Why The Skillful Teaching Library Makes Sense
The heart and soul of the Skillful Teaching library is a WHOLE PERSON TEACHING approach.
We believe that for our students to get the most out of their practice, physically and mentally, in the short-and long-term, their bodies have to ALWAYS be sufficiently PRIMED, their brains prepared for learning, and their minds open and focused.
We’ve included several unique aspects to our library that you won’t find anywhere else: Priming Props, Off the Mat, and Awareness Tools. Each of these elements will help enhance what you already do and provide a platform for you to increase your efficacy and retention while staying true to the Pilates Method.
Our library is formulated on:
- Cutting edge, research-based strategies that optimize fascial health and tissue interaction;
- Brain-based approaches addressing the nervous system, motor learning, awareness aptitude, intrinsic motivation;
- Empathy coaching techniques that promote self-efficacy and autonomy.
This integrative perspective makes our library a rich reflection of the body, mind, and spirit, and an invaluable tool for developing our students as lifelong practitioners.
The Skillful Teaching library is fundamentally rooted in the work of Romana Kryzanowska, but also intimately influenced by teachers such as Carol Appel, Marie Jose-Bloom, Elizabeth Larkam, Eve Gentry, Kathy Grant, Tom McCook, and Amy Taylor Alpers and Debora Kolwey, among others. Our foundational curriculum has also been influenced by the Balanced Body repertoire as our founder, Chantill Lopez, is a long standing Balanced Body faculty member and believes that the BB program offers teachers a well-balanced platform from which to teach.
Perhaps more importantly are our inter-disciplinary influences, which include Eric Franklin, Thomas Myers, Phillip Beach — whose express permission we have to use his Archetypal Postures and Erectorcises — the Feldenkrais method, vinyasa yoga, Aston Kinetics, Yamuna Body Rolling and the MELT Method.
Library Synopsis: Skillful Teaching is a unique and powerful educational platform designed to support a WHOLE-person approach to teaching. Our library focuses on PRIMING the body via fascial-oriented training allowing teachers to consistently drive students toward self-discovery, personal achievement, responsibility, and long term functional viability in a way that is creative, deeply exploratory, and effective.
What Sets Us Apart
We love PRIMING! And it’s one of the aspects of our library that we are most excited about and we think YOU are going to appreciate MOST.
The essence of PRIMING is preparing the body by stimulating a whole-body integrative response via the connective tissue system. PRIMING is, in our approach to Pilates, a prerequisite to not only more complex and dynamic movement, but to enhancing a student’s overall practice.
What PRIMING does:
- Stimulates the fascia
- Warms up & organizes the body
- Awakens the mind
- Focuses attention
- Stimulates awareness and helps access subtle sensation
We’ve created a new “Apparatus” called Priming Props, which encompasses rolling and release techniques with a variety of props, as well as a “Category” called Priming, which designates exercises that we feel are best suited to preparing the body for optimal movement.
To learn more about how to use the Priming tools including more in-depth explanation of the Phillip Beach Archetypal Postures and Erectorcises, as well as click the link below.
Awareness Exercise are simple exercises designed to demonstrate a student’s body awareness. These tools help us assess awareness specifically and teach body awareness explicitly.
It’s important that these exercises, when given, are NEVER demonstrated. Because we aren’t looking for a student’s ability to mimic but rather draw from existing body intelligence, we must give the student a chance to decipher for themselves how to achieve a movement. How they manage the verbal instructions is also very telling of how they learn.
With the awareness tools we not only bring to bear a rich level of understanding about the body’s intelligence but also what kind of learner the student in front of us is.
Most of the AE’s will be used in initial sequences and repeated only once or twice if at all. They are a way of acclimating your student to their responsibility as a mover and give you a benchmark. Some will need to be and can be repeated in order to assess any shift in awareness, although this is likely to be demonstrated via other exercises as you progress over time.
The category for Awareness Exercise is Awareness Exercise.
A description of each of the AE’s is given to the “learn more” linked page below so that you are 100% clear as to what they are and what you’re asking. Most of these movements you’ve no doubt done and seen before, but may be called something new and interesting.
Off the Mat
Off the Mat is meant to embrace all that we do before movement begins and what happens in the in-between moments; those moments when we are helping our students find their way to more than just a physically strong body, but also a grounded sense of confidence and wellbeing.
Off the Mat is comprised of prompts rather than exercises, which are designed to insight and inform in the following areas:
- Body Image
- Internal Motivation (Motivators)
- External Motivation (Motivators)
- Current Expectations
- Past Expectations
- Personal Responsibility
- Goals and Attitudes
- Confidence Level
- Curiosity Level
- Relationship to Health & Wellbeing
We believe that although most of us do some of this intuitively, having a clear way to organize our approach and assess students from this perspective is invaluable.
Working with these assessment prompts also ensures that we’re consistently able to offer an integrative, whole-person approach to our movement education and cultivate appropriately empathic, mutually responsible and reciprocal relationships with our students.
The category for Off the Mat is Assessment Prompt.
Learn more about the Off the Mat Assessment Prompts and how to incorporate them into your teaching by clicking the link below.
- Core Focus
- Lumbopelvic Stability
- Lumbopelvic Stability/Hip Mobilization
- Spinal Mobility & Stability
- Scapular Mobility
- Scapular Mobility & Stability
- Scapular Stabilization
- Extension Focus
- Lateral Focus
- Rotation Focus
- Full Body Dynamic
- Awareness Tool
- Assessment Prompt
The sequences you’ll find in the Skillful Teaching library range from classic to contemporary. We’ve included this wide breadth of sequences because we believe there is tremendous value in teaching from an authentic and original perspective — so much to be gleaned from the order and focus of the method as passed down by Joe. AND we know how much our knowledge has expanded and how deeply the Pilates method has been influenced by countless creative and talented teachers. Too many to overlook.
In the more contemporary sequences our focus is on promoting an integrative approach to uniform development for the modern body using fascial-oriented training tools and techniques that you’ll find embedded in all of our priming exercises.
We wanted to present a well-balanced, well-rounded, library of clear and concise exercises and programs that every dynamic teacher could use to consistently drive their students toward their greatest potential. We feel that both contemporary and classic Pilates have a place on that path, that it’s not an either or decision, but rather how and when.
Our sequences will be an ever-evolving and growing aspect of our library to mirror the ever-expanding exploration that is happening in our wonderful profession.
We are also open to your thoughts and suggestions. If there is an exercise or sequence you’d like us to consider creating or adding, please don’t hesitate to reach out to us and let us know.
You can email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
This library is for you. If you’re jiving with our jam, we want you to co-create it with us!
Looking forward to supporting you, working with you, and creating with you!