When I sit down to write its always because I have something I need to say, wanting to say something just isn’t motivation enough for me, I write simply because I need to.

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The Red Thread of Pilates, Kathryn Ross-Nash

I’ve had the most wonderful Summer, teaching, travelling and studying. As I write I’m sat on the terrace of http://www.natura.com.cy/ in Cyprus, its our final Pilates Retreat of the year and the guests are delightful, the lounge stealing, confrontational, room key hiding Germans staying here not so much but that’s for another time.

Its a place to reflect, Its peaceful here but when i think about it the rhythm and constant sound of the ocean, the magnificent insects and birds that abound, the semi feral cats at breakfast are all busy and constantly moving and yet perfectly balanced in utilizing their energy, Running Pilates Retreats will be a post in its own rights, but if can you envisage yourself spending 8 hours with your clients looking for lost luggage and are still considering running a Pilates Holiday watch this space.

So when it came to deciding on what to write I decided one day, one post this week wouldn’t be enough so for the next five days I will write everyday, because I’m inspired, because I have time and because discipline is found in all areas of our lives and this will be mine for the week. The last few weeks have raised several key themes and questions in my Life, some personal, some professional, all complex and all will no doubt be answered in time. Personally its been a huge time for change, new experiences, new demands on time management, new financial pressures, all that comes with starting again, taking enough care of myself has been in truth last on my list of priorities, my choice and the consequences have been mine to own. That however, is about to change.

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My youngest responsibility to date as an English Nanny in NJ

Professionally I returned to New Jersey for the second year running to study with +KathiRossNash and got to train alongside 18 other inspiring teachers from all over the globe. We’d been a year apart but I hadn’t realized how much I’d missed them all until we were reunited back in the Studio. A year is 365 days too long to be apart from such inspiring, energizing company, It hurt when I had to leave. My Pilates family including the four paws (of which I am now the official English Nanny) is held together with a love for the Method, a respect for each other and most importantly is guided my a ‘Mother & teacher’ that just says how it is exactly when you need to hear it. Oh and her Boomerang seriously rocks (Those who need to know, know this already!). We celebrated the recent publication of ‘The Red thread of Pilates.. I have it and am gradually working my way through it, its Kathi’s heart, soul and life times experience of the Method in thoughtful text and pictures that will carefully help teachers train their eye. This is not a book to be scanned through hurriedly but the best investment a teacher can make, particularly if they currently only teach the Mat work http://www.amazon.com/The-Red-Thread-Integrated-Variations/dp/099074650X If this book doesn’t inspire you to want to know the entire system nothing will, and if you cant stretch financially to that book yet then at least get yourself ‘Fix your feet’ http://www.amazon.com/Your-Feet-Using-Pilates-Method/dp/1450740804/ref=pd_bxgy_14_img_2?ie=UTF8&refRID=1104ERVWDD0TTNXNHFJ2 As a qualified Reflexologist I have always loved feet and the way they support us and what they say about us, there’s a good reason why Footwork appears everywhere in The Pilates Method! Understanding the system as fully as we can changes us all as teachers and must therefore change the lives of our clients.

Which sadly, given my recent positive experience, brings me to an issue that’s disturbingly more and more evident on Pilates forums and social media, teachers who are angry with our industry, disillusioned, unsupported and vocal. That deserves a further post dedicated to its discussion but will include why I decided to become a member of the PTA (http://www.pilatesteacherassociation.org/, ).I’m notoriously suspicious of governing bodies but given the ever increasing popularity of fast track courses and ‘How to qualify faster’ training providers we need to take a hard and honest look at our own Industry if it is to survive with any integrity. A controversial article recently in the New York Magazine explored that http://nymag.com/daily/intelligencer/2015/09/pilatespocalypse.html and again requires a more considered debate in a later post, to dismiss all the points raised in this article as irrelevant  is naive at best, negligent at worst.

As we become a world where every opinion, every photograph and every thought is expressed publicly with lightening speed and often little consideration, where even the smallest of businesses are increasingly dependent on Google rankings, successful SEO and smart phone friendly websites it is easy to see why so many teachers are forgetting that they are Pilates Teachers before all else and not defined by their Instagram videos. Much to the frustration of my SEO expert (yes even I with my little Retreat business have an expert) who is exasperated with my reluctance to write about Pilates and weight loss, How to get ‘Pilates Abs’ or Jennifer Aniston’s Pilates and beauty regime (I don’t know her to talk about her). It might make good SEO but its extremely dull writing and I suspect reading. How far anyone compromises their integrity depends on what they want to gain I suspect, but the point is does any of it truly matter? If you have chosen to teach you have chosen to continue learning, you have chosen a vocation not a job, you have chosen to be in the service industry where your service can change lives. You have chosen an industry where hours are often anti social, long and frequently challenging but it was your choice. You don’t need to run a google search to know that. So this post is really just a jump board, a promise to thread my thoughts on a Method that should only ever be used to build stronger bodies and minds, or perhaps just more flexible minds and bodies?! So you see, what was I going to write with so much to write about?!….answers on a postcard please……IMG_2055

Pilates Love.

Suzy Mitchell

http://www.seraphinapilates.com

Just a Pilates teacher living & working in London and the New Forest running Pilates Retreats in Italy, Cyprus & St Lucia with a passion for life & Love.