” During my last days in the Kathy Stanford Grant Heritage Pilates educational training, I wish to reflect on some profound realizations made possible from this past year’s commitment to immerse myself in the elements of this course…. I’m so grateful to Cara Reeser, creator and teacher of this course and owner of Pilates Aligned in Denver.
…and I am so grateful to have had this opportunity.”
~Gail Giovanniello – Saturday, March 9th – Denver, CO
Essay on The KSG Heritage Training 2012 -13
At the beginning of the course, while learning the principles, I was wondering exactly where this work would progress to – as I was very anxious to learn some “big bold moves” that I had never seen performed. After the second session, I began to feel I had not a clue as to why I had been cueing clients and giving certain exercises in the way I had been for the past eighteen years. As the Heritage Training evolved, information was clicking left and right, and my instruction in my own studio and direction and attitude toward my clients and the Pilates repetoire began to shift immediately.
The “Before the 100″ information suddenly became a message that would inform all of the other movements. To me, this information is the set up for every exercise, and I can not imagine cueing in any other manner because the guidance physically makes sense to me and is accessible to almost anyone once he/she is given the cue. The body can feel it!
“Before the 100″ is how I set up a person’s body and I have added it to my warm up for privates and classes. It is a way to teach all of the Reformer, Cadillac, Chair and Barrel movements. With these tools, I find people really understand and sense from which specific places in their bodies to initiate movements – and one doesn’t stress about “choreography”.
The work on the equipment has clarified a few questions I had regarding how the springs relate to the body, and now I see the Reformer and the body as one unit: a shape created together.
The Helper Strap work was an epiphany all its own, and what a genius Kathy was! Who ever knew Mat Work could be so much fun, and she truly reinvented it with these straps!! I feel the same regret I’ve heard many people say…. “I wish I had done this twenty years ago!!!” The straps literally HELP the ribs to lift and make way for the pelvis to move… and God!… how I love the arm connection that these straps enable.
The KSG Heritage Training Program will forever change the way I cue, how I see where the head is on the spine, how (or even if) the pelvis is moving, where the arms sit on the body, how to bring the ribs into alignment, how to focus on the eyes, to STOP SAYING CLICHED CUES ABOUT SCAPULA AND CORE, (KSG “song” is brilliant!), how to involve the hamstrings, how to begin an exercise and then advance a client to the “big bold moves” I once thought were part of some hidden choreography I just hadn’t learned yet. The big bold move for me is that now I am performing the existing exercises with this new approach.
I did not experience Kathy Grant during her years teaching in New York City (although I heard much about her). However, Cara has brought her to life for me, and I feel like I knew Kathy and have a clear handle on her methods, history and how this body of work expands to all of the Pilates sequences, as it is really a way of moving. I regret not ever putting myself in the same room with Kathy, and am so grateful and thankful I took on the commitment of Cara’s heritage training program.
I have taught for over eighteen years and the next eighteen will be inspired by this work.
~Gail Giovanniello – Owner of Mind Your Body NYC