I like to focus on empowering people to help themselves maintain their health and well-being. When I work with people with physical pain, part of the treatment is to improve their alignment and activate muscles to work better. I like to use Pilates exercises to help clients maintain and improve their alignment and function so they can live pain free in the long term.
Did you know that our Rena is a Kinesiologist and a Pilates teacher? With a background in ballet dancing and now as a triathlete Rena uses Pilates to cross train her own body so that she is moving optimally. This week I caught up with Rena and learnt more about what makes her tick. But what I really wanted to know was how Pilates and Kinesiology might work together?
Rena was first introduced to Pilates in her teens (think lycra and leg warmers). Her dance teacher had some experience with Pilates and showed the class some exercises to help strengthen them for dancing. Pilates was in its infancy in Australia and was quickly adopted by the dance community since Joseph Pilates was renowned to work with the best ballet dancers in New York City back in the 1920’s and his legacy was legendary the World over.
Then a few years later Rena came across Pilates again in the gym. Both of her experiences were on the mat, where Pilates was born. She was yet to discover the ingenious machines. But even on the mat Rena loved Pilates from the get go. She always felt stronger and more mobile afterwards.
Rena has ditched the lycra and leg warmers but she maintains a super active lifestyle and enjoys running, swimming cycling and a spot on the dance floor. So when I asked her how Pilates has changed or improved her life she didn’t hesitate by saying “I do a lot of exercise and the strength and body awareness I have gained through Pilates has improved my performance across the other forms of exercise I do. Pilates is so many things to me – improved strength, mobility, posture and function” to name a few.
I do a lot of exercise and the strength and body awareness I have gained through Pilates has improved my performance across the other forms of exercise I do.
Rena loves how Pilates is a low impact method of exercising with a strong emphasis on correct technique and form. The exercises look easy but when done correctly they can be very challenging. It strengthens and tones to help improve posture and the way your body functions. With regular practice people often experience less pain and improved mobility. She went on to say “In studio I see every day how beneficial it is for so many people, especially for reduction of pain. Pilates changes lives, and I decided to be a teacher because I wanted to be part of that precious journey with others.”
We all come to Pilates from different angles and I for one absolutely love working alongside Rena and listening to her assess the body. Rena has a very special skill and she has honed this skill for many years, learning to read people with the most gentle approach. It’s what makes her teaching style so unique and her knowledge so valuable to us all at Encore Pilates. Rena is a Kinesiologist. Now I’ve had kinesiology done to me and I have felt the benefits but I’ve never understood what the therapist s doing and how it actually works. So I asked Rena to explain a bit more.
“Kinesiology is an alternative health practice that uses muscle testing to identify imbalances in your body’s natural healing system and then identifies the adjustments needed to bring your body back into balance. It is a very holistic modality because it addresses physical, emotional, mental and chemical well-being for each individual. Techniques used for balancing include; massaging or holding reflex points, muscle manipulation, emotional stress diffusion and nutritional assessment.”
In other words Kinesiology uses biofeedback or muscle monitoring to access information about a persons wellbeing. While it is not used to diagnose diseases, Western techniques and Eastern wisdom marry beautifully with what we do in studio. I always say that the best therapists in our community are those with an educated intuition, a deep understanding of the body and a curiosity to look outside the norm to seek answers for the individual.
Kinesiology and Pilates both address physiological, biomechanics and psychological principles and mechanisms of movement. Rena can work with you to improve your health and general wellbeing and increase vitality and for that alone we are blessed to have her in our family. I’ve loved getting to know Rena, understanding why she does this work and what keeps her to passionate. It’s just another piece of the puzzle, another perspective of how Pilates fits into our lives and another reminder of how well we all fit together.
Rena teaches reformer classes as well as studio one on ones and semi privates. She has practiced for many years the good movement principles she teaches you in studio. Her kind, precise and sometimes quirky style of instruction means that you leave the studio feeling longer, stronger and more mobile.
And if you ask me, anyone who started out in lycra and leggings is my kind of gal!
Want to book a session with Rena in studio?