"an advertising or promotional device intended to arouse interest or curiosity especially in something to follow."
"a puzzling problem."
Pilates' Teaser is just that. Both "intended to arouse curiosity", "I want to be able to do that". "Look at how beautiful, graceful and strong the body looks in this position" and "a puzzling problem", "That is harder than it looks" and "How is the body capable of that?".
The Teaser is as synonymous to Pilates as Hundreds. Yet Teaser is truly an Intermediate/Advanced exercise that is meant to connect the previous teachings into utilizing your skills all in one exercise. Easier said than done. Teaser combines the knowledge of rolling and unrolling the spine, pelvic stabilization, core connection, supporting the leverage of long extensions of both arms and legs, breath, and control. One could (and many do) rely on pure momentum to throw themselves up into this beautiful shape. However, Teaser like most of the Pilates repertoire, is about the journey and not the destination. Many times when teaching this exercise I will slow down the movement to take the momentum idea out. I also like having my clients close their eyes and visualize in their head the movement rather than focus on the external image. In class situations, especially, Teaser can become one of those competitive moments for a student. Closing your eyes takes the compete out of the exercise.
Teaser is like finding the holy grail in Pilates, "available to all, but only fully realized by those who prepare themselves". Only when you let go of the preconceived ideas and focus on building the foundation do you realize that is right there within your reach. And one day you find yourself in Teaser with grace, ease, and strength from all the hard work you have done before. Until then it is arousing your curiosity and puzzling you just as it is named to do.