn what she needs, to be free and independent without me. I was given such a beautiful gift, I know it is an opportunity that will teach and show me how to navigate and proceed into the next chapter of my life.

To being held,

Brooke

Pieces

Pieces

Trusting myself enough to let go, in an effort to better connect and grow.

 

I returned from LA a few weeks ago.  What a fantastic time with The Vintage Pilates staff, and other “Work” participants.  I feel so blessed to be a part of this beautiful like-minded yet diverse community. My understanding of how I can use the method of Pilates to better myself in “The Work” is coming together and I know this is just the beginning.  In this post I will be reflecting on the idea of connection; how can we better connect all our pieces to what or whomever we are interacting with, to better understand ourselves?

Jay Grimes, Pilates elder, along with the amazing Vintage Pilates Teachers for “The Work”, will usually never end a session without first saying; “do not neglect your ‘partner’” (meaning the apparatus; whether that be the reformer, the chair, barrels, cadillac, guillotine, ped-a-pul, etc).  Jay would then typically follow this statement by saying “KEEP YOUR MOUTH SHUT and JUST MOVE.”

Although not a Jay Grimes nor a Vintage Pilates saying, this next quote(also a favorite of mine from the movie “EAT, PRAY, LOVE”) complements what I believe Jay and my teachers for “The Work” are saying…

“People think a soul mate is your perfect fit, and that’s what everyone wants. But a true soul mate is a mirror, the person who shows you everything that’s holding you back, the person who brings you to your own attention so you can change your life. A true soul mate is probably the most important person that you will ever meet, because they tear down your walls and smack you awake. Soul mates, they come into your life to reveal another layer of yourself to you.”

I think Jay and my other teachers of “the Work” would agree that their idea of a ‘partner’ is our ‘soulmate.’  We should then treat the apparatus we are using with that awareness and allow it to teach us something about ourselves.   The more connections  we make with our ‘partner’ the more lessons we should receive.  Hopefully, we come away from our workout or our interaction having learned something about who we are.  Perhaps also discovering something we need to work on.  Can’t have one without the other.

I believe finding more connection is different for everyone.   Perhaps for some of you, the struggle lies in concentrating on connecting to your “partner”; for others it is trusting what your partner is revealing to you and giving in to this trust as you continue…   Personally, after this past trip to LA, I am discovering that when I trust more in my “partner” and act more instinctual I am able to make stronger connections and learn more.  Listening and trusting what I feel is right and acting accordingly is definitely hard work, but I believe a challenge worth fighting for.  Be persistent and listen to yourself!

How about you?   How do you stay connected to your “partner?”  Do you need to trust more in yourself to connect all your pieces like me?  Maybe you just need more of a steady effort?  Some need more of one than the other.   We all need to find our own ratio.

I hope you all can trust your “partner” and continue to strengthen and make new connections that bring meaning to you.  Every day is a new day and another opportunity to expand your awareness and your connections and put the little pieces together one by one.  If you feel disconnected and loose your pieces trust your partner more!  Can you trust and listen to what your connections are telling you and act accordingly?  Takes a lot of courage to follow through!   You can do it!  I believe in you:).

Do it right, keep it tight!

Brooke

ps – check out the song “Pieces” by Andrew Belle

 

Life in Control?

How was my last experience with THE WORK in LA?

Besides being a nice excuse to get away from my daily routine, soak up some needed warm sunshine, and reconnect with some wonderful inspiring people, this time I was not so thrilled to be doing “The Work…” I left Seattle in pain and knew I could not cancel my trip, and still stay in the program due to my pain. It would also not be sufficient to just go and observe. I know that they expect to see us participating, moving, and working! If I did not go and experience first hand the work in my body I would have to drop out of the program. I have worked hard to get in and stay in the program thus far, and their philosophy, which I also believe in, is that you have to experience something if you want to teach it.

What was my pain?

I had intense pain in my left neck, trapezius, and shoulder. At the time I did not know that my pain was due to a big herniation between C6 and C7. Just found out this past week (1 full week after completing my week in LA).

How was my experience?

