Forum / Let's Discuss! / Chair/Barrel Refresher Course

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Lisa Longworth
On: February 09, 2016 12:03 PM
I accessed this course after you generously offered it as a gift during the holidays and I proceeded to saturate my brain and body with stimulating explanations, cues, imagery and movement for the following two weeks. Your level of knowledge and ability to convey your messages resonated with me and both have ignited my teaching skills and my own body movement in an exciting and fun manner. Thank you for your enthusiasm, passion and generosity; I'm grateful to have such a valuable resource available for my ongoing continuing education. So much information that I'm still digesting and working with, but here are a few points I wanted to address with you today. I did purchase Forever Access as I couldn't imagine giving this course up so I know there will be more questions to come! SEATED CHAIR FOOTWORK: Am I on the right track understanding that the work always initiates in neutral and the inner core musculature? The cueing of blooming the sitting bones, feeding the bones into the pedal while the tissues move up and meeting the resistance of the pedal coming into the body will all support and challenge neutral, while it allows the hamstrings and low gluteals to activate and respond because of this rather than turning them (hams/glutes) on consciously? Also, if the hip flexor on one side is gripping and spitting the femur head out, would I cue "sink/slurp the femur into the hip socket" "bloom the sitting bone" "tailbone 'looks' to that side?" I'm still working on understanding that more clearly. SEATED CHAIR FOOTWORK/SINGLE LEG: If weight cannot be distributed equally on both sitting bones, I would lighten the spring or maybe even get a ball to support the floating leg if not strong enough to carry the weight from the inner core? I will see obvious shifting if they are not holding from their inner core, but is there something I could look for if they are hiding that from me? I've tried this and my leg feels much heavier than a feather! It's amazing brain work with that thought in mind. Again, thank you for your inspiration; your enthusiasm and excitement are contagious.
On: February 13, 2016 06:28 AM
Hello Lisa! I am so happy you are enjoying the work and diving right in! Jen and I feel so strongly in sharing this wonderful work people across the world are doing, and it's a joy that we all can access such great information from so many different teachers at the touch of a finger! Makes continuing education easy, adaptable, and affordable! Ok I am going to take on your fabulous questions one at a time! I want to start off with a quote from the WONDERFUL Mary Bond. She once told me to "beware of cookbooks!" in instructing movement. And I think this is a brilliant reminder to us all that cues on a video and "answers" to questions are only as good as it is applicable to our client in front of us. This is where experimentation comes in, and the fun part begins! SEATED CHAIR FOOTWORK: You you are correct in that you want to approach footwork from an easy neutral pelvic and spine positioning. This work is some of the most functional work we can do for what I call the empowered seated position! This is an excellent teaching moment were our clients can really skill build and refine how they sit, that directly correlates to everyday life. When applying pressure into the pedal, often people loose the integrity of the neutral positioning so they can accomplish the task. It's our job to bring their awareness back to the focus of the organization on the seated position which provides deep training of all of the musculature needed to preform the task at hand. This is initiated by the core musculature, then followed by the "just right" tone of the global movers. By getting the bones in the correct position, the local muscles are immediately called into action in stability as this is our birthright strength in gravity. Cueing hams and glutes first can disrupt this focus on the organization on the central axis thus losing this golden opportunity to work proximal to distal. Again, see what your client does... Maybe they do need that cue later on! Just try not to lead with it. As for a femur that is "spitting out" a myriad of different things could be happening. Check the balance of the pelvis first, does a sitting bone need propping? That particular hip may be tighter so release work may be in order for the hip flexor, lateral hip, glute, and inner thigh. What happens to the hip in reformer footwork? Can you find the "slurp" there? How about supine clocking with the pelvis on the mikasa ball? Is there even glide on the femur heads on the 3 and 9 o'clock position? Or maybe it's as simple as bringing your client's attention to the area or lightening the springs. SEATED CHAIR FOOTWORK/SINGLE LEG Most often with single leg work the issue is in how to support the long lever of the free leg. Try placing a fitness ball or propping the leg on the Cadillac. But be sure this isn't a free ride moment. That leg needs just as must oppositional length tension cueing as the leg that's on the pedal, if not more! It's helping to create the stability needed for the work on the pedal leg to be easy and seamless! Lightening the spring tension doesn't always work because as you go lighter, you are taking away support from the equipment that the client may need. Again, just things to think about as you work on a case by case basis. Hope this helps! Much love, Casey Marie
Lisa Longworth
On: February 14, 2016 05:13 AM
Thank you for your clear and concise replies to my inquiries, Casey. The "beware of cookbooks" analogy is a great reminder for me that one size does not fit all and how each client is uniquely approaching this work as only they can. You helped reinforce the overall concept of chair work and I have a better understanding of what we are attempting to accomplish and what needs to be in place even before we arrive there. The ideas for helping to invite the femur back into its socket were very helpful. I see that I need to focus in a more supportive environment to achieve that feeling before attempting to "fix" it on the chair. As you stated in the beginning of the course, the chair is the most challenging piece of equipment in the studio. I understand that lightening the springs in single leg work could result in losing the support of the equipment, the grounding factor. I also needed the reminder of how important that oppositional length tension is of the free leg if it is being supported--not resting--on the trap table or stability ball. I love the trap table progression as a stable floor prior to the instability of a ball. I never thought of how sensible that would be. The plethora of understandable and relatable cues you and Jen share in the course have resonated with my clients and I've witnessed an amazing amount of progress and understanding in their bodies this past month and a half. It has also helped me translate the same concepts into different environments in the studio, which all translate into the real world. They have truly embraced the "shaking up" of their work and that, for me, has reinforced the importance of continuing education, keeping fresh ideas coming in on a regular basis. I'm thankful to have you all as a supportive resource and am patiently allowing the passing of winter so I can get safely up to see you soon!
