Saturday, January 28, 2006

How do you say?

I'm looking to learn how to say "let go of your butt" in other languages. If you know, please provide translations and/or transliterations.

Sunday, January 22, 2006

It slices, it dices, it's a floor wax,...

Much of the press I've seen around this story delights in pointing the finger: pilates ain't perfect.

The study concluded that the cardiovascular benefits of Pilates appear to be limited.

That's the part that gets the lede. However, they go on to say
"Pilates has a long list of benefits including improved body mechanics, balance, coordination, strength and flexibility," said Dr. Cedric X. Bryant, chief exercise physiologist for ACE. "While the ACE study shows that a Pilates session burns a relatively small amount of calories, it is still a valuable addition to any exercise routine offering the essential elements of building a strong core and increasing flexibility."

(A leftover from my days as a holier-than-thou editor: I hate confusion of "amount" and "number.")

This was part of the alleged controversy in the Wikipedia pilates brouhaha as well: some folks complaining that, yeah, it increases core connection and improves posture and all, but it's not, like, high-impact and stuff.

Most athletes of all kinds cross-train. The reason I got into pilates in the first place was as a supplement to dance; and some forms of dance, along with some martial arts, come as close to total body systems as any regimens I can think of. I don't claim that the work I do is all anyone needs to stay fit. In fact, with my dancers in particular, I've stated categorically that I am under no obligation whatsoever to provide a complete workout; my task is to focus in on those physical issues that require particular attention, and if that means devoting an entire session to the achilles tendon (or to letting a student catch up on sleep), so be it.

Saturday, January 21, 2006

on metaphor

This amused me, even if I'm not familiar with the involved parties.

Wednesday, January 11, 2006

On Taoist bodies, sport, and rhyme

Was re-reading this book. I'd have to agree with the first reviewer that it is not a deep resource, but apparently we are in the minority, judging from the rest. I did appreciate reminders of the overarching themes: beginner's mind, balance, and so on, though a pamphlet would likely have covered what was here for me.

The book provides numerous affirmations intended for the practitioner to use, and many of them are in rhyme (meter all over the place): "I stay in the here and now, so I'll take a bow," "When I give up control, I get on a roll and play with some soul," "When I selflessly play, I ensure that I stay," get the picture.

Stuff like this sets my cutesy-meter off, even if it is easier to remember. I've noticed other linguistic phenomena surrounding sport: the necessity of repetition, some unusually formal possessive constructions (line drive into the glove of the shortstop).

Back to the beginning: it could be quite interesting to go into Taoist literature (my favorite is the Chuang-Tzu) and make the connections: the story of the butcher as a guide to finding space in the joints, for one.

Monday, January 09, 2006

Seasoned dancers kick butt

Never underestimate the power of the "older" dancer. The Super Bowl tried.

Monday, January 02, 2006

Traditional seasonal subject matter

So, the new year. Musings for the year, so far, in no particular order or grammatical construct:

Quad stretches.

Cross-training options: martial arts, rock climbing, other stuff I haven't thought about yet--suggestions?

Find a day off.

More time in civilian garb.

See more, and not just dance. An interesting prospect this month: a theatre festival on neurological conditions.

Keep learning.

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