The last weekend in February was Anatomy in 3-D workshop at Soma Pilates Redmond. With Janet Sunderland (owner of Soma Pilates Redmond and Balanced Body faculty member) guiding us step by step, we built the muscles of the human thigh, spine, trunk, shoulder and neck on a 2 1/2 foot skeleton with special 3-D animation clay that never dries and is the perfect consistency for sculpting miniature muscles. The skeleton bases were actually cute; their faces are partially sculpted into a little grin. But seriously, these mannequins are pretty amazing. They’re built of light-weight yet sturdy epoxy-like material that allowed us to attach and un-attach the hand sculpted mini-muscles onto the mannequins surface cleanly. Part of the fun was all the hand work of rolling out the clay and cutting or twisting it into snakes and sheets. We used red clay for the muscles, and yellow clay for the connective tissue. We only built half of the body, because it takes plenty of time to sculpt those mini muscles so for times’ sake, plus having half the spine visible made it easier to attach all the spinal muscles correctly.
Every Pilates instructor training program includes the study of anatomy. But the hands on approach used in Anatomy in 3-D is so much more effective at teaching how our muscles and connective tissues wrap around our skeleton in an intricate yet intuitive way. As the muscles are sculpted and layered on, we took time for movement experiences on the Pilates equipment and danced our way through the thigh and pelvic muscles to physically connect to the muscles’ shape and function along with Powerpoint facts and diagrams explaining it all textbook style. It occurred to me at one point during the workshop that whether an individual is a visual, audible, or experiential learner, Anatomy in 3-D is strong in all three so it really sinks in. I feel much more well equipped to help my Pilates clients move with even more awareness, grace and balance then I did before.
One of the workshop attendees was a Pilates client and movement enthusiast with no intention of becoming an instructor. He just wanted the knowledge as part of his quest to better understand his own body. We joked that his experience in Pilates class will never be the same!
And as I walked, jogged, and did Yoga poses along the Pipeline-Trillium loop at The Redmond Watershed Preserve yesterday I connected to my movement in a meaningful and completely new way since completing Anatomy in 3-D. I experienced my breathing as “the bellows” of my lungs and diaphragm as I breathed deeply, I felt my grascilis and gluteus maximus co-contract as my leg extended during the jog, I was aware of my pelvic floor, each plant of the foot, each arm swing. It was an orchestra of movement!
As the title of this post says; Anatomy in 3-D Rocked My World! Thank you to Janet Sunderland who is inspired by Anatomy so her enthusiasm for the study is contagious and to Balanced Body for this great course.