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Retreat to Advance


“I was tired. I needed a shake up. I was in danger of stagnating, the worst thing that you can allow to happen to your teaching.

I needed a break, I needed to be taken out of my comfort zone, shaken vigorously, not stirred and given new learning experiences.

I have my regular lessons and I attend courses and workshops as often as possible. Yet  I knew I needed a period totally given over to my own learning. You could even say “to be selfish.”  It is not easy leaving your Husband and children behind even for a short for a period of time, Skype and FaceTime ease the distance but it’s not the same for either party.

I had previously contacted teachers whose teaching I enjoyed and so I took a deep breath and contacted them again.

Dates were set, flights were booked and my Airbnb was chosen.  There was no going back.

So on a rainy Sunday in New York I left my rented apartment feeling excited and nervous.  Heading off to find the studio where I would be based, I walked up and down the same street 3 times before I decided that yes, that heavily graffitied door was the door I needed.

I hadn’t even noticed the film crew eyeing me suspiciously as I walked past repeatedly, until one of them stopped me as their filming was beginning.

I don’t think they would have understood that I was more in awe for the work of the person behind that grafittied door than any Hollywood actor!

8.30am the next morning, I stood in front of that same door, took a deep breath and rang the buzzer.  A cheery voice immediately put me at ease and my work began.

During the run up to my NYC trip my left knee had become increasingly painful, the metal work is moving and slowly coming out and I know that surgery to remove it is imminent. This was another reason to make this trip, the prospect of months on crutches again is not one to undertake lightly but I know it needs to be done.

However, I realised that after 2 days of strong Spring work and lots of walking, my knee pain had gone.

All the work we were doing on my feet and alignment was clearly having an impact.  I came home physically and mentally exercised.

My mind feels clearer, stimulated, a whole new breath of life has been breathed into me.”

I wrote this Blog on the plane coming home from NYC. I never posted it, I’m not sure why. I was looking for another piece of writing when I came across it and it stirred something in me. I had intended to write a NYC Diary, covering all my exploits with all the great teachers I was meeting.  That was almost too big a task and I needed to simply let the work sink in.

Since my return from NYC I have had a wonderful 3 months. I have thrown myself headlong into new projects and found friends and opportunities manifesting almost daily.

There has been a sense of letting go in order to allow the new in. I am still hungry to learn, that will never end. My diary for 2017 already has training weeks planned which I am delighted and excited to be attending.

‘There is no such thing as teaching, only learning” – Monty Roberts

As Pilates teachers we place an importance on stability and mobility. One facilitates the other. This is also true outside of the Pilates studio, sometimes we need to be still and grounded in order to know where we  need to be …sometimes we need to travel to come back to our place of stillness.

We need to take time for ourselves to find where we are in space both figuratively and metaphorically speaking.

I am grateful to all my teachers, old and new and the ones I have yet to meet.

A friend of mine has a saying “Open your heart to the Universe and the Universe will provide”. I have and it does.

Go on…give it a try!

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