WILLETT WORDS OF WISDOM
NEWSLETTERS (CLICK ON LINKS):
BREATHE?!?! What does it really mean?
A colleague who lives in Hawaii recently shared this story with me. There is a word in Hawaiian – Haole – that refers to people who are non-native to the Island. However, the original origin of the word is rooted in the meaning “no breath” – Ha translating to breath of life and Ole meaning without. Click here for more
FEAR IS NOT A HEALTHY PLACE TO HANG OUT
Many of you are feeling fear and stress around the COVID-19 outbreak and understandably so. It is a new virus. It spreads very quickly. And there is so much reaction to it on many fronts. Fear is a good thing in small doses. Click here for more
BREATHE TO FIND YOUR HEARTBEAT, YOUR UNIQUE RYTHMN OF LIFE
As any of you who have worked with me know, I cannot say enough about the power of breath. During our first session, we focus a good deal on the breath; and, we begin each subsequent session with breath awareness. It’s always interesting to see how people respond to so much time bringing awareness to their breath. For some, they are eager to get to the workout beyond the breathing so to say. For others, it seems to be a bit of a waste of time. Some seem to revel in this time finding it peaceful and enlivening. Perhaps the breath is something we take for granted, thinking we don’t need to focus on it. Click here for more
TAPPING INTO YOUR LIFE FORCE
Recently a colleague from another country posted a video of herself performing a Fletcher movement piece on social media. One of the senior male teachers who worked very closely with Ron Fletcher posted a strong comment “lovely with transitions and movement but NO JOY and where is the fluidity???” Knowing this woman who posted the piece as a very kind and dear soul, I felt for her, and hoped she hadn’t been hurt or offended by his comment. At the same time, I realized that my own reaction was similar to what he posted. Her movement was precise though it lacked her passion, her authentic expression, her spirit. Click here for more
LIFE IS MOVEMENT
People have commented on my business name, Connected. Movement in Sync. They often say “your work encompasses so much more than just Pilates alone.” I facilitate movement on all levels. For movement is life. Right now at this very moment in your body- cells are dying and new ones are coming into being, blood is flowing, lymphatic fluid is circulating, neurons are firing, hormones are releasing, interstitial fluid is meandering, intestinal villa are gently waving, organs are swaying with the breath, thoughts are forming or going out of existence, eyes are blinking, feelings and emotions are moving through you (such as joy, pain, sorrow, anger, sadness); not to forget, the thirty trillion or so microscopic fungi, bacteria, and viruses that live on you and in you Click here for more
BIOTENSEGRITY – A SHIFT IN HOW WE VIEW THE BODY
Fixed views do not serve us well in any capacity. They limit our thinking and our potential for further knowledge and learning. They actually limit what’s possible. And when it comes to the body, fixed views provide at best, a general framework. The body is like the universe – immense and challenging to understand. We have these models of the body, these pictures that we hold onto, using them to falsely assure us that we know what the body is all about. Click here for more
“EVERY BODY IS BEAUTIFUL” ~Ron Fletcher ...INCLUDING CADAVERS!
I just returned from my first human cadaver study, conducted at Rutgers Medical and led by the amazingly brilliant Doctor Gil Hedley who has been leading cadaver studies for 25 years. It entailed 5 days of me dissecting the human body with scalpel in hand, going layer by layer from the skin through every organ in the body, accompanied by brilliant discussions with Gil and group members. Click here for more
HOW You Move and Workout (not just how much)
Many of us are tuned into cardiovascular health and the benefits of exercise; yet, we don’t talk much about how it all relates to cortisol and other stress hormone levels. It isn’t about getting the heart pumping hard, hitting the punching bag with all our might, or lifting huge amounts of weight. It is about balance. Click here for more
POSTURE… Is all about movement! Is all about response to life!
When I hear people say, I want good posture, I ask them what do mean by good posture? Often, they respond by standing tall in a militaristic stance. Standing erect with chest opened and back muscles very engaged serves its purpose when you want to be confident, to stand firm in what you say or do. However, that stance is not the whole story. Click here for more
THERE IS NO NEUTRAL IN THE BODY
Many Pilates teachers will use the words “neutral position” referring to what they consider a natural position of the spine and pelvis, suggesting a rest-type state of the body. Ron Fletcher did not agree at all with this cue. He said that when you put a car in neutral, it does nothing!
