One Step Closer to Re-Opening

This month, I discovered the Slackline. A two-inch-wide length of webbing that you tension between two trees in your yard.
The first time I stood up on the line, it began to tremble as if an electrical current was running through it. My leg started to shake wildly. Immediately I was flung off. Ouch! The ground is hard, unforgiving. Better learn how to fall off. I got on and fell off. On, off, on and off. Learning to stand on the line without the help of the tree was first. Balancing over one foot was second. Why was this so hard? Would I ever get across?

Slacklining is a simple and elegant metaphor. Focus on a single point in front of you and make a step by step commitment to it. Look around; you’re off! Look down; you’re off. How often do we derail ourselves from our goals because we don’t stay focused? Instead, we look at the flowers, the hummingbirds, and the people in the yard. Or worse yet, we let our fears and doubts bring us down. Either way – we’re off!

Two months ago, Evergreen Pilates “stepped up” and became a virtual studio. We learned to walk “online.” And just as we have found our balance. its time to transition again. Next month we plan to host virtual and live in-studio sessions. To support us, we’ve hired COVID Consultants, a team of board-certified Infectious Disease physicians and infection prevention specialists, whose goal is to mitigate the risk of COVID-19 transmission. Last week Dr. Lerman came to the studio and performed an onsite inspection and created a customized “Recovery Readiness and Maintenance Plan” for re-opening Evergreen Pilates! By implementing their protocols, we feel confident that our studio will be ready to re-open! One step at a time, we’re focusing on our new direction. Together we’ll get to the other side. We’re grateful to all of you for your support and look forward to seeing you both on and offline.

xoxo,

LauriCOVIDConsultantsCertificate

Puppy-lates & Kitty-lates

This week I joined in on a couple of classes at the studio. I kid you not when I say I felt like I was at the studio taking a real live class as usual. The teaches did their thing, offering inspiring demos, spot-on cues, specific personal corrections, and lots of encouragement. I saw familiar faces and smiles, heard the usual laughs, and felt my abs fire up as I busted out exercises I haven’t done in 5 weeks. Yes, I felt like I was at the studio until every so often someone’s dog would lope across the room, climb on top of the owner, lick their face, and then be gone. Or a cat (I won’t mention names) would prance across its owner’s laptop, “purrfectly” obscuring the screen with its furry body. Puppy-lates and kitty-lates is hilarious! Think about it, for the first time; you can take LIVE class and have your pets with you! And while we’re at it – you can have your kids! Is it just me, or is there something adorable about seeing my 8-year-old son pumping his little arms and lungs while doing the Hundred? When you take a class with me, my third grader is bound to make a cameo appearance sometime in the workout.

I’ve had a lot of people thank me for the virtual classes and ask if we’ll continue once we reopen. The answer is YES! Virtual classes are fun; they are effective and super convenient. I’ve seen people exercising on their decks, living rooms, bedrooms, lofts, and even bathrooms. You get to exercise where ever your heart desires and have your pets and kids too! If you’ve not tried a virtual class yet, we’re offering $10 off your first lesson. Give it a try. Connect with us. And don’t worry, you can choose to be seen or to be invisible. When’s the last time you could do that anywhere? Just another perk of taking a virtual class.

Mud Season

I like routine. The consistency, predictability, and order of it. But last week instead of going to the studio to teach, I scrambled to move furniture in my living room and worked obsessively to create an online LIVE streaming studio. By Friday, my candle had burned hot and fast. I was melting! I no longer had my routine. Tomorrow all of us parents and some grandparents become home educators. As a former homeschool mom, I know this can be daunting. How will you adapt to your new routine and take care of yourself?
Last week I issued everyone a Spring Challenge to take the best care possible of yourself. That means exercising, eating healthy foods, resting, and connecting with friends and family. Now through the end of May, please join me for Spring Challenge. You can use the Spring Challenge Worksheet as a checklist to stay on track. At the end of May, we’ll have a big party, hopefully, a LIVE one, and a virtual one too! You can also join our FB Spring Challenge Support Group.
If you need some guidance and support, please join me for coffee on Facebook LIVE this Monday at 11:30am.
Use the following address in your streaming software.
rtmps://live-api-s.facebook.com:443/rtmp/
Please continue to be part of our community. Foward this email to your family and friends. Help our community to grow. You have no idea how much your support means to us! We love you!
xoxo,
Lauri