One word can sum up my last trip to LA for “The Work,” “OOOUCH!”

How did I get my herniation?

What can I say? It’s always a dynamic! As we all know, life is just that, one messy but beautiful dynamic. Whether we like it or not it usually makes sense, if not right away then it will down the road of life. Personally, after contemplating how I got so badly injured, I would have to say that its my own damn fault. For starters, my injury has been accumulating all my life and I have done my fair share of slouching! Also, having broken my back when I was 7 at L1/T12 (another story) does not help either. I have always felt an unrelenting stickiness in my low back that I constantly try to pull out of. Maybe that’s why my love for yoga grew at such a young age? Unfortunately, my stretching efforts to get out of my low back usually only manifest up at my neck. My husband can confirm this as he hears me crack my neck every night before I get in bed after my nightly yoga stretch routine. He always warns me often that I should not crack my neck so much and that “cracking” was not a ‘good’ thing but it felt good to me and I never thought I would be where I am now.

More recently, around the beginning of February I also fell on my head. It was a nice fall, but none the less, it did have some impact and I felt the consequence in my low back and my neck the following day. If any of you Pilates Enthusiasts are familiar with an exercise called the ‘squirrel’, I was doing a variation of just that on the Cadillac with my feet in the fuzzies, except I was in a backbend and to what I recall a bit twisted. I cannot even remember how I got in that position to be honest. I was in my bi-weekly pilates session and at this particular moment I was just playing and having fun. My Pilates sessions, to be honest, are usually my “recess”:). Simple fun!

Almost 2 months after my fall, and I was still feeling a nagging tightness in my neck and upper left back. Part II of The Work was soon approaching and I was a little nervous because I knew my body was not feeling the best. I was convinced that it was just a rib or part of my upper thoracic that needed to be adjusted back into alignment. My husband, Pontus, as most of you know is a Doctor of Osteopathy and can help me time to time if i’m nice of course! I was nice(he’s usually nicer), so he did try to help me on several occasions. He was not able to manipulate what I was sure I needed to be manipulated and was blown away with how tight my left trapezius muscle and levator scapula had gotten. He advised me not to mess with it any more and just do gentle stretches and ice as he thought I had a nerve pinched.

I however, being stubborn and wanting “a fix” decided to go to a chiropractor I had seen before for iliocecal valve difficulties when I was having trouble with digestive issues. I was able to make 2 appts back to back right before I were to leave for California for The Work. I was so happy that I was able to get in and I thought I would finally be able to get some relief before the MAT portion of The Work(the most challenging module as you do not have any support from the apparatus). I had worked hard on my homework and felt prepared but I also wanted to feel better in my neck and shoulder before going into the big demanding week ahead.

My first chiropractic appt went well. The chiropractor was able to adjust my low back and also my upper thoracic. I felt some relief, but still had the nagging pain in my upper neck and left shoulder. I went back the following day and before I left Pontus said to me, “do not let him touch your neck!” However, when I arrived at the chiropractor, I said I was still feeling tight and stuck in the same places. He listened and told me that he thought he could help as he just returned from a course that was all on the neck and upper traps so I said, “ok, see what you can do.” Well, I know now that saying that was a BIG mistake! Right away I felt and heard a huge ‘POP.’ I did not know what to think…so what did i do? I continued with my day in auto pilot and even went to a yoga class and did Headstand(how stupid am I?). I should have iced! That night I was in so much pain I barely slept as my left trapezius and neck were hurting more than ever.

I left to teach that morning before I left that afternoon and was in pain the whole time and realized I even had a hard time bending over and tying my shoe laces! I called Pontus at work and asked him, “what should I do?” He said, “Brooke you will be okay, just take some pain meds, turmeric, anything to reduce inflammation and ice.” I am thinking, okay, I will be okay, just take it easy.

