I found Pilates looking for six-pack abs, but I fell in love with it for all the things it brought to my life that I never saw coming. Like many great loves, it is the unexpected things that hit you the hardest, and really get you hooked.
As I built strength in my body, I felt a calmness in my mind.
As I became more efficient, I slept better.
As I learned to control my movement, I learned to control my emotions.
As my range-of-motion increased, I stopped rushing through life and started to appreciate the world around me.
The impact that Pilates had on my life was so much bigger than six-pack abs or a tight butt. I needed to understand this amazing practice in a deeper way, and I enrolled in my first certification program. I didn’t expect to actually teach at first, but when I started practice-teaching as part of the certification, I, again, got hooked. After a few sessions my clients would come in and tell me the positive impact that their practice was having on their lives, and being a part of that change in somebody else’s life was a deeply satisfying and gratifying feeling. I wanted to be the best teacher I could be, but I wasn’t a physical therapist and I didn’t have an anatomy-related background. So, I became a “workshop junky.” I sought out the best and the brightest and hoped their knowledge would somehow seep into my pores. I watched brilliant minds present powerpoint presentations on biomechanics, and I tried desperately to remember the scientific names of all the muscles and to understand how and when they should be used. But to be honest, that isn’t what I loved about Pilates. I respected and liked the science, but I loved the change.
Participants at a “Franklin Method” shoulder workshop led by Tracy Belcher, November 2015, at Pilates in the Grove
And then I found the Franklin Method. The method’s founder, Eric Franklin, wasn’t just TEACHING us biomechanics, but we were LEARNING how to use that information to create positive change in our bodies. The Franklin Method teaches you scientifically-proven techniques such as dynamic imagery, to better connect your mind and body, and embody ideal function. Like Pilates and meditation, the more you practice, the better you get. At first, I felt a change, but it was subtle. You hear people proclaim knowingly, “the mind is so powerful” and we shake our heads in agreement. Yes, yes it is. And we believe that. But to FEEL it, is a completely breathtaking experience. By applying the Franklin Method, I felt the ground supporting my feet for the first time, and my shoulder blades supporting my arms as they floated effortlessly above my head… And I fell in love. Again. And there began my next certification program.
I have been studying Franklin Method with Eric Franklin and his team of geniuses in New York for the past six months as part of a teacher training program, and I am so excited to bring this practice to my clients and classes. I have started to offer free community workshops at Pilates in the Grove as part of the program, and if you are at all interested in learning more about the Franklin Method, I hope you will join me for a spine workshop this January. Details will be announced in the Pilates in the Grove newsletter. If you are interested in learning more about the Franklin Method, please don’t hesitate to contact me at [email protected].
© Tracy Belcher – Tracy Belcher received her comprehensive training through Polestar Education and is a Pilates Method Alliance ® Certified Pilates Teacher.