Winds of Change

I feel the winds of change. Crazy, I know, but one of the things I like about March in the mountains. The wind is fierce and in our face. It rattles our windows and minds and topples the furniture on our decks. It is restless and relentless. It moves us. It pushes us forward, and demands change. Its purpose is spring. At the studio, we hear the wind whistle down Bear Creek Canyon and watch it race across the Lake. We feel it beat against the door and sometimes blow it wide open.
Like the wind, we’re making space for change too. We’ve made space for new teachers, new classes and tweaked our system to make things easier for you. Now when you log on to book a class, you’ll see the number of open spaces, and all of our packages have longer expiration dates.
I love pinwheels. They are colorful, and when you blow onto them, they move fast! As long as you exhale, they create a magical display of color. In Pilates, breath is the magic of all movement, all change. Breath creates space and flow for the change you want in your life. Joe Pilates said, “Change happens through movement, and movement heals.” When we move, we make space in our bodies and minds for what we want, something we need.

Where do you want to breathe change in your life? Is it in your body, mind, or your lifestyle? If you’re going to feel energetic in your body, and focused on your thoughts, start with your breath. So take a deep inhale, breathe in some space, and exhale out the change you seek to create. I look forward to seeing you in the studio. Meet our new teachers, try a new class, and take advantage of our March class special!

Walk this Way

Walking is something that people have done from the beginning of time. It was a requirement of life as much as breathing and eating. Now people plan their walks, count their steps, monitor their heart rate, calculate how far they’ve gone, and how fast.

I walk all day – up and down the stairs, around the grocery store, in and out of buildings, and inside my Pilates studio. A few times a week I actually “take a walk”. If the sun is shinning and the wind is calm, I praise the Almighty.  I love to walk, yet I have to plan it. Then there’s the question of… do I take my phone or not? I have little kids, so of course I take it. I’ll be no more than a few paces from the car, when I hear a metallic chime go “ting” followed by another. By the third “ting” I’ve given in to checking my texts – while still walking! Sound familiar? When I was three years old my grandfather used to take me for long walks. My mother said I’d come home exhausted and hysterical. Walking doesn’t have to be a big deal, it just has to be purposeful.

Maybe you’re someone who takes walks regularly. Maybe you’re the guy strolling the Lake or trekking the Meadow rain or shine – snow or sleet. Maybe you’re the lady power trooping to King Soopers – and back! Or maybe you only walk inside King Soopers because you have to buy groceries. I won’t tell you where to walk, how often, or how fast. Instead, I want to talk to you about how you walk, more specifically your gait. Gait is defined as the way in which you walk, step, or stride. If you’ve had injuries, played sports, have a scoliosis, or lived at all – it will affect your gait. Your gait is like a fingerprint – unique to you alone. Every movement you make tells a story of your life.

We all know the importance of walking for cardiovascular health, but did you know that walking tones your body, strengthens the core, and improves your balance? Walking is a full body activity – and it’s free! So breathe the fresh air, hear to the birds sing, just don’t text and walk. I want to give you 5 Tips for improving your walk. Practice one at a time, then layer them up. Follow these tips and you’ll improve form and function, and reduce friction on your joints. You may even notice any usual aches and pains relenting. Are you ready to say goodbye to head bobbing, back swaying, and hip twisting forever? I want you to have the gift of walking freely and joyfully for the rest of your life! Like all things, it’s easier to improve your gait when you actually dedicate time every week to doing it. Are you ready to get started?