IN LA…

The following day, my demanding schedule was looking straight at me! On average I had 3 Pilates sessions/lessons a day. On Saturday and Sunday it was an all day MAT workshop with Jay Grimes. We must have performed the Mat sequence at least 5 times each day. It was actually okay when I was warmed up and moving and continuing to reach and create my own traction and length, but very painful to just lie down and put pressure on my back or the transition from lying to seated to standing etc. IN between moving I iced and lathered on arnica gold cream and red tiger balm like never before! Everyone knew I was not feeling the best and asked me if there was anything they could do, I thanked everyone for their concern. There were several others who were also going through some their own issues they were working out as well. One individual had a torn rotator cuff and there were also some other interesting cases! We were all in it together and I think just knowing I was not alone helped me in addition to just continuing to breathe, believe, ice, and take epson salt baths in between my sessions as I counted the days till I could go back home!

So what got me through probably the most painful week of my life(beside child birth of course)!

I know I was in pain and I needed to come up with a plan to hep myself get through the intensive week and Mat workshop with Jay Grimes. Besides reminding myself to “take one day at a time” and also calling my husband and hearing him reassure me “that everything will be okay”…I knew it was important for me to start my day off right. Some of you that I teach may here me say, do not rush, take your time, and most importantly set yourself up for success! I used this for myself and this helped me in my misery! Here’s a look at my morning routine and how I set my day up for success.
-literally rolled out of bed at 6am. Sat and on my bed and breathed deeply to create and find space in my back and neck.
-Drank my morning ritual of warm lemon water and and also some l-glutamine as I caught up on the morning news briefs and iced my neck.
-I followed with my bullet coffee(I brought my inversion blender with me) and my berries and a coconut chocolate drink with bone broth to kick start my day with sustained delicious energy. UMMMM, so good.
-I would then normally do a 15 minute full body yoga routine to help wake me up and uplift my body from the nights sleep. Unfortunately, the routine was too painful and instead I did some light stretches targeting my upper back, chest, and neck all while I held and gently lifted my head to create traction for my compressed hurting neck. I usually stood up against the wall in my room just breathing and lengthening my back in and up against the wall. This would help me align myself so I could work on melting my front body into my back and the wall to give me support all the while lifting my spine and creating more length in my neck out of my shoulders.
-9am – walked 1 mile to the studio listening to some Hawaiian happy reggae to continue my beautiful day.

Some of my mantras that were particular useful to me were…
take care of me
start with a good position
be present and observe
less is more
work smart
control and contain self
release
let go

We cannot always control the ‘life’ that is presented to us whether that be a particular situation, disagreement, argument with family or friends, problem at work, or personal challenge possibly with the state our body is in. Regardless, if there is a reason, deep down we know that there always is (whether we like it or not)….we do have a choice to control our mind and our actions to help better our situation. This in a nutshell is Pilates….the art of Contrology. THE ART OF CONTROL. I hope, that I can continue to fine tune my Pilates in and out of the studio to better serve my life and as a consequence the lives that surrounds me. I am so grateful.

LOVE,
Brooke

stay tuned on what comes next…:)

It takes a lot of WORK!

It takes a lot of work…

to recognize that…

“We’re not perfect, and it takes a long time to get there!”

I hope you can laugh and love this phrase as much as I do.

Jay Grimes, first generation master instructor(learned the method of Pilates from Joseph Pilates himself) said this to over 50 classical pilates instructors this weekend at Vintage Pilates in LA. What a great weekend! As some of you may already know, I am hoping to be accepted into Jay’s Pilates Master Program, called, “The Work.” I performed my assessment on the reformer this weekend and overall, I believe, I had a strong performance. I will find out in November wether or not I am one of the few chosen to participate in his program. The program is an intense 1-2 year graduate program for certified teachers who desire to go beyond Pilates workshops and truly understand how all the Pilates exercises and the apparatus work together efficiently and effectively.

Back to, “we’re not perfect, and it takes a long time to get there!” I love this saying as it reminds me that making any shift/change in my attitude, in my body, in my actions takes time. It takes a lot of “WORK” also. WE need to choose and become consciously aware of our actions and recognize what we can do to ease the discomfort. Being disciplined and steadfast in your actions will hopefully affect your realistic goals:) you set for yourself. Doing all of this we will still have more, and more, and more to work on. Enjoy your journey, learn from it, love yourself, and repeat!

Ciao,

Brooke