On: February 17, 2016 04:26 AM
Lisa! Your reply absolutely warms me through and through on this cold winter morning! Jen and I firmly believe in the power of sharing everything we have to further our community, and to be of service to our clients. But it is really all of you teachers who participate in the site, and come to study at the studio, who are the grand inspiration! Every question we ponder on this forum is an incredible learning opportunity for us. We are continually humbled by your curiosity and openess when asking about your clients issues, and your willingness to try something new! The ultimate act in teaching bravery! Keep the questions coming as we truly enjoy this process as much as you do! Much Love, Casey Marie
Lisa Longworth
On: February 21, 2016 14:41 PM
Mutual inspiration; a truly harmonious concept. Thank you for the encouragement! I love the idea of washing the ribcage with the scapulae and it seems to make sense to my clients as well. Not that they've bought into the idea of doing release work at home, but I'm not giving up on them. I've begun to see a little more movement in the shoulder blades, and their understanding of the relationship between their upper core and lower core has been a positive experience for them. Washing the hips has been a little more elusive. I thought the work myself was very challenging and I'm having some difficulty getting my message across. When you say you want the legs in toaster slots, you are talking about keeping the body centered and equal weight in each leg even though the one leg doesn't really have a floor to stand on, so to speak. But when the foot meets the resistance of that spring, it feels as if it becomes a solid floor, right? There will also be movement on both sides even though we are up slipping-down slipping on the one side, I remember hearing you explain. I've seen them become so rigid up there and talking them through to an easiness has not been an easy task. Also, light touch on the handle, is that correct? The work really comes from the center of the body, the inner core. At least that's where I felt it. Maybe I could play with a heavier spring? I'm also guessing that hip release work would be in order. Some additional thoughts on this up slip-down slip/hip circle series would be helpful. Thank you so much!
On: March 21, 2016 19:18 PM
Hi Lisa! I have re read your question a couple of times and I am trying to track which exercise you are referring to with your question. Would you mind describing which exercise you are asking about? I want to make sure we are on the same page! Sometimes it's so hard to type about dynamic movement! So sorry! Much Love, Casey
Lisa Longworth
On: March 27, 2016 04:43 AM
I'm sorry I wasn't clear on the exercise I was speaking about, Casey, but it helped me do some re-thinking myself. You reiterate often how sometimes we need to step back to the basics when an exercise or concept is not being understood by a client and that's what I did here. I was able to bring them back to the table with some basic pelvic clock movements on the overball and some additional awareness on the arch tubbies to help them recall their ability to disassociate the pelvis from the femurs/spine. I noticed a remarkable difference when we went back to standing horizontal to the chair, short box in front with one foot on the pedal, one foot on the box, washing the hips in space in an up/down movement and small tea cup- size circular movement, clockwise/counter clockwise. Thank you for allowing me the time to dig deeper into my question myself!
On: March 31, 2016 12:13 PM
Fabulous Lisa!!! I am so happy you gave yourself the opportunity to flex your "inner experimenter"muscles, and problem solve! Displaying courage and confidence in yourself, and your body understanding is of the upmost importance as we all grow as teachers. Well done Lisa, and bravo! It's always fun to find out that you know more than you think you know! Much Love, Casey Marie
Lisa Longworth
On: May 04, 2016 12:48 PM
Yes, Casey! I was able to challenge myself to explore and experiment and it brought me full circle--back to the basics where it all begins. I've found that to be the case on so many occasions and have seen my clients grasp concepts better themselves as they experiment with the feelings and understanding of the movement I'm asking of them. Thank you for the accolades--I would not be in the position to receive them without your continued support and encouragement in your videos and in person. The opportunities have inspired me to decipher what is going on with each client I work with and allow them to teach me as they are challenged by their individual strengths, flexibility and limitations. You are appreciated so much! With love and gratitude, Lisa
On: May 10, 2016 17:01 PM
So much love to you! Warmly, Casey Marie
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