Five Tips for Better Gait

  1.  Stand Tall – Stack your spine and imagine a vertical plumb line up from your ankles through your ears. Visualize your torso like a slinky spring with your coils neatly stacked. Maintain a vertical torso while moving forward.
  2. Point your feet and knees straight forward. Think about the tires on your car. How well would they wear if they were angled sideways instead of straight forward? Don’t allow your feet to duck out, your ankles to collapse inward, or your knees to roll in. Align your feet, ankles, knees, and hips forward.
  3. Engage your Core – Walking requires moving your center of gravity fluidly in a linear line through space. A lot of times we sway our backs (hyperextend the lumbar) or flatten it out altogether. Neither is good. Like a slinky spring, don’t allow the bottom coils to get curved. Engage your core by drawing your navel to your spine to support your back.
  4. Propel yourself forward. Think of how a paddle presses through water in the opposite direction to move a canoe forward. Walking requires pushing in the opposite direction to create propulsion. Most people practice falling forward instead of walking. Lead by pressing your foot and leg back to propel you forward. If you have ever skated, it has a similar feeling.
  5. Pump Arms in opposition to legs. Pumping arms balance out the movement of the legs that creates a tendency for the hips to twist and impact the spine. Remedy this by reaching the opposite arm backwards from leg that is moving forward. Avoid holding your arms tight by your sides. Instead use long arms that are not bent and imagine pushing ski poles behind you. Like the legs, propel yourself forward by pushing backwards.

Bonus Tip: Beyond a doubt, stretching the hamstrings and quadriceps, while improving lateral hip and core strength will improve your gait. A great way to do this is by practicing Pilates. Pilates seeks to uniformly balance the muscles of your body, improving joint range of motion, strength and flexibility. For more useful tips, please check out my book, Pilates for the Outdoor Athlete. If you are interested in a Complimentary Pilates Consultation, please call Evergreen Pilates: 303-679-1664

Pilates for the Outdoor Athlete

Walk with Lauri at Evergreen Lake: Thursday April 26th 10am
Learn fun and practical tips for improving gait and maximizing your walking experience.

“Return to Life” Spring Challenge Log Sheet & Pocket Journal

If you’re joining us for our Spring Challenge, we have a nifty worksheet to track your progress.  You can download it here, or stop by the studio for a copy.   While you’re at the studio, pick up an  “Evergreen Pilates Pocket Journal”.   Enjoy it however you wish!  Journaling your goals, plans and insights can be a powerful tool for making your “Return to Life” a reality.   See you soon!

Pilates as a Lifestyle

“As a man thinks, so is he.” – Proverbs 23:7

When I was introduced to Pilates back in 2001 I had no idea that it would change my life.  After a few months of practicing the Method I noticed some remarkable changes in my body and mind.  Namely that my elbow tendonitis had disappeared, and that I was less anxious and happier.  My mentor, Richard Rossiter said, “Pilates is a Lifestyle.”  At the time I thought it was just a romantic saying people said about their passions.     But after all these years I’ve realized that it’s true.  Pilates is a lifestyle.

In Joseph Pilates’ book, Return to Life, he defined Pilates (Contrology) as the complete coordination of body, mind, and spirit.  According to Joe, one of the main purposes of doing Pilates was to “gain mastery over your mind and complete control of you body.”  It is well know that our thought life determines our words and our actions.  Gaining mastery over our mind has enormous potential to improve the quality our physical, emotional and spiritual well-being.

Joe also said, “Contrology steadily increases the normal and natural supply of pure rich blood to flow to and circulate throughout the brain with corresponding stimulation to new brain areas previously dormant.  More significantly, it actually develops more brain cells.”  Seriously!

Modern day neuroscientist Dr. Caroline Leaf and author of the best selling book, Switch on your Brain, confirms Joe’s assertion from nearly a century earlier. “The brain continually changes in response to mental and sensory signals throughout the human life span.  This process has now been termed ‘neuroplasticity’. It was once thought that, as adults, we had the full complement of nerve cells (neurons) and that we basically lost neurons until we died.”  Dr. Leaf goes on to say, “Toxic thoughts trigger negative and anxious emotions, which produce biochemicals that cause the body stress. They are stored in your mind, as well as in the cells of your body”.  

