Ep 41: Unraveling Pilates mythology with Wendy Leblanc-Arbuckle

What an absolute thrill it was to make this podcast! In episode 41 we are talking to Wendy Leblanc-Arbuckle, a dear and wonderful human being and a consummate contributor to the Pilates, yoga, and movement industries. If I were going to choose one way to describe Wendy it would be a movement astronaut; she’s not only ALWAYS curious, she’s actually always exploring, pushing the edges, going to the far reaches of understanding the body, the mind, and the beautiful configuration of all of it as it manifests in our lives. Wendy is a true pioneer in our industry and if you’re not a fan already, you’re likely to be after this.

We’re talking about the heart of teaching: practice. Posing questions like:

  • How does our own personal “practice” feed and inform our choices in life and our perceptions.
  • What does our “practice” look like? Why?
  • How has it changed and why? What have been the catalysts?
  • Why does it matter to us and to others (those we interact both personally and professionally)?
  • How does our “practice” perpetuate (or not) the way we teach: moving from the fixing mentality to the facilitating mentality.

What’s also really rather magical about this podcast, is that it’s our first trifecta co-hosting with Debora, James, and myself, along with a guest. Although James and I wanted to jump in and interrupt with questions and ideas at every turn, we managed to maintain a level of considerate decorum and uphold the listenability of the show. I know your’e going to love this episode. Grab some popcorn and/or a cup of tea (maybe wine), sit back, and take it all in. It’s going to be a wonderful ride. 


From Wendy:

Dr. Jean-Claude Guimberteau’s  book “Architecture of Human Living Fascia” and his DVD’s and videos online.


Pro Tip

Also from Wendy…

Either lying down on a mat, or sitting up, sense where you can sense feel the weight of your body resting down through your sitting bones (sitting) or throughout your spine, back, head and feet (lying).   

Rather than “controlling your body’s breath”, practice being in touch with your “fascial elastic recoil breath”…the natural, cascading massage of your bones, muscles, internal organs and  rhythmic orchestration of your body’s fluid movement.  Allow your breathing body to guide you, by placing one hand on your low belly, and the other hand on your low ribs.  

Notice that you can “allow” the relaxation toward center (a natural squeeze) of your ribs, as though they have weight,  as you EXHALE, then just “allow” your natural, expansive INHALE, through your nose,  (without “making it happen”), which opens your throat and back to breath.   

Can you “sense” your natural EXHALE, which is a “fascial release” deep within your body, that can open your hips and soften and widen your chest, neck, jaw and eyes… from your pelvic floor to your palate.

 If you have a challenge sensing this, don’t make yourself “wrong”, it’s just “what’s missing” that you can discover and explore how to access.


Wendy’s Bio:

Wendy is an International leader in embodied movement, with a 40 year background in holistic health, and lifelong studies and collaborations with distinguished pioneers in yoga, Pilates, Structural Integration bodywork, somatic arts and sciences, dynamic breath work and energy medicine.

As Director of Pilates Center of Austin for the past 25 years, Wendy  studied originally with Romana Kryzanowska and then with Kathy Grant, Ron Fletcher, Mary Bowen and Lolita San Miguel…Pilates Elders who studied directly with Joseph Pilates.  She has been deeply inspired by the diversity of their teaching expressions.  Additionally, her extensive yoga background,  along with studies with Bonnie Bainbridge Cohen, Emilie Conrad, Susan Harper, Judith Aston, Tom Myers, The Guild for Structural Integration,  Hubert Godard,  Phillip Beach and Jaap van der Wal,  with profound breath, fascial biotensegrity, embryology and ontological studies, helped Wendy cultivate her own “biointelligent” voice.  Her vision has been to illuminate the universal core principles that underlie all great bodymind practices, enabling students and practitioners of any discipline to discover their wholeness by cultivating their own voice, through the portal and brilliant guidance of their biointelligent wisdom.

A founding member of the Pilates Method Alliance (PMA), the Fascia Research Society and International Association of Structural Integrators, (IASI) she was on the original role delineation committee for the creation of the PMA exam, is a PMA-CPT, a presenter for Pilates Anytime and FusionPilatesEDU , and honored to be a Second Generation Mentor in Balanced Body’s Passing the Torch Mentoring Program, and a Wellsprings of Continuum Practitioner.


Upcoming Workshops & Learning Opportunities With Wendy

  • July 29th & 30th, 2017
    Embodying your Living Architecture…
    Through the Portal of the 3Core Connections® Embodied Perspective
    The Mind-Body Institute Gen-Do | With Yuki Yoshii
    Walnut Creek, California
    More Info
  • September 23rd to October 1st, 2017
    Fribourg, Switzerland | With Iva Mazzoleni Macherel
    Strasbourg, France | With Katia Hammouche
    Workshops to be offered:

    • Embodying Your Living Architecture…Through the Portal of the 3Core Connections Embodied Perspective
    • Teaching CORE to CORE…An Embodied Approach to Seeing, Sensing, and Cueing Movement Awareness
    • Cultivating Your Embodied Primordial Midline: Abdominal…Psoas…Diaphragm Balance
    • Upper Core Awareness: Free Your Neck…Free Your Whole Body
    • Journey to the Advanced Pilates Work…Advanced Thinking for a Vital Life

More Info: katia hammouche studio.pilates.strasbourg@gmail.com OR
Iva Mazzolni | Pilates Alliance iva@pilates-alliance.ch

  • October 26th, 2017 11am – 1pm
    2017 | 17th Annual Meeting of the
    Pilates Method Alliance | Wendy Presenting
    Embodied Pilates workshop…
    More Info
  • Ongoing
    Wendy’s yearlong Passing the Torch Mentoring Program is now open for registration…maximum 6 practitioners…4 spaces available for 2018-2019 program
    More Info

Connect With Us

Reach us Individually

  • Chantill – chantill@skillfulteaching.com
    • Phone – (707) 738-7951
  • Debora – dkolwey@gmail.com
  • James – evolvedbody@yahoo.com

Thinking Pilates Podcast - Connect with Us

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