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A Pilates Author Confesses

Pilates: Body in Motion Ebook

A decade after writing my best-selling title, I'm suggesting some changes be made.

Pilates Spotlight10

Lessons Learned

Sunday March 23, 2014

In 2002 I published a book chock full of everything I knew about the Pilates Mat work.  It's a body of work I'm still very proud of but it did contain one item that I came to question.  This month I took an entire article to edit that item and improve what I have come to see as a weakness in the book.  As a teacher of Pilates, I consider myself first and foremost a student of Pilates.  The ability to revise your thinking about something you feel passionate about is the hallmark of a good student and an open minded individual.  I have learned much about Pilates since 2003 and I hope to continue to learn more so that I may revise my thinking for the better and share it with as many people as possible.

Beginner students also have much to learn about the inner workings of Pilates.  I hope this month's article on finding your Abdominals will shed some light on the role of gravity and how you can use it to your advantage.  I do hope that you were able to participate in the March MATness event this year which is intended for newcomers and beginners. What a joy to learn about the broader practice of Pilates, learn from key players in the industry and experience the light-hearted side of Pilates.  There are so many lessons to learn from the teachers participating in this event.

For those of us with an existing practice or those just wanting to know more about Pilates props, modifications and progressions, enjoy my article on the Pilates Bean Bag and how you can strengthen your wrists in preparation for larger exercises.  Did someone say push ups?  Learning about your own body's limitations and then how to move past those limitations (as well as when not to move past them) are the deeper benefits of Pilates and perhaps the ones that linger the longest.

May the method itself be your best teacher this month.


Pilates Perceptions

Thursday February 27, 2014

It's been a very busy week at my studio in New York City. Besides the flurry of bad weather (get it?), we've had a flurry of new teacher trainees embarking upon their careers as Pilates instructors. Watching them absorb the elements of Pilates, both large and small made me look at the method in a whole new way.  I often compartmentalize exercise into those with large or gross motor patterns and those with fine or detailed smaller movements which tend to be less...well, big.  Watching the trainees learn the large sweeping choreography of classical Pilates coupled with the intense focus on detail I was reminded me that Pilates is a magical method,  combining both gross and fine motor skills.  Even more important, it combines both gross and fine mental ability.  For example, in Pilates you are often required to execute big moves with small attention to detail or just the opposite.  This merging of physical and mental skills is also the bigger story of Pilates.  This month, I shared with you the story of my client struggling with Cancer. His personal fight was big but many of us use Pilates to fight or simply manage much smaller issues.

The Two by Four exercise this month is a small move done with big concentration. A reminder once again that you don't need big moves to make big changes - just big thoughts.

Taking Pilates out of the studio and into the real world, I was so happy to profile March MATness this month. An event like this is one of those moments when a method can transcend its' humble beginnings from one man and 5 original teachers, to finally reach the masses on a large scale. I hope you'll take advantage of it this month in both big and small ways.

Just so long as you benefit from the wonderfully varied system in some significant way, I don't care if you like your Pilates big - or small.


Always a Beginner

Tuesday January 28, 2014

Hello You!

If we haven't met yet - I'm your new Pilates expert here on About.com.  I hope you were able to enjoy some of my new articles these past few weeks.

This month was full of research for me as we explored topics like the Pilates springs, personal Pilates preferences and exerciser types (which one were you?) as well as an exercise test-drive of the Hundred and some at home moves to help you recreate the work of the Pilates springs.

These foundations of Pilates are never too basic to go back and re-visit.  As your practice grows, you will attack the beginner work and concepts with even greater control and strength. Keep in mind as you progress what a privilege it is to be a student on the precipice of new information and new skills.


Alycea Ungaro


Meet the New Pilates Expert

Thursday January 16, 2014

Hello You!

This is a quick note to introduce myself as your new Pilates expert here on About.com.  I am tremendously excited to be here.  I have followed this site for years and I am a big fan of Marguerite Ogle, the former Pilates guide.  You have my promise that I will always strive to deliver valuable information and please know that I am open to your feedback. Finally,  feel free to follow me on social media.  I'm easy to find and would be happy to chat .


Alycea Ungaro

Alycea Ungaro

Real Pilates, NYC

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