Wednesday, April 13, 2011

The Learning Phases

As mentioned earlier, our journey in Pilates begins with Awareness. Let me go take you through the phases with a little more detail.

Typically, (may I assume) other than dancers, athletes and the like (including most active sportspersons), the general population of people have little body awareness.
This, we would term it as (1) 'unconscious inability to engage'. Basically, it means the student is not aware of a particular muscle, or may not know the usage of the muscle, for example. Therefore, the Pilates teacher is to create awareness of a movement or existence of a muscle or muscle group. With awareness, the student will then learn to recruit the muscle(s) and related movement(s). Let us term this phase as (2) 'conscious inability to engage well'.

Over time, the student should progress to (3) 'conscious competence', this is when the student will concentrate and think in order to perform the exercise and may do it reliably well.
The student should continue to practise so that it becomes (4) unconscious competence - 'second nature', so much so that the way you sit, stand and walk is with greater ease and grace.

As how Ron Fletcher, a first generation teacher and founder of Fletcher Pilates says: "You've got to go through what you're going through to get to where you're going."

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Movement should be approached like life - with enthusiasm, joy and gratitude – for movement is life and life is movement, and we get out of it what we put into it.”

~ Ron Fletcher

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