Thursday, October 28, 2010

Trick or Treat? Franklin Method

Props Gini uses to teach FM.
"To change your body, one must change their mind"

I had the privilege of participating in two Franklin Method workshops lead by the fabulous Gini Martinez of Pilate Your Body. Gini is intelligent, witty, passionate, and creative about movement and her teaching. I highly recommend that anyone who teaches any sort of movement treat yourself to some Franklin Method. You won't regret it. I learned a lot about how my body actually works, how much my thoughts can affect and change my movements, and how to better cue movement for myself and my clients. I came out of the weekend very inspired and also very overwhelmed. How do I take all of this new insight into my Pilates teachings?

Franklin Method is based on four steps:

  1. Feedback - Check in on how and where you are now. What do you like? What do you not like? (Try to focus on the positive, as it really does change the outcome. For instance: If you notice your shoulders are tense, instead of focusing on the tension think about the openness and lightness you would like to feel in them.)
  2. Make a plan - What are you going to work on changing and how are you going to go about it? (I am going to send breath into my shoulders and imagine my shoulder blades sliding downward like a chocolate fondue fountain)
  3. Feed Forward - Put the plan into action.
  4. Compare New Status Quo to the Old - Was there a positive change? Even if it is the littlest bit.
It is a cycle. So repeat until the desired affect occurs. Maybe a new plan is necessary.

What I realized during this weekend was how important it is to really know what is happening in the body during movement. I know my anatomy and the cuing of movement within Pilates. However, many times the cuing contradicted what was actually happening with the bone rhythms. Once I could imagine the movement of the bones in certain actions I could facilitate movement in a much more organic way. 
"Embodying function, Improves function".
I realized that I had been tricking my body into performing certain movements with contraction instead of treating my body to efficient movement with ease. As Gini says:
"If your muscles are tense, they are contracted. If your muscles are contracted, they aren't available for movement."
Give your body a treat and incorporate some Franklin Method into your body and teaching.

Here is a link to a video of Eric Franklin releasing Shoulder Tension.
And just added here is a podcast of Gini discussing Franklin Method on air with Karena Lineback. 

1 comment:

  1. If I didn't know it already, this would inspire me to try a Franklin Method class! Thanks, Laurel!!