Being immersed in the world of fascia, I know more than ever that there truly is no neutral in the body. Ron Fletcher was correct. Right at this very moment, cells are dying, Click here for more
THE F WORD: FASCIA
I recently sat down with a colleague who wanted to know what I was up to….here are my responses to that interview.
Anne, you have been studying it for a long while now. So, what exactly is Fascia?
Simply put, fascia is a fabric that holds us together. Traditionally in medicine, it has been described in components – like plantar fascia or thoracolumbar fascia. It has most often been put aside and discarded during cadaver studies or live surgeries. Yet, today fascia is taking center stage. It is now studied and seen through the lens of everything from Olympic athlete training to cancer transmission to its role in pain. Click here for more
OUR PSOAS' ARE EXHAUSTED
More than ever, we are disconnected from our bodies in some way. We have piles of emails and over-zealous to-do lists. We run to the gym to grab a workout, then back to our sitting we go. We drive fast or we drive among others who are driving fast. We are connected to our computers, cell phones, i-watches, as if they are an extension of our body, of our soul. It leaves us hunkered forward or grasping tight to a device sending our bodies into an unsustainable holding position. We tune into media which is about chaos, unrest, shootings (and more shootings), and political turmoil. We live in fear – of our world, our community, our loved ones, our lives. Click here for more
FASCIA IS A SENSORY AND EMOTIONAL ORGAN
In March of 2018, Dr. Neil Thiese, a pathologist in New York City, gained wide attention when he published an article in Scientific Reports entitled “Structure and Distribution of an Unrecognized Interstitium in Human Tissues.” Media was focusing on the claim that he had “discovered a new organ”. I had the fortune of being on a call with about 100 others listening to him and Dr. Carla Stecco MD of Padua, Italy and author of Functional Atlas of the Human Fascial System. The conversation left me (and others) realizing Thiese had not discovered anything new at all. Click here for more
A BIT ON HUMAN MICROBIOME
About thirty-five years ago when I was working in a private psychiatric hospital affiliated with Harvard and Massachusetts General Hospital, I had the fortune of taking some extension courses at Harvard. My interest was on nutrition and how it might impact mental health. So many years ago is when I first heard of the connection between the gut and health. Little did I know how this subject would become mainstream and so relevant today. Click here for more
WINTER SOLSTICE PERSPECTIVE
Today marks the shortest day of the year, meaning there is more darkness than light. It is the winter solstice. In this northern hemisphere where we live, it is the official start of winter which will be here until March 20. For some, winter brings excitement if they are skiers or love snow days and building snowmen. For others, winter brings a time of sadness as they struggle through the dark days. Regardless of whether you step into it or you dread it or you leave it to go to warmer climates for the season, it is something to understand. Click here for more
WHAT IS THE FASCIA RESEARCH CONGRESS ~ BERLIN 2018
As many of you know, I recently attended the international fascia conference held in Berlin at the Urania Center. In a way, I cannot even begin to capture in words the experiences I had. As Kyria Sabin, Director of International Fletcher Pilates said in a note to me this week, I am thrilled for you and us that you continue…to learn and be involved at such a high level. You are truly following your passion. And indeed, I am…following my passion. Whenever I receive a new educational book in the mail, sign up for another conference, and I share what I am learning with my son Patrick, he asks if I will ever get enough. And the answer is no. We can never stop learning about the body – on some level, we will never truly understand it. Click here for more
WHAT IS PILATES
So often, I see people peeking their heads through my window wondering what the heck is going on in here. I read magazines and articles which focus on the glitzy body of someone who does Pilates (whatever that means…does Pilates?). Pilates is not about glitz and glamour. It is about total health that honors each individual body. You don’t do Pilates. It is a practice and it involves hard work. Some describe it as a type of exercise. One of my mentors Ron Fletcher, who studied with Joe and Clara Pilates, did not like the word exercise. Click here for more
FASCIAL HEALTH AND FLETCHER PILATES - THE BREATH
I remember working with Ron in his later years...watching him move a student in a piece on the spine corrector. I noted in my journal, "It is as if he sees the inside of her body and knows exactly how her foot is connected to the opposite hand." Click here for more