Here’s where I believe Dr. Leaf’s research and Joe’s Method collide.    Joe’s assertion that, “Change happens through movement and movement heals.” is indeed a fact.   By breathing deeply, articulating our spines, making space for organs to function better, articulating our joints through their healthiest ranges of motion and visualizing new possibilities, we feed our bodies fresh sensory input, remove toxic thought patterns and allow new thinking to emerge for greater physical, mental and spiritual well-being.  Yes, I believe that all of this can happen in a single Pilates session.  But like anything, repetition and reinforcement is the key to lasting change.

When I teach Pilates I use a lot of imagery focused on allowing the body and mind to easily communicate creating an ideal environment to tap into the brain and body’s amazing capacity to change, adapt and heal.  Additionally, breathing is at the heart of my teaching.   Joseph  made statements such as, “Breathing is the first act of life and the last, and that we must learn to do it well.”  With an emphasis on breathing deeply, we stimulate the parasympathetic nervous system which focuses the mind and calms the body.   Deep breathing flushes out the toxins in the body and brings new oxygen in.

In our time together, you’ll also notice a lot of affirmation, and opportunity to explore and discover new ways to feel and live in your body.  You’re body is not stagnant, and neither is your mind.  You are capable of transformational growth.  I don’t care if you are 17 or 71 – you are capable of transforming  your mind, body, and spirit!

“Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind.”  – Romans 12:2.

Pilates is a lifestyle I live, breathe and love.   It goes with me whether I am rock climbing, working at my computer, or cleaning my house.    As your Pilates coach I will guide you beyond old patterns that may no longer serve you and into new possibilities that make you thrive.   17 years ago my mentor, Richard believed in me and the Pilates Method – I am eternally grateful!  I want to do the same for you.

If you have never tried Pilates, or just need a fresh start, I invite you to come in for a complimentary consultation with me.   Please contact me at  303-679-1664  pilateswithlauri@nullyahoo.com

In Gratitude,

Lauri Stricker

 

Return to Life Workshops

Return to Life – Spring Workshop Series

Joesph Pilates said in his book,       Return to Life, “It is the mind itself that shapes the body.”  Let that sink in for a moment. Your mind shapes your body!  Wow, if that’s true – for better or worse your thoughts are impacting your strength, flexibility, balance… your overall health.  Ever notice yourself catching a cold after you’ve been stressed?

Joe also said, “our body should obey our mind”, not vise versa.  Yet how often do we feed our brain negative self-talk after a failed attempt at something new?  Listen to what neuroscientist, Dr. Caroline Leaf author of, Switch on your Brain, The Key to Peak Happiness, Thinking, and Health, has to say about “mind over matter”.

“Our mind is designed to control the body of which the brain is a part, not the other way around.  Matter does not control us. We control matter through our thinking and choosing.”

Watch the Winter Olympics and we see the miracle of mind over matter.   Did you know that every morning we wake up with brand new baby nerve cells that we can wire in new thoughts?   Its called Neurogenesis.  Dr. Leaf explains that we don’t have to get stuck in bad habits and toxic thoughts – we can change them.

“As he thinks, so is he.”  – Proverbs 23:7.

Joe also said, “One of the major results of Pilates is gaining mastery of your mind over the complete control of your body.”  Double wow – wouldn’t you like to experience that, not just in class – but every moment of your life?

If so, join me for the “Return to Life Workshop Series”.   We’re going to do some life changing work and make good on Joseph Pilates’ and Dr. Leaf’s assertions.   Together we’ll apply techniques and strategies that I have learned over almost 17 years of practicing and studying with some of the world’s most talented teachers.

If you’ve read this far, I’m hoping you’ll take this as a sign that your mind is ready to take charge of your body.   You don’t have to attend all the workshops, but the more you commit to – the greater and faster your results.  Please click on the link below to find  workshop dates and more details.  As always, I look forward to working with you.

In Gratitude,

Lauri