"Somanaut: Like the astronaut who navigates outer space, the somanaut is dedicated to exploring the inner space of human form." Gil Hedley 2012
What a big year! And my first Blog too. A year of learnings, achievements and a couple of firsts; so I thought to share some of the highlights.
My training schedule started in February, with a workshop on feet and scapula, with Bea Alexander in Edinburgh; and then to London in May for a weekend studying the Franklin Method, which uses fabulous imagery and props to get you into your body to understand movement.
However, although the Franklin Method has been on my bucket list for a while, the Pink Ribbon Programme has been there the longest - and in early July off I went on another train, this time to Leeds, to qualify as a Breast Cancer Exercise Specialist. The Founder of the Programme, Doreen Puglisi, was on her first trip to Europe and having gone through breast cancer herself it was inspiring and humbling to learn how she developed the programme through her own body. The course really deepened my understanding of the disease, the treatments and how movement is so central to recovery.
However....drum roll please.....without a doubt, the highlight of my year (and one of the most profound experiences in my life) came at the end of July when I became a fully fledged Somanaut: I joined some other anatomy geeks at the University of St Andrews, to perform a full body dissection on a wonderful cadaver (we named her Mary after the Queen of Scots). She revealed many secrets and taught me more than I could ever know from a text book – thank you to all those wonderful people who leave their bodies to science – you do a great thing. I have booked again for 2013 and am really looking forward to being slightly less rabbit-in-the-headlights and more ....well, just more and more amazed at the human form and the lessons it can teach us.
Thank you Gil Hedley and your wonderful Fuzz Speech for bringing this experience to Scotland for the first time, and for guiding my trembling hands with sensitivity and an encyclopaedic knowledge. And a huge thank you Kristi Cooper and Rebekah Rotstein for encouraging me to take the plunge (metaphorically and literally!). I am super proud to be a part of the small but growing band of Somanauts across the world, dedicated to exploring Inner Space.
Fascia is the new kid on the block and this year it has become my special focus. Health and medical researchers from all over the world are starting to understand the importance of healthy, mobile and nourished connective tissue. And there is a sense of building excitement around the growing body of research coming out. In November, I completed my training with Dr Robert Schleip, Director of the Fascial Research Project at Ulm University in Germany and to become the first teacher in Scotland to be certified as a Fascia Fitness Instructor. As many of you already know, I have been using my own research to develop and run my own Neuro-Fascia Workshops - which have been so popular that they now run at least once a month, with many people coming back every time. Thank you everyone for your support. There has been some incredible feedback on health improvements - and even I have been surprised at how my own body has gained more movement and freedom from just rolling around on some balls and a long bit of foam!
Lastly, having decided to sit the Level 3 exams for the Register of Exercise Professionals, (and nearly missing my exam date - yikes! but that's another story) I passed last week with full marks for my Case Study - woohoo! Thanks to Hazel for being my model and for putting up with my camera.
As well as formal training, I continue to tap the internet and can recommend both Pilates Anytime and Pilatesology to my teacher friends and to students looking to deepen their knowledge at home. Both sites have full length classes and workshops and you can try it free for a week or so. Pilates Anytime is an inclusive site offering a range of teaching methods, whereas Pilatesology focuses only on the Classical Method - both are excellent and watching other teachers has become an obsession of mine!
Looking forward to 2013...... another visit to "Cadaver Camp" (a term coined and described brilliantly by Rebekah Rotstein) is planned; and a trip to London in February for a week's intensive training on the Cadillac to progress my training on Pilates' original equipment. I have my eye on a couple of other things too...hmmmm.....maybe I'll come back with another update next year.
Happy Holidays all. Kirsty x
And some other things...
This year saw the introduction of the "Wobbles" to class - new equipment always means more hilarity! A brilliant tool to challenge exercise or to target hypermobility.
Thank you to every one of my Pilates students, for continuing to turn up every week - I appreciate every single one of you for letting me do the best job ever. Here's to another year of laughing and wobbling and flexing and twisting - and improving ourselves x
Combining an interest in supporting those affected by Breast Cancer and Fascia Health, I held a workshop in November in aid of Maggie's Cancer Care, at Beaconhurst School in Bridge of Allan, who generously donated their facilities for the day.
We raised over £756 with Gift Aid added on - thank you to those who came along and thanks to Knead to Relax and Stirling Massage Therapies for all your help - well done everyone!
This year my lovely, lovely students at the University of Strathclyde in Glasgow nominated me (for the second year running!) for the Teaching Excellence Award - didn't win the award but proud as punch! Can you tell....
HAPPY CHRISTMAS EVERYONE!
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